14091 Noblewood Plaza, Woodbridge
What is it? A soft corn cake filled with the meats and cheeses of your choice. The best of the bunch is the pabellón, complex with its garlicky shredded beef, black beans, crumbly cotija cheese and sweet plantains.
Why you need it: Taco lovers and pupusa devotees may find that this Venezuelan snack scratches the same itch.
5902-A N. Kings Highway, Alexandria
What is it? Fresh, buoyant lepinja bread stuffed with juicy housemade beef sausages. Tomatoes, onions and creamy, cheesy kajmak spread make this Balkan sandwich eminently satiating.
Why you need it: If you love burgers (and we don’t trust anyone who doesn’t), this is a global version that will have you salivating.
8641 Sudley Road, Manassas
Pan con chicharrón
What is it? Tender pork, sweet potatoes and zingy onion salsa criolla are piled onto a Portuguese roll for a sandwich that could only come from Peru.
Why you need it: It’s time to try a new sandwich, and this is one of the globe’s most compelling combos.
13492 Metrotech Drive, Chantilly
What is it? Thin-skinned Shanghainese dumplings filled with pork and collagenous broth. Be careful when you slurp the soup within—it’s hot.
Why you need it: This is a dish that combines all the comfort of a gingery soup with your favorite takeout dumplings. There’s a reason food lovers who try it are hooked.
5100 Wilson Blvd., Arlington
What is it? A crackling phyllo-enfolded pie of marinated chicken, almonds and caramelized onions artfully dusted with cinnamon and powdered sugar.
Why you need it: Few cuisines balance sweet and savory as well as Moroccan does. This dish is the epitome of that harmony.
6795 Wilson Blvd., Suite 7, Falls Church
Cha ca thang long
What is it? Vietnamese turmeric-yellow fish comes to the table sizzling under a blanket of dill. It’s paired with slippery rice noodles, vivid green herbs, lettuce, fish sauce, shrimp paste and a crispy rice cracker.
Why you need it: The fun of assembling your own bowl of goodies matches the size of the fresh flavors.
428-A Hume Ave., Alexandria
What is it? This buttery, boat-shaped cheese bread from the Republic of Georgia may come out of a pizza oven, but thanks to tangy sulguni cheese and a sunny yellow egg on top, it definitely won’t remind you of Italy.
Why you need it: Hot, soft bread filled with gooey cheese and egg—do you really need to hear more?
This story originally ran in our April issue. For more stories like this, subscribe to our monthly magazine.