Latest Eats in Northern Virginia

Last July I gave you a glimpse into what we’d been eating in our current location, and now seems like a great time to update that! I’ve expanded beyond Arlington to get a better glimpse at what’s available in the area.


black olive pizza

I came to Piola twice to meet a friend (she had forgotten about the meeting the first time so I just ate at the bar). They have a few free food appetizers at happy hour. The pizza is pretty good. The first time I got one with goat cheese and black olives (above) which had way too few olives. The second time I got a Carbonara pizza, which was good after a while but the fact that the eggs were scrambled weirded me out a little.

At a Glance:

  • Location: 1550 Wilson Blvd (Rosslyn)
  • Hours: 11-11 most day, open until 1 am on Friday and Saturday
  • What to Expect: Decent Naples-style pizza and pasta at medium-high prices.

Hawwi Ethiopian Cafe

Ethiopian food

Went to Hawwi with a group of 6 on a Saturday after a parade in Old Town. Their lunch specials are valid on the weekend, and the vegan platter for two is really delicious. Probably my new favorite Ethiopian place!

At a Glance:

  • Location: 1125 Queen St (Old Town Alexandria)
  • Hours: 9-9 Monday through Saturday, 9-7 Sunday
  • What to Expect: Tasty Ethiopian food and decent lunch specials.

Taco Bamba

poutine taco

We met friends at Taco Bamba on Thanksgiving weekend. I want to go back all the time. I had the Gringo taco and the Poutina taco (above). Seriously delicious. A must try in the area!

At a Glance:

  • Location: 2190 Pimmit Dr Ste. G (Falls Church)
  • Hours: 8:30 am to 10 pm daily
  • What to Expect: Outstanding and interesting tacos at prices that won’t kill your wallet.

Hunan Taste

Jeff’s family all went out to Hunan Taste while everyone was in town for Thanksgiving. They have two menus, one of which has some less familiar dishes on it. I loved the garlicky octopus roll. A lot of the dishes are pretty spicy.

At a Glance:

  • Location: 10160 Fairfax Blvd (Fairfax)
  • Hours: 10:30-10:30 daily
  • What to Expect: A huge menu with some not-too-frequently seen dishes.

Nicecream Factory

ice cream

Liquid nitrogen ice cream made to order! They have seasonal flavors (above is spiced vanilla). The ice cream is smooth and very flavorful. Worth a visit.

At a Glance:

  • Location: 2831 Clarendon Blvd (Clarendon)
  • Hours: 11:30 or 12 to 10 or 11 pm daily
  • What to Expect: Liquid nitrogen ice cream.

DGS Delicatessen

pastrami hash

We went to DGS Delicatessen with Jeff’s parents. There is a location in the Mosaic District (the original is in DC). I really like the pastrami hash for brunch (though Jeff’s dad was not a big fan).

At a Glance:

  • Location: 2985 District Ave Ste. 115 (Mosaic District)
  • Hours: 11:30-10 Monday through Friday, 10-10 Saturday and 10-9 Sunday
  • What to Expect: Upgraded deli favorites and a tasty brunch.

Ireland’s Four Courts

Ireland’s Four Courts is located within walking distance of my work. They have a pretty decent burger and alright prices on lunch specials.

At a Glance:

  • Location: 2051 Wilson Blvd (Courthouse)
  • Hours: 11 am to 2 am daily (opens at 10 Saturday and Sunday)
  • What to Expect: Decent pub food.

Gaijin Ramen

ramen bowl

We tried this place with a group of friends. The alcoholic drinks are pretty cheap. You can pick the add-ins for your ramen, and I think I simply did not pick a good combination. Mine was kind of bland, while no one else had that experience.

At a Glance:

  • Location: 3800 Lee Hwy (Cherrydale)
  • Hours: Tuesday to Sunday from 4-10 pm
  • What to Expect: Okay ramen at a small neighborhood spot, cheap mixed drinks.

Haute Dog & Fries

I am a hot dog lover. So when I found out about this place, I really wanted to try it. It only took about a year to convince Jeff to go. I loved it. There are many different options for hot dogs and really good chili cheese fries.

At a Glance:

  • Location: 610 Montgomery St (Old Town Alexandria)
  • Hours: 11 am to about 9 pm (closes earlier Sunday and Monday)
  • What to Expect: Awesome and varied hot dogs and fries.

Rus Uz

stuffed cabbage

Rus Uz is not the cheapest option around, but is a great spot if you want something a little different. I had the goluptsi, or stuffed cabbage (above). It’s a dish I loved in places like Romania, and was very delicious here.

At a Glance:

  • Location: 1000 N Randolph St (Ballston)
  • Hours: Around 11:30 to 10 pm daily
  • What to Expect: Tasty but a little pricey Russian and Uzbeki food.

Citizen Burger Bar


Citizen Burger Bar, in Clarendon, specializes in grass-fed burgers. The menu states that you order by color because grass-fed beef stays pinker for longer. I guess I should have gotten it cooked less, because even the “pink” option tasted more well-done than I usually like. The fries and the ranch dressing were quite good though.

At a Glance:

  • Location: 1051 N Highland St (Clarendon)
  • Hours: 11:30 am to midnight daily
  • What to Expect: Decent grass-fed burgers.

Where have you been eating lately?

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