Where to Eat in Bailey’s Crossroads
A melting pot of cuisines awaits diners in the Falls Church part of Fairfax County.
Bailey’s Crossroads is a mini-United Nations when it comes to food. Tucked into strip malls and sandwiched between big-box stores one finds a mix of cuisines showcasing Thai, Chinese, Indian, Greek, Afghan, Ethiopian and Middle Eastern flavors. From Formica countertops to white tablecloths, six-table dining rooms to 7,000 square feet of eating space, the range of interiors is as vast as the menu offerings. Bonus: There’s plenty of parking at every stop.
This 10-year-old Afghan restaurant often plays host to wedding receptions and parties. Look for a variety of hearty dumplings – both scallion and beef filled – homemade yogurt, and kadu (sauteed pumpkin). The extensive weekday lunch buffet is a popular option with dozens of rotating dishes, including soups, lamb and palau (seasoned rice with carrots, raisins and meat).
5634 Leesburg Pike, bamianrestaurant.com
Bawadi Mediterranean Grill and Sweets Café
Owner Khalid Mekki offers a mix of Palestinian and Lebanese cuisine at this halal restaurant and bakery on Leesburg Pike. A small weekday buffet features salads, dips and kabobs, and diners 9 and younger eat free from the kids’ menu on Tuesdays. Shareable platters are the most popular sellers, including a seafood plate of salmon, shrimp and other fish, and a mixed-meat grill of shawarma, chicken, falafel, grape leaves and kufta, a ground beef and onion kabob. The baked goods feature a trio of baklavas – pistachio, cashew and walnut – as well as both cheese and cream kunafa, pastry soaked in rosewater syrup. Tip: If you bring it home, warm the kunafa slightly before eating.
5916 Leesburg Pike, bawadidc.com
The parking lot is always bustling at this modest white-tablecloth restaurant serving favorites from northern India. The lunch buffet line is long, but worth it for the spicy pickles, chicken tikka and many popular vegetarian options, including dal makhani (creamy lentils) and palak paneer (a spinach-and-cheese dish) – as well as unending baskets of naan, puffed bread hot from the oven. Lamb rogan josh, or red lamb, is a star: Boneless lamb is cooked in a yogurt-based curry sauce of tomatoes and onions with plenty of spices.
5872 Leesburg Pike, raagarestaurant.com