Whether you’re in College Park, Maryland for a game, a college visit, or just passing through, this lively college town has enough delicious food to keep you satisfied for days. From the more exotic choices such as Jamaican and Japanese, to the best in down home diner fare or tasty pub grub, College Park has plenty to offer. Check out our choices for the town’s best restaurants.
Good Vietnamese food is fundamentally based on having the freshest ingredients, and Pho D’Lite has fully embraced that principle. The menu is simple and timeless, offering the world renowned Vietnamese favorite pho, plus rice bowls, vermicelli noodle bowls, and various specialty dishes like pad thai and your choice of curries to top it off. Its simplicity makes it the perfect choice for both newcomers to the cuisine and people who have grown up with it – and both groups will walk out totally satisfied. On a chilly fall day, there are few things better than a piping hot bowl of pho – and here you can even create your own bowl with your desired ingredients.
If you want to add some spice to your life, go fill up on the Jamaican food over at The Jerk Pit. Their signature dishes, of course, revolve around jerk spices, and you can get everything from jerk pork to jerk tofu if you want the flavor but not the meat that it generally comes with. For the full experience, have a family style meal, starting with some of their mouthwatering appetizers—don’t miss the plantains—and then get a variety of the spiced meats so that you can try everything. They also have salads if you want a lighter meal, and if you can save room for dessert, try their excellent rum cake.
College Park is at its heart a college town, and Looney’s Pub is a great place to get into the lively, fun college atmosphere. They have everything you want at a sports bar – great beers on tap, a menu chock-full of all the pub classics, plenty of TVs to watch the big game, and frequent musical acts coming through. Their food runs the gamut from tasty salads to big, meaty burgers, so it’s a great place to come with a big group of people who all want different things. Why not just order a couple of items off the Pub Grub section of their menu to share? It’ll only add to the fun you’re already having.
If someone said that they make Indian-Pakistani-Mexican fusion food, would you have any idea of what to expect? If not, go to Krazi Kebob, because that’s exactly what they do. This restaurant is the first independent venture of an entrepreneur who comes from a well-established family in the world of Pakistani and Indian cooking in New York City. The concept came from his realization that the flavors of Mexico and the subcontinent have much in common – and now you can try them together. You go through an assembly line to put together your meal, and then you reap the delicious benefits at the end.
Owned by a couple of first generation Italian Americans who learned all the tricks of the trade from their restaurateur parents, Mamma Lucia is the real deal when it comes to Italian food. Their menu is extensive, and you’d be forgiven for not immediately recognizing all of the dishes – they go well beyond the normal options at American Italian restaurants. Their seafood section is especially exciting – all of the dishes come exquisitely spiced and served over pasta.
College Park Diner
Just from the name, you know that College Park Diner is going to be an informal place to come for good food and no frills dining. Breakfast is where they truly shine, and College Park is just far enough to the south that you can get all the southern classic breakfast items like real fluffy biscuits and expertly prepared grits. It’s conveniently located near a number of hotels, so if you’re in town for a game or a college visit, this is a good place to come. The service is friendly and the portion sizes are large – you definitely will not be leaving hungry.
You might not expect to find a traditional Japanese restaurant in a Maryland college town, but Hanami proves all your expectations wrong. The atmosphere is relaxing and the restaurant is nicely decorated, which will make your meal that much better. You have the option of sushi or cooked meals, and the decision will be difficult – why not have a shared sushi roll as an appetizer before moving on to your hot meal? They have all of your favorites – teriyaki, hibachi, and tempura meals, plus some special surprises like the chef’s signature sushi rolls.
Marathon Deli is a true College Park mainstay. They’ve been a local favorite for over 15 years, and it’s the sort of place that customers will return to over and over again. Maybe you guessed from the name, but Marathon Deli is Greek-themed, and the dishes often combine Greek flavors with other tastes to make truly delicious and unique creations. You’ll have a hard time making it past the specialty wraps section of their menu, but if you manage to do that, you’ll find a lot more to reward yourself with. Some of the non-Greek items are well worth a try; for example, the Cuban sandwich or the Thai garden salad. Your options are wide open.
Azteca Restaurant & Cantina
Azteca Restaurant & Cantina is essentially a celebration of TexMex food, and you know you’re in for a good time the minute you walk in the door. The spicy aromas of Mexican cuisine will waft out to greet you as soon as you walk in, and then you’ll have the task of choosing which dish you want for yourself. Each catgory – fajitas, enchiladas, etc. – has its own page of the menu, so you have plenty to decide from. Everything, of course, comes with rice, beans, and the required sides. Try to save room for dessert, because then you’ll have the chance to try the classic Central American tres leches cake.