Suburbs. DC is synonymous with them. There’s a good chance if someone says they’re from DC or work here, they actually mean Maryland or Virginia. And if they say Maryland, they probably mean the Bethesda area.
If you’re out here because that’s where you live or work, there are some excellent eating options on the other side of that monstrous Bethesda metro escalator. Read on for our favorite lunch and dinner spots in the area.
Gringos & Mariachis does great tacos, and it’s a fun spot for a Mexican meal in the area. The music is on the loud side here - so much so that the kids may call it “bumpin’” - so don’t plan on coming for a somber dinner. Do, however, plan on using it as a place grab a drink after work.
This spot from the national Hillstone restaurant group is exactly what you’d expect: good food that won’t blow you away, but the whole experience will be executed very well. It’s a place with white tablecloths, people in jackets, and dim lighting. And instead of things like charred root vegetables and beet ice cream, the menu has classics like crab cakes, caesar salad, and prime rib. In other words, you (and probably your parents) come here for a comfort meal. Bonus points for big red booths you could take a nap on and a solid drink menu.
Mon Ami Gabi does some very good French food, in a traditional, big French bistro-ish setting. We’re fans of the overall vibes here, and it’s a good place for a nice date or a family dinner. Steak frites is the move because red meat and fries is always the move, no matter what language the menu is written in.
Yep, there’s a Bethesda outpost of one of the best spots in DC. It has the same bright decor and tapas as its sister restaurant, which means you should definitely go.
You know what’s good here? Mussels. Did you get that stumper of a question right? Congrats. Go to Mussel Bar to celebrate. You earned it. An order of mussels, the world’s best sweet potato fries, and one (or more) of the many beers is the way to go here.
In a huge space right on Bethesda Row, Redwood is your fix for that trendy type of restaurant with “local, sustainable, seasonal” food aka restaurant jargon soup that doesn’t really mean anything. Ignore that and just go here because the food actually is pretty good. Simple veggie, seafood, and meat dishes are all over the menu and all a good bet.
Cava is our idea of the lunch move President. Because yes, there’s a version of elected officials for Bethesda lunch places. Whether you get a salad, wrap, or plate, make sure to get braised lamb on that bad boy. And if you come between the hours of 11am-1pm, expect a long line. Waiting in it is more important than getting back to work.
If Cava is the lunch President, Sweetgreen is at least the lunch Speaker of the House. We think. Not totally sure how lunch government works. But it sure sounds delicious. And healthy. Maybe too healthy. Get some frozen yogurt after your greens to fix that.
This definitely deserves a high-ranking spot in the lunch government but now we’re really regretting that the bulk of our real government knowledge comes from Veep. So let’s go with Vice-President. Jettie’s was chosen as VP based on its strong platform of excellent sandwiches and salads. A platform that we can strongly get behind.
Tia Queta is one of the few rooftop restaurants in Bethesda. We generally prefer the Mexican food at Gringos & Mariachis, but as soon as it’s nice out, you’ll find us here. Because who wouldn’t want to eat tacos, drink excellent margaritas, and enjoy the view? Seriously, if you know someone who isn’t excited by that please give them the “new phone, who dis?” treatment.
Tragically, our favorite sushi spot in the area, Matuba, closed its doors for good recently. Go get your raw fish fix here and fill that delicious, mercury-contaminated hole in your heart. You can get a few rolls for less than $20, and you’ll be in and out in 45 minutes. They have a good bento box deal at lunch, too.
There’s no shortage of places to grab a beer and watch a game in Bethesda. Unfortunately, most of these places are over-run with ex-frat stars trying to relive their glory days. Brickside knows this and is here for you. You’ll find plenty of TVs (including one huge projection screen), solid drinks, and good food, all in a cool space that resembles a fancy loft that a cool sitcom character would live in. Even if you aren’t interested in the game, grab a seat by the open bay windows when it’s nice out.
Kapnos Kouzina is part of Mike Isabella’s growing, Greek empire expansion, and a highly attractive place to have dinner. There’s grass on the walls. We aren’t interior designers, but that seems pretty cool to us. Get some lamb and some excellent dips here and you’re all set.
Bacchus of Lebanon is an old school, traditional (but not fancy) Lebanese restaurant that’s our favorite spot in the area for a Mediterranean meal. Order some meat, be sure to inhale the tzatziki sauce, and get a side salad too. Seriously, the side salad is good enough for us to tell you to get a side salad. Your grandma will be so proud.