Cover and section art by Stephanie Torres

Boogie on, party people! The 2021 Best of Ventura County is coming at you right now, and it’s time to get down.

In the pages that follow are your favorite Ventura County businesses, locations and service providers —the people, places and things that you told us, via our online survey, made living in Ventura County cooler, groovier and more far out. It wasn’t easy, I’m sure, having to choose from among so many top contenders, but voters dug down deep to select the very best across the entire spectrum, from antique stores and bowling alleys to veterinarians and wineries.

As always, we feature the top three vote getters in over 150 categories, compiled from responses submitted via our readers’ poll. Indoor and outdoor activities, cuisine that spans the globe and price point, accountants and child care providers and venues for art, fitness or live music. The things you love to do, the people you trust, the businesses you return to again and again: That’s what our Best Of listings represent.

Because Ventura County has so much to offer, and our readers are always so enthusiastic about supporting their favorites, we added a new category this year: the Honorable Mentions. On these pages we list those individuals and enterprises who didn’t quite make it into the Top 3, but were clearly beloved by a lot of locals based on the numerous votes they did receive. We honor them with their own section in 2021.

We heartily congratulate everyone who was recognized in this year’s Best of Ventura County. We also want to take this space to thank you, our readers. Without your input, and your support, we wouldn’t have a Best of Ventura County issue. 

More importantly, however, our readers are the reason why we do what we do, week after week, year after year. VCReporter staff aren’t just employees. We live, breathe  and work in this community. It’s where we pay our rent, buy our food, raise our families, spend our money and pass the time. We love it as much as you do. Thanks for helping us shed light on some of the things that make it so special.

Here’s to 36 years of recognizing the best and brightest among us. May there be many more to come!