SN&R’s Best of Sacramento 2012

Congrats, winners. You make Sacramento awesome!

Chef Michael Thiemann of Ella Dining Room & Bar.

Chef Michael Thiemann of Ella Dining Room & Bar.

Photo By Ryan Donahue

For more information and to stay up to date on The Best of Sacramento, please visit

In July, for the first time in more than 20 years, SN&R decided to nominate local restaurants and bars, boutiques, peeps and more for its annual Best of Sacramento awards. It was a risky move, perhaps—you readers might complain!—but more of you voted in this paper’s 2012 Best of Sacto contest than in any previous year.

So, SN&R says thanks to everyone for chiming in.

We’re proud that it took nearly 500 votes to take home the first-place prize (as was the case with Tower Cafe for Best Patio—we guess people really like custard French toast, palm trees and the bustle of Broadway for breakfast).

The point is is that it took hundreds of votes to win a Best of this year, which means people really must like you, Best of Sacto winners. Really, you’re the best. Huzzah!

There’s more: One of the city’s most inspiring chefs, Billy Ngo of Kru Contemporary Japanese Cuisine, gets this year’s front-cover treatment. The reason is because 2012 felt like a turning point for Sacramento’s culinary guard—and there’s no better seat in town than one in front of Ngo at Kru’s sushi bar or Michael Thiemann at Ella Dining Room & Bar. Good work, Sacto restaurant and dining community!

SN&R will drink to that. Santé, chin-chin— happy Best of!


Celebrating the people who make SN&R’s Best of Sacramento a success:

Art Directors: Hayley Doshay, Priscilla Garcia

Photographers: Wes Davis, Ryan Donahue, Mike Iredale, Anne Stokes

Editors: Kimberly Brown, Rachel Leibrock, Nick Miller

Writers: Lory Gil, Becky Grunewald, Guphy Gustafson, Lovelle Harris, Rachel Leibrock, Nick Miller, Jonathan Mendick, Kel Munger, Shoka, Sarah Vorn

Copy editors: Steph Rodriguez, Shoka Shafiee

Design Manager: Kate Murphy

Design: Melissa Arendt, Brian Breneman, Marianne Mancina, Skyler Smith

Web: Joe Kakacek

Online Best-of Voting: John Bisignano, Jonathan Schultz

Director of Sales & Marketing: Rick Brown

Sales Team: Rosemary Babich, Josh Burke, Vince Garcia, Dusty Hamilton, April Houser, Rosemarie Messina, Dave Nettles, Olla Ubay, Joy Webber, Kelsi White

Ad Services Operations Manager: Will Niespodzinski

Ad Services Team: Shawn Barnum, Melissa Bernard, Rachel Rosin

Special kudos to: Greg Erwin and the distribution team for putting out the biggest issue of the year, human-resources director Tanja Poley, the operations department, the business department, director of first impressions Jeff Chinn, and SN&R owners Deborah Redmond and Jeff vonKaenel.