Best Bowling Alley - 2002
Yerba Buena Bowling Center
San Francisco is weird about bowling. The late, lamented Japantown Bowl had to jazz things up with its kegling-by-black-light "cyberbowl" experience, Pacifica's Sea Bowl features a karaoke night, and all too many local alleys are crammed with hipsters in expensive vintage shirts congratulating themselves on their well-cultivated sense of irony ("We're bowling, Kyle! We're really bowling, like dumb Midwesterners!"). Yeah, well, some of us dumb Midwestern transplants would like to just bowl a simple friggin' game, thank you very much, and while the Yerba Buena Bowling Center doesn't serve Old Milwaukee, it does keep things simple. With a dozen lanes and a no-frills setup, the YBBC offers a fun way to kill an hour or two should you happen to be in the neighborhood (the place is rarely busy; in fact, we've had a hard time convincing people that it actually exists). Show up on weekdays between 11:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. and you can enjoy Lunch and Bowl: two games, shoe rental, a hot dog, and a soft drink -- all for $12 for adults, $10 for children and seniors. Oh, and from 9 p.m. to midnight on Fridays and Saturdays, they do the black-light "cyberbowl" thing. Have fun, Kyle.