Ah, "best of" season. The time of year when every restaurant, yoga studio, circus class and coffee cart smiles wider and distributes fliers begging for a nomination in one of the city's many Best of the Bay issues.

But since 1974, one superlative list has trumped all others: the San Francisco Bay Guardian's. And today, the 2012 Best of the Bay list is out.

Speaking for the far(thest)-left, SFBG not only releases an annual "best of" list; they claim they invented it. And for nearly 40 years, the publication has been shining a spotlight on some of the strongest--and strangest--spots in San Francisco.

Containing both editor and reader curated sections, the exhaustive list spans nearly 200 categories. (Best coffee? Child's play. SFBG has categories for best full-scope roast, best six-way stimulant and best cup.)

Head over to SFBG for the entire list, and check out a few of our favorites in the slideshow below.

Cheers to the Guardian. Here's to another 38 years.

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  • Best Electrostatic Meme

    <a href="http://www.philmcgrew.com/" target="_hplink">Phil McGrew</a>'s picture of eight bolts of lightning hitting the Bay Bridge.

  • Best Deceptively Ephemeral Film Fest

    <a href="http://disposablefilmfest.com/" target="_hplink">The Disposable Film Festival</a>

  • Best BDSM Boosters

    <a href="https://carasresearch.org/" target="_hplink">Community-Academic Consortium for Research on Alternative Sexualities</a>

  • Best Value-Added Waffle (Read: Best Pot Food)

    Canna Organics Stroop Waffe <em>Photo courtesy of Flickr: <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/rhodes/6873340785/" target="_hplink">rhodes</a></em>

  • Best Fades With Flair

    <a href="http://www.newchicagobarbershop.net/" target="_hplink">New Chicago Barbershop #3</a>. Photo courtesy Flickr: <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/insightimaging/4639241042/" target="_hplink">Insight Imaging: John A Ryan Photography</a>

  • Best Pride on Wheels

    San Francisco Lowrider Council. <em>Photo courtesy Flickr: <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/zendritic/4657200006/" target="_hplink">zendritic</a></em>

  • Best Cummunity Center

    <a href="http://www.feelmore510.com/" target="_hplink">Feelmore510</a>. <em>Photo courtesy Flickr: <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/kinkyink/6192597593/" target="_hplink">mrsexsmith</a></em>

  • Best Prayer for Unity

    <a href="http://www.saintcyprianssf.org/" target="_hplink">St. Cyprian's Episcopal Church</a>

  • Best Paws Across America

    <a href="http://www.pawesome.net/" target="_hplink">Pawesome</a>. <em>Photo courtesy Flickr: <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/lonnypaul/5942833569/" target="_hplink">lonnypaul</a></em>

  • Best Hogwarts Greenhouse for Muggles

    <a href="http://crimsonhort.com/" target="_hplink">Crimson Horticultural Rarities </a>

  • Best EPL (English Premiere League) in the AM

    <a href="http://www.dannycoyles.com/" target="_hplink">Danny Coyle's</a>. <em>Photo courtesy Flickr: <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/reidspice/3422852249/" target="_hplink">reidspice</a>. </em>