Readers Pick: Best and worst poll 2013

What burger joints and rooftop bars do our readers like best? Where do they buy clothes for their kids? Which local figure do they find most villainous?

Best: Food and Drink

Best Brunch

Maple Ave Restaurant. An eclectic—and small—menu at Tim Ma’s Vienna restaurant ranges from soulful shrimp ’n’ grits to scrambled eggs with Chinese sausage, kimchee, and jasmine rice.

Also popular: L’Auberge Chez François, Founding Farmers, Masa 14.

Best Food Truck

Red Hook Lobster Pound. There’s often a line at these trucks that tour the area, but the lobster rolls are worth the wait—try them Maine style (chilled with mayo) or Connecticut (warm and buttery).

Also popular: Pepe, TaKorean, CapMac.

Best Barbecue Joint

Rocklands Barbeque and Grilling Company. The smell of brisket will lure you into one of this local chain’s four locations, but don’t leave without trying the corn pudding and macaroni and cheese.

Also popular: Hill Country, Red Hot & Blue, Famous Dave’s.

Best Burger

Five Guys. The sizeable burgers (if you want only one patty, order a “little”) have made the chain—once a standalone shop in Northern Virginia—a hit nationwide.

Also popular: BGR the Burger Joint, Good Stuff Eatery, Ray’s Hell-Burger.

Best Fries

Five Guys. Our readers’ favorite burger joint serves delicious fries, too. Try them plain or Cajun style.

Also popular: McDonald’s, Bourbon Steak, Good Stuff Eatery.

Best Pizza

2 Amys. Winner of this poll two years running, this Cleveland Park restaurant’s Neapolitan-style pizzas have also earned the place a spot on our 100 Very Best Restaurants list every year since 2006.

Also popular: Pizzeria Orso, Pete’s New Haven Style Apizza, Ledo Pizza.

Best Fried Chicken

Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen. The spicy, crisp coating on this fast-food chain’s birds makes it a hit all around town—and the relatively small price doesn’t hurt.

Also popular: KFC, GBD, Central Michel Richard.

Best Tacos

California Tortilla. A popular spot for a quick lunch, this chain offers tacos hard or soft, filled with fish, pork carnitas, multiple beef and chicken options, or veggies and beans.

Also popular: District Taco, Oyamel, El Centro DF.

Best Doughnuts

Krispy Kreme. Stores in Alexandria, Rockville, and DC’s Dupont Circle offer tons of options, but the original glazed—served immediately after being coated with the chain’s signature icing—are a favorite.

Also popular: Dunkin’ Donuts, GBD, Astro Doughnuts & Fried Chicken.

Best Cupcake

Georgetown Cupcake. It’s no surprise that this M Street shop, with its perpetual line up the block, is a favorite. Our suggestion: Order online in advance to bypass the masses.

Also popular: Baked & Wired, Red Velvet Cupcakery, Sprinkles.

Best Frozen Treat

SweetFrog. This self-serve yogurt shop, with multiple Maryland and Virginia locations, offers more than 70 flavors and abundant toppings—from fresh fruit to Twix bars and cheesecake bites—so everyone can walk away with what he or she likes.

Also popular: FroZenYo, Dolcezza Gelato, Pinkberry.

Best New Restaurant

Pazzo Pomodoro. This Italian restaurant that opened in Vienna last November is popular for pizza, lasagna, and mussels, among other things, but don’t fill up too early—we hear the cannoli’s excellent as well.

Also popular: Le Diplomate, Daikaya Ramen and Izakaya, Range.

Best Butcher Shop

The Organic Butcher of McLean. A knowledgable, friendly staff able to provide seemingly any cut of any animal makes this tiny storefront in downtown McLean a favorite.

Also popular: Red Apron Butcher, Stachowski’s Market, Springfield Butcher.

Best Gourmet Grocery

Whole Foods. With nearly 20 area locations, this chain is popular for its prepared-food-and-salad bar as much as anything—and the Clarendon branch now has a bar with live music on Thursday nights.

Also popular: Wegmans, Balducci’s, Dean & DeLuca.

Best Happy Hour

Chef Geoff’s. With burgers for $5.95 and 32-ounce microbrew mugs for $8.95, it figures that happy hour at Chef Geoff’s four locations is a favorite. And Monday and Tuesday, the specials last all day.

Also popular: 2941, Circa.

Best Cocktail Menu

The Gibson. The martinis, fizzes, and sours at this speakeasy-style bar near the U Street Metro are great—but make a reservation if you plan to go on a weekend night, as standing’s not allowed.

Also popular: The Passenger, 2941, Barmini.

Best Rooftop

W Hotel. Breathtaking views of the nearby White House, Washington Monument, and other sights balance out overpriced cocktails at the packed P.O.V. bar.

Also popular: Eventide, the Brixton, Perrys.

Best Late-Night Food

Amsterdam Falafelshop. Open until 4 am on weekends, this storefront in Adams Morgan serves simple falafel and fries, which you garnish at the bar of pickles and sauces.

Also popular: Ben’s Chili Bowl, Jumbo Slice, Taylor Gourmet.

Best: Shopping and Beauty

Best Place to Buy Jewelry

Princess Jewelers. This 25-year-old, family-owned shop in Vienna and Rockville specializes in custom designs.

Also popular: Tiny Jewel Box, Tiffany & Co., Lou Lou.

Best Men’s Store

Nordstrom. This department store provides a one-stop men’s shop, on-site tailor and all.

Also popular: Brooks Brothers, Jos. A. Bank, Davelle Clothiers.

Best Consignment Shop

Current Boutique. Part new items, part consignment, this shop—in DC’s Logan Circle, Bethesda, Clarendon, and Old Town—stocks on-trend dresses, discounted designer jeans, and secondhand separates from a range of designers.

Also popular: Secondi, Buffalo Exchange, Second Time Around.

Best Kids’ Clothing

Gap. The BabyGap and Gap Kids locations around Washington are good resources for everyday clothes—graphic tees, shoes, swim trunks, you name it.

Also popular: Nordstrom, Dawn Price Baby, Carter’s.

Best Bookstore

Barnes & Noble. Twelve area locations offer books, periodicals, toys, and games, and several have Starbucks cafes as well as free wi-fi.

Also popular: Kramerbooks, Politics and Prose, One More Page Books.

Best Discount Store

Target. The expansion of this chain in-to the District five years ago has helped its popularity—you’ll find everything from household items to clothing to groceries.

Also popular: Costco, Nordstrom Rack, T.J. Maxx.

Best Blowout

Drybar. Salons that offer nothing but blowouts have popped up all over town—from Bethesda to downtown DC to Reston—but this New York transplant ran away with the category.

Also popular: Bang Salon.

Best Men’s Haircut

Grooming Lounge. An upscale yet relaxed experience for the guy’s guy, this salon—in downtown DC and Tysons Galleria—offers comfy leather chairs and beer while you wait.

Also popular: Diego’s Hair Salon.

Best: Fitness and the Outdoors

Best Gym

Vida Fitness. This gym’s five area locations are known for their vast cardio spaces and luxurious atmosphere—and a rooftop pool at the U Street location.

Also popular: Life Time Fitness, Sport & Health, Gold’s Gym.

Best Fitness Trend

Barre. More barre studios have opened in Washington in the last year than we can count—the mix of dance-inspired strength and flexibility work makes for a sweaty and popular toning workout.

Also popular: CrossFit, yoga, Zumba.

Best: People

Best Local TV Personality

Jim Vance. A perennial favorite, this anchor has been a member of the News4 team for nearly 45 years.

Also popular: Doreen Gentzler, Doug Kammerer, Alison Starling.

Local Hero

Robert Griffin III. In an impressive rookie season, this Heisman winner proved to be a tough team player—in addition to an exceptional quarterback—and became a fan favorite despite a knee injury that required total reconstruction at season’s end.

Also popular: President Obama, Bryce Harper, José Andrés.

The Worst

Most Overhyped Restaurant

Graffiato. Sorry, Mike Isabella, but your two-year-old Italian-inspired restaurant in Chinatown got the most thumbs down.

Also unpopular: Jaleo, Founding Farmers.

Silliest Fitness Trend

32% Crossfit

22% Other

18% Hot Yoga

17% Zumba

11% Prancercise

Worst Food Trend

Cupcakes 59 votes

Doughnuts 44 votes

Other 36

Bacon Everything 18

Tapas/Small Plates 24

Worst Bar

McFadden’s. With more votes than any other bar by a factor of four, this hangout on the edge of Georgetown felt to readers a bit too much like a frat party.

Also unpopular: Lucky Bar, Mad Hatter, Sign of the Whale.

Worst Metro Line

Red: 272 votes

Orange: 73

Green: 63

Other: 72

Worst Road

I-66: 198 votes

I-495: 116

I-95: 56

Other: 80

Worst Sports/Entertainment Venue

42% FedEx

22% RFK Stadium

11% Verizon Center

25% Other

Local Villain

Marion Barry. Is it the less-than-perfect history or the continuing controversy that landed him atop this category two years in a row?

Also unpopular: Redskins owner Dan Snyder, DC mayor Vincent Gray.

This poll appears in the July 2013 issue of The Washingtonian.

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