Terrific Traipsing Places in Takoma Park, Maryland and Surrounding Areas!

In visiting Takoma Park, Maryland and surrounding areas, often, there are some notable locations of this and that you should make note of!  Calendar Site of events here!

Brookside Gardens Awesome awesome place.  Check out the train display around Christmas time.  Also, find out about joining as Friends of Brookside Gardens for some cool benefits like discounts at retail garden centers, discounts on the Fall sale (September 12th – 10:00 – 2:00 PM) at Brookside Gardens, entry to member only events and more.  Any support you can provide is well appreciated as many event have been cancelled, so please spread the word – this is a GREAT organization that does alot for the community.  Having an interest in horticulture, I’d be volunteering here as well if I lived near!

The butterfly exhibit – amazing. This is a must go to – and well well worth it.


Busboys and Poets via Politics and Prose One of the BEST and comfortable bookstores, gathering places, and a cultural center, across from TRoHV – in Takoma, on 235 Carroll St. NW, this is an amazing asset to the community.  Walking in you feel the electric energy of a community, either through the enticing booktalks that are present and available to classes, to just the general vibe of the staff and their eagerness to engage, this is a magical place ot hang your hat and to dive into intelectualism.  This corner of Takoma is magic thanks to the feel this bookstore and coffeehouse provides.

Having a conversation on the newest book, All the Light We Cannot See, to the fact of just the new existence of this space, this is a coveted space that reaffirms thw fact, books in the hand, combined with the right atmosphere? – PRICELESS.  Have a gander, you will see!


Community Printing DC   6979 Maple St. NW • Washington DC, DC 20012
Phone 202-726-4017 • Fax 202-722-0890

Not thinking the best of getting many photos I wanted printed off from Mexico, (Having gone downtown Mexico City to get alot done) – I was prepared to take a hit on price for some pretty large photos being taken and distributing to friends.  SURPRISE!  Not only the casual conversation with customers and the owner, but finding out placemat size photos of my original photographs would cost under $30.00 USD (for 28 photos!) – this was amazing, the quality was better than than I expected, and this is one of the best experiences I had in printing.  You will not go wrong with the care and attention given to your order her, and this started of a VERY pleasant day in Takoma Park!


Fair Day’s Play 7050 Carroll Ave   Takoma Park, MD 20912  

I was warned, this tienda/store was packed to the hilt.  Well what better day than to go on Christmas EVE?  🙂  It was great, even though we were jam packed in the store and the staff member still came over to help us and you would have thought we were the only ones in the store.  It was great.  While waiting, we talked and recommended books to other customers for their children, graphic novel suggestions, and more, TOTALLY family oriented and most likely to have what you might need  – excellent excellent experience.


La Colombe Coffee –  924 Rear N St NW . Washington, DC 20001 . Shaw, Downtown  (202) 289-4850   

This establishment was made for coffee. After a satisfying dinner and walking back, this corner establishment is just parked in front of you welcoming you in from the looks. The exterior as well as interior is right on, and when you walk in – the aroma of coffees – it simply surround you. The staff immediately recognized you and taking in the spaces where you could hide yourself away are many.

I am not a coffee drinker in the least, however, I was intrigued immediately with the feel of this establishment. The ONLY disappointment, was not being aware anything else BUT coffee was served here as you first arrive. A much more broad menu does exist, but is difficult to sense or see this upon entering. This additional asset would have kept me there for hours – so maybe it is a good thing that was not available. If I lived close or found myself near this coffee house in Shaw, I would and will be there for a longer duration knowing what I know now. And yes, I am better for it.


Los Primos     (301) 317-5087  9920 Washington Blvd N, Laurel, MD 20723

37622709_10155552023501003_2337635392225804288_n (1)

The smell.  Moving back to the United States from Mexico just under a year ago, when a close friend told me of “as authentic as it gets” Mexican food, my interest was peaked. 

She was NOT kidding, not in the least.  When you walked in, the smell takes you immediately back to Roma Norte, Oaxaca, San Angel, Coyoacan, and a hundred more amazing street corner food stands.  

I ordered alot.  Enough to last several days, and the smells that surrounded us at the table – amazing.

There is not much you can say about this location, you just have to go.  The service was bend over backwards amazing, courteous, and immediate when it came to service, cleanliness, and making you feel right at home as well as recommendations. 

Despite the rain of the day, the sun was shining at Los Primos.


Screen Shot 2015-12-30 at 7.22.32 PM

Old Takoma Ace Hardware Store 7001 Carroll Ave
Takoma Park, MD 20912       (240) 839-5170

Seriously, take what you know about hardware stores, what you think about hardware stores, and what you visualize about hardware stores – got it?  Now – throw it out the window.  This defies all of those impressions.

This feels like home and it is a hardware store, NOT because I am a guy, NOT because I like tools,

Screen Shot 2015-12-30 at 7.22.39 PMbut BECAUSE I love service, hospitality, and creativity.  Welcome to the Old Takoma Ace Hardware store.  You find an great selection of stocking stuffers for Christmas (unique keychains, awesome water bottles, machines to make your own soda fountain drinks, plants that live on air, water, and of course plain old soil, a GREAT collection of bird feeders, unique items for the kitchen that do non rely on tools to install) , and this is just brushing the surface.  The manager, Eric Hardy, AMAZING – and he goes out of your way for you ALL THE TIME.  This is a place you will not likely forget, and not likely be able to compare to any other hardware store.


IMG_8718Reren  817 7th St NW . Washington, DC 20001 . b/t N H St & N I St 
Chinatown . (202) 290-3677

Reren a DEFINITE REDO and thankful for the random luck!

Randomly walking around Mount Vernon Square, it was the bubble tea. A friend noticed an individual walk by with Bubble tea, and I realized – Bubble tea, Bubble Tea – HECK YEAH! That was the first time I had “Bubble Tea” in Mexico – at Cassava Roots!
http://www.cassavaroots.com/#about – Tapioca at the bottom and flavored tea – it was striking I never had this since leaving Mexico. We followed the path of that individual that passed us and we arrived on the doorstep of Reren, slightly red outside, dark windows, nothing that reached out and grabbed me. Bubble Tea was all over the windows so we know this was the place.

As we entered, the space extended straight back and people were everywhere. It probably was just me, but I loved the mix of high tables at the far back, bar area in the front, regular tables in the middle on the side, waiting bench by the stairs, and even though I was unaware at first of the space upstairs, yes, even an upstairs. We were greeted immediately, directed during our 10 minutes or so wait, and savored all the noodles and mix broth meals that passed our way.

Once seated, the menu jumped out at me, especially since I was starving but I can’t recall when the servings I saw were so large and the prices WERE SO AMAZING. I had to pinch myself to make sure I had not been transported back to Mexico, and I was sitting in a D.C. establishment with prices this well, so expected mediocre taste.

Wrong. The tea was spot on- wanting every last tapioca, the Kung Fu noodles were the amazing right mix of spice and flavor, the Dumplings – I could have eaten all night – and before you knew it, FULL FULL FULL . IMG_8717.JPGWith food covering the whole table, and a bill that seemed definitely under the norm – this truly made the whole day capped out amazingly. I need such a restaurant near me so I can frequent. EVERY SINGLE DAY.


Souper Girl  314 Carroll St NW  Washington DC  20012   (202) 609-7177

IMG_0316Stepping off of the metro from Mexico, into Takoma, for the first time for the Christmas season, you smell it.  The smell of onion, garlic, and soup – to the side of the Takoma Metro station you see the now expanded Souper Girl and the smell alone will draw you in.

After longing for this for I am not sure how many visits, this vegan/vegetarian hotspot for soup will hug you on the right day.  Having the Split Pea Green soup was rewarding in itself.  Being able to test the soups of the day (tasting station to your left as you venture in) – and seeing the three soups they have of the day – priceless.  You delve into a world of taste, choice, and an atmosphere that brings you in from the cold, even on a warm day.  not desiring dessert (what?  Are you ill?)  this healthy choice is rewarding in several ways including the service.  Do not hesitate the smell, and follow your nose, you won’t go wrong!


Table Top DC 6927 Laurel Avenue  Takoma Park, MD  20912     www.tabletopdc.cominfo@tabletopdc.com       240.467.3982

I like the fact that Takoma Park has custom gift shops, that do not have to Screen Shot 2015-12-29 at 10.22.30 AMrely on name brands to make a holiday – and this is definitely one stop for that. From custom cards, stationary, cool items to display photographs, to much much more that customizes the home for children,

Screen Shot 2015-12-29 at 10.20.16 AM the home, the kitchen and much more – this is your stop. Stopping in on Christmas Eve was maybe not the best idea, BUT – is it ever? Great experience, great owner, and great overall aura – this is a stop you want to keep on your check list!


(No longer open, now a starbucks 😦  SAD SAD SAD)

BUT check here! – https://www.trohvshop.com/

TRoHV Home & Gift    232 Carroll St NW Washington, DC 20012 202.829.2941 Twitter: https://twitter.com/trohv

IMG_3473If you wanted to find a more inviting, more welcoming business, it will be a hard find to find one more inviting and warming than TRoHV Home & Gift.  As I walked in and was introduced to Angus & Julia Stone’s “Santa Monica Dream,” I realized, if I had a place I would want to frequent, it would be herewith this song, and this place.It just all fit together perfectly.

Reading the lyrics help me remember my first step into this establishment and if you’re lucky enough, you will be able to grasp something memorable about you, and your home, when you visit this very special place.

As if that was not enough, when you step outside on Wednesdays, you will see a partnership with the food truck that delivers groceries to your home or for pick up, titled, relayfoods.com,

definitely an amazing service.  One thing I have found on Takoma, there are many hand in hand companies that support each other, that seem to bring the sense of a community close to what it was meant to be.  I sense that in the lyrics of the song below I heard as I walked in, that is the kind of place I’d like to be found shopping at.

“Santa Monica Dream” Lyrics

Goodbye to my Santa Monica dream
Fifteen kids in the backyard drinking wine
You tell me stories of the sea
And the ones you left behind
Goodbye to the roses on your street
Goodbye to the paintings on your wall
Goodbye to the children we’ll never meet
And the ones we left behind
And the ones we left behind
I’m somewhere, you’re somewhere
I’m nowhere, you’re nowhere
You’re somewhere, you’re somewhere
I could go there but I don’t
Rob’s in the kitchen making pizza
Somewhere down in Battery Park
I’m singing songs about the future
Wondering where you are
I could call you on the telephone
But do I really want to know?
You’re making love now to the lady down the road
No I don’t, I don’t want to know
I’m somewhere, you’re somewhere
I’m nowhere, you’re nowhere
You’re somewhere, you’re somewhere
I could go there but I don;t
Goodbye to my Santa Monica dream
Fifteen kids in the backyard drinking wine
You will tell me stories of the sea
And the ones you left behind
And the ones we left behind

A GREAT GREAT amazing place to enhance your home – I highlighted this location in my Cool Corners of Mexico City and Beyond, so check it out ( it is #4!)


Wheaton Bookstore /Part of the Wheaton Public Library – Montgomery County               11701 Georgia Ave   Wheaton, MD 20902                              Hours: 10:00 – 5:00

This is AMAZING.  THE place to browse ANY and ALL books, from chidlren’s to the adult to EVERYTHING.  The basement of the Wheaton Public library, this is a treasure of books at a ridiculous value, and I have been coming here as a stop for YEARS.  LOVE LOVE LOVE and you will too if you have any care in books, reading, and finding treasures!


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