Now Playing

All About The Best Of The Bay Issue

How we anoint the best.

Choosing the picks for the Best of the Bay issue is our equivalent of Frodo’s journey through Mordor. Okay, that’s a slight exaggeration, but in a region that constantly churns out all kinds of incredibleness, separating the superlative from pretty good is an epic quest. Our editors spend the whole year testing out new businesses, checking in on old ones, soliciting experts’ opinions, and scouring social media in search of the unquestionably great. The end result is the list that we publish every July: the ultimate guide to the Bay Area’s most excellent shops, eateries, bars, hangouts, spas, hotels, apps, and more.


What kind of bribe does it take to get my business on the list? I’ve got stock in Twitter…
Sorry, doesn’t work that way—our editors are incorruptible. Although we are considering accepting Bitcoin donations. (Kidding!)

Seriously? Rumor has it you play favorites with advertisers.
Whoa, those are some fighting words. We absolutely do not practice nepotism, not with sponsors, advertisers, nor our Uncle Joe or Aunt Sally. Regardless of whether or not you’ve done business with the magazine, we judge everyone solely on the merits. (Sorry, Uncle Joe.)

But you call ahead to let businesses know that you’re coming, right? So they probably pull out all the stops.
Nope. We act just like anyone else would when they go out to eat, drink, dance, party, relax, play, etc. No business or service is told in advance that we’ll be checking them out. We’re treated just like any other San Franciscan obsessively typing notes on her iPhone.

So how can I be sure you didn’t just bypass my company?
You can’t be, but we promise that we spend more time worrying about this concern than you can imagine. It’s our job to know our backyard like you know the back of your hand. But, if you’re still not convinced that you’ve been given a fair shake, you can send a letter to our editors at  Or, better yet, harangue them in person at our annual Best of the Bay bash, taking place on June 26 at the City View, Metreon. To buy tickets to the event, visit the party's website at