Arts & Entertainment
Best Music Festival – Mill Valley Music Fest, Mill Valley
Conveniently located next to the Mill Valley Community Center, nestled below the verdant Mount Tamalpais, this two-day festival is a multi-genre mix of sound, lights, and acts both local and national. That said, its focus is certainly on spreading the culture of Mill Valley through the Bay Area and beyond, drawing eyes to what this section of the county has to offer.
Best Comedy Venue – 142 Throckmorton Theatre, Mill Valley
“The Throck” is beloved for its commitment to showcasing rising stars in American comedy while also providing community-focused educational programming, a Fresh Voices series and its annual summer celebration of world music.
Best Community Theater Marin – The Mountain Play
It really does not get more Marin that watching a live theatrical performance in a Greek-style amphitheater on the side of Mount Tam, now does it?
Best Film Film Festival – Mill Valley Film Festival, Mill Valley
What started out as a three-day event has sprawled into a 11-day extravaganza of film from around the world. Many filmmakers have been launched from this festival, being showcased with the best of American independent films and foreign films. But it’s not just upcomers that are on display; there’s always a number of high-profile contenders in the mix.
Best Live Music Venue – Sweetwater Music Hall, Mill Valley
All the big names in folk, rock and American roots music drop by Mill Valley’s most intimate music venue; plus, the newly remodeled patio is an awesome outdoor space to sit and enjoy brunch.
Best Brewery – The Junction, Mill Valley
Owner Dez Fiedler’s devotion to micro-produced and local beer is evident from the 30 taps and a robust can program including Socks and Sandals from Humble Sea in Santa Cruz, and
experimental bottlings, like Barebottle Brewing’s Tangberry Typhoon, all easy to pair with
pizzas from Pizzahacker. Grab your fleece to sip one by a fire pit on the huge backyard patio
where live music is often on offer and a kids play area beckons.
Best Coffee Shop – Equator Coffees, Mill Valley
Best Latin American – Sol Food, Mill Valley & San Rafael
Best Mexican – Playa, Mill Valley
Best New Restaurant Marin – Coho, Mill Valley
Owners Felicia Ferguson and Luigi Petrone, whose fathers, Domenico and Paulo, opened Piazza D’Angelo in Mill Valley 41 years ago, built their seafood-forward restaurant from scratch in the town they have called home since they were kids. Where the nearby Piazza is an ode to Southern Italian trattorias, the cousins’ restaurant, with the help of chef partner David Kornell (New York’s Blue Ribbon Sushi Bar & Grill), celebrates the California coast with responsibly sourced seafood, meat, and produce.
Best Steakhouse – Buckeye Roadhouse, Mill Valley
There’s something special (and oh-so Marin) about savoring a 12-ounce Brandt rib eye with a classic Manhattan in front of the fireplace in the main dining room that just can’t be repeated anywhere else.
Best Eyewear – Wink Optics, Mill Valley and San Anselmo
Wink Optics has been serving the Bay Area since the 1980s, providing personalized exams and a wide range of frames. They’re big on indie brands and are also happy to help you with any repairs you might need.
Best Jewelry Store – Sofia Jewelry, Mill Valley
Best Pet Store – Woodlands Pet Food & Treats, Mill Valley
The staff’s enthusiasm about caring for animals is apparent in every interaction, while an extensive assortment of pet foods, leashes, collars and other goodies for pets makes this a regular stop for many.
Best Surf Shop – Proof Lab, Mill Valley
One part surf shop, one part clothing and shoe store, and one part skate shop, the Mill Valley store covers the cool factor for kids, teens and adults, no matter your coastal California, Marin-driven style.
Beauty – Best Haircut/Salon Service – Milvali, Mill Valley
Located in downtown Mill Valley, the cleverly named Milvali is the perfect place for pampering. Alongside bleaching, balayage, and blowouts are services such as body waxing and microblading. Milvali also offers airbrush tanning to give you a perfect summer glow.
Best Massage – EVO Spa, Mill Valley
EVO Spa is a lifestyle boutique with the goal of providing a safe refuge for unwinding and relaxing. For those interested in red light therapy, EVO offers the best of the best, designed to produce maximum results with maximum longevity. Check out the monthly specials to see if something in particular catches your eye, and don’t miss wellness options such as the detox foot bath or far-infrared sauna.
Best Med Spa – Belle Marin Aesthetics, Mill Valley
Nail Motif – Mill Valley
If you’re not sure what you’re looking for or aren’t as knowledgeable about nail care as you’d like to be, Nail Motif is the right salon for you. The nail technicians here give expert advice on what’s going to suit your personal style and how to best take care of the final results. Hours are Monday through Saturday 9:30 a.m. – 6 p.m., Sunday 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. 94 E Blithedale Ave, Mill Valley, 415.326.5198
Best of the County 2023 Readers’ Choice Fitness & Sports
Best Youth Services – Play Marin, Marin City
Every child needs more in their day than just school, and Play Marin is here to provide all kinds of enrichment for kids of all ages. Be that through their impressive sports program that runs through all season, their vibrant summer camps, or their movie trips and craft events, Play Marin helps hundreds of kids explore their passions, build social skills, and simply play.
Best Florist – Mill Valley Flowers, Mill Valley
With arrangements for every occasion, from Valentine’s Day to a get-well-soon bouquet, Mill Valley Flowers has your back. Each order is tailored to your needs and will hand-deliver right to your front door for maximum convenience.
Best Funeral Home Marin & Bay Area – Fernwood Cemetery, Mill Valley
Best Tutoring – Bridge the Gap Colllege Prep, Sausalito
Hundreds of Marin City kids rely on Bridge the Gap each year to gain the academic and life-skills development they need to achieve success up to and beyond high school graduation.