Where to Eat and Drink Along Langston Boulevard

Dig into Laotian noodles, Neapolitan pizza, Turkish dumplings, Caribbean jerk chicken, French bistro fare and more.

Hummus at Maya Bistro on Langston Boulevard in Arlington (Courtesy photo)

This dynamic stretch of Route 29 is easily one of Arlington’s most diverse and tastiest roadways. Formerly known as Lee Highway, it was renamed in 2021 after Virginia’s first Black member of the U.S. House of Representatives, John M. Langston.  Here are a dozen or so restaurants to explore the next time you need a break from cooking.


Jerk chicken and baked yuca at Caribbean Grill in Arlington (Courtesy photo)

Caribbean Grill

For 25 years, diners have been flocking to this homey strip mall eatery (which has no website) in the Garden City Shopping Center for charcoal-grilled jerk chicken. A family meal for $34 includes a whole roasted bird with four sides, including the kitchen’s popular baked yuca with mojo sauce, fried plantains and homemade black beans. Other Cuban and Latin specialties include Cuban sandwiches, ropa vieja (a traditional Cuban shredded beef stew), empanadas and baked Bolivian saltenas. Call 703-241-8947 to place a carry-out order for pick-up. //5183 Langston Blvd, Arlington


Wood-smoked delights at Sloppy Mama’s Barbeque (Courtesy photo)

Sloppy Mama’s Barbeque 

Follow your nose to this tantalizing wood-fired barbeque joint for tender brisket, pulled pork, ribs, chicken and sausage, or the recently launched “inflation buster” lunch deal, which includes a featured sandwich, side and drink for $10, Wednesday through Friday. Sloppy Mama’s also caters events and parties—in fact, that’s how it got started, when owners Mandy and Joe Neuman catered their own wedding. Plant-based eaters can look forward to more than sides like housemade pickles, corn bread and coleslaw: the vegan smoked jackfruit, sauced with vegan chipotle barbecue, is available as a sandwich, platter or by the pound.  Mandy’s banana pudding is also one of the most popular dishes on the menu.  // 5731 Langston Blvd., Arlington

Flying Lao Noodles Tuna

Flying Lao noodles at Tuna (Courtesy photo)


Opened in September 2021, this dinner-only restaurant in Cherrydale serves flavor-packed Laotian specialties such as spicy green papaya salad and sausage infused with lemongrass and lime. Owner Sak Vong’s signature dish, Flying Lao noodles, features fried ramen loaded with Wagyu meatballs, Lao sausage, egg and shrimp.  You’ll also find familiar Thai favorites (Laos and Thailand share similar cuisines), plus sushi rolls, sashimi, ramen and other Japanese fare. The space was formerly home to Maneki Neko Express and Vong retained several members of his predecessor’s cooking staff.  //3813 Langston Blvd., Arlington

Cafe Colline Leeks Vinaigrette

Leeks vinaigrette at Cafe Colline (Courtesy photo)

Café Colline

Chef Brendan L’Etoile turns out French standards and a few nouveau creations at this fetching little bistro in the Lee Heights Shops.  (Read our dining critic’s review.) You can’t go wrong with steamed leeks with with hazelnut vinaigrette and truffled egg mimosa; smoked salmon tartine with herbed boursin, egg and capers; escargot in puff pastry with parsley-garlic butter; or classic moules frites with fennel and Pastis. For dessert, there’s riz au lait, a creamy, vanilla rice pudding layered with salted caramel. On warm days, do as the Parisians do and grab a cafe table out front or on the small back patio. Co-owners Ian and Eric Hilton, with L’Etoile, also operate Parc de Ville in the Mosaic District and several D.C. restaurants and bars, including Chez Billy Sud in Georgetown. //4536 Langston Blvd., Arlington

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House baked breads from Heidelberg Pastry Shoppe (Facebook photo)

Heidelberg Pastry Shoppe

Ever since its doors opened in 1975, Wolfgang and Carla Büchler’s bakery has been an Arlington go-to for Black Forest sourdough rye bread, strudel, stollen, jelly doughnuts and other Bavarian specialties, plus myriad other offerings, from wedding cakes and deli platters to holiday cookies and pies.  A barbecue cart in the parking lot, open from May to October, serves bratwurst and other sausages with German potato salad, sauerkraut and pretzels. //2150 N. Culpeper St., Arlington

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Cowboy Cafe’s exterior, featuring murals by Arlington artist MasPaz (Courtesy photo)

Cowboy Café 

Founded in 1991 as a Southwestern biker bar and later purchased by four Yorktown High School grads, this neighborhood watering hole is beloved for its unpretentious atmosphere and cheap drinks (including $3.50 beers during weekday happy hours) as well as the food. The Tex-Mex-inspired menu features nachos you can order by the “mountain”, as well as chicken and yucca soup, chili mac, Texas smokehouse brisket and a massive $19 burger called The Barnyard, featuring two half-pound beef patties topped with barbecue pork, cheddar cheese, a fried egg and bacon. In 2020, the bar added outdoor seating for 40 and a colorful mural by Arlington artist Federico Frum, who goes by the name MasPaz.  //4792 Langston Blvd., Arlington

Bostan Noodles Cropped

Hand-cut noodles at Bostan Uyghur (Courtesy photo)

Bostan Uyghur   

Known for its dumplings, hand-pulled noodles and kebabs, this Cherrydale eatery specializes in the cuisine of the Uyghur people—a predominantly Muslim Chinese ethnic group concentrated in China’s northwestern Xinjiang province near the Pakistan, Afghan and Kyrgyzstan borders. The culinary influences of those neighboring countries are reflected in Bostan’s menu. Explore traditional plates such as wheat nan breads; saozi hand-cut noodles tossed with beef and vegetables in a spicy broth; rangpiza (cold skin noodles with cucumbers and chili oil); and pumpkin manta—steamed dumplings filled with spiced beef and pumpkin. //3911 Langston Blvd., Arlington 


Burritos and bowls at District Taco (Courtesy photo)

District Taco

Langston Boulevard (then Lee Highway) was home to the first brick-and-mortar location of Osiris Hoil and Marc Wallace’s homegrown taqueria when it launched in 2010.  Now the chain has some 12 locations in the DMV and dozens of franchise units under development in several states. The Yucatan-inspired fast casual  menu features tacos, burritos, salads, quesadillas and a popular children’s menu. The fan-favorite breakfast tacos—stuffed with eggs, potatoes, cheese and the protein of your choice (including vegan options)—are available all day. //5723  Langston Blvd., Arlington

Peter Chang Scallion Bubble Pancake Facebook Dc

Scallion bubble pancake at Peter Chang Arlington (Courtesy photo)

Peter Chang Arlington

Sichuan chef Peter Chang formerly cooked at the Chinese Embassy in D.C., later amassing a cult following as he hopped around various Chinese restaurants across Virginia in the aughts.  In 2015, he opened his namesake Arlington restaurant in the Lee Harrison Shopping Center. Diners come for the football-size scallion bubble pancakes, along with “mala” dishes that bring the heat with a numbing peppercorn that’s become a staple in Chang’s signature recipes. Among them: hot and numbing flounder and tofu; dry fried eggplant; and crispy pork belly. Several dishes can be prepared gluten-free. The $12 lunch specials include soup and spring rolls with all entrees like basil eggplant in a clay pot, or stir-fried flounder with leek, snow peas, red bell pepper, pickled Thai chili and black bean.  //2503 N. Harrison St., Arlington

Modo Mio Oven

A Neopolitan pie at A Modo Mio Pizzeria (Facebook photo)

A Modo Mio Pizzeria Napoletana

After 42 years as Joe’s Place Pizza and Pasta, this Italian institution rebranded in 2020, though its ownership remains in the hands of Farruggio family.  Pizza and pasta are still the mainstays at Modo Mio (which means “My way” in Italian), but the former salad bar has been replaced with upscale offerings such as grilled octopus, bucatini croquettes (a fried pasta and rice mash-up of Neapolitan frittatine and Sicilian arancini), and fresh burrata served over beets and topped with truffle oil.  Chef Antonio Biglietto is a Master Pizzaiolo (pizza chef) from Naples, specializing in certified Neapolitan pies. The restaurant has a large dining room and outdoor patio seating set back from the busy street. Enjoy happy hour specials from 3-6 p.m. and 20 weekday lunch options for under $11. //5555 Langston Blvd., Arlington 


A falafel bowl at Charga (Courtesy photo)


Tucked inside the Garden City Shopping Center, this little storefront offers a global menu of dishes from Nepal, Pakistan and Peru, as well as American classics like hoagies and burgers. The biggest draw is the chicken, which comes in a variety preparations, including spicy South African peri-peri; Pakistani Sajji; the namesake Pakistani Charga; and Peruvian-influenced pollo a la brasa.  The restaurant also offers build-your-own bowls, Nashville hot chicken sandwiches and several all-day $10 meal specials, including burritos, chicken and kebabs. It also has a popular catering menu, with options such as chicken curry, yuca and jollof rice for a crowd.  //5151 Langston Blvd., Arlington


Manti (Turkish dumplings) at Maya Bistro (Courtesy photo)

Maya Bistro

This family-owned Turkish and Mediterranean restaurant offers lunch and dinner, weekend brunch and a kid’s menu, as well as traditional Turkish desserts in its cozy dining space. Dive into an order of manti—Turkish dumplings filled with ground beef and topped with tomato and yogurt garlic sauce—as well as moussaka, a roasted eggplant dish with ground beef, lamb and bechamel.  A weekday happy hour from 4-7 p.m. includes specials on Turkish wine, flatbreads and appetizers. Wine bottles are half price on Mondays, and the side patio has outdoor dining for 30.  //5649 Langston Blvd., Arlington

Metro 29 French Toast Fb

French toast at Metro 29 Diner (Facebook photo)

Metro 29  Diner

The classic diner is marking 28 years of Challah french toast, made famous by an  episode of Guy Fieri’s Food Network show Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives. The kitchen serves up pages of familiar comfort fare, such as pancakes, several renditions of eggs Benedict, meatloaf, roasted turkey sandwiches and a bakery case full of cheesecake, pies and cannoli. Metro 29 is one of the few local eateries to open early (at 6 a.m. daily) and breakfast is available all day. Free parking is available behind the diner, and the dining room has ample space for larger parties.  //4711 Langston Blvd., Arlington


Build your own mezze feast at Lebanese Taverna Market (Photo courtesy of Lebanese Taverna)

Lebanese Taverna Market

Build your own rice bowl, salad bowl or sandwich platter (with proteins ranging from shawarma and kabobs to falafel) at this family-owned market cafe next to the Lee Heights Shops, or stock up on everything you need for a Lebanese feast at home. The deli counter offers mezze staples such as hummus, baba ghanoush, fattoush salad, lentil pilaf, kibbeh, dolma and baklava by the pound, as well as marinated meats and ready-to-cook entrees. The shelves are stocked with imported goodies ranging from olive oil, tahini paste and wine, along with select items made in Arlington. //4400 Old Dominion Drive, Arlington

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Categories: Food & Drink