News & Politics

Best of McLean & Vienna: Local Favorites

Four residents on their favorite diners, dry cleaners, and barbershops

Wolf Trap’s Terrence Jones likes to stop in for breakfast at the 50-year-old Vienna Inn. Photograph by Michael Ventura.

President of the Wolf Trap Foundation for the Performing Arts in Vienna

Early morning on the weekends, I bike the Washington & Old Dominion Trail from my house in Reston all the way to Vienna to have breakfast at the Vienna Inn (120 Maple Ave. E., Vienna; 703-938-9548). For lunch, I like Natta Thai (153 Glyndon St., Vienna; 703-242-4323). I love kale, and just today I had stir-fried chicken with chili sauce and the best crispy kale I’ve ever had.

I call Bazin’s on Church (111 Church St., NW, Vienna; 703-255-7212) my Cheers. It’s got a great bar, and everybody knows your name.

I’m a photographer, so I do a lot of framing. Bob Cramer at Creative Framing (332 Maple Ave. W., Vienna; 703-938-1281) takes such care and is incredibly patient with customers. He has a great understanding of picking the right frame for any piece of art.

For wine, I always go to Vienna Vintner (233 Maple Ave. E., Vienna; 703-242-9463). Victor Mendes is the proprietor. Talk about willingness to take time—he knows his wines. I always send people who are planning a picnic at Wolf Trap there. He knows how to take care of them.


Founder of T.H.E. Artist Agency, a modeling agency in Georgetown; Cast member on Bravo’s “The Real Housewives of D.C.”

I raised my children in McLean and just moved back here last year. We used to live in Georgetown, and I’d try different places there, but I kept coming back here. It’s a beautiful place to take long walks.

When I was in Georgetown, I found myself sending my nanny back to McLean to use McLean Cleaners (1407 Chain Bridge Rd.; 703-356-5321). I’ve used it for my day-to-day clothing for 20 years. And believe me, I’ve tried plenty of dry cleaners.

I have a chubby little pug named Ichiban with a ton of allergies, and pugs are high-maintenance when it comes to health care. I take him to Old Dominion Animal Health Center (6719 Lowell Ave., McLean; 703-356-5582). They’re really on top of it, sending me letters and letting me know what’s due for my animals. I also have a beautiful, feisty Siamese cat named Little Bon Bon, and she has her grooming there every three weeks. They also have a store where I can get everything from beds to collars to organic treats.

I have four children, and McLean Immediate Care (1340 Old Chain Bridge Rd., McLean; 703-893-2273) is great. It’s amazing to be able to drive over and have them do a rapid test—when a child is sick, you don’t want to have to drive all over. It has a great staff.

In terms of food, if kids are coming back from football and I need to put something together really quickly, Balducci’s (6655 Old Dominion Dr., McLean; 703-448-3828) is the place I’ll go. But my guilty pleasure is the crispy beef from Wok & Roll (1371 Beverly Rd., McLean; 703-556-8811). It’s so delicious, and they deliver.


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cofounder and editor of the Weekly Standard. He frequently appears on Fox News Sunday and the Fox News Channel.

I love McLean Family Restaurant (1321 Chain Bridge Rd., McLean; 703-356-9883), or MFR, as it’s known to locals. It’s a classic old-fashioned diner with breakfast till 3 pm. I’ve had breakfast there with Newt Gingrich. It’s a funny place because you’ve got families there with kids making a mess, but it’s also a CIA hangout because it’s close to Langley. It’s nice to grab breakfast there so you can miss traffic and get in at 9:15. I spend more time in MFR than any other place in McLean.

Dominion Barber Shop (6665-A Old Dominion Dr., McLean; 703-917-9025) has been fantastically successful, and it’s always busy. It’s got the feel of an old-fashioned barbershop with very nice people and $18 haircuts. I imagine it would look the same if it existed 40 years ago.


conservative pundit and author as well as a regular contributor to MSNBC

My wife and I go to Pulcinella (6852 Old Dominion Dr., McLean; 703-893-7777) about two times a month for terrific Italian food.

I buy and trade old books at the Old Book Company of McLean (6829 Redmond Dr., McLean; 703-734-0858). I wrote a book called Churchill, Hitler, and the Unnecessary War, and to prepare I went there for books on British diplomacy. Recently they found a great, big, complex old atlas for me. The store is next door to Goellers (6825-A Redmond Dr., McLean; 703-356-4449), where I get my office supplies like editing pencils and sharpeners and all those things.

I take my 13-year-old Cadillac to get washed at Embassy Autowash (6814 Old Dominion Dr., McLean; 703-442-4600). And I’ll stop by McLean Hardware (1445 Chain Bridge Rd., McLean; 703-356-5496) to get implements for yard work, which actually isn’t all that often.

This article first appeared in the January 2011 issue of The Washingtonian.

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Staff Writer

Michael J. Gaynor has written about fake Navy SEALs, a town without cell phones, his Russian spy landlord, and many more weird and fascinating stories for the Washingtonian. He lives in DC, where his landlord is no longer a Russian spy.