I’m all excited and inspired after my first trip to the state of Virginia. Honestly, before my trip I had no idea what to expect. All I knew about travel in Northern Virginia was it was home to Arlington Cemetery and the Pentagon and was a short 30 minute subway ride from Washington DC.
Foodie Travel in Northern Virginia
Historical Spots You Know and Pentagon Row
It was no surprise to me that my first stops on my first day in Northern Virginia were Arlington Cemetery and the Pentagon Memorial but visiting Arlington brought us to Pentagon Row a cute little shopping district steps from the Pentagon where I got my first taste of the Northern Virginia food scene.
The Lebanese Taverna is a family owned restaurant and local favourite in the Arlington area. For Middle Eastern foodies like me they did not disappoint. We feasted on exotic Lebanese dishes some with the family’s own personal spin. A full review of the restaurant is coming soon!
Old Town Alexandria
Filled with small shops, cute cafes, pubs and lots of dining venues, downtown Alexandria was my kind of town. We stayed in the recently renovated Kimpton Morrison House a luxury boutique hotel steps from everything you will want to see and do in downtown Alexandria.
Foodie lovers will not be disappointed in this town. We had a great breakfast at Carluccio’s Market a café and restaurant filled with Italian specialty foods, pastries and chocolates. The breakfast menu was an inspired collection of local ingredients served with Italian style.
While in town we kept hearing about an amazing little donut shop called Sugar Shack and after the third mention of it I decided I must see it for myself. So glad I did! These massive gourmet donuts in more flavours than you can possibly imagine will make it very hard to choose just one!
Another Alexandria hot spot was Hank’s Pasta Bar a newly opened restaurant which locals said they had a hard time getting into for dinner, some reporting a 2 hour wait. We had lunch at the pasta bar where Chef Jamie Leads serves 13 types of fresh handmade pasta each day. So good a review will be coming soon!
For dinner we entered a rustic bar-like restaurant housed in a historic building called Virtue Feed and Grain. We tasted beers from Port City Brewing an award-winning craft brewery in Virginia. The food is a locally sourced and inspired menu with lots of flavours and the mood is a funky rustic lounge.
Fairfax County an Urban Food and Shopping Centre
We got a taste for the bustling city life that is Tysons Corner. Our first stop was Happy Hour at Barrel & Bushel located in the Hyatt Hotel adjacent to the Tysons Corner Shopping Centre. Yummy nibbles and cocktails were served on the busy patio in this restaurant and bar known for its selection of craft beers, Bourbons and handcrafted cocktails.
After a bit of shopping in the Tysons Corner Shopping centre we stopped at Harth Restaurant located in the Hilton Hotel. A farm to table inspired restaurant which took my breath away the moment I walked inside. Fire displays burned as we were escorted to our table and then we ate the most delicious and decadent meal prepared with locally sourced ingredients. Of course I will be writing about this too!
Historic Occoquan in Prince William County
Our next stop was the Historic Occaquan town shops. This cute little village was filled with little shops and boutiques. From the outside the Cock and Bowl restaurant did not look like my kind of spot, but inside it totally surprised me. This Belgian inspired restaurant has this Belgium menu for food with Mussel Bowls, Croque sandwiches, Pommes Frites and sweet Waffles. Then there is the insane menu of Belgian beers that had me wondering in such a small space where do they keep them all?
Our last food stop in Prince William County was Trummer’s Coffee & Wine Bar a European style cafe with a combination of fancy espresso drinks, wines, fancy cocktails, pastries and small dining plates.
Loudoun North Virginia’s Wine Country
My last stop in Northern Virginia was the region of Loudoun known as horse and wine country. We stayed and feasted at the Salamander Resort & Spa a luxury resort where you can participate in equestrian activities, lounging by fire pits on the property, a beautiful spa and of course culinary, wine and dining experience.
We had a quick coffee and pastry stop at Market Salamander in the town of Middleburg a cute little Italian village market with lots of fine foods and delicious baked goods.
After visiting a few wineries we stopped for lunch at magnolias at the Mill in Purcellville. A great little rustic restaurant that sits inside a 1905 restored mill with an elegant food menu.
So much to see and do in Northern Virginia
I have so much writing to do about this amazing region of Virginia. Northern Virginia is a great dream travel destination, filled with Historic Attractions, shopping spots, great hotels and a developing food, wine and craft beer scene.
For more travel ideas see our Virginia Travel Guide page.
- Luxury Dream Getaway at Salamander Resort and Spa in Virginia
- Things to do and See in Virginia’s Old Town Alexandria
- Shop and Dine in the Historic Occoquan Village in Virginia
- Arlington Virginia Might Surprise You with its Charm
Travel assistance provided by the Northern Virginia Visitors Consortium: Stay Arlington, Visit Alexandria, Visit Fairfax, Discover Prince William & Manassas and Visit Loudoun, however the opinions expressed in this post are my own.