For almost 250 years, Gaithersburg has served as a proud garrison of the U.S. Army Reserve Legal Command. Famously along the B&O Railway, this city has developed a large and diverse economy and citizenry.
It may be no wonder that a bevy of different ethnic restaurants has populated Gaithersburg over the past several years.
In addition to Japanese, Chinese, and Italian eateries, you will find Peruvian, Mexican, and Mediterranean restaurants to wet your palate. And, of course, you’d expect there to be some fine seafood places along the way.
So please take a moment to check our list of the Best Restaurants in Gaithersburg, Maryland. You are sure to find something – hopefully many things – that will whet your appetite for this eclectic city.
135 Crown Park Ave, Gaithersburg, MD 20878
If you spend part of the day meandering along the Muddy Branch, take the Washington Boulevard bridge over I-370 and you’ll soon find this colorful restaurant and bar inside the Downtown Crown.
Coastal Flats provides a relaxed atmosphere for steaks and seafood. They also serve up several distinct dishes you’re not likely to find anywhere else.
For example, on the starter menu, I like the Deviled Eggs with spiced pecans and sugar-cured bacon. This is not your average potluck deviled eggs.
This elevates the popular homemade dish. The lobster roll for lunch – a full pound of Maine crustacean meat – is also worth the market price.
And for dinner, the “Surf-n-Turf” dish of filet mignon and crab cakes with mashed potatoes and roasted mushrooms is another can’t-miss dish.
Dogfish Head Alehouse
800 W Diamond Ave, Gaithersburg, MD 20878
Just up the street from the National Institute of Standards & Technology is Dogfish Head Alehouse, Gaithersburg’s spot of this trendy, craft brewery with pub grub American style.
Wood-fired burgers and pizzas help soak up the various brews on tap. It’s a great place for adult birthday parties as well as the restaurant’s signature beer dinners.
I recommend the Steak Bomb Sandwich, which comes with thin-sliced meat, caramelized onions, red peppers, pepper jack cheese, and chipotle mayonnaise on a ciabatta roll.
If you’re hungry for a burger, I like Dave’s Border Burger, which incorporates blackened seasoning on the ground beef, then adds avocado, pico de gallo, and fried jalapenos for a definite Latin taste.
Copper Canyon Grill
100 Boardwalk Pl, Gaithersburg, MD 20878
When the weather’s nice, you may want a lake view table to enjoy your late lunch or dinner. You’ll find one at Copper Canyon Grill, a slightly upscale, slightly casual restaurant that caters to families who enjoy rotisserie chicken.
The terrace looks over the lake and boardwalk. There is a nice variety of entrees, salads, all kinds of sushi, and burgers here. But let’s be real, most people come to Copper Canyon Grill for the rotisserie chicken.
You can get it in salad form – mixed in with greens, black beans, jicama, avocado, tomatoes, and corn tortilla strips in a chipotle-blue cheese dressing with barbecue sauce and cilantro.
Or, you can have the full dinner with mashed potatoes and green beans. Either way, it’s a yummy way to end the day.
705 Center Point Way, Gaithersburg, MD 20878
A few blocks north of Lake Nirvana is Vasili’s Kitchen, a comfortable-but-cozy Mediterranean spot that dishes up all the classics of the Greek isles.
You’ll find traditional dishes such as dolmadakia (rice-stuffed grape leaves), melitzanosalata (grilled eggplant with feta cheese and smoked walnuts), and spanakopita (spinach pie with leeks and Greek yogurt).
For lunch, I enjoy a Giro Pita, with lamb and beef smothered in tzatziki sauce and coleslaw. But you won’t go wrong with a falafel (fried chickpeas with chimichurri and pickled onions), or fried cheese.
Healthy options include the Lentil and Quinoa salad in a mustard vinaigrette. Just don’t break the plates. Ho-pa!
15209 Frederick Rd, Rockville, MD 20850
Head to Rockville on Highway 355 and just south of the Gude Drive offramp you’ll discover a casual Italian eatery with murals galore.
For the past 32 years, they’ve been dishing up homemade pasta dishes as well as seafood and some fine Italian wines.
Il Pizzico means “the pinch” and conveys the idea that just the right amounts of herbs and spices give each dish its correct flavor.
And here you’ll be kissing your fingers after trying their mouth-watering Italian offerings. All the dishes sound wonderful because they’re in Italian and they roll off the tongue.
I am particularly fond of two dishes. First, I enjoy the filetto di maiale al balsamico (pork tenderloin, borlotti beans, and roasted potatoes in balsamic sauce).
And second, I’m a fan of the bucatini con pancetta e Pomodoro, which is a homemade hollow thick spaghetti, pancetta, and onions completed with tomato sauce that delivers just enough spiciness. Buon Appetito!
9124 Rothbury Dr, Montgomery Village, MD 20886
Marylanders love to spend the day hiking, biking, or horseback riding through the North Germantown Greenway and Goshen stream valley parks.
And they burn off a lot of calories doing so. After those activities, it’s just a short shot to Athens Grill, a less formal Greek restaurant that has a few outside tables and features a hardwood charcoal grill.
You get that smoky flavor on a host of appetizers, sandwiches, kabobs, and platters. I had never heard of serving filet mignon on a kabob before, so I had to try this.
I’m glad I did. It comes steeped in bearnaise sauce, with a salad, French fries, and special dressing. You can also order it with tzatziki sauce for a little extra, and I would recommend it.
801 Pleasant Dr, Rockville, MD 20850
Families often populate Mattie J.T. Stepanek Park for its abundance of sporting fields and equipment. Soccer and outdoor basketball games are often in full swing during the weekends, and you might even catch a doubles match on the park’s tennis courts.
After picking up a good sweat, Fontina Grille tempts families to head straight over for delicious brick-fired pizza.
Parents can sip on a glass of pinot grigio or chianti, while the kids fill up on BBQ Chicken or Pepperoni and Sausage pizza.
More mature guests may enjoy the Pizza ala Vodka, with mozzarella, crispy bacon, pepperoni, and sausage spread on top of a vodka sauce.
Other dishes include my favorite saltimbocca, which infuses sauteed chicken and prosciutto in a white wine sauce.
82 Market St, Gaithersburg, MD 20878
Seneca Creek State Park is an urban oasis in the middle of Gaithersburg. You can easily escape among the park’s 6,700 forested acres.
After a couple of hours or a full day of exploring nature, head southeast on the Great Seneca Highway to the Bonefish Grill for seafood that’s so fresh you’d think local fishers caught it in the park.
Here, the chefs take a worldly approach to their seafood menu. You can get Japanese-style sashimi tuna in a tempura batter, Italian-style seafood blended with mozzarella and parmesan cheeses, French-style mussels, and Maryland-style crab cakes.
My favorite is their New Orleans-style Bonefish Pasta dish. They take Atlantic salmon and smother it in red peppers, artichokes, and a creamy creole sauce all over a generous helping of linguine.
Sardi’s Pollo A La Brasa – Gaithersburg
430 N Frederick Ave, Gaithersburg, MD 20877
If you’re still someone who prefers crawling the mall for clothes, home goods, and other items, Lakeforest Mall across from the Gaithersburg Library is as good as any along the I-95 corridor.
But you might want something a bit more adventurous in your restaurant choice after browsing through the racks at Macy’s.
If so, I recommend Sardi’s Pollo a la Brasa. It’s homestyle Peruvian food. And it is good Peruvian food, as evidenced by the eatery’s 2,000-plus 4- and 5-star online reviews.
They take rotisserie chicken and infuse it with bold Peruvian flavors for a mouth-watering taste combination.
President Barack Obama’s people liked it so much that they chose Sardi’s as the premier caterer for his inaugural ball.
Taco Bar Gaithersburg
3 Russell Ave, Gaithersburg, MD 20877
Take a step back in time to when steam trains ruled the rails at the Gaithersburg Community Museum. The main attraction is the old-time wooden railroad station, originally built in 1884 and now on the National Register of Historic Places.
Kids and adults can imagine what it was like to sell tickets and ride the rails. Less than a mile away lies another pit stop in the Olde Towne neighborhood.
The Taco Bar is short on fancy but long on taste. Start with the Carne Asada fries with guacamole and sour cream.
Then try at least one taco al pastor, which includes marinated pork with onions and pineapple, and a bowl of pozole soup. The beefy red stock with hominy and pork melts in your mouth.
And if you’re on the adventurous side like me, try the tripa taco. It’s grilled small intestine. And I know how it sounds, so just trust me.
Uncle Julio’s Gaithersburg
231 Rio Blvd, Gaithersburg, MD 20878
Locals know The Rio is a walker’s paradise. Loop around the lake and you’ll pass by several interesting landmarks. This includes the Carousel, where kids can enjoy calliope music and ride the stationary horses of the merry-go-round.
As you get to the main Rio playground on the lake’s western end, you should notice Uncle Julio’s across the street.
It’s a lively restaurant and bar with cool margaritas, Tex-Mex favorites, and rustic Latin art. Order the carnitas fajitas.
They slowly simmer a pork roast in traditional Mexican spices till it’s crispy on the outside and moist in the middle.
Yum. Then fold the carnitas into a flour tortilla with beans, rice, and grilled veggies for a messy but great bite of food.
Best Restaurants in Gaithersburg
- Coastal Flats
- Dogfish Head Alehouse
- Copper Canyon Grill
- Vasili’s Kitchen
- Il Pizzico
- Athens Grill
- Fontina Grille
- Bonefish Grill
- Sardi’s Pollo A La Brasa – Gaithersburg
- Taco Bar Gaithersburg
- Uncle Julio’s Gaithersburg
If you’re planning a trip to Gaithersburg soon, you should want to take advantage of its many delicious restaurant choices. Its a short drive from the busy Washington DC metro area.
Whether you’re looking for upscale seafood, down-and-dirty Mexican, or Mediterranean freshness, you are bound to find it throughout this diverse city.
The best restaurants in Gaithersburg, Maryland all incorporate their signature style and commitment to quality that isn’t to be missed. If you’re closer to the Towson area, however, you should check out these places, too!
Did we leave a restaurant out of this list? Make sure you leave us a comment, and we’ll check it out!