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Tim Ebner/Eater D.C.

Where to Eat in Wheaton

The Maryland suburb has one of the most diverse restaurant scenes in the area

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A robust immigrant community makes the Maryland suburb of Wheaton one of the most diverse areas to dine around D.C. Just north of the Beltway, the second-to-last stop on the Red Line is surrounded by some of the best pupusas, dim sum, salteñas, ramen, shawarma, cannolis, pad thai, sushi, and momo in town.

Much of the eating action centers around the intersection of Georgia Avenue and University Boulevard. This map covers a wide swath of cuisines in a relatively small space.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

Los Chorros

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Serving classic Salvadoran fare, Los Chorros has been a dining destination for 30 years. Of course, the pupusas are a must-try, but there are plenty of other options. Order the higado des res — sauteed beef livers with onions — or pollo a la crema, chicken cooked in a cilantro cream-based sauce.

Mi La Cay

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This is an easy choice for Vietnamese pho and other staples like grilled pork and vermicelli noodles. Best of all, the service is fast and the prices are easy on the wallet.

Max's Kosher Cafe

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The place for pita perfection is Max’s Kosher Cafe on University Boulevard. The highlight at this kosher deli is the shawarma and falafel cart run by native Israeli Momi Houmran. Meat and chickpea balls come in pitas packed with toppings like pickled cabbage and onions. The counter serves brisket and pastrami sandwiches, as well as an inventive pastrami burger.

Ruan Thai

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Directly next door to Ren’s Ramen is Ruan Thai, where pad thai and other noodle dishes rule supreme. Mango sticky rice is a crowd pleaser, and the fried watercress is legendary.

Ren's Ramen

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Ren’s uses yellow noodles from Sapporo, Japan, and makes some of the richest pork broth found in the area. The shop is small, the line is usually long, and the service is typically curt, but it’s still worth a visit to try some of the best ramen in Maryland. Just remember that it’s closed on Tuesdays.

Full Key Restaurant

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It’s all about the pan-fried noodles and soups at Full Key. The restaurant is continually cited as one of the best for flavors delivered straight from Hong Kong.

For a taste of India and Nepal, head to Methi at the Georgia Crossing shopping center (former site of the beloved seafood restaurant, The Anchor Inn). Start with Nepalese staples like lamb sekuwa — made of marinated, boneless bits of meat — or momo (dumplings) stuffed with chicken. Then, finish with Indian sweets like gulab jamun (fried milk balls served in a honey and rose water syrup) and mango kulfi (ice cream flavored with mango and cardamom).

New Kam Fong Restaurant

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This Chinese restaurant moved from Chinatown in D.C. almost a decade ago. As you enter, roasted ducks and suckling pigs hang in a display window, making it the spot to load up on crisp and juicy meats.

El Pollo Rico

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On most days a cloud of chargrilled smoke and the smell of rotisserie chicken hangs in the air over this Peruvian shop. El Pollo Rico serves a combination of crisp and succulent bird. No visit is complete without a side of yucca, cole slaw, and extra dipping sauces.

Pupuseria La Familiar

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It might be the best restaurant in Wheaton to sample a wide variety of pupusas in one sitting. There are traditional Salvadoran options, like a bean, pork, and squash (ayote) variety, as well as more unorthodox takes like ham and cheese.

Thai Taste by Kob

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It’s often cited as one of the best Thai restaurants around. Noodle dishes like ped pa low (roasted duck and cabbage) are priced as low as $8.25 a bowl. And, the Thai iced tea is a refreshing cool down from dishes that pack serious heat.

Nick's Diner

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Open for breakfast and lunch only, this Greek-style diner has the entire family at work. If you sit at the bar stools, join-in on the conversation with owner Nick Markopoulos as he cooks. His son and business partner, George, is by his side flipping flapjacks too. Favorite dishes include the grilled ham (sliced off-the-bone), feta cheese omelet, and home fries.

Cam Ranh Bay Pho & Grill

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This Vietnamese shop serves plenty of pho noodles and stir-fry dishes. During the spring, there’s also soft-shell crab dishes on the menu. It’s prepared four ways: salted and spiced, smothered in XO sauce, served with ginger and scallion, or topped with black bean sauce.

The Limerick Pub

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This is the spot where Wheaton-ites gather for happy hour. Guinness is always on tap, as well as a variety of Maryland craft beers. Irish fare is served on the menu, and traditional Celtic music adds to the atmosphere.

Gourmet Inspirations

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The daily dim sum menu at Gourmet Inspirations is sure to inspire. On weekends, roving push carts carry dishes like rice noodle rolls with shrimp, snow pea leaf with garlic, and custard-stuffed pineapple buns.

Caramelo Bakery

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This Latin American bakery offers tres leches cake topped with fluffy whip cream. Other dulces del dia, or sweets of the day, include pineapple pound cake and made-to-order cakes.

Kantutas Restaurant

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Every plate is packed with protein at this Bolivian restaurant. Favorites include a breaded filet, known as milanesa, or beef silpancho, a hearty dish covered with diced tomatoes and red onions with a fried egg on top. There are also saltenas, Bolivian-style empanadas, the size of softballs.

Cristina Ristorante Italiano

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Cristina Ristorante Italiano turns 20 in 2020. Since Day One, this go-to red sauce joint has been pumping out Italian family-style favorites, like chicken and veal Parmesan, penne alla vodka, and a stuffed mushroom appetizer that comes packed with jumbo-lump blue crab.

Filippo’s Italian Specialties

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Filippo’s Italian Specialties stocks hard-to-find Italian delicacies and sells a superb cannoli. The takeout counter spans half the store. Must try items include cold cut sandwiches, cold-cut salads, Italian sausages, and Italian wedding cookies.

Moby Dick Sushi

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This tiny sushi shop is squeezed between both a Filipino and Latino grocery store. Look for the black awning and be sure to order the caterpillar roll filled with eel, cucumber, avocado, and sweet and spicy sauce.

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Love you, Moby Dick Sushi #sushi #wheaton

A post shared by DMV Dining (@dmvdining) on

Angel's Pizza and Pasta

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Rockville’s Baronessa Italian Restaurant recently opened a wood-fired Neapolitan pizza shop inside the Westfield Wheaton Mall. Chef Angel Mendoza and partner Marcel Jares serve up pies in a fast-casual style, along with fresh pasta and desserts.

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Los Chorros

Serving classic Salvadoran fare, Los Chorros has been a dining destination for 30 years. Of course, the pupusas are a must-try, but there are plenty of other options. Order the higado des res — sauteed beef livers with onions — or pollo a la crema, chicken cooked in a cilantro cream-based sauce.

Mi La Cay

This is an easy choice for Vietnamese pho and other staples like grilled pork and vermicelli noodles. Best of all, the service is fast and the prices are easy on the wallet.

Max's Kosher Cafe

The place for pita perfection is Max’s Kosher Cafe on University Boulevard. The highlight at this kosher deli is the shawarma and falafel cart run by native Israeli Momi Houmran. Meat and chickpea balls come in pitas packed with toppings like pickled cabbage and onions. The counter serves brisket and pastrami sandwiches, as well as an inventive pastrami burger.

Ruan Thai

Directly next door to Ren’s Ramen is Ruan Thai, where pad thai and other noodle dishes rule supreme. Mango sticky rice is a crowd pleaser, and the fried watercress is legendary.

Ren's Ramen

Ren’s uses yellow noodles from Sapporo, Japan, and makes some of the richest pork broth found in the area. The shop is small, the line is usually long, and the service is typically curt, but it’s still worth a visit to try some of the best ramen in Maryland. Just remember that it’s closed on Tuesdays.

Full Key Restaurant

It’s all about the pan-fried noodles and soups at Full Key. The restaurant is continually cited as one of the best for flavors delivered straight from Hong Kong.

Methi

For a taste of India and Nepal, head to Methi at the Georgia Crossing shopping center (former site of the beloved seafood restaurant, The Anchor Inn). Start with Nepalese staples like lamb sekuwa — made of marinated, boneless bits of meat — or momo (dumplings) stuffed with chicken. Then, finish with Indian sweets like gulab jamun (fried milk balls served in a honey and rose water syrup) and mango kulfi (ice cream flavored with mango and cardamom).

New Kam Fong Restaurant

This Chinese restaurant moved from Chinatown in D.C. almost a decade ago. As you enter, roasted ducks and suckling pigs hang in a display window, making it the spot to load up on crisp and juicy meats.

El Pollo Rico

On most days a cloud of chargrilled smoke and the smell of rotisserie chicken hangs in the air over this Peruvian shop. El Pollo Rico serves a combination of crisp and succulent bird. No visit is complete without a side of yucca, cole slaw, and extra dipping sauces.

Pupuseria La Familiar

It might be the best restaurant in Wheaton to sample a wide variety of pupusas in one sitting. There are traditional Salvadoran options, like a bean, pork, and squash (ayote) variety, as well as more unorthodox takes like ham and cheese.

Thai Taste by Kob

It’s often cited as one of the best Thai restaurants around. Noodle dishes like ped pa low (roasted duck and cabbage) are priced as low as $8.25 a bowl. And, the Thai iced tea is a refreshing cool down from dishes that pack serious heat.

Nick's Diner

Open for breakfast and lunch only, this Greek-style diner has the entire family at work. If you sit at the bar stools, join-in on the conversation with owner Nick Markopoulos as he cooks. His son and business partner, George, is by his side flipping flapjacks too. Favorite dishes include the grilled ham (sliced off-the-bone), feta cheese omelet, and home fries.

Cam Ranh Bay Pho & Grill

This Vietnamese shop serves plenty of pho noodles and stir-fry dishes. During the spring, there’s also soft-shell crab dishes on the menu. It’s prepared four ways: salted and spiced, smothered in XO sauce, served with ginger and scallion, or topped with black bean sauce.

The Limerick Pub

This is the spot where Wheaton-ites gather for happy hour. Guinness is always on tap, as well as a variety of Maryland craft beers. Irish fare is served on the menu, and traditional Celtic music adds to the atmosphere.

Gourmet Inspirations

The daily dim sum menu at Gourmet Inspirations is sure to inspire. On weekends, roving push carts carry dishes like rice noodle rolls with shrimp, snow pea leaf with garlic, and custard-stuffed pineapple buns.

Related Maps

Caramelo Bakery

This Latin American bakery offers tres leches cake topped with fluffy whip cream. Other dulces del dia, or sweets of the day, include pineapple pound cake and made-to-order cakes.

Kantutas Restaurant

Every plate is packed with protein at this Bolivian restaurant. Favorites include a breaded filet, known as milanesa, or beef silpancho, a hearty dish covered with diced tomatoes and red onions with a fried egg on top. There are also saltenas, Bolivian-style empanadas, the size of softballs.

Cristina Ristorante Italiano

Cristina Ristorante Italiano turns 20 in 2020. Since Day One, this go-to red sauce joint has been pumping out Italian family-style favorites, like chicken and veal Parmesan, penne alla vodka, and a stuffed mushroom appetizer that comes packed with jumbo-lump blue crab.

Filippo’s Italian Specialties

Filippo’s Italian Specialties stocks hard-to-find Italian delicacies and sells a superb cannoli. The takeout counter spans half the store. Must try items include cold cut sandwiches, cold-cut salads, Italian sausages, and Italian wedding cookies.

Moby Dick Sushi

This tiny sushi shop is squeezed between both a Filipino and Latino grocery store. Look for the black awning and be sure to order the caterpillar roll filled with eel, cucumber, avocado, and sweet and spicy sauce.

View this post on Instagram

Love you, Moby Dick Sushi #sushi #wheaton

A post shared by DMV Dining (@dmvdining) on

Angel's Pizza and Pasta

Rockville’s Baronessa Italian Restaurant recently opened a wood-fired Neapolitan pizza shop inside the Westfield Wheaton Mall. Chef Angel Mendoza and partner Marcel Jares serve up pies in a fast-casual style, along with fresh pasta and desserts.

Related Maps