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Best of D.C. 2018: See what Express readers voted for as their favorite things in Washington

Bomboland Illustration (For Express/Bomboland Illustration (For Express))

One of the great things about D.C. is that everyone ends up here for different reasons. Some are born here. Some grow up — or still live — nearby in Maryland or Virginia. Some move here for college and never leave. Some stay for a little while and then move on. Some come here because of politics. Some don’t want anything to do with politics. That’s part of what makes our annual Best of D.C. issue so fascinating: Much like D.C. itself, it’s always changing, even as certain things stay the same. This year, like last year, we split up the coverage into two sections. One features our staff picks — the places and activities we love the most at the moment. The other is full of your picks — dozens of places to go and things to do as voted on by you, our readers.


Best burgers

1st: Duke’s Grocery, 1513 17th St. NW

2nd: Good Stuff Eatery, multiple locations

3rd: Lucky Buns, 2000 18th St. NW

Best pizza

1st: Timber Pizza Company, 809 Upshur St. NW

2nd: 2Amy’s Neapolitan Pizzeria, 3715 Macomb St. NW

3rd: Wiseguy Pizza, multiple locations

Best ramen

1st: Daikaya, 705 Sixth St. NW

2nd: Toki Underground, 1234 H St. NE

3rd: Sakuramen, 2441 18th St. NW

Best sushi

1st: Sushi Taro, 1503 17th St. NW

2nd: KAZ Sushi Bistro, 1915 I St. NW

3rd: Sushi Capitol, 325 Pennsylvania Ave. SE

Best tacos

1st: District Taco, multiple locations

2nd: Taco Bamba, multiple locations

3rd: Taqueria Habanero, 3710 14th St. NW

Best barbecue

1st: Federalist Pig, 1654 Columbia Road NW

2nd: Hill Country Barbecue Market, 410 Seventh St. NW

3rd: DCity Smokehouse, 203 Florida Ave. NW

Best sandwich

1st: Taylor Gourmet, closed during voting

2nd: Bub and Pop’s, 1815 M St. NW

3rd: Capo Italian Deli, 715 Florida Ave. NW

Best seafood

1st: Hank’s Oyster Bar, multiple locations

2nd: The Salt Line, 79 Potomac Ave. SE

3rd: Fiola Mare, 3050 K St. NW

Best bagels

1st: Bethesda Bagels, multiple locations

2nd: Bullfrog Bagels, multiple locations

3rd: Call Your Mother, 3301 Georgia Ave. NW

Best fast-casual

1st: Shouk, 655 K St. NW; 395 Morse St. NE

2nd: Cava, multiple locations

3rd: &pizza, multiple locations

Best pho

1st: Pho 75, multiple locations

2nd: Pho 14, multiple locations

3rd: Pho Viet, 3513 14th St. NW

Best ice cream/gelato

1st: Ice Cream Jubilee, 301 Water St. SE; 1407 T St. NW

2nd: Dolcezza Gelato, multiple locations

3rd: Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams, 1925 14th St. NW

Best Southeast Asian

1st: Thip Khao, 3462 14th St. NW

2nd: Little Serow, 1511 17th St. NW

3rd: Beau Thai, 1550 Seventh St. NW, Unit A; 3162 Mount Pleasant St. NW

Best Ethiopian

1st: Dukem, 1114-1118 U St. NW

2nd: Ethiopic Restaurant, 401 H St. NE

3rd: Zenebech Restaurant, 2420 18th St. NW

Best Indian

1st: Rasika, 633 D St. NW; 1190 New Hampshire Ave. NW

2nd: Indigo, 243 K St. NE

3rd: Rasa, 1247 First St. SE

Best Middle Eastern/ Mediterranean

1st: Zaytinya, 701 Ninth St. NW

2nd: Maydan, 1346 Florida Ave. NW

3rd: Lebanese Taverna, multiple locations

Best steakhouse

1st: Ray’s The Steaks, 2300 Wilson Blvd., Arlington

2nd: Fogo de Chão, 1101 Pennsylvania Ave. NW; 1775 Tysons Blvd., Suite 50, McLean, Va.

3rd: BLT Steak, 1625 I St. NW

Best doughnut

1st: District Doughnut, multiple locations

2nd: Astro Doughnuts & Fried Chicken, 1308 G St. NW; 7511 Leesburg Pike, Falls Church

3rd: Sugar Shack Donuts & Coffee, multiple locations

Best bakery

1st: Baked & Wired, 1052 Thomas Jefferson St. NW

2nd: Little Red Fox, 5035 Connecticut Ave. NW

3rd: A Baked Joint, 440 K St. NW

Best coffee

1st: Compass Coffee, multiple locations

2nd: La Colombe Coffee Roasters, multiple locations

3rd: Northside Social Coffee & Wine, 3211 Wilson Blvd., Arlington; 205 Park Ave., Falls Church

Best bottomless brunch

1st: Ambar, 523 Eighth St. SE; 2901 Wilson Blvd., Arlington

2nd (tie): El Centro D.F., multiple locations

2nd (tie): Cava Mezze, multiple locations

Best vegan restaurant

1st: Shouk, 655 K St. NW; 395 Morse St. NE

2nd: Fancy Radish, 600 H St. NE

3rd: NuVegan Cafe, multiple locations


Best dive bar

1st: The Pug, 1234 H St. NE

2nd: Showtime, 113 Rhode Island Ave. NW

3rd: Quarry House, 8401 Georgia Ave., Silver Spring

Best bar for cocktails

1st: Columbia Room, 124 Blagden Alley NW

2nd: Copycat Co., 1110 H St. NE

3rd: The Green Zone, 2226 18th St. NW

Best place to drink outdoors

1st: Dacha Beer Garden, 1600 Seventh St. NW

2nd: The Salt Line, 79 Potomac Ave. SE

3rd: The Midlands Beer Garden, 3333 Georgia Ave. NW

Best distillery

1st: Don Ciccio & Figli, 6031 Kansas Ave. NW

2nd: Cotton & Reed, 1330 Fifth St. NE

3rd: Republic Restoratives, 1369 New York Ave. NE

Best brewery

1st: Port City Brewing Company, 3950 Wheeler Ave., Alexandria

2nd: Right Proper Brewing Company, 624 T St. NW; 920 Girard St. NE

3rd: DC Brau Brewing Company, 3178-B Bladensburg Road NE

Best craft beer bar

1st: ChurchKey, 1337 14th St. NW

2nd: Meridian Pint, 3400 11th St. NW

3rd: Pizzeria Paradiso, multiple locations

Best winery

1st: City Winery, 1350 Okie St. NE

2nd: District Winery, 385 Water St. SE

3rd: Early Mountain Vineyards, 6109 Wolftown-Hood Road, Madison, Va.

Best wine bar

1st: Maxwell Park, 1336 Ninth St. NW

2nd: Primrose, 3000 12th St. NE

3rd: Flight Wine Bar, 777 Sixth St. NW

Best rooftop bar

1st: POV at W Washington DC, 515 15th St. NW

2nd: DC9, 1940 Ninth St. NW

3rd: The Brixton, 901 U St. NW

Best place to dance

1st: Little Miss Whiskey’s Golden Dollar, 1104 H St. NE

2nd: Eighteenth Street Lounge, 1212 18th St. NW

3rd: Rock and Roll Hotel, 1353 H St. NE

Best gay bar

1st: Nellie’s Sports Bar, 900 U St. NW

2nd: Pitchers, 2317 18th St. NW

3rd (tie): Trade, 1410 14th St. NW

3rd (tie): The Dirty Goose, 913 U St. NW

D.C. Life

Best yoga studio

1st: Yoga District, multiple locations

2nd: Yoga Heights, 3506 Georgia Ave. NW; 255 Carroll St. NW

3rd: Flow Yoga Center, 1450 P St. NW; 1508 14th St. NW

Best gym

1st: Vida Fitness, multiple locations

2nd: Washington Sports Club, multiple locations

3rd (tie): Mint, 1724 California St. NW; 1346 Florida Ave. NW

3rd (tie): Off Road, multiple locations

Best fitness class

1st: B.Fit, 1339 14th St. NW

2nd: Orangetheory Fitness, multiple locations

3rd (tie): SoulCycle, multiple locations

3rd (tie): Solidcore, multiple locations

Best bike shop

1st: The Bike Rack, 1412 Q St. NW; 716 Monroe St. NE

2nd: City Bikes, multiple locations

3rd: BicycleSPACE, multiple locations

Best salon

1st: Scissor & Comb, 7009 Carroll Ave., Takoma Park, Md.

2nd: Bang Salon & Spa, multiple locations

3rd: Immortal Beloved, 1831 14th St. NW

Best women’s boutique

1st: Violet, 1924 Eighth St. NW, Suite 115

2nd: Lou Lou, multiple locations

3rd: Current Boutique, multiple locations

Best home goods store

1st: Salt & Sundry, multiple locations

2nd: Miss Pixie’s Furnishings & Whatnot, 1626 14th St. NW

3rd: Tabletop, 1608 20th St. NW; 6927 Laurel Ave., Takoma Park, Md.

Best vintage/consignment shop

1st: Buffalo Exchange, 1318 14th St. NW

2nd (tie): Meeps, 2104 18th St. NW

2nd (tie): Secondi, 1702 Connecticut Ave. NW

Best bookstore

1st: Politics and Prose, multiple locations

2nd: Kramerbooks & Afterwords Cafe, 1517 Connecticut Ave. NW

3rd: Capitol Hill Books, 657 C St. SE

Best non-car commute

1st: Lyft

2nd: Uber

3rd: Metrorail

Best flower shop

1st: UrbanStems,

2nd: Flowers on 14th, 1712 14th St. NW

3rd: Lee’s Flower and Card Shop, 1026 U St. NW

Best dog park

1st: Shirlington Dog Park, 2710 S. Oakland St., Arlington

2nd: Shaw Dog Park, 1673 11th St. NW

3rd: S Street Dog Park, 17th and S streets NW


Best college sports program

1st: University of Maryland

2nd: George Mason University

3rd: Georgetown University

Best college mascot

1st: Testudo the Terrapin (Maryland)

2nd: Jack the Bulldog (Georgetown)

3rd: The Patriot (George Mason)

Best college sports venue

1st: Capital One Arena (Georgetown), 601 F St. NW

2nd: EagleBank Arena (George Mason), 4500 Patriot Circle, Fairfax

3rd: Xfinity Center (Maryland), 8500 Paint Branch Drive, College Park, Md.

Best local pro team

1st: Washington Capitals

2nd: Washington Nationals

3rd: D.C. United

Best local pro sports venue

1st: Nationals Park (Nationals), 1500 South Capitol St. SE

2nd: Capital One Arena (Capitals, Wizards and Mystics), 601 F St. NW

3rd: Audi Field (D.C. United), 100 Potomac Ave. SW

Best sports bar

1st: Penn Quarter Sports Tavern, 639 Indiana Ave. NW

2nd: Penn Social, 801 E St. NW

3rd: Nellie’s Sports Bar, 900 U St. NW

Best food at Nationals Park

1st: Shake Shack, Section 240

2nd: See. You. Tater., Section 106

3rd: Ben’s Chili Bowl, Sections 110, 141 and 317


Best music venue

1st: 9:30 Club, 815 V St. NW

2nd: The Anthem, 901 Wharf St. SW

3rd: The Birchmere, 3701 Mount Vernon Ave., Alexandria

Best place to see comedy

1st: DC Improv, 1140 Connecticut Ave. NW

2nd: Arlington Cinema and Drafthouse, 2903 Columbia Pike, Arlington

3rd: The Big Hunt, 1345 Connecticut Ave. NW

Best large theater company

1st: Signature Theatre, 4200 Campbell Ave., Arlington

2nd: Arena Stage, 1101 Sixth St. SW

3rd: Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company, 641 D St. NW

Best small theater company

1st: Constellation Theatre Company, 1835 14th St. NW

2nd: Mosaic Theater Company, 1333 H St. NE

3rd: GALA Hispanic Theatre, 3333 14th St. NW

Best gallery

1st: Touchstone Gallery, 901 New York Ave. NW

2nd: Artechouse, 1238 Maryland Ave. SW

3rd: Art Enables, 2204 Rhode Island Ave. NE

Best non-Smithsonian museum

1st: National Gallery of Art, 500 17th St. NW

2nd: Newseum, 555 Pennsylvania Ave. NW

3rd: National Museum of Women in the Arts, 1250 New York Ave. NW

Best Smithsonian museum

1st: National Museum of African American History and Culture, 1400 Constitution Ave. NW

2nd: National Portrait Gallery, Eighth and F streets NW

3rd: Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Independence Avenue & Seventh Street SW

Best multi-purpose performance space

1st: Kennedy Center, 2700 F St. NW

2nd: Wolf Trap, 1551 Trap Road, Vienna

3rd: Lincoln Theatre, 1215 U St. NW