If you’re spending time near the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area, one destination you shouldn’t miss out on during your trip is Bethesda, located about seven miles northwest of D.C.
It’s a popular area for tourists because of its extensive shopping areas and Arts and Entertainment District.
Many people love visiting the area for its festivals, such as the Bethesda Row Arts Festival and Bethesda Film Fest. It’s also home to several bustling restaurants offering international flavors to locals and tourists alike.
Check out my list of the best restaurants in Bethesda, Maryland, if you’re having trouble deciding where to eat in the city.
Gringos & Mariachis
Next up on this list of the best restaurants in Bethesda, Maryland, is Gringos & Mariachis, a popular Mexican restaurant in the downtown area.
This hip and rustic eatery offers authentic Mexican street fare for anyone interested in a quick bite after a long day.
They also offer catering services in the greater Washington, D.C. area for any celebration. Consider starting with their sharable duck nachos or shrimp ceviche if you’re dining with friends.
Then, order their Carne Asada, Chicken Chimichanga, Vegetarian Burrito, or Honey-Glazed Shrimp Tacos with fries or green rice on the side. These dishes taste great with a Ginger-Hibiscus Margarita.
Chef Tony’s Fresh Seafood Restaurant
You can find Chef Tony’s Fresh Seafood Restaurant inside Promenade Towers, located in downtown Bethesda.
This warm and welcoming Mediterranean restaurant serves farm-to-table dishes bursting with flavor. Head Chef Tony Marci ante also offers live cooking classes.
Their seasonal menu is subject to change, depending on seafood availability. During my last few visits to this restaurant, I had their Braised Atlantic Cod, Jumbo Spicy Shrimp Pasta, Lobster Mac & Cheese, and Penne for Promise. In addition, most of their menu options are gluten-free.
Don’t forget to browse their extensive list of wine, sparkling cocktails, beer, and spirits to enhance your meal’s flavors.
One of the best restaurants in Bethesda, Maryland, offering an all-day breakfast is Taster Diner by Veterans Park. Since 1935, this old-school diner has served quality American comfort food for locals and tourists.
It also has a homey ambiance and offers 24/7 dining services. Taster Diner’s menu offers plenty of gluten-free options for anyone with specific dietary restrictions.
I love their Grilled Steak & Eggs for breakfast. I also recommend their Fried Flounder for dinner. In addition, they have a few tasty selections on their senior and kid’s menus. After dinner, treat yourself to their blueberry pie or chocolate cake.
True Food Kitchen
Last but not least on this list of the best restaurants in Bethesda, Maryland, is True Food Kitchen, located minutes away from Elm Street Park.
It has an eco-chic vibe and offers plenty of healthier dining options for anyone following a vegan or vegetarian lifestyle. They use organic, consciously-sourced ingredients to ensure your meal’s freshness.
I recommend trying their Vegan Double Cheeseburger, Grilled Chicken Parmesan, Spinach & Mushroom Pizza, or Poke Bowl.
I love ordering these dishes with Peppermint Herbal Tea, Wild Blackberry Limeade, or Kale Aid. They also offer brunch cocktails and entrees on the weekends. After that, treat yourself to their Vegan Strawberry Cheesecake.
Pizzeria Da Marco
Pizzeria Da Marco is a spacious restaurant near Chase Avenue Urban Park. This eatery serves tasty Italian dishes and wood-fired Neapolitan pizzas in a casual, family-friendly environment, including their outdoor terrace.
You can also book their main dining room or back room for private parties of any size. They offer half-priced wine bottles every Wednesday night and half-priced beer bottles every Thursday night.
I’m a fan of their Baked Rigatoni, Calzone Rustic, and Anchovy Bruschetta. If you’re interested in their specialty pizza, consider trying their Solo Carne, Primavera, or Spinach pies. In my opinion, their pizza tastes best with a Sicilian Mojito.
Mon Ami Gabi
You can find Mon Ami Gabi nestled within the heart of the Bethesda Row shopping mall. This cozy, upscale French bistro lets guests immerse themselves in an artistic setting while dining on authentic French cuisine.
They also have plenty of wine options and live music. After starting with their smoked salmon or baked goat cheese, try their Steak Roquefort, Trout Almandine, Cavatelli Pasta, or Truffle & Brie Burger with garlic spinach or French green beans.
They also offer a three-course Prix-Fixe lunch on weekdays and brunch every Saturday and Sunday. If you have room for dessert, consider indulging in their classic profiteroles.
First up on this list of the best restaurants in Bethesda, Maryland, is Woodmont Grill, located next to the Marriott Bethesda Downtown Hotel.
This lively dining destination offers upscale American comfort food in a sophisticated environment. I love stopping by to listen to their live nightly jazz whenever I’m in town.
Before ordering your main course, consider starting with their yellowtail sashimi or spicy tuna roll. In my opinion, Woodmont Grill serves the best House-Made Veggie Burger, French Dip Au Jus, and Rotisserie Chicken in the neighborhood.
They have plenty of sparkling, red, and white wine options, but I recommend sampling their Jackrabbit cocktail.
Another excellent restaurant found in Bethesda Row is Raku, a lively and contemporary eatery offering quality Japanese, Chinese, and Thai cuisine.
I consider it a great place to treat your family to lunch or dinner during your shopping spree. They’re also open every day.
Their Spicy Butterfly Prawns or Hoisin Baby Pork Ribs are excellent starters if you’re having dinner with your family.
My favorite dishes are their Kawasaki Red Curry Glazed Scottish Salmon, Coconut Red Curry Noodles with Shrimp or Beef, and Chinese Five Spiced Duck Breast.
If you’re in the mood for sushi, I recommend their Wasabi Dynamite Roll, Red Snapper Sashimi, or Octopus Nigiri.
Do you prefer customizing your meal whenever you go out for dinner? Then, consider visiting CAVA if you’re passing through Bethesda Row.
This Mediterranean restaurant has a laid-back atmosphere, ideal for enjoying their grain bowl and pita dishes. Their culinary team uses fresh, locally sourced ingredients to guarantee authentic, bold flavors.
They offer a wide selection of bases, proteins, dips, spreads, and toppings for anyone interested in customizing their meal.
I love ordering a grain bowl with roasted eggplant, hummus, grilled chicken, salt-brined pickles, and crumbled feta.
I consider this one of the best restaurants in Bethesda, Maryland, for anyone looking for healthier options.
Luke’s Lobster Bethesda
Luke’s Lobster Bethesda is a family-owned seafood restaurant nestled within Bethesda Row, near Caroline Freeland Urban Park.
This casual dining destination serves Maine-style lobster rolls and clam chowder in a relaxed setting. Their crawfish is sustainably-sourced to ensure flavor. They also have outdoor seating.
Barrel & Crow
Within walking distance from Big Planet Comics stands Barrel & Crow. This modern rustic yet hip destination is one of the best restaurants in Bethesda, Maryland, offering mouth-watering Mid-Atlantic cuisine to any guest.
They also have outdoor seating whenever it’s sunny and clear. I recommend starting with their Crab Beignets or Duck Fat Fries. Then, spice up your night with their Pulled Brisket Sandwich, Lamb Bolognese, or Salmon Burger.
The best cocktails to complement your meal are their Puma Ginger Fizz, Blood Peach Serrano, or B&C Sangria. In my opinion, their best desserts are their Chocolate Torte and Warm Brioche Bread Pudding.
Their best dishes are Truffle Butter Lobster Roll, Lobster Bisque, Crab Roll, and Spicy Mala Lobster Roll. Don’t forget to enhance your meal with poppy seed slaw or lobster mac & cheese as a side dish.
I also recommend pairing your lunch or dinner with their Maine root beer or root lemonade. If you’re interested in taking something home, ask about their DIY Luke’s Roll Kit.
Nestled within the American Inn of Bethesda, Guano’s Restaurant is one of the best options in the neighborhood if you’re interested in zesty Tex-Mex.
It has a laid-back atmosphere, a brick wall interior, and scattered greenery. They also offer off-site catering for any occasion.
My favorite dishes are their Quail Fajita, Shrimp & Salad Seafood Burrito, Polo Lupita, and Acapulco Steak. Be sure to order any of these dishes with black beans or Mexican rice on the side.
They also offer Nuevo’s Rancheros and Chilaquiles during their weekend brunch. If you have room for dessert, try their fried ice cream, churros, or flan.
Located three minutes away from Imagination Stage, Collazo is your best option for indulging in Italian cuisine in a casual environment.
This family-owned neighborhood restaurant has a rustic yet modern aesthetic with warm lighting to help guests relax while eating.
It also has a lovely view of the downtown area’s streets and offers off-site catering services. In my opinion, their best dishes are Penne Primavera, Eggplant Parmesan, Chicken Cardinale, and Wild Mushroom Gnocchi.
Consider starting with their mozzarella garlic bread or stuffed dates if you’re extra hungry. Kids ages ten or under can order Collazo’s penne, ravioli, or pizza bread.
If you’re having trouble finding an upscale setting to eat in Bethesda Row, consider booking a dinner reservation at Spanish Diner.
Enjoy authentic Spanish tapas prepared by Chef José Andrés in a refined setting. During my last trip to Bethesda Row, I started with their Gammas Al Abilo.
Then, I ordered their Jamun Iberic. I also recommend their Chicora Hot Dog or Callus Con Garbanzos. If you stop by during their Paella Mondays, consider trying their Paella Valencia.
Don’t forget to stop by their bar lounge for bar bites and cocktails during their sangria hour. I prefer ordering their Rebuilt or Media Combination.
A Cuban restaurant based in Sterling is going to make the jump from Virginia to Maryland. Bethesda magazine reports that Cubase Bistro will open this month at 4710 Bethesda Avenue. The Sterling menu spans roast pork sandwich, cod fish fritters, rice bowls, and Puerto Rican dishes like mofongo.
Popular NYC taqueria Tacuba landed in the DMV this fall with the opening of an outpost in Arlington, right near Amazon HQ2. That was the first of several area restaurants for Tacuba, and now a Bethesda location is open at 4749 Bethesda Ave.
Tacuba is known for beer-battered Alaskan cod tacos, wrapped in homemade corn and flour tortillas. Other popular dishes include quesadillas with thinly-sliced Mexico City-style al pastor roasted pork; sweet potato, kale, and poblano pepper burritos; and corn esquires. Located on the corner of Bethesda Avenue, Tacuba’s second DMV restaurant spans 4,500 square feet and includes an open kitchen where diners can watch the team’s vaqueros at work. Views from the dining room also look out to the Capital Crescent Trail and green space currently in development.
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