Best of Washington 2012: Reader Favorites

Best of Washington 2012

Best Brunch

Tabard Inn. Freshly fried doughnuts, tasso-topped eggs Benedict, clever craft cocktails—brunch on Tabard Inn’s sunny, brick-walled patio near DC’s Dupont Circle is a sinfully delicious weekend splurge.

Also popular: Kafe Leopold & Konditorei, Founding Farmers, Busboys and Poets.

Best Food Truck

Curbside Cupcakes. With creative flavors such as Almond Joy and Black Irish Cream, it’s no wonder this confectionery on wheels—circulating in DC, Arlington, and Montgomery County—attracts long lines of midafternoon sugar-seekers.

Also popular: Rolling Ficelle, Red Hook Lobster Pound, Basil Thyme.

Best Barbecue Joint

Rocklands Barbeque and Grilling Company. You’ll come for the smoky brisket and baby back ribs, but you’ll stay for such homey sides as Texas corn pudding and barbecue baked beans. Four area locations.

Also popular: Carnivore BBQ, Hill Country, Smoke & Barrel.

Best Burger Spot

Five Guys. What started as an Arlington carryout burger joint in 1986 can now be found in 46 states, DC, and six Canadian provinces, thanks to its craveable burgers and consistently good fries.

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

Best Pizza Place

2 Amys. The Neapolitan-style pizza at this popular restaurant in DC’s Cleveland Park is a perennial favorite with Washingtonians.

Also popular: Matchbox, Pete’s New Haven Style Apizza.

Best Bar-Food Menu

Logan Tavern. This neighborhood eatery’s blue-cheese-topped Buffalo shrimp is a favorite with Logan Circle happy-hour noshers.

Also popular: Vinoteca, Galaxy Hut.

Best Happy Hour

La Tasca. A thirsty after-work crowd flocks to La Tasca’s four area locations for boozy sangría, selected draft beers, and house wines—all less than $5.

Also popular: Rocket Bar, Eighteenth Street Lounge.

Best Outdoor Dining

Lauriol Plaza. Frozen margaritas and a rooftop overlooking DC’s 18th Street are the draws at this Tex-Mex institution between Dupont Circle and Adams Morgan.

Also popular: Guapo’s (in DC), Travinia, Sequoia.

Best Rooftop Bar

The Reef. Like your craft brew with a view? The Adams Morgan watering hole has both.

Also popular: POV at the W Hotel, the Red Derby, Perrys.

Best Hotel Bar

Quill. This elegant hideaway tucked inside DC’s historic Jefferson hotel is an ideal spot for your next tête-à-tête.

Also popular: POV at the W, Round Robin at the Willard.

Best Coffee Shop

Starbucks. With hundreds of area locations, Starbucks knows how to keep Washington caffeinated.

Also popular: Tryst, Northside Social, Filter.

Best Frozen Yogurt

Pinkberry. Though this Los Angeles transplant has been swirling its trademark tart-and-tangy yogurt in Washington for only a little over a year, its seven area locations already have legions of fans.

Also popular: FroZenYo, Yogiberry.

Best Candy Store

Chocolate Chocolate. Founded by a pair of chocoholic sisters, this sweet spot on downtown DC’s Connecticut Avenue has been creating confections since 1984.

Also popular: Godiva, Candi’s Candies, Thomas Sweet.

Best Local Chef

Geoff Tracy of Chef Geoff’s. Tracy’s chainlet of friendly, approachable bistros has made this Georgetown University grad a local culinary hero.

Also popular: José Andrés, Mike Isabella.

Best for Manicure/Pedicure

Modern Nails. You can unwind with a nail treatment at this Virginia mall-based chain after a shopping excursion.

Also popular: Blu Water Day Spa, Ivy Nail & Spa, Elizabeth Arden Red Door Spa.

Best Hair Salon

Bubbles. Wallet-friendly prices make these salons a popular choice for beauty on a budget.

Also popular: Simply Bliss Salon, Hair Cuttery, PR at Partners, Bang Salon.

Best Gym/Yoga Studio

Unity Woods. Washington’s oldest yoga studio now boasts three locations and a reputation as one of the country’s most respected yoga centers.

Also popular: Gold’s Gym, LA Fitness, Dahn Yoga.

Best Walking/Biking Trail

Mount Vernon Trail. A favorite with cyclists, this paved path winds along the Potomac River for nearly 18 miles, from Rosslyn to George Washington’s estate.

Also popular: Capital Crescent Trail, C&O Canal Trail.

Best Spot for Free Wi-Fi

Starbucks. Washingtonians like their Web browsing with a side of skinny vanilla latte (no whip).

Also popular: Northside Social, Panera Bread.

Best Public Fountain for Cooling Off

Dupont Circle. Though it’s surrounded by a parade of Metrobuses and honking cab drivers, the fountain is surprisingly serene.

Also popular: World War II Memorial, National Gallery of Art Sculpture Garden.

Best Picnic Spot

Great Falls Park. You’ll find plenty of scenic spots to lay down a blanket in this 800-acre park along the Potomac.

Also popular: Riverbend Park, the Mall.

Best Local Columnist

Eugene Robinson and Ezra Klein (tie). Readers couldn’t choose between the two respected Washington Post columnists.

Also popular: Dana Milbank, Tom Sietsema.

Best Local Sportswriter

Thomas Boswell. You can’t get much more local than Boswell—the native Washingtonian has been with the Post his entire career.

Also popular: Dan Steinberg, Sally Jenkins.

Best Local TV Anchor

Jim Vance.No surprise—the Channel 4 anchor has been a perennial reader favorite for years.

Also popular: Doreen Gentzler.

Best Local Radio Personality

Hot 99.5’s Kane. Kane and his crew have been keeping commuters entertained since 2006.

Also popular: Kojo Nnamdi, Elliot Segal.

Best Local Blog

DCist. Authored by an ever-growing network of bloggers, DCist has made a name for itself since launching in the fall of 2004.

Also popular: Bitches Who Brunch, Prince of Petworth, Capitol Hill Style.