Best of 2011

We didn’t forget your favorites! It’s just that certain nominees tend to crush the competition year after year. To give other folks a chance, we put these powerhouses in the first-ever Best Of Hall of Fame. Jose Andres: Multiple restaurants, an eclectic Twitter feed (@chefandres), and international fame make this wonderfully mad Spaniard a winner. […]

What began in 1999 as a vegan bakery run out of owner Doron Petersan’s kitchen has grown into a full-scale cafe serving grilled Daiya cheese sandwiches, veggie chili and soy BBQ nuggets. There’s no need to sacrifice flavor for health- and Earth-conscious dessert-scarfing: The cupcakes, in flavors such as red velvet a

The Avalon movie theater is D.C.’s answer to the Sistine Chapel, sans pope and full-frontal nudity. Inside the dome of the main auditorium, the winged gods Mercury and Cupid unfurl a reel of film across the sky — perhaps a prescient metaphor for media streaming.

This U Street bargain basement, where free books greet you at the door, boasts a modern, trendy vibe, with vintage must-haves such as ’70s high-waisted jeans and oversized vibrant silk blouses adorning the racks. Statement accessories such as large cocktail rings sit in glass jewelry cases or on the girly-girl vanity.

Tired of sighing “I’ll have a Diet Coke, please” when everyone else at the table is arguing Chenin versus sauvignon? The Church Tea at Vidalia, a mixture of iced tea and citrus juices garnished with a sprig of mint, is the rare sober cocktail that’s thoughtfully constructed, not overly sweet, and intended for the adult palate. K.P.K.