Local Restaurants Game Hosts Love
One of the most common questions our game hosts receive (besides “Can we get a hint?”, to which the answer is always yes) is “Where can we go to eat around here?” Old Town Fairfax is the home to dozens of restaurants to fit all sorts of needs, be it a sit-down place, a quick sandwich, or anything in between. Here in Northern Virginia, world capital of franchises, you can always count on finding a national restaurant chain within a half mile of…basically anywhere. This isn’t even a bad thing (don’t even get me started on how much better Jersey Mike’s is than the other sub chain. Yes, I know they have Italian Herbs and Cheese bread, but do they cut the meat and cheese right in front of you?), but there’s something to be found in locally owned restaurants (and room escape venues) that can’t always be found in national chains (see my post about Mosaic District). I’ve asked some of our host’s what local restaurants within a mile or two from Room Escape Fairfax they like, so take a look below. You may find your new favorite place (or somewhere to bring us food from).
1. Andrew: Sisters Thai
I’ll preface this one by saying this one by saying that up until more recently than I care to admit, I was a fairly boring eater (we’re talking plain hamburgers with ketchup, but not other condiments of course), but Sisters Thai was one of my ‘gateway restaurants’ that helped lead me towards a more adventurous palate. What caught me off-guard when I went there for the first time was the atmosphere. The calming music and eclectic, but pleasant, decor make you feel less like you’re in a restaurant and more like someone has invited you over to their house, and they know how to cook. The generous portions, variety of delicious food, and welcoming atmosphere keep me coming back for more.
Favorite Dish: Drunken Noodles with Pork
Distance from Room Escape Fairfax: 0.2 miles, or a 4-5 minute walk (walk, parking is sparse)
2. Donna: Dulce Crepes
This place is so nice that I had to double check that it wasn’t a chain, and sure enough, Dulce Crepes is one of a kind. The restaurant has an incredibly soothing atmosphere with calming colors, plants, and disposable silverware that isn’t terrible. The high-tech ordering system lets you customize your crepe to be exactly what you want, allowing you to easily make modifications to their signature crepes or create something new entirely. Their sweet or savory crepes are made to order and cooked in plain sight, so you always know you’re getting the freshest food possible. I also recommend their smoothies made with real fruit (the mango, in particular, is excellent). This one is a little further from us but it is completely worth the trip for a unique dining experience.
Favorite Dish: A custom crepe, with nutella, strawberries, bananas, and oreo ice cream
Distance from Room Escape Fairfax: 1.8 miles, 8-10 minute drive
3. Sasha: Havabite Eatery
Havabite Eatery is an illustration of how good family-owned restaurants can be. The interior is small, but cozy, and as soon as you go in, the staff makes you feel welcome. In addition to atmosphere, the focus is also on their food, which is DELICIOUS. Their menu is quite diverse, as a Mediterranean/Greek/American restaurant and all categories meet expectations. In addition to their excellent comfort food, I recommend their Greek God themed drinks (the Zeus is my favorite). I go often, both to dine in or to grab something to go, and I’m sure I’ll be back many times in the future.
Favorite Dish: Baklava (I literally bought four pieces and took some home once. Try it!)
Distance from Room Escape Fairfax: 0.2 miles, or a 4-5 minute walk
4. Spencer: The Auld Shebeen
I love the atmosphere of an Irish pub and the Auld Shebeen is one of the most authentic-feeling spots I’ve been to. The decor is quite piecemeal, which really makes it feel like it’s treasures accumulated over time, like it probably was, rather than someone finding it all in two hours and buying it because it looks cool. Everything feels like it has a story. On most evenings, The Auld Shebeen hosts consistently good live music, which I always appreciate. I also have spent many evenings at their karaoke nights and always have a great time. As far as food, they have quite a wide variety. I enjoy their mix of authentic Irish pub food and more standard American restaurant food. Whether you’re coming in for a quick bite or a long meal and entertainment, you’re gonna have a good time.
Favorite Dish: The Auld Shebeen Burger on karaoke nights or shepherd’s pie for a sit-down meal
Distance from Room Escape Fairfax: 0.1 Miles, or a 2-3 minute walk