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Where to eat near Dulles Expo Center

I'm going to the gem show on Friday and from previous experience I know that it is useless to try and drive home after the show is over. I'm looking for a decent place to eat that won't be traffic-crazed near the Dulles Expo Center. We're planning on leaving the Center about 15 or 20 minutes early to beat the mob out of the parking lot (THAT can take 1/2 hour or more) so hopefully we will be on the road a few minutes before 6:00

I know Anita's makes a great margarita but I wonder if there is another good place to eat around there. I'm not a fan of Indian food or hot/spicy. If there is a decent diner nearby I wouldn't mind that - I love breakfast for dinner!

Any ideas?

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  1. Yes, there's quite a bit.

    Great bar food (best traditional wings in the area) at Bungalow Billiards (get the 3 mile island on the side).

    I haven't been to the place, but had the food at Picante! I'd rec it though I'm not shouting from the roof.

    Arguably the best beef bbq in the area is at Williards. Don't get pork or chicken, though. And protip, you can exchange the corn bread for an extra side (thanks, Bob W).

    That's all in the immediate area, and there are other places, like Sichuan Village, and a couple of pho places, though those don't sound quite what you're looking for.

    More at FFX Corner and just North of there. Coastal Flats, for instance at FFX Corner.

    More detail about what you're looking for and where you're heading when you leave can help.

    Coastal Flats
    7860 Tysons Corner Ctr, Mc Lean, VA 22102

    1 Reply
    1. re: Dennis S

      We always hit Picante! after the jewelry show.

    2. Take Rt 28 into Centreville. It's not that far, and there are many restaurants to choose from there. Do a yahoo search for restaurants in Centreville, Va, and you can get names and directions.
      Do the same thing for Herndon, Va., then choose which direction you want to go in. You can always inquire here about specific restaurants that you see on the list, to get information.
      I am suggesting these areas because I do not know of many restaurants really close to the expo center to choose from.

      1. Don Churro's has great churros for dessert. The sangria and dinner entrees are wonderful too.


        Amphora in Herndon won't be too far away. You can get breakfast there.

        Dogfish Head Ale House and Bonefish Grill is in the Greenbriar Shopping Center on Route 50 and Majestic Lane.

        1. Wow! I take a break from the computer for a few hours and get all these great responses! Thank you so much!

          I'm not sure what I'll feel like eating after dragging my carcass all over the exhibit hall all day (and how much I'll feel like spending after buying too much) but I'm usually hard pressed to turn down good diner food and my friend that I'm going with is usually game as well. I DO love Vietnamese but I'm usually only in the mood for it once in a while. Not as big a fan of Thai. I guess, less "ethnic" food and more bistro-y type stuff is my general preference. Is that helpful?

          Anyway, you've given me quite a bit to go on - I'll start looking at some of these places and share this thread with the friend that I'm going to the show with.

          Thanks again so much!

          3 Replies
          1. re: maianajewel

            Nothing against Amphora at all, but it is a 15 minute drive or so. Straight shot but a drive that then puts you on the toll road. If I were to do Amphora AND you are heading back in the direction of the District, then hit the one in Vienna. Or possibly Chutzpah.

            Bistro-y type of fare isn't hitting me too much for the area you're in. I'd think about FFX Corner again for that. Again, maybe Coastal Flats. There's probably some chain-oriented there, too. I just don't happen to go there very much (for a reason).

            If you're heading West, South or North, let us know - that will help.

            Coastal Flats
            7860 Tysons Corner Ctr, Mc Lean, VA 22102

            1. re: maianajewel

              For Vietnamese, there is Pho Bac in Chantilly in the near the Shoppers Food Warehouse on Rt 50 and Centreville Road. In Centreville (off Westfields exit on Rt 28) there is Pho Aura in the Sully Station shopping center near the Ace Hardware. Both are pretty good.

              1. re: maianajewel

                Would Alto Plaza be too ethnic? It is located at Routes 28/29.

                Another breakfast type place: Eggspectations

                Westone Plaza, Chantilly, VA 20120

              2. As Dennis asked, which way are you heading? I've lived in the area for nearly 19 years now, and you have gotten many solid recs already, but knowing which way you'll be going can really help narrow down your choices.

                1. Oh boy! It's like Christmas morning here with more responses!

                  My friend and I live in Silver Spring so we would be heading back that way. I keep forgetting about taking the toll road out there - I usually take 66 but it is always backed up, no matter what time of day I take it, no matter which direction (except it is usually worse coming back from that area toward Silver Spring than going to the area). Is the toll road as huge a mess as 66 is around that time of day?

                  There's an Eggspectations near Chantilly? Hmmmmm. I go to the one in Silver Spring occasionally and I like that you can get pretty much anything you want at anytime, waffles, hamburger, crabcake, crepes, salad... It's sort of like a diner, only you can't get crepes at a diner.

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: maianajewel

                    East bound on the toll road in the evening isn't bad until you pass the toll plaza and try to get on the beltway.

                    1. re: maianajewel

                      Not only near Chantilly, but IN Chantilly. The Eggspectation is in Westone Plaza, which is about one mile from the Expo Center. There's also a Foster's Grille over there, a local burger/fries chain that is very good.

                      Definitely take 28 to the Toll Road to get out of there. Avoid 66 to the Beltway at all costs. There's not a whole lot up 28 that way since the Airport is on the left, and just office buildings for the most part on the right.

                      I would eat locally before hitting the road. I think Eggspectation is ok, but since you like it and it's very close that would be a good choice. Willard's Barbecue would probably be my choice. Pho 98 is a Vietnamese place we like that is very close too. Picante! is good too. Thai Basil has a good rep but we've always found it sort of spotty.