Weekend Discussion: Best Place to Eat NOT at Reston Town Center?

by Karen Goff August 12, 2016 at 4:15 pm 82 Comments

Mercury Fountain at Reston Town Center

With the news this week that paid parking — with a complicated app-based system and even more complicated Bluetooth validation — will take effect at Reston Town Center Sept. 12, dozens of Restonians say that’s it for them at RTC.

Here are some comments from Reston Now’s Facebook page:

“I live 5 minutes away from RTC but ever since they got rid of the outdoor parking, I think I have visited there 4 times, and all of those were to see movies. … I have found other places to dine or shop. I will still go to the movies there occasionally but they pretty much lost me as a frequent visitor.”

“The whole idea of an app for parking at a nearby shopping center is just deflating. So much for spontaneity. I don’t need one more account/password to manage in my life. I’d rather spend my money on gas driving farther & parking with no hassle.”

“I will be shopping and dining at RTC less because of this! We are within a 20 minute drive of 3 major malls. I think this is a foolish move on the management of RTC!”

So let’s talk about Reston’s best places outside of RTC (I have my own personal triumvirate of dining awesomeness at South Lakes Village Center and Hunters Woods Village Center).

Without Reston Town Center in your personal mix, where will you spend your dining dollars in Reston/Herndon/Vienna and nearby?

  • vdiv

    How about great places to eat, not at RTC, but in Reston?

    Mama Wok

    • Karen Goff

      Two of my top three right there.

    • p_m


    • Micky D

      Agree with ariake they has the best sushi but for whatever reason , maybe just me , the place smells weird like french fries and or mayo burgers n stuff. So yes, if you don’t mind the olfactory it’s great

      • E Pluribus

        Ariake (great sushi) was a Popeyes then McDonalds back in the day. Probably just need to clean the vents a little more thoroughly.

  • anon

    I can just go to fast casual heaven next to Target (Chipotle, Potbelly, Chick-Fil-A) and park for free! Clown Center is so annoying!

  • dbncoold

    The best place to eat is anywhere but the inconvenient, over-priced, and unfriendly RTC and its money-grabbing parking scheme. I would happily pay $2 in gas and take my business anywhere else just because I refuse to reward Boston Properties for their greed.

    • anon

      Agree…. I’m in “Punishment” mode!

      • dbncoold

        Yes! Even with free parking, RTC was annoying, inconvenient, and overpriced. I never liked it anyways, and now I hate it even more!

  • KTinDC

    Red’s Table (South Lakes Village Ctr) and in Herndon: La Ong Thai Bistro, Angeethi & Paradise Indian

    • Guest

      Another vote for Red’s Table: locally sourced and remarkably good!

      • vdiv

        Should definitely try it, haven’t had the chance yet.

    • NomNomNom

      +1 for Red’s. That place is legit. The price is a tiny bit higher than I’d like – but the quality more than makes up for it

    • Mookie Taylor

      Agree on La Ong and Angeethi.

  • Brooks

    Not your average Joes in Reston and Brix just over the border in Great Falls

    • Guest

      “Not Your Average Joe’s” really makes it sound like an ironic beer food joint. Yeah, it’s American food, but with a healthy and delicious selection. Good salads, solid meals at a decent price point for the area.

  • vdiv

    For chain/fast food I would go with:

    California’s Tortilla
    Glory Days
    La Madeleine
    Silver Diner

  • meberger

    Red’s Table

    • Nauk Fitness Elite

      Why? The entire waitstaff, bar, and kitchen could use a seminar or a work-exchange with a Bonefish Grill location. They’re no better than a chain as far as cuisine or ambiance, but their professionalism is even worse.

  • Robin Smyers

    Cafe Montmarte @ Lake Anne!

    • Phil Lilienthal

      Cafe Montmartre is excellent, friendly, and has a fruit tarte that is to die for (as is its fresh French bread)!

      • Tippy McNeil

        Just as good as the fruit tart is the apple dumpling. And the quiet friendliness is hard to find elsewhere.

  • Cyndi

    Kalypso’s has my vote

  • Ethics

    The restaurants at Lake Anne, just a short way from Town Center, are wonderful. The view of the lake is pleasant, and there are interesting events weekly. Farmers market, free films, concerts, and more! Free parking, and great food and drink! See you there!

  • 30yearsinreston

    Any place in Herndon

  • CTY

    We love Taste of the World (best kept secret near the Target!), Ice House Cafe, The Breeze, Kalypso’s, and Amphora! McAllister’s, Grill Kabob, Santini’s, Waku, and Houlihan’s are also quick take-out favorites.

    • Phil Lilienthal

      Another vote for Taste of the World. One week I ate there three times! Always excellent.

      • CTY

        I love that place, it’s always my recommendation when people are looking for somewhere to eat and haven’t heard of it. It’s always good and it’s such an original concept! You can’t go wrong with their Basil Sauce with Chicken….or their Pancit…or their Chicken Tikka appetizer…or the Philippine Barbecue Pork appetizer…mmmmm….

      • Mike M

        Interesting menu. Good food. Ramshackle atmosphere.

  • 30yearsinreston

    What about the new dining venue @ the white elephant on the lake ?
    Oh wait, no wants to move there

  • Lk Anne Elite

    If it’s just a quick snack I just head to LA Villa, for fine dining just across the street Lake Anne Market and Deli which also features dancing from time to time. The guacamole is perfecto!

  • June Smith

    Casual Dining at Hunters Woods Plaza

    Ledo Pizza (best Buffalo Wings around)
    Hunan Cafe

  • RoadApples

    Reston: Red’s
    South of Occoquan:
    Bistro L’Hermitage

    That being said; if we frequent at either Restaurant simultaneously ; I will understand that you would be embarassed to be seen in the same establishment as rif-raf like me.

    • eh

      South of Occcoquan? WTF?

      • RoadApples

        Shameless plug for a Business of an old friend of mine.
        That being said: a fine a Bistro in the DMV.

  • Casie

    Except for Il Fornaio in the RTC! It’s great and has it’s own free parking garage next to the restauraunt.

  • Glenn Havinoviski

    Glory Days, Lucia’s and Hunan East at Fox Mill plaza. The last two are not chains, and GD’s has 50 cent wings on Wed nights. Viva la strip mall!

  • Chuck Morningwood

    Pho 75 in Herndon.

  • Scott H

    Mellow Mushroom is pretty darn good pizza and great draft beer.

  • Joe Heflin

    Vienna’s Clarity (Jonathan Krinn formerly of Inox and 2941) which is three stars from Tom Sietsema in the Post is arguably the best restaurant in western Fairfax County. Having said this it is extremely well known. Alternatively, some will rediscover L’auberge Chez Francois which is still going strong in Great Falls and, if up to the drive to Leesburg, Tuscarora Mill. Nostos is an excellent Greek restaurant in Tysons, too.

  • John Farrell

    Russia House, Pine St., Herndon – The wine selection is amazing.

  • Mookie Taylor

    NYA Joes, Silver Diner, Glory Days, Jacques Bistro, Taste of Burma, Ford’s Fish Shack, La Ong, Angeethi.

    • Mike M

      Mmmn! Ford’s Fish Shack!

    • Doug

      Mookies in Great Falls. Love their BBQ.

  • Ktm

    Brown Bag (next to Zoe’s Kitchen)-new place!!!
    Mama Wok
    Taste of the World
    Pho 75 Reston
    Not Your Average Joe’s
    Cafe Sano (best hummus!)

  • eh

    Cafesano and Hibiscus are two of the better takeout places I’ve ever patronized.

  • Chris

    Even though we live in RTC, we’ve discovered if we want a night out it’s cheaper to Uber to Glory Days or Lake Anne. A full night of dinner and drinking and Uber both ways costs about half what a full night of dinner and drinking costs in RTC.

    Two thumbs up for Taste of the World and Aslin brewery.

    Nikko Sushi is still my favorite in the area.

  • Jon May

    Like the restaurant’s of RTC but don’t want to pay for parking; visit their other locations nearby; Ted’s Bulletin at Mosaic Plaza, McCormick and Schmick’s in Tysons, Vapiano’s at Dulles Town Center, World of Beer at Fairfax Corner, and the fast and casuals of Pot Belly’s, Chipotle and Panera can be found all throughout Reston and Herndon. Don’t forget Herndon also has the AMC Worldgate Theater with reclining seats.

    • Bethany

      Vapiano’s at the Dulles mall closed years ago

    • Hokie Mom

      Love the AMC Worldgate Theater! Great seats, underground parking is good in all weather, and it offers a nice selection of specialty restaurants in the complex. Also Bar Louie and Stone Cove Kit Bar are nearby!

  • pete

    Charcoal Kabob – fantastic kabobs, naan, chickpeas
    Virginia kitchen – local diner with friendly staff, good breakfast
    Cafesano – reliable casual fare
    Taste of the World – good variety
    Red’s Table – good food, variety of local beer

  • Wheatie

    Hibiscus Thai Cafe in the Home Depot shopping center is very good.

  • Andy S

    Lake Anne Brew House has all the food groups: water, barley, hops and yeast 😉

  • Richard

    I absolutely love Aslin Brew Pub. Beer is so much better and more interesting than the new Lake Anne brewery, but Lake Anne’s good too if you prefer less-complex beers.

  • oldrestonian

    Zefferelli’s in Herndon
    Zamarod across from Dante’s in Great Falls

  • Kasey

    Gregorio’s Trattoria in North Point! Great food, good wine by the glass, and awesome staff. With free parking! You can’t go wrong!

  • Nicholas

    Gregorio’s Trattoria located in North Point shopping center is a family owned restaurant that has been providing large portioned Italian meals for a great price. Known for there exceptional 18′ pizzas however you like, they also offer awesome carry out and delivery services. It is a restaurant that is perfect for hosting large parties for businesses or kids parties while also provides an excellent bar experience.

  • Tyler

    Gregorios Trattoria, great food and huge portions and the best pizza in Virginia

  • Terpitude

    I’m surprised by the positive reviews of Red’s Table. We’ve been about 4 times and every time it’s been quite mediocre (and not cheap).

    • LakeNewportLady

      My exact experience as well. Glad to see I’m not the only one.

    • JohnQPublic

      Completely agree, Reds Table is barely mediocre with rather rude bartenders and overpriced food . There is nothing special about this place besides the fact that this area is inundated with chain restaurants. I couldn’t imagine spending a dime at Reds

    • Casey Hammond Goode

      So agree, I have not had a good dining experience at Reds and we gave them three chances. Not only was the food not good but the service was terrible. We are not going back.

  • LakeNewportLady

    Never heard of taste of the world but excited to check it out. I’m in the minority on not liking Red’s…I’ve tried 4 times and have not been impressed any time. I do love cafe Sano, the pho place in tall oaks, Thai place in lake Anne, glory days, Gregorio’s, Santini’s and of course sushi at Ariake. NYAJ has good food and Kalypso’s is always good though two service is sloooooowwww.

    • John Higgins

      Taste of the World is not all that easy to find the first time, but it’s worth the effort. First left off Sunset Hills after going under Ffx Co Pkwy. It is about 100 yards on the right as you enter the business park.

  • Mikey

    I love Gregorio’s Trattoria. Best pizza I’ve ever eaten and they deliver hella fast

  • David

    The bartenders really kill it here, very relaxed and charming atmosphere and the pizza is pretty tasty too.

  • Bbee

    Hands down best Italian in the area! Gregorios Tratoria is in the north point shopping center off of Reston parkway! I’m telling you, you have not had pizza until you’ve tried theirs. They are just a few min away from town center! Plus side- they are always so welcoming! Oh and they deliver!

  • J in n point

    Red’s Table, stone cove kitchen bar, Ariake just to name a few

  • Community Here

    We like several places to dine not in RTC. Lake Anne complete with lake view–Cafe Montmartre, Singh Thai & Kalypso–is most convenient and offers good food. In Hunters Woods, we love Ariake for the two of us, Ledo’s for Metro region’s best pizza & nice Italian fare. And Cafesano’s at South Lakes is hard to beat for healthy Mediterranean dining. We love eating in Reston and find lots of good options not in RTC.
    RTC–we like RTC and some restaurants there, but we are turned off totally by the hassle of app PAY parking and by the recent corporate management in RTC. Still,!movies at Bow tie will be hard to resist but we will likely go less frequently.
    Sadly, greed wins over a sense of community, it seems.

  • Bill

    Gregorio’s hands down

  • Greg

    Fritzbe’s, Bangkok West and Jasmine Cafe were our favorites.

  • Arielle in NoVA

    Plenty of other places to eat. Some of our go-tos:
    * Mikaku, by Food Lion off of McLearen & Centreville Roads (Oak Hill/Chantilly border, a little south of Clocktower Shopping Center)
    * Super Pho, by Mikaku
    * Matsutake Sushi, Worldgate – especially their lunch buffet (which occasionally has an oddball plate of deep-fried Oreos – does anyone know why?)
    * Ruby Tuesday (assuming this isn’t one of the 95 getting closed) by the Babies R Us in Chantilly (Centreville Road & 50)
    * Hibachi Grill, near Ruby Tuesday – *huge* buffet with all sorts of options, plus a sushi bar and a stir-fry chef who’ll cook up whichever combination of items you select from that section
    * Silver Diner, Reston by Trader Joe’s
    * On the Border, Reston, Spectrum or the one next to it
    * Ariake, by Hunters Woods
    * Red Hot & Blue, Clocktower
    * La Madeleine, Reston, opposite RTC
    * Einstein Bagel, by La Madeleine
    * Taste of Burma, Countryside by the Safeway (other end of that strip)
    * O’Faolain’s, Countryside by the movie theatre
    * the new Thai place at Fox Mill
    * PF Chang’s, preferably Fairfax Corner but also Dulles Mall
    * Pei Wei, Woodland Crossing just south of Herndon
    * Panera, Woodland Crossing and Elden Street by K-mart
    * Gregorio’s Trattoria, North Point
    * Glory Days, Fox Mill or in the Giant shopping center on Dranesville at 7
    * Angeethi, Elden Street opposite the former Tortilla Factory location
    * Red Robin, 50 by 28 & Dulles Mall – only when it’s not busy (it’s been very loud ever since their remodeling)
    * Chick-fil-A, both the longstanding one by the Reston Target and the brand-new one by Udvar-Hazy (RIP to the one in Sterling by Burlington on 7?)
    * Piero’s, Franklin Farm
    * Outback, just over the border into Herndon on 606 – or on 7 in Sterling by Toys R Us and Michael’s, opposite NVCC
    * Qdoba, Worldgate
    * Chipotle sometimes – various locations
    * Zoe’s Kitchen, 29 & 50 – more near us?

    * Artie’s, just off of Fairfax Circle – was there recently & loved everything I had
    * Blue Ocean Japanese restaurant by the Fairfax Ice Arena – near the Trader Joe’s there – we don’t get there often these days, but we’ve been eating there on and off since living in Burke/Fairfax some 20 years ago
    * Cafesano, South Lakes
    * the Thai place at Lake Anne with the French name
    * sandwich/ice cream shop in Vienna (blanking on the name – we don’t go to Vienna often)
    * tiny Japanese restaurant down the street from that sandwich/ice cream shop – very good food; incredibly crowded at peak times because they have so few tables
    * Chevy’s in Merrifield (overdue for another visit) – NOT to be confused with the much newer Chuy’s.
    * various restaurants in the Mosaic District in Merrifield – we lived near there back when it was a multiplex; just recently went there to eat for the first time & really liked the eclectic mix of standalone and smaller chain shops/restaurants

    and others I’m surely forgetting…

    Haven’t been to Red’s Table yet although we’ve been meaning to give it a try.

  • RuthieS

    Cantina d’Italia (150 Elden St.) is a really good, family-owned Italian restaurant with friendly, efficient servers who let you linger as long as you like. Great food! We also love Cafe Montmartre at Lake Anne, where my favorite dish is the Vietnamese grilled pork and shrimp served with noodles. Excellent bread, too. Euro Bistro (314 Elden St.) and Russia House in old Herndon are good choices. As for movies, most of what we want to see shows at Angelika in the Mosaic District, where there are also many restaurants to choose from.

  • Why do you bother?

    Chopsticks! Hands-down the best chinese in R/H.

  • Tom

    Ariake in Hunters Woods plaza for sushi.

  • Tom

    Whenever my friend from Houston comes to visit, the first place he wants to go to is the Reston Silver Diner. I have to agree, they are one of the best places in town, they have vastly improved their menu over the years and are a standout among all the Silver Diners out there.

    • RuthieS

      My husband loves this place. They actually have healthy choices.

  • xtr657

    I like how they use Metro as an excuse to charge. There is a Metro station directly across from Tysons Corner Center and Tysons II and neither charge patrons. The RTC station will be a half mile walk from the station in the middle of the Toll Road and close to two other Metro stations with significant parking and far cheaper rates than what RTC is going to be charging. No one is going to park there for Metro unless they are also spending money at RTC. I can’t wait to go to RTC less. Even with validation, having to install an app for a place I visit irregularly is a pain. Plenty of other good places around to get good beer and food and free parking.

    If I’m going to pay to park, I’d rather go to Arlington or DC where I feel its warranted due to limited space. I’ve never not been able to find a space in Reston.

  • Hokie Mom

    Ariake for sushi, Cantina d’italia for reliably good Italian food, On the Border for Mexican and good drinks. Ledos’ pizza and the Buffalo Wing Factory in Hunters Woods Plaza, Cafesano, and Café Montmarte are some of our other regular casual eateries. Lots of good restaurants and free parking in Fairfax Corner. Stopped going to RTC to eat a long time ago! (Count me as one not impressed with Red’s Table – the food is mediocre, overpriced, and the noise is overwhelming.)

  • Ms_Eva1

    There’s tons of delicious places to eat that aren’t in RTC.

    Cafesano in South Lakes; Thai Luang in Herndon; The Deli & Charcoal Kabob, also in Herndon; Pollo Peru in the Home Depot plaza for Peruvian chicken takeout & Cafe Montmarte at Lake Anne. Tons of great stuff in Sterling & Ashburn too..

  • Cafesano at South Lakes (weekly!); Not Your Average Joe’s – great food & service and plenty of surface parking; La Ong at Fox Mill – excellent crispy duck; Cantina d’Italia on Elden is great as well.


Subscribe to our mailing list