Bethesda, Maryland, is home to a growing number of excellent dining destinations, as well as bars and shops of all kinds. Depending on when you’re around, that line you see stretching down the block could stem from the Apple Store, Georgetown Cupcakes, or the latest in a long string of new establishments opening their doors to the public.

This seemingly happens on a weekly basis, particularly in the upscale Bethesda Row corridor, which is already packed to the brim with both local joints and bigger name brands, but still finds room for more and more. Here are five new additions to the scene you won’t want to miss.

Pana’s Empanadas

4731-A Elm St. –

For a change to your takeout or pickup food routine, check out Pana’s Gourmet Empanadas. There are about a dozen different empanadas on the menu, including meat, seafood, and vegetarian options. Go with a friend and order a canoa, which includes a sampling of eight empanadas, four sauces and plantain chips, and is actually the same price as two people ordering just three empanadas each.

Nando’s Peri-Peri

4839 Bethesda Ave. –

Nando’s serves up grilled, seasoned chicken using a special combination of spices with Portuguese and African roots. While it’s a quick service-style restaurant, you can also take a seat at a table and be served by a waiter or have a few drinks from their bar in an inviting, bustling atmosphere. Enjoy whole flame-grilled chickens, wings, sandwiches, sides, and more, and choose the spiciness of your sauce to match your mood.

The Box

7525 Old Georgetown Road –

A new addition to the sports bar scene comes from The Box. Think of The Box as a Hooters redux of sorts. Seductively clad waitresses, lots of beer and food specials, tons of big-screen televisions. Food is typical American pub fare – burgers, sandwiches, wings – and should help soak up all the booze you’re likely indulging in as you watch the big game.

Capital Teas

4806 Bethesda Ave. –

If you enjoyed yourself too much at The Box on a Saturday night, perhaps you should stroll into Capital Teas on a Sunday morning for some rejuvenation. The store specializes in selling fresh, loose-leaf teas of all kinds. The selection is all available in glass jars – allowing visitors to take a peek and catch some aromas to see if it’s something they might like to bring home. Buy some tea in one of their metal containers, and bring it back to the store the next time for a discount.


7249 Woodmont Ave. –

Whether you’re looking to kick things up a notch in the kitchen or you want to find a gift for a culinary soul, pop over to Secolari, which has a wide range of artisan olive oils, vinegar, and accompaniments. There are dozens of different pastas, oils, sauces, and more, and customers can sample a few as they consider what they might like best.

This article was first published by Jake Emen on Yahoo! Voices on January 16, 2012