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Oprah-Approved True Food Kitchen Is Coming to Ballston

The health food chain will plant its second location in Northern Virginia in 2019

Butternut squash pizza at True Food Kitchen, which will open in Ballston next year.
True Food Kitchen/official photo
Tierney Plumb is the editor of Eater DC, covering all things food and drink around the nation's capital.

Rapidly expanding health food chain True Food Kitchen just signed on at Ballston Quarter, joining a long list of restaurant tenants coming online inside the massive Arlington redevelopment project.

Ballston Quarter owners Forest City have Oprah Winfrey to thank for its latest lease; this summer, the nutrition mogul made a “significant equity investment” in the Phoenix, Ariz.-based restaurant chain to fuel expansion on the East Coast.

The 7,100-square-foot restaurant will be True Food Kitchen’s third location in the D.C. area. The first debuted in 2014 in Fairfax’s Mosaic District, followed by another in Bethesda last year.

The chain is the brainchild of Dr. Andrew Weil, whose anti-inflammatory diet serves as inspiration behind its super seasonal menu. Popular sellers across its 24 locations in 11 states include edamame dumplings, ancient grains with miso glazed sweet potatoes, and Weil’s organic Tuscan kale salad, with lots of vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free options in the mix.

Its bar program also has the health-conscious consumer in mind, with a citrus skinny margarita with fresh-pressed citrus and organic tequila. The Ballston design calls for a large outdoor patio and interior elements from local artists.

The sea of new dining options at the soon-to-arrive project include local barbecue operation Sloppy Mama’s; District roaster Compass Coffee; fledgling arepa stand Maizal; hyper-local products carrier Union Kitchen Grocery; Baltimore-based seafood spot Local Oyster; and Neapolitan pie maker Timber Pizza Company.

Once complete, the site will feature 360,000 square feet of retail; a massive Quarter Market food hall; a 406-unit residential building; 176,000 square feet of office space; and a complete overhaul of the aging Ballston Common Mall.