The Year That Was: Where serious eaters were eating out—or should have been—in 2008.

National Stories

Regional Hot Dog Styles:To celebrate July 4th weekend, we brought you Serious Eats' definitive guide to America's regional hot dog styles.

Where to Find Duck Fat Fries: Chefs across the country were skipping peanut or cottonseed oil to embrace rendered duck fat for fries.

America's Heroes, Grinders, Subs, and More: Hoagies, heroes, subs, wedges, po'boys, grinders, and the list goes on. We compiled a list of America's best hold and cold sandwiches.

iPhone Waiters Line-Waiter's Guide: Apple's iPhone 3G came out July 11. We imagined there would be some iPhone camping expeditions at Apple Stores across the country, with people lining up to get their grubby little hands on one as soon as possible. We're more concerned with grub in hand, so we asked our nationwide network of Serious Eats contributors to give us their picks for serious eats near the Apple Stores most likely to draw crowds in New York, Philadelphia, D.C. Metro Area, Chicago, San Francisco, and Los Angeles.

Boston

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Clear Flour Bakery. Photograph from mkrigsman on Flickr

Boston City Guide: Boston Magazine's Amy Traverso gave us the rundown on Beantown from post-Fenway feeding to the best clam chowdah. Go Sox!

Best Ice Cream: We investigated the claims of "best ice cream" in Boston, visiting the two top contenders, Toscanini’s and Christina’s.

Boston's Flour Bakery and Clear Flour Bread: Carey Jones took us to two Boston bakeries with similar names and loyal followings. Joanne Chang's Flour Bakery churns out killer baked goods, like the incomparably gooey Sticky Sticky Buns. And across town is Clear Flour Bread, a tiny Brookline bakery famous for classic Italian breads and French pastries—and the mouthwatering oven fumes wafting down the block.

Holy Cannoli: Mike’s Pastry and Modern Pastry Shop in Boston's North End contend for the title of best cannoli in the neighborhood; we weighed in.

Chicago

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Chicago-style hot dog. Photograph from roboppy on Flickr

Our Chicago bureau chief, Michael Nagrant, kept us in the know with his weekly dispatches from the windy city.

Chicago City Guide: Your one page guide to eating out in Chicago.

Best Dining Experiences: Michael Nagrant shared his five favorite dining experiences in Chicago: "The unifying feature of all of my choices is that the spots below represent the true personality of the driving force behind the restaurant."

Los Angeles and Southern California

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Clockwise from top left: Blue Velvet; the patio at Wilshire Restaurant, photograph from Peter Pak, MD; BREADBAR

Best Dining Experiences in Los Angeles: Patric Kuh is the restaurant critic for Los Angeles Magazine and the author of The Last Days of Haute Cuisine: The Coming of Age of American Restaurants. He's also one of the most thoughtful food writers we know, and shared his unique perspective on dining experiences in Los Angeles with us with his five best dining experiences in Los Angeles.

Best Ice Cream in Los Angeles: Local contributor, Leah Greenstein, introduced us to the best ice cream in Los Angeles.

LA Taco Trucks Safe: In August, we celebrated when a Los Angeles County Superior Court judge overturned a controversial rule made in April that forced the city's 14,000 registered taco trucks to move every hour, thus stalling normal business. Judge Dennis Aichroth ruled in favor of taqueros, calling the ban “too ambiguous to be enforceable” and “arbitrary and not based upon any rational, intrinsic or natural basis."

Best Date Shakes: Erin Zimmer introduced us to Date Shakes. "California is a date mecca, especially in the southern half near Palm Springs. The prune-resembling pellets are packed with natural sugars, which makes them a great—yet shocking to outsiders—ingredient for milkshakes."

Montreal, Canada

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Photographs by Zach Brooks

48-Hours in Montreal: 48 hours is hardly enough time to eat your way through any city, especially one as rich, and deliciously diverse as Montreal. But that doesn't mean Zach Brooks and his wife didn't try. Follow their itinerary, and you won't leave Montreal disappointed (or hungry).

Poutine: Montreal's most famous dish, poutine, is made of fries, gravy, an cheese curds. Serious Eats readers Kathy Park and Rob Price emailed us an account of their recent trip to Montreal—and their first taste of poutines at La Banquise and Patati Patata.

New Orleans

What to Eat at Jazz Fest: Rather than providing the standard concessionaire fare, the Jazz Fest organizers have a competitive, juried process for getting food selling space inside the Fairgrounds. Serious Eats' contributor, The Gurgling Cod, surveyed the offerings on our behalf, and also paid a visit to Cochon, a restaurant "very much in the genre of the porkcentric, heavily lauded restaurant that seems to be the rage recently—serious cooks cooking serious meats in a relatively informal setting—think Au Pied Du Cochon in Montreal, the Chang Dynasy in New York."

Ed Levine packed his scale with him when he went to New Orleans, and packed on a couple of pounds when faced with the city's tastiest temptations, including Willie Mae's fried chicken.

Philadelphia

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Reading Terminal sign. Photograph by roboppy on Flickr

Philadelphia City Guide: Joy Manning, the restaurant critic at Philadelphia Magazineand regular Serious Eats contributor shared her picks for the best eats in the city of brotherly love.

The Best of Philly's BYOB: Joy Manning shared her selective list of bargain BYOBs, that offer unfussy but fantastic food, and unbeatable prices and personality.

Best Philly 'hood for a Restaurant Crawl: Head to the Queen Village neighborhood, where there's a high concentration of outstanding eateries, many serving small plate options. Joy Manning recommended four spots you must hit along the way.

Pittsburgh

Serious Markets, Bakeries, and Delis in Pittsburgh's Strip District: Pittsburgh isn’t usually considered a culinary center. But a Saturday morning at the Strip District is a serious eater’s paradise, when everything from mung bean pancakes to fresh-baked biscotti can be snagged without leaving the sidewalk. We explored it all, including a visit to the flagship location of the Primanti Bros, home of over-sized sandwiches served with fries and slaw inside.

San Francisco Bay Area

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A dish from the French Laundry

Great Dining Experiences in the Bay Area: San Francisco Chronicle's Michael Bauer shared five great dining experiences in the San Francisco Bay area. His San Francisco and Napa Valley restaurant experience picks had mostly surprises and one obvious choice.

Best Fried Chicken Sandwich: Erin Zimmer discovered the Bay Area's best fried chicken sandwich at Bakesale Betty's in Oakland. "Almost as satisfying as the actual eating of this sandwich is watching the rushed yet scientifically precise assembly line of fried chicken sandwich-makers behind the glass.:

Best Ice Cream in San Francisco:: When it's warm enough (or even when it's not), San Francisco correspondent, best ice cream in the city.

Washington, D.C.

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Typical feast at Etete. Photograph by roboppy on Flickr

Washington, D.C. City Guide: Food writer Jane Black at the Washington Post shared her top picks in the nation’s capital.

Best Eats Near Union Station: Changing trains in D.C.? Got a few hours to kill? Rolling your eyes at the fluorescent-lit options near the Amtrak desk? Erin Zimmer gave us her recs for strange characters and comforting foods that will eat up time.

Best Ethnic Markets and Grocery Stores: Erin Zimmer brought us seven great ethnic markets and grocery stores in the Washington D.C. area covering Hispanic, Turkish, Lebanese, Ethiopian, Italian, and Vietnamese cuisine.

Best Georgetown Eats for Hoya Fans: With a tear, and napkin ready, Erin Zimmer bid farewell to the Hoya season with these campus favorites.

Best Beer-Centric Spots: A round-up of Erin Zimmer's favorite beer-loving bars and eateries in the Washington, D.C., area.

Snapshots from Italy

Gina dePalma was in Italy this year researching her second book and reporting back to us with Snapshots from Italy. Via Gina's words and photos, we visited Rome, Abruzzo, Turin, Frascati, and Ferentino.

Best Lunch in Paris

Serious Eats intern Sarah Wolf explored the best lunches in Paris. The contenders: Croque Monsieur aux Courgettes, Shakshouka, escargot, and gourmet frozen pasta.

More of The Year That Was

Ingredient of the Year: Bacon
Dear Serious Eats: "Enough with the Damn Year-End Reviews!"
Nagging Questions
Food Photography
Ed Levine's Serious Diet
Rest in Peace: Obituaries
Food Video Games
TYTW in Burgers
Stop-Motion Food Videos
Pizza
Food as Other Stuff
TYTW on Serious Eats New York
Movies
Food in Space
Food Media
Food Shortages, Scares, and Rising Costs
Videos
Science
Starbucks
Bacon
The Top Talk Posts of 2008
The Top 10 Posts on Serious Eats
The Top 8 Posts on Slice
The Top 10 Posts on A Hamburger Today

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