As is the tradition at Eater, our closeout of the year is a survey of friends, industry types and bloggers. For our first question, friends of Eater weigh-in on their top restaurant, biggest regrets and addresses most searched on their Google Maps.
Q. What was the best dining neighborhood in 2014?
James Norton, editor of Heavy Table and author of the "Wendigo's Credit Card": "38th and Nicollet and thereabouts. Hola Arepa, Kyatchi, Five Watt, the soon-to-open Nighthawks, Blackbird - it's a huge amount of firepower on a small patch of land."
Stephanie March senior food editor Mpls. St. Paul Magazine. "Just... St. Paul."
Jason DeRusha anchor, WCCO; contributing editor Mpls. St. Paul Magazine. "East Side of St. Paul. Tongue & Cheek is a great new restaurant, Ward 6 continues to do it right, Strip Club is now the old man of that neighborhood, and I just had a really fun meal at Yarusso Bros.!"
Jessica Fleming, food critic for the Pioneer Press. "South Minneapolis."
Mecca Bos, food critic City Pages. "It's finally a good time to be downtown. For so long, the scene was a little 'meh,' but now some of the finest of all the fine are there-- Borough, Spoon and Stable, Brasserie Zentral and Foreign Legion, Workshop. You can finally grab the in-laws and show off our big city, all grown up."
Josie Franske, editorial assistant Minnesota Monthly. "The North Loop is still as hot as it gets (and home to so many of my favorites, like Black Sheep Pizza, the Bachelor Farmer, Smack Shack, Bar La Grassa), especially with the opening of Spoon and Stable, but I’d like to nominate the stretch of Nicollet Ave. between 35th and 45th or so. There’s so much goodness there—Hola Arepa, Corner Table, Blackbird, Sun Street Breads, Five Watt Coffee, Revival (jumping the gun, but I cannot WAIT)."
Joy Summers, editor Eater Minneapolis. "I'm also hanging around that stretch of Kingfield and the adjoining whatever-it's-called area is. The stretch of Nicollet Avenue that Open Streets was held on this summer - from Sun Street Bread down to Hola Arepa. There are so many lovable eateries in between. Plus, I'd like to grab Josie and we can start camping out in front of Revival any day now. They've promised me a mid-soon opening. My fried chicken fix can't be far now!"