The 50 Best Restaurants In Northern Virginia Of 2021 – Northern Virginia Magazine

…And we’re back. Sort of. Last year’s COVID-era edition of Northern Virginia’s Best Restaurants list was chopped to 30 from its usual 50. This year, there are enough eateries that have opened or reopened to supply a full docket.
But to say that this is a normal year would be a vast overstatement. Two contenders for spots in this year’s top 10 are currently closed due to staffing shortages; we had to strike them from the list despite our high hopes that they’ll return soon. Taking that into account, not every one of these 50 restaurants has top-notch service, and that’s noted in their listings.
What can you expect from the following restaurants? A meal that will make you smile, whether it’s due to the stellar food (this category is most important, after all), a dining room that’s bound to impress, or, yes, that server who makes your evening extra special.
This year, for the first time, the listings are arranged by category to help you better decide where to eat next. Whether you’re looking for Asian food, a tasting menu, or something new tonight, you’ll find it here.
Best Restaurants Directory 2021
Get the tasting menu and trust the chef at this Falls Church stunner. [READ MORE]
All of new chef Vincent Badiee’s experience has added up to this moment and this plate, served lovingly in Lovettsville. [READ MORE]
The dishes are multipronged attacks on your senses at this sleek Vienna eatery. [READ MORE]

Dine in Clifton for a celebratory night that doesn’t require a jacket and tie but merits them nonetheless. [READ MORE]
At this Paris countryside restaurant, the greatest rewards to be seen are outside, in the gardens surrounding the restaurant and the hills facing your table. [READ MORE]
Riverside views are on the menu for a date night or celebration at this Alexandria steakhouse. [READ MORE]
A team tends to your every need, from bestowing bread from the basket of warm delicacies, to the server who leads you through your experience at this Middleburg gem. [READ MORE]
Dinner is great, but lunch attracts buzz at this Vienna restaurant for a reason. [READ MORE]
Celebrate la dolce vita with a menu that goes way beyond pasta in Falls Church. [READ MORE]
Seeking Indian spice in a way you’ve never tasted it before? Get thee to Ashburn. [READ MORE]
Here is the best of the rest, listed alphabetically.
Got a group open to trying a wide variety of foods from an underrepresented cuisine? This Balkan spot is your destination. [READ MORE]
A flavor explosion awaits at this family-owned eatery in McLean. [READ MORE]
New chef Francesco Pescatore elevates the Italian fare at this McLean spot. [READ MORE]
Anything you order at this Vienna restaurant will likely have your taste buds firing on all cylinders. [READ MORE]
Francophiles unite for scallops, duck, and crêpes at this Woodbridge restaurant. [READ MORE]
This Manassas barn is a place to get comfortable and enjoy the good life, one juicy bite at a time. [READ MORE]
You’re going Gallic but want to hold the pretense? Head to Arlington for loup de mer and pots de crème. [READ MORE]
Missing the fine dining of yore? This Manassas restaurant feels every bit of its 34 years, and that’s a good thing. [READ MORE]
This Leesburg restaurant is just as devoted to a smooth experience—and to chocolate—as the tool that lends the business its name. [READ MORE]
Chiles, lime, and mint will revive you during a workday lunch or wake you up after a long day at this McLean restaurant. [READ MORE]
In a region where many of the steakhouses are chains, this Fredericksburg destination is among the best Virginia has to offer. [READ MORE]
Celebrate the season with a tasting meal in Marshall. [READ MORE]
History suffuses this Fredericksburg restaurant, but the comfort food is strikingly modern. [READ MORE]
The winding drive through Middleburg primes you for a fairy-tale adventure. [READ MORE]
Hwe dup bap splits the difference between Hawaiian poke and Korean bibimbap. It’s at its finest at this Annandale eatery. [READ MORE]
When dim sum is calling, and you want it in a high-class setting, Tysons Corner is your destination. [READ MORE]
Try something utterly unexpected in Annandale—a $60 round of fusion plates, along with cool cocktails and interesting wines and beers. [READ MORE]
In Great Falls, enter the Alsatian countryside, complete with kitchen gardens on 6 acres of land, for a tasting menu. [READ MORE]
Thirty-eight bucks for three courses may sound too good to be true, but at this Arlington French classic, it’s a sumptuous reality. [READ MORE]
Keeping things local at this historic Purcellville restaurant just makes sense. [READ MORE]
You’ll want to embrace the mess with a plate full of big Ethiopian flavors. [READ MORE]
To a romantic food-lover, this Vienna restaurant’s return deserves a warm welcome. [READ MORE]
Be sure to save room for Day-Glo yellow scoops of saffron ice cream at this Fairfax restaurant. [READ MORE]
Nam-Viet’s patriarch lives on in the dishes served by his family. [READ MORE]
One of the best chicken dishes in NoVA is waiting for you at this Greek restaurant. [READ MORE]
Become a part of the family when you dine at this Greek establishment. [READ MORE]
Opening during the pandemic, the fare at this Ashburn restaurant truly sparkles. [READ MORE]
As you shop around Mosaic District, stop in this French find for some hearty sustenance. [READ MORE]
Whether you want an education in Russian or Uzbek cuisine, the two locations of this eatery and market are there. [READ MORE]
Build the perfect all-American dish during your next trip to Ruthie’s. [READ MORE]
Looking for a meal to remember? This Italian restaurant will do the job. [READ MORE]
From Southern Thailand dishes to Northern specialties, this Ashburn establishment is serving up bold flavors. [READ MORE]
Whether you are looking for a hearty meal or a night out with sweet drinks, this Spanish eatery is for you. [READ MORE]
In Arlington, find one of the best slices of cake you’ve ever eaten. [READ MORE]
This warhorse has changed little since it moved from Arlington to McLean in 1996. And purists like it that way. [READ MORE]
There are few better arguments than this Alexandria hidden gem that what’s (sometimes very) old is new again. [READ MORE]
The atmosphere at this Italian restaurant in Clifton matches its scrumptious menu. [READ MORE]
Fill your wild-game cravings at this Northern Virginia favorite. [READ MORE]
This restaurant will fulfill all of your sushi dreams. [READ MORE]
At this Afghan restaurant, the owner makes his diners feel like family. [READ MORE]
From restaurants and shopping, to local events and activities, our monthly magazine is a must-read for anyone living or working in NoVA.
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