Readers' Poll

34 BEST OF MONTEREY COUNTY® 2023 arts and entertainment all about Britannia Arms, which facilitates that fun setting every Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday. Take a shot and grab that microphone. The world needs your voice. Best Selection Of Craft Beers Post No Bills Craft Beer House 600 Ortiz Ave., Sand City, (831) 324-4667 3744 The Barnyard, Carmel, (831) 5748423, It’s hard to argue that any bar in the county other than Post No Bills could take this title. Offering over 300 beers between 15 tap lines and an entire wall full of bottles and cans, Post No Bills in Sand City is a true craft beer lover’s delight. In August of 2023, a second location opened in the Barnyard in Carmel. Like its neighbor to the north, it has the same stunning variety of craft beers, but at the Carmel location you can show up hungry—enjoy refined bar bites and plates to share. Best Selection Of Wines By The Glass A Taste of Monterey 700 Cannery Row, Monterey (831) 646-5446, In Tortilla Flat, the paisanos prefer wine by the jug, which sometimes doesn’t turn out well (unless you’re fond of slurred speech and tuneless music). Maybe we’re more sophisticated. Perhaps we’ve become lightweights. We’ll go with the former—wine by the glass not only has a better outcome, but also allows us to sample different varietals. A Taste of Monterey has walls stocked with local wines to sample. Even better is the view, as the place is perched over Monterey Bay. As far as settings go, it crushes Danny’s humble shared home in the woods above town. Best Bloody Mary Sandbar & Grill Municipal Wharf 2, Monterey (831) 373-2818, How best to describe a Bloody Mary? Maybe this: “It is elixir, it is pretty close to a transfusion.” That’s what Tod Johnson told the king in The Short Reign of Pippin IV: A Fabrication—and while Steinbeck’s tale may be fictional, the powers of the Bloody Mary are very real, especially as prescribed by the folks at Sandbar & Grill. At the harborside favorite, the cocktail is not overburdened. It’s an honest version in that there is nothing particularly special about it except that their Bloody Mary is just right. May its reign be long. Best Margarita Baja Cantina 7166 Carmel Valley Road, Carmel (831) 625-2252, One of the most universally loved cocktails is the margarita—oh sweet elixir of life. What other drink has a whole day each week dedicated to it (hello, Margarita Monday)? But even more loved than the beverage alone is being able to enjoy it alongside your favorite Mexican food. Readers know that there are two guaranteed ways to greatly improve your week: tacos and margaritas. Baja Cantina has perfected that combination, drawing readers into the warm embrace of savory bites and tequila’s frosty goodness—enjoyed in the welcoming indoor space, or the sun-soaked back patio. Best Martini Whaling Station Steakhouse 763 Wave St., Monterey (831) 373-3778, It’s not often that we quibble with Steinbeck, but how can a line like “The martinis came, not in little glasses but big as bird baths with twists of lemon peel” appear under a title like The Winter of Our Discontent? While they may not be as big as bird baths, the martinis prepared by bartenders at Whaling Station are every bit as satisfying—and much more sophisticated, as they are meant as a moment of cool, crystalline calm. And no matter the season, there is no discontent with a Whaling Station martini in hand. Best Club/Party DJ Hanif Wondir (831) 320-8745, More than a DJ, Hanif Panni is both an audio and visual artist. Fortunately, sharing music with the crowd is one of his passions and he serves it with the highest quality. Fans celebrate that by voting him the Best DJ many times over the past decade. “Hanif Wondir” started his journey by hosting weekly radio shows in Eugene, Oregon, beginning in high school and continuing through college. After graduation, Wondir co-founded the popular Northwest-based hip-hop group Animal Farm, recording with legendary artists such as Talib Kweli or KRS-One. Oh, what he could do with a collection of Ed Ricketts’ vinyl. Best Dance Studio | The Dance Center