Best New Bar

Fauna

Some bars stand out because they scream and shout and beg for your attention. They're the crowded bars, the loud bars, the bars where you have to fight stray elbows and spilled drinks and swamped bartenders. Fauna is not that kind of bar, though it certainly does stand out. Low-lit, unassuming, barely marked, and tucked into a long, narrow former storage closet next door to its big-sister restaurant, Flora, it's easy to miss — but that would be a huge mistake, because Fauna is easily the best bar to enter the already-crowded Uptown nightlife scene in the last year: Always lively though never stray-elbows-level crowded; welcoming and friendly without being pushy about it; sophisticated but still quirky enough to feature as a decor element a Donnie Darko-style stuffed rabbit perched on a tiny chair; and wildly unpretentious considering the drinks are really really good. It's the kind of place that feels a bit like the living room of your very coolest friend, if only your friend were an assassin with a cocktail shaker and somehow had access to really delicious burrata. Fauna may be hard to find, but it's equally hard to forget.

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Best of the East Bay 2017: Readers' Poll Winners

Best of the East Bay 2018: Arts & Music

Best of the East Bay 2017: Goods & Services

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