Dishing Up Delicious

For food favorites, Northern Virginia is the place to chow down.

What makes a Best of Virginia favorite? From food trucks to fine dining to barbecue joints, it’s about great food that reflects a sense of place. Like they say at Red Truck Rural Bakery—a 10-time winner—the cakes are “made with love and butter in the Virginia piedmont.” When you put your heart into food, use the finest ingredients, and make your customers feel right at home, you’ve got an irresistible combination.

Sisters Thai, now a three-time winner, earns raves for its living room style. Each of the Sisters locations—from Fairfax to Alexandria and Vienna—feels like home, complete with artfully arranged bookshelves and portraits on the walls. A Tysons location will open later this year. Sure, the food is delicious, but customers come back for the homey atmosphere as well.

This year marks the ninth win to date for L’Auberge Chez François in Great Falls, where executive chef Jaques Haeringer carries on in the Alsatian tradition of his father, François, serving fine French food that satisfies appetite and soul. And at Arlington’s Heidelberg Bakery—with 14 Best of Virginia wins—owner Wolfgang Büchler has the devotion of his customers. But it took time for them to embrace his crusty European bread. That was back in the 1970s. Now Büchler and his wife, Carla, have expanded the business to include deli foods, pastries, and even wedding cakes—often made for the grandchildren of the shop’s earliest patrons.

Also returning for a win this year, Bob & Edith’s Diner has been dishing up unfussy fare for more than 50 years. Classics like burgers, subs, meatloaf, grilled cheese, hand-spun milkshakes, and omelets and eggs every-which-way remain customer favorites. Now run by Bob and Edith’s son, Greg Bolton and his two children, this diner is carrying on the family legacy.

There’s a reason why Monk’s BBQ has been a Best of Virginia winner three times and again this year: smoke. Pro pitmasters take no shortcuts during the cooking process, which translates to long nights, but unparalleled flavor. Customers flock for their authentic brisket, pulled pork, pastrami, spare ribs, burnt ends, and turkey—all seasoned and rubbed and smoked to perfection. It’s the secret to their success.

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