We asked, you answered. Here’s what readers voted as the best restaurants in the D.C. area.

Best new restaurant

It’s possible to pay a handful of visits to this haute restaurant near NoMa’s Union Market, which just earned a Michelin star, and get different experiences each time. You could have dinner inside the restaurant, snag a coveted seat at the chef’s table near the kitchen or sip cocktails on the secluded, sunny patio. Expect to mix up what’s on your plate, too: Chef and co-owner Nick Stefanelli has been letting his menu of small Italian plates evolve with diners’ palates. “The tasting menu format has allowed people to be more experimental,” he says. Even as he adds more vegetarian options and luxe ingredients like truffles to his menu, some things will never change. “I can’t go two days without eating pasta,” he says. “A bowl of pasta will always be there.” —Lori McCue (1340 Fourth St. NE)
2nd: Bad Saint, 3226 11th St. NW
3rd: Convivial, 801 O St. NW

Best quick lunch

Cava Grill
Craving a super-green salad? A spicy rice bowl? A thick, warm pita stuffed to the brim? You can find all of the above at Cava Grill, which appeals to the very picky and very adventurous, thanks to the chain’s build-your-own approach. Whether you mix your pickled and fresh vegetables, pack your bowl with fall specials like carrots and currants or drench the entire thing in lemon-herb tahini, it’s still pretty healthy — which means you can indulge in the spicy lamb meatballs or crazy feta spread. And you’ll be set till dinnertime. “At 3 p.m., you don’t need a nap or a snack,” says Dimitri Moshovitis, executive chef and co-founder. “You’re just satisfied.” — Zainab Mudallal (Multiple locations)
2nd: Buredo, 825 14th St. NW and 1213 Connecticut Ave. NW
3rd: &pizza, multiple locations

Best food truck

Dirty South Deli
“We’ve always thought of Dirty South Deli as a restaurant on wheels, not just a food truck,” chef and founder Jacob Hunter says of his gourmet sandwich truck. That explains why you’ll see such elevated ingredients as black pepper ricotta and uni on the menu. Drawing from his restaurant background, Hunter builds works of art between slices of bread, including the ever-popular Mr. Chips sandwich: chopped pork, jalapenos, manchego cheese, cilantro and citrus mayo on a brioche bun. – Holley Simmons (dirtysouthdeli.com)
2nd: Swizzler, swizzlerfoods.com
3rd: DC Empanadas, dcempanadas.com

Best bakery

A Baked Joint
At A Baked Joint, head bread bakers Bill Chilcott and Omar Qazi are hard at work early in the mornings making fresh baguettes, herb focaccia or whole-wheat sourdough. The bakery is a celiac disease sufferer’s hell, with carb-heavy treats like focaccia-based pizza dough on Tuesdays and freshly made croissants and carefully crafted sandwich combinations. (Go for the biscuit sammie, a warm meat and veggie breakfast biscuit that includes a fried egg and mayo, or a slice of their fresh bread with peanut butter, Sriracha and cilantro.) If you’re craving some of the sweet flavors of its sister shop, Baked & Wired, the Joint also sells two-layer cakes. — Z.M. (440 K St. NW)
2nd: Little Red Fox, 5035 Connecticut Ave. NW
3rd: Buttercream Bakeshop, 1250 Ninth St. NW

Best spot for vegetarians

Since opening in May, Shouk has become the go-to spot for vegetarians looking for a quick meal. But you won’t find the words “vegan” or “vegetarian” anywhere. Shouk calls its food “plant-based,” an apt descriptor when surveying the bounty of veggies (like roasted cauliflower and sauteed mushrooms) stuffed inside a warm house-made pita, or served in a rice and lentil bowl. Don’t overlook the sides, such as the pizza pita, a half pita filled with tomato burst, tahina and herbs. It might be the best vegan pizza in D.C., even if it doesn’t resemble a traditional pie. — Rudi Greenberg ( 655 K St. NW)
2nd: Busboys and Poets, multiple locations
3rd: Sticky Fingers Sweets & Eats, 1370 Park Road NW

Best late-night snack

Amsterdam Falafelshop
Oily. Salty. Crunchy. Amsterdam Falafelshop achieves a late-night trifecta with well-executed chickpea fritters in the hull of every pita pocket. Combine those falafel balls with late-night judgment and a topping bar packed with crisp salads, pickled vegetables and Middle Eastern condiments and you’ve found a comfort for the walking inebriated. Golden fries double-dunked in oil are lifted higher by curried ketchup and Dutch mayo. Overloading your pita with toppings can cross the line from preventing hangovers to exacerbating them, but in the moment, it’s worth it. — Gabe Hiatt (Multiple locations)
2nd: Jumbo Slice, 2341 18th St. NW
3rd: Ben’s Chili Bowl, multiple locations

Best sandwiches

Taylor Gourmet
Since 2008, Taylor Gourmet has been slinging Philadelphia-style hoagies in the District (and has since expanded to Maryland and Virginia). One thing that elevates the sandwich shop a cut above other chains is its commitment to fresh ingredients — down to the thick rolls that strike a delicate balance between crusty and soft. With a menu that changes quarterly, there’s always something new to try, like this fall’s Colonial, a Thanksgiving leftovers-inspired creation stuffed with turkey, sweet potato and sage ricotta, and ginger cranberry sauce. Earlier this year, Taylor Gourmet won Express and The Washington Post’s first-ever Fast Casual Madness tournament, besting Buredo for the crown. — R.G. (Multiple locations)
2nd: Sundevich, 1314 Ninth St. NW
3rd: Bub and Pop’s, 1815 M St. NW

Best pizza

Timber Pizza Co.
After building up buzz at farmers markets and a pop-up in the former Blind Dog Cafe space in Shaw, Timber Pizza Co. opened its first brick-and-mortar location in Petworth this summer. The cozy space seems suited to such a family-oriented neighborhood, with plenty of community tables and even a couple of oversized swing seats for the kids (OK, and adults). Timber’s fall pies incorporate toppings like chorizo, slow-roasted pork, hot pepper nectarine jam and sweet potato fritters, but why not try one of the shop’s oldest — and most Instagram-friendly — pizzas, the Green Monster? The pie includes pesto, mozzarella, feta cheese, zucchini and kale, and it’s so green it’s practically a salad. — L.M. (809 Upshur St. NW)
2nd: 2 Amys, 3715 Macomb St. NW
3rd: The Italian Store, multiple locations


Best tacos

Taqueria Habanero
Your fingertips tell you all you need to know at Taqueria Habanero. Freshly made tortillas freckled with brown and black spots arrive warm to the touch, blanketing a lineup of fillings without a weak link. Basic grilled chicken and beef satisfy, but the lengua — or beef tongue — is crispy, fatty and tender, delicious enough to convert squeamish diners. Both the tinga (shredded chicken and sausage) and the al pastor (pork with pineapple) boast enough flavor to leave salsa aside. Nopales tacos, with perfectly charred cactus slivers, are a hearty choice for vegetarians. — G.H. (3710 14th St. NW)
2nd: El Rey, 919 U St. NW
3rd: El Sol, 1227 11th St. NW

Best sushi

What Kotobuki lacks in Metrorail accessibility — it’s out in the Palisades — it more than makes up for in authenticity. You won’t find rolls with crazy names or trendy decorations at this tiny, second-floor restaurant, where the line to get in often extends down the stairs, but you will find high-quality fish sliced precisely and set atop perfectly seasoned rice. The menu features classics like tuna sashimi, sea urchin sushi and soft-shell crab roll. Want something warm? Try the kamameshi, a rice dish with vegetables, meat or even eel cooked in a traditional iron pot. — Beth Marlowe (4822 MacArthur Blvd. NW)
2nd: Sushi Taro, 1503 17th St. NW
3rd: Sushi Capitol, 325 Pennsylvania Ave. SE

Best pho

Pho Real
It doesn’t look like much — nondescript shopping center, bare-bones decor, just over a dozen tables. Anyone who knows how to scope out the best versions of the signature Vietnamese noodle soup, though, knows that doesn’t matter. Pho Real’s take boasts a nuanced beef broth and noodles with just the right chewiness, and they don’t skimp on the beef, whichever type you choose. The menu is simple — the only appetizers are spring rolls, available fresh or fried — the place is immaculate, and the service is quick. Good things come in nondescript packages. — Kristen Page-Kirby (13876 Old Columbia Pike, Silver Spring)
2nd: Pho 75, multiple locations
3rd: Pho 14, multiple locations

Best ramen

Check your table manners at the door and prepare to get messy: Daikaya encourages slurping your way to the bottom of every delicious bowl of ramen. The noodles, imported from Japan, are always firm and the broth — available in five varieties, including a stellar vegetarian option — is so rich in flavor your tongue won’t know what’s happening. Thank chef Katsuya Fukushima, who blends ingredients such as chicken feet and seaweed to achieve such depth. — H.S. (705 Sixth St. NW)
2nd: Toki Underground, 1234 H St. NE
3rd: Sakuramen, 2441 18th St. NW

Best coffee

Vigilante Coffee Company
These brew kings have been around since 2012, but they didn’t open their own permanent space until 2014 — and the place already got a major remodel earlier this year. (You can also catch them Sundays at Eastern Market.) Vigilante’s caffeinated craftsmen take such pains with their drinks — our advice is to ask questions and take their advice when it comes to recommendations — that it’s not the kind of java you busily slurp on your way to work. They also offer classes, a bar with beer and wine, and live music. — K.P.K. (4327 Gallatin St., Hyattsville, Md.)
2nd: Compass Coffee, multiple locations
3rd: Zeke’s Coffee of DC, 2300 Rhode Island Ave. NE

Best bagels

Bethesda Bagels
When Steve Fleishman applied the bagel-making know-how he learned in New York City to open Bethesda Bagels in 1982, you couldn’t find a decent bagel in the D.C. area. His company has used the same recipe since its founding, continuing to hand-roll its bagels. “Very few bagel places make their bagels by hand — many places use machines,” says Fleishman’s son Danny, a co-owner. “People want a consistent product, and they come back again and again for it.” Over the years, they’ve expanded the range of bagel varieties and added breakfast and lunch sandwiches — particularly popular at their Dupont branch. A Navy Yard outpost opens next spring. — Vanessa H. Larson (4819 Bethesda Ave., Bethesda and 1718 Connecticut Ave. NW)
2nd: Bullfrog Bagels, 317 Seventh St. SE and 1341 H St. NE
3rd: Ize’s Deli & Bagelry, 11622 Rockville Pike, Rockville

Best frozen treats

From a single shop that opened in Georgetown in 2004 to its current army of D.C.-area brick-and-mortar stores, seasonal stands at farmers markets and a factory space near Union Market, Dolcezza has become a D.C. institution. Its delicate artisanal gelato and sorbetto, made daily in small batches, comes in such distinctive (and unconventional) flavors as ginger cardamom pistachio, Thai coconut milk, ricotta and strawberry jam, champagne mango and even hot pepper. You can grab many varieties of coffee to go with your frozen treat, including espresso from Brooklyn’s Stumptown Coffee Roasters. — V.H.L. (Multiple locations)
2nd: Ice Cream Jubilee, 301 Water St. SE and 1407 T St. NW
3rd: Pleasant Pops, 1781 Florida Ave. NW and 731 15th St. NW

More Best Of winners: