.Best of East Bay 2023 – Everyday


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Screen Time 

The New Parkway is the East Bay’s weirdest movie theater

The New Parkway, a colorful, mission-driven movie theater and pub in Oakland’s Uptown district, is deeply thoughtful about how it operates. The theater shares profits with its employees, highlights local businesses instead of selling pre-movie ads and donates to Bay Area nonprofits. 

Its kitchen’s full menu of food is brought to patrons at their seats with all-reusable dishware and napkins, making it, according to their website, “quite possibly the greenest movie theater in the world.” It’s also quite possibly the coziest—instead of filing into the usual monotony of red cinema seats, the audience sprawls across squashy couches, loveseats and vintage chairs of every hue. 

An eclectic line-up includes new releases, second-runs, cult classics and special events like trivia, bingo, karaoke and cartoons with all-you-can-eat cereal. In my experience, nearly any film is improved by the warmhearted weirdness of the New Parkway atmosphere, its local wine, beer and cider on-tap, and, most of all, the deep buckets of homestyle popcorn. 

Do not go to the New Parkway without boldly traversing the toppings rack, which has every popcorn garnish one can imagine and a few one probably can’t. There are over 40 options, which (no spoilers) I won’t list here.  

The New Parkway’s homey vibe creates a real feeling of camaraderie among the audience, as if everyone is in a big ol’ living room together. Expect laughter, cheers and gasps. With an engaged, participatory audience, the dynamics of a film are heightened—tense scenes feel tighter, twists hit harder, victories are more satisfying. 

During my last visit, one audience member burst into solo applause during a particularly joyful moment in John Wick: Chapter 4. The rest of us realized she had the right idea, and joined in.

Readers’ Picks

Best Costume/Festival Apparel Shop

Berkeley Hat Co.

Best Movie Theater

Grand Lake Theater

Best Culinary Store

The Spanish Table

Best Grocery Store

Berkeley Bowl

Best Charitable Event

Pints for Paws, Berkeley Humane

Best Local Festival


Best Barber

Dax Lee’s Barber Shop

Best Print Shop

Minutemen Press Berkeley

Best Attorney-Business

Brian Ripley

Best Hearing Aid Practice

Center for Better Hearing

Best Locally Made Retail Product


Best Flower Shop

Wisteria Rockridge

Best Shopping District

4th Street Berkeley

Best Moving & Storage

Paradise Moving & Storage

Best Comics Store

Dr. Comics Mr. Games

Best Independent Hardware Store

Cole Hardware

Best Bike Shop

Tip Top Bike Shop

Best Vintage Clothing Store

Mercy Vintage

Best Auto Dealer

Albany Subaru

Best Fabric Store

Stonemountain & Daughter Fabrics

Best Photographic Services

Looking Glass Photo

Best Bookstore – New

Books Inc.

Best Accountant

Deborah Fisher, Fisher & Co. LLP

Best Smoke Shop


Best Auto Body Repair

Uptown Body & Fender

Best Gift Shop

Nathan & Co.

Best Bookstore – Used

Walden Pond

Best Mortgage Broker

Jason Wizelman of Draper and Kramer Mortgage

Best Shoe Store

Shoe Spot

Best Game Store

Games of Berkeley

Best Natural Foods Store

El Cerrito Natural Grocery

Best Auto Repair

Art’s Automotive

Best Career/Life Coach

Real Life Oakland Mae Chan

Best Co-Working Office Space

Temescal Works

Best Credit Union


Best Furniture Store

KCC Modern Living

Best Martial Arts Studio

Cuong Nhu Martial Arts

Best Clothing Store – Women’s

Stella Carakasi

Best Nonprofit Organization

Alameda County Community Food Bank

Best Shoe Repair

Model Shoe Renew

Best Real Estate Agent

Declan Spring, Red Oak Realty

Best Mortuary

Mountain View Cemetary & Funeral Services

Best Local Bank – Business

Bridge Bank

Best Thrift Shop

Out of the Closet

Best Casino

Graton Casino & Resort

Best Musical Instruments Shop

Starving Musician, Berkeley

Best Jewelry Store

Shibumi Gallery

Best Senior Living Facility

Belmont Village Senior Living

Best Jewelry Repair

Oaks Jewelers

Best Golf Course

Tilden Golf Course

Best Holistic Herbal Shop

Five Flavors Herbs

Best Art Supply Store

Blick Art Materials

Best Local Bank – Consumer

Mechanics Bank

Best Clothing Store – Men’s

Standard & Strange

Best Optical Store

Focal Point

Best Tattoo Studio

Sacred Rose

Best Clothing Alterations

Tailor It! Gabriel Escobar

Best Attorney – Family Law

Andrea B. Goldman

Best Plant Nursery

East Bay Nursery

Best CSA (Community-Supported Agriculture)

Urban Tilth

Best Motorcycle Shop

Oakland Harley-Davidson

Best Tire Shop

Don’s Tire Service

Best Resale Store

Urban Ore

Best Car Wash/Detailing

People’s Car Wash

Best Insurance Agent

Ruth Stroup, Farmer’s Insurance Agent

Best Cooking School

Kitchen on Fire

Best Attorney – Real Estate

Jean Shrem, Shrem Law PC

Best Antique Shop

The Katz Meow

Best Accountant

Deborah Fisher, Fisher & Company LLP


  1. Urban Tilth inspires, hires, and trains local Richmond residents to cultivate agriculture, feed our community, and restore relationships to land to build a more sustainable food system, within a just and healthier community.

    Our CSA delivers seasonal, organic, locally-farmed vegetables and fruits to your door. Produce is sourced from our North Richmond Farm and BIPOC-owned farms from Brentwood, Hollister and Fresno. Nourish your family each week with seasonal produce all while supporting food sovereignty and soil regeneration in the Bay Area!

    We deliver on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, and you can receive bags weekly or every other week. WE SERVICE HERCULES THROUGH BERKELEY!!
    We offer two prices: $35, which includes a $5 donation to support your neighbors!
    $15 for those that are in financial insecurity.
    We accept EBT!

    Our 2023 season began Feb 7th and rolls through December 20th.

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