Why go: This strip-mall gem is decked out with beaded lanterns and curved booths. Dapper owner Kumar Iyer works the room, which is usually full of loyal Loudoun County customers who come for vivid Indian cooking that’s as refined as the setting.
What to get: Vada pav, a small, chili-flecked potato patty served on a bun, Bombay’s answer to the slider; chicken chettinad with scorching peppercorns; black-lentil stew with ginger and garlic; a beautifully thin masala dosa; hunks of chicken in a tomato-and-butter sauce.
Best for: A romantic date on the cheap—this feels far more luxurious than it costs.
Insider tip: There’s free delivery within a five-mile radius.
>> See all 2010 Cheap Eats restaurants here