Best Food Neighborhood - 2011
Like a teenage girl who has hit puberty and blossomed, sleepy little Kingfield has gone gastro-hood in a span nearly as short as a summer break. Sure, the neighborhood has always had a smattering of wing shops, barbecue joints, and Latin cocinas, but these days it's practically teeming with restaurants worth crossing a freeway or two. The middle of the decade launched Corner Table and what's now become Grand Cafe, a couple of the city's most neighborhood-friendly fine-dining restaurants. But Kingfield's mini-boom really took off with the 2007 debut of Cafe Ena's elegant, Nuevo Latin fare. Then came La Chaya, with its Mex-Italian fusion, quickly followed by the beatnik wine bar King's and the French pastry shop Patisserie 46. Sensing those restaurants hadn't yet sated the neighborhood's foodie appetite, the owners of the wonderfully eclectic Blackbird, which had lost its first nest to a fire, chose 38th and Nicollet for its next roost. Kingfield's most recent arrival, a sort of "finer" dive bar dubbed the Lowbrow, further diversified the dining options with its cans of Hamms and homemade fish sticks. Even food lovers constrained by tight budgets or a lack of babysitters can indulge in the bounty by picking up locally grown goods at the bustling Kingfield Farmer's Market.