The Best Of Sacramento


Once again this year, Sacramento magazine subscribers had the exclusive privilege of voting for Sacramento’s best in a variety of categories. From news anchors and radio stations to restaurants, salons and shops, the winners run the gamut. We present them, along with our Editors’ Picks, written by longtime Sacramento magazine contributor Steve LaRosa. Congratulations to all!

Box to run near end of story: Congratulations to subscribers Reymundo Valencia, Nancy Dalton and Laurie King, winners of the drawing to receive four tickets each to the Best of Sacramento Party. Thank you for completing the Best of Sacramento ballot.

Box: The Best of Sacramento winners, along with Sacramento magazine’s Dining Awards winners (published in August 2004), will be on hand to present their specialties at the fifth annual Best of Sacramento Party, held Nov. 11, at the Sacramento Convention Center from 5:30 to 10 p.m. Tickets are $60 in advance; $75 the day of the event. Call the March of Dimes at (916) 922-1913, the Sacramento Community Center Box Office at (916) 264-5181 or charge online at All proceeds from the party benefit the March of Dimes. (In 2003, the event raised $210,000 for the March of Dimes.)

Best TV Morning Anchor
1. Walt Gray, KCRA Channel 3
2. Dan Elliott, News10
3. Deirdre Fitzpatrick, KCRA Channel 3
Runner-Up: Marianne McClary, UPN 31

Best TV News Anchor Team
1. Lois Hart and Dave Walker, KCRA Channel 3
2. Cristina Mendonsa and Dale Schornack, News10
3. Paul Joncich and Jennifer Whitney, KOVR 13 and Deirdre Fitzpatrick and Walt Gray, KCRA Channel 3 (tie)
Runner-Up: Marianne McClary and Nick Toma, UPN 31

Best TV Reporter
1. Edie Lambert, KCRA Channel 3
2. Tom DuHain, KCRA Channel 3
3. Mike TeSelle, KCRA Channel 3
Runner-Up: Mark S. Allen, UPN 31

Best TV Sportscaster
1. Del Rodgers, KCRA Channel 3
2. Ron Hyde, KCRA Channel 3
3. Jim Crandell, FOX40
Runner-Up: Gary Gelfand, UPN 31

Best TV Weather Person
1. Mark Finan, KCRA Channel 3
2. Monica Woods, News10
3. Elissa Lynn, News10 and Patty Souza, KCRA Channel 3 (tie)
Runner-Up: Dave Bender, KOVR 13

Best Traffic Reporter
1. Commander Bill, KGBY Y92.5 FM/NewsTalk 1530 KFBK AM
2. Tina Macuha, UPN 31
3. Joe Miano, NewsTalk 1530 KFBK AM
Runner-Up: Dann Shively, KCRA Channel 3

Best Morning Drive Radio Team
1. Paul Robins and Phil Cowan, KGBY Y92.5 FM
2. Jack Armstrong and Joe Getty, Talk 650 KSTE AM
3. Kelly Brothers and Chris Lane, NewsTalk 1530 KFBK AM
Runner-Up: The Rise Guys, Sports 1140 KHTK AM

Best Afternoon Drive Radio Personality (after 4 p.m.)
1. Kitty O’Neal, NewsTalk 1530 KFBK AM
2. Grant Napear, Sports 1140 KHTK AM
3. Michael Savage, Talk 650 KSTE AM
Runner-Up: Dana Hess, KGBY Y92.5 FM

Best Local Radio Talk-Show Host
1. Tom Sullivan, NewsTalk 1530 KFBK AM
2. Eric Hogue, KTKZ 1380 AM
3. Jack Armstrong and Joe Getty (team), Talk 650 KSTE AM
Runner-Up: Paul Robins and Phil Cowan (team), KGBY Y92.5 FM

Best Radio Sportscaster
1. Grant Napear, Sports 1140 KHTK AM
2. Gary Gerould, Sports 1140 KHTK AM
3. Jim Kozimor, Sports 1140 KHTK AM
Runner-Up: Pat Walsh, NewsTalk 1530 KFBK AM

Best Alternative Rock Radio Station
1. KWOD 106.5 FM
2. KZZO 100.5 FM
3. KXOA 93.7 FM
Runner-Up: KDND 107.9 FM

Best Country Radio Station
1. KNCI 105.1 FM
2. KRLL 92.1 FM

Best Jazz Radio Station
1. KSSJ 94.7 FM
2. KXJZ 88.9 FM
3. KHYL 101.1 FM

Best Local Talk Radio Station
1. NewsTalk 1530 KFBK AM
2. Talk 650 KSTE AM
3. Sports 1140 KHTK AM and KTKZ 1380 AM (tie)

Best Oldies Radio Station
1. KOOL 101.9 FM
2. KHYL 101.1 FM
3. KXCL 103.9 FM
Runner-Up: KCTC 1320 AM

Best Radio Station at Work
1. KSSJ 94.7 FM
2. KYMX Mix 96.1 FM
3. KGBY Y92.5 FM
Runner-Up: NewsTalk 1530 KFBK AM

Best Rock Radio Station
1. KSEG 96.9 FM
2. KRXQ 98.5 FM
3. KWOD 106.5 FM
Runner-Up: KDND 107.9 FM

Best Alternative Newspaper
1. Sacramento News & Review
2. Sacramento Business Journal and The Sacramento Bee (tie)
3. USA Today

Best Local Newspaper Columnist
1. R.E. Graswich, The Sacramento Bee
2. Dan Walters, The Sacramento Bee
3. Diana Griego Erwin, The Sacramento Bee
Runner-Up: Daniel Weintraub, The Sacramento Bee

Best Sportswriter
1. Mark Kreidler, The Sacramento Bee
2. Ailene Voisin, The Sacramento Bee
3. Martin McNeal, The Sacramento Bee

Best Local Website

Best Local Attraction for Kids
1. The Sacramento Zoo
2. Golfland/SunSplash
3. Fairytale Town
Runners-Up: California State Railroad Museum and Waterworld USA

Best Miniature Golf
1. Scandia Family Fun Center
2. Golfland/SunSplash
3. Paradise Island Amusement Park

Best Tourist Attraction Locals Can Enjoy
1. Old Sacramento
2. California State Railroad Museum
3. State Capitol
Runner-Up: American River Parkway

Best Weekend Getaway Destination
1. Lake Tahoe
2. Napa Valley
3. Monterey
Runner-Up: San Francisco

Best Church Choir
1. Capital Christian Center
2. Sacred Heart Church
3. Arcade Baptist Church and Spiritual Life Center (tie)
Runner-Up: Fremont Presbyterian Church

Best High School Marching Band
1. Kennedy
2. Bella Vista
3. Granite Bay
Runners-Up: Elk Grove, Folsom, McClatchy and Rio Americano

Best Bakery
1. Ettore’s
2. Freeport Bakery
3. Nugget Market
Runner-Up: Phillip’s Bakery

Best Barbecued Ribs
1. Tony Roma’s
2. Texas West Bar-B-Que
3. Back Forty Texas BBQ
Runner-Up: Chili’s

Best Doughnuts
1. Krispy Kreme
2. Marie’s Donuts
3. Manley’s Donuts
Runners-Up: Raley’s/Bel Air and Family Donuts

Best Farmers Market
1. Davis
2. Denio’s Roseville Farmers Market & Auction
3. W/X Freeway
Runner-Up: Cesar Chavez Plaza

Best Fried Chicken
1. KFC
2. Popeyes Chicken & Biscuits
3. Church’s Chicken
Runner-Up: Raley’s/Bel Air

Best Gourmet Cookies
1. Mrs. Fields
2. Kelli’s Gourmet Cookies
3. Ettore’s
Runner-Up: Cookie Connection

Best Ice-Cream Parlour
1. Leatherby’s Family Creamery
2. Vic’s Ice Cream
3. Cold Stone Creamery
Runner-Up: Baskin-Robbins

Best Martini
1. Esquire Grill
2. Bandera
3. Gigi’s Bar & Grill
Runners-Up: Frank Fat’s, Scott’s Seafood and Sheraton Grand Sacramento Hotel

Best Smoothies
1. Jamba Juice
2. Nugget Market
3. Merlino’s Freeze
Runners-Up: Guna Juice, Planet Smoothie and Starbucks

Best Place To Buy Bread
1. The Bread Store
2. Nugget Market
3. Ettore’s Restaurant, European Bakery and Catering
Runner-Up: Raley’s/Bel Air

Best Place To Buy Fruits and Veggies
1. Raley’s/Bel Air
2. Farmers markets and Nugget Market (tie)
3. Whole Foods Market

Best Tearoom/Tea House
1. The Elegant Garden & Afternoon Tea
2. Peet’s Coffee & Tea
3. Treasured Tea Time

Best Product Made in Sacramento
1. Blue Diamond Almonds
2. Shari’s Berries
3. Merlino’s Freeze
Runner-Up: Tomatoes

Best Regional Winery
1. Bogle Vineyards
2. Boeger Winery
3. RH Phillips Winery
Runner-Up: Frasinetti Winery

Best Happy Hour
1. T.G.I. Friday’s
2. Bandera and Tokyo Fro’s (tie)
3. Elephant Bar
Runners-Up: 4th Street Grille, El Torito and Esquire Grill

Best Karaoke
1. 7440 Club and Zigato’s (tie)

Best Local Hotel for an Evening Getaway
1. Hyatt Regency Sacramento
2. The Sterling Hotel
3. Sheraton Grand Sacramento Hotel
Runner-Up: Embassy Suites

Best Place To Shoot Pool
1. Blue Cue
2. Mandango’s and Players (tie)
3. Bob’s Bar, Club 2 Me and Corner Pocket (tie)

Best Sports Bar
1. Mandango’s
2. Players
3. McGee’s
Runner-Up: Mark & Monica’s of Granite Bay

Best Upscale Bar
1. KBar
2. Esquire Grill
3. Harlow’s
Runner-Up: Tunel 21

Most Attractive Local Person
1. Cristina Mendonsa
2. Chris Webber
3. Deirdre Fitzpatrick and Kitty O’Neal (tie)
Runner-Up: Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger

Favorite Kings Player
1. Mike Bibby
2. Peja Stojakovic
3. Bobby Jackson
Runner-Up: Vlade Divac

Best Local Elected Official
1. Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger
2. Mayor Heather Fargo
3. Rep. Doug Ose and Sacramento City Councilman Jimmie Yee (tie)
Runner-Up: Sacramento County Sheriff Lou Blanas

Most Influential Local Person
1. Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger
2. Joe and Gavin Maloof (tie)
3. Tom Sullivan
Runners-Up: Mayor Heather Fargo, Eric Hogue and Maria Shriver

Sacramentan of the Year
1. Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger
2. Tom Sullivan
3. Eric Hogue and Joe and Gavin Maloof (tie)
Runner-Up: Dr. Ernie Bodai

Best Car Wash
1. Harv’s Car Wash
2. Pavilions Car Wash
3. Gem Auto Wash
Runners-Up: Folsom Glenn Car Wash and Oasis Car Wash

Best Limo Service
1. California Limousine
2. Neumann Enterprises
3. Cary Limousine and Top Notch Limousines and Executive Services (tie)
Runner-Up: Touch of Class Limousine Club

Best Beauty Salon
1. Hoshall’s
2. Mosaic
3. New Attitude
Runner-Up: Zimbali, A Spa Salon

Best Day Spa
1. Esthetics by Jeanette and Mellow Me Out (tie)
2. Blue Sky Day Spa
3. Hoshall’s
Runner-Up: Atrium

Best Health Club
1. California Family Fitness
2. 24 Hour Fitness
3. Spare Time, Inc.
Runner-Up: Capital Athletic Club

Best Place for a Massage
1. Mellow Me Out
2. Esthetics by Jeanette
3. Hoshall’s
Runner-Up: Arden Hills Country Club & Spa

Best Place To Get a Manicure/Pedicure
1. Esthetics by Jeanette
2. Hoshall’s Salon and Spa
3. Elegant Nails
Runners-Up: Mellow Me Out, Paradise Nails and Salon Cuvee (tie)

Best Place To Get a Tan
1. California Sun Centers
2. Maui Tan
3. Totally Tan

Best Place To Meet Singles
1. KBar
2. PowerHouse Pub

Best Place To Get Married
1. Vizcaya
2. Lake Tahoe
3. Church
Runner-Up: McKinley Park

Best Photography Studio
1. Sirlin Photographers
2. McKay Photography
3. Gino Creglia Photography
Runners-Up: Bill Smith Photography, Christopher Kight Photographers and Jensen Photography

Best Tailor/Seamstress
1. Alterations Express
2. Nordstrom

Best Bath Shop
1. Bath & Body Works
2. Bed Bath & Beyond
3. Linens-N-Things
Runner-Up: Crabtree & Evelyn

Best Beauty Supply Shop
1. Total Beauty Experience
2. Ulta
3. Sally Beauty Supply
Runner-Up: Palladio Beauty Plaza

Best Bike Store
1. City Bicycle Works
2. Bob’s Cycle Center
3. American River Bicycle
Runners-Up: Performance Bicycle Shop, Spin City Bicycles and Target

Best Bookstore
1. Borders Books Music & Cafe
2. Barnes & Noble Booksellers
3. Tower Books
Runner-Up: Avid Reader

Best Camera Store
1. Pardee’s Cameras
2. Ritz Camera
3. Filco Discount Center
Runner-Up: Best Buy

Best Candy Store
1. See’s Candies
2. Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory and Snooks Candies & Ice Cream (tie)
3. Sweet Factory

Best Drugstore
1. Longs Drugs
2. Rite Aid
3. Walgreens
Runner-Up: Raley’s/Bel Air

Best Florist
1. Relles Florist
2. Posh Shoppe Florist
3. Twiggs Floral Design Gallery
Runners-Up: Arden Park Florist, Bouquet Florist & Gifts, Morningside Florist, Nugget Market and Raley’s/Bel Air

Best Garden Center
1. Capital Nursery
2. The Home Depot
3. Lowe’s Home Improvement Warehouse
Runner-Up: Bushnell Gardens Nursery

Best Gift Basket Selection
1. Shari’s Berries
2. Cost Plus World Market
3. Costco and David Berkley Fine Wines & Specialty Foods (tie)
Runner-Up: Raley’s/Bel Air

Best Grocery Store
1. Raley’s/Bel Air
2. Nugget Market
3. Whole Foods Market

Best Health Food Store
1. Whole Foods Market
2. Sacramento Natural Foods Co-op
3. Elliott’s Natural Foods and Sunrise Natural Foods (tie)
Runner-Up: Trader Joe’s

Best Music Store
1. Tower Records
2. Dimple Records
3. Virgin Megastore
Runner-Up: Skip’s Music

Best Pet Store
1. Petsmart
2. Petco

Best Place To Buy a Special Gift
1. William Glen
2. Guzzetta & Co. Fine Jewelers
3. Williams-Sonoma
Runner-Up: Collected Works & Other Fine Gifts

Best Place To Buy a Weird Gift
1. Evangeline’s
2. Spencer Gifts
3. The Sharper Image
Runner-Up: International Imports

Best Place To Buy an Entertainment System
1. Best Buy
2. Good Guys
3. Circuit City and Paradyme (tie)
Runner-Up: Fry’s Electronics

Best Video/DVD Rental
1. Blockbuster Video
2. Hollywood Video
Runner-Up: Tower Video

Best Place To Get a Tattoo
1. Wild Bill’s Tattoo & Body Piercing
2. American Graffiti Tattoo & Piercing
3. Exotic Body Professional Body Piercing, Tattooing & Branding and Liberty Tattoo (tie)
Runners-Up: Bonehead Tattoos and California Tattoo Co.

Best Place To Buy Antiques
1. Antique Plaza
2. Antique Trove
3. 57th Street Antiques Row

Best Place To Buy Art
1. Thomas Kinkade galleries and Ventana Art Gallery (tie)
2. Helen Jones Gallery and Z Gallerie (tie)
3. Elliott Fouts Gallery

Best Place To Buy Jewelry
1. Guzzetta & Co. Fine Jewelers
2. Grebitus & Sons Jewelers
3. Kenny G & Company
Runner-Up: Sharif Jewelers

Best Place To Buy Your Dream Car
1. Niello Motors
2. Von Housen Automotive Group
3. Lexus of Sacramento
Runner-Up: Roseville Automall

Best Ski/Snowboard Shop
1. Surf & Skate
2. REI
3. Helm of Sun Valley
Runners-Up: Clarke’s Discount Ski Co. and Sundance Sports

Best Sporting Goods Store
1. Big 5 Sporting Goods
2. REI
3. Sportmart
Runners-Up: Copeland’s Sports and The Sports Authority

Best Men’s Clothing Shop
1. Nordstrom
2. Macy’s
3. Men’s Wearhouse
Runner-Up: Patrick James

Best Women’s Clothing Shop
1. Nordstrom
2. Macy’s
3. Ann Taylor and Talbots (tie)
Runner-Up: Brown House

Best Bowling Alley
1. Country Club Lanes
2. Mardi Gras Lanes
3. Land Park Bowl and Rocklin Bowl (tie)
Runner-Up: Crestview Lanes

Best Local Public Golf Course
1. Haggin Oaks
2. Ancil Hoffman
3. Bing Maloney
Runners-Up: Turkey Creek, Wildhawk and Woodcreek
Best Local Sports Team
1. Sacramento Kings
2. Sacramento River Cats
3. Sacramento Monarchs

Best Yoga Classes
1. California Family Fitness
2. 24 Hour Fitness
3. Bikram’s Yoga College of India
Runner-Up: Arden Hills Country Club & Spa

Best Wireless Telephone Company
1. AT&T Wireless
2. Verizon Wireless
3. Cingular Wireless
Runner-Up: Sprint PCS