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Bethesda visit this week - need some quick current rec's

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All the Bethesda threads seem dated.

I am hoping to get a few ideas for eats - staying for a few days and will be stationed at the Hilton Garden Inn - Bethesda

Will have a car - so could venture further than Bethesda
- but would prefer to walk or take the metro - It looks like will be on the red line

Not interested in high end dinners this trip - just some solid pub, bistro or ethnic spots without breaking the bank


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  1. I love Mia's Pizza in Bethesda.

    1. I had a good lunch recently at Divino's (walking distance) and have always enjoyed meals at Passage to India on Cordell (not all that far).

      1. Bistro Lazeez on Norfolk has very good Mediterranean food. Olazzo (also on Norfolk) has fabulous lunch sandwiches (Italian). I second Mia's Pizza. Blacks Bar and Kitchen has nice Happy hour specials. I went to Mussel Bar for dinner (over by Pentagon Row)--was good but they don't take reservations and place fills up.

        3 Replies
        1. re: Milocat1

          I think you mean Bethesda Row, not Pentagon Row -- just pointing it out so as not to confuse the OP.

            1. re: dracisk

              Yes! Have done that more than once. Thanks for catching it

            1. Great suggestions above, I highly second Passage to India, had a great meal there recently. Also would suggest Freddy's Lobster and Clams which is really good.

              1 Reply
              1. re: ktmoomau

                I'm curious about Shangri La, but there are no recs here on Chow. It gets good reviews on Yelp and is close to the Hilton Garden Inn.

                Also close is Ruth's Chris, which ain't cheap.

              2. Tako grill for sushi
                Taylor Gourmet for great Philly style subs
                South street steaks for Philly cheesesteaks
                Mias pizza for wood burning stove gourmet pizza
                Cornucopia for italian charcuterie sandwiches in a quaint Italian grocery
                Rio grand cafe Tex Mex
                Asssagi mozzarella bar for Italian bistro
                Jaleo for tapas
                Mussel bar for mussels and Belgian type bistro
                Green papaya for upscale Vietnamese
                Freddy's lobster and clam shack for Maine lobster shack food lobster rolls

                1 Reply
                1. re: dining with doc

                  Green Papaya is on living social today. Looking forward to trying it!

                2. I really enjoyed Cava Mezze Grill a few months back. It's kind of like a Mediterranean Chipotle. Get the three mini-pitas option (rather than one big pita, salad, or...can't remember if there's another option) and you can try almost everything on the menu!

                  1. Passage to India is my top choice in Bethesda, but it could be a top choice anywhere else too. Last time I was there I had the dish with baby gourds and the spinach with buttermilk, and it was heavenly.

                    On the last page of the mneu, there are three things you shoudl order: the pickles, the spices, and the black dal. Add these to any meal and you will eat like a true Chowhound.

                    Another choice in Bethesda is Faryab for Afghan food. The buranee (triangular leek pastries) and the pumpkin dish are very fine.

                    1. I second the suggestion for Cava Mezze Grill on Bethesda Ave, another option is a rice bowl that you can get other things over, which I liked.
                      Additionally, if you want to try coal-oven pizza, a place called Haven just opened up on Wisconsin Ave not too far from your hotel, it serves the New Haven style "tomato pies" etc. Haven't tried it myself, but looks worth a try.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: MsDiPesto

                        Cava Mezze is really good. Also in the area around the hotel:

                        Jettie's for salads/sandwiches/soups
                        Pizzeria de Marco for Neapolitan pizza
                        Freddy's for fried seafood and the best tap list in Bethesda
                        Bold Bite for gourmet hotdogs and sausages