NFT Washington DC Falls Church

Falls Church

Falls Church is a quiet little suburban paradise with all the right amenities, including the Orange Line, halfway proximity between DC and Dulles, the year-round open-air Falls Church Farmers Market, mini-golf, public pool, live music venues, Safeways, schools, and easy access to the 45-mile Washington & Old Dominion (W&OD) Trail running from Arlington to Purceville. It's almost an ideal place for families and those who want to get away from the city, if you're okay with raising kids in the South.

The cheap eats in this neighborhood compensate for the strip-mall aesthetic. Westover Village on Washington Boulevard is a handy place to grab a beer and dinner at the See more.

>Lost Dog Café (or wine, salad, and the feline perspective at the Stray Cat), chicken shawarma at Lebanese Taverna, or coconut soup with lemongrass at Thai Noy. Nightlife is sparse, but in Westover you can find local music and craft beer until midnight. Also, Broad Street in Falls Church has The State Theatre, which hosts an eclectic array of performers, Ireland's Four Provinces, Clare & Don's Beach Shack, and the Dogwood Tavern.


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Posted By:  Magda Nakassis
Photo:  Bethany L. King

Huong Viet
The options at Falls Church's Eden Center are overwhelming. Everyone knows it's a worthy destination for Vietnamese food, but without a guiding hand or insider tip, it's hard to know what's the best. I will not claim expertise in this subject--though I do love me a big bowl of pho--but I took an informal survey of friends in the know, and their answers all converged on Huong Viet, which has stood tall for over 20 years in this most competitive of shopping centers. The reasonably priced menu is extensive (going up to 163 items!) and everything looks both beautifully presented and tasty. I can personally recommend the Bun Bo Nuong Sa (flavorful, grilled beef with lemongrass, on a bed of rice noodles) and the deliciously fresh house special salad with shrimp and lotus root. I can also strongly endorse not requesting the check immediately after your last bite, but easily digesting over postprandial cups of tea and people-watching.

Posted By:  Katie Pyzyk
Photo:  Katie Pyzyk

Lebanese Taverna
Lebanese Taverna has perfected the art of the tiny dish, bursting with exotic flavors. You could order a normal meal, but the tapas (or mezza, as they’re called) offer a lot more variety, and the opportunity to try something you don’t want a whole lot of. This isn’t the same old kebab-type Middle Eastern food. The chef puts an imaginative twist on a lot of the standards, and uses rarely-seen ingredients like pomegranate seeds. The restaurant has become so successful it’s expanded to multiple locations and some markets. When you go, make sure to pay attention to who’s working. You’ll likely encounter members of the family who opened the original restaurant. They love their customers and love to chat about almost anything… but particularly the fabulous food that’s made the chain a mainstay in the DC area since 1976.

Posted By:  Joanna Franco
Photo:  Joanna Franco

Stacys Coffee Parlor
I admit it. I have a secret obsession with hipster coffeehouses. But because I live in the suburbs and I’m lazy, it’s only once in a blue moon that I can live out the fantasy. But I think I found my fix with Stacy’s Coffee Parlor. Stacy’s Coffee Parlor has—you guessed it—coffee, some sandwich wraps, pastries, and ice cream. What’s nice about Stacy’s though is that it has a great mellow atmosphere, from the brightly colored walls featuring artwork, to the comfy couches and the friendly staff. Twentysomethings share a couch while thirtysomethings are discussing Democratic strategies (typical Washington). Like nearby Jammin’ Java, Stacy’s offers live music and open mikes. But unlike Jammin’ Java, Stacy’s is more a coffeehouse than a venue. Stacy’s also has a Kids’ Club on Wednesday afternoons and Speed Dating on Sundays (this is what their calendar says; Yours Truly has never tried the Speed Dating thing). Parking can be a pain, but check the back lot if there’s a parking crunch.

Posted By:  James F Thompson
Photo:  James F Thompson

Eating a meal at Sushi-Zen is like playing chess, except with fish and rice, and of course you must use chopsticks to move the pieces. First, learn the fundamentals of the game. No, that is not one big chopstick; split it in two, don’t spear your tempura, and never use your chopsticks to pass food. Miso soup is made with tofu. Sushi is rice and something else, like raw fish. Sashimi is raw fish. Wasabi is a fusion of horseradish and green plutonium. Carefully mix it with soy sauce and ginger slices. If you need assistance, ask the friendly staff at Sushi-Zen. For example, that sashimi you can’t identify is flounder, which isn’t a traditional offering on most platters, but an assuring culinary flair because it demonstrates Sushi-Zen’s dedication to local fare and freshness. Despite its unflattering strip-mall setting, Sushi-Zen is quirky and unique. They serve red wine in champagne flutes. The rice paper partitions between table sections are torn and ripped, undoubtedly from children raised on soda and Ritalin. Sushi-Zen even provides the kids with special easy-to-use chopsticks with the fat ends held together by a rubber band. Obviously, Sushi-Zen is a neighborhood restaurant. But don’t be fooled by the gimmicky “sushi boat” or pedestrian location; the food and the staff are the real deal.

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