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Jun 10, 2010 06:14 PM

Restaurants near Bethesda Doubletree?

Looking for restaurant suggestions in Bethesda, preferably walking distance from the Doubletree hotel (8120 Wisconsin).

Something casual and not too expensive. Ethnic is good. One of the diners is a vegetarian, so I was thinking Asian might be a good option. Only other prohibition is that one of us can't handle hot spicy food.



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  1. Any downtown Bethesda option will fill the spot. There is a rash of places opening up offering Salad maindishes. I ate at one and it wasn't bad, but at this point, I can't distinguish.

    A Vietnamese place behind the Starbucks off Wisconsin gets good reviews.

    I would avoid the falafel truck across the street. I am a HUGE fan of cart/truck food. This place tries to be too Americanized or something and puts something too creamy/juicy on the pita and it leaks all over you - with a weird BLT type flavor.

    There's Jaleo, which if you're visiting should be on your list. Tapas, from one of the early masters to the USA of tapas. You can search his name or Jaleo to get other tips.

    Other than that, I enjoy my trips from NOVA to Bethesda, but mainly so that I can enjoy food in between, or nearby with a car.

    5 Replies
    1. re: Dennis S

      Thanks for your response. I'm not a salad eater (I prefer less healthy options), so that's out. Falafel truck is too casual.

      I've been to Jaleo, but as my husband had warned me before we went there (he'd been there before), we spent a lot of money but were still hungry when we left.

      Vietnamese would be good. Trying to find out which restaurant it is.

      1. re: Mallomar

        I don't know what "walking distance" is to you, but the places Dennis mentions are all in the southern dining area in Bethesda - about .7 miles from the hotel. There are many places within just a couple of blocks of the hotel (Mia's and Passage to India, as we've discussed elsewhere).

        Passage to India
        4931 Cordell Ave, Bethesda, MD 20814

        1. re: DanielK

          Try Bacchus - one of the best Lebanese places around. They have a lot of vegetarian mezze and they have a pleasant patio for outdoor dining.

        2. re: Mallomar

          there is an excellent vietnamese restaurant called Green Papaya in Bethesda but on the other side of Old Georgetown Road (near Jaleo). Also to consider would be Penang, for malaysian food.

          Green Papaya
          4922 Elm St, Bethesda, MD 20814

        3. re: Dennis S

          The Vietnamese is Rice Paddies, and again I haven't personally been - just know it's been rec'd here a bit.

          And duh - Blacks! Seafood centered. IIRC this outpost is slightly bent to cajun/creole. I usually go to the sister outposts of Addies or BlackSalt, so it has now been 9 or so years, but Jeff maintains high quality and has become his own seafood purveyor.

          Thanks for Mallomar for pointing out that I was a little off in distance with my first post - I thought the doubletree was a bit further south. Though I've been known (even recently) to walk 6 miles in dress shoes and pants in the hot Dallas heat to survey the surroundings and find a good meal. .7 is child's play (and again puts you around, and makes you pass by, many options).

          4883 MacArthur Blvd., Washington, DC 20007

        4. Woodmont Grille is actually a Houston's.

          1. Black's for seafood
            Sweet Basil for Thai
            Passage to India for Indian
            Tia Queta (rooftop outdoor dining!) for decent mexican
            Bacchus (mediterranean/lebanese) -- great stuff
            Grapeseed (wine bar-ish food, a little expensive)
            Assaggi Mozarella Bar (decent Italian, emphasis on burrata, etc...)

            There are some higher end places, too, but that's not fitting your criteria.

            Passage to India
            4931 Cordell Ave, Bethesda, MD 20814

            4865 Cordell Avenue, Bethesda, MD 20814

            Tia Queta Restaurant
            4839 Del Ray Ave, Bethesda, MD 20814

            Sweet Basil
            4910 Fairmont Ave, Bethesda, MD 20814

            1. Passage to India on Cordell is fantastic.

              I have heard very good things about Faryab (Afghan cuisine) as well, but never been. But I think Passage to India is fantastic.

              Passage to India
              4931 Cordell Ave, Bethesda, MD 20814

              4917 Cordell Ave, Bethesda, MD 20814

              2 Replies
              1. re: Jeserf

                FRESH GRILL on Fairmont Ave: Opened this week- went there last night- had an EXCELLENT burger! They have chicken & fish sandwiches, too.

                MOBY DICK for fast/casual Persian (kebobs, etc). It is a few blocks away on Wisconsin.

                Hated TIA QUETA- but that may be just me.

                I agree that MIA'S, RICE PADDIE'S GRILL (love the pork noodle bowl and summer rolls) and BGR are very good.

                RAKU (asian fusion) on Woodmont Ave. is a few blocks walk but very good (love the chilean seabass and pork & chicken dumplings) and extremely popular.

                OLAZZO is good, basic Italian. I forget the street, but close by.

                1. re: chicken kabob

                  Thanks for all the responses. Turned out that the vegetarian had already been instructed to go to Shangri-La by her son. It was a good choice, although the food was a little spicy for me.

              2. Turns out I have the exact same question. Bethesda, walking distance of the Doubletree. I'm originally from the northeast. Having relocated west, when I come east, I'm looking for the food I miss. So, I'm not looking for dining experiences or asian food, rather I'm looking for great pizza, bbq, homestyle italian, cheesesteaks etc. - whatever local yummy stuff there is. Help?

                4 Replies
                1. re: skyla

                  La Panetteria on Cordell is not fancy but the food has always been good, especially for the price.

                  1. re: Teddybear

                    I'll second La Panetteria...though it has been several years since I have been. Decent pizza can be found on the south side of Bethesda at Vace. I don't think there is anything remotely close to good BBQ in Bethesda. There is a cheesesteak place (South Street Steaks) which is OK, but I've had far, far better. Philly Mike's also has cheesesteaks, but I am told changed hands several years ago and is not even close to what it used to be.

                    You might also consider Red Tomato for pasta/pizza for a lunch. Or Bacchus for pretty good mediteranean/middle eastern food, too.

                    3315 Connecticut Avenue NW, DC 20008

                    1. re: Pool Boy

                      For my money, Philly Mike's is better than South Street.

                  2. re: skyla

                    forgot to add to my list Cornucopia which I believe is on Norfolk. Excellent small italian grocery store and baked goods with fantastic italian sandwiches. a few blocks from where you are staying. can also hit happy hour at Blacks on Woodmont Ave where in the bar raw bar food is half price. 2 good burger places nearby are BGR and Fresh Grill for gourmet burgers.