As is the tradition at Eater, our closeout of the year is a survey of friends, industry types, and bloggers. We already covered this year's restaurant standbys and top newcomers, and asked them to sum up the whole year in dining in one word. Up next: the year's best dining neighborhood. Responses are related in no particular order. Readers, please add your survey answers in the comments.
Nicholas Elmi's Laurel helped make East Passyunk a popular choice. [Photo: Eater Philly]
Q: What was the best dining neighborhood of 2013?
Joy Manning, editor of Edible Philly:
East Passyunk, obviously!
Michael Klein, editor/producer/columnist/blogger for Philly.com:
East Passyunk of course, bias fully admitted. Look for it to be the best dining neighborhood of 2014 as well.
Brian Freedman, critic at Philadelphia Weekly and wine writer/educator:
Caroline Russock, food editor at Philadelphia City Paper:
Between High Street, Talula's Daily, Menagerie and Rosa Blanca, I think that the eating options in Old City-Washington Square are finally not terrible.
A new Cuban diner by Jose Garces stokes new interest in the Market East/almost-Old-City 'hood.[Photo: Eater Philly/Alyssa Maloof]
Danya Henninger, editor of Zagat Philly:
East Passyunk. It started to make news in 2012, but got even better this year. Newcomers Will, Laurel and Noord and ascendant stars like Le Virtu and (the new and improved) Fond have helped turn it into a destination, plus you get Green Aisle and Capogiro and plenty of other restaurants worth a visit. The Avenue also offers the best single-strip bar-crawl opportunity in the city. Example itinerary: Royal Tavern -> Ray's Happy Birthday Bar -> Garage -> POPE -> Stateside -> Cantina Los Caballitos > Birra -> Noir -> Lucky 13
Arthur Etchells, founder of Foobooz:
EPX, but I couldn't really tell you from experience.
This is a bit of a difficult question. I think the most fun dining neighborhood is Chinatown, regardless of what year it is.
Kristina Jenkins, editor of Uwishunu:
Dining on East Passyunk Avenue has never been better.
Kevin McKenzie of Amusing My Bouche::
East Passyunk. With Le Virtu, Will, Fond, Noord, and now Laurel, it's become a murderers' row of great dining.
Holly Moore, industry all-rounder behind HollyEats.com:
33rd and Arch.