Mussel Bar & Grille- Bethesda
Mussel Bar & Grille- Bethesda

Mussel Bar & Grille- Bethesda

  • Dining Style: Casual Dining
  • Website: http://www.musselbar.com/
  • Phone: 3012157817x
  • Hours of Operation:
    Monday - Thursday: 11:30am – 11:30pm, Friday: 11:30am – 1:00am, Saturday: 10:00am – 1:00am, Sunday: 10:00am – 11:30pm; Brunch: Saturday & Sunday: 10:00am – 4:00pm
  • Payment Options: AMEX,MasterCard,Visa
  • Cuisine: Belgian
  • Executive Chef: Robert Wiedmaier
  • Dress Code: Casual Dress
  • Accepts Walk-Ins: Yes
  • Entertainment: We periodically have bands, please check our facebook page or on twitter

Getting there

  • Cross Street: Elm Street
  • Public Transit: Bethesda Metro, short 3 block walk
  • Parking: Public Lot
  • Parking Details: The closest public parking is the covered garage right behind Mussel Bar (accessible from either Elm St. or Bethesda Ave.) Parking meters in front of the restaurant are for only one hour. Bethesda Row is offering valet parking nightly from 5-11pm across the street in front of Secolari (7251 Woodmont Avenue).
A word from Mussel Bar & Grille- Bethesda
We serve mussels & frites, wood-fired tarts (Belgian pizzas) with seasonal toppings, grilled meats and fish, salads, soups, sandwiches. As your server about our daily specials, we mix it up! We also have the largest selection of craft and Belgian beers in Bethesda! Happy hour daily with great specials and $1 oysters.
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Foodspotting photos
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Awards voted by OpenTable diners
  • Diners' Choice WinnerVibrant Bar Scene
  • Diners' Choice WinnerMost Booked 1000-Point Tables
Mussel Bar & Grille- Bethesda reviews from OpenTable diners
126 reviews since May 26, 2014
Overall Rating4.1
  • Food4.1
    Service4.3
  • Ambiance3.8
    Noise LevelModerate
93% of reviewers would recommend this restaurant to a friend.
great for outdoor dining (58)neighborhood gem (46)fit for foodies (43)vibrant bar scene (36)hot spot (25)good for groups (20)late-night find (17)great for lunch (17)great for brunch (15)special occasion (15)kid-friendly (12)notable wine list (12)romantic (11)scenic view (4)Show More
  • Good Value Good Food
    Lampedusa7990VIP
    Dined on 9/20/2014
    We enjoyed pleasant, friendly service and good food. We ordered dinner entrees with red wine instead of mussels and beer. Both entrees, grilled salmon and steak frites, were well prepared, flavorful, and reasonably priced. Their focus is beer but their wine list is not run of the mill. Two tasty entrees with good portions and a decent bottle of wine for around $100. We will return.
    Special Features:
    great for lunch, great for outdoor dining, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Mussel Bar Bethesda
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 9/19/2014
    Food was spot on. I got the rainbow trout and it was delicious. Our server was great and had a great attitude. If you want to have a conversation and not yell beware, it's loud.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • great mussels; Many cool beers.
    David
    Dined on 9/14/2014
    stopped by with a friend from out of town. Had a nice dinner sitting outside watching the world go on by, drinking some unusual beer and eating tasty mussels. Not sure if having the front row seats to observe the pathetic attempts at parallel parking in front of the restaurant are a plus or minus - surely it was entertaining...
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Oysters and mussels!
    Carey
    Dined on 9/14/2014
    Great place for oyster, mussels, and drinks. Good beer selection. Salads, pizzas, and other dishes are good also.
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, great for lunch, hot spot, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • One of my favorite dishes ever
    maxinetteVIP
    Dined on 9/10/2014
    The Kennett Square mushrooms mussel dish is seriously one of my favorite dishes of all time. Just amazing flavors, ingredients and deliciousness. Sitting outside was lovely.
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Impressions
    OpenTable Diner Since 2010
    Dined on 9/5/2014
    Mussel dishes absolutely outstanding. Noise level outside fine. Inside (where we did not sit) it would have been way too loud.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2005VIP
    Dined on 8/31/2014
    The food is overpriced and mediocre. And in family friendly Bethesda, they don't have a changing table in the restroom! I asked the manager and they have no plans to put one in. I'll take my business elsewhere; they obviously don't need families with young children dining there.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Now with full Bethesda pricing
    sambVIP
    Dined on 8/30/2014
    Mussels has been a favorite since it opened, but I feel like every time we go the prices have inched up further. Now, for a couple to to share an appetiser, each get a main course, and each have a beer, expect to pay more than $100. Most Belgian beers are now at least $11 for a bottle. The mussels no longer come with fries (which, by the way, used to be good, but now they are hand cut and oily, not like Belgian fries), you have to pay extra. You get the idea. My wife's mussels with curry were good. My whole roasted bass was tasty but not overly memorable (except spitting bones, but that's always a risk with the whole fish). Their bread is always good. Entrees in the low $20's and reasonably priced Belgian beer would be welcomed.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • good muscules
    connoisseur24
    Dined on 8/30/2014
    Really good food, not so great service. Would go again
    Special Features:
    good for groups
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Extensive beer selection
    OpenTable Diner Since 2010VIP
    Dined on 8/24/2014
    Great variety of beers on tap and knowledgeable and friendly waitstaff.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Great Dining Spot for Mussels
    Berny
    Dined on 8/24/2014
    Had a Great Meal, at Outside Table. Tried a Recent change in their Mussels Menu Options, that was tasty and made for an Enjoyable Meal.
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, kid-friendly, fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, great for lunch, late-night find, neighborhood gem, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Consistently awesome
    sussVIP
    Dined on 8/24/2014
    Never disappoints...love the choices of mussels. Wish they offered more seafood in the menu.
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, kid-friendly, fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, romantic, special occasion, great for lunch, late-night find, scenic view, neighborhood gem, hot spot, vibrant bar scene, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Great Food
    BrianJVIP
    Dined on 8/23/2014
    We were really impressed with the food here. We had mac and cheese app, mussels, spicy lamb pizza, and braised short rib. Everything was delicious. Very extensive Beer list on draft. Will be Back
    Special Features:
    hot spot, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Fantastic beer selection
    KyleVIP
    Dined on 8/22/2014
    Jay, the manager, was great. He spent a lot of time with us, helping us make selections from the beer menu that were in line with our preferences and still adventurous.
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, great for outdoor dining, late-night find, neighborhood gem, hot spot, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Just OK
    AverageVIP
    Dined on 8/21/2014
    The bar service on our recent visit was very poor-slow and perfunctory
    Special Features:
    vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Absolutely First Class
    FredB
    Dined on 8/20/2014
    This is no stuffy Ruth Chris. A nice diversified menu that temps your pallet to reach for flavor and aroma. This is real dining. Take you time and bring on small courses one or two at a time. Share and enjoy!
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, great for outdoor dining, romantic, great for lunch, late-night find, neighborhood gem, hot spot, vibrant bar scene, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Dolor23
    Dined on 8/19/2014
    I really like this restaurant. They have great service and the food is great.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2004VIP
    Dined on 8/16/2014
    Sat outside which is lovely. Inside, even before the live music, is about the noisiest restaurant I've ever seen.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great beers - leave the kids home
    BethesdaMom
    Dined on 8/16/2014
    Our family of 5 had a pleasant outdoor dinner here last weekend. My husband LOVED the beer selection - one of the best in town. The food though was a little disappointing. Mussels were good but not great (and seemed a bit pricey at $24, even for the most basic preparation). Calamari appetizer was overpowered by rather strange sauces. Pizza was OK but on the plain side. Overall, could have been quite a bit better. The service though was outstanding, with our waitstaff very attentive to my boys' needs.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • More attention to detail needed
    FLewes
    Dined on 8/15/2014
    While the food has been consistently good, the service is consistently sub-par. Two examples: (1) I was given a short pour on an expensive draught beer (1/2 of the glass was head). When I ordered my second round and pointed out the issue, I was told "the beer is Belgian, and that is how it is supposed to be poured." I requested my second round contain more beer and was given a better pour, but in a smaller glass; (2) made a reservation for a party of 6. The weather was perfect and there were several tables available outside, so we requested to be seated outside. Was told they had one table that could fit 6, but it was taken. There were open tables that sat 4 and several that sat 2. No offer to put those together to accommodate us.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Will definitely be going back!
    nkstakeVIP
    Dined on 8/8/2014
    We had a delicious meal and wonderful service-- i'm sad we waited so long to check out this spot in our neighborhood! I think the name has always concerned us that they did not have a large menu outside of mussels but we were definitely wrong! they have a large beer selection and fair-sized menu of entrees in addition to their mussel offerings. i was seated before my partner arrived, which i really appreciated and my server suggested parking even! i got a a flight of draft beers selected by my server, with a bonus tasting to check my satisfaction for a suggestion. awesome! the mushroom-sauce mussels were AMAZING, as were our entrees. i ordered the special, the lobster-stuffed trout and it was fantastic. AMAZING VISIT!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, special occasion, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Don't have the seared skate
    Goodwithmussels
    Dined on 8/5/2014
    My friend raved about her mussels, but my seared skate was super oily, mushy and very poorly executed. Our waiter was very nice and apologetic, but that didn't make up for the fish that I couldn't finish. How do you ruin a simple dish like this? I am not going back to this restaurant again. Can't be eating just mussels every time.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Good dinner!
    OpenTable Diner Since 2012
    Dined on 8/2/2014
    Everything tasted great and the service was phenomenal - but I only had the mussels and an appetizer so I cannot call it "very good" or "great" with such a small sample. Next time I'll order more and upgrade the rating I'm sure!
    Special Features:
    kid-friendly, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Some refinement needed!
    Pascal
    Dined on 7/26/2014
    Bouillabaisse was not that great as the soup needed more taste and flavor. Service was excellent thought.
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining, special occasion, late-night find, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Before the Movie
    Judy
    Dined on 7/26/2014
    One of our favorite places before the movies - interesting variety - burgers, pizza, mussels, specials. A little pricey
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Great night with friends
    SienaItalyVIP
    Dined on 7/25/2014
    The restaurant has a wonderful selection of quality food for all types of appetites. And their wine and beer list is outstanding. The service staff knows the long menu and is attentive. Fun attmosphere and can't wait to go back!
    Special Features:
    kid-friendly, fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, late-night find, neighborhood gem, hot spot, vibrant bar scene, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Great beer list
    TrappistLoverVIP
    Dined on 7/24/2014
    Lots of hard-to-find Belgian beers. Food is mostly fried, but some good fried items (e.g., soft shell crabs). Friendly and helpful staff and servers. Very loud.
    Special Features:
    vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Great concept
    Russian
    Dined on 7/20/2014
    Had a dinner with my family there. Food and services were outstanding. Focus on mussels and beer.
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, romantic, great for lunch, late-night find, neighborhood gem, hot spot, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Belgium in Bethesda
    BethesdaEaterVIP
    Dined on 7/19/2014
    Broadest selection of fine beers in the area. Coupled with a server with an outgoing personality it makes dining a pleasure, even if you have to talk above the roar. Mussels are the thing to get with great fresh bread for dunking.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Casual atmosphere, tasty mussels
    BirdGirlVIP
    Dined on 7/14/2014
    We chose Mussel Bar and Grille because we are fans of Chef Wiedemaier's other restaurants. This one is less formal than the others we have visited. My husband and I each ordered mussels in different styles. They come in a cast iron skillet and are plentiful for the price. Both were excellent. Regular or sweet potato fries are extra, but worth it. We were pleased with the friendly and attentive service, especially when our server offered to put cheese which was part of the dish on the side to accommodate a dietary restriction. There is a wide beer selection and weeknight wine specials. We were there on a Monday night, so it wasn't too noisy, but I suspect it is louder on weekends. All in all, a great spot for a casual night out.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Good but pricey
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 7/12/2014
    Great food. We all had various mussel dishes, all were delicious. A little over-priced in my opinion, both the food and the drinks (tap beers are around $9-12). Very friendly and attentive service.
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • smallest mussels in the world
    workingstiffVIP
    Dined on 7/12/2014
    And besides being tiny, they come in a very hot cast iron skillet. Do not accidently touch it, but do move over when the server removes the cover which is wet with hot water. There is no way to prevent the mussels from being hopelessly overcooked by the time you get to them. Rethink the delivery, guys!
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Must go back!
    Chanty
    Dined on 7/11/2014
    I just happened to see a post on instagram from a friend of mine who had been here; since I love mussels I figured I should give it a chance. I have to say I was impressed with the food and service! I booked an early dinner for 4:45 because my boyfriend and I were going to see the Lion King at the Kennedy Center at 7:30. Around 4:30 it's pretty empty so I'm not sure how the service is when it gets later in the evening, but, our service was amazing. All of our food came out in perfect timing and everything tasted great! My boyfriend was very happy with all the different types of beer they had stocked..over 100 from different countries. I will definitely go back again and would suggest that other people give it a try as well!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Relaxing Sunday brunch venue
    Afoodie
    Dined on 7/6/2014
    I've been to mussel bar before for dinner, but this was the first time for brunch. The food, typical brunch menu, was good, sitting outside delightful.
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, great for outdoor dining
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • JudyVIP
    Dined on 7/5/2014
    The Tom Sietsema review of Mussel Bar said it was very loud, but we went this past Sat. and the noise level was energetic but not too loud - granted, it was the Sat. of 4th of July weekend. The tuna tartare appetizer was delicious, very subtly flavored and my Mediterranean mussels were nice and good-sized though not as plump as I'd hoped (but I am a snob having grown up in Maine). The sauce was quite spicy which I like, laced with harissa, the chorizo sausage slices could have been a little bigger but that's a quibble. The ice creams that I had were ok but didn't strike me as amazingly flavored - I had the strawberry, mascarpone with berries, and cinnamon. The server, Steve, was terrific - very efficient and friendly!
    Special Features:
    kid-friendly, fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem, vibrant bar scene, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Meh
    Brucekd
    Dined on 7/4/2014
    The place seems to have lost its popularity. Perhaps because the atmosphere is sort of dingy and the mussels are over-priced; so is the beer. The mussels are tasty and well-cooked but the sauce had little flavor (the wine, garlic & cream sauce). $11 for a draft beer is too high. Waitresses were very good. We got a booth - that's the only way to go - tables are far too close to others. OK but probably will not be back.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Food good...service ok
    FairVIP
    Dined on 7/4/2014
    We always enjoy the mussels and the food at the mussel bar. It is consistent and tasty. On this visit, we sat outside to enjoy the beautiful evening. The waiter spilled someone else's shells down the back of my husband and stained his shirt. I am not able to get the stains out. The manager wasn't very helpful, just said that it will come out. Food always good, the best mussels around. Drinks always good as well. Service not so much.
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, good for groups, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • great time
    foodiesfromDC
    Dined on 7/4/2014
    longest beer list I've ever seen. My husband and I took our 3 boys for dinner on 4th of July. We sat outside. We had 4 orders of mussels and 1 of my sons had the cheeseburger. All satisfied. Only thing we did not think was that great was the hot crab dip--bland, no taste and barely any crab flavor so I would not recommend it.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2006
    Dined on 7/4/2014
    It was lovely - good selection of mussel dishes. Sweet potato fries are awesome! Loved teh spicy ketchup and Old Bay Mayo
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Shaomein
    Dined on 7/3/2014
    While all of the food we had was delicious, the menu is small, and a bit pricey. the wine that i wanted to order was only offered by the bottle, and my friend was not drinking so I didn't get to taste it and there was not really a similar option by the glass. Everything tasted great, but I guess I would have liked some more options. The service was very good, and overall we enjoyed ourselves.
    Special Features:
    romantic, special occasion, late-night find, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.