Vietnamese, Thai, and other southeast Asian near NoVa Metro stops
I'll be visiting for a conference, staying near the Virginia Square / GMU Metro station, with no car. What are favorite Vietnamese, Thai, Cambodian, Burmese, or Laotian places walking distance from northern Virginia metro stations? Don't care about ambience or decor -- just the food. Thanks.
The original location of Nam Viet (they have several locations) on Hudson Street is near the Clarendon Metro stop. Soft shell crabs, roast quail, bowls of grilled pork vermicelli and spring rolls, Hue spicy beef noodle soup, Stuffed grape leaves.
Most Chowhound favorites are not near a Metro stop. Myanmar (ginger salad, goat curry, whole roasted fish) and Thai Square (tile fish, floating market soup)are the kind of places you are seeking. If you are curious about these you can always do a search on this board. You can also send me a PM amd join one of our irregular Chowhound meals.
The strip that houses Thai Square and Bangkok 54 can be reached fairly easily by mass transit. I forget which bus lines, since it's been a few years since I lived there, but a few lines go from Pentagon and Pentagon City straight up Columbia Pike.
This would give you the added benefit of hitting the newly expanded (and expanding) market of Bangkok 54 after the meal.
Eden Center, a definite chowhound favorite and home to many vietnamese options (including those beyond dining) is less than a mile's walk from the East Falls Church metro stop and highly recommended.
From Virginia Square, metro out (towards vienna) two stops to East Falls Church. The metro station only has one exit, come out of it and go right on Sycamore Street (becomes Roosevelt as you walk)...stay on that side of the street. You'll eventually come to a T at Wilson Blvd, Eden Center is on the corner upon which you'll be standing (well, its a gas station, but eden center surrounds it).
Huong Que and Viet Royale are favorites, and I have heard good things about the newish place Tay Do.
Here are a list of Eden Center spots with one man's take on the various offerings:
Eden Center is a good place to visit to do a food tour, but not necessarily just to go to _a_ restaurant.
While it's walkable from the East Falls Church Metro, it's about a mile up and down and up and down and up and down and up hills. Whiile most of the Asian restaurants have moved out of Clarendon, there are still some and that might be a good place to start. I can't recall any that are bad enough to recommend against one.
I second Nam-Viet.
Also...Eden Ctr is a short busride form ballston of EFC. You can walk form EFC but its about 15 mins. My fav restaurant there is Viet Huong.
For Burmese...Burma in DC's Chinatown may not be the best place around, but is is good, and metro accessible.
Also...Malaysia Kopitiam in Dupont is good.
I lived a few blocks further away from Eden Center than that metro stop and walked it regularly. And I'm pretty chubby and out-of-shape and have a bum knee, so you should be fine...not exactly a scenic walk though so if there is a bus option for which the schedule is right, do it. I usually find its quicker to walk than wait around for a bus. I think its a worthwhile stop.
Minhs is a great Vietnamese restaurant not too far from where you are staying. Take the metro to the Courthouse station (the second stop from GMU/Virginia Square) and then walk up Wilson Blvd. a couple of blocks. It is on the ground floor of an office building on your left. Try any of the fish specials and the grilled meats, especially grilled pork with vermicelli northern style. For lunch, head across the street to Earls for tasty sandwiches.
You could also go for Pho at Pho 75, head down the hill on Wilson from the Courthouse metro stop. Its in a strip mall on the left. Its best in the morning for brunch. I find the broth gets a little watered down in the evening.
You can take the bus from Ballston (a short, easy walk from the VA Square metro) to Eden Center. The 1 bus should get you close; the 1Z I think runs the closest. Check out www.wmata.com.
If you want to stay local, there is decent Thai at Thai Terrace at 801 N. Quincy Street (Quincy and Wilson.) It is not in the top tier, but they have pretty good appetizers and some decent entrees.
Tara Thai is a local chain that some disdain but I find to be fine, it's located near Quincy and Fairfax.