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Stir fried marinated beef and onions on top of watercross with tomato slices surrounding it.
Shaking beef from Four Sisters.
Four Sisters/Facebook

Where to Eat and Drink Around Merrifield

Homey Vietnamese, exciting Thai, and plenty of beer are all on the table

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Shaking beef from Four Sisters.
| Four Sisters/Facebook

Nestled between the city of Fairfax and Falls Church, this pocket of Fairfax County has been steadily attracting more restaurants, particularly after the Mosaic District complex opened in 2012.

This map highlights the most essential choices in the neighborhood (which stretches into the area known as Dunn Loring), ranging from family-friendly Vietnamese and bistro-style French to gourmet pizza and local beer.

The Mosaic District development continues to evolve: Recent additions to the offerings there also include Cuban cafe Colada Shop, Mexican restaurant Urbano 116, Poffy for fried pancake creations, and Gyu Shige for Japanese barbecue (a branch of Pupatella pizza is on the way). Head to the farmers market on Sundays (Thursdays in warmer months as well) for even more delicious vendors.

Health experts consider dining out to be a high-risk activity for the unvaccinated; the latest data about the delta variant indicates that it may pose a low-to-moderate risk for the vaccinated, especially in areas with substantial transmission. The latest CDC guidance is here; find a COVID-19 vaccination site here.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. Inca Social

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2670 Avenir Pl
Vienna, VA 22180
(703) 488-7640
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This Peruvian restaurant is a Dunn Loring hit, with fun specials (margaritas are $2 on Thursdays), festive cocktails (some even feature art of llamas in the foam) and an excellent selection of Peruvian apps and entrees, from sharp ceviche to artfully executed lomo saltado. There’s a full brunch menu, too, and some outdoor seating. Takeout available here; delivery on GrubHub and DoorDash.

A bowl of ceviche with garnishes of fried plantain and corn nuts, with a large piece of lettuce shooting out of the bowl and an orange pepper in there.
Ceviche from Inca Social.
Inca Social/Facebook

2. Lost Dog Cafe (Multiple locations)

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2729 Merrilee Dr
Fairfax, VA 22031
(703) 205-9001
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This outpost of the Northern Virginia family of restaurants has everything residents have come to expect from the quirky brand: goofy dog murals on the walls, pun-tastic dish names (many of them dog-themed), a respectable selection of specialty brews and sandwiches, and plenty of pizza. The Italian Pie, topped with onions and multiple meats, is a fine choice among the pizzas. For sandwiches, the pesto and chicken-stuffed Phoenix is a good bet. Smart diners always order the seasoned waffle fries on the side.

A slice of pizza on a yellow plate (taken from a pie in the background) with jalapenos on it
Pizza and beer at Lost Dog Cafe.
Lost Dog Cafe/Facebook

3. Open Road Grill

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8100 Lee Hwy
Falls Church, VA 22042
(571) 395-4400
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This neighborhood bar always has a festive atmosphere when sports fans show up to cheer on their team of choice. There is spacious seating both indoors and throughout the enclosed patio section outside. Wings are smoky, the beer selection rotates frequently, and even salads can be a nice surprise here.

Two burgers with different toppings (bacon visible on the right) with beers behind them
Burgers and beer at Open Road.
Open Road Grill/Facebook

4. Parc de Ville

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8296 Glass Alley
Fairfax, VA 22031
(703) 663-8931
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This French bistro offers traditional staples with tweaks, whether it be duck confit or steak frites — keep an eye out for seasonal preparations of fish dishes. There’s also a nice French wine bar on the second floor rooftop with a menu of wines by the glass, an aperitif or two, and some snacks.

Crispy duck confit on a bed of greens drowning in sauce.
Duck confit from Parc de Ville.
Parc de Ville/Facebook

5. B Side

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8298 Glass Alley
Fairfax, VA 22031
(703) 676-3550
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B Side is one of the best destinations for drinking in this corner of Virginia, a place where beer lovers, wine drinkers, and cocktail aficionados can all find something to love. It’s fine to order a drink off-menu from one of the engaging bartenders, but B Side’s narrow cocktail menu always lists a few interesting options. The bar is tiny, so expect to wait for a seat during peak hours (there are a few patio seats). Drinkers can snack on options like pimento cheese or charcuterie, but hungrier diners can go for something more substantial on the meat-focused dinner menu. B Side shares the space with sandwich and butcher shop, Red Apron. Carryout info here.

Sliced steak with a sauce on the side next to it.
A steak dish at B Side.
B Side/Facebook

6. Caboose Commons

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2918 Eskridge Rd
Fairfax, VA 22031
(703) 663-8833
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This second location of the Vienna-based brewery always seems to draw a crowd (particularly on account of their expansive outdoor seating). The gathering place features their beers, as well as coffeeshop items like pastries and breakfast sandwiches. Dinner brings wings, fried pickles, and other bar snacks.

An indoor brewery with a balcony above a coffee counter and lots of tables and chairs.
Caboose Commons’ new location.
Caboose Commons/Facebook

7. Pastry Xpo Cafe

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8190 Strawberry Ln #6
Falls Church, VA 22042
(571) 282-4970
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This underrated gem is the neighborhood’s go-to option for ornate desserts. The cafe sells beautiful pastries including macarons, eclairs, croissants, cakes, cupcakes, and original creations like their apple classic tart. Palmiers are gigantic; ham and cheese croissants are a good savory breakfast option. There’s cafe seating, Illy coffee, and some Mediterranean lunch specials as well. Catering orders through the website; delivery here.

Four bar-shaped desserts with fruit toppings.
Assorted desserts at Pastry Xpo.
Pastry Xpo/Facebook

8. True Food Kitchen (Multiple locations)

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2910 District Ave Suite 170
Fairfax, VA 22031
(571) 326-1616
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This burgeoning chain focuses on anti-inflammatory foods, and menu items can read a little eye-roll trendy (think poke bowls, quinoa burgers, and plenty of kale). The end result, though, is a mix of appealing, colorful dishes that won’t put diners into a food coma. Among the standouts: seasonal salads — there’s butternut squash and sprouts tossed with a sharp horseradish vinaigrette for the winter —cocktails spiked with refreshing juices, and charred cauliflower with tahini dressing. A good option for those with dietary restrictions. Pickup and delivery through the website.

Squash, brussels sprouts, cauliflower and other roasted vegetables in a bowl.
A seasonal salad at True Food Kitchen.
True Food Kitchen/Facebook

9. Four Sisters

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8190 Strawberry Ln #1
Falls Church, VA 22042
(703) 539-8566
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Originally an occupant of Vietnamese district the Eden Center, Four Sisters arrived in Merrifield in 2008, long before there was a Mosaic District. This family-friendly destination boasts an extensive menu of Vietnamese dishes, though they have streamlined their offerings since COVID-19. Crispy spring rolls have been beloved for years, and it’s usually a good idea to order anything that’s been prepared in a clay pot. Order online here.

Two spring rolls with lots of herbs on the plate and nuoc cham dipping sauce to the right.
Crispy spring roll from Four Sisters.
Four Sisters/Facebook

10. Jinya (Multiple locations)

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2911 District Ave #140
Fairfax, VA 22031
(703) 992-7656
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This California-based chain impresses with its sheer variety of ramen, ranging from a wonton chicken soup to more classic tonkotsu and miso versions. Original flavors like a garlic lover’s ramen pack an assertive punch. The restaurant also has a smattering of small plates, including pork buns and tempura Brussels sprouts. Order online here.

A bowl of ramen with pork chashu, a full marinated egg, and scallions visible on top.
A bowl of ramen at Jinya.
Jinya

11. Alta Strada (Multiple locations)

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2911 District Ave #150
Fairfax, VA 22031
(703) 280-0000
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Rich pastas are a great way to go at this outpost of restaurateur Michael Schlow’s Italian eatery, including cacio e pepe and penne a la vodka, but there are hearty portions of chicken parm and milanese as well. Online ordering here.

A big plate of penne topped with shredded parm and basil garnish.
Penne a la vodka from Alta Strada.
Alta Strada/Facebook

12. MacMillan Whisky Room

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2920 District Ave
Fairfax, VA 22031
(571) 338-3304
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Enjoy a flight of Scotch from this bar’s wide selection (or a whiskey-based cocktail like a Penicillin). The food menu here is pretty standard pub fare — a French dip, a grilled cheese — plus a few U.K. touches like Scotch eggs and fish and chips. Takeout available here.

A piece of lamb covered in fried onions atop mashed potatoes with a bottle of Whistle Pig in the background.
Grilled lamb from MacMillan Whisky Room.
MacMillan Whisky Room/Facebook

13. Urban Hot Pot (Multiple Locations)

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2980 District Ave Ste 110
Fairfax, VA 22031
(434) 373-3180
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This new addition to Mosaic District offers all-you-can-eat hot pot for $19.99 at lunch and $29.99 at dinner. There’s a 90 min time limit per table, but customers can order as many broths as they want and as many refills of a variety of meat, seafood, and vegetable components. There’s a fun sauce bar with tons of options and suggested combinations to visit, too. Make sure that lamb, lotus root, rice cakes, marinated shrimp, and enoki mushrooms are among the picks.

14. Our Mom Eugenia - Mosaic

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2985 District Ave Suite 185
Fairfax, VA 22031
(434) 339-4019
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This newish Greek arrival has a breezy menu of salads, Greek small plates, and heartier fare like moussaka. There’s a tiny, cute patio outside as well as some additional outdoor seating across the street. Greek wines are among the beverage options. Order online here.

Grilled fish filets covered with grape tomatoes.
Branzino from Our Mom Eugenia.
Our Mom Eugenia/Facebook

15. Elephant Jumps

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8110 Arlington Blvd, Entrance is on Gallows Rd.
Falls Church, VA 22042
(703) 942-6600
Visit Website

Nestled in a deep corner of an unassuming shopping center off Gallows Road, Elephant Jumps can be tricky to find, but it’s worth the effort. The Thai restaurant doesn’t hold back on spiciness. Some of the more interesting dishes on the menu include a funky tuna curry, a Thai play on spaghetti, and the sen yai ladd na moo mug, a well-balanced mixture of marinated pork, rice noodles, pickled pepper, and Chinese broccoli. Lunch specials are reasonably priced. Order online through the website.

Noodles being pulled upwards by a pair of chopticks with greens and cashews below them.
A noodle dish at Elephant Jumps.
Elephant Jumps/Facebook

1. Inca Social

2670 Avenir Pl, Vienna, VA 22180
A bowl of ceviche with garnishes of fried plantain and corn nuts, with a large piece of lettuce shooting out of the bowl and an orange pepper in there.
Ceviche from Inca Social.
Inca Social/Facebook

This Peruvian restaurant is a Dunn Loring hit, with fun specials (margaritas are $2 on Thursdays), festive cocktails (some even feature art of llamas in the foam) and an excellent selection of Peruvian apps and entrees, from sharp ceviche to artfully executed lomo saltado. There’s a full brunch menu, too, and some outdoor seating. Takeout available here; delivery on GrubHub and DoorDash.

2670 Avenir Pl
Vienna, VA 22180

2. Lost Dog Cafe (Multiple locations)

2729 Merrilee Dr, Fairfax, VA 22031
A slice of pizza on a yellow plate (taken from a pie in the background) with jalapenos on it
Pizza and beer at Lost Dog Cafe.
Lost Dog Cafe/Facebook

This outpost of the Northern Virginia family of restaurants has everything residents have come to expect from the quirky brand: goofy dog murals on the walls, pun-tastic dish names (many of them dog-themed), a respectable selection of specialty brews and sandwiches, and plenty of pizza. The Italian Pie, topped with onions and multiple meats, is a fine choice among the pizzas. For sandwiches, the pesto and chicken-stuffed Phoenix is a good bet. Smart diners always order the seasoned waffle fries on the side.

2729 Merrilee Dr
Fairfax, VA 22031

3. Open Road Grill

8100 Lee Hwy, Falls Church, VA 22042
Two burgers with different toppings (bacon visible on the right) with beers behind them
Burgers and beer at Open Road.
Open Road Grill/Facebook

This neighborhood bar always has a festive atmosphere when sports fans show up to cheer on their team of choice. There is spacious seating both indoors and throughout the enclosed patio section outside. Wings are smoky, the beer selection rotates frequently, and even salads can be a nice surprise here.

8100 Lee Hwy
Falls Church, VA 22042

4. Parc de Ville

8296 Glass Alley, Fairfax, VA 22031
Crispy duck confit on a bed of greens drowning in sauce.
Duck confit from Parc de Ville.
Parc de Ville/Facebook

This French bistro offers traditional staples with tweaks, whether it be duck confit or steak frites — keep an eye out for seasonal preparations of fish dishes. There’s also a nice French wine bar on the second floor rooftop with a menu of wines by the glass, an aperitif or two, and some snacks.

8296 Glass Alley
Fairfax, VA 22031

5. B Side

8298 Glass Alley, Fairfax, VA 22031
Sliced steak with a sauce on the side next to it.
A steak dish at B Side.
B Side/Facebook

B Side is one of the best destinations for drinking in this corner of Virginia, a place where beer lovers, wine drinkers, and cocktail aficionados can all find something to love. It’s fine to order a drink off-menu from one of the engaging bartenders, but B Side’s narrow cocktail menu always lists a few interesting options. The bar is tiny, so expect to wait for a seat during peak hours (there are a few patio seats). Drinkers can snack on options like pimento cheese or charcuterie, but hungrier diners can go for something more substantial on the meat-focused dinner menu. B Side shares the space with sandwich and butcher shop, Red Apron. Carryout info here.

8298 Glass Alley
Fairfax, VA 22031

6. Caboose Commons

2918 Eskridge Rd, Fairfax, VA 22031
An indoor brewery with a balcony above a coffee counter and lots of tables and chairs.
Caboose Commons’ new location.
Caboose Commons/Facebook

This second location of the Vienna-based brewery always seems to draw a crowd (particularly on account of their expansive outdoor seating). The gathering place features their beers, as well as coffeeshop items like pastries and breakfast sandwiches. Dinner brings wings, fried pickles, and other bar snacks.

2918 Eskridge Rd
Fairfax, VA 22031

7. Pastry Xpo Cafe

8190 Strawberry Ln #6, Falls Church, VA 22042
Four bar-shaped desserts with fruit toppings.
Assorted desserts at Pastry Xpo.
Pastry Xpo/Facebook

This underrated gem is the neighborhood’s go-to option for ornate desserts. The cafe sells beautiful pastries including macarons, eclairs, croissants, cakes, cupcakes, and original creations like their apple classic tart. Palmiers are gigantic; ham and cheese croissants are a good savory breakfast option. There’s cafe seating, Illy coffee, and some Mediterranean lunch specials as well. Catering orders through the website; delivery here.

8190 Strawberry Ln #6
Falls Church, VA 22042

8. True Food Kitchen (Multiple locations)

2910 District Ave Suite 170, Fairfax, VA 22031
Squash, brussels sprouts, cauliflower and other roasted vegetables in a bowl.
A seasonal salad at True Food Kitchen.
True Food Kitchen/Facebook

This burgeoning chain focuses on anti-inflammatory foods, and menu items can read a little eye-roll trendy (think poke bowls, quinoa burgers, and plenty of kale). The end result, though, is a mix of appealing, colorful dishes that won’t put diners into a food coma. Among the standouts: seasonal salads — there’s butternut squash and sprouts tossed with a sharp horseradish vinaigrette for the winter —cocktails spiked with refreshing juices, and charred cauliflower with tahini dressing. A good option for those with dietary restrictions. Pickup and delivery through the website.

2910 District Ave Suite 170
Fairfax, VA 22031

9. Four Sisters

8190 Strawberry Ln #1, Falls Church, VA 22042
Two spring rolls with lots of herbs on the plate and nuoc cham dipping sauce to the right.
Crispy spring roll from Four Sisters.
Four Sisters/Facebook

Originally an occupant of Vietnamese district the Eden Center, Four Sisters arrived in Merrifield in 2008, long before there was a Mosaic District. This family-friendly destination boasts an extensive menu of Vietnamese dishes, though they have streamlined their offerings since COVID-19. Crispy spring rolls have been beloved for years, and it’s usually a good idea to order anything that’s been prepared in a clay pot. Order online here.

8190 Strawberry Ln #1
Falls Church, VA 22042

10. Jinya (Multiple locations)

2911 District Ave #140, Fairfax, VA 22031
A bowl of ramen with pork chashu, a full marinated egg, and scallions visible on top.
A bowl of ramen at Jinya.
Jinya

This California-based chain impresses with its sheer variety of ramen, ranging from a wonton chicken soup to more classic tonkotsu and miso versions. Original flavors like a garlic lover’s ramen pack an assertive punch. The restaurant also has a smattering of small plates, including pork buns and tempura Brussels sprouts. Order online here.

2911 District Ave #140
Fairfax, VA 22031

11. Alta Strada (Multiple locations)

2911 District Ave #150, Fairfax, VA 22031
A big plate of penne topped with shredded parm and basil garnish.
Penne a la vodka from Alta Strada.
Alta Strada/Facebook

Rich pastas are a great way to go at this outpost of restaurateur Michael Schlow’s Italian eatery, including cacio e pepe and penne a la vodka, but there are hearty portions of chicken parm and milanese as well. Online ordering here.

2911 District Ave #150
Fairfax, VA 22031

12. MacMillan Whisky Room

2920 District Ave, Fairfax, VA 22031
A piece of lamb covered in fried onions atop mashed potatoes with a bottle of Whistle Pig in the background.
Grilled lamb from MacMillan Whisky Room.
MacMillan Whisky Room/Facebook

Enjoy a flight of Scotch from this bar’s wide selection (or a whiskey-based cocktail like a Penicillin). The food menu here is pretty standard pub fare — a French dip, a grilled cheese — plus a few U.K. touches like Scotch eggs and fish and chips. Takeout available here.

2920 District Ave
Fairfax, VA 22031

13. Urban Hot Pot (Multiple Locations)

2980 District Ave Ste 110, Fairfax, VA 22031

This new addition to Mosaic District offers all-you-can-eat hot pot for $19.99 at lunch and $29.99 at dinner. There’s a 90 min time limit per table, but customers can order as many broths as they want and as many refills of a variety of meat, seafood, and vegetable components. There’s a fun sauce bar with tons of options and suggested combinations to visit, too. Make sure that lamb, lotus root, rice cakes, marinated shrimp, and enoki mushrooms are among the picks.

2980 District Ave Ste 110
Fairfax, VA 22031

14. Our Mom Eugenia - Mosaic

2985 District Ave Suite 185, Fairfax, VA 22031
Grilled fish filets covered with grape tomatoes.
Branzino from Our Mom Eugenia.
Our Mom Eugenia/Facebook

This newish Greek arrival has a breezy menu of salads, Greek small plates, and heartier fare like moussaka. There’s a tiny, cute patio outside as well as some additional outdoor seating across the street. Greek wines are among the beverage options. Order online here.

2985 District Ave Suite 185
Fairfax, VA 22031

15. Elephant Jumps

8110 Arlington Blvd, Entrance is on Gallows Rd., Falls Church, VA 22042
Noodles being pulled upwards by a pair of chopticks with greens and cashews below them.
A noodle dish at Elephant Jumps.
Elephant Jumps/Facebook

Nestled in a deep corner of an unassuming shopping center off Gallows Road, Elephant Jumps can be tricky to find, but it’s worth the effort. The Thai restaurant doesn’t hold back on spiciness. Some of the more interesting dishes on the menu include a funky tuna curry, a Thai play on spaghetti, and the sen yai ladd na moo mug, a well-balanced mixture of marinated pork, rice noodles, pickled pepper, and Chinese broccoli. Lunch specials are reasonably priced. Order online through the website.

8110 Arlington Blvd, Entrance is on Gallows Rd.
Falls Church, VA 22042

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