Best of the County 2023 Readers’ Choice Shopping

Best of the County Shopping

Whether in the market for your next great read, head turning outfit, or bike, here are the Best of the County 2023 readers’ choices for shopping.

Our 2023 Shopping category sponsor is California Girl Jewelry.

Best Bookstore

Book Passage, Corte Madera

The persistent power of the written word lives on at this locally run store that has hosted more than 10,000 author events, classes and community gatherings in its 40-plus year history.

Best Bike Shop

Mike’s Bikes, multiple locations

The growing number of Mike’s Bikes stores in the Bay Area is a testament to the power of their mission statement — to help as many people as they can find a love of bikes. Their team of passionate cyclists can help you find any brand, helmet, or shoe you could possibly need.

Best Bridal Shop

Lea Couture, San Anselmo

Lea will create anything wedding, from a sparkling white wedding gown, to a pastel mother-of-the-bride pantsuit, to a bridesmaid’s dress that smashes the bad stereotypes of bridesmaid dresses. Enter the warm and welcoming store to let Lea guide you through the process. Fall in love with something on the racks? She’ll tailor it to perfection for you. Prefer something custom? Say no more, Lea has you covered. With a wide range of prices, she’s also a great choice for the bride on a budget.

Best Cannabis Dispensary/Delivery

Nice Guys

A well-curated variety of products, a customer service team that works to build experiences to fit each customer, and prompt delivery were the keys to success for a delivery-only service based in Mill Valley.

Best Consignment/Thrift Shop

Stella’s Fine Consignments, San Anselmo

Rethink second-hand clothing as a recycling forum, then add a positive and supportive venue where you can donate, chat, seek advice and inspiration, or comradeship and you’ve got Stella’s.

Best Eyewear

Wink Optics, Mill Valley and San Anselmo

Wink Optics has been serving the Bay Area since the 1980s, providing personalized exams and a wide range of frames. They’re big on indie brands and are also happy to help you with any repairs you might need.

Best Gifts (tie)

Sprig Home & Garden, San Rafael

 (Formerly Garden & Gift Emporium at Chase Ace Hardware)


Don’t be fooled by the facade — this is far from your typical hardware store. The store embraces a California Modern lifestyle with a curated selection of home decor/accessories, candles, jewelry, bath/body and thoughtful gifts.

Best Gifts (tie)

Flourish, Tiburon

Make anyone’s day with these brilliant arrangements.

Best Home Furnishings/Home Accessories

Summer House, Mill Valley

Between a downtown location and an additional showroom, Summer House presents the intersection of style and lifestyle. This business’ 30 years of treasure hunting have resulted in a collection designed to inject spirit into a home. Make sure to check out the curated showroom for larger pieces and the downtown location for anything on the smaller side. If you’re looking for more comfortably rustic than clean and sharp, Summer House is likely to have the unique item you’ve been searching for.

Best Jewelry Store

Sofia Jewelry, Mill Valley

Sofia Jewelry

Serving tourists and locals alike, Sofia is best known for custom designs and upcycling old pieces. Pick something up at an estate sale that has promise? Go to Sofia’s and see what can be done to make that older design shine once again. The shop also offers quality repairs, so if you’ve got a broken clasp or loose setting, they can help. Located just north of the Golden Gate Bridge, Sofia’s is a widely acclaimed destination jeweler that can’t be missed.

Best Kid’s Clothing

SeeSaw Children’s Consignment Shop, San Anselmo

Easily accessible in downtown San Anselmo, SeeSaw is a one-stop shop for any children’s clothing, no matter what your budget is. If your child is going to outgrow their shirts in a year, it’s not hard to see why consignment might be a better choice than brand-new. SeeSaw also offers books, toys, and art supplies, so there’s no need to stop off at Target afterward.

Best Men’s Clothing

Gene Hiller Menswear, Sausalito

Gene Hiller Menswear

Since 1953, Gene Hiller has been providing the Bay Area with fine Italian menswear, personal service, and custom tailoring. Owners Tom and Wayne have a combined total of 75 years of experience in the fashion industry, and have trotted around the globe in search of the finest materials and the latest styles. Be sure to book an appointment, however, as employees will often have less time to attend to walk-in clients than those who have scheduled in advance.

Best Pet Store

Woodlands Pet Food & Treats, Mill Valley

The staff’s enthusiasm about caring for animals is apparent in every interaction, while an extensive assortment of pet foods, leashes, collars and other goodies for pets makes this a regular stop for many.

Best Surf Shop

Proof Lab, Mill Valley

One part surf shop, one part clothing and shoe store, and one part skate shop, the Mill Valley store covers the cool factor for kids, teens and adults, no matter your coastal California, Marin-driven style.

Best Toy Store

Five Little Monkeys, Corte Madera and Novato

This award-winning toy store carries an extensive selection of environmentally friendly and educational toys, games and gifts with high play-value. 

Best Women’s Clothing

Viva Diva Boutique, San Rafael

Who says being a diva doesn’t have to be comfortable? Inside this warm and inviting boutique, you’re bound to find flowing blouses and floral skirts of Free People, right next to the chic leather jackets of Blank NYC. Whatever your body type, the stylists at Viva Diva can help you construct the perfect look for any occasion that’s comfortable enough for you to flop onto your sofa once you get home.


California Girl Jewelry: 2023 Best of the County Shopping

Mother and daughter duo Mariel Baker and Denise Forbes source their own gemstones from all over the world. Specializing in one-of-a-kind pieces, CGJ has over 3,000 loose gemstone and hundreds of finished pieces in their showroom of varying colors and cuts.

What makes CGJ unique?
We hand select the best gemstones available in the world. Even with pavé diamonds, we use the highest quality colorless diamonds.
What inspired you to start California Girl Jewelry?
While working in NYC, Mariel discovered the world of rare colored gemstones. She befriended a jeweler in the Diamond District in New York, and designed her jewelry while adding rare colored gemstones to her collection.
Why Marin?
We operated a very small boutique in San Francisco for over five years and realized that most of our clients were from Marin, and since we both live here, it was a natural choice.