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 Best Standbys, Top Newcomers, and 2012 in a Word. Now it's time for Best Dining Neighborhood. Readers, please add your thoughts to the comments.
Homegrown @ Melrose [Photo: CopyStrands]
Q: What was the best dining neighborhood in 2012?
Allecia Vermillion, food & drink editor, Seattle Metropolitan: Fremont. Easy.
Surly Gourmand, writer/curmudgeon: I've said this before and I'll continue to say it until it's no longer true: CAPITOL HILL. 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. Plus, unlike Ballard or Queen Anne, it doesn't take fifty million years to travel there.
Hanna Raskin, restaurant critic, Seattle Weekly: We need a catchier name for the Pike-Melrose patch of Capitol Hill.
Alicia Arter, Zagat Survey/Google restaurant editor, Seattle: It depends on what you like to eat and who you are, but Capitol Hill and Ballard have lots of choices.
Jennifer Worick, author, Things I Want to Punch in the Face: Ballard, but I'm biased.
Kathleen Flinn, author, The Sharper Your Knife, the Less You Cry: Hands down, Capitol Hill—happens to be my 'hood but it's amazing how much it has changed. That 12th Street area is packed with great places, as is north Broadway.
Erin Thomas, editor, SIP NW: Although the Pike/Pine corridor and Ballard are unstoppable forces of cuisine, it's been nice to see Volunteer Park get some love with additions like Rione XIII and The Wandering Goose, and more cred thrown at Volunteer Park Cafe and Kingfish Cafe.
Linda Miller Nicholson, Salty Seattle: The golden triangle on Capitol Hill that loosely envelopes Spinasse and Artusi, meanders over to Taylor Shellfish and Sitka & Spruce, and stretches all the way over to Lark and Canon.
Scott Heimendinger, director of applied research, Modernist Cuisine: I'd have to go with Ballard. There's great stuff happening all over town, but Ballard has, in my opinion, the best great-restaurant-density in Seattle.
Julien Perry, editor, Eater Seattle: It's not West Seattle where I live, that's for sure. I'd like to say it was somewhere really convenient for me to get to, like Georgetown, but unfortunately for those of us who live across the bridge, we have to drive to Capitol Hill to frequent places like Quinn's, Artusi, Marjorie, Skillet Diner, Melrose Market, La Bete, Dinette, Anchovies & Olives, Bait Shop, Poppy... okay, my fingers are tired.
Leslie Kelly, contributor, Seattle Magazine: From my house in lower Queen Anne, I can walk to South Lake Union in 15 minutes, so I spent a whole lot of dine time there, especially at Serious Biscuit/Pie, Brave Horse, The Wurst Place, Cuoco and various trucks that are all over Amazonia during prime lunch time. So pumped about the arrival of Shanik, too.