Edit Module

The Best of 2012

Parents’ Press Readers Vote for the Best of Alameda and Contra Costa Counties

Winners, Winners and More Winners!

     Whether you’re looking for a fantastic kid-friendly restaurant or want to find an awesome first-time gymnastics class for your oh-so-active toddler, we’ve got recommendations for you from parents just like you in this Parents’ Press Best of 2012 issue.
     We asked our smart, discerning readers to name their best resources for us, embarking on a search in two separate Best Of competitions — one for Alameda County and an identical one for Contra Costa County. The list of winners, as selected by you, parents and Parents’ Press readers, are listed here.
    Our online parents’ poll opened in March and ran through April, drawing voters from across our two-county coverage area. The result of that mondo ballot undertaking follows, producing a whopping 121(!) winners in 22 categories, based on this spring’s balloting
    Here’s what Parent’s Press readers determined were their favorites — the best of Alameda and Contra Costa — presented by county. Did your favorites make the list?
    By the way, if you missed this year’s poll, look for it next spring — which will be here quicker than you expect.

Alameda County

CHILD CARE

Best Children’s Day Care
Child Education Center, 2100 Browning St., Berkeley, (510) 548-1414, www.childeducationcenter.org

Best Child Care Referral and Support Agency
BANANAS, 5232 Claremont Ave., Oakland, (510) 658-7353, www.bananasinc.org

PRESCHOOLS

Best Montessori Preschool
Montessori Family School, 1850 Scenic Ave., Berkeley, (510) 848-2322, www.montessorifamily.com

Best Religious Preschool
Gan Shalom at Congregation Beth Israel, 1630 Bancroft way, Berkeley, (510)843-5246, www.ganshalompreschool.wordpress.com/

Best Independent Preschool
Shu Ren International, 1333 University Ave., Berkeley, (510) 981-0320, www.shureninternationalschool.com

ELEMENTARY SCHOOLS

Best Public Elementary School
Anthony Chabot Elementary School, 6686 Chabot Road, Oakland, (510) 879-1060, www.chabotelementary.org

Best Charter Elementary School
North Oakland Community Charter School, 1000 42nd St., Oakland, (510) 655-0540, www.noccs.org

Best Elementary Montessori School
The Renaissance School, 3668 Dimond Ave., Oakland, (510) 531-8566, www.therenaissanceschool.org

Best Elementary Religious School
School of the Madeleine, 1225 Milvia St., Berkeley, (510) 526-4744, www.themadeleine.com

Best Independent Elementary School
Shu Ren International School, 1333 International Blvd., Oakland, (510) 981-0320, www.shureninternationalschool.com

MIDDLE SCHOOLS

Best Public Middle School
Albany Middle School, 1259 Brighton Ave., Albany, (510) 558-3600, ams.ausdk12.edlioschool.com

Best Charter Middle School
Oakland School for the Arts, 530 18th St., Oakland, (510) 873-8800, www.oakarts.org

Best Montessori Middle School
The Renaissance School, 3668 Diamond Ave., Oakland, (510) 531-8566, www.therenaissanceschool.org

Best Religious Middle School
Assumption Catholic School, 1851 136th Ave., San Leandro, (510) 357-8772, www.assumptionschool-sl.org

Best Independent Middle School
Head-Royce School, 4315 Lincoln Ave., Oakland, (510) 531-1300, www.headroyce.org 

HIGH SCHOOLS

Best Public High School
Berkeley High School, Berkeley, www.bhs.berkeley.net

Best Charter High School
Oakland School for the Arts, 530 18th St., Oakland, (510) 873-8800, www.oakarts.org

Best Religious High School
Bishop O’Dowd, 9500 Stearns Ave., Oakland, (510) 577-9100, www.bishopodowd.org

Best Independent High School
Head-Royce School, 4315 Lincoln Ave., Oakland, (510) 531-1300, www.headroyce.org 

CLASSES

Best Enrichment and After-School Program
Sarah’s Science, 21525 Knoll Way, Castro Valley, (510) 581-3739, www.sarahscience.com

Best Dance Class
Kids N Dance, 384 Macarthur Blvd., Oakland, (510) 531-4400, www.kidsndance.com, (also: 369 Mt. Diablo Blvd., Lafayette, Contra Costa County, 925-284-7388)

Best Art Class
Musuem of Children’s Art, or MOCHA, 538 Ninth St., Oakland, (510) 465-8770, www.mocha.org

Best Theater Class
Kids N Dance, 384 Macarthur Blvd., Oakland, (510) 531-4400, www.kidsndance.com (also: 369 Mt. Diablo Blvd., Lafayette, Contra Costa County, 925-284-7388)

Best Swim Class
Patti’s Swim School, 4621 James Ave., Castro Valley, (510) 220-4293, www.pattisswimschool.com

Best Martial Arts Class
Pallen’s Martial Arts, 1655 E 14th St., San Leandro, (510) 483-6560, www.pallensmartialarts.com

Best Gymnastics Class
Head Over Heels Athletic Arts, 4701 Doyle St., Suite F, Emeryville, (510) 655-1265, www.hohatheleticarts.com

Best Tutorial Program
Classroom Matters, 2436 Sacramento St., Berkeley, (510) 540-8646, wwwclassroommatters.com

Best Language Class
Shu Ren International School, 1333 University Ave., Berkeley, (510) 981-0320, www.shureninternationalschool.com

Best Testing Preparation Program
Classroom Matters, 2436 Sacramento St., Berkeley, (510) 540-8646, www.classroommatters.com

Best Hobby Spot
Sew Much Fun, Marianne Henri, 1057 Key Route Blvd., Albany, (510) 525-6436, mjhenri@att.net

FUN & ATTRACTIONS

Best Indoor Play Place
Habitot Children’s Museum, 2065 Kittredge St., Berkeley, (510) 647-1111, www.habitot.org

Best Place to Hear Live Music
Ashkenaz,1317 San Pablo Ave., Berkeley, (510) 525-5054, www.ashkenaz.com

Best Historical Site & Tour
Ardenwood Historic Farm, 34600 Ardenwood Blvd., Fremont, (510) 544-2797, www.ebparks.org

Best Museum
Lawrence Hall of Science, 1 Centennial Drive, Berkeley, (510) 642-5132, www.lawrencehallofscience.org

Best Local Family Destination
Tilden Park, S. Park Drive and Wildcat Canyon Road, Berkeley, (510) 544-2747, www.ebparks.org

Best Parents’ Overnight Getaway
San Francisco, SF Visitor Information, (415) 391-2000, www.sanfrancisco.travel

Best Local Amusement Park
Children’s Fairyland, 699 Bellevue Ave., Oakland, (510) 452-2259, www.fairyland.org

Best Bowling Alley
Albany Bowl, 540 San Pablo Ave., Albany, (510) 526-8818, www.albanybowl.biz

Best Local Zoo/Aquarium
Oakland Zoo, 9777 Golf Links Road, Oakland, (510) 632-9525 x.100, www.oaklandzoo.org

Best Local Farm
Little Farm, Tilden Regional Park, S. Park Drive and Wildcat Canyon Road, Berkeley, (510) 544-2747, www.ebparks.org

Best Fair/Festival
Alameda County Fair, Alameda County Fairgrounds, 4501 Pleasanton Ave., Pleasanton, (925) 426-7600, www.alamedacountyfair.com

Best Ice Skating/Skateboard Park
Oakland Ice Center, 519 18th St., (510) 268-9000, www.oaklandice.com

SERVICES

Best Kid-Friendly Restaurant
Barney’s Gourmet Hamburgers
1591 Solano Ave, Berkeley, (510) 526-8185; 1600 Shattuck Ave., Berkeley, (510) 849-2827; 4162 Piedmont Ave., Oakland, (510) 655-7180; 5819 College Ave., Oakland, (510) 601-0444, www.barneyshamburgers.com

Best Place for Kids’ Haircuts
Supercuts Solano, 1475 Solano Ave., Albany, (510) 524-9050, www.supercuts.com

Best Photographer
Nadine Samuels, 2524 Piedmont Ave., Berkeley, (510) 841-3656

Best Party Entertainer
Magic Dan, (415) 337-8500, San Francisco, www.magicdan.com

Best Birthday Party Venue
Pump it Up, 2500 Embarcadero, Oakland, (510) 533-7867, www.pumpitupparty.com 

RETAIL

Best Kids’ Birthday Cake
Virginia Bakery, 1690 Shattuck Ave., Berkeley, (510) 848-6711, www.virginiabakery.com

Best New Children’s Clothing
Ruby’s Garden Kidwear and Flower Shop, 5095 Telegraph, Suite C, Oakland, (510) 595-5325

Best Resale Children’s Clothing Store — TIE
Grove Street Kids, 1644 Martin Luther King Jr. Way, Berkeley, (510) 843-5457, www.grovestreetkids.com

Hannah’s Children’s Resale, 1871 Solano Ave., Berkeley, (510) 525-3488

Best Store for New Toys
Mr. Mopps, 1405 Martin Luther King Jr. Way, Berkeley, (510) 525-9633, www.mrmopps.net

Best Store for Used Toys
Toy Go Round, 1361 Solano Ave., Albany, (510) 527-1363, www.etoygoround.com
Best Kids’ Furniture Store
IKEA, 4400 Shellmound St., Emeryville, (510) 420-4532, www.ikea.com

Best Party Supply Store
The Party Warehouse, 1125 Park St., Alameda, (510) 521-1650; 151 Second St., Oakland, (510) 893-1951

Best Shopping Mall
Bay Street, 5616 Bay St., Emeryville, (510) 655-4002, www.baystreetemeryville.com

HEALTH

Best Allergist
Michael Lenoir, M.D., 2940 Summit St., Oakland, (510) 834-4897, www.drlenoir.com

Best Optometrist
Ursula Moonsamy, O.D., 3341 Lakeshore Ave., Oakland, (510) 832-3937

Best Pediatric Dentist
Aloha Pediatric, 2640 Telegraph Ave., Suite 101, Berkeley, (510) 848-6494, www.alohakidsdds.com

Best Orthodontist
Robert Iezman, D.D.S., 1525 Walnut St., Berkeley, (510) 845-3511 (also: 895 Moraga Road, Suite 3, Lafayette, Contra Costa County, 925-283-1921), www.berkeley-lafayette-orthodontist

Best Hospital/Medical Center
Children’s Hospital & Research Center Oakland, 747 52nd St., Oakland, (510) 428-3000, www.childrenshospitaloakland.org

CAMPS

Best Summer Camp
Sarah’s Science, 21525 Knoll Way, Castro Valley, (510) 581-3739, www.sarahscience.com (Camps locations vary in Oakland, Berkeley and Contra Costa County’s San Ramon.)

Best Sleep Away Camp
Young Actors Theatre Camp, www.youngactorstheatrecamp.org (at Camp Sempervirens, 20161 Big Basin Way, Boulder Creek, Santa Cruz mountains)

Best Winter Camp
Sarah’s Science, 21525 Knoll Way, Castro Valley, (510) 581-3739, www.sarahscience.com (Camps locations vary in Oakland, Berkeley and Contra Costa County’s San Ramon.)

Best Spring Break Camp
Sarah’s Science, 21525 Knoll Way, Castro Valley, (510) 581-3739, www.sarahscience.com (Camps locations vary in Oakland, Berkeley and Contra Costa County’s San Ramon.)

Contra Costa County

CHILD CARE

Best Children’s Day Care
The Saklan School, 1678 School St., Moraga, (925) 376-7600, www.saklan.org 

PRESCHOOLS

Best Montessori Preschool
Growing Light Montessori, 52 Arlington Ave., Kensington, (510) 527-1278, www.growinglight.net

Best Religious Preschool
Tehiyah Day School, 2603 Tassajara Ave, El Cerrito, (510) 233-3013, www.tehiyah.org

Best Independent Preschool
The Saklan School, 1678 School St., Moraga, (925) 376-7600, www.saklan.org 

ELEMENTARY SCHOOLS

Best Public Elementary School
Harding Elementary School, 7230 Fairmount Ave., El Cerrito, (510) 231-1413, www.hardingpta.org

Best Charter Elementary School
Richmond College Prep, 214 South 11th St., Richmond, (510) 232-4004, www.rcpschools.org

Best Elementary Montessori School
Montessori Family School, 7075 Cutting Blvd., El Cerrito, (510) 236-8802, www.montessorifamily.com

Best Religious Elementary School
Tehiyah Day School, 2603 Tassajara Ave, El Cerrito, (510) 233-3013, www.tehiyah.org

Best Independent Elementary School
Prospect Sierra, 2060 Tapscott Ave., El Cerrito, (510) 236-5800, www.prospectsierra.org

MIDDLE SCHOOLS

Best Public Middle School
Orinda Intermediate School, 80 Ivy Drive, Orinda, (925) 258-3090, www.orindaschools.org

Best Charter Middle School
Manzanita Charter School, 1615 Carlson Blvd., Richmond, (510) 524-5500, www.manzy.org

Best Montessori Middle School
Montessori Family School, 7075 Cutting Blvd., El Cerrito, (510) 236-8802, www.montessorifamily.com

Best Religious Middle School
Tehiyah Day School, 2603 Tassajara Ave, El Cerrito, (510) 233-3013, www.tehiyah.org

Best Independent Middle School
Prospect Sierra, 960 Avis Drive, El Cerrito, (510) 528-5800, www.prospectsierra.org 

HIGH SCHOOLS

Best Public High School
El Cerrito High School, 540 Ashbury Ave., El Cerrito, (510) 231-1437, www.elcerritogauchos.net

Best Religious High School
De La Salle High School, 1130 Winton Dr., Concord, (925) 288-8100, www.dlshs.org

Best Independent High School
The Athenian School, 2100 Mount Diablo Scenic Boulevard, Danville, (925) 837-5375, www.athenian.org

CLASSES

Best Enrichment & After-School Program
Tehiyah Day School, 2603 Tassajara Ave, El Cerrito, (510) 233-3013, www.tehiyah.org

Best Dance Class
The Ballet School, 1357 N. Main St., Suite A, Walnut Creek, (925) 934-2133, www.theballetschool.org

Best Art Class
4Cats Art Studio, 379 Colusa Ave., Kensington, (510) 525-1655, www.4cats.com/berkeleyhills

Best Theater Class
Contra Costa Civic Theatre Camps, 951 Pomona Ave., El Cerrito, (510) 524-9132, www.ccct.org  

Best Swim Class
El Cerrito Swim Center, 7007 Moeser Lane, El Cerrito, (510) 559-7011, www.el-cerrito.org

Best Martial Arts Class
Yu’s Martial Arts, 3371 Mt. Diablo Blvd., Lafayette, (925) 962-1000, www.yusmartialarts.com

Best Gymnastics Class
Liberty Gymnastics Training Center, 2330-A Bates Ave, Concord, (925) 687-8009, www.libertygymtrainingcenter.com

Best Classes for Musical Instrument Instruction
East Bay Center for Performing Arts, 339 11th St., Richmond, (510) 234-5624, www.eastbaycenter.org

Best Voice Classes
Chad Runyon Studio, Danville, www.chadrunyon.com

FUN & ATTRACTIONS

Best Indoor Play Place
Playland Not at the Beach, 10979 San Pablo Ave., El Cerrito, (510) 592-3002, www.playland-not-at-the-beach.org

Best Historical Site & Tour
Rosie the Riveter Memorial, 2566 Macdonald Ave., Richmond, (510) 232-5050, www.rosietheriveter.org  

Best Museum
Lindsay Wildlife Museum, 1931 First Ave., Walnut Creek, (925) 925-1978, www.wildlife-museum.org

Best Family Destination
Lake Tahoe, www.tahoechamber.com  

Best Parents’ Overnight Getaway
Monterey, Monterey County Convention and Visitors Bureau, (831) 657-6400, www.seemonterey.com

Best Amusement Park
Six Flags Discovery Kingdom, 1001 Fairgrounds Drive, Vallejo, (707) 644-4000, www.sixflags.com/discoverykingdom

Best Bowling Alley
Diablo Bowl, 1500 G Monument Blvd., Concord, (925) 671-0913, www.diablolanes.com

Best Zoo/Aquarium
Oakland Zoo, 9777 Golf Links Road, Oakland, (510) 632-9525 x.100, www.oaklandzoo.org

Best Local Farm
Tilden’s Little Farm, S. Park Drive and Wildcat Canyon Road, Berkeley, (510) 544-2747, www.ebparks.org

Best Fair/Festival
El Cerrito 4th of July Festival, Cerrito Vista Park, 950 Pomona Ave., El Cerrito, (510) 559-7000, www.el-cerrito.org

Best Ice Skating/Skateboard Park
Dublin Iceland, 7212 San Ramon Road, Dublin, (925) 829-4445, www.dubliniceland.com

SERVICES

Best Kid-Friendly Restaurant
Kensington Circus Pub, 389 Colusa Ave., Kensington, (510) 524-8814

Best Place for Kids’ Haircuts
Kristine’s Kuts, 3367 Mt. Diablo Blvd., Lafayette, (925) 822-4444, www.kristineskuts.vpweb.com

Best Photographer
Photos by Anita, Walnut Creek (510) 717-1713, www.photosbyanita.com

Best Party Entertainer
Jungle James Animal Adventures, P.O. Box 391, Danville, (925) 362-3580, www.junglejames.com

Best Birthday Party Venue
Sky High, 1631 Challenge Drive, Concord, (925) 682-5867, www.con.junpskyhigh.com

RETAIL

Best Kid’s Birthday Cake
Bear Claw Bakery, 2340 San Pablo Ave., Pinole, (510) 724-3105, www.bearclawbakery.com

Best New Children’s Clothing
Target, www.target.com

Best Resale Children’s Clothing Store
A Wee Change, 1551 Palos Verdes Mall, Walnut Creek, (925) 930-8442, www.aweechange.com

Best New Toy Store
Target, www.target.com

Best Kids’ Shoe Store
Nordstrom, 1200 Broadway Plaza, Walnut Creek, (925) 930-7959, www.shop.nordstrom.com

Best Party Supply Store
Boswells, 3483 Mt, Diablo Blvd., Lafayette, (925) 284-9150, www.boswellsparty.com

Best Shopping Mall
Broadway Plaza, 1275 Broadway Plaza, Walnut Creek, (925) 939-7600, www.broadwayplaza.com

HEALTH

Best Dermatologist
Marylin Kwolek, M.D., 917 San Ramon Valley Blvd., Danville, (925) 838-2677, www.drkwolek.com

Best Pediatrician
Phillip Rush, M.D., 91 Gregory Lane, Suite 15, Pleasant Hill. (925) 685-0843, www.johnmuirhealth.com

Best Pediatric Dentist
Edward Matsuishi, D.D.S., 7001 Stockton Ave., El Cerrito, (510) 524-4633, www.kidsteethdoctor.com

Best Hospital/Medical Center
John Muir Medical Center, 1601 Ygnacio Valley Road, Walnut Creek, (925) 939-3000; 2540 East St., Concord, (925) 682-8200, www.johnmuirhealth.com

CAMPS

Best Summer Camp
Saint Mary’s College, 1928 St. Marys Road, Moraga, (925) 631-4000, www.stmarys-ca.edu

Best Sleep Away Camp
Saint Mary’s College, 1928 St. Marys Road, Moraga, (925) 631-4000, www.stmarys-ca.edu

Best Winter Camp
Steve and Kate’s Camp, (24 Bay Area locations in all), (415) 389-5437, www.steveandkatescamp.com

Best Spring Break Camp
City of El Cerrito, 7007 Moeser Lane, El Cerrito, (510) 559-7000, www.el-cerrito.org
 

Edit Module
Advertisement
Edit Module
Advertisement
Edit Module
Advertisement