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Bethesda Row is jam packed with restaurants and bars.
Scott Suchman for Visit Montgomery

Where to Eat and Drink in Bethesda

The Maryland suburb continues to heat up as a top dining destination

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Bethesda Row is jam packed with restaurants and bars.
| Scott Suchman for Visit Montgomery

Over a short period of time, Bethesda has shed its dull dining reputation and quickly become an exciting hotspot to eat and drink. Bethesda’s cityscape also looks a lot different these days, thanks to the relocation of Marriott’s headquarters and booming developments up the I-355 corridor like Pike & Rose. The term “North Bethesda” is now a thing (and the new name for the White Flint Metro station).

The Montgomery County growth spurt leaves diners with plenty of options, including newer favorites like the Salt Line, Oishii Ramen, and Melina, as well as neighborhood fixtures like Tastee Diner, Quartermaine, Bethesda Bagels, and Vace.

Reliable D.C. names like Andy’s Pizza, Chercher, Chiko, and Call Your Mother, as well as NYC imports Chip City, Tacombi and Maman Bakery, have all planted flags in Bethesda as of late. Look forward to the imminent arrival of Aventino Cucina and AP Pizza Shop, a two-part Italian project from the D.C. hitmakers behind Red Hen and All-Purpose.

Here are 18 must-try dining destinations in Bethesda.

—Updated by Tierney Plumb

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Bark Social

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North Bethesda’s Pike & Rose has gone to the dogs thanks to the wildly popular Bark Social. This is a bark park with bar fare and local brews like Silver Spring’s Denizens, Astro Lab, and Waredaca Brewing Company.

Dogs are the star at Bark Social.
Rey Lopez/Eater DC

Named after the daughter of Cava co-founder and chef Dimitri Moshovitis, Melina’s modern Greek menu showcases salads, meze, skewers, fresh tuna crudo, and mains like braised short rib with creamy orzo, thyme, and mizithra cheese. The Pike & Rose complex, also home to the team’s French brasserie Julii, will add an American steakhouse sibling called Bouboulina next year.

Caruso’s Grocery

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After impressing Capitol Hill with old-school chicken Parm, gnocchi, fluffy tiramisu, and antipasti martinis, the team behind essential Italian-American restaurant Caruso’s Grocery added another outpost in Bethesda’s Pike & Rose complex last fall. Chef Matt Adler’s decidedly unmodern tribute to classic red sauce joints is attached to long-running beer hall and American tavern Owen’s Ordinary.

Sarahs Handmade Ice Cream

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Founded by mother-daughter team Sarah and Annie Park, this small batch scoops shops maintains a pair of locations in Bethesda. Find vegan-friendly and rotating seasonal flavors at each one.

This family-owned Bethesda mainstay, around since 2002, is the epitome of an old-school red sauce joint. Neighbors know it well for the homemade pastas and hearty dishes like lasagna bolognese and linguine with sausage and peppers, plus meatballs like nonna makes. There is also a second location in downtown Silver Spring.

Cubano’s (multiple locations)

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This Cuban eatery and rum bar has two locations in Bethesda and Silver Spring. Of course, the top dish to order is the Cubano sandwich, served in a traditional style with roast pork, ham, Swiss cheese, mustard, and thinly-sliced pickles.

Oishii Ramen Cafe

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This super stylish ramen shop opened in 2021, bringing Bethesda Japanese snacks like gyoza, karaage, and kakuni buns. Hearty bowls of ramen range from spicy tonkotsu to miso to shoyu styles.

Tastee Diner (multiple locations)

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Bethesda residents line up here on weekends for a classic diner in the heart of downtown. Around since 1935, the beloved local chain offers breakfast combos like steak-and-eggs and flapjacks, plus club sandwiches and milkshakes for lunch or dinner. An additional location sits in Laurel.

Tastee Diner
Tastee Diner is a local institution in Bethesda.
Tastee Diner

Black's Bar & Kitchen

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This all-day eatery specializes in Chesapeake Bay seafood, including oysters on the half-shell that are steeply discounted at happy hour (weekdays from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m.).

The Salt Line

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Navy Yard-born raw bar and sustainable seafood restaurant the Salt Line expanded to Maryland this summer with its familiar lineup of lobster rolls, shellfish towers, smash burgers, and baked clams. The new Bethesda Row location also introduces a special late-night menu — a rare feature for the Maryland suburb — with half-priced oysters, $10 espresso martinis, and $4 Narragansett beers.

Seventh State / Hip Flask

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Marriott International recently relocated its corporate headquarters in downtown Bethesda, and adjacent to the office sits a brand new hotel with striking food and views. The lobby-level restaurant Seventh State — a subtle nod to Maryland’s founding — has tribute dishes like Chesapeake rockfish, crab-and-artichoke dip, and Smith Island Cake. On the roof, find Hip Flask — a swanky cocktail bar with epic views of both Maryland and Virginia.

Hip Flask includes retractable floor-to-ceiling windows and outdoor seating.
Marriott Bethesda Downtown

Q by Peter Chang

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Q stands for Qijian, which means “flagship” in Chinese. It’s here where legendary chef Peter Chang sends out dim sum on weekends and large-format dishes like Peking duck prepared through a five-step process.

Q by Peter Chang opened in 2017.
Rey Lopez/Eater DC

Spanish Diner

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Superstar chef José Andrés revamped what was formerly Jaleo into a Spanish-style diner serving all-day breakfast menus full of fried egg dishes, sandwiches, stews, and plenty of savory jamon iberico.

Bethesda Bagels

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Credit goes to this shop for upping the area’s bagel credibility. The brand has since expanded across state lines to D.C. and Virginia, but the Bethesda original remains largely unchanged. Find dozens of bagel varieties with lox, cream cheese spreads, or as savory sandwiches.

Quartermaine Coffee Roaster

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Neighbors gather here for freshly roasted coffees and espressos. It also has a sizable pastry counter and beans to brew at home.

Fresh Baguette

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This acclaimed French bakery is tucked away in a corner of Bethesda that’s better known for car dealerships and a Giant grocery store. Follow the smell of freshly-baked bread for baguettes, croissants, and Viennese pastries made on-site and at a larger production facility in nearby Rockville.

Vace Italian Delicatessen

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A slice is nice at Vace, an Italian pizzeria and deli with an extensive amount of homemade pastas. An attached grocer sells imported specialty items to cook at home.

Bethesda Crab House

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Get cracking on Chesapeake Bay crabs at this seafood standby that opened in 1961. Steamed crabs by the platter come complete with Old Bay seasoning and brown paper-covered tables. Call in advance to make sure it is open and to reserve orders.

Bark Social

North Bethesda’s Pike & Rose has gone to the dogs thanks to the wildly popular Bark Social. This is a bark park with bar fare and local brews like Silver Spring’s Denizens, Astro Lab, and Waredaca Brewing Company.

Dogs are the star at Bark Social.
Rey Lopez/Eater DC

Melina

Named after the daughter of Cava co-founder and chef Dimitri Moshovitis, Melina’s modern Greek menu showcases salads, meze, skewers, fresh tuna crudo, and mains like braised short rib with creamy orzo, thyme, and mizithra cheese. The Pike & Rose complex, also home to the team’s French brasserie Julii, will add an American steakhouse sibling called Bouboulina next year.

Caruso’s Grocery

After impressing Capitol Hill with old-school chicken Parm, gnocchi, fluffy tiramisu, and antipasti martinis, the team behind essential Italian-American restaurant Caruso’s Grocery added another outpost in Bethesda’s Pike & Rose complex last fall. Chef Matt Adler’s decidedly unmodern tribute to classic red sauce joints is attached to long-running beer hall and American tavern Owen’s Ordinary.

Sarahs Handmade Ice Cream

Founded by mother-daughter team Sarah and Annie Park, this small batch scoops shops maintains a pair of locations in Bethesda. Find vegan-friendly and rotating seasonal flavors at each one.

Olazzo

This family-owned Bethesda mainstay, around since 2002, is the epitome of an old-school red sauce joint. Neighbors know it well for the homemade pastas and hearty dishes like lasagna bolognese and linguine with sausage and peppers, plus meatballs like nonna makes. There is also a second location in downtown Silver Spring.

Cubano’s (multiple locations)

This Cuban eatery and rum bar has two locations in Bethesda and Silver Spring. Of course, the top dish to order is the Cubano sandwich, served in a traditional style with roast pork, ham, Swiss cheese, mustard, and thinly-sliced pickles.

Oishii Ramen Cafe

This super stylish ramen shop opened in 2021, bringing Bethesda Japanese snacks like gyoza, karaage, and kakuni buns. Hearty bowls of ramen range from spicy tonkotsu to miso to shoyu styles.

Tastee Diner (multiple locations)

Bethesda residents line up here on weekends for a classic diner in the heart of downtown. Around since 1935, the beloved local chain offers breakfast combos like steak-and-eggs and flapjacks, plus club sandwiches and milkshakes for lunch or dinner. An additional location sits in Laurel.

Tastee Diner
Tastee Diner is a local institution in Bethesda.
Tastee Diner

Black's Bar & Kitchen

This all-day eatery specializes in Chesapeake Bay seafood, including oysters on the half-shell that are steeply discounted at happy hour (weekdays from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m.).

The Salt Line

Navy Yard-born raw bar and sustainable seafood restaurant the Salt Line expanded to Maryland this summer with its familiar lineup of lobster rolls, shellfish towers, smash burgers, and baked clams. The new Bethesda Row location also introduces a special late-night menu — a rare feature for the Maryland suburb — with half-priced oysters, $10 espresso martinis, and $4 Narragansett beers.

Seventh State / Hip Flask

Marriott International recently relocated its corporate headquarters in downtown Bethesda, and adjacent to the office sits a brand new hotel with striking food and views. The lobby-level restaurant Seventh State — a subtle nod to Maryland’s founding — has tribute dishes like Chesapeake rockfish, crab-and-artichoke dip, and Smith Island Cake. On the roof, find Hip Flask — a swanky cocktail bar with epic views of both Maryland and Virginia.

Hip Flask includes retractable floor-to-ceiling windows and outdoor seating.
Marriott Bethesda Downtown

Q by Peter Chang

Q stands for Qijian, which means “flagship” in Chinese. It’s here where legendary chef Peter Chang sends out dim sum on weekends and large-format dishes like Peking duck prepared through a five-step process.

Q by Peter Chang opened in 2017.
Rey Lopez/Eater DC

Spanish Diner

Superstar chef José Andrés revamped what was formerly Jaleo into a Spanish-style diner serving all-day breakfast menus full of fried egg dishes, sandwiches, stews, and plenty of savory jamon iberico.

Bethesda Bagels

Credit goes to this shop for upping the area’s bagel credibility. The brand has since expanded across state lines to D.C. and Virginia, but the Bethesda original remains largely unchanged. Find dozens of bagel varieties with lox, cream cheese spreads, or as savory sandwiches.

Quartermaine Coffee Roaster

Neighbors gather here for freshly roasted coffees and espressos. It also has a sizable pastry counter and beans to brew at home.

Related Maps

Fresh Baguette

This acclaimed French bakery is tucked away in a corner of Bethesda that’s better known for car dealerships and a Giant grocery store. Follow the smell of freshly-baked bread for baguettes, croissants, and Viennese pastries made on-site and at a larger production facility in nearby Rockville.

Vace Italian Delicatessen

A slice is nice at Vace, an Italian pizzeria and deli with an extensive amount of homemade pastas. An attached grocer sells imported specialty items to cook at home.

Bethesda Crab House

Get cracking on Chesapeake Bay crabs at this seafood standby that opened in 1961. Steamed crabs by the platter come complete with Old Bay seasoning and brown paper-covered tables. Call in advance to make sure it is open and to reserve orders.

Related Maps