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Jun 28, 2010 02:45 PM

Moving from NYC to Silver Spring

Hi All,

My husband and I are moving from NYC to Silver Spring, Maryland (Indian Park Terrace neighborhood north of downtown Silver Spring) here in August. We both love food and love to cook.

What can you tell me about the restaurant scene in Silver Spring and surrounding neighborhoods?
Are there any "must eat" places in the area?
Any places that deliver?
any grocery stores nearby that are better than others for picking up stuff to cook at home?

We're also looking for some good pizza that I can have delivered on moving day.

Any and all advice to help build a list of places to try is appreciated, as we know nothing about the area (and neighborhoods nearby).Of course we'll explore DC as well, but I'm hoping to get a grasp of our immediate area first.


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  1. First welcome. Second, you're near some really good food, but like much of the DC metro area, some will require a car or a very long metro ride.

    I'm just going to hit high notes now (time being one issue for me).

    North on Georgia Avenue: Wheaton. The second coming of holes-in-the-wall great places. One of the long established best Thai places: Ruan, and a strong competitor on this board, Nava (which I haven't been to - disclaimer).

    Max's - get the schwarma or falafel plate and tell the guys behind the counter what toppings you want - you can even be vague (I like spicy, etc.).

    El Pulgarcito - just one of a number of Salvadoran places. Before you go there, DC area in general doesn't have much true Mexican. But we excel in Central and Southern American which brings me to...El Pollo Rico. Peruvian rotisserie chicken. There are a TON of places that do this. EPR is generally considered the grand-daddy, though unfortunately they serve fries on the side instead of yuca. Go. If the line is into the parking lot don't worry - you can only order a quarter, half or whole chicken with the same sides.


    Bethesda - generally a bit more upscale and hip, but again a lot of eateries in a small space. For star appeal, hit Jaleo early on - tapas by Jose Andres. Skip the falafel truck, imo. There are a couple of crab places there - you should get acquainted with a crab feast with some friends. Expensive, but a couple of good hours of eating crab and drinking beer.

    Oh - and there are a lot of "fresh eats" places there now - recent influx. Menus based on salads.

    There is more - but again high level.


    Rockville - Joe's Noodle House is the first mention from me, Addie's is the second.

    Joe's is a Sichuan place. DC has a strong Sichuan representation (along with Ethiopian, Indian, the aforementioned Central/South American). For the most part don't go to Joe's for noodle dishes. There are a TON of posts listing rec'd dishes. Order at the counter, then get served at a table.

    Addie's is one of four outposts for Jeff Black. Black's in Bethesda being another. Again, many posts found in a search. Addie's is dear to my heart b/c we had our rehearsal dinner there. Quaint place with a "biker" bar next door - both in old houses. Black Salt - another in the small local chain is perhaps the best and is in NW DC on MacArthur Blvd.


    Lastly - closer to you is Gillian Clark's General Store. Very good fried chicken - I did a post on it just the other day. A tad expensive, though.


    There's a whole lot more - again - just the highlights.

    El Pulgarcito Restaurant
    11333 Elkin St, Silver Spring, MD 20902

    Joe's Noodle House
    1488 Rockville Pike Ste C, Rockville, MD 20852

    Pollo Rico
    7643 New Hampshire Ave, Takoma Park, MD 20912

    4 Replies
    1. re: Dennis S

      Thanks Dennis! Your post rocked. This will be a very helpful start for us. We're a big fan of the hole-in-the-wall type places. Currently, our neighborhood in Queens is home to a ton of wonderful ones (Mexican, Columbian, Ecuadorian etc.). Even though I may shed a tear leaving our favorite joints here, I'm looking forward to exploring the Maryland/DC food scene.

      I'll be sure to check out your other posts, as you obviously care about food like we do. Are there any web sites or DC food blogs I should become familiar with (beyond Chowhound of course)?

      Best, Jen

      1. re: Dennis S

        Also, we're mildly obsessed about Peruvian chicken joints (we live down the street from one here). Happy to hear we're moving to a place that has many! My husband will be pleased to know that.

        1. re: JenEvans86

          Re-reading my post I wasn't very clear on the long lines at EPR - they move fast, since one can only order a very limited option. So - even if they're into the parking lot, it won't take long to place and get your order.

          To your other question, Don Rockwell is sort of the other leading DC board for quality, etc.

        2. re: Dennis S

          A few more recommendations -

          Ray's the Classics is in downtown Silver Spring. Same ownership (one of five restaurants) as the Ray's Hell Burger where Presidents Obama and Medvedev ate last week. I believe they have a limited selection of burgers there, as well as steak and seafood.

          New Kam Fong, in Wheaton, has good Cantonese Chinese food.

          Your closest grocery store is a pretty old Safeway, but you are not far from a Whole Foods (downtown Silver Spring) and a Trader Joe's (a couple of miles north on Colesville Road).

          The Woodmoor Pastry Shop, about a mile from you, is a good old-fashioned bakery. In the same (Woodmoor) shopping center, there is a good Italian deli. They have pizza, but I don't think they deliver.

          Finally, Asian Foods, in Wheaton, is a smallish grocery store. They are Thai owned, and also have a large section of prepared foods, with a small place to eat on the premises. I really like them for a quick lunch. The strip mall they are located in has several small stores/restaurants that are pretty good and interesting (the aforementioned Max's, a kosher market, a pho place, and Full Key - Cantonese).

          Ray's the Classics
          8606 Colesville Rd, Silver Spring, MD 20910

          Woodmoor Pastry Shop
          10127 Colesville Rd, Silver Spring, MD

          Ray's Hell Burger
          1713 Wilson Blvd, Arlington, VA 22209

          Full Key Restaurant
          2227 University Blvd W, Silver Spring, MD 20902

        3. The pizza delivery situation in Silver Spring is a bit dire. If you do a "relevant" search of this board for "pizza silver spring" you will get a ton of info on this topic. There is a Flippin' Pizza on Colesville Road that is on my list of places to try. Joe H (a frequent contributor to this board) says it's very good, but you must order a whole pie (as opposed to slices, which sit out forever). I don't think they deliver though.

          I second what Dennis S said re: Wheaton. Don't miss Ruan Thai and Nava Thai - they are both excellent. I also like the pupusas at Irene's Pupusas on Georgia Ave. Also in Wheaton is the wonderful H Mart - great for Asian cooking ingredients and unbelievably cheap produce.

          Ruan Thai Restaurant
          11407 Amherst Ave, Silver Spring, MD 20902

          Nava Thai Restaurant
          11315 Fern St, Silver Spring, MD 20902

          1. Silver Spring has some interesting restaurants and some pretty good ethnic places. One lace I recommend you look into include Addis Ababa for Ethiopian food (DC is a much better place for Ethiopian food than even NYC). Ray's is great for steaks, but for the most part SS is turning into a chain haven.

            However, driving a little north to Wheaton and beyond, there are some interesting places. Already mentioned Ruan Thai and Nava Thai. I much prefer Ruan Thai but it is a hole in the wall. You really have to try the watercress yum. Max's for shwarma or falafal, but best for takeout. Hollywood East in the Westfield shopping center is one of the best places to go for dim sum (maybe not quite up to HSF in NYC but excellent)

            Ruan Thai Restaurant
            11407 Amherst Ave, Silver Spring, MD 20902

            Addis Ababa Restaurant
            8233 Fenton St, Silver Spring, MD 20910

            Nava Thai Restaurant
            11315 Fern St, Silver Spring, MD 20902

            5 Replies
            1. re: dinwiddie

              I agree on Max's, too. And Mandalay's pretty decent. I think Dinwiddie's also been to Mrs. K's Tollhouse, too (yes?).

              You might also try Tiffin for Indian in Takoma Park -- and Bombay Restaurant in White Oak. Chicken on the Run in Bethesda, El Pollo Rico and even Megachicken in Laurel are good Peruvian chicken joints. Bethesda has a load of nice restaurants, too. It's been several years since I have been to Crisfields for seafood, but it is a complete hole in the wall kind of place. I liked Ray's the Classics, but it didn't blow me away -- well priced IIRC, though.

              So much to explore here, this is all really just a tip of the iceberg.

              Ray's the Classics
              8606 Colesville Rd, Silver Spring, MD 20910

              Pollo Rico
              7643 New Hampshire Ave, Takoma Park, MD 20912

              1. re: Pool Boy

                I've been to Mrs. K's and it is not at all bad. American fare well executed, good service, and on a nice day a nice patio for dining. Excellent (for Montgomery County) wine list and dining in the cafe downstairs in the wine room is a treat.

                I'd also add that Max's is Kosher, and thus is closed Friday afternoon and Saturday.

                For something special you should make a reservation and drive up Georgia Ave to Olney and eat mussels at Mannequin Pis. You can order them by the kilo or half kilo about 20 different ways. Great selection of Belgian beer too. It can be a little hard to find, but is on the left just before you get to Rt. 108 (you can't u-turn there so turn left on 108 and go into the shopping center, drive around to in front of Popeye's and then go into the strip mall behind the center where the restaurant is.) There is also a pretty good sushi restaurant there called Wasabi Zen. (However, there are a few better sushi places in Rockville.)

                If you like Korean food, try Yett Gol in the shopping center at Georgia Ave and Layhill (just north of Randolph Rd.) where the Staples is. Authentic, spicy, and inexpensive.

                Also up in Olney is a place call Ricciuti's that serves wood fired pizza as well as other Italian food. Decent wine list. (Turn right on 108 and it is on the right.)

                If you are into BBQ, you must try Urban BBQ. There is one in Rockville and another in just outside Olney on Rt. 108 East. Great wings, pulled pork, ribs, and brisket, and a fantastic burger. (Try the Soul Rolls, a heart attack waiting to happen.) They also own Urban Burger on Rt. 28 (Norbeck Rd.) toward Rockville.

                Another place to try is Kabob n Kahari on New Hampshire Ave. in Cloverly.

                Mannequin Pis Restaurant
                18064 Georgia Ave, Olney, MD 20832

                Wasabi Zen
                18066 Georgia Ave, Olney, MD 20832

                Yett Gol
                12337 Georgia Ave Ste C, Silver Spring, MD 20906

                1. re: dinwiddie

                  Good recs all, Din.

                  Closest Urban BBQ to the OP is probably Hillandale stop at 10163 New Hampshire.

                  I enjoy the sushi -- especially the crunchy, spicy tuna rolls, at Moby Dick's in Wheaton. (It's not related to the overhyped Moby Dick's kebob place. Kabob n Kahari blows them away.)

                  Pool boy: No need to go to Laurel or Bethesda for Peruvian chicken. Wheaton is the epicenter.

                  Urban BBQ
                  10163 New Hampshire Ave, Silver Spring, MD 20903

                  1. re: repete

                    Actually the one in Hillandale does not have the big smoker that is in the other two places, and is under different management. I much prefer the food at the Rockville and Olney ones.

                    Another place to go is for dim sum at Hollywood East. It has recently reopened in the Westfield Shopping Center in Wheaton (Wheaton Plaza it is no longer on University Blvd.) and is probably some of the best dim sum in the area.

                    1. re: dinwiddie

                      Wow, good to know. Rockville is closest to me here in K-town but I've often thought of trying Hillandale while in that area but hadn't stopped. You couldn't tell by the website. Thanks!

                      Good rec on HE. I haven't tried since the old location became a "Smile Clinic," but the dim sum and some of the entrees like the oyster casserole were clearly among the best in the region.

            2. Tyler Cowan has a pretty good listing of ethinic eats and a blog

              For Cuban try Cubano's in d'town SS.

              1 Reply
              1. re: MrsWheatie

                These are all good recommendations. I'll just add Mandalay on Bonifant in downtown Silver Spring (Burmese), and Kabob and Karahi on New Hampshire Ave in Cloverly (a few miles north) both best if you like spicy food. Cuba de Ayer in Burtonsville is good Cuban in a nice setting.

              2. Other recommendations...

                --Ghar-e-Kabab, on Wayne Ave. across from the parking garage, serves excellent Indian/Nepali food.
                --Pacci's Neopolitan Pizza, on Georgia Ave. I had a pizza there last time I was in town and it was quite promising...easily the best pizza in SS.
                --La Bamba (Georgia Ave.) One of my favorite lunch places. Not really a foodie joint, but I always found their Guatemalan fare satisfying.
                --Tucked in behind the Hung Phat Asian market in Wheaton is a Vietnamese noodle house that is quite good....Mi La Cay does good pho, excellent spring and summer rolls, as well as a very good Vietnamese pancake.