According to Forbes magazine, Bethesda is one of the most affluent and well educated cities in the USA. It’s also the premier city in Maryland for wining and dining, boasting a preeminent selection of places to eat out in, from family friendly venues to innovative restaurants. There’s no need to head to nearby Washington DC for excellent cuisine, when you’ve got these top 10 Bethesda restaurants to tuck into right now.
Raku Asian Dining
Raku Asian Dining celebrates three things: Asian style dining, sushi and sake. As well as serving wok-fried dishes, Raku specialises in raw fish delicacies with warm sake. Bento boxes are by far the best value for money, with a selection of teriyaki marinated meats with either rice or noodles. After that, the options are almost limitless, with a la carte sushi available and made freshly to order. While sake is actually Japanese for alcohol, the variants here follow traditional interpretations with both warm and cool rice wine available to try; be careful though, the stuff can pack a serious punch.
Restaurant, Seafood, Steakhouse, American, Gluten-free, $$$
An elegant but unfussy dining room is the best way to describe Morton’s Steakhouse in Bethesda. This restaurant is the place to go if diners want their meat with a side of comfort. Bone in fillet, served with blue cheese butter and caramelised onions, is just one example of an indulgent and delicious main. There are also copious choices in the form of seafood and chicken if steak isn’t for everyone. Desserts include a fantastically gooey chocolate cake that is sure to appease chocoholics everywhere and also a selection of high quality ice creams and gateaux.
Restaurant, American, $$
Despite being part of the Hillstone Restaurant Group, Woodmont Grill remains an independent and unique restaurant in Bethesda. The Woodmont Grill is celebrated not only for its great cuisine, but also for its fresh daily baked goods and live jazz in the evenings. Signature dishes include spit-roasted chicken with apricot glaze and tabbouleh, as well as jumbo crab cakes, or even pan-seared salmon. While the desserts section is limited, the Woodmont Grill perfectly executes both a hot fudge sundae and a key lime pie; American classics if ever there were any.
Le Vieux Logis
Restaurant, French, Gluten-free, Vegetarian, $
A charming French restaurant in downtown Bethesda, Le Vieux Logis translates as The Old Lodge and serves up great food with old world charm. The restaurant has previously been awarded the Bethesda beauty spot award for bringing the fantastic elements of nature to the heart of Bethesda’s urban setting. Specialty dishes include duck ‘orange you delicious?’ – the restaurant’s own interpretation of the classically French duck a l’orange – as well as slowly roasted beef short ribs. Vegetarians can opt for the ‘vegetarian extravaganza’ – essentially a culinary rainbow of seasonable grains and vegetables – or the portobello burger, where a plump mushroom is roasted to perfection, with all the trimmings.
Praline Bakery & Bistro
Bakery, Bistro, Pastry Shop, Patisserie, French, Vegetarian, $
Specialising in both great cooking and sumptuous patisserie goods, the Praline Bakery & Bistro has something for everyone. The bistro menu features a great selection of quick French dishes, including duck confit, scallops risotto and even lamb roasted in Dijon mustard. The bakery, however, is world class and simply cannot be missed. Parisian style macaroons, glazed fruit tarts and delicate pastries adorn the counter, glinting jewel-like with additions of honey and sugar. The best thing about this venue is that guests can easily choose between making a flying visit, or choosing to make a lengthy afternoon of food and wine.
Bethesda Crab House
Restaurant, Seafood, American, $
The Bethesda Crab House is an institution and, having been opened in 1961, is one of Bethesda’s oldest eating establishments. A family run restaurant, the Crab House is one of the most passionate seafood places around. Platters of crab cakes kick off proceedings, served with corn, tartar sauce and a sweet and spicy cocktail sauce. Specialties include snow crabs, king crab legs and a platter of soft-shell crabs. For the exceptionally hungry, all-you-can eat crab feasts are on offer, with 65 to 110 crabs available for chowing down on. A classic key lime pie is available for dessert, although perhaps not easily manageable after eating 110 crabs.
Restaurant, Seafood, Mediterranean, $
Chef Tony’s is a seafood and tapas restaurant at the heart of Bethesda. Working with local and artisanal producers, Chef Tony’s produces some of the very best in rustic Spanish and Italian food. Recognising that in season ingredients are undoubtedly better and tastier, the kitchen team make the very most of what is locally and readily available. The restaurant also exhibits a fantastic six course tasting menu, which allows guests to savour the very best in Mediterranean fare across an enjoyable and protracted dining session – perfect for catching up with family and friends. However, if the only time available allows for a speedy lunch, then that is easy to find at Chef Tony’s too.
KEEN TO EXPLORE THE WORLD?
Connect with like-minded people on our premium trips curated by local insiders and with care for the world
Since you are here, we would like to share our vision for the future of travel - and the direction Culture Trip is moving in.
Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.
Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.
Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.
We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.