Tandoori photo of best restaurant in Fairfax and Fairfax County VA - Best Restaurants in Fairfax List 2024

12 Best Restaurants in Fairfax & Fairfax County: Fine Dining & Casual

When you hear Fairfax, VA -what comes to mind? Ok, beyond expensive homes, high cost of living, government workers, doctors, lawyers, good schools and uh an ideal suburb that families with the means flock to? Well, the answer is one of the best places to live in Northern VA & international restaurants! 

Yes, that is correct, Fairfax city may not hold all the gems, but when you combine Fairfax County, it becomes a culinary delight. With a mix of upscale, casual, hole in the wall, and international fusion mixes, it gives you an authentic glimpse of ethnic cuisine you won’t see elsewhere, not even in Georgetown restaurants.

So if you are looking for the best restaurants in Fairfax County? We’ve got some ideas you have to try, but first, let’s talk about why Fairfax has such an amazing mix of cuisines available from so many different types of countries.

Fairfax’s Culinary Scene: A Delicious Reflection of Its Growing Diversity

Fairfax County is witnessing a remarkable transformation, not just in its expanding population, tippyswhich has soared from 600,000 in 1980 to over a million today, but more so in its cultural landscape. We wrote the complete guide to living in Fairfax, VA (in case you missed it – you may want to revisit). The county’s palette of colors has evolved dramatically with the share of people of color mushrooming from 14 to 45 percent since 1980, and it’s set to surpass 70 percent by 2044. This change is mirrored in the county’s culinary offerings, with diverse and authentic flavors adding to the rich tapestry of dining options.

Communities of color, especially Latinos and Asians, are infusing Fairfax with energy and variety, representing the main drivers of this demographic and gastronomic shift. Latinos have surged by 57 percent, while Asians have grown by 50 percent, contributing significantly more than the decline in the White population. Notably, it’s the U.S.-born individuals within these groups who are the fastest-growing segments. Meanwhile, while the Black population remains steady, the Middle Eastern community, of which 60 percent are immigrants, is also leaving its mark on the county’s food scene.

As the demographics of Fairfax County and the city of Fairfax evolve, so does the array of eateries. By 2040, people of color will make up two-thirds of Fairfax City’s residents, versus 72 percent in the wider county, each bringing their unique culinary traditions and tastes.

Fairfax’s burgeoning diversity is a blessing to food lovers. The culinary scene here is a vibrant and delectable tapestry, reflecting the global community that calls this county home. From the aromatic spices of Middle Eastern dishes, the zesty flavors of Latin American cuisine, to the nuanced tastes of Asian fare, Fairfax is fast becoming a dining destination that celebrates its cultural richness on every plate.

12 Best Restaurants in Fairfax, Northern Virginia

1. Clarity

Address: 442 Maple Ave E, Vienna, VA 22180

Popular dishes: Foie Gras, Soft shell crab, and Chef Jon

When foodies do Google searches in Fairfax for where to go for top restaurants near Fairfax, Clarity generally top’s the list. So it’s only right that first on our list is Clarity, the RAMMY award-winning restaurant located in the Wolftrappe Shopping Center. Stop by this gem if you are looking for fine dining in Northern Virginia or the Washington D.C. area. The venue is small but cozy, with an intimate ambiance perfect for any occasion and has a slightly updated 2024 menu & wine list.

The main dining room, which faces the open exhibition kitchen, is where you can watch the chef prepare dishes like foie gras and seared scallops. If you prefer private dining, Clarity has small and large private rooms depending on the occasion and number of guests. Guests can also experience a bespoke menu of three to four courses per their dietary requirements. Overall, this might be the best dining experience in the area. 

Every day (during lunch or dinner), Clarity serves an extensive à la carte menu and a special four-course prix-fixe tasting menu. The menu changes with a selection of seasonal dishes to keep things fresh and exciting. This is definitely a place to eat, relax and unwind. 

Ratings: Yelp – 4.4, Google – 4.6

Clarity Restaurant in Fairfax County - Fairfax Best Restuarants

2. 2941 Restaurant

Address: 2941 Fairview Park Dr, Falls Church, VA 22042

Popular dishes: Short Rib, Tuna tartare, and Beet salad

Nestled in the heart of Falls Church, Virginia, 2941 is one of the most celebrated restaurants in the metropolitan area. All you need to do is look at the accolades this restaurant has received. Northern Virginia Magazine ranked it #1 in the Top 50 Best Restaurants, and East DC included it as part of the 38 Essential Washington Restaurants, to name a few.

It is surrounded by lush landscaping, a waterfall, koi ponds, world-class artwork, and a lake view—perfect for a relaxing dining experience in a serene setting.

This spot is managed by the executive chef, Bertrand Chemel, who brings a wealth of culinary expertise. Chemel has been in the kitchen since he was 14 years old, sweeping flour off the floor of a bakery and pastry shop next to his grandmother’s house. He was mentored by renowned chef Michel Gaudin at his restaurant in Megeve, France. Gaudin also sent Chemel to Geneva’s Hotel du Rhône, where he was exposed to international cuisines.

Chemel also spent some time at the Savoy Hotel in London. No wonder this restaurant has such a diverse culinary influence in its dishes. Guests can choose from different menu options, including à la carte, chef’s tasting, and cocktails. Whether it’s the steak and seafood, dinner on the patio, a carefully curate selection of wines and beers, this is one of the top dining spots. If it’s not already, it should be trending in NoVa!

If you’re all about fancy dining with a global flair, this is the place to be. Don’t miss out on the Butter Poached Lobster served with truffle risotto.

Ratings: Yelp – 4.8, Google – 4.6

2941 Restaurant in Fairfax County - Fairfax Best Restuarants

3. Aracosia McLean

Address: 1381 Beverly Rd, McLean, VA 22101

Popular dishes: Lamb chop duo, Lamb shank moghuli, and Hot Mazza assortment

Whether you have tried Afghan food or are considering it, Aracosia McLean is a must-visit. It is among the top restaurants in Fairfax County, and for good reason.

First, they practice a safe cooking method. According to their website, they never use GMOs, MSGs, preservatives, hormones, or even microwaves to prepare a meal.

Aracosia McLean’s menu caters to every diet, including vegan, paleo, and gluten-free options. Guests who consume only Halal meat are also welcome since all their meat is Halal-certified.

Both the food and service is consistently rated as top notch in client reviews around the web. The kebab is cooked to keep it juicy alongside roasted onions, tomatoes and garlic, alongside rice that has a hit of saffron. To top it off, add the white yogurt sauce and what your taste buds do a little victory dance. This restaurant is one of the few that lives up to its reputation and with an extensive selection of wines, it really rounds out a wonderful meal. 

In addition to enjoying delicious and healthy meals, customers can feel good knowing that they are supporting a business that gives back to those in need. 

Ratings: Yelp – 4.8, Google – 4.7

Arcosia Restaurant in Fairfax County - Fairfax Best Restuarants

4. Agora Tysons

Address: 7911 Westpark Dr, Tysons, McLean, VA 22102

Popular dishes: Branzino, Grilled Octopus, and French toast

Agora Tysons is the place to be if you crave delicious Mediterranean food in a lively atmosphere. As a family-run restaurant, Agora prides itself on creating a warm, hospitable environment where guests can enjoy authentic dishes.

Chef Ismet Sahin, a native of southern Turkey, ensures that each dish is prepared with a blend of traditional flavors and modern flair. From popular Turkish breakfasts to Greek pastries, Agora offers a diverse menu that caters to a wide range of tastes.

Brunch, lunch, dinner, or happy hour? The restaurant has something for every occasion.

This place also offers outdoor dining, so patrons can enjoy a delicious meal while taking in the beauty of Old Town Fairfax. The manti beef dumplings and spicy tuna tartare are a must-try.

Ratings: Yelp – 4.1, Google – 4.5

Agora Restaurant in Fairfax County - Fairfax Best Restuarants

5. Tippy’s Taco House

Address: 8632 Lee Hwy, Fairfax, VA 22031

Popular dishes: Tacos, California Sunken Burrito, Chili Con Queso w/ Crunchy Tortilla

When the craving for Mexican food hits in Fairfax, there’s a name that stands out from the crowd: Tippy Taco House. This isn’t your average, run-of-the-mill taco joint; it’s the definition of a hole in the wall but one where authenticity meets nostalgia, and everyone feels like a local.

Tippy’s has been around the block under various guises, but one thing that keeps regulars coming back is their legendary hot sauce. It’s got just the right kick – enough to satisfy those who live for spice, but not too much to scare away the milder palates. And yes, they may have switched up the packaging, but the flavor still packs a punch.

But Tippy’s charm doesn’t stop at the sauce. The tacos here are the kind you might remember from simpler times, but with a quality that speaks to Tippy’s commitment to good food. They’ve nailed the classic flavors, wrapped them in a warm tortilla, and served them up with a side of queso – which, by the way, we hope stays as thick and creamy as we love it.

I’ve been dropping by Tippy’s for over a decade, and it’s the consistency that’s impressive. The dishes you order are just as delicious as you remember them, visit after visit. That sauce, though – it’s a universal crowd-pleaser and honestly deserves its own fan club.

Price-wise, Tippy’s understands the assignment. They offer fantastic flavors without breaking the bank, and whether you’re grabbing a quick bite or sitting down with friends, the service is always with a smile.

For those who haven’t had the pleasure, Tippy Taco House is worth the detour. It’s the spot for fast Mexican food done right – great hot sauce, fresh ingredients, and a vibe that’s as welcoming as it is unpretentious.

The locals know what Tippy’s is all about. It’s a place where the bean tacos come just as you like them, the hot sauce flows freely, and the queso tops everything off perfectly. With a cold beer in hand and a plate of tacos in front of you, you’re in for a good time.

While some folks might not understand the fuss, anyone who’s grown up with Tippy’s gets it. It’s more than just a meal; it’s a part of the community fabric, a spot that conjures up memories with every bite. If you’re looking for a place where the food is as genuine and straightforward as the folks serving it, Tippy Taco House is calling your name.

Rating: Yelp – 3.1, Google – 4.3

Photo of Tippys Taco House in Fairfax County - Fairfax Best Restuarants

6. Dolce Vita Italian Restaurant & Wine Bar

Address: 10824 Fairfax Blvd, Fairfax, VA 22030

Popular dishes: Brick oven pizzas, Arancini, and Linguine vongole

Everything about this restaurant is inviting, from the red roof to the warm ambience. For over 25 years, Dolce Vita has been serving the community of Fairfax with authentic Italian cuisines. Their recipes and preparation techniques are rooted in the deepest culinary tradition.

The restaurant tries to ensure that many of its ingredients are sourced from its garden and the meats are locally sourced. In addition, all pasta is made in-house daily.

It offers a classic Italian Cicchetti menu, which means small plates or snacks, perfect for sharing or keeping it all to yourself. Other specials include cheese pizzas, fig and pig pizzas, fried calamari, and grilled Octopus and artichoke.

Dolce Vita is one of the best Fairfax County restaurants with attentive service and mouthwatering dishes.

Don’t miss Wine Down Wednesday, where the restaurant offers half-off wine bottles below $100.

Ratings: Yelp – 3.8, Google – 4.4

Picture of Dolce Vita Restaurant in Fairfax County - Fairfax Best Restuarants

7. Songbird

Address: 10940 Fairfax Blvd, Fairfax, VA 22030

Popular dishes: Famous General Tso’s chicken, Crab Rangoon, and Sticky crispy beef

Sonbird is the newest restaurant on our list, but it is quickly gaining traction among residents. According to the co-owner, Angela Zhang, the restaurant honors the Chinese American tradition. This is reflected in their motto, which states Comfort, Celebration, and Home.

Their decor is inspired by a Mid-century chinoiserie aesthetic with classic colors of red, green, and gold. In terms of food, you can start with an appetizer like BBQ square ribs. Then, you can try their house specials like General Tso’s chicken or the crispy duck — half duck. As for drinks, indulge in cocktails such as the Chop Sui Mai Tai or Yin—Yang Highball, neutral wine, or beer.

If you are looking for delicious Chinese food served in a cozy environment with excellent c customer service, you can’t go wrong with Songbird.

Ratings: Yelp – 4.5, Google – 4.8

Picture of Song Bird in Fairfax County - Fairfax Best Restuarants

8. Yu Noodles

Address: 11217 C, Lee Hwy, Fairfax, VA 22030

Popular dishes: Soup dumplings, Noodle soups, and Intestine noodles

Yu noodles brings in authentic street food from Chongqing, China. Located in Fairfax Center, this restaurant has a simple menu. Its main dishes are noodles and rice dishes, and its must-try soup dumplings are made from pork and a flavorful broth.

The first thing that stands out about this location is the quick service. The attentive and friendly staff ensures a pleasant dining experience for all customers. It is also a kid-friendly spot as many families come to enjoy a meal together.

Do you prefer to takeout? That’s also an option at this restaurant. Overall, it is a great spot for a Chinese meal or a quick bite to eat.

Ratings: Yelp – 4.4, Google – 4.3

Picture of Yu Noodles in Fairfax County - Fairfax Best Restuarants

9. Randy’s Prime Seafood and Steaks

Address: 8051 Leesburg Pike, Vienna, VA 22182

Popular dishes: Lobster crab cake, Filet Mignon, and Prime rib

Randy’s Prime Seafood and Steaks is a great American restaurant known for its elegant atmosphere and high-quality dishes.

It is a great spot to catch up with co-workers over lunch or wind down after shopping at Tysons Corner.

This seafood restaurant is also a top choice for date night. The dim lighting sets the atmosphere for a romantic evening, but still bright enough to see the menu.

Start with mussels and oysters, and enjoy the main course of rib eye and jambalaya accompanied by truffle fries cooked in duck fat. For dessert, you can’t go wrong with Randy’s popular chocolate cake.

What’s more, the service is just as great as the delectable food.

Ratings: Yelp – 4.4, Google – 4.6

Photo of Randy's Steakhouse Restaurant in Fairfax County - Fairfax Best Restuarants

10. Tandoori 

Address: 10312 Willard Way, Fairfax, VA 22030

Popular dishes: Butter chicken, goat curry, and Lamb curry

Tandoori is the place to be if you are interested in Indian or Nepalese cuisine. From the butter chicken steamed with mommas to the crunchy wai Sadako and samosas, you’ll find a delightful array of flavors to satisfy your craving.

The restaurant has a 50-foot-long bar and HDTVs, so guests can enjoy their meals while watching their favorite sports games or just relaxing with friends. There’s a little buffet station where diners can try a bit of everything. Plus, a complimentary green tea table that pairs well with different spices. There’s so much to love about this place.

Ratings: Yelp – 4. 3, Google – 4.3

Picture of Tandoori Restaurant in Fairfax VA | Best Restaurants in Fairfax County

11. Cafe Renaissance

Address: 163 Glyndon St SE, Vienna, VA 22180

Popular dishes: Filet mignon, Rack of lamb, and Lamb Shank

Cafe Renaissance is one of the best fine dining restaurants in Fairfax, and it is not hard to see why. This place has been serving delicious meals to the metropolitan since 1994, so they know what they’re doing.

When you step into the establishment, you are greeted by a friendly host who makes you feel more like a friend. The place is regally decorated, from the portraits on the wall to the ornate silverware and dining ware. It gives off this ‘old money’ charm that transports you back in time to a more elegant era.

As far as selection goes, they have an extensive wine list, cocktails, and food options. They also have a tasting menu you should definitely try. Among their star dishes are the Angel hair pasta, shrimp, scallops, crab cake, and herbs entree.

If you love French cuisine, you will never regret coming here. It offers great food and top-notch service in an intimate setting.

Ratings: Yelp – 4.2, Google – 4.7

Photo of Cafe Renaissance in Fairfax County - Fairfax Best Restuarants

12. Meokja Meokja

Address: 9619 Fairfax Blvd, Fairfax, VA 22030

Popular dishes: Marinated beef short ribs, Spicy pork belly, and Soybean soup

Moekja Moekja is a Korean barbecue joint in the heart of Fairfax. It is a favorite spot among locals due to its delicious meats and interactive grilling experience. They allow you to “grill your own premium” meat, which doesn’t mean you literally grill your meat. The meat is grilled right in front of you and served sizzling hot.

Impressively, the place is never smoky because it is a spacious restaurant, and the vent hoods are large enough to handle the smoke and keep the air clean.

Their combo meal, which includes rib fingers, ribeye, galbi, and seasoned rib tips, is good value for money. Don’t hesitate to ask for more wraps, sauce, or anything else; they are always happy to accommodate your requests and ensure you have an enjoyable experience.

Ensure to make a reservation early because they fill up quickly, especially during peak hours and weekends.

Ratings: Yelp – 4.5, Google – 4.5

Photo of Meokja Meokja in Fairfax VA | Best Restaurants in Fairfax County VA

Finding the Best Restaurants in Fairfax County: Conclusion

So, there you have it: our list of the best spots to eat in Fairfax, Virginia, in 2024. Each place on our list has a unique charm and flavor that will satisfy your taste buds.

Of course, there are many restaurants in this area that haven’t made this article. But the ones we have included above are definitely worth checking out.

On another note, if you are looking for property in Fairfax, VA, or Washington, D.C., we can help. We are the ONE Street Company, a real estate company that specializes in helping clients find their dream homes in these vibrant locations.

Feel free to schedule a free consultation with us to discuss your real estate needs and preferences.

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