Heidelberg Pastry Shoppe
Bienstitch, an almond and honey yeast dough with vanilla-pudding-like pastry cream, is one of the most popular items at the German-themed Heidelberg. Besides a full line of bakery items, there are also Saturday grill sessions on the patio with bratwurst, knockwurst, weisswurst and bauernwurst. –NB
2150 N. Culpeper St., Arlington; 703-527-8394

Ted’s Bulletin
It’s not just the crazy, big, over-the-top options—a burrito dubbed the Walk of Shame with steak, scrambled eggs and hash browns or the sandwich with both fried and scrambled eggs, plus sausage, plus bacon—that makes Ted’s the place to find breakfast, it’s that these egg-centric dishes are offered all day long. –SG
Multiple NoVA locations

Bro Food
Megabytes Eatery
Tucked discreetly off of Sullyfield Circle, this computer-inspired dining spot at first seems like it offers your standard lunch fare. But creativity appears in the form of the eatery’s daily specials. Whether it’s a Korean-Cuban sandwich, a Spam musubi or pancake tacos, Megabytes keeps you guessing with its creative Korean fusions. Old computers and motherboards adorn the walls, and the food will leave you satiated like Pac-Man after clearing a level. –CC
14100 Sullyfield Circle, Chantilly; 703-466-5111

Courtesy of MELT Gourmet Cheeseburgers

Melt Gourmet Cheeseburgers
Melt has been flipping thick patties to acclaim since 2012. The burgers here are more like complete meals, with jazzed-up toppings ranging from melted brie to green chilies and, of course, lots of bacon. –SG
525 E. Market St., Leesburg; 703-443-2105

Butcher (tie)
Springfield Butcher
Springfield Butcher has been selling hand-cut steaks and housemade sausages to the community for 30 years. There’s seafood, too: Springfield Butcher sells over 2,000 crab cakes a week. –NB
6310-B Springfield Plaza, Springfield; 703-245-0111

Butcher (tie)
The Wine’ing Butcher
The Wine’ing Butcher sells classic cuts of meat and seafood but is known for its marinades, most notably the steakhouse flavor. There’s also a 15-seat deli area with a menu of pizza and sandwiches. The steak tips sub is the best-seller. –NB
20915 Ashburn Road, Ashburn; 703-858-4400

Mad Fox Brewing Company
The appeal of Falls Church’s Mad Fox Brewing Company hasn’t diminished with beer drinkers’ demands for what’s new, shiny and hoppy. Though there are more than 50 breweries opened, or about to open, in NoVA, Mad Fox keeps the crowds with award-winning beers and a menu with pizza, burgers and chef-driven entrees. –SG
444 W. Broad St., Falls Church; 703-942-6840

Market Table Bistro
The tiny town of Lovettsville boasts one of the nicest restaurants in Northern Virginia, and that includes its darling weekend brunch. Sit outside on the shaded patio for gourmet versions of classic egg dishes. For those needing something more substantial, there’s always lunchtime fare like the decadent beef stroganoff. –SG
13 E. Broad Way, Lovettsville; 540-822-3008

Cheese Shop
More than a cheese shop, Cheesetique carries wine and beer, charcuterie and all the accompaniments for a party-worthy cheese plate. Plus, there’s a wine bar with a full menu and sit-down service. With locations in Shirlington and Del Ray, Cheesetique has tentative plans for a third store. –SB
Multiple NoVA locations

Peking Gourmet Inn
Credit the freshness of Peking Gourmet Inn’s produce to the family’s land in Purcellville, Tsui’s Grass Roots Farm. In addition to the garlic sprouts, Tsui’s provides leeks, Napa cabbage and the spring onions served with the famed duck at Peking. –NB
6029 Leesburg Pike, Falls Church; 703-671-8088

Photo by Matthew Kim, Courtesy of Caffe Amouri

Coffee House
Caffe Amouri
Caffe Amouri’s beautiful big red roaster is next to the counter so guests can look on as beans are processed, which starts at 6 a.m. and lasts into the afternoon. Try the honey-cinnamon latte iced to keep you cool. –NB
107 Church St. NE, Vienna; 703-938-1623

CSA/Farmers Market
City of Falls Church Farmers Market
Open year-round, the Falls Church Farmers Market continually wins local and national awards for its 45-plus vendors selling fruits, vegetables, meat, eggs and milk plus flowers and baked goods. Catch local chefs’ cooking demonstrations on Saturday mornings. –SG
300 Park Ave., Falls Church; 703-248-5077

Metro 29 Diner
Metro 29 Diner appeared on Food Network’s “Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives” in 2010 and has continued serving classic diner fare such as breakfast all day, triple-decker sandwiches and housemade desserts. There are also Italian-inspired specialties like chicken and eggplant parmigiana. –NB
4711 Lee Highway, Arlington; 703-528-2464

Food Challenge
Guajillo Grill’s El Cachudo
El Cachudo–Guajillo’s “biggest, baddest and hottest” burrito—could have easily been a baby wrapped in a tortilla; it weighs 5 pounds, after all. Each bite increased in heat thanks to the housemade habanero voodoo salsa until I begged for mercy. I was shown none. With a stuffed stomach—that burrito contains four meats, plus fish, rice, beans and cheese—and one-fifth of the $19 burrito gone, I happily took my to-go tray home with enough leftovers to last me a week. (For more overeating, try the challenge at Chantilly’s Pho 102.) –MR
1727 Wilson Blvd., Arlington; 703-807-0840

Food Truck
Windy City Red Hots
Angel and Pia Miranda moved from Chicago to Northern Virginia in 1998 and couldn’t find “true Chicago-style anything.” The Mirandas decided to go mobile with their own Chicago fare in 2008 at the Blue Mount Nursery Parking Lot and later opened a shop in Leesburg. The menu includes chili cheese dogs and an Italian-style beef polish sausage sandwich. –SB
Multiple NoVA locations

L’Auberge Chez Francois
The family-run fine-dining restaurant opened in Great Falls in 1976 and has been turning out Alsatian classics ever since. Sauteed veal sweetbreads with mushrooms in a truffle sauce and a plum tart with cinnamon ice cream grace the menu along with specialty cocktails perfect for sipping on the spacious patio. –SB
332 Springvale Road, Great Falls; 703-759-3800

Frozen Yogurt
Milkberry Yogurt
Milkberry offers 24 flavors, from the health-conscious blueberry acai to the indulgent maple bacon donut, plus over 80 choices of toppings. Bubble teas and smoothies are also available in flavors like green tea, passion fruit and pomegranate. With two locations already serving Northern Virginia, Milkberry hopes to open more. –SB
Multiple NoVA locations

The crisp white walls and black and white vintage photographs signal this isn’t your local Greek diner. The food here is pristine—whole fish fileted tableside, meatballs as delicate as cotton candy—but not twee. It’s always delicious, especially if you can bring a crowd to share miles of mezze, Greek small plates. –SG
8100 Boone Blvd., Vienna; 703-760-0690

Ice Cream (tie)
Peterson’s Ice Cream Depot
Every town needs an ice cream stand, and Peterson’s keeps Clifton’s residents in line for something sweet and cooling. New this year, the full-service shop offers hard ice cream plus cups, cones, shakes and French fries. Because if you’re going for a treat, you might as well dip your fries in some soft-serve. –SG
7150 Main St., Clifton; 703-830-7898

Ice Cream (tie)
The Dairy Godmother
If you tried to order ice cream here, owner Liz Davis would be quick to tell you The Dairy Godmother sells frozen custard. The difference shows in the lack of air beaten in, creating a frozen treat that is more silky, smooth and dense. The small-batch operation only allows for three flavors: chocolate, vanilla and the daily special. –SG
2310 Mt. Vernon Ave., Alexandria; 703-683-7767

Curry Mantra
Owner Asad Sheikh recommends the goat balti: bone-in goat meat cooked with ginger, garlic, onions and chilies. In addition to the Fairfax original, Sheikh recently opened a sister restaurant in Alexandria focusing on London-based curries. Curry Mantra offers a variety of authentic Indian fare, including vegetarian options, tandoori dishes, seafood specialties and desserts. –SB
9984 Main St., Fairfax; 703-218-8128

Ciao Osteria
Although Ciao Osteria is new (opened last spring), the faces behind the operation are longtime fixtures of Virginia’s restaurant scene. This is Sal Speziale’s seventh restaurant (he owns Ciao with his wife Gina), and with this Centreville spot, he fills a menu with Neapolitan pizzas, pastas, fish and sandwiches made from pizza dough, of course. –SG
14115 St. Germain Drive, Centreville; 703-543-8955

Moby Dick House of Kabob
A blend of Persian cuisine with a Mediterranean influence, Moby Dick’s has multiple locations across the area offering dine-in, take-out and catering services. Homemade naan accompanies kabobs of chicken, beef, lamb or fish, all served with cucumber yogurt sauce and basmati rice. Meatless options include falafel patties and vegetable kabobs. –SB
Multiple NoVA locations

This 24-hour Korean restaurant serves classic dishes like bibimbap, a dish of steamed rice, beef, vegetables and a fried egg, alongside Korean-style barbecue, plus Japanese dishes like chicken teriyaki and bento boxes. –NB
4121 Hummer Road, Annandale; 703-914-4646

Photography by Jonathan Timmes

Fuego Cocina y Tequileria
There are tacos and refried beans and pork carnitas. It sounds like typical Tex-Mex fare, but when the tortillas are handmade at the restaurant, it’s an entirely different experience. Offerings range from simple chicken tortilla soup to an extravagant affair of whole roasted goat served family-style every Sunday ($130, call ahead). –SG
2800 Clarendon Blvd., Arlington; 571-970-2180

Middle Eastern
Lebanese Taverna
Tanios and Marie Abi-Najm immigrated to Arlington with their five children in 1976 during the Lebanese Civil War. After a few years of working odd jobs, the family purchased a small restaurant in the Westover neighborhood in 1979, and now there are multiple locations in the area. Monthly cooking classes are offered, and this month’s focus is grilling summer ingredients like eggplant, zucchini, shrimp kabobs and sweet bell peppers. –SB
Multiple NoVA locations

Modern American
Malones of Manassas
When Malones of Manassas opened in 2013, it was as if it’d been there for years. Within months the dining room had neighbors running into each other with cheek-kisses and bartenders ribbing regulars. The food fits the scene—American food as updated classics. With a new chef, NoVA native Wesleigh Lin, and a new upstairs bar, Malones continues its reign as the place to eat now. –SG
9329 Main St., Manassas; 571-208-1246

Oyster Bar
Hank’s Oyster Bar
Hank’s sources oysters from Massachusetts to California but always saves space for Virginia varieties. Besides the raw bar, Hank’s offers lovely composed plates and makes sure to serve something for the fish-afraid, like Sunday’s special of Southern fried chicken. Just this spring, Hank’s started lunch during the week as well a late-night happy hour with half-off oysters. –SB
1026 King St., Alexandria; 703-739-4265

Pho 75
Pho 75 has had the same menu for 30 years, and nothing is changing. Almost 20 different kinds of pho are offered here with combinations of chicken, meatballs, brisket, flank steak, skirt and eye-round steak. There’s dessert, too: Jello in coconut milk. –NB
Multiple NoVA locations; 703-204-1490

Pimento Cheese
B Side & Red Apron Butchery
As the manifestation of Southern foods’ continued dominance, pimento cheese is everywhere. On your burger. As a dip for soft pretzels. In lieu of butter in a bread basket. No one’s version tops B Side’s. It’s smoky (from smoking the mayonnaise) and spicy. Creamy but also texturally interesting. It’s also just delicious. Next door at Red Apron Butchery, you can buy it for at-home consumption ($7 for an 8-ounce tub). –SG
8298 Glass Alley, Fairfax; 703-676-3550

Restaurant Shake-Up
Restaurant Eve’s Asian Tasting Menu
From one of the most talked about restaurants in the area to one that felt, well, dull, Restaurant Eve needed a jolt. Chef, owner and Ireland native Cathal Armstrong’s fascination with Asian cuisine turned Eve back into an exciting place to dine. Served family style, the spicy, flavor-intense journey of Thai, Korean and Filipino (a nod to his wife’s heritage) dishes mix creativity with traditional touches and will make you mad Armstrong’s plan for a Filipino restaurant is in D.C. … in 2018. –SG
110 S. Pitt St., Alexandria; 703-706-0450

Sweetgreen, the locally started salad chain with locations now planned across the country, rotates the menu according to seasons. This spring’s menu will offer salmon from sustainable Chilean farms and a tofu dish with roasted mushrooms. Iced tea comes in new flavors: chamomile mint and jasmine green. –NB
Multiple NoVA locations

Sandwich Shop (tie)
The Italian Store
The Italian Store’s signature dish is the Milano sandwich, complete with two hams, cheese and salami, the best-seller out of more than 30 different options. There’s also pizza and gourmet pantry staples shipped from Italy. Earlier this spring, it opened another location in Westover. –NB
3123 Lee Highway, Arlington; 703-528-6266

Sandwich Shop (tie)
Taylor Gourmet
Started by two Philadelphia natives homesick for hoagies, Taylor Gourmet, now with multiple locations across the region, continually updates its menu. New this spring are The Cumberland, a vegetarian sandwich with cucumber, lettuce, tomato, chickpeas and pepperoncini, and The Seger Park salad with kale, green beans, orange, fresh mint, parmesan and sherry vinaigrette. –NB
Multiple NoVA locations

The PassionFish patio is the perfect spot for a seafood snack like the PassionFish roll, an appetizer of salmon, tuna, shrimp and hamachi with a mustard-soy dressing. Try this with one a summery cocktail, like the French 75 with gin, lemon and sparkling wine. –NB
11960 Democracy Drive, Reston; 703-230-3474

Special Occasion Restaurant
2941 Restaurant
2941 proves it’s possible to have more than water cooler conversations in an office park. The Falls Church restaurant, situated in a building off the Beltway and Route 50, offers an atmosphere that’s both welcoming and intimate. Natural light and tall ceilings mingle with beautifully prepared French- and Mediterranean-inspired food (order dessert from the award-winning pastry chef) for a dinner worthy of celebrations. –SG
2941 Fairview Park Drive, Falls Church; 703-270-1515

Ray’s the Steaks
Ray’s the Steaks is equally known for its minimalist decor, fair prices (free sides!) and superb steaks. The no-frills front-of-house gives way to hardcore prep in the back of the house with an impressive steak-aging program. At any given time there’s about 10,000 pounds of beef being aged for up to nine weeks. –SG
2300 Wilson Blvd., Arlington; 703-841-7297

Sushi Yoshi
In addition to classic Japanese dishes, Latin and European cuisines also influence the menu, which includes fish croquettes, mussels and bread pudding. Of course there’s sushi, including the specialty Mark Roll: black rice around lobster meat, mountain yam and avocado. –SB
101 Church St. NW, Vienna; 703-242-1350

Sister’s Thai
In what feels more like a dollhouse than a Thai restaurant, Sister’s Thai exudes the charm of a favorite neighborhood cafe but keeps its cred with a chalkboard of dishes written in Thai. You must be in the know or beg a server to help you identify the authentic off-menu items. There’s a regular menu, too, filled with your regular pad Thai order. A second location is heading to Mosaic District. –SG
4004 University Drive, Fairfax; 703-267-9619

Though operated by separate owners, Sunflower’s two locations are both dedicated to serving fresh, high-quality food to those looking for meatless meals in Northern Virginia. Sushi rolls with carrots, soy beans and bean curd replace raw fish, and a General Tso’s dish utilizes soy protein instead of fried chicken. –SB
Multiple NoVA locations

Four Sisters
This family-run restaurant was founded in 1993 by a Vietnamese couple, the Lais, with their four daughters and two sons. With a second, more casual location opened in Arlington by the Lai’s son, Four Sisters stays committed to serving authentic and satisfying Vietnamese cuisine. –SB
8190 Strawberry Lane, Falls Church; 703-539-8566

Courtesy of Paradise Springs Winery

Paradise Springs Winery
Settled in picturesque Clifton, Paradise Springs offers over a dozen wines, including the 2013 Sommet Blanc, a white blend with notes of apple and pear that won silver at last year’s San Francisco International Wine Competition. The winery offers live music and hosts a Father’s Day pig roast this month. –SB
13219 Yates Ford Road, Clifton; 703-830-9463

Wine Shop
Ashburn Wine Shop
Serving the Ashburn community since 2007, this shop maintains a rotating selection of Virginia wines from the likes of Barboursville Vineyards, Catoctin Creek Winery and Fabbioli Cellars. Free weekly wine (and beer) tastings are offered, as are wine accessories like bottle openers and cheese plates. A small selection of food—salami, cheeses, chocolates—is available to purchase. –SB
44050 Ashburn Shopping Plaza, Suite 159, Ashburn; 703-723-7575

Courtesy of Glory Days Grill

Glory Days Grill
The popular Glory Days wings come in a variety of flavors including bourbon, teriyaki, honey Old Bay, barbecue and its eponymous sauce, a blend of honey, barbecue and teriyaki. Fans order as many as 1,000 wings a day. –NB
Multiple NoVA locations


(June 2015)