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Living in Tysons Corner area...where to eat

we just moved to the Rotonda condominiums near Tysons Galleria/Corner malls and would like to know where people who live around here eat.

ive been/seen most all the mall food choices and none of them are that appealing...would love to know of smaller places or non-chain restaurants people would recommend especially for:

-korean (besides Woo Lae Oak and having to drive to annandale)
-japanese (not tachibana--been there so many times and never loved it...Sushi yama is fine but limited menu options and Konami is okay...)
-homely breakfast/brunch on weekends...places with fresh OJ and eggs benedict and crispy yummy bacon (so far Original Pancake House in Falls Church has been our closest place for this)
-italian (bonaroti in vienna is nice but feels more dressy and not so everyday, any place besides maggianos we can go to thats more homely still yummy)
-mexican (i still miss the days of living in dupont circle and walking to the mexican place along 18th street between Dupont and Adams Circle which name now escapes me...)
-salvadorean places? i used to go to this one called Saritas I think? It was in a small parking lot...kind of close in Falls Church? any other ones people like?


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  1. Well . . .er . . you're living right in the heart of shopping/corporate Northern VA. It almost sounds like Vienna is too far for you to go, but you just gotta get out of that mass of office buildings and shopping centers to find some different food.

    There've been a lot of favorable comments about Monterey Bay Fish Grotto. For every recommendation of a Chinese restaurant there will be someone who will reply that the food sucks (or isn't authentic) so you just have to try them to see what suits your fancy. Hunan Lion is OK, and for homey pretty good, East Chalet in Vienna (Magruder's shopping center) is fine. For Italian, Da Dominco is also a bit formal but friendly and the food is excellent. That's Amore (Vienna) is al alternative to Maggiano's. For Mexican (actually New Mexico) you'll either love or hate Anita's.

    1. Welcome to the neighborhood! I'll try to reply as best i can.

      Chinese - nothing good in Tysons. Try Hunan Lion at the corner of 123 and Old Courthouse. A bit dressy, but ok.

      Korean - there are a million Korean restaurants but few in Tysons. The best are in Annandale.

      Japanese - Not much around. Tachibana is as good as you'll find in N VA. There used to be a place called Genji in Falls Church, not sure if it's still there.

      Breakfast - Try the Amphora in Vienna. The food is great for breakfast, unfortunately they have mediocre coffee - very Bun-O-matic if you know what I mean. I like Original Pancake House in FC too.

      I have yet to find any good Mexican in the area since the demise many years ago of Speedy Gonzales in Arlington.

      Salvadorean - best places are in Arlington. The FC place you mention is very good.

      Vienna has a number of very good restaurants. Amma's is a great Indian vegetarian restaurant. Bazin's on Church is a nice "American Bistro" - not cheap but good wine list and food.

      The Tavern in Great Falls is a nice place for a simple meal - very nice at happy hour.

      In Falls Church try Panjashir for Afgan food and Haandi for Indian food.

      1. If you don't mind driving a few minutes, you might try:

        Chinese - Old Peking in Oakton (straight down 123)

        Italian - Dolce Vita - again down 123, take a right on 29 and it will be on the right (wonderful lunchtime bargains)

        Indian - Bombay Bistro - down 123 on the right just prior to Rte. 29 (love their buffet)

        Mexican - Tequila Grande - corner of 123 and Nutley in Vienna (my son-in-law likes that)

        An historic landmark is the Vienna Inn; they serve breakfast, etc. and are famous for their chili dogs. It's a dive, but interesting.

        1. Hong Kong Palace, down a couple miles from the Original Pancake House.

          Panjshir II (related to Panjshir in FC) on Maple Ave West in Vienna.

          Rose's Kabob in Vienna.

          Shamshiry off of Route 7 before the Toll Road.

          Lebanese Butcher in Falls Church.

          Eden Center for Vietnamese, particularly Huong Viet.

          Mark's Duck House for Peking Duck in Falls Church/Seven Corners.

          1. Gotta give props to FoodieGrrl on many of her options.

            Also, Pan Am family restaurant is sort of Amphora-ish but being a one-off.

            You know about Sweetwater, right? And Shamshiry for the best Persian in the area? And Paya Thai?

            Beyond that, MikeR kind of sums it up. You're actually in an okay place for easy transit sans the rush hour(s) to get to Reston/Herndon, Fairfax/Oakton, Falls Church, etc. (Tyson's, Vienna and McLean are different in some respects, but the same in others - geographically speaking). Search for all of these places - you'll find bunches more - there are even taco trucks in Reston for Pete's sake!

            1 Reply
            1. re: Dennis S

              Interesting responses and post: Bonaroti "is nice but feels more dressy and not so everyday." For myself Bonaroti feels like one of Little Italy's best (I am NOT an enthusiast of Baltimore Italian having eaten at every single restaurant in Little Italy over the past 30+ years-several times) along with a Soprano's hangout in North Jersey. Da Domenico is not as good nor is Dolce Vita which is several levels below both. For Italian you are going to have to go into D. C. or suffer the service at Bebo (sit at the bar). The D. C. area is still trying to recapture the Italian excellence it had with Maestro and the Lab. Obelisk may be back to its original form for what that is worth.

              Speedy Gonzalez, eh? I remember Speedy's on N. Hudson street a block from Red Top cab. I use to deadhead there from Silver Spring it was so good. I also use to deadhead to the original Anita's, too but that is also gone and Anita's is not as good as it was in the '70's. Even though I like several D. C. area places today for "Mexican" I probably agree that both Speedy's and the original Anita's-in their time and their style-were better than what is available today. Actually, this is a remarkable statement but it is probably true. The D. C. area needs another great dump with Tex Mex/New Mexico Mex run by a thirty year old with big hair and the horns of a steer on her Cadillac. At least with her passion if not her youth. (I'd also still drive into Guajillo's 18th street outpost...) Tequila Grande is housed in an old Howard Johnson's and not much better.

              I have not been to the Monterey Bay Fish Grotto but I have never associated Pittsburgh with exemplery seafood. Nor Tyson's Corner.

              This probably explains why my wife and I still go into D. C. once every week or so for dinner.

              2941 (uneven but has possibilities), Shamshiry (especially Shamshiry-worth the drive from Maryland!), Capital Grille, Bazin's (as an everyday kind of place is an alternative to Clyde's) if you must stay local.

            2. Living in Tysons is your first problem. It is wall-to-wall chains. And the traffic is bad enough to make going anywhere difficult.

              Take the Toll Road to Wiehle and go to El Manantiel in Reston. Best non-chain restaurant within 10 miles of Tysons.

              While you're out that way, Yoko in Herndon is passably good sushi. I believe it's run by the same people who own Yoko in Oakton. The Toll Road will set you free.

              1. For casual Italian I like
                6852 Old Dominion Drive Mc Lean

                6825 Redmond Dr. , McLean, VA (it's upstairs in a strip mall). Sicilian style, has seafood

                For sushi variety just within a couple of blocks of Tachibana
                6719 Curran Street Mc Lean, VA

                Ichiban (very tiny, chalk board specials are always interesting and unusual)
                6800 block of Old Dominion

                Diner type, especially for homely breakfast/brunsh but they have everything (no alcohol I think)
                McLean Family Restaurant
                1321 Chain Bridge Road Mclean, VA

                You didn't mention Greek, but try the Greek Taverna
                6828 Old Dominion Drive

                For Turkish (the food is SO good at these two)

                6813 Redmond Drive , McLean

                523 Maple Avenue West, Vienna

                5 Replies
                1. re: Sue_B

                  We live btwn downtown McLean and Tysons, and we work in Tysons so we've pretty much tried them all. No "authentic" Chinese in this area other than Serenity and that's not very good. The restaurants that I would go back to in McLean are: Evo Bistro, Corner Bistro, Le Mistral, Capri, Kazan, Moby Dick's, Greek Taverna, Tachibana, Miyagi, Cafe Taj, and Cafe Tatti (I'm intentionally leaving out J. Gilberts). Around Tysons but not in a mall and non-chain: Da Domenico, Shamshiry, Saigon (but not for Pho), Busara, Monterey Bay, Songbird (Korean), and Woo Lae Oak. The restaurants in Vienna that I DON'T want to go back to: Bazin, Bonaroti. I would go back to Le Canard and Cafe Renaissance. Tequila Grande serves decent Tex-Mex although it's run by Indians (from India).

                  1. re: Ericandblueboy

                    I agree with not going back to Bonaroti. The food is medicore at best. However, I disagree with Bazin's. Granted it has been about a year since I've been there, but evey time I've gone in the past I found it as one of the best restaurants in the Tysons area. My favorite were the ravioli appetizers which were always excellent.

                    1. re: dcfoodie13

                      As for top restaurants in the area, I would've said Maestro and Colvin Run but they're both gone. So now we have a bunch of chain or mall restaurants. I'm not saying Bazin is bad, but if I want to eat high end food I would rather drive to DC, Alexandria, or 2941 and get much better food. Bazin's is not in the top 100 according to Washingtonian and I don't think that it was overlooked. So imo Bazin's not good enough to compete with the better restaurants and a little bit expensive for just casual dining.

                      1. re: Ericandblueboy

                        I definitely agree with you that the best restaurants are in DC and Alexandria and I99% of the time I will drive there whenever I choose to go out to dinner. But for something local in McLean/Vienna I thought Bazin's is one of the better restaurants when comparing it the other offerings in that area.

                    2. re: Ericandblueboy

                      I lived in Tyson's for a few years - right down the street from the Rotunda. I agree with Eric in that we mostly ate out in McLean. While the food was not terribly memorable, I always appreciated the lack of chain restaurants. Moby Dick's was a great standby.

                      I never actually ate there, but was always intrigued by eCitie Restaurant and Bar. I guess it was big during the 90's tech boom - seemed like a relic of that era the few times I was there. Anyone been lately? Is it still there?

                      The real standby for me was the Besta Pizza. It's on Tyco Rd and they had a carryout special for a large pizza for $7 or so. I think the number is still in my phone.