Food is not just sustenance. It’s so much more. Eating is a ritual that brings us all together, solidifying our familial and friendship bonds. We in Northern Virginia are a lucky bunch. Tucked away in a multitude of shopping centers and mini malls are a plethora of dining hot spots. We have restaurants that cater to every imaginable taste and mood. From down home BBQ joints, to the finest of fine dining experiences, our region plays host to some of this region’s most diverse and original culinary delights. Here are the winners for I AM Modern's category of "Best In Food."
CAROLINA BROS PIT BBQ
20702 Ashburn Rd Ashburn, VA 20147
Carolina Brothers Pit Barbeque takes the winning title for Best BBQ of the DC Suburbs for the second year in a row. A small, rustic building with a welcoming front porch, Carolina Brothers is an Ashburn, Virginia favorite. Conveniently located right off the W&OD trail, the BBQ joint is a popular stop for the area’s many cyclists.
11 North King Street
Leesburg Virginia 20176
The Quaint Town of Leesburg, Virginia has been home to generals, ghosts and gentry who once occupied the 18th century brick, stone and log buildings that still stand today.
201 Harrison St. SE
Tuscarora Mill's owners and chef have created a winning pizza with Fire Works, a wood-fired pizza restaurant in Market Station. The aromas wafting from their wood-fired oven guarantee you’ll enjoy their mouth-watering signature pizza, made with dough from fine-milled Italian “caputo” flour, filtered water, yeast and sea salt. Need gluten free preparation? They welcome suggestions to create a signature pizza all your own! Ask and ye shall receive. Not only do they support local growers and producers around the area, but they have resurrected the train-station feel in this town’s former freight depot.
BEST GIRL’S NIGHT OUT
CLYDE’S WILLOW CREEK FARM
42920 Broadlands Blvd.
Clyde’s at Willow Creek Farm is the perfect venue for chilling on the terrace with the girls, enjoying a cocktail and imbibing in the best local food that the area has to offer. The ambiance of the historic building made of antique heavy timbers that were once destined for demolition until purchased by the Clyde’s Restaurant Group makes it a truly unique structure. Inside, a relaxed atmosphere−outside, nature abounds along the sprawling terrace perfect for outdoor dining.
43135 Broadlands Center Plaza
Chefs with white coats? Wine displays? Don’t let this place kid you. Stuffiness and unpronounceable items are not on this menu. What is on the menu are grilled specialties from a wood burning grill, starters on platters large enough to share, hand-cut fresh fish, and the big city feel of their bar. Dedicated to responsible fishing practices and the healthy stewardship of the world's marine resources, they work closely with fishermen from whom they source products from around the globe to promote environmentally sound fishing and aquaculture.
2001 International Dr
Maggiano’s family style approach will satisfy every appetite, whether there are two of you or 20. Whether it’s the Baked Ziti, Chicken Parmesan or Mom’s Lasagna, you’re sure to feel right at home. A personal Maggiano’s banquet manager will help you plan the perfect event, no matter what the type of gathering, be it a wedding, a corporate event or an intimate dinner with friends.
21078 Dulles Town Circle
P.F. Changs is an American Chinese fusion bistro. They also sell wine, specialty drinks, Asian beers, sake, cappuccino and espresso. P.F. Chang's also offers a dedicated menu to diners that follow a gluten-free diet. The company has been recognized for this by the Gluten Intolerance Group of North America. Their Warrior Reward® builds up credits each time you visit their restaurant, and can be used at any P.F. Changs in the Continental U.S.
BEST FAMILY RESTAURANT
45980 Waterview Plaza
This family restaurant, classified as “upper-casual,” features the freshest ingredients, including fish, poultry, meat, produce and bread − from their own bakery − which arrive on the premises daily and are expertly combined to create their signature offerings. The Brewery always offers five beers on tap, giving you a variety of color, flavor and strength. Their “brew crew” scours the world for the finest ingredients to create perfectly balanced, award-winning beers. Sweetwater’s commitment to community is apparent in their numerous charitable partnerships, and they contribute portions of proceeds from their desserts and bread sales.
1840 International Dr.
Lebanese Taverna is a multi-concept collaboration with six restaurants, four quick service cafes, a market, and a full service catering division. The lounge and bar are ideal for grabbing a quick bite while shopping or relaxing after work. It’s a great place to sit and play a little backgammon and enjoy selected wines and appetizers. The outside cafe features a fountain and al fresco dining. Their catering department specializes in custom menus, rentals, service staff, floral and entertainment.
BEST WINE BAR
THE WINE KITCHEN
7 S. King St.
Leesburg 703.777.WINE (9463)
Notice how your family always ends up congregating in the kitchen? The Wine Kitchen is just as welcoming, and invites guests to visit their kitchen to sit a spell and enjoy their good wine and honest food. Food that allows you to enjoy the straightforward flavors and an abundance of wines to round out the perfect meal. All thanks to fresh fare from local purveyors, be they farmers, ranchers, cheese makers or winemakers. You’ll soon find out why their motto is “Eat, Drink, Simplify.”
THE CHEESECAKE FACTORY
21076 Dulles Town Circle
Legendary. It’s the first word that comes to mind when you think about The Cheesecake Factory’s cheesecake. With close to 170 locations, it’s hard to believe it all started in the small kitchen of Evelyn Overton in the 1940s, where she used to bake her famous cheesecake for friends and family. Years later, their son, David, set out to offer guests generous portions with unlimited, inventive meals all made fresh with quality ingredients and served in a warm and casually comfortable setting. The Cheesecake Factory will forever remain an American success story.
L’AUBERGE CHEZ FRANCOIS
332 Springvale Rd
Great Falls 703.759.3800
L’Auberge Chez Francois was started by the family patriarch, Francois Haeringer, and is now run by his son Jacques. The restaurant opened its doors in 1976 and, since then, it has become a Northern Virginia favorite
among Francophiles and food lovers in general. Over its many years of operation, L’Auberge Chez Francois has stoof as the region’s foremost authentic French restaurant, and for good reason.
32 W. Broad Street
Falls Church 703.533.8233
Pho is a miracle soup and few places in the Metro D.C. area make it better than Pho 88. As a family owned restaurant offering a vast selection of authentic Vietnamese dishes as well as the most perfect Pho your money can buy, Pho 88 prides itself in a menu that is made fresh daily and with less oil than most other Vietnamese restaurants. Make a reservation, or simply walk in; Pho 88 will surprise you and leave you wanting more.
BEST HOT DOG
WINDY CITY RED HOTS
28 South Street
Let's be frank (pun intended), sometimes the only thing that can truly satisfy your hunger is a juicy hotdog. That's where Windy City Red Hots comes in. For the second year in a row, they've won the award for I AM Modern's best hotdog, which means they must be doing something right. Try one of their delicious dogs to see why. But beware, you’ll probably want more than one. So next time you're in Leesburg, stop by...just be sure to bring your appetite with you.