Vienna and McLean Neighborhood Guide: Take a break from the mall with a spin around the ice rink at Tysons Corner Center, open through March 6. Photograph by Rassi Borneo.

About Vienna and McLean

With desirable schools and warm communities, Vienna and McLean are two of Washington’s most popular places for families. That means there are plenty of family-friendly things to do around the area, including ice skating at Tysons Corner Center’s outdoor ice rink and spending the day outdoors at Clemyjontri Park, a colorful two-acre playground.

McLean is also home to two of Washington’s biggest shopping destinations: Tysons Corner Center and  Tysons Galleria, which is known for its luxury shops. Vienna is filled with boutique shops, gourmet food stores, and highly rated restaurants all of which are the perfect place to begin and end a day spent in these neighboring Northern Virginia towns.

Where to Eat in Vienna and McLean

Lost Dog Cafe has craft beer for grownups and a “Pup’s Corner” menu for kids. Photograph by Andrew Propp.
Lost Dog Cafe has craft beer for grownups and a “Pup’s Corner” menu for kids. Photograph by Andrew Propp.

Amoo’s (6271 Old Dominion Dr.; 703-448-8500). Grab lunch at this Persian restaurant, and make sure to start with kashk-e-bademjan, a warm mix of sautéed eggplant and caramelized onions, and don’t miss the koobideh—a juicy beef kebab.

Balducci’s (6655 Old Dominion Dr.; 703-448-3828). A gourmet grocery chain with a big stock of cheeses and a charcuterie counter of prosciuttos and salamis, is a good spot for picking up easy-but-delicious appetizers including goat cheese to pair with Mitica fig jam, made from Pajarero figs and lemon honey.

Barrel & Bushel (Tysons Corner Center; 703-848-6340). The barrels house 30-plus kinds of bourbon, and there are local brews as well at this beer hall gone California-earthy, with its accents of stone and wood. Don’t miss the fried chicken with French toast, the lump-filled blue-crab roll, and mac and cheese with Spam (yes, Spam)—which tastes like crumbly bits of bacon.

Caffè Amouri (107 Church St., NE, Vienna; 703-938-1623). Perfect for a peppermint mocha, pumpkin-spice chai, hot chocolate, or all-natural apple cider.

Cenan’s Bakery (122 Branch Rd., SE; 703-242-0070). Start your day with a cappuccino and a fresh-from-the-oven cinnamon swirl—flaky pastry dough rolled with sugar and spice. The store also sells an array of Turkish jams and breads baked on-site.

Clarity (442 Maple Ave. E.; 703-539-8400). Since opening in 2015, the Modern American restaurant has been lauded by food critics—it has been on our 100 Very Best Restaurants for the past four years. The menu changes daily, but you’re likely to find steak, seafood, and house-made pasta.

Crêpe Amour (407 Maple Ave. E; 703-537-0083). Sells breakfast crepes right next door to the spice shop.

Esaan (1307 Old Chain Bridge Rd; 703-288-3901). Every Thai restaurant has a papaya salad, but this northeastern Thai spot shows off five versions. The one you don’t want to miss is the fermented-fish-enhanced somtum muor, loaded with eggplant, pickled greens, green beans, and pork rinds, plus rice noodles that mimic strands of papaya. In fact, every dish here tastes amped up. Khao soi comes in a vividly spiced coconut curry. But it’s the whole fried rockfish smothered in herbs, cashews, and lime dressing that draws the most “oohs.” The fish is cut into chunks, then crisped golden brown, so no need to worry about bones.

Pancakes at Founding Farmers. Photograph courtesy of Farmers Restaurant Group.
Pancakes at Founding Farmers. Photograph courtesy of Farmers Restaurant Group.

Founding Farmers (1800 Tysons Blvd., McLean; 703-442-8783). The buttermilk biscuits and Yankee pot roast are filling enough to fuel you through a day of shopping.

Gourmet Basket (6829 Tennyson Dr.; 703-848-2456). A market specializing in Lebanese and other Middle Eastern fare, is also a good place to snag hors d’oeuvres. Tucked into an unassuming shopping complex, it’s home to some of the area’s best kibbeh, lightly fried beef-and-pomegranate-filled croquettes. You’ll also find stuffed grape leaves, tabbouleh, and spicy meat pies.

Lost Dog Cafe (1690-A Anderson Rd., McLean; 703-356-5678). A family-friendly pizza joint that’s serious about its canine theme, with murals of dogs and a “Pup’s Corner” kids’ menu.

McLean Family Restaurant (1321 Chain Bridge Rd., McLean; 703-356-9883). A popular spot for locals that’s been serving hearty comfort food for more than four decades. The menu mixes American classics—the pancakes, which come in chocolate-chip and blueberry varieties, are a customer favorite—with options influenced by the owner’s Greek heritage, such as the MFR omelet stuffed with gyro meat and feta. The place is packed nearly every morning—especially during Sunday brunch—and doesn’t take reservations, so get there early to avoid a wait—it opens daily at 6:30 except for Sunday, when it opens at 7.

Nostos (8100 Boone Blvd., Vienna; 703-760-0690). Once you’ve conquered (or been conquered by) the malls, you’ll need more sustenance. Grab a light lunch—a Mediterranean salad or chicken soup—at this Greek eatery.

Pie Gourmet (507 Maple Ave. W.; 703-281-7437). Perfect for sweet pies, but remember to order ahead if you want a whole pie, especially one of the more popular holiday flavors such as pecan or apple-cranberry, with crumb-and-pecan topping.

Pure Pasty Co. (128-C Church St., NW; 703-255-7147). You’ll find a variety of savory Cornish meat-and-vegetable pies—we like the chicken masala—available frozen for home baking.

Social Burger (350 Maple Ave. W.; 703-364-5420). For a low-key dinner, the juicy turkey burger and chopped salad at Social Burger don’t disappoint.

Yas Bakery (137 Church St., NW; 703-242-4050). Delicious pistachio-sprinkled treats, such as chickpea cookies and baklava.

Where to Shop in Vienna and McLean

The Dandelion Patch in Vienna does custom stationery. Photograph by Andrew Propp.
The Dandelion Patch in Vienna does custom stationery. Photograph by Andrew Propp.

Aditi Spice Depot (409 Maple Ave. E; 703-938-3400). You’ll find the more typical Indian seasonings and spices—cumin and cardamom in all manner of sizes—among the harder to find, such as amchoor powder, made from dried green mango.

The Artisans (1368 Chain Bridge Rd.; 703-506-0158). A good stop for small gifts–funky socks, handmade jewelry, and other accessories created by local craftspeople and fair-trade artists from around the world.

Chain Bridge Cellars (1351 Chain Bridge Rd.; 703-356-6500). The staff at this local wine store can help you pair bottles with the day’s food finds. And if it’s Friday between 3 and 7 or Saturday noon to 4, you can enjoy a free tasting.

Dandelion Patch (8455 Tyco Rd., Suite 1, Vienna; 703-319-9099). For personalized stationery—or bring your own customizable gifts, such as tote bags, to be monogrammed by the on-site embroiderer.

Fashion Exchange Consignment (6663-B Old Dominion Dr., McLean; 703-760-0808). If you need a party outfit and are in the mood to bargain-hunt, try Fashion Exchange Consignment, where we’ve spotted Tory Burch cocktail dresses and Louis Vuitton handbags in near mint condition.

Just Like New (145 Church St., NW, Vienna; 703-938-8800), about a 20-minute drive away, carries a more typical assortment of secondhand clothing, but the real draw is an extensive collection of costume and fine jewelry.

Lolli and Pops (1961 Chain Bridge Rd., Suite 105; 703-570-6670). If you got a late start and still have the energy, head to McLean’s retro candy shop for something sweet—such as Harry Potter–inspired butterbeer.

Organic Butcher of McLean (6712 Old Dominion Dr.; 703-790-8300). Need a main course appropriate for a family feast? Then proceed to the Organic Butcher of McLean, which looks like an old-fashioned English butcher shop. Its knowledgable staff sell expert cuts of humanely raised meats and game—grass-fed beef, venison, quail, wild boar—as well as seafood that comes in fresh daily. The shop also turns out house-made bangers—traditional English sausages—and “green sausages,” which get their hue from a blend of organic rainbow chard, fresh garlic, and herbs.

Pear Tree Cottage (130 Maple Ave. E., Vienna; 703-938-1331). This shop is full of inspiration for the home, with a selection of bar-cart accessories, milk-glass cake stands, and ’50s-era furnishings. Not quite sure what to pick? The shop also offers design services.

Preppy Pink Pony (6829 Redmond Dr., McLean; 703-556-3237). For any type of monogrammed gift—cuff links, tote bags, barware—this boutique has you covered.

Trousseau (306 Maple Ave. W.; 703-255-3300). For intimates shopping that will yield something a bit more unusual than the chain lingerie stores, try Trousseau, which also sells Tocca lotions, Moonstruck chocolates, and jewelry.

Tysons Corner Center (1961 Chain Bridge Rd.; 703-847-7300). You’ll find anchor stores Bloomingdale’s (703-556-4600) and Lord & Taylor (703-506-1156), mall staples such as Forever 21 (703-442-9501) and Zara (571-633-9840), and attractions, such as the American Girl doll store (877-247-5223).

Tysons Galleria (2001 International Dr.; 703-827-7730). Known for its luxury shops, you’ll find Chanel (703-847-0555)David Yurman (703-245-3515), Gucci (703-506-6804), and Prada (703-245-3438), plus the high-end department stores Saks Fifth Avenue (703-761-0700) and Neiman Marcus (703-761-1600).

Vienna Bargains (132 Maple Ave. E.; 703-255-6119) and Beekman Place (126 Maple Ave. E.; 703-938-8646). With some patience, you’re sure to turn up fun finds at both of these vintage shops—both are like attics full of furniture, porcelain, fine china, rugs, and glassware.

Things to Do in Vienna and McLean

The American Girl store in Tysons has a doll hair salon and private party rooms. Photograph courtesy of American Girl.
The American Girl store in Tysons has a doll hair salon and private party rooms. Photograph courtesy of American Girl.

American Girl doll store (Tysons Corner Center; 877-247-5223). Maybe Julie needs a new hairstyle or ear piercing. Book a spa session at this wonderland of all things American Doll. After pampering, dolls and their humans can shop for furnishings, clothes, and accessories or head to the cafe to nibble on mac-and-cheese bites and mini burgers or decorate cupcakes.

Barstons Child’s Play (1382 Chain Bridge Rd., McLean; 703-448-3444). If it’s an indoors kind of day, check out Barstons. At this location of the local mini-chain, shelves are packed with toys, games, and crafts from lesser-known brands such as Yookidoo, which is harder to find at big-box stores, as well as popular makes including Lego. You’ll also find a large selection of Breyer horse toys, thanks to McLean’s abundance of horse enthusiasts.

Claude Moore Colonial Farm (6310 Georgetown Pike, McLean; 703-442-7557). A few minutes down Georgetown Pike is the Claude Moore Colonial Farm, where costumed performers do real farm work and are ready to answer questions and give hands-on demonstrations. Visitors can learn 18th-century games and such activities as candle-making. The farm is open Wednesday through Sunday until December 13, when the staff marks the end of the season with a traditional “English harvest” celebration featuring singing, dancing, hot cider, and stories by the fire. Admission is $3 for adults, $2 for ages 3 to 12 (under age 3 free).

Clemyjontri Park (6317 Georgetown Pike, McLean; 703-388-2807). If the weather allows for outdoor time, you won’t find a better place to spend it than this colorful two-acre playground. It has a maze, swings, jungle gyms, and a footrace track, and the whole place is wheelchair-accessible.

Freeman Store and Museum (131 Church St., NE, Vienna; 703-938-5187). Learn local history while picking up small gifts at this shop/museum, a Civil War building dating to 1859. The upstairs museum has rotating exhibits; downstairs is a shop stocked with knickknacks, kids’ books, toys, and candy. Some products are made by Vienna artisans. On December 6 and 13, even Santa makes a visit.

Jammin Java (227 Maple Ave. E.; 703-255-1566). Best known as an evening hangout, the cafe opens in the morning on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday as well as some Sundays for a children’s concert series. From 10:30 to 11:15, gather in front of the stage for family-friendly acts such as the Great Zucchini, a popular magician, and the musical trio Rocknoceros. Lunch specials are served for kids during shows, and parents can order from the regular menu. General admission is $5 to $10.

Even McLean’s Strip Malls Aren’t Safe From Redevelopment




Crime & Safety

Below, the number of crimes (violent, nonviolent and property) reported in 2017.


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