When Woodberry Kitchen's Spike Gjerde took home Baltimore's first James Beard award in May, it gave foodie validation to what everyone in the city already knew -- that Baltimore is a fantastic place to eat.

It also caught the attention of Zagat, which on Tuesday named Baltimore No. 2 on its list of the year's "Top 17 Food Cities."


The list emphasized cities outside of the usual foodie hubs, looking for cities that "had the biggest growth spurt." Editors examined the "caliber of new openings, award-recognition and national media attention had by each."

In addition to Woodberry Kitchen, Zagat named Charleston, Parts & Labor, Artifact, Ceremony, Aggio, Shake Shack and Azumi among the city's notable gustatory offerings.

Writer Julia Bainbridge also has her eye on New York bakery Robicelli's move to Baltimore.

"We'd say Baltimore is winning," she wrote.

We're inclined to agree, though the No. 1 pick -- Pittsburgh -- tempers some enthusiasm. We'll see who comes out on top on Dec. 27.

Find Baltimore restaurant reviews, photos and more at Dish Baltimore, and see the full Zagat list here.