100 Very Best Restaurants: #95 – Afghan Bistro/Bistro Aracosia

Afghan Bistro’s leek dumplings. Photograph by Scott Suchman

About Afghan Bistro/Bistro Aracosia

8081 Alban Rd
Springfield, VA 22150
5100 MacArthur Blvd NW
Washington, DC 20016

Ikat pillows and modern Afghan paintings set the scene at these family-run restaurants, where familiar Afghan dishes are brighter and more complex than usual. We like to explore the menu by sharing platters. One dubbed hot mezze includes dumplings stuffed with savory beef and eggplant and fried turnovers with leeks and butternut squash. Another showcases a pile-up of lamb—tenderloin, shoulder, and rib chops—with raisin-studded basmati. Don’t miss the mantu and aushak—the meat- and leek-filled dumplings that call to mind freeform ravioli. Moderate.

Ann Limpert
Executive Food Editor/Critic

Ann Limpert joined Washingtonian in late 2003. She was previously an editorial assistant at Entertainment Weekly and a cook in New York restaurant kitchens, and she is a graduate of the Institute of Culinary Education. She lives in Petworth.

Food Editor

Anna Spiegel covers the dining and drinking scene in her native DC. Prior to joining Washingtonian in 2010, she attended the French Culinary Institute and Columbia University’s MFA program in New York, and held various cooking and writing positions in NYC and in St. John, US Virgin Islands.

Jessica Sidman
Food Editor

Jessica Sidman covers the people and trends behind D.C.’s food and drink scene. Before joining Washingtonian in July 2016, she was Food Editor and Young & Hungry columnist at Washington City Paper. She is a Colorado native and University of Pennsylvania grad.