Winners: WTOP’s 2020 TOP 10 Contest

August 17, 2020

The votes are in for the best restaurants in the D.C. area serving your sweet tooth, your salty cravings and whatever else whets your appetite. Readers and listeners voted for their favorites in WTOP’s TOP 10 contest. See if your local favorite made the list.

This year is a bit different than the other years the TOP 10 contest has been done, and WTOP wanted to recognize the local businesses and essential work employees have been doing to keep everyone safe and customers fed during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The public health crisis emphasized how important neighborhood restaurants are in the community, so we included a Best Takeout category to reflect how customers shifted from going out to staying in. The nominations showed how much people valued their local dives — that small place with just two chairs and a counter that has the best spring rolls; that place next to the gas station that makes the best sandwich; or that bakery in a shopping center that has the best cannoli.

Moreover, local restaurants and businesses have shown how resilient they are and how they adapted during the pandemic, from changing how they deliver their services to how they sanitize and keep their employees safe.

To show appreciation for the work they are doing and to help during this troubled time, WTOP gave $1,000 to the winners in each category.

A special thanks also goes to D.C.-based artist, Christine Vineyard, of Lidflutters, who designed the WTOP TOP 10 graphic seen above. See more of her work here.

So without further ado, here are the places responsible for your “Quarantine 15” — WTOP’s 2020 TOP 10 contest winners.

Best Barbecue

Rocklands Barbeque and Grilling Company

Wood-only barbecue with locations in Arlington, Alexandria and D.C.

Runner-up: The Bone

See the TOP 10 places with the best barbecues.

Best Brewery

Chesepiooc Real Ale Brewery

2408 Crofton Blvd., Crofton, Maryland.  A small-batch brewery, with a beer menu that changes nearly weekly. 

Runner-up: 6 Bears & A Goat Brewing Company

See the TOP 10 breweries.

Best Brunch

Blend 111

111 Church St. NW, Suite 101, Vienna, Virginia. Serves Latin and European plates, paired with natural wines.

Runners-up: Blue Waters Caribbean & Seafood Grill and Founding Farmers

See the TOP 10 places with the best brunches.

Best Burger


D.C. locations in Mt. Vernon Triangle and Union Market. Inspired by the markets and street food of Israel. 

Runner-up: PLNT Burger

See the TOP 10 places with the best burgers.

Best Crab

Captain Pell’s Fairfax Crab House

10195 Fairfax Blvd., Fairfax, Virginia. Offers all-you-can-eat crab specials.

Runner-up: Blue Ridge Seafood

See the TOP 10 places with the best crabs.

Best Dessert


132 Branch Road SE, Vienna, Virginia. Lebanese-concept restaurant. 

Runner-up: Gruto’s Soft Serve

See the TOP 10 places with the best desserts.

Best Pizza

Ledo Pizza

Local pizza chain headquartered in Annapolis, Maryland.

Runner-up: Potomac Pizza

See the TOP 10 pizza places.

Best Sandwich

The Italian Store

Two locations in Arlington, Virginia.

Runner-up: Plaka Grill

See the TOP 10 best sandwich places.

Best Taco

Zandra’s Taqueria

Gourmet taqueria with Virginia locations in Haymarket, Manassas and Fairfax. 

Runner-up: Taco Bamba

See the TOP 10 best taco places.

Best Takeout

Blue Waters Caribbean & Seafood Grill

6349 Old Branch Ave., Temple Hills, Maryland. Soups, salads, appetizers, Caribbean specialties and seafood. 

Runner-up: Hamrock’s Restaurant

See the TOP 10 best places to get takeout.

Abigail Constantino

Abigail Constantino started her journalism career writing for a local newspaper in Fairfax County, Virginia. She is a graduate of American University and The George Washington University.

Federal News Network Logo
Log in to your WTOP account for notifications and alerts customized for you.

Sign up