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My 2013 Year-End List of the Year’s Best Year-End Lists

Last year, I did a similar round-up of round-ups.

Everyone’s making so many “best of ’13” lists at the end of the year right now, it seems like we need a curator to filter them somewhat. So since all of you are busy right now, I’ll do it. Happy to help.

Here’s a fellow working at the Eventide Oyster Company of Portland, ME, who is clearly too occupied with the oysters right now to curate a compilation of the year’s best year-end lists. That means it’s all up to me.

Here’s a fellow working at the Eventide Oyster Company of Portland, ME, who is clearly too occupied with the oysters right now to curate a compilation of the year’s best year-end lists. That means it’s all up to me.

These were, for me, as a restaurant marketing blogger, the best year-end lists I saw. If you saw others that I missed, well, there’s always the comments section.

(I should probably get around to making a list of the best comments sections, huh.)

Here goes, in no particular order.

#5. Thrillist’s 33 Best New Restaurants of 2013

There are several best-new-restaurant lists, but I go with Thrillist’s for three reasons: (a) beautiful photos, like that one from the oyster restaurant that I’m using; (b) nice, easy-to-scroll layout instead of the annoying “gallery” favored by Esquire (my first runner up); and (c) the sense I get from browsing their site that maybe someone with money, time, a little bravado and some style might use their year-end round-up to actually, really, truly try to visit more than a couple of these places. I like the idea of someone bookmarking the Thrillist site and using it as a bucket list—or, since it has to happen quickly before the restaurants aren’t actually “new” anymore, maybe it’s a rich, jet-owning, bling-accented person’s champagne bucket list. A thrillist.

#4. Eater’s 25 Must-Watch Food Videos of 2013

Man, there’s some great ones on Eater’s list—industry-specific clips (like food truck king Roy Choi at some symposium) as well as bits from Portlandia, The Colbert Report, SNL and Parks and Recreation. (My favorite is still Amy’s Baking Company self-immolating on Kitchen Nightmares.)

#3. Nation’s Restaurant News’s 10 Trends Shaping the Restaurant Industry in 2014

I suppose this is more of a look-ahead, but it serves as a pretty good snapshot of what’s been going on and is likely to continue to go on, from mobile’s influence to high beef costs to the effects of aging boomers on the nation’s early dining times (easy joke I made there). It’s a good glimpse of stuff we should all presumably already know, but might not.

#2. America’s Disappearing Restaurant Chains

Yikes! This article wasn’t meant to be a year-end round-up, I don’t think, but it has the smell of a Peter O’Toole/Joan Fontaine list of “Those We Lost This Year” and it just came out. Maybe these restaurants will make like Olivia de Havilland and stay with us a little while longer. Maybe I’ll even drop the aging movie star metaphor as we watch them thrive and rise again. Still, it’s a sobering list. (switching metaphors) Scrrrroooooge, you will be visited by the case histories of threeeee struggling restaurant chaaaaiiiiiins.

#1. Adweek’s Ten Best Ads of 2013

This is a marketing blog about restaurants—and Adweek has a somewhat controversial but very-varied list of advertisements from the year. It’s instructional (and fun) to look at the variety and watch the industry cope with the power of viral marketing, and social, and mobile, and everything that’s going on. It’s an invigorating list to contemplate. Also, they included the Chipotle scarecrow thing.