Best Tobacconist - 2006
Grant's is a venerable refuge for anyone who still enjoys a contemplative puff of the pipe and the vanishing aroma of smoldering carcinogens. Tucked into only its third location since 1849, this handsome, wood-paneled den is fragrant with history as well as cedar and tobacco. Originally the Sutcliff Pipe Shop, purveyor to prospectors, it was purchased in 1953 by manager Ed Grant, who installed California's first walk-in humidor and began the now-common practice of blending toasted and flavored tobaccos. Today the humidor holds some 60,000 cigars ($21 Maximus Churchills among them), and the tobacco, blended onsite and displayed in big apothecary jars, boasts a global customer base that included both Anwar Sadat and Bing Crosby. The shop also hosts the occasional cigar "tasting" and features an assortment of pipes, imported cigarettes, wooden humidors, a fine array of Colibri lighters, and other essential puff-time paraphernalia.