Best Auto Care: Dave's Auto Repair

Auto Care

"Honesty, Integrity, Value" are the ideals of Dave's Auto Repair in Palo Alto, and numerous positive online reviews, a Diamond Certified rating and taking first place in the Weekly's Best Of mean the shop must be hitting close to the mark. The team strives to make the auto-repair process as painless, prompt and clear as possible and provides maintenance suggestions to ensure your ride continues to be smooth and safe in the long term. In addition to regular maintenance and oil changes, mechanics perform services related to brakes, suspension and steering, smog and emissions, airbags, air conditioning, computer diagnostics and more — with all of it under the shop's two-year, 24,000-mile warranty.
830 E. Charleston Road, Palo Alto, 650-376-6077;

Best Chiropractor: Vanderhoof Sports & Wellness Institute


Sensing a need for guidance among those struggling with acute or chronic injury or recovering from an operation, Dr. Aaron Vanderhoof started the Vanderhoof Sports & Wellness Institute in 2008. Claiming the top spot in the Chiropractor category this year, the facility has earned the trust of locals in helping to ease or resolve a range of musculoskeletal issues. Its services include specific patented procedures like Active Release Technique and Graston Technique, as well as practices like taping, bracing, cupping, low-level laser therapy, physiotherapy, nutritional support and massage. Vanderhoof has a specialty in sports-related injuries, and the staff strives to help individuals maintain their health going forward.
616 University Ave., Palo Alto, 650-323-6184;

Day Spa

The embodiment of the phrase "treat yo' self" could not be accomplished better at any place other than LaBelle Day Spas & Salons. This relaxation destination has your appearance covered from head to toe, literally. Offering quality services from hair care to pedicures, LaBelle gives customers a wide variety of pampering experiences (yes, men, you can go here, too). Not only can one find solace at the spa itself, but the pampering can also continue at home with LaBelle's large inventory of products, especially owner Bella Schneider's unique line of skin-care products.
36 Stanford Shopping Center, Palo Alto, 650-326-8522; Town & Country Village, #95, 855 El Camino Real, Palo Alto, 650-327-6964;

Hall of Fame: First Year

Spend a few hours getting any service at Watercourse Way and you'll leave in a luxurious haze of relaxation and rejuvenation. The spa is clean, inviting and quiet and the masseuses friendly and expert. The prices are somewhat higher, but the experience is well worth the splurge. Private rooms with bubbling hot tubs and showers are an excellent place to steal away from the stressors of Silicon Valley.
165 Channing Ave., Palo Alto, 650-462-2000;

Best Dentist: Dr. Christine Hansen


The dentistry office of Dr. Christine Hansen and Dr. Roberta Jurash is on a roll, claiming the Dentist category of Best Of for three years running. When we're talking about something as important and sensitive as one's pearly whites, that makes a statement. The staff performs a full suite of general, restorative and cosmetic dental procedures and services, working to keep teeth and gums healthy as well as improve their appearance for a confidence boost. Team members adhere to safety standards, work to see patients quickly in emergency situations, conduct thorough examinations, encourage routine cleanings and treatment, and strive to be environmentally responsible with digital X-rays and documentation.
416 Waverley St., Suite A, Palo Alto, 650-326-3290;

Dry Cleaners

Doing laundry becomes a much more bearable task with AJ Cleaners because they do it for you. Whether you're trying to get out a stain from that white dress you know you shouldn't have worn to dinner, or simply trying to eliminate something from your already full "to-do" list, AJ Cleaners is there to clean and also deliver your clothes right to your door for no extra cost. AJ Cleaners also uses environmentally friendly processes, so not only are you helping yourself, you're helping the environment, too.
3175 Middlefield Road, Palo Alto, 650-494-1550; 395 S. California Ave., Palo Alto, 650-323-9068;

Best Fitness Classes: The Bar Method

Fitness Classes

The concept of working out and staying fit is nothing new, but The Bar Method, the winner of this year's Best Fitness Classes, has a proven routine to burn calories and slim down. The one-hour long workouts incorporate push-ups, leg work and abdominal exercises, and they promote inspiration, empowerment and fun as much as physical strength. Founded in 2003 by owners Noreen Dante and Laura Stein, The Bar Method has provided an environment and instruction for countless members to look and feel better.
Town & Country Village, #151, 855 El Camino Real, Palo Alto, 650-329-8875;

Frame Shop

Accent Arts, this year's Best Frame Shop, has been a Palo Alto mainstay since 1970, providing local artists with every kind of paint, easel, canvas and art supply imaginable among the organized chaos in its studio-like shop stacked from floor to (almost) ceiling with a rainbow of paints and other supplies. Not only does this shop help people create art, it shows them how to best display their work, too. The shop provides custom-framing services, and the expert staff aim to help customers find ways to make even odd-sized pieces fit into just-the-right type of frame to complement their work.
392 California Ave., Palo Alto, 650-424-1044;


Welcome to your high-end workout at Equinox. Grab a cold, lightly scented towel to wipe the sweat off your face. Take a spin, yoga, Pilates or high-intensity cardio class (among other options). Swim some laps in the small outdoor pool, raised above the street-level parking lot. Rinse off in recently re-done showers with Kiehl's beauty goods. Grab a smoothie on your way out. You might just be motivated to return to get on that dreaded treadmill.
440 Portage Ave., Palo Alto, 650-319-1700;

Hall of Fame: First Year

Looking to get fitter, stronger and faster — to perfect your butterfly stroke, your three-point shot or your running stride? The Oshman Family JCC is the spot. The perennial winner of the Weekly's Best Gym honors, the JCC is now a Hall of Fame destination for locals looking to hop on a stationary bike, splash in a swimming pool or take one of dozens of fitness classes — a list that includes everything from yoga to Zumba, from "Body Rock" to "Pilates Ballet." Whether you prefer to work out with a group, with a personal trainer or by yourself, the south Palo Alto gym remains the city's premier fitness destination.
3921 Fabian Way, Palo Alto, 650-223-8700;

Hair Salon

See complete listing for LaBelle Day Spas & Salons under Day Spa.

Hall of Fame: Third Year

Notching up three years in the Hall of Fame and over 25 years of operation, Hair International continues to deliver for its clients along the Midpeninsula. Walk-ins are welcome, but appointments can be made with a diverse team of stylists for those seeking a new look. A trusted name and a range of services — coloring, manicure/pedicure, agave-oil smoothing treatment, and threading and waxing for the face and eyebrows — mean Hair International is a smart and dependable choice when crafting the new, or a slightly different, you.
232 Stanford Shopping Center, Palo Alto, 650-324-2007;


The Garden Court Hotel is the go-to place for those looking to be in the heart of downtown, yet away from the daily bustle. This 62-room luxury boutique hotel offers plenty of "getaway" spaces, including an open-air courtyard and private balconies. A variety of other amenities and personal details — afternoon and evening refreshments in the lobby, a fresh gardenia beside each bed, overhead rain showers, port and cookie service, complementary morning pastries, and yes, even turn-down service and a special treat for your pooch — will keep you feeling relaxed and pampered. It's no wonder Garden Court is this year's Best Hotel.
520 Cowper St., Palo Alto, 650-322-9000;


See complete listing for LaBelle Day Spas & Salons under Day Spa.


See complete listing for Watercourse Way in the Hall of Fame under Day Spa.

Hall of Fame: First Year

For the last five years Massage Therapy Center has won a Best Of award, and this year it takes its rightful place in the Hall of Fame. With more than 15 different types of massage, Massage Therapy Center therapists seek not only to provide you with great service but to help you make educated body work and lifestyle choices. Let the handpicked and highly trained staff heal the sore muscles that life too often produces. You want the best care for your body; after all, you only have one.
368 S. California Ave., Palo Alto, 650-328-9400;

Men's Haircut

See complete listing for Hair International in the Hall of Fame under Hair Salon.

Best Orthodontist: Dr. Larry Morrill


Going to the orthodontist may not always be a favorite activity, but Dr. Larry Morrill and his team always go the extra mile to make sure patients leave with smiles they can smile about. Morrill and his staff pride themselves on giving each patient the individual attention needed, with no one-size-fits-all plans, and offer services including braces and aligners for kids and adults and treatment for sleep apnea.
1000 Welch Road, Suite 201, Palo Alto, 650-322-2817;

Hall of Fame: Second Year

In the very personal field of orthodontics, Mid Peninsula Orthodontics prides itself in providing some of the best care in the area. Operated by the highly experienced Dr. Stacey Quo and her team, Mid Peninsula Orthodontics uses advanced technology in the industry to ensure that patients are comfortable, satisfied and extensively cared for. Located on High Street near downtown Palo Alto, Mid Peninsula Orthodontics has been serving the community for more than 20 years and intends to do so for years to come.
965 High St., Palo Alto, 650-328-1600;

Personal Trainer

What if someone told you that you could ease your inflamed joints and muscles as well as burn between 500 and 800 calories in three minutes? You would probably say it's impossible. Well lucky for you the "impossible" is do-able, right here in the area. The Performist uses cryotherapy to cool your body with chilling nitrogen gas that promotes the release of endorphins, improves circulation and eases pinched nerves or aching joints throughout the body. Pretty cool, huh? The Performist also has personal performance fitness training options and holds group fitness classes daily.
Town & Country Village, #105, 855 El Camino Real, Palo Alto, 650-494-462;

Best Plumber: Palo Alto Plumbing Heating & Air


Palo Alto Plumbing Heating & Air on San Antonio Road specializes in serving all types of customers' needs in plumbing, heating and air conditioning. All services are promptly provided by trained professionals at very competitive rates. Providing efficient, high-quality products, and available 24 hours a day, Palo Alto Plumbing Heating & Air prides itself on its reliability and readiness to handle everything from an emergency to routine repairs.
716 San Antonio Road, Palo Alto, 650-856-3400;

Shoe Repair

This family-owned boutique in many ways epitomizes the small-scale, charming, neighborhood-serving vibe of the California Avenue Business District. The area has changed rapidly since the venerable shoe-repair shop opened its doors in the early 1940s, but The Cobblery continues to carry on its long tradition of offering friendly and proficient service to patrons looking to repair their shoes or leather accessories. The Cobblery also sells socks, sandals, boots, slippers, hats and other colorful wares that serve to further enhance its quaintly cozy ambiance — and your life.
410 California Ave., Palo Alto, 650-323-0409;

Hall of Fame: Third Year

Midtown Shoe Repair, a member of the Hall of Fame in Shoe Repair, has been a Palo Alto fixture for more than 37 years. It's the place where customers bring their worn-out, favorite soccer shoes to be patched or their irreplaceable vintage suitcases for new latches and where a stressed-out bride found her last-minute godsend after her shoe malfunctioned just hours before her wedding ceremony. Since 1979, Robert Babekian has meticulously restored shoes, suitcases, purses and zippers — and practically anything made out of leather — in his small Midtown workshop, where he is known as much for his superior craftsmanship as for "making unhappy souls — and soles — happy."
2796 Middlefield Road, Palo Alto, 650-329-8171

Skin Care

See complete listing for
LaBelle Day Spas & Salons under Day Spa.

Best Yoga: Yoga Source


When Rover or Fluffy appears ill or is behaving strangely, Best Of voters — and pet owners — head to Adobe Animal Hospital. The veterinary clinic in Los Altos is open seven days a week and provides pets of all varieties a wide range of quality services. The facility, which has a 24-hour intensive care unit, is equipped with an in-house diagnostic laboratory and endoscope and ultrasound machines, among other essential tools to help your furry friends stay healthy and happy.
4470 El Camino Real, Los Altos, 650-948-9661;


For beginners and advanced yogis alike, Palo Alto's YogaSource provides a peaceful way to perfect your ohm. The yoga hub teaches a variety of different styles and methods — including Bikram, Vinyasa, power yoga, restorative yoga, yin yoga and "Hour of Power" — to increase flexibility, build strength and de-stress in a mindful way.
158 Hamilton Ave., Palo Alto, 650-328-9642;