Where to Eat and Drink in Falls Church City, Virginia – arlingtonmagazine.com

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House-made pastries at Cafe Kindred (Courtesy photo)
Occupying just 2.2 square miles, “The Little City”—a nickname that’s actually trademarked—is home to dozens of locally owned, globally focused restaurants with menus ranging from authentic Neapolitan pizza (overseen by a French chef, no less) to Afghan pumpkin dishes and beach-style fish tacos.  Park once and you can quickly travel to each of these 15 stops, including several new restaurants and eateries that recently updated their menus.
Panjshir (Courtesy photo)
This Falls Church institution first opened in 1985 and was on West Broad Street for 32 years before it moved to its current location in the Southgate Village Shoppes. Panjshir offers regional dishes from across Afghanistan, including a number of vegetarian meals— the most popular being Kadu Chawlow, sauteed pumpkin topped with seasoned yogurt and tomato sauce.   Try one of the many palaw (seasoned rice) dishes, topped with beef, lamb or chicken and a variety of vegetables. End your meal with Chocolate Firnee, a rice pudding made with chocolate and almonds and topped with cardamom and pistachios.  //114 E. Fairfax St., Falls Church  (Southgate Village Shoppes)
Filipino wonders at Kamayan Fiesta (Facebook photo)
The cafeteria-style Filipino spot—an offshoot of the original location in Springfield—opened in 2021 on the corner of Annandale and Washington Streets.  The order line moves quickly and staff is happy to answer questions about the dozens of rotating Pinoy dishes, such as garlicy chicken adobo or the popular noodle dish chicken pancit. The eatery has limited seating inside, but you can enjoy your meal on the colorful but narrow street-side patio. Desserts, including a selection of Filipino sweets from Rockville’s Gwenie’s Pastries, and prepared meals line the cold case for take-away. //301 S. Washington St., Falls Church
 
Barbecue and sides at Liberty Barbecue (Courtesy photo)
Falls Church’s reigning barbecue joint celebrates five years on Broad Street in 2022, serving platters of ribs, fried chicken, pulled pork and brisket, as well as grilled swordfish, duck confit and premium (gigantic!) Tomahawk steaks. A rotating menu of family meals –from smoked meats to Korean beef bulgogi–make evenings easier if you don’t have time to cook. Grab a seat in the large dining room or on the patio, and save room for the butterscotch banana pudding for dessert. //370 W. Broad St., Falls Church (Broadale Village Shopping Center) 
Neapolitan wood-fired pie at Pizzeria Orso (Courtesy photo)
The Neapolitan-style pizza here is the real deal, and they have the paperwork to prove it. Orso’s pies have been certified by the Italian Associazione Vera Pizza Napoletana. French chef-owner Bertrand Chemel’s team oversees a volcanic brick oven that yields beautiful crusts topped with the usual cheeses and meats, as well as cremini mushrooms, ramps, fingerling potatoes, and even fried eggs—as well as other seasonal items from the Falls Church Farmers Market. Chemel recently added a Carpigiani gelato machine, and will debut new flavors in May. Orso also offers carry-out packages, including a date-night bundle with a bottle of wine, salad, appetizer and pizza for $55. //400 S. Maple Ave., Falls Church
Sashimi at Takumi (Facebook photo)
Takumi occupies a tiny space on South Washington Street, but it’s one of the mightiest restaurants in Falls Church. The acclaimed sushi bar opened in 2015 under the eye of owner-chef Jay Yu, who previously worked at D.C.’s famed Kaz Sushi Bistro. Reserve one of the limited spaces at the sushi counter to enjoy his team’s exquisite work with uni, fatty tuna, butterfish (or Hawaiian Walu) and fresh shellfish such as surf clam, sea scallops and sweet shrimp or botanebi. If you’re ordering takeout, be sure to ask for specials when you call; the online menu isn’t always updated and Takumi has no online ordering or delivery options. //310-B South Washington Street, Falls Church
Simit breakfast pastries at Borek G (Courtesy photo)
In 2020, the Kaygusuz family opened a market and bakery  to feature the Turkish foods they had been selling for years at the Falls Church Farmers Market, including boreks (flaky pastries stiffed with meats and cheeses), meaty doner and sweet baklava. As Covid restrictions have loosened, the café has begun hosting fundraisers and live music on its street-side patio.  Don’t miss breakfast—perfect for late risers, as the restaurant opens at 10 a.m.—featuring fresh simit (a soft, seeded pastry); paninis with eggs, fresh beef sausage, muenster cheese and tomatoes; and a full Turkish breakfast with sausage, Menemen (eggs with onion, peppers and tomatoes) and a platter piled with tomatoes, cucumbers, feta, honey, jam, olives and cheeses.  //315 S. Maple Ave., Falls Church
Build-your-own tacos at Clare and Don’s Beach Shack (Courtesy photo)
This casual, family-owned eatery focuses on tastes from southern climes—fish tacos, crab cakes, tropical drinks and Key Lime pie—and is known for its extensive kids’ menu, which includes house-made corn dogs and a tofu taco that even tiny eaters will enjoy.  The large patio is a huge draw in warmer months, featuring live music that starts early enough for the entire family to enjo,y and plenty of room to groove or just get the wiggles out.  //130 N. Washington St., Falls Church
A charcuterie board at Dominion Wine & Beer (Courtesy photo)
This wine-and-beer retail shop opened an upstairs bar and restaurant in the fall of 2018 and extended service into its large, tented parklet in 2020. The two entities complement one another. Find a wine you like from the by-the-glass selection and you can buy the bottle downstairs to take home. Conversely, if you discover something you like while exploring the shop, you can bring the bottle upstairs and pair it with your ribeye for a small corkage fee.  Get a 20% discount on the 24 rotating beers and 16 wines by the glass during weekday happy hour from 4 to 6 p.m. Happy Hour also includes discounts on nibbles like panko-crusted shrimp in sweet chili sauce, French fries with rosemary and garlic, and mushroom arancini.  Dominion accepts reservations for large parties in the tent on certain days of the week; email [email protected] for details. //107 Rowell Court, Falls Church
Poutine at Cafe Kindred (Courtesy photo)
Husband-and-wife owners Jen Demetrio and Gary O’Hanlon serve brunch daily from 7 a.m. to mid-afternoon.  Both are trained pastry chefs, turning out croissants, scones and cheddar-chive biscuits that are baked fresh each morning.  New to the food menu are four styles of poutine—fried potatoes smothered in cheese, a variety of sauces or gravy and eggs. Order online for pick-up, eat in, or sit on the sunny sidewalk patio and sip an iced latte or espresso fizz—iced soda water topped with espresso.  Leave your laptop at homes on the weekends when the café turns into a digital-free zone. //450 N. Washington St., Falls Church
A loaded bacon and roast beef sandwich at Spacebar Courtesy photo)
Lary and Erica Hoffman, who also own Arlington beer haunt Galaxy Hut, homed in on their love of grilled cheese when they opened this funky, adults-only brewpub on West Broad Street a decade ago. The menu includes 24 craft beers on tap with selections that change daily, plus 20 signature sandwiches and a create-your-own option with a variety of vegan ingredients.  Late-night diners tend to go for the “totchos”—tater tots covered in cheese and anything else on the menu, from bacon and dill pickles to house-made meatloaf.  Curbside pick-up is available, but there’s no outside seating. // 709 W. Broad St., Falls Church
The elevated Skybar at Dogwood Tavern (Courtesy photo)
Now celebrating its 14th year in business, Dogwood is the Cheers of The Little City, but with better food. Big plates of shrimp-and-grits, burgers and sandwiches (think blackened mahi or a turkey reuben made with house-roasted bird) are served alongside a cocktail menu that includes seasonal creations and classics, such as a Moscow Mule mixed with house-made ginger beer. Sports fans will appreciate the TVs that dot the bar, where thirsty patrons will also find local draft beers and sipping whiskeys.  Between the front patio along Broad Street, the covered back dining patio and the Skybar, there are 130 seats outside.  //132 W. Broad St., Falls Church
A Brekkie sandwich at Preservation Biscuit Co. (Photo by Deb Lindsey)
For the ultimate comfort food, order one of chef Jon Coombs’ mammoth house-made biscuits with a side of seasonal jams (which are also made inhouse), or as a sandwich with fillers like fried chicken, pulled pork, prime rib or eggs and guac.  Coombs also offers a vegan version of the staple carb, and many of the menu items can be made meatless, with options that sub plant-based ingredients for animal products. Hosting a party at home?  Biscuits are also sold by the dozen (call ahead to order), and the eatery has a catering menu with platters that are surefire crowd-pleasers. //102 E. Fairfax St. Falls Church
Order a perfect pint at Ireland’s 4P’s (Photo by Erik Jacobson on Unsplash)
A classic Irish pub, 4P’s has been a mainstay in Falls Church City since 1997, and its massive sidewalk patio on the corner of West Broad and North Washington streets has hosted many happy St. Patrick’s Day celebrations and nights of live music. In addition to serving fish and chips, Chicken Tullamore in a creamy whiskey sauce, sausage rolls wrapped in pastry and other Irish classics, in 2021 the restaurant earned its Perfect Pint Certified status by Guinness. //105 W. Broad St., Falls Church
Beef tartare at Harvey’s (Courtesy photo)
Occupying the former Plaka Grill spot in the heart of the Little City, chef-owner Thomas Harvey’s recently-opened namesake restaurant has a dog-friendly patio, weekday breakfast and weekend brunch, as well as a market featuring take-home meals, pastas and sauces, local beer and Virginia wines, meats from Virginia farms and charcuterie products from Maryland’s Epic Curing.  Fan favorites from the hearty menu include a blackened shrimp appetizer with orange and fennel salad, and a porter-braised short rib (with beef from Lynchburg’s Seven Hills Farm) served with parmesan polenta. Harvey has plans for a wine club with monthly tastings. //513 W. Broad St., Falls Church
Carbonara at Thompson Italian (Photo by SV Images)
Gabe and Katherine Thompson’s eponymous trattoria is a go-to for house-made pastas with seasonal preparations, such as bucatini with rock shrimp and ramps, or squid-ink campanelle with local clams. (Gabe also turns out a phenomenal gluten-free garganelli that can be substituted for any non-filled pasta.) Don’t skip dessert. Katherine, an award-winning pastry chef, draws diners from all across the DMV with seasonal sweets like rhubarb tiramisu, as well as her signature olive oil cake with crème fraiche mousse and raisin marmaletta (which is also available as a whole 9-inch cake with a day’s notice).  Thompson Italian also offers a variety of meal kits to cook at home, as well as trays of bread and sauce, pork meatballs, salads and lasagna for large groups.  A recently launched brunch menu inclues French Toast with pineapple and toasted coconut; parmesan biscuits and sausage gravy; and bucatini carbonara with pancetta and spring onions. //124 N. Washington St., Falls Church
Salteñas at Luzmila’s (Courtesy photo)
If you have only five minutes for lunch, stop at by the take-out counter at Luzmila’s and grab one of the savory salteñas, which pack chicken or beef stew inside a buttery, baked crust.  You might burn your mouth, as it’s nearly impossible to wait for them to cool down. Got a little more time? Try the silpancho—breaded steak with rice, potatoes, eggs, tomatoes and onion. On weekends, order the Sopa de Maní, a classic peanut soup topped with fries, before it sells out.  You can dine in, order to-go via Luzmila’s website or have your salteñas and traditional mogonchinche (a colorful dried peach juice drink) brought to you via several delivery apps. //809 W. Broad St., Falls Church
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