Having spent most of her life in and around Silver Spring, Debbie Gerald definitely knows her go-to spots in the community. From local parks and coffee spots to farmers markets, get to know more about Debbie in this latest agent spotlight as she shares her favorite places in and around the area.
“I grew up in Silver Spring and lived in Gaithersburg for awhile where I renovated and sold our home. I came back to Silver Spring to renovate and sell a home in Woodside Park, and then renovated and sold a home in Sligo Park Hills. I recently renovated and moved into a home in Silver Spring’s Cameron Heights neighborhood. (I’m sensing a pattern here!)
I think four renovations is enough for me, but I also said that after three. I am enjoying meeting my new neighbors and exploring my new neighborhood (even though I am pretty familiar because I grew up not too far away) and look forward to many happy years. I can say I am very happy that I moved back to Silver Spring years ago, always something interesting going on in the community.”
Where is your go-to spot for a nice dinner out with family and friends?
Love to go to Republic in Takoma Park. Great for dinner and they have a nice happy hour!
Do you have any favorite trails in your neighborhood?
My favorite is to take my dog Winston to Sligo Creek Park. My current home and my last home in are/were both walkable to the park.
Happy hour! Where do you recommend a good spot for a drink?
Coffee is a must. Where is the best coffee in the area?
Kaldi’s hands down. Great vibe. AND…it does not hurt that our office is right next door.
Have a sweet tooth? What’s the best bakery in town?
Woodmoor Pastry. I remember growing up my mother used to take me in. I try to get the parker house and snowflake rolls for holidays. Remember to pre-order!
Favorite Farmers Markets?
DTSS! I always see so many neighbors and clients. I also like Forest Estates Farmers Market. They choose one farmer each year with the market held in Getty Park.
What’s your favorite park to take a stroll in?
My new favorite is Evans Parkway Neighborhood Park, between Georgia and Dennis.
The park was renovated and offers a playing field and open lawn areas along with a playground and paved area for wheeled play. There are tennis courts, basketball courts, and a picnic area. Plus walking trails, natural meadow areas, and shady woodland areas. It was one of the first pilot projects in the nation to be certified under the Sustainable Sites Initiative (SITES) Rating System for sustainable site design, construction and maintenance.
As a native Washingtonian, Natalie Thomas has grown up in Silver Spring’s Woodside Park and had even purchased her first home in Woodside Forest. She definitely knows her way around from boutiques to bakeries and everything in between.
Get to know Natalie in this latest agent spotlight as she takes you through her favorite spots in and around the DC-Metro area.
Growing up here and having been fortunate enough to travel to various cities, I have really come to appreciate the beauty and diversity of our metropolitan area and just how much it has to offer. There is a little something for everyone here – whether urban, suburban, waterfront, or mountains – our metropolitan area has it all.
While we live in a very transient area, I have come to love this about our area because it brings people from all over the world together! I can’t imagine living anywhere else.
TEMPT YOUR TASTEBUDS: FOOD SPOTS!
More of a foodie? Well, the food scene just keeps getting better. With so many different cultural influences in this city, no cuisine is left unturned.
Where do your tastebuds take you for a nice dinner out with family or friends?
Barcelona – 14th St or Cathedral Commons (DC)
Mi Rancho, Olazzo (Silver Spring)
Blacks Market (Kensington)
Le Diplomate (14th St)
What are of your favorite places to order in from?
Amina Thai (Silver Spring) – Grubhub delivers.
Jewel of India (Silver Spring) – Postmates delivers.
Spring Garden (Silver Spring) – Free delivery.
Favorite Happy Hour spots?
Urban Butcher (Silver Spring)
Mrs. Ks (Silver Spring)
Olazzo (Silver Spring)
Ruths Chris (Bethesda)
Gringos & Mariachis (Bethesda)
Favorite Mexican Restaurants?
Lauriol Plaza (Adams Morgan)
Gringos & Mariachis (Bethesda)
Mi Rancho (Silver Spring)
Uncle Julios (Bethesda)
What’s the best breakfast or brunch spot in the area?
Buena Vida – Great brunch spot – unlimited small plates (Silver Spring)
La Pain Quotidien (Bethesda)
LET’S TALK SHOPPING!
Where’s the best shopping in the town? Are there any good boutiques?
Friendship Heights (DC) – Great combination of high-end retail mixed with off-price apparel chains like Marshalls and TJ Maxx. My favorite part of shopping in Friendship Heights is having access to all different types of retail while being able to pop in and out of shops and enjoy the outdoors.
Reddz Trading (Bethesda) – Second hand designer clothing store. Unique designer finds at unbeatable prices.
Wildwood Center (Bethesda) – Mix of boutiques and designer stores.
Love the great outdoors and mountains? Within an hour you can be hiking at the Shenandoah National Park or sipping wine at a vineyard with mountain views. Our nation’s Capital is full of history from the Capitol, to the White House, to the monuments or museums.
Are there any good hikes or bike trails?
C&O Canal (DC) – Hiking and biking
Great Falls (MD) – Billy Goat Trail
Rock Creek Pkwy (MD) – Hiking and biking
Harpers Ferry (VA)
Gravelly Point Park (DC) – Great walking/biking trails
Patapsco Valley State Park (MD) – Great hikes
Sugar Loaf Mountain (MD) – Hiking
Theodore Roosevelt Island (DC) – Walking
Are there any recommendations for workout classes in the area?
Yoga: Blue Heron Wellness (Silver Spring)
Pure Barre (Silver Spring)
Orange Theory (Silver Spring)
LOCAL BREWS & SIPS
So many to choose from. What are some of your favorite local breweries?
Denizens (MD) – I love that you can bring your dog and sit outside.
3 Stars Brewing Company (DC) – love that you can bring in your own food and get a cold beer.
Best coffee spots in the area?
Kaldis (Silver Spring)
Blue Bottle Coffee (DC – Wharf) – AMAZING DRIP COFFEE
HAVE A SWEET TOOTH?
What’s the best bakery in town?
Nothing Bundt Cakes (Silver Spring)
Jenny Cakes Bakery (Kensington)
Baked & Wired (Georgetown)
Pie Sisters (Georgetown)
Tout de Sweet Shop (Bethesda)
Velatis (Silver Spring)
District Donut (DC)
FUN IN THE NEIGHBORHOOD!
The best part about our city is that most of these activities are free and can be enjoyed through so many means of transportation – kayaking, paddle boarding, biking, scootering, or even a Segway tour!
What are fun weekend activities to do in the neighborhood?
Kayak/Paddle Board (DC)
Yoga Class/Barre Class
Union Market (DC)
Favorite Farmers Markets?
Capitol Hill – Eastern Market
Are there any cool historical spots worth visiting?
Pretty much anything downtown! White House / Capitol / Museums / Monuments, etc.
What’s your favorite park to take the kids and / or pet to or just take a scroll in?
Great Falls – It’s by far my favorite walk in the area…gorgeous/scenic views.
Interested in keeping up with Natalie? Follow her on instagram!
After working here in Silver Spring for almost two decades, it’s no secret that we at Go Brent Team love serving our neighbors in this incredible community. Whether it’s buying or selling homes, recommending local partners, or providing real estate advice, we’re always here to help put the spotlight on the best that Silver Spring has to offer.
Now, the spotlight is on us! Get to know more about Go Brent Team: our neighborhoods, favorite local spots, and local service recommendations – all the things we love about living and working in Silver Spring.
SEVEN OAKS RESIDENT FOR 21 YEARS
I’ve lived in Silver Spring’s Seven Oaks neighborhood for 21 years now. The walkability is a huge plus since the kids could walk to schools and we have easy access to downtown Silver Spring. Kaldi’s Social House is my favorite local spot, it’s conveniently located next door to my office, and so stopping in for morning coffee is a must! I love that they are now offering lunch too.
A great local service provider I’ve found and worked with over the years is Diana Hyatt at the local M&T Bank on Georgia Avenue.
SLIGO PARK HILLS RESIDENT FOR 4 YEARS
I grew up in Silver Spring then moved away, returning 9 years ago to renovate and sell a home in Woodside Park, and then moving to Sligo Park Hills 4 years ago. The close proximity to downtown Silver Spring and Takoma Park was really important to me; I also enjoyed meeting my neighbors, many of whom are the second-generation residents. Kaldi’s is my local coffee shop and I also head to 8407 Kitchen Bar fairly regularly; Woodside Deli’s Turkey Ruebens are also a favorite (think takeout!).
Fantasy Nails at the Woodmoor Shopping Center in Four Corners is my favorite nail salon.
WOODMOOR RESIDENT FOR 17 YEARS
I’ve really loved living in Woodmoor for the past 17 years. I enjoy the sense of community – meeting friendly neighbors out in the community walking dogs or playing with kids. When my kids turned 10, I felt very comfortable with them walking themselves to and from friend’s homes in the neighborhood. My kids now also walk to the Sweet Frog in the Woodmoor Shopping Center. Speaking of the shopping center, we really appreciate the great wine and craft beer selection at the Woodmoor Market, and Santucci’s subs can’t be beat! With two kids and a dog life is busy, so KitchKat is a local business that I now use for fresh meal delivery or we may run over to Wheaton for Thai food from Ruan Thai or Ren’s Ramen for amazing, homemade ramen noodle soup.
Two Coconuts in Kensington, owned by a Woodmoor neighbor, is my go to place for hostess and personalized gifts.
NORTH WOODSIDE RESIDENT FOR 16 YEARS
Living in North Woodside has been terrific, especially with the walkability to stores, schools, daycare, and Metro. Living near Sniders is also a big plus – I can do a week’s worth of food shopping in about 30 minutes! Fenwick Beer & Wine has been a welcome addition to the local scene. Not only do they have a phenomenal selection of wine and beer, but they also host free Friday evening tastings.
A great local shop we use regularly is the Jalal Barber Shop on Georgia Avenue near Seminary Place.
WOODSIDE PARK RESIDENT FOR 2 YEARS
I live in Woodside Park, where I grew up in the 50’s and 60’s. I left the area and lived in New Jersey for the better part of 40 years, and just recently returned to Silver Spring to be closer to my family. The neighborhood holds memories for me, and coming back has been very nostalgic. I often walk with my dog, and enjoy the beautiful homes, trees, and landscaped gardens. The community is filled with friendly people — many fellow walkers and runners, and of course, canine buddies (and neighborhood cats too!)
The downtown I remember as a child was a smaller place; today’s city is bustling. I especially enjoy going to the year round Farmers Market in the heart of Silver Spring, and must also mention Sniders and Mrs. K’s Toll House Restaurant, which have been around as long as I have! Silver Spring was a fun place to be growing up as a child, and it’s equally as exciting returning as a seasoned citizen.
WOODSIDE PARK RESIDENT FOR 33 YEARS
Having lived in Woodside Park for 33 years now, I truly appreciate the unique homes offering so much charm and appeal. Of course, our neighbors make this place special and we look forward to our annual Luzerne Block Party each year. Silver Spring offers so much — we enjoy dining at Mi Rancho and Mrs. K’s Toll House Restaurant, walking around the weekend farmers market, shopping at Sniders, and frequenting the Woodmoor Pastry Shop. It’s also wonderful to have Sligo Creek Park’s walking trails and golf course close by; I have fond memories of teaching our daughters to ride their bikes there!
For a special treat, we head to Velatis on Georgia Avenue in downtown Silver Spring; this local business has been making delicious caramels and other sweets since 1866.
WOODSIDE RESIDENT FOR 13 YEARS
We moved to Woodside from a nearby Silver Spring neighborhood (Sligo Branview) — we were looking to be closer to Metro, and were hopeful that downtown Silver Spring’s revitalization would come to fruition. So now 13 years later, we’ve love living inside the Beltway, walking to downtown Silver Spring, and having easy access to DC! Living and working in Silver Spring offers me a great work/life balance – I’ve got a 5-minute commute down Georgia Avenue and I’m able to be home with my kids after school. One of my favorite local restaurants is the Big Greek Café – their Greek salads are delicious! My kids are huge fans of Olazzo, and I recently learned they do catering which has come in handy when I need to feed a crowd.
There are many local businesses that I depend on, but two come to mind. John Greenan & Sons Jewelers on Fenwick Lane is a wonderful family-owned business. From watch batteries to jewelry repairs to gifts, it’s a local place I know I can trust. I like to entertain and was thrilled to find We’re Having a Party, located off Brookeville Road, for dependable but inexpensive party rentals – think tables, chairs, tablecloths, and more.
This lovely stone and siding home was built in 1940 by Blanche Kreuzburg, owner of Mrs K’s Toll House Restaurant for her son, Richard. Mrs. K had a passion for antiques and first-rate workmanship, so she hired only the finest craftsmen to assist in the construction. Young Mr. Kreuzburg considered 400 Greenbrier Dr a pastoral refuge and said that this quarter acre site was chosen for its enchanting views of nearby creek and forest land. Note the carved acorns above the living room mantel, signifying the Seven Oaks by which the neighborhood is known.
This prime location allows you to walk to all of the following: Sligo Creek Park (playgrounds, picnic areas, tennis and basketball courts), and miles of trails, the revitalized Downtown Silver Spring town center (shopping, entertainment and year-round farmers market), the public library, and the local public elementary & middle schools. Enjoy easy access to the Silver Spring Metro station, the MARC Train and the Beltway – all about a mile away.