Reston’s Cafesano offers a fresh, Mediterranean-inspired menu featuring delicious pizzas and sandwiches, in a bright, casual space by Lake Thoreau. Patrons ...
These 10 tasty Reston restaurants feature non-chain spots to eat, drink, and relax while supporting a local Virginia business. In a suburban landscape dominated by national chain dining, we welcome the diverse and unique experiences at these local businesses in a community dedicated to “Live Work and Play” in town. This is not a comprehensive list, but it does include some of our favorite local Reston restaurants.
We love a tasty bento lunch and pleasant outdoor seating, and Ariake is a Reston restaurant that delivers both. Ariake’s lunch menu features several bento box and sushi lunch specials as well as an extensive a la carte sushi list. Our group particularly liked the Tempura and Salmon Teriyaki, Sushi Roll Combo, and the Deluxe Sushi Lunch.
Tucked in a corner of the South Lakes Shopping Center, Cafesano turns out delicious pizza, panini, salads, and Mediterranean dishes in a casual spot by Lake Thoreau. Start off with the Dip Sampler with housemade red pepper hummus and tzatziki served with warm pita. Wine and beer are available, and there’s a small deck for enjoying an outdoor meal on warm days. Cafesano is close to our home and is our most frequent stop of the Reston restaurants listed here.
Located near the Home Depot in Reston, Hibiscus serves a traditional Thai menu in a bright and modern setting. Every dish we’ve tried here is tasty, but it can get noisy when the restaurant fills up at lunchtime. The outdoor patio is a good option for a quieter meal when the weather is warm.
A transformed Lake Anne Coffee Shop opened in late 2016, featuring rich coffee, a fresh seasonal menu, a welcoming upstairs wine bar, and a large patio for warm weather. Try one of the breakfast or special sandwiches with tasty fries. Upstairs, a small fireplace and plaza view seating create a nice space for sipping wine with friends. Visit during Happy Hour (4:00 – 7:00) to enjoy select $5 wines or on Monday when bottles are half priced.
A nanobrew taproom with beautiful lakeside views from the deck, Lake Anne Brewhouse brings the Virginia craft beer scene to Reston. The space is small, elegant, and comfortable, and the deck is one of our favorite local spots on a warm afternoon. Flagship, Reston-inspired beers like Reston Red and Simon’s Stout share the taps with seasonal and special releases. While there is no menu, you’ll often find delicious pretzels and other bar snacks on offer.
One of the few survivors in the Tall Oaks Center, Pho Reston 75 is our go to for a delicious bowl of warm noodle soup on a chilly day. We don’t visit for the decor, which is clean and simple, but for the authentic Vietnamese pho and other specials. While the center is nearly empty, Pho Reston 75 continues to draw a steady crowd of diners who, like us, crave those rich, delicious flavors.
Small delis are sprinkled throughout Reston’s office buildings, serving daily specials and sandwiches to the working crowd. We like Pica Deli for their excellent sandwiches, which we generally get to go and enjoy at home or a local park. Two favorites are the Marco Polo, white meat chicken salad flavored with curry and grapes, and the Thursday special meatball sub.
Red’s Table overlooks Lake Thoreau in the South Lakes Plaza, right next door to Cafesano. Stop by in the early afternoon for a Happy Hour drink, or visit for lunch, dinner, or Sunday brunch to enjoy the locally sourced, seasonal menu. The restaurant’s design is rustic, relaxed, and sophisticated, with a sleek bar and varied eating spaces including a lovely patio overlooking the lake. The prices are on the higher side for Reston’s village centers, but the food is delicious and creative. Check out our 2015 pre-opening look at Red’s Table.
Singh Thai has been operating at Lake Anne for several years, but in 2016 they moved into a new space on the plaza that’s a nice spot for a relaxing, outdoor meal. Singh Thai creates reliably good dishes, with plenty of curries and noodle options plus some interesting Chef Specialties. We tried the Red Curry with Shrimp and the Spicy Fish Basil, and both dishes were delicious. On a warm day, outdoor tables have a lively view of children playing in the iconic Lake Anne fountain.
We prefer to visit Vinifera in warm weather, to kick back on the patio by one of the fire pits. Wines are available in 2 oz., 4 oz., and 6 oz. pours and it’s fun to put together your own flight. During happy hour (4:00 – 6:00) you can sate your hunger with half price small plates. The restaurant, located in the Reston Westin, also offers a full upscale menu.
Looking back at our list of favorite Reston restaurants it appears we have a special fondness for outdoor patios. Luckily, the weather cooperates for much of the year in Virginia. What are your favorite Reston restaurants, or local spots in nearby towns, to enjoy a meal or drinks beyond the usual chains? Please share your tips in the comments below.