As is the tradition at Eater, our closeout of the year is a survey of friends, industry types, bloggers, and readers. We've already covered Top Standbys and Top Newcomers of 2011. Now it's time for Top Dining Neighborhoods. Responses are related in no particular order.
Kieran Lynam[Photo: Capitol Hill, Seattle/Flickr]
Jessica Voelker, online dining editor, The Washingtonian (former lifestyle editor at Seattle Met): Some exciting things happened and are happening in Ballard and South Lake Union (sorta), but Capitol Hill/First Hill was definitely the area to beat?and nobody did. Ba Bar is almost like a bridge between the homely-but-tasty spots in the International District, and the cocktail-coffeeshop culture of Capitol Hill/First Hill. Canon may be my favorite bar in the country. And Artusi is great; I love the whimsical cocktails and the classy, genial staff. Sure, those paintings are a little odd, but?maybe this is my nostalgia for Seattle speaking, but I love that he is able to put those paintings up just because he wants to, even if it isn't advisable. As far as Jason Stratton is concerned, I'm a believer. Can't wait to see what he does next.
Allecia Vermillion, food and drink editor, Seattle Met: The obvious answer: Ballard, Fremont and Capitol Hill. However Queen Anne got some much-needed new additions in the form of LloydMartin, Mezcaleria Oaxaca, Polpetta, La Reve, etc.
Brad Foster, Seattle editor, Thrillist: Cap Hill is the obvious choice & Ballard is the more convenient one...so Ballard, obviously.
Allison Scheff, food and dining editor, Seattle Magazine: I'm trying not to say Capitol Hill.
Surly Gourmand: Most people would say Ballard, but most people are assholes. With a diverse restaurant scene that simultaneously includes lofty dining rooms like Poppy or Sitka & Spruce, AND plebian standbys like Dick's, Capitol Hill has the best range of cuisines and also the widest price range. In fact, the neighborhood itself is like one gigantic fractal meta-restaurant: a restaurant where you choose which restaurant to go to.
Lisa Kennelly, There's a hipster in my latte: Capitol Hill.
Naomi Bishop, The GastroGnome: White Center continues to be the place I’m most likely to drive across town to eat in. Diverse selections, things you can only get there, and with the addition of Zippy’s new location, it wants for nothing.
Amy Pennington, author of Urban Pantry and Apartment Gardening: Hmm....this one is tough. Cap Hill has Presse for late night, Anchovies & Olives, Smith, Dinette, Volunteer Park Cafe, Poppy, Tavern Law, Lark - those are all solid! I probably eat in Capitol Hill more than any other neighborhood.