Paul Wellman

The people have spoken! The 2016 edition of The Santa Barbara Independent’s Best Of Santa Barbara® Readers’ Poll is here, and, quite clearly, it has gone to the dogs ​— ​Dug and Dot Daug to be exact. Inspired by this year’s exceptionally turbulent election season, we have called upon two recently arrived, via Ohio, four-legged residents to help sniff out the best of the best along our little corner of the coast. Old-school fans of democracy, Dug and Dot (the nephew and niece-in-law of S.B.’s most well-known “Angry Poodle”) were ready and willing to roll up their sleeves and take on the hard work of gathering information and being responsible voters.

Their investigation into the best that this city has to offer ​— ​from the restaurants and dog parks to the bars and beaches and beyond ​— ​came directly from you, our loyal readers. Thousands of you filled out our ballots online or in the paper this past summer, and after some careful counting on our end, Dug and Dot set off to get up-close-and-personal sniffs of the stores and services and assorted open-air experiences that you say make life on the Central Coast so darn sweet.

Dug and Dot dutifully wrote to their family in the Midwest, regaling them with all the delightful discoveries they’ve experienced in their adopted hometown of S.B. Their tails have been wagging ever since they got here. We hope the results leave you feeling the same way.

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