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2011's Best Dining Neighborhoods in Houston

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As is the tradition at Eater, our closeout of the year is a survey of friends, industry types, bloggers, and readers. We've already covered Best Standbys of 2011 and Favorite Newcomers.

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JR's Bar & Grill in Montrose, one of the most popular picks for best dining neighborhood. [thetalesend/Flickr]

Q: What was the best dining neighborhood in 2011?

Alvin Schultz, MasterChef contestant, Eater Houston contributor: As far as a collection of great restaurant in one central area- Bellaire. (Chinatown) awesome food at all hours of the day. All up and down that street.

Greg Morago, food editor for the Houston Chronicle: West Ave and CityCentre offer wonderful collections of restaurants, but Lower Westheimer is amazing. Anvil Bar & Refuge (which got a kitchen boost from Chris Shepherd), El Real, Indika, Dolce Vita, Feast, Poscol, Mark’s, Hugo's, Da Marco, along with the soon-to-open Underbelly, Hay Merchant and Uchi make this stretch of Westheimer the place to be.

Ruthie Miller, freelance food writer: For variety and consistency, Montrose continues to be tops. They've got old standby's in Hugo's, Dolce Vita, and Mockingbird, plus some of the younger up-n-comers like Melange Creperie, El Real, and Feast.

Sarah Rufca, associate editor and food writer for Culturemap: I'm torn between the Heights and Upper Kirby. Both have totally reshaped their dining scene, whether on White Oak or at West Ave.

Christina Uticone, writer for 2 Dine For food blog: Montrose.

Teresa Byrne-Dodge, editor/publisher of My Table Magazine: My neighborhood, of course: Montrose.

Bobby Heugel, co-owner, Anvil Bar & Refuge (among others): Chinatown.

Nikki Metzgar, freelance food writer, right hand lady at Eater Houston: East Downtown (hooray for amazing Vietnamese inside the Loop).

Michael Fulmer, Houston food guy, coffee crawl leader, server at Vic & Anthony's: Montrose.

Rebecca Masson, owner of Fluff Bake Bar, Top Chef Just Desserts hometown hero: Upper Kirby.

Robb Walsh, former Houston Press food critic, author and co-owner, El Real Tex-Mex: Washington Ave jumped the shark, Westheimer Rd started its rise, but Bellaire Blvd. continues to rule, IMHO.

Chris Shepherd, chef, co-owner, Underbelly: Chinatown.

Katharine Shilcutt, food critic at Houston Press: I know Lower Westheimer would be the popular choice, but my budget and palate and sense of adventure are all more duly satisfied in Chinatown.

Nishta Mehra, food blogger, Blue Jean Gourmet: I think the Heights is having a real surge, and downtown is finally getting some strong "anchor" restaurants but Montrose will "win" in 2012.

Amber Ambrose, Eater Houston: Montrose is my go-to neighborhood for lunch and dinner.

Did we miss one? Leave your thoughts in the comments.

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