Gardenia’s Cafe is Maryland’s Highest Rated Independent Restaurant

The highest-rated independent restaurant in Maryland, according to a new survey from OnDeck, is located right here in Montgomery County, Maryland. Gardenia’s Cafe, located at 8377 Snouffer School Rd. In Gaithersburg, opened in 2020 and has become a local favorite.

On Deck used to retrieve publicly available ratings and review numbers for 149,099 independent restaurants within the most populated cities in every state and across the following categories of cuisine served: pizza, vegan, burgers, breakfast and international cuisine (e.g., Chinese food). Gardenia’s Cafe was the highest rated restaurant overall, across all categories. More on Gardenia’s, including a video below from our very own Mr. MoCo:

When you enter @gardeniascafe in Gaithersburg you are immediately given a warm welcome by Genesis Gardenia Ortega and/or her mother Maritza. The Ortega family (husband and wife Fernando and Maritza and their kids Gardenia and Joshua) opened Gardenia’s Cafe one month before the pandemic shut downs in early 2020. Gardenia says “walking in those doors is just like walking into my house. From the bright colors, cleanliness, flowers, the smell of fresh food, and fresh ingredients.”

The menu is described as homemade, multicultural cuisine made with clean ingredients. Breakfast is served all day and they feature a rotating selection of cakes, pies, muffins and whatever else Gardenia feels like baking that day. For lunch and dinner, they offer a variety of burgers (veggie, lamb, beef), cheesesteaks, seafood, pastas, salads, and pastelles (Mom’s recipe). The café also includes a wide variety of vegan and gluten free dishes to choose from.

Both of Gardenia’s parents immigrated to the United States from El Salvador in the 1980’s. Before opening the café, Gardenia’s father Fernando worked as a sous chef at Columbia Country Club; “My Father Fernando decided to quit his job of 30 years to pursue a dream of ours. Our dream has always been to spread love and happiness through food. I have always dreamed of having my own bakery, but I did not imagine I would be owning a business at the age of 23 with my family. To be honest, I did not think I was ready for the challenges and responsibilities. Until one day I realized that you are never really ready and if you wait until you are, it’ll probably be too late. All I could do was give my business everything I have in me in order to succeed and to keep an open heart.”

The food is delicious and the love you feel from the family is what will make you a regular. Joshua Ortega, the head chef, has put together an amazing menu guided by the expertise of his father Fernando along with Gardenia’s baking to top everything off. I absolutely loved everything I had in my most recent visit (seen in the video below):”

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17th Annual Kensington Day of the Book Festival

Now in its 17th year, the Kensington Day of the Book Festival is a family-friendly street festival featuring 150+ renowned authors, poets, and literary organizations. Enjoy live music on five stages, special guest speakers, military veteran writers and comedians, poetry readings, cookbook demos, children's program, and much more.

Admission is free, and attendees will also be able to explore a marketplace of books and food offerings from local vendors.

Not your average book festival! This festival offers something for everyone!

17th Annual Kensington Day of the Book Festival

Sunday, April 21, 2024, 11am-4pm (held rain or shine!)

Howard Avenue, Kensington, MD 20895

Instagram: @kensingtonbookfestival

Contact: Elisenda Sola-Sole, Festival Director

[email protected]

301-949-9416 (text preferred)

FEST OF SPRING Caribbean Wine Food & Music Festival

Get ready to experience the vibrant colors, tantalizing flavors, and infectious rhythms of the Caribbean at the FEST OF SPRING Caribbean Wine Food & Music Festival! Hosted by RHU LLC, this exciting festival is set to take place on May 18, 2024, at the picturesque 16700 Barnesville Rd in Boyds, MD.

Step into a world where the Caribbean spirit comes alive! From 12:00 PM onwards, immerse yourself in a sensory journey that celebrates the unique culture, cuisine, and music of the Caribbean. Whether you're an African American, a Reggae or Soca music enthusiast, a wine lover, or part of the vibrant Caribbean diaspora, this festival promises to delight and captivate you in every way.

Let the enticing aromas of mouthwatering Caribbean dishes tantalize your taste buds. Feast on traditional delicacies prepared by expert chefs, showcasing the rich and diverse culinary heritage of the Caribbean. Indulge in flavorful jerk chicken, succulent seafood, and delectable plantain dishes that will transport you straight to the islands.

Accompanying the culinary extravaganza is a carefully curated selection of premium wines, ensuring the perfect pairing for your palate. Sip on fine wines from renowned vineyards, each sip a reflection of the Caribbean's vibrant spirit. Discover new flavors, expand your wine knowledge, and savor unforgettable moments with every glass.

As the sun sets, get ready to groove to the infectious rhythms of Caribbean music. Feel the pulsating beats of reggae, soca, dancehall, and calypso, moving your body to the lively melodies. Live performances by talented musicians and performers will keep the energy high, ensuring a night of unforgettable entertainment.

Don't miss this opportunity to embrace the Caribbean spirit and celebrate the arrival of spring in style! Tickets are available on AllEvents, so secure your spot today. Join us at the FEST OF SPRING Caribbean Wine Food & Music Festival, where cultures collide and unforgettable memories are made.



2 NIGHT Camping packages available: RV/CAMPER $200 | TENTS $150 Starting on Friday May 17 @ 5pm | 30 RV SPACES | 30+ TENT SPACES



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