Fun fact: I lived in Bethesda for about a year & some change when I moved back to the area after graduation. WHAT!? I know, true story. I couldn’t afford to live on my own yet so I found myself a roommate that would pay for my rent & the occasional grocery visit (thanks, Dad!) until I saved enough to move into a DC rowhouse with 7 other people. I promptly moved out 6 months later since I couldn’t stand my Velvetta shells being eaten without me every Friday + Saturday nights. Talk about sacrifice.
Life in Bethesda was easy, fancy, & fun. It’s not quite Potomac but it’s also no Northern Virginia. It’s more like a calmer DC with parking garages + well-dressed families who all send their kids to Sidwell. It’s the first place that comes to mind when thinking of settling down in the area since it’s got all the frills I need without the DC crazy that includes but is not limited to bikers, traffic circles, & Virginia drivers. If I wasn’t downtown, my weekends were spent at Bethesda Row; Whether I was studying for the LSAT, meeting friends for drinks, or spending endless hours & dollars pampering myself, the Row was my spot. It’s this little oasis in the middle of a bustling city that was perfectly tailored to fit my every need. If you’re a Row-frequenter, you know what I mean; & if you’re new to The Row then hop your booty on over there this summer & make sure you read on to catch my favorite spots!
BREAKFAST // Bethesda Bagels
This is an institution in & of itself. Thank gawd they just opened a second location in Dupont because traveling 7 miles up Wisconsin every weekend for the most delicious bagels in the city was getting a little obscene. I don’t know what kind of magic they put in those suckers but holy breakfast are they delicious. My personal favorite is the orange cranberry with cream cheese & a side of two chocolate milks. Too legit to quit.
PRIMP // Drybar
Since its inception, Drybar has been a force to be reckoned with; Those bartenders know how to get their blowout on. I’m super particular when it comes to my hair so when I find something that works for me I tend to stick with it for the long haul. I love this haircare powerhouse not only for their amazing service but also for their product line. I use the Detox dry shamp religiously & wash my hair with their new Texas Tea shampoo + conditioner. Talk about VOLUME. This stuff is gold.
BEAUTIFY // Bluemercury
Sephora is out & this bad boy is in. For the last few years, Bluemercury has been my go-to beauty stock up store & ha-uge bonus: they also sell some incredibly yummy candles. Makeup staples like my favorite nude lip by Nars & my Bobbi Brown shimmer brick are always in stock here as well as recent summer favorites like my tan towelettes & my skincare line.
LUNCH // Cafe Deluxe
This spot was one of my first Row loves. I fell hard for their alfredo pasta with veggies & prosciutto & never looked back. Half price wine night was always a good excuse to catch up with the girls & the mixed drinks aren’t too shabby either!
SHOP // Lululemon | Luna | Lou Lou
Three quick stops for the cutest workout gear, date night look, & accessories all within a few steps from each other. You’ll never have another excuse to look like a hungover sorority girl on a Saturday morning.
CREATE // All Fired Up
Looking for a great date spot but tired of the lame drink specials & live cover bands? All Fired Up is a pottery painting hub in the center of Bethesda Row. Spend a few hours convincing the latest love of your life that you’re domestic enough by recreating that latest ceramic dish you just stalked on Pinterest. Point, you.
DINNER // Mon Ami Gabi
French-American cuisine that a mid-twenty something can afford without having to dig for quarters out of the parking meters: It’s a win win. I’ve never had a bad meal at Mon Ami Gabi & let me tell you…I’ve had a few meals here. The brunches are superb, the dinner is delectable, & I crave their coffee every weekend morning. No matter who you’re hanging with & what the occasion is, chances are Mon Ami Gabi is an appropriate venue.
DESSERT // Dolcezza Gelato
This ish is the best gelato I’ve had. Ever. There are multiple locations over the DC area including spots in Dupont & Mosaic District so for the love of all that is sweet & delicious go order yourself a small cup of anything. Yes, even if you’ve just finished a juice cleanse. It’s the perfect little spot to treat yo self.
+ DS recommendation: The biggest cup of MENTA possible.
AFTER HOURS // Redwood
The Row is hopping on any given night in the summer so grab a friend or an extra bottle of wine & ask to sit at the huge window tables at Redwood. The spot opens up onto the main area of Bethesda Row & is prime people watching territory. Redwood prides itself on serving naturally-raised, organic, or sustainable dishes that’s sourced from local growers so feel free to get a little snack or 6 while you’re there.
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