If last year’s list was the road map to area’s iconic dishes, this reader-nominated roundup of Washingtonian’s favorite eats is like a weather vane, vulnerable to capricious appetites of foodies (hello, doughnuts). See whose fried chicken, house-made soda, ramen and Pop-Tarts made the cut, and then make plans to go by clicking on the boldface names to read the restaurants’ reviews, make reservations, and more.
By Lavanya Ramanathan

The 40 Essential Dishes of 2012 30 essential vegetarian eats