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New restaurants aren’t only places where we eat; they dominate dinner conversation, too. Talking about chefs, food, farms, farmers and the newest, weirdest edible trends is our national pastime. Today, what and where you’ve eaten shapes your identity. You are judged by the ramen you slurp and the latte you sip.

Inside this story—the best new restaurants and dishes from the past year—is a small snapshot of what’s out there. (We didn’t include major players already winning accolades, like Vienna’s Clarity, for example.) What you’ll find here are some restaurants you already love and, hopefully, some you’ll be excited to get to know.

By Stefanie Gans

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Social Restaurant & Oyster Bar Trummer’s Coffee & Wine Bar Yona Chase the Submarine Sense of Thai St.
Takumi Hank’s Pasta Bar Stomping Ground Red’s Table Queen Amannisa

Senor Ramon Taqueria, Lena’s Wood-Fired Pizza & Tap, Roll Play, Smokehouse Live, Alsaray, ABC Canteen and Hula Girl

Bagel Uprising: Bagels by the numbers Blend Coffee Bar: The making of a latte

The area’s niche food writers pick their new favorites: Banh Ta Deli, Pepita Cantina, Meda Market, Fair Winds Brewing Company, Yona, Brine, Arterra Wines and Hawkmoth Arts, Texas Jack’s Barbecue

An IM conversation with a professional restaurant tracker, Missy Frederick, editor of Eater DC

FABLE Hospitality’s Neal Wavra on the state of restaurant service

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