Best Of Palo Alto 2015: Fun Stuff


To view the winners in the Service category

To view the winners in the Retail category

To view the winners in the Food and Drink category

To view the winners in the Restaurants category


In an area that is rapidly being transformed by startup money and commercial development, Antonio's Nut House stands out like a fortress of old-school, unpretentious fun -- the kind of place where patrons let loose, play pool, throw peanut shells on the floor, down shots, sing along to rock ballads from the jukebox and cheer for their favorite sports teams. A loud, proud and beautifully messy throwback bar where people like Mark Zuckerberg go to get away from people like Mark Zuckerberg, the Nuthouse is a carnival of chaos and, according to our readers, the city's top nighttime destination.

321 S. California Ave., Palo Alto; 650-321-2550

Retail Window Displays

See complete listing for Leaf & Petal under Women's Apparel.

Family-Run Business

Sometimes, don't you just want to go someplace where everybody knows your name? Maximart Pharmacy is a store that deserves cheers for its great personal service. On Yelp, this store has received positive reviews for not only its helpful service but also its friendly atmosphere. One review said that Maximart Pharmacy has "a great selection of products from shampoo to Band-Aids to vitamins and everything in between." This store makes you feel like you're not just a customer but a person.

240 Cambridge Ave., Palo Alto, 650-327-3922

Creative Local Business

In 2013, Keen Garage opened its doors in Palo Alto to provide apparel and other items to help people live out their best adventures. This store provides a variety of quality footwear and clothing as well as accessories such as backpacks, totes, purses and socks. Keen Garage is also committed to inspiring others to participate in responsible outdoor activities. When visiting the creatively designed store, with its wooden floor and rustic fixtures, one may already feel transported into nature, or maybe summer camp.

278 University Ave., Palo Alto, 650-521-0459;

Place for Live Entertainment

Palo Alto Children's Theatre offers local youth extraordinary performing -- and watching -- opportunities. With its Main Stage and Magic Castle Stage, the Children's Theatre mounts wonderful productions, including the upcoming "Snoopy!!! The Musical" (July 29-Aug. 15), and a special performance called "The American Revolution" (Sept. 25-27) by Chicago's award-winning company, Theatre Unspeakable. The educational arts program includes classes in acting and dance, such as hip hop, ballet and samba.

1305 Middlefield Road, Palo Alto, 650-463-4970;

Place to Take a Visitor

Located right next to the school campus, Stanford University's Cantor Arts Center contains diverse collections that span continents, culture and more than 5,000 years of art history. There are public tours of the art center many times throughout the week. In addition, the Cool Café is located there and features delicious gourmet sandwiches, soups, salads and fresh desserts. It's a great place to eat, take a break or rest. Admission into the Cantor is free, and it is open six days a week: Wednesday through Monday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. (Thursday from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.).

328 Lomita Drive, Stanford, 650-723-4177;

What is democracy worth to you?
Support local journalism.


3 people like this
Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 24, 2015 at 7:54 am

We have very few gems in Palo Alto for fun. However, the Winter Lodge ice skating rink should be listed. Now that the Palo Alto Bowl has gone, where else is there somewhere teens can go and parents know they are relatively safe and having fun?

5 people like this
Posted by Online Name
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Jul 24, 2015 at 8:06 am

For adults wanting live music, we have to go Elsewhere: Redwood City, SF, SJ, the East Bay. Too bad because we used to have The Gatehouse for Jazz, JJ's Blues Cafe in Mountain View, Los Altos Bar & Grill (the real one) on Main St.

And now...?

3 people like this
Posted by lindaloo
a resident of College Terrace
on Jul 24, 2015 at 11:05 am

Indeed. We also had the outdoor courtyard at the New Varsity Theater (remember Michael Hedges, Tuck & Patti?), Jose's near CA Ave. (remember Tony Miles?) Good times. Yes, I know I'm talking about the 70', 80's and 90's. Still . . .

Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

Stay informed

Get daily headlines sent straight to your inbox.

After experiencing harassment, owner of Zareen's restaurants speaks out about Islamophobia, racism
By Elena Kadvany | 28 comments | 7,141 views

Don't Miss Your Exit (and other lessons from an EV drive)
By Sherry Listgarten | 14 comments | 2,387 views

Goodbye Food Waste!
By Laura Stec | 8 comments | 2,291 views

Premarital and Couples: Tips for Hearing (Listening) and Being Known
By Chandrama Anderson | 0 comments | 814 views

Is racism also a local problem?
By Diana Diamond | 21 comments | 588 views


Register today!

​On Friday, October 11, join us at the Palo Alto Baylands for a 5K walk, 5K run, 10K run or half marathon! All proceeds benefit local nonprofits serving children and families.

Learn More