14 Must-Try McLean Restaurants: Where the McLean Locals Eat

Updated on March 26th, 2024

Reading Time: 4 minutes

McLean, VA, located just outside of Arlington has some of the best hidden gem restaurants, all without leaving Virginia. From stellar steakhouses and Turkish restaurants to cozy cafes and New York-style delis, you’ll always be on the hunt for a new place to take over your old favorite. Whether you’re a local or recently moved into an apartment in McLean, there are plenty of must-try McLean restaurants to visit. We’ve collected 14 that you should consider heading to on your next dinner out.

mclean virginia waterfalls with blue sky and mountains

#1: J. Gilbert’s

Cuisine: American restaurant and steakhouse
Address: 6930 Old Dominion Dr, McLean, VA 22101
J. Gilbert’s Website

J. Gilbert’s is a cool spot to have lunch or dinner and have a quality meal like roasted salmon, ribeye, or a pork chop.

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#2: Kazan Restaurant

Cuisine: Turkish restaurant
Address: 6813 Redmond Dr, McLean, VA 22101
Kazan Restaurant’s Website

A Turkish spot, Kazan Restaurant has a lot of choices for anyone looking for a new place to grab a bite. You can find a variety of items on their menu like imam bayildi, doner kebab, sultan tavuk, or vegetable musakka.

#3: Esaan

Cuisine: Thai restaurant
Address: 1307 Old Chain Bridge Rd, McLean, VA 22101
Esaan’s Website 

Another stellar McLean restaurant is Esaan. You’ll find authentic Northern Thai dishes like kao soi kai, nam tok nue, larb tofu, and more. 

#4: Sweetbites Café & Bakery

Cuisine: Café and bakery
Address: 6845 Elm St Ste 102, McLean, VA 22101
Sweetbites Café & Bakery’s Website

If you’re looking for a cafe serving scones, streusel bread, smoothies, roasted veggie or ham and cheese sandwiches, or an assortment of cookies, make sure to grab a bite at Sweetbites Café & Bakery.

#5: Starnut Gourmet

Cuisine: Café and coffee shop
Address: 1445 Laughlin Ave, McLean, VA 22101
Starnut Gourmet’s Website

Are you on the search for a new coffee place serving great breakfast options? If so, head to Starnut Gourmet, where you can find quiches, omelettes, labneh toast, steel cut oatmeal, parfaits, and more.

salmon sushi chopsticks and soy sauce at mclean restaurants

#6: Tachibana Japanese Restaurant

Cuisine: Sushi restaurant
Address: 6715 Lowell Ave, McLean, VA 22101
Tachibana Japanese Restaurant’s Website

Another one of the many McLean restaurants you should consider grabbing a bite at is Tachibana Japanese Restaurant. A sushi spot, you can find everything from tempura vegetables, soft shell crab, and nigiri, to katsu and sashimi.

#7: Aracosia McLean

Cuisine: Afghan restaurant
Address: 1381 Beverly Rd, McLean, VA 22101
Aracosia McLean’s Website

Aracosia McLean has some awesome options for those looking for authentic Afghan cuisine. Whether you’re in the mood for baadenjaan bouranee (a roasted eggplant dish), lamb chops, beef tenderloin, pumpkin dumplings, or saffron chicken, Aracosia McLean has it all. 

#8: Moby Dick House of Kabob

Cuisine: Mediterranean restaurant
Address: 6854 Old Dominion Dr. Ste 1, McLean, VA 22101
Moby Dick House of Kabob’s Website

Moby Dick House of Kabob is an excellent spot if you’re looking for a Mediterranean restaurant, serving authentic kabob sandwiches, kabob plates, or lunch specials like baghaala polo or ghormeh sabzi.

#9: Masala Indian Cuisine

Cuisine: Indian restaurant
Address: 1394 Chain Bridge Rd, McLean, VA 22101
Masala Indian Cuisine’s Website

Masala Indian Cuisine is another one of the great McLean restaurants serving authentic dishes like spinach chaat, samosas, tandoori chicken, lamb korma, and chana masala.

#10: Dal Grano

Cuisine: Italian restaurant
Address: 1386 Chain Bridge Rd, McLean, VA 22101
Dal Grano’s Website

If you’ve recently moved to McLean and are searching for an Italian restaurant serving fresh homemade pasta, sandwiches, risottos, cioppino, and house-made gelato, you can find that at Dal Grano.

soup and salad with croissant on a plate

#11: Lost Dog Café

Cuisine: Café
Address: 1690 Anderson Rd Ste A, McLean, VA 22102
Lost Dog Café’s Website

Lost Dog Café has some amazing soups, salads, pasta, sandwiches, and pizzas. There’s truly something for everyone on the menu.

#12: Santini’s New York Style Deli

Cuisine: Deli
Address: 1443 Chain Bridge Rd, McLean, VA 22101
Santini’s New York Style Deli’s Website

Another one of the many McLean restaurants to add to your list is Santini’s New York Style Deli. You can find this restaurant serving lots of great food, like chicken Philly sandwiches, New York style pizza, egg salad, and more house favorites.

#13: Red Tomato Pizzeria

Cuisine: Pizzeria
Address: 1327 Chain Bridge Rd, McLean, VA 22101
Red Tomato Pizzeria’s Website 

Red Tomato Pizzeria is a stellar eatery to visit in McLean. A pizzeria, Red Tomato Pizzeria, has lots of options like specialty pizzas, create your own options, gluten free substitutions, and calzones.

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#14: Wok & Roll

Cuisine: Cantonese restaurant
Address: 1371 Beverly Rd, McLean, VA 22101
Wok & Roll’s Website

The last spot on our must-try list of McLean restaurants is Wok & Roll, a Cantonese restaurant, with dishes like General Tso’s chicken, crispy beef, shrimp fried rice, and lo mein.

If you are represented by an agent, this is not a solicitation of your business. This article is for informational purposes only, and is not a substitute for professional advice from a medical provider, licensed attorney, financial advisor, or tax professional. Consumers should independently verify any agency or service mentioned will meet their needs. Learn more about our Editorial Guidelines here.
Alison Bentley

Alison Bentley

Alison is part of the Content Marketing team as a Content Marketing Specialist. In her 4 years at Redfin, Alison has written a variety of articles ranging from home design tips to housing affordability. A California-native, Alison currently resides in Seattle where you can find her catching a concert or exploring farmers’ markets. Her dream home is a cottage-style house with a chef’s kitchen and a cozy room to store and play vinyl records.

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