7/17/2012 01:15:00 PM

10 Neighborhood Gems In and Around DC

Photo: Lorraine Fitzsimmons
When you’re heading out in the neighborhood for a casual bite or to meet up with friends, chances are you’re looking for a low-key vibe and good value. After all, it’s an everyday experience, not a budget-busting night on the town. Check out some local standbys we like, including a few suggestions from our readers. What are your favorites?


  1. Fried seafood? Why would this list include a criminal such as the Tacke Box's owner. Guy burned down his previous restaurant in Georgetown.

    1. I agree with Anonymous et.al., the Lobster Roll @ the Tackle Box was an over-priced imposter and Mon Ami's food and wine selections have to be overlooked to enjoy the bar and bartenders who are first-rate. If you overlook the food and want ambiance in Bethesda, there are dozens new and old-- Flanagan's (great music, beer, camaraderie & local owners who give a shit), Bar @ the Mussel Bar (really great beer, wine & mussels-what more could you want) New Cesco (will be OLD-school neighborhood soon enough w the NEW club & food that's great as expected from Francesco), Jaleo's (great food, small portions-1 med rare lamb chop; spinach w pinolis & raisins; & that potato dish, voila, dinner- Fun bar w great albarinos, sangrias, cocktails, cute bartenders...) Bar @ Black's, Redwood, Grapeseed are all Bethesda neighborhood gems.

  2. This is a great list; however, could a restaurant with a flagship based in Chicago and a location on the Vegas strip (i.e.Mon Ami Gabi) be truly considered as a neighborhood joint? Don't get me wrong, I think their food is great. I guess it's a fundamental difference in which is more important: Atmosphere vs. Local Ownership.

  3. Here we go again. If you live in Baltimore, Zagat is always delighted to tell you where to dine in Washington, DC. Baltimore may be a major American city, it may have several first-rate restaurants but to Zagat, it's a suburb of Washington that's hardly worth a mention -- unless you're peddling Guides.