Fairfax food finder!
November 29, 2006 10:35 AM   Subscribe

I'm going to be in Fairfax, VA this weekend and looking for nice non chain restaurants to check out, anyone have any great suggestions?
posted by wavering to Food & Drink (16 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
Tyler Cowen's Dining Blog

He's a huge foodie and loves ethnic food. Apparently Fairfax is awesome for non-chain restaurants (in categories go down to Fairfax.)
posted by stratastar at 10:49 AM on November 29, 2006

Ah, and here's the original guide which predates the blog. Mmmmm...
posted by stratastar at 11:02 AM on November 29, 2006

Any particular food you're looking for? If it happens to be vegetarian, check out Sunflower Cafe in (nearby) Vienna.
posted by inigo2 at 11:06 AM on November 29, 2006

I like Minerva and Sunflower (the Sunflower Forest is just amazing). The best chili dogs in the area can be had at the Vienna Inn.
posted by peeedro at 11:16 AM on November 29, 2006

Russia House mmmmmm
posted by symphonik at 11:21 AM on November 29, 2006

Second Minerva, although I've only been to the Herndon location.
posted by callmejay at 11:33 AM on November 29, 2006

I second Minerva. Being an Indian, I can say that the food is VERY close to the home cooking i grew up on.

10364 Lee Highway
Fairfax, VA
posted by photodegas at 11:37 AM on November 29, 2006

I don't know what kind of food you're looking for, but the best pizza I've found in the area is definitely from Tony's (yes, they run their web site on port 7777, I have no idea why), located in a shopping plaza near I-66 and the Fairfax County Parkway. While not the best pizza I've ever had, it's definitely tasty and my favorite in NOVA.

Just a few notes after skimming the Fairfax page of Tyler Cowen's Dining Blog (which is an awesome resource, thanks stratastar): Moby Dick House of Kebab was gone last time I checked, at least from the location by the movie theater. I haven't been to most of the other places on that list, but I'll obviously have to start. (I may hit up Minerva tonight, actually, since it seems to get so much praise.)

If you want more American food, there is a fun wings+beer place on Rt. 50 out towards Chantilly called the "Buffalo Wing Factory" which vacillates between 'family restaurant' and 'sports pub' depending on the night, but has good specials. There is also a pretty good kebab shop in the same plaza, next to the Starbucks (behind McDonalds). The plaza is only a few miles distant from the Fairfax Anita's mentioned in Cowden's blog.
posted by Kadin2048 at 11:40 AM on November 29, 2006

Oh, and if you can make it to Alexandria while there, Taverna Cretekou is pretty darn good.
posted by symphonik at 11:47 AM on November 29, 2006

Someone here indicated they found it to be as horrid as I think it is wonderful, but I love the pizza at Lost Dog Cafe in Vienna. Bebo Tratoria is getting good reviews and is in the Crystal City area.

I also like Hard Times Cafe. There's one in the Courthouse area, east of where you'll be. Like the Buffalo Wing Factory it nominally qualifies as a chain but it's primarily a local one. If at any point you just want a burger there's another chain that started locally, Five Guys. They're damned near everywhere these days, it seems, but I have yet to be to a sub-standard one.
posted by phearlez at 12:12 PM on November 29, 2006

I'll add to the voices recommending Minerva. There's also a Turkish restaurant called Temel that we used to go to when ersatzjef lived in Fairfax.
posted by ersatzkat at 12:23 PM on November 29, 2006

Seconding Tyler Cowen's guide and offering an alternative to Minerva: Saravana Palace. It's newer, but better IMHO. Fairfax DOES have great non-chain restaurants, but I'd recommend sticking to ethnic food if you want to see what Fairfax does best.
posted by sa3z at 12:52 PM on November 29, 2006

Moby's has multiple locations, all in the DC area, but then again so does the wonderful Lebanese Taverna, which is also a home-grown favorite. Regarding Moby's, I've enjoyed it, but I strongly prefer Charcoal Kabob in Herdon (a town in western Fairfax). CK's food is fantastic, but the decor won't impress since it screams "fast food conversion". I've enjoyed Sunflower, but it didn't draw me back as CK and Lebanese Taverna have. There's also high-end ($$$) Italian restaurant with a sterling reputation in Fairfax, Maestro, that I keep meaning to try but haven't gotten to, yet.
posted by NortonDC at 4:09 PM on November 29, 2006

Also endorse Sunflower and Minerva and would add Woodlands for vegetarian Indian cooking at very reasonable prices. If you go in the evening, most of the customers are Indian, which tells you something. During the day, their buffet is superb.
posted by TheRaven at 5:23 PM on November 29, 2006

I'm very fond of Minerva, too, and would also recommend Panjshir (Afgan) and Yama Sushi (freshest Salmon in the area; I've never had a bad experience there) in Vienna (next to Fairfax city), Four Sisters (Vietnamese) in the Eden Center.
posted by julen at 6:32 PM on November 29, 2006

minerva is great but i think mayuri is even better.

i second charcoal kebab. delicious afgan food.
posted by kneelconqueso at 5:57 PM on November 30, 2006

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