It’s a new year with plenty to look forward to—especially when it comes to NoVA’s restaurant scene. Whether you’re dining in person, using curbside pickup as an excuse to leave your house, or opting for delivery, nothing brings more joy than a new menu in town.
While this is nowhere near a complete list of what 2022 will bring in terms of new restaurants, we wanted to share what NoVA residents are buzzing about, from European cuisine with a Virginia flare and Filipino fast food to Neapolitan pizza, comfort food straight from the Louisiana Bayou, classic chargrilled burgers and shakes, and so much more.
This restaurant specializing in Louisiana-style cuisine is wrapping up construction in the Ashbrook Marketplace shopping center in Ashburn and is slated to open in early February. Maybe it’s the cuisine of the Louisiana Bayou, or maybe it’s the booze, but NoVA foodies seem pretty excited about it. According to the restaurant’s Facebook page, we can expect po’ boys, alligator nachos, boudin balls, bourbon-braised pork belly, beignets, and, of course, bourbon. Intersection of Ashburn Village Blvd. & Russell Branch Pkwy., Ashburn
In mid-February, a new pub will open in Arlington’s Clarendon neighborhood in the space formerly occupied by the Bracket Room. Owner Reese Gardner—who owns four other restaurants in Arlington, namely Copperwood Tavern, Dudley’s Sport and Ale, Quinn’s on the Corner, and The Pinemoor—says the menu will be “elevated pub fare with a healthy twist.” (You know, rabbit food.) Think lettuce wraps and salads, but also pub favorites like burgers and wings, along with draft beers, craft cocktails, house-infused vodkas, and an extensive wine list. 1210 N. Garfield St., Arlington
Restaurants from Happy Endings Hospitality
In September, NoVA-based Happy Endings Hospitality will open not one, not two, but three restaurants in Falls Church’s new Founders Row development. NUE Modern Vietnamese will be a full-service concept serving “exotic, intense flavors of Vietnamese cooking with French-Vietnamese culinary techniques and modern plating.” Chasin’ Tails Seafood Social will be a “group-friendly” restaurant serving Cajun-influenced seafood feasts, boils, oysters, and cocktails in a lounge atmosphere. And Roll Play Viet Street Food will offer customizable, quick-serve rolls, pho, and banh mi. 110 Founders Ave., Falls Church
Also coming to Falls Church’s Founders Row development will be the casual little sister of DC’s Michelin-starred Rooster & Owl. Currently estimated to open in late 2022, Ellie Bird will seat 70 and feature variations of Rooster & Owl’s to-go menu items offered during the pandemic, including its famous pineapple buns, as well as brunch items like Spam and egg sliders. 110 Founders Ave., Falls Church
The New Haven, Connecticut-based coal-fired pizza concept, known as “Pepe’s Pizza,” will open its first DC-area location this spring at the Westfield Montgomery mall in Bethesda, Maryland, followed by its first NoVA restaurant in Alexandria later this year. If you try one thing, make sure it’s the original tomato pie, made using the original recipe developed in 1925 by Frank Pepe, an Italian immigrant and Pepe’s Pizza’s namesake. 7101 Democracy Blvd., Bethesda; 3231 Duke St., Alexandria
A 100-seat, upscale European restaurant will soon open in Old Town Purcellville. According to The Burn, the menu is still being fine-tuned, but will feature dishes found throughout Europe made with local ingredients (such as breads, pasta, and pastries made in-house with Virginia grain). Bia is owned by Shane O’Connor, former owner and chef of the Blackthorne Inn and Restaurant in Upperville, and will be located in the space formerly occupied by Jack’s Run Brewing Co. 108 N. 21st St., Purcellville
Rai’s Pour House
The owners of Rai’s Pizza in Sterling are planning to open a new spot right next door to their current establishment early this summer, geared toward sports fans. Rai’s Pour House will have 25 TVs and both indoor and outdoor seating, with a menu consisting of pizza and cheesesteaks, of course, as well as burgers, wings, and more. 21430 Cedar Dr., Sterling
In what might be a match made in heaven—or in beer and bacon—nanobrewery Settle Down Easy Brewing Co. will open its second location in Oakton this spring in partnership with The Fermented Pig, a Vienna-based, family-owned business that’s been selling bacon, sausage, and charcuterie online and at local farmers markets since 2018. The 4,000-square-foot tasting room will have seating for 80 and will be The Fermented Pig’s first brick-and-mortar location, according to WTOP. Hunter Mill Plaza, intersection of Chain Bridge Rd. and Hunter Mill Rd., Oakton
Scheduled to open in February in Sterling, Ivy by the Lake—aptly named for its view of the adjacent man-made lake—will have a Middle Eastern- and Eastern Mediterranean-inspired menu of mezzes, mains, and feasts that can feed up to four, as well as cocktails with a Middle Eastern flare. Ivy Lake will have happy hour, a late-night menu, and brunch, as well as a fully covered patio and indoor-outdoor bar. 46110 Lake Center Plz., Sterling
Local chef Thomas Harvey will open his first restaurant, an all-day joint serving breakfast, lunch, dinner, and weekend brunch in Falls Church. Harvey’s will focus on American cuisine and have a 48-seat dining room, 12-seat beer and wine bar, and 70-seat outdoor patio. Tucked inside the restaurant will be a retail shop with specialty items found in the chef’s pantry and grab-and-go foods. 513 W. Broad St., Falls Church
Local food blogger Brandon Frye, aka “Food Dude USA,” has been selling his scratch-made jumbo lump crab cakes online since November 2019, but will open a brick-and-mortar restaurant in Manassas this March. Frye says the restaurant will be grab-and-go and also serve crab balls, rolls, and dip, shrimp salad, potato salad, carrot cake, and chocolate cupcakes. 7541 Presidential Ln., Ste. 34-G, Manassas
For more stories like this, subscribe to our Food newsletter.