A sneak peek at our top-tier favorites.

In the restaurant world, 2019 was the year that gave and the year that took away. We lost many favorites—RIP Ray’s the SteaksSally’s Middle NameProof, and Himitsu. But oh, how we gained. This past year brought newcomers like Queen’s EnglishRooster and OwlThompson Italian, and, most importantly, the restaurant who won the top spot in our ranked list: the modern Korean Anju in Dupont Circle.

The list, which hits newsstands today, is the result of nearly a year’s worth of research. Anna Spiegel, Jessica Sidman, Cynthia Hacinli and I visited over 300 restaurants in DC, Maryland, and Virginia. As we have in the last many years, we ranked every one (and whittled endlessly—we felt passionately about around 130 places total).

Our top 20 is an exciting and eclectic mix. There are special-occasion dining rooms like KomiMinibar, and Métier (all former #1 winners). Mediterranean lunch spot Green Almond Pantry, Trinidadian destination Cane, and Ivy City fine-dining room Gravitas are among the first-timers on our list. Other places, like Bresca and Rose’s Luxury, have been around for a while, but are operating at the top of their game. There’s plenty to dig into—at every price point.

The Top 20:

1. Anju

The guys behind the fast-casual Chiko create thrilling Korean plates—and panchan—that both push boundaries and honor tradition.

2. The Dabney

Jeremiah Langhorne’s oft-changing menu is packed with mid-Atlantic indulgences both humble and grand.

3. Sushi Nakazawa

The Trump Hotel location might be a dealbreaker, but there is pitch-perfect omakase happening in this minimalist dining room.

4. Komi

Johnny Monis and Anne Marler’s 17 year-old dining room in Dupont Circle is still putting out thrilling Mediterranean tasting menus.

5. Elle

By day, the Mount Pleasant cafe serves fantastic breakfasts and lunches; at night, the dining room turns out plates that are both surprising and satisfying.

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