CATEGORIES

FOOD & DRINK

Editors' Picks

Best Avocado Toast
Best Tuna Poke
Happy Hours From Around the World
Best Selection of Maryland Beers
Best Dessert for a Birthday Celebration
Best Place to Convert a Junk Food Addict
Most Surprising Place to Find Locally Sourced Food
Restaurant Dream Team
Best New Restaurant
Best Charcuterie
Best Thing on a Board That is Not Charcuterie
Best Place For a Warm Welcome
Best Dining at a Grocery Store

Readers' Picks

New Restaurant
Restaurant in Bethesda
Restaurant in Chevy Chase
Restaurant in Gaithersburg/N. Potomac
Restaurant in Garrett Park/Kensington
Restaurant in Potomac
Restaurant in Rockville/North Bethesda
Restaurant in Silver Spring
Restaurant in Upper Northwest D.C.
Burger
Chef/Restaurateur
Restaurant Décor
Restaurant Service
Sushi
Pizza (Local)
Indian Restaurant
Italian Restaurant
Mexican Restaurant
Middle Eastern Restaurant
Thai Restaurant
Brunch
Cocktails
Happy Hour
Outdoor Dining
Romantic Restaurant

HEALTH

Readers' Picks

Hospital Emergency Room  
Primary Care Practice 
Dermatology Practice 
Orthodontia Practice 
Audiology Practice 
Child Therapist/Psychologist 
Senior Living Community 
In-Home Care 
Physical Therapist for Athletic Injuries

SHOPPING

Editors' Picks

Best Places to Hang Out Now That Barnes & Noble is Closing
Most Promising New Boutique​
Most Anticipated (and Ironic) Store Opening
Best Homegrown Menswear
Best Annual Sidewalk Sale

Readers' Picks

New Store 
Boutique
Shopping Center 
Place to Buy Lingerie
Place to Buy a Cocktail Dress 
Jewelry Store 

HOME

Readers' Picks

Architect for Custom Homes
Builder for Custom Homes
Remodeling Firm
Kitchen Design Firm
Handyman
Place to Buy Outdoor Furniture
New Luxury Apartments
New Luxury Condo
New Townhome Community
Neighborhood for Young Families 

KIDS & SCHOOLS

Editors' Picks

Rain Check
Best Parents Night Out

Readers' Picks

Private School Grades K-8 
Private School Grades 9-12
Private School With Religious Affiliation 
Tutoring Firm
Driving School
Youth Sports Program
Kids Art or Music Classes
Kids Dance Program
Place for Kids Parties
Preschool/Day Care
Summer Day Camp
Sports Camp

ARTS & CULTURE​

Editors' Picks

Best Place to Catch a Rising Music Star
Best Local Festivals
Best Place to Experience Art
Where’s the Better Bowling? 

PETS

Editors' Picks

Best Sleepovers for Your Pets

BEST OF THE REST

Readers' Picks

Movie Theater
Live Music Venue
Place to go Dancing
Financial Adviser
Family Law Practitioner
Car Dealership (for Service)
Veterinary Practice
Event Photographer 
Wedding Cakes

FITNESS & BEAUTY

Editors' Picks

Best Group Fitness Instructor
Best Studio for High-Intensity Classes
Best Killer Hill
Best Workout Scene
Best Workout with a Live DJ
Best New Twist on an Old Favorite
Best Hard-Core Gym
Best Local Relay Race

Reader' Picks

Salon in Bethesda
Salon in Chevy Chase
Salon in Gaithersburg 
Salon in North Bethesda/Rockville 
Salon in Potomac
Salon in Silver Spring
Gym for People Under 40 
Gym for People Over 40 
Spinning Studio 
Barre Studio

YEAR IN REVIEW

Editors' Picks

Biggest Political Oops, Part I
Best Move by the State Legislature (For Montgomery County)
Would Anyone Not Running for County Council At-Large Please Stand Up?
Most Welcome Return
Ho Hum to the Chief
Longest Legal Battle
Marriott Is Coming to Town
Biggest Political Oops, Part II
Instagram Photo Op with the Most Potential

RESTAURANT DREAM TEAM

Editors' Picks


Illustration by Amanda Smallwood

Owners, Zena Polin and Jerry Hollinger

The Daily Dish in Silver Spring and The Dish & Dram in Kensington 

Polin and Hollinger are partners in two warm and inviting restaurants, but we’re especially partial to The Dish & Dram. The food is tasty, delightfully unfussy and made with fresh, locally sourced ingredients. (If the duck confit with braised Boston beans is a special, order it.) The cocktails are terrific—the top-notch Manhattans are garnished with Amarena cherries—and the warm service staff makes you feel like family. That’s everything a neighborhood restaurant should be—any day of the week. Hollinger is the chef, and Polin creates desserts that make us smile at the end of each visit, especially the dreamy Shoofly pie. Add to that the duo’s devotion to philanthropy (Chefs for Equality, Harvey relief, The Keegan Theatre) and you have the very definition of community.


Illustration by Amanda Smallwood

Chef, Phak Duangchandr 

Thai Taste by Kob in Wheaton

More than 20 years ago, chef Phak Duangchandr moved to the D.C. area from Bangkok. After running a Silver Spring carryout for 10 years, she opened Thai Taste by Kob (“Kob” is her nickname) with nephew Max Prasertmate in 2014. For her authentic home-style Thai cooking, Duangchandr turns to family recipes with base flavors she prepares from scratch. She grinds chilies to create made-to-order seasonings and pastes, makes her own vinegar condiments, and puts her own twist on traditional sauces and dishes. Pad Thai at Thai Taste is revelatory, not hackneyed as at many other Thai eateries. 


Illustration by Amanda Smallwood

Bartender, Brian McGahey

Owen’s Ordinary in North Bethesda

McGahey is a certified Level II Sommelier, but he’s responsible for the cocktail program at Owen’s Ordinary at Pike & Rose. Aside from the gregariousness that immediately puts bar guests at ease, McGahey’s cocktail creativity is notable. He loves to highlight Maryland ingredients, such as McCutcheon’s apple butter in the Jack and Helen cocktail, and Sagamore Spirit rye in the Can’t Beet It (yes, made with beet juice, along with Nocello walnut liqueur, lemon juice, chili peppers and ginger).


Illustration by Amanda Smallwood

Manager and Beverage Director, Andra Johnson 

Macon Bistro & Larder in Chevy Chase, D.C.

Johnson has held many jobs in the restaurant business (busser, host, barista, bartender, server, wine director), and she recently earned her Level I Sommelier certification and Level I Cicerone Certified Beer Server status. She handles the door and floor at Macon Bistro with élan and happily discusses her tattoos—her right arm reveals her interest in the Yankees, the left shows various potables. She’s an expert in both subjects, so chat her up, especially if you’re a whiskey lover.


Illustration by Amanda Smallwood

Server, Eric Corpancho

Kapnos Kouzina in Bethesda 

Corpancho, a Gaithersburg native, grew up in the restaurant business doing odd jobs for his father, who manages an outlet of the Manny & Olga’s Pizza chain. He worked his way up from host to food runner to server at Bethesda’s Mon Ami Gabi, moving to Kapnos Kouzina when it opened in 2016. There, he’s all smiles, delivering efficient service that is friendly and informed without being overbearing or obtrusive. He gets extra points for remembering your name and the number of olives you like in your martini, and for going easy on the menu spiel. After a full week at Kapnos Kouzina, Corpancho still picks up late-night shifts at Manny & Olga’s to help his dad.