The best bagels around are in Annapolis at a place called Bagels and Bagels and .... It's in a strip mall on the corner of West Street and Rte 2. The owner is from Long Island and has an adorable ny accent. They are closed on Mondays and also observe the Sabbath. He has lox, bialys, white fish salad. What's not to like? Bethesda Bagel is closer to DC, but that's about it.
Actually you are in real trouble....but in my experience, you are mostly in real trouble bagel-wise in New York City also. I used to bring bagels home from NYC; now I bring bagels with me when I visit the Apple (unless I can make a detour to the Bagel Hole in Brooklyn or someplace similar.)
Having said that, the best bagel in DC (according to me) is from the Georgetown Bagelry on M Street, just past Wisconsin and across from Georgetown Park. Ask for them well baked.....(and the pizza by the slice is not bad either--by DC's admittedly low standards.)
Georgetown Bagelry has a branch on River Road in Bethesda, but the bagels there are lighter and fluffier...I attribute it to the fact that they have a new and more powerful dough mixer.
Bethesda Bagels used to be good, but no longer....
If you are ever out I-270 near Germantown, stop at Royal Bakery (Rt. 118/Germantown Rd. and Middlebrook Rd., enter from Middlebrook). Interesting owners from NY, married couple bringing Italian and Jewish backgrounds to the bakery. VERY good, chewy bagles, plus killer pastries, cookies, etc.