Dean Royal

California Sweet Rides

Best Limo Rental Company: Your nails are perfect and your holiday gown is glowing with sequins, now for the perfect ride to your Cinderella evening. No problem, a quick call to California Sweet Rides and no turning into a pumpkin at midnight! Their chauffeurs are pros, and will make sure you don’t even lose that […]

Gold Bug Park

Best Local Attraction: History buffs know that the best place to go to feel yourself transported to the days of the ’49ers is Gold Bug Park in Placerville, where you can walk into an honest-to-gosh Gold Rush era mine dug out by the scrappy men of that tumultuous time. Listen to a California Gold Rush […]

Heyday Cafe

Best Lunch: Are you a little tired of the standard cheeseburger and fries for lunch? How about a panini instead, and how about making it a chicken with tarragon aioli, mango chutney and provolone? That’s right — our savvy readers know how to get out of the lunch rut and find something unique and tasty, […]

Foothill Taekwondo

Best Martial Arts Business: Taekwondo is a whole body exercise that has developed various techniques to turn all parts of the muscles and joints into protective weapons to use in self-defense. It also seeks to lead to perfection of self, strengthening the mind as well as the body. Intrigued? Check out our readers’ favorite place […]


Best Men’s Store: Whether it’s a plush, luxurious robe or heart-sprinkled Valentine’s Day briefs, Combellack’s has the best in quality menswear for the discerning shopper. Founded 122 years ago, Combellack’s has been the haberdashery of choice for generations of dapper Dans. 339 Main St. Placerville 530-622-2582

Casa Ramos

Best Mexican Food: Picture yourself and your best buddies sitting at a booth or table in a softly lit room, a pitcher of melon margaritas on the table where frosty, salted glasses wait to be filled. Then suddenly a waiter arrives with a Fiesta Platter of mini chimichangas, quesadillas, flautas, taquitos rancheros, chicken taquitos, sour […]

Vitek Mortgage Group

Best Mortgage Company: Perhaps one of the most important decisions you’ll ever make is buying a new home, and the team of mortgage experts at Vitek Mortgage Group can help smooth the sometimes bumpy path to realizing the American Dream. With locations in Cameron Park, 530-672-0106; El Dorado Hills, 916-939-2660; and Placerville, 530-621-0222, take advantage […]

Main Street Music

Best Music Store: Something to note — when it comes to learning to play a musical instrument and chatting with those knowledgeable about what might work best for you — check out Main Street Music. An impressive inventory is topped only by the moxie of the staff. 263 Main St. Placerville 530-622-1357

CD Nails

Best Nail Salon: The holidays are rapidly approaching, and it’s time to put sparking Christmas trees on your toes and tiny reindeer on your fingertips. No problem, check out our readers’ favorite nail salon and they’ll have you twinkling in no time. 4013 Mother Lode Drive Shingle Springs 530-676-0491

Thompson’s Auto & Truck Centers

Best New Car Dealer: For a purchase as large as a new vehicle, you’d better hope you choose the best dealer. No fear … our readers know you should just head for Thompson’s and they’ll find the perfect fit. Generations of locals as well as out-of-towners know they’ll be treated professionally and competently by the […]

Napoli Cafe & Wine Bar

Best New Restaurant: Serving 60 percent Italian specialties and 40 percent classic American bistro style dishes, this new cafe has managed to impress our readers. Maybe it’s because everything is made fresh, in-house, including the pastas and desserts. Or it could be the classic and specialty pizzas that emerge from their wood-fired pizza oven. Check […]

Front Yard Nursery

Best Nursery/Garden Store: The deer have been wreaking havoc with your perfect roses, and you’ve had enough. Go to Front Yard Nursery and not only will they educate you about “deer-proof” plantings, but they will let you know what kinds of plants and flowers do best in the foothills climate. Most of the plants and […]

Gold Country Health Center

Best Nursing Home: If you know your grandmother is in a facility where not only are her nutritional and physical needs met with care and attention, but she also has opportunities to socialize and make new friends, well there goes that worry! At Gold Country, you can be sure your loved one is receiving the […]

Country Lube Express

Best Oil Change: One of the most important things you can to keep your vehicle running well is to change the oil regularly. There’s no excuse to ignore the chore when the folks at Country Lube Express are quick, friendly and located conveniently. 641 Pleasant Valley Road Diamond Springs 530-642-8704

The Paint Spot

Best Paint Store: Nothing like a fresh coat of paint to make your home feel brand-new. Make sure you’ve got the best paint and the proper tools to make the project flow smoothly. Hours are 7 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. […]

Soetaert Quality Painting

Best Painting Company: When you call our readers’ favorite painting business, don’t be surprised when you are given the cell phone number of owner Matt Soetaert himself. It’s that kind of customer service that makes Soetaert Quality Painting the obvious choice. Matt himself will come out and check on your job, not relying on a […]

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Best Patio Dining Company: Don’t be fooled by the vast, 9,500 square feet of fine dining space available at Sienna in El Dorado Hills — it’s also perfect for patio dining, according to Mountain Democrat readers. Perhaps you could kick back with some coconut crunchy shrimp cooked with a pineapple black pepper reduction as you […]

Koby Pest Control

Best Pest Control Company: Creepy, crawly things may be in vogue as Halloween looms, but don’t bet on them surviving after Oct. 31 — as long as Koby is on the job. When the eight-legged furry fellows no longer can be tolerated hanging from your beams, give the experts a call. They’ll handle the spiders, […]

Lees’ Feed & Western Store

Best Pet Shop: Lonely? Last date didn’t work so well? Drop by Lees Feed and pick up a pal who won’t forget to tell you how much they care … and pick up plenty of supplies to keep them happy and healthy. Lees’ has a variety of critters to comfort you and make your life […]

Robinson’s Pharmacy

Best Pharmacy: Located on Main Street in Placerville, Robinson’s has that down-home charm that you just can’t find in the “big city.” The friendly folks waiting on you take time to hear about your needs, and while you’re waiting for your prescription to be filled, you can shop for fun gift items. 359 Main St. […]

Dr. Deborahe Prock

Best Physician: One word describes our readers’ favorite physician: phenomenal. Dr. Prock specializes in ionic detoxification using herbs, natural supplements, lifestyle and nutrition — and she does her own herbal compounding to help keep costs affordable. She’s located in the Smith Flat House Center for Health in Placerville. 2021 Smith Flat Road, Suite A Placerville […]

Pizza Factory

Best Pizza: “We toss ’em … they’re awesome!” Catchy slogan, and apparently our readers agree. Pizza Factory will make your pizza just the way you like it, extra cheese and garlic … name it. In four locations, call for hours. 4570 Pleasant Valley Road Pleasant Valley 530-644-6043 1242 Broadway Placerville 530-626-3034 6536 Pony Express Trail […]

Conforti Plumbing

Best Plumbing: Offering 24-hour emergency service, it’s no wonder Conforti is the first name that springs to mind when your plumbing springs a leak. The plumbing company’s loyal customers will assure you that when the job needs to be done right, this is the place to call. Besides those pesky little emergencies, regular hours are […]

The Pool Place

Best Pool/Spa Company: Our readers know the best place to outfit their back yards for the summer, but did you know that the Pool Place also carries a wonderfully eclectic collection of Christmas holiday decorations? After you get your pool in and surround it with the proper accents and outdoor furniture, check it out for […]

Minuteman Press

Best Printing Company: Like copies flying off a copy machine, Minuteman Press keeps getting the most ballots voted by our readers for consistently great service and attention to detail. They handle all your printing needs, plus will accommodate special orders. Hours are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. 2861 Ray Lawyer Drive Placerville […]

Lyon Real Estate

Best Real Estate Company: Our readers’ top pick for the best real estate company has three locations to serve your needs with professional expertise. Missouri Flat Road (behind McDonald’s), Placerville Contact Brenda Manginelli 530-295-4444 Safeway Center, Cameron Park Contact Brenda Manginelli 530-572-4500 Raley’s Shopping Center, El Dorado Hills Contact Brian Frazier 916-939-5300

Cheryl Webb

Best Realtor: In these tough economic times, it’s not a pleasant thought to have to sell your home. If anyone can make the experience the best it can be, that would be our readers’ pick for top Realtor, Cheryl Webb of Real Living GreatWest Real Estate. Webb also understands that time is valuable, and buyer […]

Rubicon Rentals

Best Rentals: That backyard project has gotten out of control, and it’s time to bring in the big machines. Owners Scott, Melanie and Ryan Bigelow can figure out just what you need to put in that pool and touch up the landscaping, and their reasonable rental prices will fit into your budget. Customers include individual […]


Best Romantic Dining: Ready to pop the question to that special lady? Want to make sure she says, “Yes?” Then hedge your bet by taking her to the Sequoia restaurant in Placerville, where our readers say the most romantic dining may be experienced. The painstakingly restored mansion on Bee Street takes diners back to the […]

Straight Line Roofing

Best Roofing Company: Not only does this company keep a snug roof over your head, it gets involved in many community charitable endeavors and sponsors local sports teams. Since 1999 owner Jack Borba and his 30-member team make sure the job gets done professionally and with quality workmanship. Hours are 7 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. […]

Impressions Salon

Best Salon: “You never get a second chance to make a first impression.” They take that old axiom seriously at our readers’ favorite salon, where ladies and gentlemen have learned they can put their best look forward after a visit to the crew here. 438 Main St. Placerville 530-622-5586

Powell’s Steamer Co. and Pub

Best Seafood: Got a craving for shrimp that won’t go away? No problem, trot on over to Powell’s on Main Street in Placerville and dish up the delights. Powell’s has crab, shrimp and other seafood selections that will have you grinning from gill to gill. Accent that main dish with a creamy bowl of chowder […]

Evergreen Footwear

The shoes here are extremely comfortable and healthy, but fashion is far from sacrificed. Longtime customers find themselves reaching for Evergreen favorites in their closet more often than not. The store also carries luxurious leather purses, jewelry and other accessories. 1224 Broadway, Suite B Placerville 530-626-0693

GS Smog

You know it’s got to be done every other year for most vehicles in California, but why not ease the pain a bit and get your vehicle smogged at our readers’ favorite — GS Smog. They’ll make sure to get you smogged and get you certified so your vehicle can be registered without any hassle. […]

Carnahan Electric Ltd.

There’s one word for why our readers chose Carnahan as the best solar company: integrity. The staff of 10 employed by John Carnahan, who has been in business for more than 30 years, is hard-working and dedicated. And they know solar. Hours are 7:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Monday through Friday and by appointment. 6391 […]

Time Out

Take the time to take a Time Out, and luxuriate in the pampering and spoiling that you deserve. Owner Edie Bullard loves Marilyn Monroe, as evidence by memorabilia at the Apple Hill area spa, and no doubt Marilyn would have loved the treatment she would have found there. Soak in a hot tub and follow […]

Big 5 Sporting Goods

Whether you need free weights to improve your workout, a tennis racket to replace the one you’ve abused for 20 years or a basketball to introduce the kids to the pleasure of the driveway hoop, our readers choose Big 5 to fill their sporting needs. 284 Placerville Drive Placerville 530-295-8290

Henry’s Steakhouse

Red Hawk Casino’s flagship restaurant, Henry’s Steakhouse is dining at its finest, featuring prime, natural and Wagyu steaks, local seafood, lamb, poultry and carefully selected wines from El Dorado, Napa, and Sonoma counties along with wines from around the world. More than 60 wines by the glass and 585 selections are guaranteed to satisfy the […]

Sierra Home Alternatives

As winter whispers its intent on the cool autumn nights, thoughts turn to how you’re going to keep the family snug and cozy with the best heating options. Let the friendly staff at Sierra Home Alternatives help you choose the optimal setup for your happy home. Brand names galore fill the store, which features myriad […]

Amerikan Ichi

Those who really know sushi are amazed to find the variety and quality offered by our readers, tucked into a corner of town in a landlocked county. It might be a bit hard to find, but it’s well worth the search once you have your first delectable bite of the fresh, flavorful offerings. 1234 Broadway […]

Hangtown Tattoo and Body Piercing

OK, you’ve finally decide to go for it. Maybe just a tiny rose above the hip bone … or a butterfly on the shoulder. Make sure you choose the best, and follow our readers’ advice. Owner David Cameron is ready to serve you from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Saturday and from 11 […]

Big O Tires

Now that it’s autumn and winter’s on the way, wouldn’t it be a good idea to get some new tires so your family will be safe? Then go to the best, with two locations to serve your needs. 3321 Durock Road, Cameron Park 530-676-2446 85 Placerville Drive, Placerville 530-622-6956

Placerville Transmission

If it has to do with the transmission, these guys are tops. They also specialize in domestic truck repair, oil changes, brakes, clutch repair, computer replacement, air conditioning … well, you get the picture. Family owned and operated since 1991. 3885 Missouri Flat Road Placerville 530-621-4998

Hangtown Travel

The world beckons and you finally can afford that dream trip. Let the experts at Hangtown Travel get you on your way with no worries, no fuss. Put yourself in their capable hands and enjoy the ride! Hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and 10 a.m. to noon Saturday. 1234 Broadway, […]

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