The Pleasanton Weekly's readers have spoken, the ballots have been counted and now we're ready to reveal the winners of the 2022 Readers' Choice contest -- another must-see special section spotlighting the best of the best that Pleasanton and the Tri-Valley have to offer.
The popular annual competition garnered 16,399 votes from more than 1,400 confirmed voters across the Tri-Valley during balloting conducted in the spring as readers shared their support for their favorite local businesses, professionals and places in various categories for Food & Drink, Just for Fun, At Home, Health & Beauty and Services.
"We're proud to be able to provide this opportunity to showcase so many of the destinations that make Pleasanton a standout community in the eyes of residents and visitors alike. That's what makes our Readers' Choice so great every year," said Gina Channell Wilcox, publisher and president of Embarcadero Media's East Bay Division.
"We know that everyone in Pleasanton and all of the communities that we cover are working very hard to persevere and thrive at this stage of the pandemic, especially our local businesses," Wilcox added. "This year's contest shows our readers have taken notice, and continue to give their support regularly to the shops, restaurants and expert consultants who drive the Tri-Valley's success."
Wilcox noted that several past Readers' Choice categories that have been on hiatus in the pandemic era might return to next year's contest if the COVID situation improves or remains the same in 2023: Best Happy Hour, Best Place for Live Music, Best Place to People Watch and Best Public Event.
Just like other years, the 2022 winners represent businesses and professional service providers of many sizes and locations across the city -- and a few beyond. Some are longstanding with generational ties to Pleasanton, others have been burgeoning for years and still others are just in their infancy.
This year's group of Readers' Choice Hall of Fame honorees are Cosmo's Barber Shop (Best Barbershop), Bob's Giant Burgers (Best Burger), Lokanta (Best Mediterranean Restaurant) and Savior Plumbing (Best Plumber).
The quartet are being recognized for their previous record of five consecutive victories in the same category. As new Hall of Famers, they were ineligible to compete in their categories in 2022.
Five businesses made it five wins in a row this year and will be part of the 2023-24 Hall of Fame elite: De La Torre's Trattoria (Best Italian Restaurant), Gene's Fine Foods (Best Specialty Food Store), Gina Piper of Elation Real Estate (Best Realtor), New Thai Bistro (Best Thai Food) and Wente Vineyards (Best Local Winery).
Other highlights from this year's results include the fact that several members of the 2020-21 Hall of Fame returned to the regular competition and were back on top, including Nonni's Bistro for Best Sunday Brunch and Schlicher Orthodontics for Best Orthodontist.
Another recent Hall of Famer, Hello Nails on Hopyard Road won again this year but recently rebranded to Belle La Vie "The Nail Place."
We had four businesses win multiple honors in our contest -- SideTrack Bar + Grill for Best American Food Restaurant and Best Burger of 2022, Clover Creek for Best Place to Buy a Gift and Best Home Furnishings, Nonni's Bistro for Best Sunday Brunch and Best Vegetarian Cuisine and Bob's Giant Burgers for Best French Fries to go along with its Hall of Fame award for Best Burger.
Elation Real Estate also earned Best Real Estate Brokerage in addition to the firm's co-founder Piper winning Best Realtor.
Now we invite you to look through all of our 2022 Readers' Choice section. See which of your favorites were honored, and which new places you want to visit this summer because they won. Enjoy!