cover-storyIssue 19

The Best of Stanislaus 2015 Featurettes

Your favorite stops are getting the recognition they deserve! These winners of Contentment Health’s Second Annual Reader’s Vote were hand-picked by you.

These businesses are the best of the best, so make sure to comb through. You might find some old favorites or stumble on new ones. What are you waiting for? Check out the best that Stanislaus has to offer.

Click Here for a complete list of winners and
more information on how to get ahold of some of your favorite spots!

Best of Food & Drink

Best Burger: Rockin B’s
Looking for that community secret, old-fashioned burger joint? Well the secret’s out, and Contentment Health has named Rockin B’s Burger Company “Best Burger” in Stanislaus County for the second year in a row!
Walking into the dining room, you already get a good sense of tradition. The restaurant is laid out less like a diner and more like a cozy cabin in the woods. Customers get the chance to leave feedback by writing on one of the customer experience cards lying around the restaurant. If Rockin B’s likes what you say, your card may be featured among the other compliments and exclamations posted around the restaurant.

This is Modesto’s best burger spot, but Rockin B’s has more than just burgers. On top of specialty burgers such as the Classic B and the Shay Shay, Rockin B’s offers grilled cheese, chicken tenders, grilled chicken sandwiches, and salads for variety. Looking for a bigger burger? The Double B burger has double the meat and double the cheese for those looking for a heftier meal. And, really, who isn’t? 222 McHenry Ave., Modesto

Best Italian: Bella Italia

Mmm… Cheese Tortellini just like Nonna used to make. With more than 22 years of serving up quality Italian dishes, Bella Italia prides itself on using the freshest ingredients to come as close as possible to the genuine article. Authentic Italian is their specialty, and one bite of the Linguine Portofino will make you a believer.

2625 Coffee Rd., Modesto


Best Pizza: Michael’s Pizza

Pizza is meant to be loaded with toppings, dripping with sauce, and covered in cheese. Michael’s Pizza doesn’t hold back when it comes to decorating their pies, making them the best in the county. And try to save room for their sweet potato fries with some homemade honey mustard. You’ll be glad you did.

500 N Carpenter Rd., Modesto

Best Mexican: La Parilla Mexican Restaurant

There are a lot of Mexican restaurants in Stanislaus County. What mouth-watering morsels does La Parilla serve up to stand out? With a menu full of both traditional and unique favorites, La Parrilla has it all. There’s the Pork Adobado, the Chicken Milanesa, or the sizzling, delicious behemoth, El Molcajete. Looking for all the taste and less of the pounds? La Parrilla has a Get Fit menu featuring Jicama and Pear Salad or Ensalada de Pescado. And the Get Fit Tacos Modesto with grilled chicken, onions, cilantro, tomato and topped with avocado are good enough to make you want to eat healthy every day.

1700 McHenry Ave., Modesto

Best Coffee House: Preservation Coffee & Tea

From the artsy atmosphere to the freshly-brewed coffee, Preservation Coffee has been ranked the best of the best for a number of reasons. Their chai is homemade, their coffee is French-pressed, and their space is full of work from local artists and businesses. This coffee house is great for both drinking or a cuppa and drinking in the atmosphere.

1030 J St., Modesto

Best Dinner: DEWZ Restaurant

DEWZ Restaurant has an unforgettable atmosphere and unforgettable food to match. Since the restaurant’s opening in 1997, Dewz and its dedicated staff have been continually refining customer service to find new, better ways to enhance the dining experience.

Named Stanislaus County’s “Best Seafood” and “Best Dinner” by Contentment Health readers, Dewz remains in the forefront of high quality service and even higher quality cuisine. Dewz has a wide selection of lunch specials ranging from chicken marsala and vegetable raviolis to Atlantic salmon and baseball steak, as well as sandwiches such as the grilled chicken “Banh Mi” and char-broiled burger. Dewz also has daily soups and numerous salads such as Thai beef and blue pear salad.


Dinner entrees include a variety of fresh fish, filet mignon, prime rib, local sand dabs and crispy duck legs among others. Dewz also offers a variety of vegan menu items, although the restaurant requests that you give a 24-hour notice for vegan dishes as they are not a regular nightly offering. Check their website for a full list of vegan menu items, as well as a number of their other delicious delicacies. After all, who has really lived without a Dewz Banana Brulee Cheesecake? 1515 J St., Modesto

Best Greek: Papapavlos Mediterranean Bistro & Bar

Whether you’re on the search for some of the Valley’s best Greek food or just looking for a great location to enjoy a glass of wine, Papapavlo’s Mediterranean Bistro & Bar best is the best for Mediterranean fine dining. Named Stanislaus County’s “Best Greek”, Papapavlo’s menu ranges from appetizers like hummus and mushroom pitas to entrees like pistachio-crusted salmon and white veal picatta. And don’t forget to save some room for a baklava cheesecake or vanilla crème brulee.

1320 Standiford Ave., Modesto


Best Sushi: Raw Sushi Bistro

You’ve tried the unagi. You’ve tried crab rolls and spicy tuna rolls. But have you ever tried a Dante’s Inferno roll? It’s wrapped in cucumber and served with grilled jalapenos, if you like it spicy. If you still have room, tuck into the Grilled Salmon roll or the Soba Salad with sashimi and you’ll know right away why Raw was chosen as the finest fusion of Japanese cuisine.

1200 I St., Modesto

yogurt mill-01

Best Yogurt: Yogurt Mill

This longtime Modesto favorite has just come to Turlock and looks to be just as popular. Best described as “swirliciously nutritious,” Yogurt Mill has been swirling yogurt since 1984, using only the best and freshest ingredients.

With countless flavors and a slew of votes, Yogurt Mill has won the Best of Food & Drink category in a landslide. The Turlock location, as well as two of the Modesto locations, has a drive-thru for eating your healthy, delicious snacks on the go. And for added convenience, your favorite mixes can usually be blended up into a shake.

Yogurt Mill gladly takes requests at [email protected], but they make sure to offer as much as they can. They have Heavenly Vanilla, Creamy Cheesecake, Chocolate Obsession,  Double Cheesecake, Pumpkin Fudge, Pretzel and more, depending on availability. They keep their Facebook page updated with potential shortages or changes in the menu. Need all the flavor, but none of the sugar? They happen to carry Chocolate Mousse, Chocolate Covered Berries and Boysenberry, all in sugar free.

Email [email protected] for more information. Better yet, stop by and experience the treats firsthand.

Multiple Locations

Best Brunch: Surla’s RestaurantLooking for a brunch that’s unique and delicious? Surla’s has you covered with their Sunday Champagne Brunch Buffet featuring a wide selection of food and bottomless champagne. Surla’s has an Asian/Fusion influence, combining flavors from the Philippines, Korea, Japan, China, Hawaii, France, Italy and Spain, perfect for trying out on a lazy Sunday afternoon. The setting is comfortable, the food is unique, and the experience is unforgettable.

431 12th St., Modesto

Best Sandwich: The Sandwich Shop

Maybe you think sandwiches aren’t filling enough, but have you tried The Sandwich Shop’s meat-laden masterpieces? Whether you choose a Mortadella and Cheese or Barbecue Beef, you’re guaranteed a “mountain of meat” that’s both satisfying and delicious. Need more? Try a creamy chowder, mouthwatering chili, or a hearty nachos supreme on the side.

442 Kansas Ave., Modesto

Best Bakery & Sweets: Village Baking Company & Cafe

Yet another McHenry Village staple, Village Baking Company pancake and bacon dippers are a thing no one should live without. Village Baking Company bakes and stocks the best selection of pastries and custom cakes in the county – and they pride themselves on devising new and unique treats that you can’t get anywhere else.

1700 McHenry Ave., Modesto


Best of Nightlife

Best Bar: Tresetti’s World CaffeBoasting a wide variety of dishes, live music on the weekends, and wine tasting events, Tresetti’s is an easy pick for the “Best Bar” scene in Stanislaus County. Whether you’re looking to enjoy some pumpkin-walnut bread pudding with a nice Fonseca Bin, or a pan roasted maple glazed duck breast, Tresetti’s menu has something to suit every craving.

927 11th St., Modesto

Best Wine Tasting Bar & Best Wine: Camp 4 Wine Cafe

It’s no surprise that Camp 4 is the cream of the crop for local wine. They offer a large selection of wines and beers from all over the globe, and have a menu including special cheeses to pair perfectly with your selection. With over 20 white wines, over 30 reds, and a few Rosés and Bubbles, Camp 4 can help you find the wine of your dreams.

1509 10th St., Modesto

Best Happy Hour & Best Margarita: La Parilla Mexican Restaurant

Not only does La Parilla have the best Mexican cuisine, they have the “Best Happy Hour” to match. Enjoy Happy Hour from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Friday with a side of Nachos Fiesta or Tostadas de Ceviche. House margaritas are $3.25 and there’s a $4.50 food menu. Pitchers of margaritas are available for $13 on Wednesday. But the experience of delicious food and choice margaritas? That’s priceless.

Multiple Locations

DustBowl Best Brewpub: Dust Bowl Brewing CompanyFrom its origins to its unique and exceptional brews, the Dust Bowl Brewing Company in Turlock is a diamond in the rough. Started by Brett Tate and Don Oliver, winner of the 2006 Samuel Adams Longshot Homebrew competition, the eatery has won over locals and established itself as a restaurant of some repute. Their brews are some of the finest in Central California, and their bar food is as inventive as it is delicious– like Okie Nachos or Pulled-Pork Quesadillas.

Their hobo-chic décor has family roots, as “Grandpa Tate” often rode the rails searching for work to feed his family. Ultimately, the Tates settled in California, and the residents of Turlock are no doubt grateful for that– and for Oliver’s passion for flavorful subtleties in his brews.

There’s a tasting sample which lets guests taste five different 5 oz. beers in one sitting, which is perfect for those who have yet to try Dust Bowl’s delicious brews. Go ahead and order it with some Mac-N-Cheesy Sticks. We won’t judge.

200 W. Main St., Turlock

Best of Wedding




Best Wedding Venue: Vintage Gardens

Vintage Gardens Venue & Cafe offers new and exciting options for hosting social and business events. Whether it’s a party, a wedding, or important business event, Vintage Gardens’ luxurious facility makes for the perfect setting. Whether you choose to set your event in their formal dining room or the eccentric garden area, you’ll be assured of complete privacy and enjoyment. The beauty of the gardens and facility is what Vintage Gardens is known for. With year-round beautiful plants and seasonal colors, you’ll find quite the unique atmosphere.

Need help setting up your wedding at Stanislaus County’s number one wedding venue? Vintage Gardens has you covered; from event coordination, setup and cleanup, chef and culinary staff, beverage bar and bartender, tables & chairs, and outdoor heaters, it’s a prime location for your special event. Vintage Gardens also offers DJ’s, wedding cakes, ice sculptures, photographers and security guards for an additional fee.

Let Vintage Gardens take care of catering for your events. Your entire event, including meals – buffet or served – receives exacting attention to detail. The venue’s chef and professional event organizers combine to make it so. You’ll find the menu satisfies the most discerning tastes and tantalizes the most sophisticated of gourmet appetites.

4342 Dale Rd., Modesto

Best Bridal Boutique: Mira Bridal Couture

Weddings are hectic, and picking your dress shouldn’t be an added hassle. Mira Bridal welcomes brides-to-be to sit and stay awhile. Your job is to relax, and they’ll find you the perfect dress. Mira Bridal knows the big day can be costly, and so they try to keep the dresses at an average price of $1,500.

1201 J St., Modesto


Best Wedding Photographer: Photos Just So

A good photographer takes beautiful photos. A great photographer makes beautiful memories. Photos Just So, headed by Justin Souza, believes in the quirky, the wry, and the romantic and should be your go-to for capturing those moments you’ll be revisiting for a lifetime. Check out Photos Just So’s online portfolio and bookmark it for the perfect time. You won’t regret it.


Best of Family & Pets

Best Family Fun: Rockin Jump

When you think about fun exercises, you don’t think about stairclimbers and weight machines. Rocking’ Jump has created a place where you can soar in open jump arenas or dive into pools of soft foam cubes instead. You can soft land on stund bars, experience trampoline dodgeball, climb rock walls, and even compete to become king of the X-Beam.

1700 McHenry Ave., Ste. 25, Modesto

Best Pet Sitting & Boarding: Top Notch Kennels

Looking for someone to watch your furry friend is never easy. Who can you trust with something so important? Top Notch Kennels has the answer: Someone who loves dogs just as much as you do. Their kennels are spacious and comfortable and provide daily activities to keep pets active and happy. Especially lucky dogs get grooming treatments, but all pets get plenty of attention from staff who really care.

3302 Beckwith Ct., Modesto

Best Veterinarian: Monte Vista Small Animal Hospital

It happens to everyone — for some reason or another, your pet needs veterinary care. A pet can be like a family member, and so choice of a hospital is important. Monte Vista Small Animal Hospital understands that, and has made it their goal to provide exceptional care for pets in need. Each pet is treated with respect, love, and compassion, and clients can rest easy knowing that their fluffy family is getting the best care in the area.

901 East Monte Vista Ave., Turlock


Best Dog Grooming Salon: Yuppy Puppy

Does your pet need a makeover? This five-time winner of the Modesto Bee Readers’ Awards should be your first stop. Their services run all over the board, from a bath and brush only or a full dog or cat groom to any number of other dog grooming techniques. And while we’re bundling up for winter, A Yuppy Puppy’s new boutique will allow you to do the same for your stylish dogs.

They see dogs all the way from Sacramento, such as Max, an entrant in the Santa Clara dog show whose owner lives in the Sacramento area. One of their dogs, Tyson, finished his Championship title in Las Vegas at the Poodle Specialty Dog Show. He also competed for his Grand Championship title when his well-recognized handler Bethany Shimmel returned from the Maryland Nationals. Another success story is their poodle Delilah, one of the top 10 miniature poodles in the U.S.

And they don’t just trim – they color. Squishy, one of their mohawk-bedecked pups, even found his way onto Good Day Sacramento. Does your furry friend aspire to stardom? Make sure they look their best by booking an appointment for A Yuppy Puppy.

2020 Standiford Ave., Modesto

Best of Professional Services

Best Credit Union: Mocse Credit Union

All credit unions unite under one philosophy: “People Helping People.” And no one does it better than Mocse Credit Union. A financial cooperative, Mocse provides members with low loan rates and competitive products and services. Mocse serves the communities of Stanislaus, Tuolumne, Merced and Mariposa. Not a member? You could be! Check us out at

Multiple Locations

Best Accounting & Tax Firm: Grimbleby Coleman CPAs, Inc.

Grimbleby Coleman is about more than numbers — it’s about support, insight, and experience. The CPAs at Grimbleby Coleman are dedicated to your personal and business endeavors, and they strive to see you as more than a number. If you need any accounting or business advisory, look for the firm you can count on.

200 W Roseburg Ave., Modesto

Best Law Firm: Gianelli & Associates

Legal jargon is the worst when you’re ensnared in a significant life event, and Gianelli & Associates understands that. They explain legal advice clearly and practically, helping clients with estate planning, business law, litigation, real estate, probate, and family law. Whether you’re facing litigation, divorce, or a family death, be sure to call the best law firm in Stanislaus to settle your affairs with the utmost transparency.

1014 16th St., Modesto

Best Mortgage Firm: Ambeck Mortgage

When it comes to loans, you want to be sure you’re not signing yourself over to an uncaring firm. And Ambeck Mortgage is far from that. They’re a mortgage firm with heart, managing to be a family-friendly establishment with the expertise of a national-based operation. It’s because of this that Ambeck surfaced as one of the leading local Mortgage Bankers in the Central Valley — and is definitely the best choice in Stanislaus county.

3421 Tully Rd., Modesto

Best of Services

Prime Shine - Full Res - Photos Just So-184

Best Car Wash: Primeshine

After Opening its First Location in Modesto on April 11, 1991, Prime Shine Carwash is a local success story. What started out as a single-location car wash, founded on the promise of changing the way Californians think about washing their cars, has grown to become California’s largest independently-owned car wash chain.

Featuring a top-to-bottom clean that is inexpensive and finished in just three minutes, Prime Shine filled the niche between time consuming and pricey full-service washes or do-it-yourself methods. Prime Shine’s dedication to its customers and community help make them the leader in the industry that they are today.

Prime Shine is committed to the enhancement of the communities they serve. Their fundraising program provides financial support for numerous growth opportunities, giving your group a great opportunity to raise money for your organization. The fundraising program makes it easy for all groups to participate and requires no money upfront.

In addition to time and money, Prime Shine customers also have been instrumental in saving our community’s water during the drought. Since its opening in 1991, Prime Shine has used recycling, filtration, and state-of-the-art technology to deliver the most eco-friendly and professional car wash.

Multiple Locations

Best Kitchen & Bath Remodel: Kitchen Crate

Close your eyes, and imagine you’re in your kitchen. It’s the kitchen you’ve always wanted— with smooth granite countertops, pristinely-finished cabinets, and gleaming hardware fixtures. Glass tile accents glitter in your tumbled tile backsplash, flecked with water from your polished new sink. Kitchen CRATE can make your bath and kitchen dreams a reality, and you deserve to love your kitchen.

431 12th St., Modesto

Best Carpet Care: COIT Cleaning and Restoration

The holidays are the worst time for your carpet. Either it’s clean and your youngest loved ones will see to that, or it’s dirty and your eldest loved ones will see. Whatever the case, give COIT a call and trust that the nation’s largest and most experienced carpet cleaners will clean away your troubles. COIT handles carpet cleaning, drapery and upholstery, residential services like air duct cleaning, area rug cleaning, and so much more. And make sure to check their website for their consistently-thrifty coupons.

4210 Kiernan Ave., Modesto

Best Car Detail: Car Pretty

Your car is a reflection of you. So what about when you can’t even see a reflection? Car Pretty understands. There are a million things to do in a day, and washing your vehicle isn’t always at the top of the list. But with Car Pretty, it can be — and it can be done better than it ever has been before. If you’ve ever wanted to see your faithful steed fully cleaned and detailed, write in a quick stop on your to-do list and be prepared to rake in the compliments. 4207 McHenry Ave., Modesto

Best of Health & Beauty

Best Health Club: Fit Body Boot Camp

If joining a health club is more your speed, Modesto Fit Body Boot Camp is a driven and energetic way to burn fat quickly with the accountability you need and the non-intimidating atmosphere you want. Workouts are designed to be fun, supportive, and challenging and to burn the maximum amount of fat in the least amount of time. Although one-on-one trainers can be very helpful, for some it’s more motivating to be in a group setting — and Fit Body Boot Camp, headed by Sonya Gonzalez, is perfect for that.

Multiple Locations

Best Yoga: Village Yoga Center

Find your inner peace this holiday season, and stop by Village Yoga Center. The Center can help reduce stress, balance emotions, increase flexibility, improve concentration, and improve sleep quality. Trained teachers are there to help with beginning, intermediate, advanced, Pre-Natal and Hot yoga. They also offer meditation training, Kirtan, Aikido, and Zumba.

1700 McHenry Ave., Modesto

Best Personal Training Facility:
Studio V Pilates & Fitness

It’s almost the holidays and if anyone can help you stay in shape, it’s Stanislaus County’s Best Personal Training Facility, Studio V. This all-around wellness studio promotes healthy eating, making better choices and personal education about food. Included in this are weight loss programs that focus on the psychology of fitness, nutrition and positive motivation.

Owner Victoria Popoff, master of the V-Sit, came from a background in psychology and incorporates her knowledge in each program at the studio. And it really shows. Along with a team of experienced trainers, Studio V boasts a countless number of positive reviews and classes ranging from Aerial Yoga to Pilates. If body reforming is on your mind, they have plenty of reformers for you.


If you want to give Studio V a test drive, there are a few free classes on the Class Schedule, located on their website. Make sure to call ahead and try to schedule a one-on-one with a certified trainer before attending a group class to ensure maximum comfort with the equipment. And say goodbye to those holiday pounds!
4345 Spyres Way, Ste. 201, Modesto

Best Cosmetic Dentist: Nicholas Poblete, DDS

If you absolutely have to get dentistry done, we don’t know anyone better than Dr. Nicholas Poblete. With over 10 years of experience and a habit of developing relationships of trust with each patient, Dr. Poblete’s office is one that puts people first. His dedication cultivates programs to improve the health of his community.

1908 Coffee Rd., Modesto

Best Nail Salon: Panache Salon

Need your hair, skin, and nails done, but don’t want to run from salon to salon? Panache Salon has got you covered. Just give them a call and schedule your appointment and you’re set. Do you miss that sun kissed glow from summer? Look into their VersaPRO spray tan system and renew that tan as you navigate the winter months.

3430 Tully Rd., Ste. 28, Modesto

Best Family Dentist: Salida Surgery CenterIt’s easy to be afraid of the dentist when you’re young, and Salida Surgery Center has been promising outstanding dental care for both children and patients with special needs since their establishment in 2004. All dentists in the office provide thorough exams and full, clear descriptions of treatment plans — and best of all, most dental treatments can be completed in one visit.

5712 Pirrone Rd., Salida

Best Day Spa: Spa Magnolia

The holidays can be stressful: Let Spa Magnolia, Modesto’s best day spa, rejuvenate you through a variety of spa treatments. This small oasis serves as your escape from the hustle and bustle of life where you can relax and get in touch with your essential self. With beautiful treatment rooms and skillful therapists, Spa Magnolia assures a soothing experience for all. Your well-being is in good hands.

4345 Spyres Way, Ste. 202, Modesto

Best Physical Therapy: Golden Bear Physical TherapyGolden Bear Physical Therapy has a focus on recovery and wellness, using specially-designed exercises to help patients regain or improve physical ability. Their high approval rating is due to their thorough evaluations, individualized patient programs, and unparalleled patient education. There are several locations in the Central Valley including Turlock, Modesto, Patterson, Oakdale and Manteca.

1335 Coffee Rd., Modesto

Best Acupuncture: Dr. Calvin Lee – Surgical Artistry

Here at Contentment Health, we think you’re beautiful just the way you are. But if you’re feeling under the weather, you might want to look into Surgical Artistry’s Dr. Calvin Lee, the best acupuncturist in Stanislaus County. Acupuncture is believed to be a useful treatment in headache, menstrual cramps, myofascial pain, lower back pain and carpal tunnel. Don’t let fear of needles keep you in pain — Dr. Lee insists that 80 percent of patients barely feel a thing, and the other 20 percent liken it to a small mosquito bite.

2336 Sylvan Ave., Modesto

Best of Shopping

Best Women’s Boutique:
The Boutique at Salon Salon
Looking for the perfect outfit for your holiday parties this season? The Boutique at Salon Salon can send you to your outings in style. The Boutique is considered Modesto’s finest for women’s fashion – so it’s no wonder how they ended up as one of Stanislaus County’s best shopping destinations. From Kate Spade handbags to Tom Ford sunglasses, The Boutique strives to provide the best of the best.This local destination has every ounce of glamor you’d expect from a boutique in a big city. The owner, Karen Ciccarelli, ensures that the store stocks the latest international fashions and employs a friendly, knowledgeable staff. The Boutique offers clothes from countless high fashion brands, such as Trina Turk, Eileen Fisher, Chan Luu, White + Warren, Elie Tahari, Milly, and James Perse.

The best sales are typically found in the back, offering large discounts on name brand clothing. One customer snagged a Rebecca Taylor jacket, normally priced at $550, for the heavily-discounted price of $275. To grab a few deals of your own, make The Boutique at Salon Salon a regular stop on your shopping sprees.
1700 McHenry Ave., Ste. 29A, Modesto

Best Shopping Center: McHenry Village

McHenry Village hosts a number of great shops in a quaint garden setting. Plenty of our Stanislaus County’s Best Ofs reside in McHenry Village, including La Parilla, Fun Sport Bikes, Village Yoga, Ragamuffin, and Village Bakery. This little village has a lot of promise, especially for holiday shopping. Other great shops include Sprout’s Farmers Market, Bianca’s Bridal Couture, and Mulberry. Gift certificates are available at the McHenry Village Office.

1700 McHenry Ave., Modesto


Best Children’s Clothing Retailer: Raggamuffin

Homegrown and well-loved, Ragamuffin has become one of the largest stores in McHenry Village since opening in 1985. The store offers unique clothing and gift items for little ones. From infants to girls size 16 and boys size 10, Ragamuffin has it all. They also offer a selection of great accessories, books, toys, and gifts, all of which can be personally wrapped at no extra charge.

1700 McHenry Ave., Ste. 24, Modesto

Best Accessories: Fleur de Lis

European-style flair in the Central Valley? It’s more likely than you’d think. Ruth Merritt, the brilliant designer behind Fleur De Lis, lends her expert eye to offering a number of unique accessories. They also carry Kate Spade coffee cups and Fredric purses.

920 16th St., Modesto

Best Art Gallery: The Chartreuse Muse

The Chartreuse Muse is a little bit of everything that cultured Stanislaus County residents crave. Not only does The Muse showcase works in a wide range of media from both local and regional artists, they also teach courses to suit all interests. Students can be anywhere from preschool to adulthood, and all skill levels are welcome. It’s never too late to unleash your inner Muse.

918 10th St., Modesto

Best Antiques: Crow Trading Co.

Giving your home that certain je nails se quois doesn’t have to be hard. Crow Trading Co., right in downtown Modesto, has everything you need in a unique blend of antique and modern furniture. No matter what style your house is, or what feel you’re going for – be it tribal or any number of others – you’ll probably find it here. And it’s not all home décor – they also offer accessories, art, lighting, jewelry, gifts, greeting cards, and more.

The store is family owned and operated and has a wide range of prices and styles. Owners Skip and Jennifer Williams have been antique dealers for over twenty years. They love helping customers find that perfect accent piece, and this dedication – in addition to the quality of their stock – is what made them a local favorite.

Crow Trading Window yellow tbl trailers

And with the holidays approaching, Crow Trading Co. might just be the perfect stop for those hard-to-buy-for friends and loved ones. With the range of items offered, you’re guaranteed to find the perfect gift – or at least, the most unique one. 1208 J St., Modesto

Best Appliance Store: Direct Appliance

Remodeling is hard enough – why not take the guesswork out of it? Direct Appliance is locally owned and a member of the Brand Source buying group, meaning they promise the best price, the best product, and the best people to complete the order. And they do countertops, flooring, and repair. It’s the perfect choice for one-stop remodeling.

2424 McHenry Ave., Modesto


Best Florist: Twigs & Stems

Even if you’ve never been inside, you might already know Twigs and Stems by its uniquely-green entranceway. With custom flower arrangements prepared by a true professional, Twigs and Stems is a Stanislaus County favorite and perfect for every occasion. Every arrangement has a unique flair and the floral design staff are skilled enough to give you just what you want, every time.

429 McHenry Ave., Modesto


Best Bike Shop: Fun Sport BikesLooking for a nice, new bike? Look no further than Fun Sport Bikes, with all the latest in biking brands and technology. Fun Sport Bikes provides the highest-quality brands at the most affordable prices so that customers can enjoy the best cycling experience without breaking the bank.

They feature leading brands such as Fit Bikes, Trek, Haro, Diamondback, etc. Fun Sport Bikes carry your favorite biking products. Can’t find what you’re looking for? Fun Sport Bikes is always adding new brands to stay up to date in the bike industry. Already have a bike, but it needs some fixing? Fun Sport Bikes also have a repair shop to accommodate your biking needs. Whether you’re in need of fixing a flat tire or need a full tune-up, Fun Sport Bikes has the staff and tools to get you back out on the road. Check out their website and download a repair menu for details.

1700 McHenry Ave., Modesto

Best Nursery: The Greenery

At first glance, one might assume that The Greenery is just a plant nursery, full of roses, shrubs and trees. And though they do carry high quality plants – the best in Stanislaus County, according to the polls – The Greenery also features a gourmet pantry and seasonal decorations. Stonewall Kitchen, the providers of the gourmet pantry, start at local farmers’ markets to ensure the freshest, most delicious snacks, sauces, condiments, mustards and jams. Treat yourself to a trip today to explore the treasures within.

742 E Olive Ave., Turlock

Best Health Food Store: Village Health Foods

If health is your aim, make Village Health Foods your game. The store provides healthy food and vitamins perfect for losing weight, boosting the immune system, or even just generally feeling better. Those who need a little guidance can rely on the experienced staff for opinions and assistance with the wide array of food and supplements so that you leave with exactly what you need.

1700 McHenry Ave., Modesto

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