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What Was the Best Dining Neighborhood in 2014? Eater Friends Weigh In

14th Street remains a favorite.

14th Street, DC.
14th Street, DC.

As per tradition, we've asked a group of journalists, bloggers and friends of Eater to weigh in on the year in food. So far, they've shared their favorite restaurant newcomer, as well as their go-to standbys. They've also described 2014 in one word. Now, friends of Eaters tell us their favorite dining neighborhood.

Michael Birchenall, editor of Food Service Monthly: I don't live in a neighborhood that has food to write about (we're happy that we even rate the chains now) ... sorry Bowie. For me the answer here is not even technically a neighborhood ... I can easily hop on Rt. 50 and head into the outskirts of DC to Union Market and make it a food fest. Now that The BBQ Joint has opened, my wife has figured out that the one hour trip to Andrew Evans' Easton location is no longer a necessity for his ribs ... now in twenty minutes we are in our adopted "neighborhood." Add Red Apron, Rappahannock Oyster, Righteous Cheese, Buffalo & Bergen, Ris, Peregrine Espresso, Lyon (and more) and I can dine in or out and even get my knives sharpened while I eat. Hell, I can even find food or baby bibs at Salt & Sundry. That's my neighborhood.

Svetlana Legetic, Brightest Young Things founder: Is it horrible if I say 14th street?

Nevin Martell, freelance food writer: That title still goes to 14th Street for it's sheer number of top tier options, including Le Diplomate, Kapnos, Pearl Dive, etc.

Holley Simmons, Washington Post Express Dining Editor: I think H Street is really cleaning up its act in terms of the caliber of restaurants and bars. See: Ocopa, D.C. Harvest, Pursuit Wine Bar, and two of my favorite bars in the city - Copy Cat and Church and State, which isn't new but doesn't get nearly as much attention as it deserves

Jeff Dufour, editor of UrbanDaddy: 14th Street. I wasn't aware there was another option.

Tom Sietsema, Washington Post food critic: It's still 14th St. NW, thanks to standard-bearers including Le Diplomate, Doi Moi, Estadio, Kapnos, Etto and company.  They all share welcome consistency.

Jessica Sidman, food editor, Washington City Paper: 14th Street is probably the best place to eat, but Shaw is the best place to drink, which is equally important. Between the Derek Brown bar crawl (Mockingbird HIll, Southern Efficiency, Eat The Rich), All Souls, Right Proper, A&D, and Lost & Found, a night out in Shaw almost definitely means a hangover the next day.

Stefanie Gans, food critic for Northern Virginia Magazine: Is Purcellville the best place to eat in Northern Virginia? No. But it's starting to attract cool restaurants, booze and beer producers and coffee shops, and that's the first step: WK Hearth, Grandale Farm Restaurant, Magnolias at the Mill, Monk's BBQ, Market Burger, Catoctin Creek Distilling Company, Adroit Theory Brewing Company, Corcoran Brewing Company, Old 690 Brewing Company, Belly Love Brewing Company (opened this month), LoCo Joe, Veloville USA (say hi to the combo bike-coffee shop trend), and Lothar's Gourmet Sausages finally landed a storefront.

Maura Judkis, Going Out Guide: I know this is going to sound like a #slatepitch, but I feel like Adams Morgan had a good year! It used to be that the neighborhood had Mintwood Place and a bunch of drunk college kids eating Jumbo Slice, but Roofer's Union, Donburi and Pop's Seabar have been excellent (and classy!) additions. Jack Rose elevated its menu and added Dram and Grain. The Sakuramen folks are opening another place there soon. And the Perry's rooftop remains great.

Rina Rapuano, Zagat DC: I would say 14th Street for dining - but Shaw for drinking.

Carole Sugarman, food critic for Bethesda Magazine: Silver Spring--some innovative new places opened (Urban Butcher, Kaldi's Coffee Bar, Denizen's Brewing), and there are more to come.

David Nellis, "Foodie & the Beast":14th Street - it's gone from being rundown and beat up to block-after-block of beautiful, high-quality restaurants of myriad stripes -love it down there!

Rebecca Cooper, hospitality reporter for The Washington Business Journal: I think 2014 was another year where the answer to this has to be 14th Street, just given the volume of restaurants, the quality of many of them, and the stalwarts in that neighborhood. But I'm thinking next year this may start shifting, and the answer may be Shaw or H Street NE in 2015.

Michael Martinez, producer, The Kojo Nnamdi Show: I'm high on the area that runs from Shaw eastward to Bloomingdale. The stretch of Florida Avenue from 9th St. NW to North Capitol St. connects you with everything from the Ethiopian flavors of Etete to the barbecued goodness of DCity Smokehouse. Venture north from Florida a few blocks and you'll find the Red Hen, which is still flying high. (My second answer to this question would be anywhere besides the 14th St. NW corridor, which needs another moderately expensive to straight-up expensive restaurant like I need more gray hairs.)

Kate Gibbs, Destination DC: Adams Morgan grew up in 2014: Sakura Ramen; Mintwood Place, Pop's Seabar; Roofers Union; refreshed menu and GREAT flowering plants in the sidewalk boxes at Perry's; Cashion's Eat Place.

Laura Hayes, Thrillist and Dining Bisnow: 14th Street.

Tim Carman, Washington Post food writer and The $20 Diner columnist: Allow me to throw a curveball based on my cheap eats beat: I think Silver Spring is the new Little Ethiopia. Along a few square blocks in downtown Silver Spring, you can eat some of the best Ethiopian food anywhere, at places like Lucy, Bete, Abol, Addis Ababa and others.

Eun Yang, NBC4: I like to go back to a few restaurants in several different neighborhoods so it's hard to choose a 'best' dining neighborhood. It's nice to see neighborhood restaurants doing so well.

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