News & Politics

Washingtonian’s Most Popular Articles in 2019

Our most-clicked-on stories this year.

Photograph of "The Handmaid's Tale" filming this past February in DC by Evy Mages

1. What Happened After My 13-Year-Old Son Joined the Alt-Right

An anonymous mother tells the story of how her son, “Sam,” became entranced by alt-right hucksters after a distressing incident at his school in the DC suburbs. By far, Facebook was the biggest source of traffic to the story, as people mostly discussed it in light of their own kids’ beliefs and whether the mom did enough. (In a depressing reminder of the times we live in, many blowhards on Facebook and Twitter claimed that the story—which, I mean, do we have to say Washingtonian carefully fact-checked it? We did!—had to have been fabricated).

2. The 100 Very Best Restaurants in Washington

Our annual list of the top DC-area fine-dining spots crowned Minibar as the very best of the Very Best. What will take the top spot next year? You’ll find out in our February issue, out at the end of January.

3. “The Handmaid’s Tale” Is Filming on the National Mall and the Photos Are Kinda Intense

The future Margaret Atwood foresaw in 1985 came to life in a head-turning manner this past February, when Washingtonian photograph Evy Mages captured images of more than 200 red-robed Handmaids genuflecting in front of the Lincoln Memorial while Elisabeth Moss, Joseph Fiennes, and Yvonne Strahovski were at the top of the steps.

4. Sleep Divorce Is a Thing—and It’s on the Rise

Jessica M. Goldstein’s health story from our October issue got an unexpected boost from the Drudge Report, then rocketed around the internet. Key takeaway if you’ve got a partner who snores: “When sleep is measured objectively in couples, people sleep a bit worse when they share a bed,” social scientist Wendy Troxel told Goldstein.

5. A Massive Sculpture of an African American Last Supper, Hidden for Years, Has Been Discovered in Columbia Heights

Joy Zinoman’s renovation of a building on Holmead Place, Northwest, took a turn she could have never foreseen when workers found a 232-square-foot relief by DC sculptor Akili Ron Anderson hidden behind the drywall of the former New Home Baptist Church, which moved out of the building in the 1990s. Since then, Zinoman has been working diligently to find a new home for the work—several institutions have expressed interest, and one is studying how it might remove the frieze.

6. Inside the Pampered and Personalized World of DC’s VIP Diners

The rich and powerful aren’t like you and me: They breeze into their favorite booths, sometimes from a private back door, and they don’t even have to wait for their complete party to arrive before they sit down! Who gets this treatment? At Le Diplomat, they’re called PPX, or personnes particulièrement extraordinaires; at José Andrés’s restaurants swells are known as PGs–preferred guests, with a color system that flags just how important they are. In fact, Jessica Sidman writes, the biggest lie restaurateurs tell is that everyone is treated the same.

7. The Impeachment Loophole No One’s Talking About

The conventional logic that Republicans wouldn’t allow President Trump to be removed from office in a Senate trial doesn’t take into account a peculiarity of the body’s rules for impeachment, Laurence Tribe tells Ben Wofford: Removing Trump requires only a two-thirds vote of the Senators present. If every Republican found themselves unavoidably delayed by the Red Line on the morning of a vote, well…

8. A Giant Holiday Maze Is Coming to Nationals Park This Winter

Back in June, the idea that the Nats might make the postseason, let alone become World Series champs, was so far-fetched that Kalina Newman didn’t even mention it in this preview of the Enchant Christmas immersive experience!

9. Minibar Is the Best Restaurant in Washington

Every year, we preview the 100 Very Best Restaurants list with a blog post like this, which includes the Top 25 restos on the list. Can’t wait till we publish the full list online? Buy a magazine! It helps keeps a lot of great journalists, and also me, employed.

10. Here Are the 2020 Michelin Star Restaurants for DC

Hmm, I’m beginning to think Washingtonian‘s audience cares about food and dining. Still, as Ann Limpert wrote at the time, 2019 was a “year of one-star surprises, not major shakeups.” Michelin’s biggest surprises were the omissions: Bad Saint, bumped off the Bib Gourmand list, didn’t earn any stars, and Little Serow, Centrolina, and Del Mar all remained in the tire-guide wilderness, as did the states of Maryland and Virginia (with the exception of the Inn at Little Washington).

Senior editor

Andrew Beaujon joined Washingtonian in late 2014. He was previously with the Poynter Institute,, and Washington City Paper. His book A Bigger Field Awaits Us: The Scottish Soccer Team That Fought the Great War was published in 2018. He lives in Del Ray.