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Today we are revealing the results of Zagat’s latest Washington, D.C. restaurant survey. This year’s top restaurants are serving up “imagination, wit and brilliance”, in spaces with “wonderful ambiance”. Diners feast on food that “delivers flavor in every bite” through dishes that “aim to please”. If there’s ever been a time to get out in the D.C. restaurant scene, now is it.

Zagat covers more than 800 of the city’s most exciting restaurants, helping curious diners find the best places to eat. This year’s ratings and reviews are based on the combined opinions of 3,721 locals who separately rate a restaurant’s Food, Decor and Service and offer “witty comments” that our editors compile into short reviews.

This year, Washington, D.C.’s big winners are Fiola (Top Food), The Inn at Little Washington (Top Decor, Top Service), and Clyde’s (Most Popular). In addition to these highly rated favorites, Washington, D.C. welcomed hot newcomers including China Chilcano (Peruvian), Crane & Turtle (Japanese/French), Gypsy Soul (New American), Kapnos Taverna (Greek), Mango Tree (Thai), and Ocopa (Peruvian).

Whether it’s “hearty” sandwiches at Duke’s Grocery, “chewy, flavorful” pizzas at Pupatella, “high-quality” combos at SUNdeVICH, or “fresh-from-the-oven” biscuits from Cajun-Creole cafe Bayou Bakery, this year’s list of Best Cheap Eats proves that you don’t have to break the bank to satisfy your tastebuds in DC.

Here are a list of top winners by cuisine:

Burger - Ray’s To The Third                            
Chinese - Peking Gourmet Inn                          
Coffee - Northside Social Coffee & Wine        
Dim Sum - A&J Restaurant                              
French Bistro - Central Michel Richard            
Greek/Mediterranean - Zaytinya                        
Indian - Rasika                                                  
Italian - Fiola                                                    
Japanese - Sushi Taro                                        
Middle Eastern - Amsterdam Falafelshop
New French - Marcel’s by Robert Wiedmaier
Pizza - Pupatella
Seafood - Fiola Mare
Small Plates/Tapas - Rose’s Luxury
Spanish - Estadio
Steakhouse - Prime Rib
Thai - Little Serow
Vietnamese - Four Sisters Restaurant

According to this year’s National Dining Trends survey, Washington, D.C. diners eat out 4.5 times per week for a combined lunch and dinner, which is on par with the national average. The average reported spend per person for dinner out in Washington, D.C. is $38.19 - which is just below the national average of $39.40. When it comes to gratuity they leave a reported 19.5%, which is just about the national average of 19.3%.

Find all new ratings and reviews for Washington, D.C. restaurants on zagat.com, and across Google Search and Maps.

Cheers!

Posted by:
Tiffany Herklots, Zagat Marketing

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Whether it’s iced coffee or a flavored latte, decaf or full-throttle, 82% of coffee-lovers nationwide admit to drinking it daily. This year nearly 1,500 respondents weighed in to share their habits and opinions with us for our third-annual National Coffee Survey. The findings reveal that respondents are increasingly purchasing coffee outside of the home (up 8% over 2014), latte art is #trending, as 45% of respondents say they “love it” (up from 38% last year) and the popularity of flat whites is on the rise.

Survey participants typically pay $3.28, on average, for a coffee drink; a steady increase from $3.05 in 2014 and $2.98 in 2013. But how much is too much to pay for a regular cup of joe? Respondents say $3.67, on average. When it comes to barista-prepared coffee, they say $5.07 - a full 38% more.
While the national average number of coffee drinks consumed is 2.1 per day, our results show that coffee consumption increases with age. People in their twenties consume the least number of coffee drinks per day (1.8), compared to those in their thirties (2.0), forties (2.2), fifties (2.4) and sixties (2.4).

When breaking the results out by gender, the survey shows that female coffee drinkers prefer lattes (22%) over a regular cup of coffee (19%), reach for raw sugar (14%) before Splenda (9%), and half-and-half (26%) before skim (19%). And second to making coffee at home or work, they most often buy from large national coffee chains (31%).

As for guys, they favor a regular cup of joe (30%), followed by espresso (14%). A majority (57%) prefer to not add sweetener, while 14% choose raw sugar. Nearly half of men say they like their coffee black (42%), but when they do add the white stuff, half-and-half is the top choice (20%). And when they aren’t brewing at home or work, men are more likely to purchase coffee from smaller chain or single location coffee houses (23%) vs. a large national chain (20%).

Learn more about this year’s results and find out where to buy your own perfect cup here.

Posted by Jamie Tredwell, Zagat

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What trendy food has nearly half of avid American diners professing their love? According to the 2015 Zagat National Dining Trends survey, released today, it’s Brussels sprouts. The survey is based on the feedback of 10,727 avid diners nationally who shared their habits and preferences when it comes to dining out.

The survey shows that American diners eat out a lot - 4.5 meals (lunch and dinner) per week on average. The most frequent diners are in Atlanta (5.2) followed by Austin, LA and Miami (each at 4.9). Rounding out the bottom of the list is Portland, OR, Minneapolis (both 3.4) and Philadelphia (3.7).
The national average spend per person for dinner out is $39.40. Not surprisingly, New York is the most expensive dining city, followed by east coasters Boston ($42.24) and Miami ($41.35). The least expensive cities - and a relative bargain - are Austin ($25.81), Dallas/Ft. Worth ($30.34), San Diego ($34.10) and Portland, OR ($34.36), hailing from the South/West.

When it comes to gratuities, Americans leave an average 19.3% tip on their restaurant bill. Austin diners, who enjoy the lowest average meal cost, are the most generous tippers, leaving 20%. Following behind are Philadelphia (19.8%), Boston (19.6%), Chicago (19.6%) and Atlanta (19.5%). West coast diners happen to be less generous with Portland, OR (18.3%), Houston (18.4%), San Diego (18.5%), Seattle (18.6%) and San Francisco (18.7%) at the bottom of the list.

Service is the leading dining out irritant followed by Noise, Prices, Crowds, Food and Parking. Diners in Miami take the biggest issue with service (32%), while Portland, OR diners cite Noise (31%) as their chief complaint.

Additional findings: 16% of respondents admit to having stolen something (fork, salt shaker etc.) from a restaurant, with diners in Chicago and Houston (both 24%) reporting the highest instance of this. If a restaurant has a cash-only policy, respondents say they are less likely to go (45%) or avoid these places all together (15%). And what’s on the menu? Italian. It’s the favorite cuisine among diners in every city surveyed except for Austin and Minneapolis, where diners say they prefer American.

To learn more about this year’s results, see here.


Tim and Nina Zagat
Co-Chairs, Zagat

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Whether you’re a South Florida local or you’re dreaming about your next getaway to the Sunshine State, you’re in luck: today Zagat is out with the results of its 2015 Miami/So. Florida Restaurants survey.

Zagat covers over 600 of the area’s most exciting restaurants with ratings and reviews based on the combined opinions of 3,741 avid diners. Food, Decor and Service ratings are presented on a 30-point scale and surveyors’ “witty comments” are compiled into easy-to-digest reviews.

This year Miami’s big winners are Zuma (Top Food), Juvia (Top Decor), Il Gabbiano (Top Service) and Joe’s Stone Crab (Most Popular). In addition to these highly rated favorites, Miami welcomed hot newcomers including Basil Park, Blackbrick, 1826 Restaurant & Lounge, Finga Licking @ Royal Castle, Kush Wynwood, L'Echon Brasserie, La Mar by Gaston Acurio, Oolite Restaurant and Bar, Prime Fish and Shikany.

According to the survey, Miami diners eat out a lot - 4.9 times per week (lunch and dinner) vs. 4.5 nationally. The average reported spend per person for dinner out is $41.35 which is slightly above the $39.40 national average. When it comes to gratuities, diners leave 19.3% which is on par with national figures.

Service is the No.1 dining out complaint according to 32% of respondents. Following behind are Noise (23%), Prices (14%), Crowds (12%), Food (7%), Parking (5%), and Traffic (4%). The leading complaints about service specifically are inattentive staff, slow service, inadequate training, and early plate clearing.

As with most U.S. cities, Miami diners say their favorite cuisine is Italian (27%), followed by American (14%), Seafood (12%), French (8%), Japanese (8%), Steakhouses (8%), Thai (6%) and Chinese (3%). All others total 14% cumulatively.

When it comes to restaurant reservations, 40% of respondents make them online. That’s below the 61% national average. Additionally, 29% feel it’s rude and inappropriate for children to use tablets/phones at the table.

Ratings and reviews for South Florida restaurants are available today at zagat.com/miami and across the Google products you use everyday including Search and Maps. Bon Appetit!

Posted by:
Tiffany Herklots, Zagat

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Zagat is out with the results of its 2014 Holiday Tipping Survey, revealing that generosity is at an all time high. More than 800 respondents nationwide came to Zagat.com to tell us who they tip, how much they give and why they are shelling out this holiday season.
At this time of year the most common tip to give is money followed by gift cards, a bottle of wine/spirits and baked goods. The average reported cash tips across a variety of service personnel are the highest they’ve been since 2011 - steadily rebounding from a dip in 2012. Thirteen percent say they are planning to tip “more” this year vs. only 3% who say “less.”

When asked about the reasoning behind who and how much they tip during the holidays, respondents say “based on wanting to express gratitude” (53%), “where it’s deserved for work and assistance” (29%), “obligation” (14%), “fear of negative consequences if I don’t” (2%), and other reasons (2%).

And if you’re giving something other than cash, be careful of what you choose -- 27% of surveyors admit to re-gifting non-cash gifts.

Happy Holidays!

 Posted by Tiffany Herklots, Zagat

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The results of Zagat’s 2015 San Francisco Restaurants Survey are here! This year 7,932 local diners shared their opinions of over 1,600 Bay Area restaurants. Ratings and reviews, as well as more than 100 curated lists are available today on Zagat.com, Google Maps and Search.

This year Kokkari Estiatorio wins big, taking Top Food and Decor honors, eclipsing Gary Danko who previously held the Top Food spot for the past 5 years consecutively and 11 times since 2003. However, the team at Gary Danko has much to celebrate, winning major titles Top Service and Most Popular (and coming in at No. 2 for Food). This year’s SF/Bay Area Top 10 Food list is as follows:

  1. Kokkari Estiatorio 
  2. Gary Danko 
  3. Quince 
  4. The French Laundry 
  5. Evvia 
  6. Acquerello 
  7. Boulevard 
  8. La Folie 
  9. Frances 
  10. Benu 

According to the survey, the average reported spend per person for dinner out is $41 (vs. $39.40 nationwide). But you don’t have to go broke for good food in San Francisco. Based on the survey results, Zagat editors compiled a list of the Bay Area’s “Best Buys” - or places with high food scores and an average cost of $25 or less:

  1. Tartine Bakery & Cafe 
  2. Cheese Board Pizza 
  3. b. Patisserie 
  4. 4505 Burgers & BBQ 
  5. 4505 Meats 
  6. Fremont Diner 
  7. Mama’s 
  8. Zachary’s Chicago Pizza 
  9. Arizmendi Bakery 
  10. Fatted Calf 

In addition, some of this year’s most exciting tables include hot newcomers The Commissary serving up Spanish-influenced Californian cuisine by Traci Des Jardins, the Bernal Heights Japanese ICHI Sushi + NI Bar, Siamese Kin Khao tucked away in the Parc 55 Hotel near Union Square, Lazy Bear, the brick-and-mortar version of the popular underground pop-up, as well as Pabu, Tosca Cafe and Urchin Bistrot.

San Francisco diners are avid but not the most generous. They eat out 4.5 times per week for a combined lunch and dinner - exactly on par with national figures. As for gratuity, they leave a reported 18.7%, which is below the 19.3% national average.

Diner Habits and Preferences:

  • Noise is the No. 1 dining irritant (28%) among San Francisco diners followed by Service (25%), Crowds (14%), Prices (13%), Parking (8%), Food (7%) and Traffic (2%). The biggest complaints relating to Noise are bad acoustics; unruly babies/children; loud music and people on mobile phones. 
  • When it comes to cuisines, diners say Italian is the favorite (25%), followed by American (12%), French (10%), Japanese (10%), Seafood (7%), Mexican (6%), and Thai (5%). 
  • When choosing a restaurant to dine at, 80% of respondents said they consult online menus, 77% say consumer reviews, 63% say restaurant websites, 38% look for photos and 16% seek out blogs. 
  • As for cell phone use, 29% say they text or email at the table "occasionally", 42% say "rarely" and 24% claim "never." 
  • When it comes to farm-to-table dining, a practice the Bay Area has led for decades, 71% of surveyors still report they "love" the movement. 

For additional results and to explore Zagat’s Top 50 restaurants in San Francisco proper, visit zagat.com/sanfrancisco.

Posted by Tiffany Herklots, Zagat

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Looking for the best bites in Los Angeles? You’re in luck because today Zagat is out with the results of it’s 2015 Los Angeles Restaurants Survey, helping you find the perfect restaurant for any occasion.

This year’s results are based on based on the opinions of 9,469 diners who collectively rated and reviewed more than 1,400 LA restaurants. This year’s big winners are Mélisse (Food), The Bazaar by José Andrés (Decor), Providence (Service) and El Cholo (Most Popular). See our full list of the Top 50 restaurants by Food rating.

Below is a list of top spots by cuisine category:

New American: Bashan                                  
Trad. American: Dal Rae Restaurant            
Barbecue: Bludso's BBQ                                
Burgers: In-N-Out Burger                  
Californian: Darren's Restaurant        
Chinese: WP24                                                  
Continental: Dal Rae Restaurant                    
Delis: Langer's                                                  
Dim Sum: Hakkasan Beverly Hills                
Eclectic: Ink                                                    
Gastropubs: The Tripel                                    
French: Mélisse                                                
Italian: Michael's on Naples Ristorante            
Japanese: Sushi Gen
Korean: Park's BBQ
Mediterranean: Lucques
Mexican: Cook's Tortas
Pizza: Pizzeria Mozza
Seafood: Providence
Steakhouses: Chianina Steakhouse
Thai: Jitlada Restaurant
Vegetarian: Crossroads Vegan

Congratulations to this year’s winners! For more information on what’s new in LA, check out French Food in LA: The Best, the New and More and 11 Tasting Menus to Savor. New Ratings and reviews can be found today at Zagat.com and across the Google products you use everyday including Search and Maps.

 Posted by Tiffany Herklots, Zagat