A crowd gathers for lunch at the Rappahannock Oyster Bar inside Union Market on Friday, October 5, 2012. (Jahi Chikwendiu/The Washington Post)

The New York Times’s annual list of places to go is aspirational travel porn for most would-be globetrotters, who might be lucky to tick off one or two of the 46 destinations — which range from Rio de Janeiro at No. 1 to Mongolia at No. 15 to Waiheke, New Zealand, at No. 35 — in 2013.

Us locals, though, won’t have to travel very far to begin our around-the-world journey, because D.C. is on the list at No. 44, ahead of Casablanca, Morocco, at No. 45 and Paris at No. 46.

The draw isn’t the inauguration or our monuments: it’s our food. “In recent years, the capital has seen the arrival of a vibrant, independent food scene — one that’s blossoming just in time to welcome a renewed Obama administration,” wrote Ann Mah, the author of the Washington, D.C. section. Among the culinary bright spots cited in the piece: Rappahannock Oyster Co., Graffiato, Toki Underground and Little Serow. Clearly, someone did their homework.

New York Times: The 46 Places to Go in 2013