Takoma Park, you see, is a city in Maryland bordered roughly by Piney Branch Road to the west, Flower Avenue and Carroll Avenue to the north, University Boulevard and New Hampshire Avenue to the east and Eastern Avenue to the south. Takoma Park once spilled from Maryland into the District, but now the District side is a separate neighborhood known as just “Takoma.” It’s loosely bounded by Eastern Avenue to the north, Second and Third streets to the east, Tuckerman Street to the south and Georgia Avenue to the west. Physical locations aside, the neighborhoods differ in practical aspects: Life in Montgomery County, for example, comes with higher taxes and higher-rated schools. Still, in many ways, the two feel like one community, sharing a Metro station and a charming town center filled with indie shops, as well as a hippie history that lingers today.
The Takoma stop on Metro’s Red Line straddles the D.C.-Maryland border. Eight Montgomery Country Ride-On bus routes (3, 12, 13, 14, 16, 18, 24 and 25) stop at the station, and D.C. Metro buses (52, 53, 54, 62, 63, K2) pass through as well. Five Capital Bikeshare stations dot the neighborhood.
The area offers a breadth of architectural styles, including early Victorians, arts-and-crafts bungalows, Cape Cods and Colonials — and even, on the outskirts, ramblers. Median house sale prices in Takoma Park and Takoma are around $430,000 to $450,000. “The stuff that people want” (appealing homes, priced right) sells fast — within a week, says Realtor Dan Metcalf. There’s also a mix of condos, with recent sales ranging from $100,000 for a one-bedroom just off the Maple Avenue thoroughfare to just under $400,000 for a two-bedroom that’s less than a block from the Metro.
The neighborhood relies on nearby Silver Spring for many of its grocery needs, but there is a Safeway on the District side (6500 Piney Branch Road NW). Locavores head for TPSS Co-op (that stands for Takoma Park-Silver Spring), to access its locally sourced wares (201 Ethan Allen Ave., Takoma Park; 301-891-2667).
Takoma Park’s central business district has plenty of independent shops as its staples. The Big Bad Woof (117 Carroll St. NW; 202-291-2404) sells food and other supplies for the “ethically conscious pet.” Trohv (232 Carroll St. NW; 202-829-2941) offers modern couches, handmade wood tables and hipster-friendly gifts. Now and Then (6927 Laurel Ave., Takoma Park; 301-270-2210) curates a lineup of pottery, jewelry, children’s items and greeting cards. PollySue’s (6915 Laurel Ave., Takoma Park; 301-270-5511) is among several vintage clothing haunts boasting wardrobe elements from the 1970s and earlier.
Republic, a new destination on the dining scene, playfully nods to the community’s hippie history with locally sourced ingredients and cocktails like the Fascist Killer (6939 Laurel Ave., Takoma Park; 301-270-3000). Other local favorites include Roscoe’s Pizzeria (7040 Carroll Ave., Takoma Park; 301-920-0804), which slings Neapolitan-style pies and is named for a rooster who once roamed the town center. Mark’s Kitchen (7006 Carroll Ave., Takoma Park; 301-270-1884), dishes vegan and Korean plates alongside burgers and salads. Busboys and Poets is slated to arrive in the coming months. Cafes are plentiful, including La Mano (304 Carroll St. NW; 202-417-6266), which pours brews by Annapolis roaster Ceremony Coffee. For a sweet finish, head to Capital City Cheesecake (7071 Carroll Ave., Takoma Park; 301-270-7260) for an array of creamy desserts.
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