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Best authentic eats around Virginia Square Metro


Just moved into a place right by Virginia Square Metro and was wondering what people would recommend as their top authentic eats around this area.

Willing to drive 5-10 miles in any direction for yummy authentic food.

Ive lived in DC before and have been to Thai Square, Duangrats, Mark's Duck House...2941, Ritz Hotel Brunch Buffet, etc...

Looking to see what people would recommend as their top favorites :)

I'm mainly into asian food I guess...love authentic chinese, thai, japanese-and sushi, vietnamese food...but am open to great food in any other category too...like cuban, filipino, good breakfasts, etc


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  1. It could be considered obvious but El Pollo Rico is on Kenmore Street between Fairfax Drive and Wilson Blvd and has very authentic Peruvian chicken which is reasonably priced. I have never been to Peru but the large groups of Hispanic families eating there may vindicate the claim to authenticity. It is two blocks from the Va Square Metro walking down Fairfax and turning right on Kenmore.

    2 Replies
    1. re: BookGuy

      YAY thanks!!! Nothings obvious...I spent a couple years in DC but theres still so much for me to try and have yet to experience...your reply is much appreciated and I will def go check it out sometime in the next few days :)

      1. re: coweepooh

        YES. I definitely second this recommendation. I drive from DC to go to EPR.

    2. You aren't far from the Eden Center, just head west down Wilson Boulevard and hang a right through the Chinese gate just before you get to 7 Corners. Lots of excellent Vietnamese restaurants in there.

      1. Welcome to the 'hood! Have you heard of The Italian Store? It's a great little authentic deli/shop where you can order great sandwiches, pizza and such. They also have a great selection of Italian wines and frozen homemade pasta. It's in Lyon Village Shopping Center on Lee Hwy & Spout Run (Kirkwood). It's a quick drive from Virginia Square. But it's a deli not a restaurant...great place for carry-out.

        There is a carry-out sushi place opening a couple doors down from The Italian Store called Wasabito...same owner as Wasabi in DC. I believe it's a conveyor belt deal. Don't know how good it will be...interested to find out.

        Similar to El Pollo Rico is Crisp & Juicy on Lee Hwy off of Lorcam Lane in the Lee Heights Shopping Center. I love their chicken sandwiches and fried plantains...another good place for carry-out.

        1. Another non-obvious choice would be the Bolivian lunch on the weekends at Tutto Bene near Ballston - an easy walk from Virginia Square.


          I know it is an Italian restaurant, but the owners are Bolivian. A hidden treat of Arlington. Because of redevelopment, such treasures are harder to come by these days.

          1. Another obvious choice would be Nam-Viet on Hudson Street in Clarendon. First-rate Vietnamese food.

            You could also try Cafe Tirolo, which is an Austrian-European (primarily) take out place next door to Tara Thai on Fairfax Avenue. Seems pretty authentic to me.

            Tutto Bene serves authentic Bolivian food on the weekends for lunch.

            In addition to El Pollo Rico (which is good), you could try Super Pollo for Peruvian chicken. It's on Randolph Street right across from Ballston Mall.

            1 Reply
            1. re: jaydreb

              Nam-Viet is consistently delicious- I try to get something different every time I go and have yet to be dissapointed. Also, try Ravi Kabob in Ballston- they have great lentils and chickpeas (be advised that it is cash only).

            2. Mario's, right around the corner from you on Wilson Blvd. That's about the only authentic thing left in that neighborhood. Get the the Lefty's Special steak and cheese sub. Now...that's authentic.

              1. Former Courthouse resident here, if you are up for a short metro jaunt which is DEFINITELY worth the while.

                I enjoyed Sawatdee Thai right by CH 'tro, and LOVE Ragtime's brunch (live music at brunch, who can resist?). Two of my faves nearby.

                1. Don't forget crabs at the Quarterdeck on Fort Myer Drive. Now THAT'S authentic.


                  Note that you need to order your crabs ahead of time by phone.

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: dcs

                    Costa Verde Restaurant, 946 N. Jackson St., has good South American (Peruvian, I think) and sometimes live music. Best bet: anything with potatoes in it.

                    1. re: Gonzocook

                      It is definitely Peruvian, and it is very good. And inexpensive, as the portions are huge. I like the ceviche and the octopus saltado. My husband likes the papa relleno (stuffed potato) appetizer.

                  2. A lot of good stuff in here already. Here are a few of my faves:

                    Minh's Vietnamese on Wilson, half way between Courthouse and Clarendon- awesome grilled meats and whole cooked fish.

                    Earl's Sandwiches - right across the street from Minh's - house roasted meats.

                    Pho 75 - One of the originals. Down Wilson, almost to Rosslyn. If you pass Cafe Asia you've gone too far.

                    Ray's the Steaks - Next to Pho 75. Search for the many fan-boy posts, but don't be suprised when the raves are justifiable.

                    Kotobuki - Palisades. I know what you're thinking, Palisades?! Here's the deal. Jump onto Lee Highway and swing down to Rosslyn. Cross the Key bridge and hang a left onto M St. / Canal. Hang another left onto Macarthur. Kotobuki is on the left in a couple of miles. On an early weekend night it could take you 10-15 minutes, tops. Some of the best deals in the city - period. Its that good, and cheap. Order sushi or kamemehi. Come to think about it - that's pretty much the whole menu.

                    1. Best eats within 10 miles (!) include:
                      Veggie Enchilada, La Union Carry-out on Lee Hwy, Arlington (Ensalada to drink)
                      Goat or Chorizo Tacos at Taqueria El Charrito Caminante, Arlington
                      Saltanas, Humintas at El Pike, Seven Corners
                      Ma Po Tofu, Golden Corn and Egg at Hong Kong Palace, Seven Corners
                      Hot Pots at Tay Do, Eden Center
                      Yum Nua and Shrimp wrapped in Wanton Skins, Ghin Na Ree
                      Red and Yellow Tomato Pizza at Pie-Tanza
                      Mini-sausages and kibbe at Lebanese Butcher, Falls Church
                      Costillas de res at Victor's Grill, Falls Church
                      Rotisserie Chicken, El Pollo Rico, Arlington

                      Actually, 10 miles is pretty far, probably includes Myanmar in Falls Church as well for their Ginger Salad.