We know it’s quite popular with Silver Spring residents, but Quarry House’s inconspicuous entry, paired with its uniquely modest awesomeness, qualifies it for Off the Beaten Turf.

Inside Quarry House

Inside Quarry House

Downtown Silver Spring has many delights. AFI Silver’s old classics and new art house films and Mandalay and Ghar-E-Kabab’s scrumptious Asian food are all reasons to come to venture just outside DC. But unless you are in the know, you might pass right by what is arguably Silver Spring’s best bar: Quarry House Tavern.

Turn the corner onto Bonifant Street from Georgia Avenue (map), and you’ll see a dim light and a mysterious staircase leading to an underground destination. Signs that simply say “QH” and a few smokers are the only clues that reveal Quarry House’s subterranean existence. (The bar’s tagline is “13 steps down.”)

Once inside, you might feel like you’ve stepped through a portal into the 1990s. Flannel shirts abound, walls are paneled in wood, old Radiohead songs may be playing, and a no-nonsense attitude prevails. However, like a proper dive bar, this seems to be the kind of place that is open to all sorts of folks — young and old, rich and poor, yuppies and hipsters. Couples on dates, packs of friends and singles reading at the bar all seemed equally at home there, and many are likely regulars.

Quarry House’s inconspicuous entrance.

Quarry House’s inconspicuous entrance.

Whenever UrbanTurf has stopped by, Quarry House has been packed, warm and noisy. The dark furniture and low light keeps the place feeling cozy, and you see most patrons leaning in familiarly to chat with their friends, looking content. With several pages of beer options, from low to high price tags, the extensive menu is also a draw. The burgers get plenty of accolades, as do the tater tots, which can come covered in real cheddar cheese and bacon. They have daily deals and also host a weekly trivia night.

Quarry House is a discrete Silver Spring dive bar that is cool and laid-back without being dirty, where you can indulge in comfort food while trying a new beer from a far-off land. The only problem? It may not be quite hidden enough…an empty seat can be hard to find after 6:30pm.