You can find all kinds of cuisine in Silver Spring, with prices ranging from bargain meals to elegant dining experiences.
The central location for restaurants is Georgia Ave., with most dining establishments located either on or near the main strip. For a full-on, fine dining experience, make a reservation at 8407 kitchen bar . The prices are steep, but they match the quality of service and cuisine expected from a fine dining restaurant. Stop by on a weekend for the brunch buffet, and stay for the evening where you can hear live music with no cover charge. Saturday nights get a little busy, so call ahead for a reservation to avoid a long wait.
Paccis Neapolitan Pizzeria serves up some of the best pizza in town and consistently receives four to five star ratings on Yelp. With its authentic Neapolitan recipes, Paccis specializes in providing thin crust pizzas with the freshest ingredients. Toppings are unlimited, so build your custom pizza just how you like it. Don't forget the spicy tomato sauce for an extra kick.
When it comes to finding a bite on a tight budget, The Big Greek Cafe cannot be beat. Ranking as the number one restaurant on Yelp in the downtown Silver Spring area, this cafe serves up traditional Greek cuisine at affordable prices. Every Wednesday is $5 gyro day, and each portion feeds at least two people.
Silver Spring has some great options for music and nightlife. The Fillmore attracts the hottest bands to its stage and maintains an intimate feel throughout, with hanging red curtains and chandeliers above. Stop at one of the multiple bars located inside the building to enjoy a drink before or after a show.
Another great spot to catch a live show is 9:30 Club . A long-time favorite for Silver Spring locals, the club features a top-notch light and sound system and showcases a variety of live music, from indie rock to metal to Americana. The venue also has live DJ sets and club dancing on some nights.
Little Miss Whiskey's Golden Dollar features funky decorations and a fun atmosphere. If you're feeling adventurous, try ordering "The Awesomeness," a refreshing frozen mixed drink. Perfect for people watching, this hot nightspot attracts a diverse variety of crowds each night. The bar is cash only, so stop by an ATM before you step inside. If you are looking for something to spice up your Monday night, check out the free weekly stand-up comedy show on the upper level.
Francis Preston Blair founded Silver Spring in 1840 when he discovered a natural spring flowing from the area of what is now Acorn Park. The Blair family began building in the area, and by the early 1900s, it grew to be a decent-sized town.
Decades later, the opening of the Washington Metro rail service attracted new business and brought new life to the city. Once Silver Spring station was built, the population grew exponentially. At the start of the 21st century, the opening of an outdoor shopping mall called "Downtown Silver Spring" invigorated the economy and community with dozens of new shops.
Some notable personalities who have lived in the area include comedian Dave Chappelle, actor Ben Stein and musician Bill Callahan. Silver Spring was also home to Matt Drudge, the infamous reporter who broke the Monica Lewinsky scandal.
The arts community enjoys several venues to view and create art, and special artistic events are held throughout the year. The downtown area contains several smaller theaters, as well as larger performance spaces such as The Fillmore Silver Spring. The neighborhood also offers many museum options, including the Meditation Museum and the National Museum of Health and Medicine. If you are looking for something to entertain children and make a craft of your own, then check out Color Me Mine to paint your very own piece of pottery.
One of the most notable annual events to take place in Silver Spring is the Silverdocs documentary festival, occurring each June. Every year, top documentaries are shown to eager moviegoers with the winner being announced at the end of the festival. Another big yearly event is the Silver Spring Jazz Festival, bringing nearly 20,000 people to this free festival occurring on the second Saturday of September. Jazz legends such as Wynton Masalis and the Mingus Big Band have made appearances.
Various highways connect Silver Spring, with most of the major roads being three- to five-lane highways. As a result, many residents own cars to get around. However, the neighborhood also offers an extensive bus system, including Metrobus, Greyhound and VanGo. The Brunswick Line services the area with the MARC Train.
The bus terminal at Silver Spring Rail Station is a good place to find a cab waiting, although Uber is also an option. There are a total of 17 parking locations (4) throughout downtown Silver Spring with varying price ranges. With over 11,000 parking spaces, you shouldn't have trouble finding a spot on any given day, and the prices are reasonable given the size of the city.
Silver Spring offers plenty of sidewalks for walking, so it is easy to get around on foot. Additionally, the neighborhood is perfect for cyclists, with plenty of bike lanes, bike parking and rest areas. Along with the Bikeway Connections, the neighborhood also has a fair amount of recreational trails to ride on as well.
For a one-bedroom apartment, the average rent price comes out to around $1,160 a month, though the price varies depending on how far the building is located from downtown. For most homes, the average median value is $405,000.
The cost of living in Silver Spring is slightly less than the Maryland average, but it is 16 percent higher than the national average. The downtown area offers plenty of restaurant and entertainment options, so your monthly spending depends on how often you frequent these places. Compared to downtown Washington, D.C., the prices for entertainment are cheaper.
Downtown Silver Spring contains a vast number of shops to browse, offering a little bit of everything — you can find local bookstores, high-end clothing stores, spas, organic groceries and more. The neighborhood contains two central shopping centers downtown, The Blairs Shopping Center and Downtown Silver Spring Shopping Center.
Some higher-end shopping options in the area include American Apparel and Fashion One. If you seek stores with the best value, shop around at H&M or explore stores in one of the shopping centers.
For a taste of something local, check out Andrea's Fine Hats for endless options of stylish head wear. If you crave something sweet, satisfy your urge with a visit to The Original Velatis. The neighborhood hosts plenty of options for groceries, including widely recognized stores such as Safeway and Convenience Express. Whole Foods Market offers organic options and local produce. For those looking to buy local produce, Ellsworth Drive hosts a farmers market on Saturday mornings from May to October.
The neighborhood offers many free, kid-friendly parks. Silgo Creek Park features a variety of amenities, including picnic grounds, hiking trails, playgrounds and tennis courts. On the west side of Silver Spring, Rock Creek Park provides bicycling on weekends, when the main road is closed off to automobiles. Wheaton Regional Dog Park offers a large leash-free area for your puppy to play and run and includes adequate cleanup supplies to keep the dog park as clean as possible.
Patrons and visitors to the parks of Silver Spring enjoy free access to sports fields and walking trails. If you are looking for a good place to work on your fitness, Brookside Gardens has the best area for exercising, with 50 acres of open land.