Voters unite!

Weekly readers choose The Best of Palo Alto 2009

The most menacing nemesis is often an amorphous one. Even Captain America would have a tough time punching the recession in the face.

The businesses in this year's Best Of section exercise their powers in a more positive way. One could call them superheroes of the local economy.

These aren't just men and women in tights. These businesses are beating the odds to stay successful and even win new admirers (rumor has it that Lois Lane swooned over the peach blueberry galette at Calafia last week). In these tough times of empty storefronts, these businesses are doing their part to keep Palo Alto and other nearby cities buzzing.

After a flurry of Weekly reader voting, we've tallied everything up and discovered lots of familiar favorites and newcomers alike in many categories of food, retail, services and just plain fun stuff. As we've done in the last four years, we're shining an extra spotlight on the businesses who won their categories five years in a row. Those winners get to wear the "Hall of Fame" cape for three years.

In addition, we couldn't resist including some extra write-in categories with heroic and villainous themes. For instance, what local spot would make the best superhero headquarters. And which city figure is most likely to be a superhero in disguise. Oh, Catwoman, Catwoman, will you never learn? You can't hide anything from the intrepid readers.

Fantastic Fork (Restaurants)

Incredible Grub (Food and Drink)

To the Rescue (Services)

To the Mall ... and Beyond (Retail Shopping)

Up, Up and Away! (Fun Stuff)

Shazam! (Superhero-Themed)

The winners are...

Printable version (PDF)

Best of Palo Alto League of Contributors

Best Of Palo Alto 2009 Raffle Prize Winners

Almanac Readers' Choice awards 2009

The Best Of Mountain View 2009

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Short story writers wanted!

The 33rd Annual Palo Alto Weekly Short Story Contest is now accepting entries for Adult, Young Adult (15-17) and Teen (12-14) categories. Send us your short story (2,500 words or less) and entry form by March 29. First, Second and Third Place prizes awarded in each category.

Contest Details