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Locally referred to as the 'Berkeley of the East', Takoma Park, Maryland prides itself on being a left-wing community, once home to many activists in the 1960s. The neighborhood strongly echoes its past with a mixture of liberal professors and government employees, as well as progressive artists, writers and musicians.

The city sits right at the northern border of Washington D.C., and is not to be confused with Takoma, D.C., Highly diverse ethnicity and a drive to help the environment characterize the community. Though some homes tend toward a more traditional, cookie-cutter style, many streets hold a variety of houses, each with its own individual character. Between local festivals, art galleries, ethnically diverse cuisine and Washington D.C. at arm's reach, Takoma Park residents never worry about getting bored.

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Rent Trends

As of August 2017, the average apartment rent in Takoma Park, MD is $962 for a studio, $1,022 for one bedroom, $1,348 for two bedrooms, and $1,466 for three bedrooms. Apartment rent in Takoma Park has increased by 2.1% in the past year.

Beds
Avg Sq Ft
Avg Rent
Studio
532
$962
1 BR
647
$1,022
2 BR
878
$1,348
3 BR
1,039
$1,466
Beds
Avg Sq Ft
Avg Rent

Ratings

72 Walk Score® Very Walkable
63 Transit Score® Good Transit
54 Bike Score® Bikeable

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Restaurants

Takoma Park provides internationally diverse cuisine and a nightlife ranging from low-key bars to cozy live music venues. Stroll around the intersection of New Hampshire Avenue and University Boulevard or Carroll Avenue to take your pick from a vivacious selection of restaurants, galleries, lively coffee shops and bars.

Head to Capital City Cheesecake on Carroll Avenue for your morning caffeine fix, or an afternoon treat. Locals highly recommend a slice of the salty caramel cheesecake with a perfectly sweetened pumpkin spice latte.

As you stroll down New Hampshire Avenue, it's easy to pass the stationed food truck, La Preferida, without a second thought, but Takoma Park's residents know better. Cheap, authentic tacos made with fresh tortillas and savory meat or vegetables make the stop worthwhile. Also, try the much-touted pupusas, even though they take a little longer to prepare.

Sink your teeth into a flavorful grape-leaf dish at Walia Ethiopian Restaurant, or get your money's worth at Tiffin's Indian lunch buffet. For evening activities, grab a stool at the main neighborhood bar, Olive Lounge and Grill on Carroll Avenue. This establishment has a Middle Eastern restaurant in the front area and lounge with a bar that serves traditional American and Mediterranean food in the back room. Take your pick from a solid drink list that includes craft beers, and order the highly praised burger with sweet potato tots or the mazza platter.

Let your inner poet loose, or just sit back with a beer watching other performers, at Republic's open-mic night on Sundays. Though a wider selection of music venues are in the neighboring Silver Spring area and Washington D.C., Takoma Park provides one of the most intimate, underground live music venues in the area. Tree House Concerts holds between four and six shows per year, mostly indie rock bands, on the stage area the sponsoring family's house. With the family's children roaming about and the bring-your-own-beer policy, this unusual, close-knit venue feels more like going to a laid-back house party than a concert.

History

Takoma Park began in the late 19th century and was one of the earliest Washington D.C. suburbs. The city became incorporated into the state of Maryland in 1890, and grew into the largest city of Montgomery County by 1913.

Sometimes referred to as The People's Republic of Takoma Park, the city housed numerous political activists throughout the 1960s and 1970s, including Samuel Abbott, a strong civil rights activist who later became the city's mayor.

While Takoma has no museums, you can view any of five art galleries at the Takoma Park Community Center, where rotating exhibits include everything from pottery to painting. Experience the variety of the neighborhood's ethnicity and culture at the Takoma Park Folk Festival, Film Festival and Street Festival. The particularly famous Folk Festival harbors an eclectic range of music from Celtic and Klezmer to hip-hop, as well as food and crafts.

Transportation

Since Takoma Park residents hold environmental health in such high regard, walking, biking and public transportation are common modes of transportation. As a result, the community has made the area easy to walk, bike or ride the Metro.

Capital Bikeshare offers regional service, including five stops in Takoma, allowing without bikes the ability to use the city's numerous planned bike routes. These routes are carefully mapped out, showing the best ways to navigate the streets using bike lanes and two paved trails, Sligo Creek Trail and Metropolitan Branch Trail. The metropolitan trails connect to the larger Crescent Trail that runs all the way to the Potomac River in D.C.'s historic Georgetown neighborhood.

Both Metro bus and Metro rail link the neighborhood to downtown D.C., other parts of Montgomery County and northern Virginia. The subway has a red-line stop, Takoma Park, right in the heart of the old downtown section, and provides access to central D.C. hubs such as Metro Center and Union Station.

Drivers hop on the major arteries Georgia and New Hampshire avenues to venture into Washington D.C., out to other parts of Montgomery and Prince George's counties and provides access to the I-95 and I-495 interchange, the Baltimore-Washington Beltway. Other options include taxi services or Uber. While it isn't always easy to hail a cab, residents can hail the occasional cab along Georgia or New Hampshire avenues. Parking choices include, moderately priced metered spots, street and off-street parking. Residents are able to receive specific residential parking permits, issued by the Takoma Park police department, allowing them free parking in a certain areas depending on their place of residence.

Cost

Residents pay a decent amount for their comfortable, healthy yet urban living, with the average cost of living at about 1 percent higher than Washington D.C. The median rent for one of these coveted one bedroom apartments is around $954 per month.

Taking the Metro subway costs $2.35 to get to Metro Center during off-peak hours and $4.45 during peak hours, both using the SmartTrip card. Metro bus costs $1.75 for regular and $4 for an express to downtown DC. For about $6 you can grab a pint of ale at the local bar.

Shopping

Shopping in Takoma Park reflects the individuality of its residents, with the majority of stores being independent and local. The few chain stores include a Walgreen's on University Boulevard and a 7-Eleven.

The local boutiques include both high-end and bargain, mostly running along Carroll and Laurel Avenues. Amano's sits at the top of the price scale, showcasing unique women's clothing and accessories. For more moderately priced, used clothes in stellar condition, check out PollySue's Vintage Shop.

Families take their kids to Fair Day's Play for toys that tend toward all natural, educational, small brand names. Music lovers head to the House of Musical Tradition for hard to find instruments and lessons. Search for your holiday gifts at the Covered Market for home decor and jewelry or ArtSpring, with locally made arts and crafts.

Reminiscent of a New York City burrough, locals head to a variety of smaller, more specialized grocery stores rather than larger chains. Head into Takoma Park Silver Spring Food Coop before dinner for healthy ingredients. Ethnic grocers include Aldi, Sheger International Market, the Caribbean Market, Jasmine Bazaar, Arada Market and Angkor Market to start.

The neighborhood holds one of the most popular farmers markets in the D.C. Metro area, Takoma Park Farmer's Market. Every Sunday from 10am until 2pm, year-round, browse the local arts and crafts tables before choosing from a large selection of fresh local produce, pasture-raised meats and Maryland wines. For smaller variety at a more ethnic market, Red Apple Farmer's Market provides fresh food and unbeatable prices.

Parks

Aside from the abundance of greenery from trees and azalea bushes throughout the streets of Takoma Park, the city also provides parks for sports, leisurely picnics, joggers and bikers.

Belle Ziegler, Spring, Heffner and Forest parks all contain playgrounds for the little ones, fields for dogs to chase a frisbee, athletic fields and picnic areas. Unless you want to reserve a playfield or pavilion, the general use of these parks remains free.

Lee Jordan and Ed Wilhelm Fields center around sports and exercise, including amenities such as football and soccer fields and baseball/softball diamonds, Lee Jordan also with a walking/jogging path.

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