Food & Wine

Where To Eat Near FTU In April

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Do It For The Points offered good suggestions for restaurants in the DC area for those arriving early/staying longer. I’d like to offer my recommendations for amazing ethnic food near the Hilton in Tyson’s Corner. (And yes “near” is subjective.)

Elephant Jumps
8110 Arlington Blvd, Falls Church, VA
This one really is close to the hotel!  At 4.9 miles it’s outside of the delivery zone, but well worth the cab or drive. It is by far the best Thai I’ve had in DC. I highly recommend the crispy salmon salad, the roti green curry chicken, the crispy scallop with crispy basil (I don’t even like scallops), the panang beef curry, and of course, the mango with sticky rice. I’ve really liked anything I got there, so I don’t think you can go wrong. They also don’t shy away from spice!

Roti Green Curry Chicken

The dining room is quite small though so try to go at the beginning or end of lunch/dinner.

China Star
9600 Main St # G  Fairfax, VA 22031
Roughly 9 miles away but well worth the drive. The best Chinese food I’ve had in the US, and possibly in China (since I had no spice tolerance when I went 5 years ago), this is not to be missed. Very unassuming restaurant, located in a strip shopping center. Mainly populated with Chinese families and college students from GMU.

Stay far far away from the American Chinese menu and go for the house specialties. If you can handle spice, order the scallion fried fish, even if you’re not a big fan of fish. It is divine and the seasoned vegetables with it are an experience in themselves. I also highly recommend the Lamb in Sizzling Pot, Fried Crispy Green Beans, and Szechwan Chili Chicken.

Eden Center
Wilson Boulevard, Falls Church, VA
8 miles away near Arlington sits an entire shopping center of great Vietnamese food. From what I’ve heard, you can’t go wrong walking into any of the restaurants. I recommend Huong Viet for great soups and buns. Just be sure to bring cash since your Chase Sapphire (or any other card) won’t be accepted. A little less crowded and accepting plastic, Viet Royale is also a good option. The dishes in the clay pots tend to be good.

A&J Restaurant
4316 Markham St,  Annandale, VA 22003
Great  Taiwanese comfort food. Lots of little plates which makes it possible to try lots of options, just bring a friend or five to maximize your ability to try different dishes. Only takes cash. For a preview of what to try, check out my experience last year.

Thousand Layer Pancake A & J Restaurant

If you’re feeling adventurous, make sure you check out Tyler Cowen’s Ethnic Dining Guide for more options while you’re in the area.

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