Washington DC Named “Restaurant City of the Year” by Bon Appétit

Food and restaurant photographer Scott Suchman gives a talk about his vibrant career. Photograph (Kinship's lobster French toast) by Scott Suchman

The enthusiasm over Washington’s restaurant boom isn’t just a local phenomenon. As part of Bon Appétit’s coverage of the best new restaurants in America, the magazine named Washington its Restaurant City of the Year for 2016 (San Francisco claimed the title last year). The accolade comes on the heels of their announcement of 50 nationwide finalists for the Hot 10—the ten best new restaurants in America—three of which are located in DC.

Besides the Hot 10 nominees, which include the Dabney, Tail Up Goat, and Bad Saint, restaurant editor Andrew Knowlton raves about the rise of “fearless” neighborhood spots such as Maketto, Masseria, Convivial, Kinship, and others.

There are no consensus polls being taken on what diners might want or need,” writes Knowlton. “Instead, these are chefs and restaurateurs who are simply taking their passions and diverse backgrounds and turning those into the restaurants of their dreams.” (Strangely, Knowlton originally premised his story about the honor on the mistaken idea that President Obama plans to leave Washington when his term ends. He’s staying. References to Obama leaving have since vanished from the post with no indication that changes were made.)

The winners for the best new restaurants in America will be announced on August 16. Forks crossed, but given the enthusiasm so far, one (or more) DC names may land on top.

Food Editor

Anna Spiegel covers the dining and drinking scene in her native DC. Prior to joining Washingtonian in 2010, she attended the French Culinary Institute and Columbia University’s MFA program in New York, and held various cooking and writing positions in NYC and in St. John, US Virgin Islands.