The winners of the annual East Bay Express “Best of the East Bay” awards celebrated together Wednesday night at Rosenblum Cellars in Jack London Square. Photo: Emilie Raguso
The winners of the annual East Bay Express “Best of the East Bay” awards celebrated together Wednesday night at Rosenblum Cellars in Jack London Square. Photo: Emilie Raguso

All right: It’s official. The Berkeleyside Twitter account, which recently crossed the 20,000-followers threshold, has been voted the best local Twitter feed on this side of the bay, as per the popular East Bay Express “Best of the East Bay” awards.

The annual contest highlights local gems and favorites across a wide range of categories featuring both editors’ and readers’ picks. In addition to a curated selection from the editors, readers vote on nominees related to Arts & Culture, Goods & Services, People & Places, Restaurants & Bars and Sports & Leisure.

Berkeleyside was surprised to learn of the win in late July, as we did not know we were up for the award.

Wednesday night, winners of the contest met up at Rosenblum Cellars in Jack London Square to celebrate over drinks from the tasting room and bites provided by Lungomare, which is just down the street.

Berkeleyside was proud to receive the award, as our Twitter feed is one of our primary ways of being accessible to our readers. It’s where we share our stories and look for local news tips, but it’s also a place readers can reach us directly and — generally — get a prompt response from a member of our team.

Even those who aren’t on Twitter can keep an eye on our feed, which is sometimes the first place we report about breaking stories, as we’re in the midst of finding out more about what’s happening. Neighborhood incidents that don’t always make the cut on our website get discussed, too. And it’s also a great place to discover what other local residents are seeing and hearing around town, as we regularly retweet reader photos and news tips.

The Best of the East Bay awards featured a ton of winners from Berkeley, and we’re proud to be in their company. (Browse the complete July 22 EBX issue online.)

Berkeleyside won the readers poll in the “People and Places” category for best local Twitter account. (Click the image to reach the full issue.) Graphic: East Bay Express

Currently, there’s no way to search the issue for Berkeley-specific winners. Below is our attempt at highlighting them. Some of the entries do not include geographic references so we’ve done our best here! (Let us know, below in the comments, what we missed.) The East Bay Express includes much more information, including where to find and how to reach these spots, and informative, entertaining descriptions of the editors’ picks — which are known for their creative categories. You can also find the information on the East Bay Express website.

We highly encourage you to check out the full issue to learn much more.

  • Best comedian: Kamau Bell
  • Best year-old theater company: Those Women Productions
  • Best free Shakespeare: The Free Theater
  • Best venue for social justice performances: La Peña Cultural Center
  • Best basedgod: Lil B

Arts & Culture: Readers poll

  • Best annual festival: Solano Stroll
  • Best karaoke: Nick’s Lounge
  • Best local author: Michael Chabon
  • Best performing arts venue: Zellerbach Hall
  • Best theater company: Berkeley Rep
  • Best local jewelry maker: Leslie Francesca Designs
  • Best place to buy stationery: Twig and Fig
  • Best piercer: Lysa Taylor (Industrial Tattoo & Piercing)
  • Best vegan grocery store: Animal Place’s Vegan Republic (formerly: Republic of V)
  • Best yarn shop: Claddagh Yarns
  • Best safe access to medical cannabis: Berkeley Patients Group
  • Best heady glass: Big Al’s Smoke and Gifts
  • Best store in which to hang out in the dark: Looking Glass Photo & Camera
  • Best community dispensary: CBGB
  • Best artisanal cannabis delivery: C.R.A.F.T.
  • Best chai latte: Crixa Cakes
  • Best Middle Eastern market: Middle East Market
  • Best disruptive technologist: California Typewriter

Goods & Services: Readers poll

  • Best bike shop: Missing Link Bicycle Cooperative
  • Best butcher shop: The Local Butcher Shop
  • Best car repair: Art’s Automotive
  • Best game store: Games of Berkeley
  • Best grocery store: Berkeley Bowl
  • Best hair salon: Keter Salon
  • Best massage: Tricia Parrish at Elixir Salon
  • Best place for smoking accessories: Annapurna
  • Best plant Nursery: Berkeley Horticultural Nursery
  • Best record Store: Amoeba Music
  • Best sex shop: Good Vibations (Berkeley branch)
  • Best lawyers defending a post office from privatization: Antonio Rossman, Roger Moore, Zach Cowan
  • Best place to bring leftover celery: Tilden Park Little Farm

People & Places: Readers poll

  • Best cooperative: Cheese Board Collective
  • Best local Twitter account: @Berkeleyside
  • Best park: Tilden Regional Park
  • Best professor: Robert Reich
  • Best urban garden: Urban Adamah
  • Best views: Grizzly Peak
  • Best way to clog your arteries: Smoke’s Poutinerie
  • Best new-school chicken and waffles: Tigerlily
  • Best kava bar: MeloMelo Kava Bar
  • Best soft serve: Cheese Board Pizzeria
  • Best bar to pretend you’re in Mexico City: Comal
  • Best breakfast on a board: Bartavelle Coffee and Wine Bar
  • Best vegan tamales: Flacos
  • Best outdoor seating with a fountain: Café Leila
  • Best French restaurant: La Note Restaurant Provencal
  • Best new spot to drink beer for breakfast: Fieldwork Brewing Company

Restaurants & Bars: Readers poll

  • Best bar: East Bay Spice Company
  • Best barbecue: Smokey J’s BBQ House
  • Best bartender: Nikki Kozlowski (East Bay Spice Company)
  • Best California cuisine: Chez Panisse
  • Best chef: Joel Lamica of Tigerlily
  • Best cocktails: Revival Bar + Kitchen
  • Best coffee: Peet’s
  • Best delivery service: SpoonRocket
  • Best ice cream: Ici Ice Cream
  • Best Indian/Pakistani: Ajanta
  • Best Japanese: Kirala
  • Best kid-friendly restaurant: Picante
  • Best locally sourced/organic menu: Gather
  • Best new restaurant: Tigerlily
  • Best pizza: Zachary’s
  • Best southeast Asian: Champa Garden
  • Best special occasion restaurant: Chez Panisse
  • Best takeout: Gregoire
  • Best designed yoga studio: Funky Door Yoga Berkeley
  • Best free bike classes: Bike East Bay
  • Best drone competition: Game of Drones: Bay Area Aerial Sports League

Sports & Leisure: Readers poll

  • Best bike trail: Bay Trail
  • Best fitness class: The Dailey Method
  • Best outdoor or sporting goods store: REI

Read about all the editors’ picks in the full July 22 East Bay Express issue focused on the Best of the East Bay awards.

Berkeleyside staff

Berkeleyside is Berkeley, California’s independently-owned local news site. Learn more about the Berkeleyside team. Questions?...