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Best of Baja 2010
Read this years and past years winners

Each year we ask our members, print and online readers to vote for the best of Baja has to offer. The Best of Baja is a chance for you to share your Baja favorites & show appreciation for the businesses and people that have done you right. We understand this is a popularity contest and that's OKAY. We provide no choices, so all votes come from the voter not from us, and since every category requires a minimal number of votes to be included, the winners in each category has to either have a lot friends, or a lot of happy customers - in either case, they're a winner.Her are your winning choices for 2010 Best of Baja.

Sylvia St. Clair, Todos Santos
With her artistic vision and ability to successfully blend function with style, Sylvia St. Clair is regarded as one of the best architects in Baja. Her work is site specific and she sees a project through from dream to complete reality for her clients. Fans of her work exclaim, "She has original ideas and she has the tenacity to see the ideas and drawings through to execution no matter what obstacles are placed in the way." Her professionalism and personal integrity make her respected and admired by both other professionals and clients alike.

Art Gallery
Jill Logan, Todos Santos
Jill Logan is an internationally trained and respected artists whose gallery is a must see for any art enthusiast, be they serious collectors or novices. Her interpretation of Baja's landscape gives her art life and distinction. Her training and international showings have led to a loyal following. Anyone in Baja who wasn't a fan of Logan before is surely one after one trip to her gallery.  Her seascapes bring the waves to life just as her desert paintings practically radiate the heat of the sun. Many fans agree, "Jill Logan's gallery is an amazing gallery."

Steve Sherrod, San Felipe
Steve is known as "Iron Man" because of his talent and creative ventures. He not only pursues his own creative expression, but thoughtfully donates so much of his own time, talent and energy to teach others. He is much honored and appreciated for his tireless efforts to help "Desert Mothers". He gallantly and patiently teaches young girls how to bend and weld iron to create their own pieces, and gain a bit of confidence and know-how at the same time.

Hogaza Hogaza, Ensenada
Hogaza wins for best bakery in part because Maria Teresa Santiago has managed to bring all of the gourmet elegance of Europe to Ensenada. The bakery boasts 30 kinds of gourmet bread alone. Lavender truffles and tiramisus are just a small sample of the kinds of genuine European desserts you can find at this welcoming establishment. All original and freshly created, the offerings at Hogaza Hogaza are unforgettable.

Rumors, San Felipe  
This bar is known as much for its great menu selection as it is for the drinks. The prices are extremely affordable and well worth every cent. The upbeat and hospitable attitude of the owners also makes Rumors a note-worthy place to relax, unwind and laugh a little after a hard day's work. For those just passing through, it is the perfect locale to get a filling bite to eat, a cold drink and some friendly conversation.

Tina Winston, Rumors in San Felipe
Besides having an uncanny ability to make a Bloody Mary that no one can even come close to imitating, Tina Winston is a legend as far as Baja bartenders are concerned mainly because of her smile and attitude. She makes bartending more than just pouring and serving drinks. She is known as the kind of person who makes it her personal mission to see to it that everyone is having a great time. One fan says, "I have followed her from bar to bar and will continue to do so," "She rocks!" When people are willing to forgo the establishment itself to stick with a particular bartender, she has to be the best of the best.

Loreto Islas, Loreto
This seaside establishment with incredible windows that offer up a priceless view of the Sea of Cortez is known for its fine dining and the artistry of the head chef, Francisco Drew Murillo. Breakfast breaks the mold as far as originality and excellence is concerned. With testimonials proclaiming the meal as art, Loreto Islas delivers the best. 27 years of experience has given Francisco an edge over everyone else in town. "The absolute best huevos rancheros in Mexico" is just one of many compliments that set Loreto Islas apart from the others.

Cheap Eats
Super Burro, Loreto
"Mouth watering", "hot, hot, hot," and "to die for ", are just a few of the phrases uttered when Super Burro is mentioned by anyone. The open flame cooking gives each and every meal a distinct and unique taste. Fresh grilled tacos and burritos top popular list of menu choices. The namesake item, Super Burro, is a gigantic burrito loaded with everything you could possibly want in a burrito, including perfectly prepared diced steak.

BJ Sweitzer, San Felipe
Dependable, trustworthy, efficient, and a pleasure to know and do business with are just a few of the praises bestowed upon BJ Sweitzer. She is known for having the job done when she says it will be, always leaving a site neater and tidier than when she found it; and she listens to clients, always being counted on to bring their dreams to life.  Proving their success and ability to get the job done right is not just a fluke, BJ Sweitzer can proudly point to the fact that they have won the Best of Baja prize for a fourth year in a row.

California Dental - Melina California, San Felipe
Not too many people think of a trip to the dentist as pleasurable or a delight, unless Melina California is your go-to person in the field. Patients even travel from the U.S. to see her. She actually soothes and sings to patients, making it as joyful and experience as dental work can possibly be. Her husband, David runs the optical shop as part of the complex. They offer designer eyewear. Personal care and attention are dished out all around. One avid fan says, "Love her, won't go anywhere else ever."

Playa de Oro, San Felipe
The white sands, the view of the Sea of Cortez, internet café, live music and dancing on site, and the 24/7 security are just a few of the reasons fans see Playa de Oro as one of the best spots to rent or stay seasonally. Swimming, sailing, and relaxing on pristine beaches while being able to affordable rent a site loaded with top notch amenities makes it a winter escape like no other. Whether for a few days or months, this development not only feels like home, it simply beats home regardless of where you are coming from. This is the fourth win for Playa de Oro.

Mac N Nan, San Felipe
With the top of the line equipment, great food, never-ending fun and a massive selection of English and Spanish music, Mac N Nan will get anyone off their feet and belting out a tune into the mic. Any night at Mac N Nan quickly turns into a fun gathering of friends having the time of their life and letting loose. It's not just a karaoke bar, but a community with open arms ready to let you join right in.

Entertainment-Music Group
Agave Blues, San Felipe
Agave Blues makes a memorable and impressive appearance at the Blues and Arts Fiesta each year. They play all around San Felipe and also around Mexicali and Ensenada. The band regularly receives accolades that taut them as "The best" and "A fabulous bunch of musicians," and "A great band who deserve 'Best of Baja' designation."

Denny Flannigan, San Felipe
Denny has played with the likes of B.B. King, the Bee Gees, Chicago, The Beach Boys, and Earth, Wind and Fire, to name a few. He has literally played in every state and the very first song he wrote went to #1. He is known as "a true entertainer". His "Name that Tune" act is well loved and has become a must see classic in San Felipe.

Fish Market
Ensenada Fish Market
31°50.39'N - 116°38.3'W
It is Baja's largest open seafood markets. Right along the oceanfront, fresh catches are a mainstay. Fish tacos made at Ensenada Fish Market are legendary. Fans say it "reminds me of the Pike Street fish market in Seattle," and "This place is great! I just love to walk through and check out all the different kinds of fish and sea creatures." This place is an experience for anyone looking to try anything fresh and delectable from the sea.

Fishing Tour
Tailhunter International, La Paz
This organization takes care of every single detail of a dream fishing trip. Clients come back year after year and proclaim their undying loyalty to Tailhunter International as the best of the best in fishing tours. The staff and owners make friends of anyone who wanders their way. One visit and you are part of a family that awaits your return year after year. Their experience and knowledge are undeniable and no one else can compare to the hospitality and generosity of everyone at Tailhunter International.

Sara's Salon, Todos Santos
Sara Rutowski

Sara began her hair creations journey at the age of 18. She has worked internationally and went to the Vidal Sassoon Hair Cutting School in Santa Monica. Her celebrity clients in Beverly Hills knew her as a top colorist at the famed Louis Licari Salon. She brings her expertise and professionalism to the ladies of Baja with style and a smile.

Happy Hour
Augie's Bar and Bait Shop, Loreto
Not just cheap beer and free food, but GOOD free food makes Augie's the hands down winner of Best Happy Hour. It is the Mexican version of Cheers with its welcoming and jovial atmosphere. From 4p.m. to 7 p.m. on a weekday, Augie's is the place to be for fun and for business. They offer sushi, wings, tacos, pizza and gorgeous ocean view.

Hardware Store
Maderas de San Felipe, San Felipe
Arturo of Maderas de San Felipe is the kind of guy who will get the tools you need and the answers you need for just about everything. Once you give him your business, you will never go anywhere else. The service and the prices make him alluring enough, but his genuine expertise and willingness to go the extra mile make his hardware store indispensible to San Felipe.

Home Furnishings
Linda Hamilton Design, Ensenada
Linda uses natural materials and worldly knowledge and accessories to make custom designs and environments for her clients. She can find inspiration in unexpected places during her many travels and create a style that others would love to emulate. Her vision becomes a clients much loved and appreciated environment. She imports pieces from around the globe for clients and also takes on individual design projects in the Todos Santos area.

Versoleil Landscaping, San Felipe
The owner, Guillermo William Duclos has an international reputation for his design and maintenance expertise.  His professionalism and knowledge of the areas landscape makes him a natural at bringing out beauty anywhere he works. His prices are reasonable and his follow-up care makes him truly a unique and caring craftsman. As a three time winner in this category, Versoleil Landscaping knows what they are doing. They are the masterminds behind some of the most admired residences and the Las Caras de Mexico Golf Course. They are virtual magicians with their ability to take a sliver of desert and make it lively, abundant and artfully landscaped.

Hotel Los Pescadores, Los Barriles
One fan proclaimed, "The hotel rocks, Pati is a hoot and nothing beats fishing on the 26 foot super pangas with Captains Lavo and Andreas." It has also been hailed for being "the Baja California experience I love most." by another avid fan. It is located along one of the world's most exciting places to fish. Anything you wish to try, such as windsurfing, sightseeing or kite boarding can be arranged by the staff. They spread their energetic zest for life onto the guests and they make this seemingly small establishment come alive when anyone walks in the door. Always welcoming and warm, Hotel Los Pescadores is vivacious and unforgettable.

Lodging-RV and Camping
Clam Beach
N32*04.489 W116*52.790
With one of the cleanest and nicest beaches around, this 82 site park is in a perfect spot. The amenities include water and sewer hookups, large bathroom facilities, shower areas, and high speed wi-fi. The park has excellent security and is abound with lush lawns and eye-catching landscaping. Daily and monthly rates make it appealing to just about any economic group. Aside from pull up and back in sites, the park offers beach camping with its own amenities also.

Lodging-Vacation Rentals
Cabo Villas, Los Cabo
Cabo Villa takes top prize in the Best of Baja and they have also won a Travelers award. The rental company offers up 140 villas that come with numerous on-site services such as, gourmet catering, personal chefs, special events planning and butler services. They can and will take care of every detail of your stay and will bend over backwards to make arrangements for virtually any activity. The staff knows the ins and outs of Cabo and takes great pride in their service.

Mail Service
Sunrunner, San Felipe
They do what they do with ease, professionalism and a smile. Sunrunner mail service is described as "Great people and service." They go out of their way to meet customers' needs and make sure deliveries are on time.

Dali's Deli & Gourmet, Loreto
Providing meat to Loreto restaurants for a long time, Dali has expanded to opening their own gourmet shop. They are known for their specialty meats that are not easy to find in Loreto. Since they still provide products to restaurants, the sizes may be more than the average household needs, but the quality makes storing the gourmet products well worth it. The Delikatessen also carries an incredible wine selection.

The Nowhere Bar, Cabo
Daily happy hour specials start the night at The Nowhere Bar. The D.J. ensures everyone is having a good time as the night goes on. Aside from being a fun and hopping club, The Nowhere Bar has awesome food and coffee service. They offer up sushi, desserts, quesadillas, frapuccinos, and even smoothies.

II Rustico Rest, La Paz
This little pizza joint is not only affordable, but the food is legendary. It actually brings a little touch of Italy to La Paz. The atmosphere is very relaxed, with incredible outdoor dining options, and the young Italian couple that owns it has really gone out of their way to make everyone feel at home. The kitchen is a chef's dream and tiramisu simply could not be any better.

Real Estate Agent
Dan Binetti, Todos Santos  
Born in Jersey and having served overseas in the U.S. Army, Dan Binetti has been just about everywhere before landing permanently in Baja. With his love of the climate and lifestyle, he has made it his mission to help others permanently settle here. With total immersion in the local culture, including his love of fishing, Dan is living his dream life here and really wants to help others do the same. He not only helps them find a place to call home, but acts as a community guide to clients to help them settle and feel at home.

Real Estate Broker
Alexander Ogilvie, Loreto
Originally from Vancouver and having worked in Alberta, Alexander Ogilvie drove to Baja for a friend years ago and simply never looked back. He opened his real estate office in La Pa and then moved his practice to Loreto. Through his immense charity work, he has come to know the community and become a vital part of it. His agency and its success have helped him call Baja home and has helped those in Loreto find their way home also.

Restaurant for Mexican
Juanitos in the Ejido, San Felipe
With compliments such as, "terrific food and very consistent" and "Employees are very courteous and are there to please their customers," Juanitos has a well-established reputation for pleasing the senses and the wallet. They serve you with a smile and consistently fair prices. They offer a mix of American, Mexican and seafood that is mouthwatering for highway travelers and locals alike.

Restaurant for Non-Mexican
Tailhunter Restaurant and FUBAR Cantina, La Paz
This establishment mixes Hawaiian, Mexican and seafood. They are as well known for the sports inside as they are the food. They play American sports all the time, including Monday night football. They boast huge portions and great beer. The awesome view of the water is also an added touch.

Restaurant for Seafood
Splash, Rosarito Beach  
Fish tacos to die for and waves literally creeping up from the sea make Splash unique and an environment to be savored. The chef and bartender both go out of their way to please guest and keep many coming back for more. Some revelers describe Splash as, "My favorite place in town." And the atmosphere is aptly called "perfect" by many reviewers.

Restaurant for Steak
Edith's, Cabo
Born in Jalapa, Edith learned everything she knows about flavor and aroma from an expert---her grandmother. Her relaxing, rustically decorated, restaurant has an amazing view of Medano Beach and the Arch of Cabo San Lucas. The quality steak, fresh seafood, and handmade tortillas are just the tip of the iceberg as to what exactly sets Edith's apart.

Sweets and Deserts
Baja Chocolate Lovers, San Felipe
Baja Chocolate Lovers of San Felipe has literally made grown folks weep when they have run out of its delectable treats. Endless testimonials tell tales of souls willingly to give everything they have to taste one more piece of cake, chocolate gelato, orange truffle, or strawberry chocolate bar. These chocolateirs have made this business a must see stop in San Felipe. They entice customers with an endless list of treats that simply can't be found anywhere else in Baja. They are masters at what they do and lovingly spread the sweetness around.