The Washington Post releases a yearly list of its “Top 10 Best Casual Restaurants” in the D.C. and half of the most recent list is comprised of five Montgomery County restaurants. Casual restaurants usually share some of the following characteristics: Customers are served at their table, food offerings are moderately priced, atmosphere is low-key, and decor is often unique and based on the type of food served As a general rule, casual dining restaurants fall between fine dining and fast-casual on the dining spectrum. Below we take a look at the five MoCo restaurants that have made the list:
10. Pupuseria Mama Emilia (785 Rockville Pike Suite H, Rockville, MD): Pupuseria Mama Emilia opened in the Ritchie Center in January 2022. The new restaurant took over the location was formerly home to Dokiya Ramen and Pho 95. Pupuseria Mama Emilia comes to you from the owners of Pupuseria La Familiar, which has locations in Beltsville, College Park, Falls Church (Virginia), and Wheaton in MoCo and boast of Mama Emilia’s family recipe. The menu at the existing restaurants consists of a variety of beverages, Pupusas, soups, and a multitude of Salvadoran dishes.
9. Frank Pepe Pizzeria (7101 Democracy Blvd, Bethesda, MD): Connecticut-based Frank Pepe Pizzeria Napoletana officially opened its first DMV location at Bethesda’s Westfield Montgomery Mall on Monday, March 28. “It may have taken nearly a century for America’s best pizza to arrive in the DMV, but we are thrilled to finally be here.” said Jennifer Kelly, granddaughter of Frank Pepe. “These are our family’s original recipes,” she added. “We even replicated our signature coal-fired, hand-built brick oven using iron castings from the original restaurant.”
6. Lapu Lapu ( 216 Market St W. Gaithersburg): Lapu Lapu in Gaithersburg opened on Sunday, June 5. The new restaurant has taken over the 325 square foot storefront that was formerly home to Tex-Mex restaurant Peppers, located next to Vasili’s in the Kentlands. It will specialize in Filipino and traditional breakfast sandwiches and has a few tables available for outdoor seating.
5. Z&Z Manoushe Bakery (1111 Nelson Street, Rockville): Z&Z, owned and operated by the Dubbaneh family, will open in the exact location their grandfather opened a deli in 1982– the spot that was home to Slice of Rockville for the last 11 years. The restaurant specializes in manoushe- a flatbread consisting of a simple yeasted dough which can have a variety of different toppings.
Yu Noodles (9 Dawson Ave., Rockville): “The more you explore the menu here, the more you love what lies within: Yibin spicy dry noodles, Chongqing noodles, Yu village cool noodles, intestine noodle soup, marinated duck and much more. Cai has even devoted a section to Shanghai-style soup dumplings, including one steamer basket dotted with cute, salmon-colored bundles that conceal a slow-burn sting more associated with Sichuan.”