Steven and Erika Efada from Santa Barbara Tutoring | Credit: Daniel Dreifuss

Toy Store * Children’s Clothing Store

Chicken Little

A fun place to browse and an easy place to buy, Chicken Little is our readers’ pick for the Best Toy Store and Children’s Clothing Store for the third year running. Some of our readers’ comments: “Helpful, good selection, sale items, nice gift wrap for free” (Anna); “Cute stuff! Unique store” (Karen); and “They have the best toys, says my son” (Katie). This charming shop got its start in 1979, and the children of the original owner (Paula Bouma) carry on her legacy today.

Runner-Up (Toy Store): Bennett’s Toys & Educational Materials

Runner-Up (Children’s Clothing Store): Peanuts Maternity & Kids

Daycare Facilities

Evergreen Learning Center

“It’s been a rough few months, and getting this acknowledgement right now is truly appreciated,” said director/owner Loretta Smargon. “What makes Evergreen so special is the incredible staff that is here every day in their commitment to children and families. There is no doubt they are the BEST and deserve this now more than ever!”

Runner-Up: Rainbow School

Kids’ Summer Camp

Zoo Camp at Santa Barbara Zoo

“Our business had to pivot quite a bit this year,” said Zoo Education Manager JJ McLeod. “We are grateful for our community who has signed up for our programs, donated toward our recovery fund, and continues to show up every day with a smile. We will continue to provide fun, safe experiences for all of our guests and will work hard at providing new and engaging ones as well.”

Runner-Up: Mr. Rob’s Place


Santa Barbara Tutoring

Winning this category for the third year in a row, Executive Director Steven Efada said, “We’ve done our best to create a team of local, experienced tutors who produce great results. It’s an honor to be recognized for doing so. This summer, several of our students had SAT scores in the top one percent in the nation! Although we hope to provide in-person instruction again someday soon, we’ve pivoted to holding tutoring sessions via video conferencing.”

Runner-Up: California Learning Center


Dr. Dan Brennan

“Having grown up in Santa Barbara, it was my lifelong dream to move back to my hometown to care for the kids in our community,” said Dr. Dan Brennan, who’s been delivering compassionate care via telemedicine. “With some creativity and determination, I realized that I could create the 2020 version of an old-fashioned house call. By trading in my little black bag for my little black iPhone, my patients have been able to access care from the comfort of their own living rooms.”

Runner-Up: Dr. Saida Hamdani

Pet Hospital/Clinic

San Roque Pet Hospital

“To all of our wonderful pet parents who voted for us — a huge thank-you! It is an honor and a privilege to care for your furry family members,” said Ann Welton, San Roque Pet Hospital medical director. “Being named the ‘Best of Santa Barbara’ means we are meeting our goal of excellence in compassionate veterinary care for the pets and pet parents in our community.”

Runner-Up: La Cumbre Animal Hospital

Pet Boarding

Dioji K-9 Resort & Athletic Club

“We are fortunate to have the best customers supporting us, even more so during the COVID-19 pandemic,” said owner Jeannie Wendel. “Because of this, we were able to continue supporting the community and remain open when some needed us the most. We are so thankful Santa Barbara County has voted us Best Pet Boarding for the past 13 years.”

Runner-Up: Camp Canine

Pet Store

Lemos Feed & Pet Supply

“It’s been truly amazing to see our community support us over the years, but especially now in the midst of all the craziness. It’s been truly touching,” said manager Raymond Padilla. With locations in Santa Barbara, Goleta, Carpinteria, and Solvang, the pet store has adapted to meet the needs of its customers during the pandemic, offering curbside service and phone orders to make sure that local pets get what they need.

Runner-Up: Pet House

Pet Grooming

The Little Dog House

This year marks the 20th Best Of win for The Little Dog House. “We take a lot of pride in the work that we do and strive to provide the best grooming for doggie clients,” said owner Tyrelle Leger. “We are forever grateful for your continued support and trust for letting us bring out the best look in your doggies.” 

Runner-Up: For Paws Salon

Dog Park

[See Out & About: Beach]

Dog Trainer

K-Nine Solutions

“We are so proud to be selected as Best Dog Trainer for our fifth year in a row,” said owner/head trainer Eric Smith, who created a new PAL (Play and Learn) program to help train puppies who were not able to socialize during the pandemic. “People can drop their puppies off for five hours of supervised socialization and training. It has gotten so popular that we now have to move and find a bigger space!” 

Runner-Up: The Ruff Ranch

* This asterisk indicates the winner won in multiple categories.