City of Fairfax Restaurants

Saba

3900 Pickett Rd.
Fairfax, VA 22031
703-425-1130

Yemeni


 

$$
$15.75
 

★★

Good Value

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★★

Good Value

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Summary
Washington Post
Washingtonian
Don Rockwell
 
A self-taught cook, Taha Alhoraivi opened this Fairfax restaurant to showcase the flavors he missed from his native Yemen. The cuisine marries the flavors of the Middle East and Africa and Alhoraivi does it proud. Look for dishes like haneeth, slow-cooked lamb over spiced rice, and fahsa, shredded beef in a tomato and cumin sauce . The house-made desserts are also strong here, so save room.
Summary
Washington Post
Washingtonian
Don Rockwell
 

The Washington Post has not reviewed this restaurant.
Summary
Washington Post
Washingtonian
Don Rockwell
 
No. 69 (1/8/2015) — 100 Very Best Restaurants 2015
"... Rice so good you swear you need eat nothing more. Chef/owner Tahia Alhoraivi makes five kinds daily, none more wonderful than the rice that goes into the dish called haneeth; though nominally a lamb dish (and the meat is delicious), it’s the grains that make it—each is distinct, and you can taste the flavors of the lamb in every bite. ... The cooking of Yemen can look, at times, like the cooking of Lebanon, Egypt, or Morocco. The emphasis is on developing flavors slowly, and the spice box is liberally, exuberantly employed. In Alhoraivi’s hands, it won’t matter that you’re new to the cuisine. It’ll taste like comfort food all the same." See Full Review…»
Summary
Washington Post
Washingtonian
Don Rockwell
 
Italic — Recommended
"The DC area's only Yemeni restaurant is terribly underrated, the lamb here is sensational, wonderful breakfasts, lavish desserts, a unique experience."

Villa Mozart

4009 Chain Bridge Rd.
Fairfax, VA 22030
703-691-4747

Italian


 

$$$
$32.25
 

★★

Poor Value

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★★

Poor Value

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Summary
Washington Post
Washingtonian
Don Rockwell
 
Chef Andrea Pace's Villa Mozart offers traditional Italian fare in a pleasant dining room with a formal vibe. For a great deal, seek out the three-course dinner, which is available Monday through Thursday for $39.
Summary
Washington Post
Washingtonian
Don Rockwell
 
2 Stars (10/7/2015) — Fall Dining Guide 2015
"I’ve long thought that good service can overcome fair food, but not the reverse: If a diner feels neglected, even the finest cooking will have a tough time winning you over. Then I had another dinner in this intimate and understated dining room with an Italian-leaning menu from Andrea Pace. His herbed grissini have to be the best table decoration in town, and his signature rye ravioli with fresh spinach and mountain cheese is such a comfort, I order it even though five other pastas compete for time. … Unfortunately, the head waiter seems determined to rain on our parade. … [B]ecause years of dinners here prove that Pace is a pro, and one bad apple shouldn’t mar the chef’s bunch of successes." See Full Review…»
Summary
Washington Post
Washingtonian
Don Rockwell
 
2.5 Stars (1/20/2011)
"In the heart of Old Town Fairfax, this intimate restaurant is small-town cute on the outside, modern on the inside" and "[m]any dishes, including seasonal renditions of gnocchi and risotto, are inspired by chef/owner Andrea Pace’s Northern Italian roots. …" See Full Review…»
Summary
Washington Post
Washingtonian
Don Rockwell
 
Italic — Recommended
"Traditional Italian in a lovely dining room, $39 prix fixe is the best bet, formal service, dressy atmosphere, workable wine list."

Bollywood Bistro

3955 Chain Bridge Rd.
Fairfax, VA 22030
703-273-0031

Indian


 

$$
$15.95
 

★★

Good Value

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★★

Good Value

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Summary
Washington Post
Washingtonian
Don Rockwell
 
This traditional Indian restaurant is strong across the whole menu. There is also a popular weekday and weekend buffet. The original opened in Fairfax in 2009 and a second branch was added in Great Falls in 2014.
Summary
Washington Post
Washingtonian
Don Rockwell
 

The Washington Post has not reviewed this restaurant.
Summary
Washington Post
Washingtonian
Don Rockwell
 
Unrated (6/11/2012) — 100 Cheap Eats 2012
"Blown-up images of bejeweled Bollywood stars gaze from the walls of this date-night-ready dining room. But we’re most seduced by the chili-stoked Indian cuisine. …" See Full Review…»
Summary
Washington Post
Washingtonian
Don Rockwell
 
Italic — Recommended
"One full dinner here was very good almost across the board, very reasonably priced drinks and beers." See 1/30/2012 Review…»

Hunan Taste

10120 Fairfax Blvd.
Fairfax, VA 22030
703-877-0988

Chinese


 

$$
$19.99
 

★★

Average Value

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★★

Average Value

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Summary
Washington Post
Washingtonian
Don Rockwell
 
Hunan Taste is an offshoot of an acclaimed restaurant in Catonsville, MD. The menu can be hit or miss, but when the dishes are good, they're really good. Generally fish is a safe bet, including fish with bean curd and steamed fish head with chili peppers. Aside from fish, try the tea tree mushrooms with pork casserole.
Summary
Washington Post
Washingtonian
Don Rockwell
 

The Washington Post has not reviewed this restaurant.
Summary
Washington Post
Washingtonian
Don Rockwell
 
2 Stars (4/14/2015) — Cheap Eats 2015
"... [N]ot everything on its sprawling menu is exhilarating or divine, that some dishes will put you in mind of a decent carryout, and that your server...should not be relied upon to know the difference. I also learned..., that there’s no discernible pattern to what’s good here, no single key. There are Chinese-American dishes that are good; there are authentic Chinese dishes that are not. ... There are expensive dishes ... that are good, but these aren’t to be trusted more than the cheaper ones.... The best shorthand I’ve been able to come up with is that seafood is generally excellent, and you really can’t go wrong with casseroles." See Full Review…»
Summary
Washington Post
Washingtonian
Don Rockwell
 
 
Don Rockwell does not recommend this restaurant.

Le Mediterranean Bistro

4008 University Drive
Fairfax, VA 22030
703-383-1553

French


 

$$
$22.63
 

★★

Average Value

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★★

Average Value

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Summary
Washington Post
Washingtonian
Don Rockwell
 
Chef Patron Driss Zahidi's bistro in Old Town Fairfax features classic French cooking with a nod to Zahidi's youth in Casablanca.
Summary
Washington Post
Washingtonian
Don Rockwell
 

The Washington Post has not reviewed this restaurant.
Summary
Washington Post
Washingtonian
Don Rockwell
 

Washingtonian has not reviewed this restaurant.
Summary
Washington Post
Washingtonian
Don Rockwell
 
Italic — Recommended
"Menu is half-Moroccan, half-French, Chicken Bastilla is very good, too much emphasis on green salads on the side."

ABC Canteen

9528 Lee Hwy.
Fairfax, VA 22031
703-865-0377

Seafood
Mexican

 

$
$7.50
 

Cheap Eats
Exceptional Value

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Cheap Eats
Exceptional Value

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Summary
Washington Post
Washingtonian
Don Rockwell
 
Owner Wesley Chen's sunny, welcoming restaurant in the old Arthur Treacher's on Fairfax Circle serves a great fish and chips that's vastly better than the former occupant. The only disappointment is that the fries are fast-food style, rather than authentic thick-cut "chips" — something more than made up from by the delicious hush puppies and dirt cheap prices. There's so much more to love than just fish, though, including good tacos and tamales, an assortment of sandwiches and salads, and appetizers like wings, nachos, quesadillas, and chicken fingers.
Summary
Washington Post
Washingtonian
Don Rockwell
 

The Washington Post has not reviewed this restaurant.
Summary
Washington Post
Washingtonian
Don Rockwell
 

Washingtonian has not reviewed this restaurant.
Summary
Washington Post
Washingtonian
Don Rockwell
 
Italic — Recommended
"Something of a dive, and one of our greatest Tex-Mex options, superb tamales, come often, try everything, you'll love it." See 12/4/2015 Review…»

Bernie's Deli

4328 Chain Bridge Rd.
Fairfax, VA 22030
703-691-1269

Sandwiches


 

$
$8.99
 

Cheap Eats
Exceptional Value

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Cheap Eats
Exceptional Value

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Summary
Washington Post
Washingtonian
Don Rockwell
 
This New York style deli stands aside from the rest because it cooks kits own corned beef and pastrami and makes its own sides and soups. The sandwiches are generous and there's a selection sweets, plus beer and wine, to round out your meal.
Summary
Washington Post
Washingtonian
Don Rockwell
 

The Washington Post has not reviewed this restaurant.
Summary
Washington Post
Washingtonian
Don Rockwell
 

Washingtonian has not reviewed this restaurant.
Summary
Washington Post
Washingtonian
Don Rockwell
 
Italic — Recommended
"Perhaps the best deli in the suburbs, get a corned beef and pastrami with sauerkraut, Swiss, and mustard on rye, heated, and you will like."

Woodlands

4078 Jermantown Rd.
Fairfax, VA 22030
703-385-1996

Indian
Vegetarian

 

$
$10.95
 

Cheap Eats
Excellent Value

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Cheap Eats
Excellent Value

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Summary
Washington Post
Washingtonian
Don Rockwell
 
The southern Indian vegetarian food at Woodlands is so good, even the most dedicated carnivore won't miss the meat. The two-restaurant chain is famous for its cheap buffet, which is excellent. But the food is even better when ordered fresh off the menu, particularly the dosas. The giant crepe-like wraps are some of the best around.
Summary
Washington Post
Washingtonian
Don Rockwell
 
Unrated (7/30/2015)
"Since 1998, Woodlands has enticed even committed carnivores with its vegetarian buffet based on dishes from India's Udupi region. "Our customers drive from all around to have an authentic South Indian experience" (including dosa: a flexible, crepe-like bread served plain or stuffed with potatoes, chutney and more), says owner Anand Poojary, 51. …" See Full Review…»
Summary
Washington Post
Washingtonian
Don Rockwell
 
Unrated (5/5/2016) — Cheap Eats 2016
"If you’ve never been to this restaurant specializing in southern India’s meatless fare, you have to start with a dosa, a thin, crunchy rice crepe that, in size and appearance, calls to mind a loosely rolled poster. It usually comes filled—say, with a hash of potatoes and onions. Dip a piece into the little cup of coconut chutney. A sublime taste, and the best introduction to what this kitchen is able to accomplish, year after year, without meat or fish. …" See Full Review…»
Summary
Washington Post
Washingtonian
Don Rockwell
 
 
Don Rockwell has not reviewed this restaurant.

Nanjing Bistro

11213 Lee Hwy.
Fairfax, VA 22030
703-385-8686

Chinese


 

$
$12.45
 

Cheap Eats
Excellent Value

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Cheap Eats
Excellent Value

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Summary
Washington Post
Washingtonian
Don Rockwell
 
Nanjing is the capital of China's eastern-central coastal province of Jiangsu. This restaurant is one of the few in the area where you can sample the cooking from that region, which is characterized by meants and vegetables cooked to a soft texture, but not to the point of mushy or falling apart. Even if you don't know anything about the food, the picture menu makes ordering easy.
Summary
Washington Post
Washingtonian
Don Rockwell
 

The Washington Post has not reviewed this restaurant.
Summary
Washington Post
Washingtonian
Don Rockwell
 
Unrated (5/5/2016) — Cheap Eats 2016
"If you’re not familiar with Jiangsu cuisine, don’t worry—this bright restaurant offers a delicious introduction (and a pictorial menu for easy ordering). Start with salted duck, a delicacy of the region—it’s not “salty” at all but lightly cured to emphasize the bird’s meaty flavor, and served in fat slices. Groups can splurge for one of the kitchen’s head-turners: a whole “flower fish,” scored crosswise and fried so it resembles a pinecone glazed in a sweet-sour sauce. …" See Full Review…»
Summary
Washington Post
Washingtonian
Don Rockwell
 
 
Don Rockwell has not reviewed this restaurant.

Bonchon

3242 Old Picket Rd.
Fairfax, VA 22031
703-865-5688

Korean
Chicken

 

$
$12.50
 

Cheap Eats
Good Value

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Cheap Eats
Good Value

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Summary
Washington Post
Washingtonian
Don Rockwell
 
Bonchon is regarded by most in the area as the top purveyor of the "other KFC" (Korean fried chicken). The twice-fried chicken comes in a choice of spicy or sweet sesame garlic sauce and at some locations you may need to wait as long as 30 minutes for an order.
Summary
Washington Post
Washingtonian
Don Rockwell
 
Unrated (8/1/2013)
"In an era when many grow impatient when forced to sit still for 0.49 second as Google spits out search results, the BonChon Chicken chain is a kind of a giant chill pill, asking customers to wait 30 minutes or more for fried wings and drumettes. Allow me to repeat that: BonChon often forces you to wait a half-hour (or more!) for what is, essentially, the Korean version of Buffalo wings. …" See Full Review…»
Summary
Washington Post
Washingtonian
Don Rockwell
 
Unrated (5/5/2016) — Cheap Eats 2016
"… At Bonchon, you’ll encounter … a symphony of relentless crunching. That’s how ridiculously crispy the chain’s Korean twice-fried chicken is, even—it defies culinary logic—when doused in sticky-sweet garlic-soy glaze. The famed birds are the number-one reason to visit (or to call for carryout, though waits can stretch to an hour-plus), but some locations such as Arlington, Centreville, and Navy Yard serve well-made cock-tails and a short list of starters, too. …" See Full Review…»
Summary
Washington Post
Washingtonian
Don Rockwell
 
 
Don Rockwell does not recommend this restaurant.

China Star

9600 Main St
Fairfax, VA 22031
703-323-8822

Chinese


 

$
$13.95
 

Cheap Eats
Good Value

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Cheap Eats
Good Value

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Summary
Washington Post
Washingtonian
Don Rockwell
 
China Star in the Fair City Mall is one of the restaurants where Peter Chang briefly cooked when he first appeared on the DC scene. Chang is long gone now, but he's left a legacy of fine Szechuan cooking in his wake.
Summary
Washington Post
Washingtonian
Don Rockwell
 
2 Stars (10/17/2004)
"Some like it hot, and for them there's this spartan Chinese restaurant, whose rambling menu features Sichuan dishes that don't pull any punches. Slices of cold beef brushed with chili oil, and pork mixed with salty-sour green beans and roasted red chili peppers set off four-alarm fires on your tongue, though their individual flavors manage not to get lost in the flames. Look around at what your neighbors, mostly Asians, are eating, and follow suit. Chances are good that they're ordering from among the specials printed in Chinese, but helpfully translated by the efficient wait staff …" See Full Review…»
Summary
Washington Post
Washingtonian
Don Rockwell
 
Unrated (5/5/2016) — Cheap Eats 2016
"This strip-mall mainstay has the feel of an old-time Chinatown restaurant, with families gathering around steaming tureens and platters and a menu that goes on for pages. Though all the greatest hits of neighborhood Chinese carryouts are here, there’s much more to the place. Focus on the Szechuan dishes, perked up with the likes of garlic, chili, ginger, and peppercorns. …" See Full Review…»
Summary
Washington Post
Washingtonian
Don Rockwell
 
 
Don Rockwell does not recommend this restaurant.

Izakaya Blue Ocean

9440 Main St.
Fairfax, VA 22031
703-425-7555

Japanese


 

$$
$18.33
 

Cheap Eats
Average Value

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Cheap Eats
Average Value

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Summary
Washington Post
Washingtonian
Don Rockwell
 
This fun Fairfax izakaya has good sushi and other Japanese snacks that go well with beer and sake.
Summary
Washington Post
Washingtonian
Don Rockwell
 

The Washington Post has not reviewed this restaurant.
Summary
Washington Post
Washingtonian
Don Rockwell
 
Unrated (5/5/2016) — Cheap Eats 2016
"… The food speaks for itself, though sometimes it doesn’t—ask your server to translate the many specials handwritten in Japanese, which might yield a crunchy, umami-packed salmon-skin salad or ichiya-boshi, cured and grilled squid. The sushi menu also holds unusual finds—abalone, sea eel—though there’s nothing wrong with sticking to more familiar staples: miso-marinated cod, ramen packed with toothsome noodles, and sushi and sashimi plates that are artfully arranged like flower bouquets, and just as colorful. …" See Full Review…»
Summary
Washington Post
Washingtonian
Don Rockwell
 
 
Don Rockwell does not recommend this restaurant.
Ratings Guide:
★★★★ Extraordinary;  ★★★ Excellent;  ★★ Good;  ★ Average
All restaurants listed rate above-average or better. DCDiningGuide.com also includes a number of unrated local favorites, casual places, and other restaurants that we recommend if you’re in the neighborhood.
Price Guide:
$$$$$ Unlimited (>$45); $$$$ Very Expensive ($35-$45); $$$ Expensive ($25-$35); $$ Moderate ($15-$25); Inexpensive (<$15)
Price is based on the average cost of a dinner entree, which generally reflects a third of the cost of a full meal. Please note, however, that appetizer and beverage prices vary widely. Tasting menus are indicated with an asterisk (*).