Annandale is a small city and suburb of Washington, D.C. in Fairfax County, Northern Virginia.
The main reason to visit Annandale are its Asian dining options, almost all of which are located either on Little River Tpk, or just a few blocks off of it near its intersection with Annandale Rd and Columbia Pike.
From either the Beltway or 396, take the Little River Tpk exit.
Buses 29C,E,G,H,X operate service to Little River Tpk from the Pentagon metro station. The journey takes 30 minutes. For more information on riding the Metrobus, see Washington DC#Get_In
This neighborhood is hard to reach, but some of the best Korean food outside the motherland is served up in Koreatown's many restaurants. It's also a late late night hotspot, with Korean BBQ served 'round the clock every day.
Chinese is the other reason people make the long trek, with A&J being particularly popular even with D.C. residents for dim sum.
- A&J Restaurant, 4316 Markham St, ☎ +1 703 813-8181. M-F 11:30AM-9PM, Sa-Su 10AM-9PM. You have to travel far and long to find good dim sum in the D.C. area, but you've found it once you get to this Chinese restaurant. It's small, a little dingy, but it has precisely the right dim sum to cure a good bout of expat homesickness, or simply to delight the tastebuds of a serious foodie. $4-10/meal. edit
- Honey Pig Gooldaegee, 7220 Columbia Pike, ☎ +1 703 256-5229, . 24 hours daily. Is there better Korean BBQ in the Western Hemisphere? That's debatable, but what not is that this places knows how to prepare meat. Sirloin beef, sauce duck, pork belly of several varieties—the list goes on. Meat is the showstopper here, but if that's not your thing, you'll find excellent vegetarian entrees (although be forewarned that most are fiery!). It's not a relaxing place late at night, though, with blaring Korean hip hop, and plenty of young Korean men filling the big room with tobacco smoke. $10-30. edit
- Oegadgip (pronounced way-gahd-jeep), 7331 Little River Trpk, ☎ +1 703 941-3400, . M-Sa 10:30AM-2AM, Su 11AM-midnight. It's hard to go wrong here, if you can find the place. It's poorly signed and hidden behind some Salvadoran carnicería in what looks like a bland office building across a parking lot. But the food is incredible, and as a plus, it's one of the most comfy spaces in Annandale. The cheapest option is to bring friends and do the all-you-can-eat barbecue, where enormous quantities of garlicy bulgogi and kalbi are grilled on your table, for you to then dip in hot sauce, and generally pig out. The a la carte menu is more expensive, but even more rewarding. A local favorite (among the Koreans, anyway) is the spicy skate stew. $17-35; all-you-can-eat barbecue: $17/person. edit
- Yechon, 4121 Hummer Rd, ☎ +1 703 914-4646, . 24 hours daily. Yechon is the Annandale restaurant. It's big and always bustling. Other restaurants here will beat it on specific dishes, but this is the gold standard, where just about everything is good, and where non-Koreans will find the service particularly accessible. In addition to its great a la carte and all-you-can-eat menus, it's worth noting that Yechon rises above the pack with its banchan—some ten–fifteen small, free (but as in all Annandale restaurants, still all-you-can-eat) appetizers with your meal. $10-30. edit
Korean Fried Chicken
And then there's KFC! No, not that KFC—we're talking the original, Korean Fried Chicken! Both of the below are well-known chains from Korea. KFC is deep fried, somewhat crispier/caramelized than American fried chicken, and usually coated with sticky honey before frying. Because of the honey, it is eaten with chopsticks, which might be tough for inexperienced baeg-in.
- BonChon Chicken, 6653 Little River Tpke, ☎ +1 703 750-1424, . M 4PM-midnight, Tu-Sa noon-midnight, Su noon-10PM. Big, busy, noisy, modern, and popular with the teen and early 20s crowd. The gold standard in proper KFC. Full bar. $9-20. edit
- Cheogajip Chicken, 4300 Evergreen Ln, ☎ +1 703 941-1506. 11AM-11PM daily. Possibly the hardest restaurant to find in Northern Virginia (but worth the hunt), is Cheogajip (meaning "love letter" in Korean). It's off a residential side street in a parking lot, inside the bottom of a tiny Korean Baptist university, which is disguised as a small office building, surrounded by condominiums! Make sure you have good directions. It's a tiny, tiny hole-in-the wall, but the service is really lovely, and the chicken is spectacular—especially the hot & spicy. The other half of the menu is pizza, but, ah, unless you're some boring little kid, you should be ordering chicken. No alcohol. $7-12. edit
There are no hotels within Annandale proper. If you are staying in the area, stay just north by Beltway Exit 50 (US-50, Arlington Blvd), where you'll find Marriott, Residence Inn, and Homestead Studio Suites.
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