Click on the image to go to our Google Map that locates all of the critics' picks for best restaurants in DC.

As you may have noticed recently, here at Capital Spice we’re big fans of the Google Maps.  We make them for Restaurant Week.  We made one highlighting establishments with extended hours during President Obama’s inaugural weekend.  And while the map of Top Chef DC locations may be interesting to fans of the show, there’s one map that we turn to time and time again.

Our go-to map combines the recommendations from the Washington area’s most experienced palates: the professional food writers and critics.

For those of you who haven’t seen this map before, it includes any restaurant that appears on one or more of the following lists:

When we first compiled this map last year, we promised to update it to reflect newer editions of these lists.  Thankfully, Zagat only publishes new rankings every other year (h/t to Tim Carman at the City Paper and Michael Birchenall for calling attention to the fact that even-numbered year rankings mirror those of the year before), so that was one less list to watch for this year.  We’ve already updated to include the 2010 Washingtonian list.

As of today, the map includes the newest City Paper Dining Guide, dubbed the “50 Most Fascinating Restaurants” this year.  We were once again impressed by the lengths Tim Carman goes to to check out some really off-the-beaten-path establishments.  And while the list may not be comprehensive (it intentionally leaves off many of the no-brainers that occupy the top 20 or so spots on Washingtonian’s list), it’s a great addition to the map.

To help distinguish between those venues on a current list and those who have appeared before but subsequently fallen off, we’re using the colored push-pin markers for former list members.  And we’re continuing to use the fork-and-knife image for those restaurants who show up on more than one of the lists.

In all cases you can find addresses, phone numbers and links to the various reviews that earned the restaurants their places on the map.

Check it out when you have a minute, or bookmark it and go back the next time you’re stumped for something tasty in your neighborhood (or someone else’s).  And please let us know if there are other lists you’d like us to incorporate into the map…we’ve already had a few requests for Washingtonian’s Cheap Eats list.