Leesburg has changed in so many great ways since I moved here more than 25 years ago. During that time, the food scene has literally exploded – you don’t have to go far for an extraordinary dining experience. From simple barbeque to creative Michelin-inspired cuisine, the choices right here in Leesburg are endless. And even more creative new restaurants are opening in Leesburg every month.

With so many awesome options, whittling my favorites down to a list of 10 was a serious challenge! Here’s my list of our favorite tried and true, Leesburg VA Restaurants – counting from 10 to 1:

Historic Downtown Leesburg
Leesburg VA downtown at sunset

10. Solo Pizza

      700 Fieldstone Drive, #124 | (571) 510-3909

The owner of Solo Pizza, Said Mehenni, is literally one of the most popular personalities in Leesburg. I’ve known Said over 20 years since his days at Giovanni’s, when he would give every kid that came in a hand-rolled dough ball to keep them entertained at the table. One of the nicest and funniest guys you’ll ever meet, Said welcomes regulars and new customers alike with a huge smile and 5-star customer service. Known as the “Pizzeria for the People,” Solo Pizza serves delicious New York and Sicilian style pizzas along with calzones and hot and cold subs. The menu also features an array of homemade pasta dishes with something for every taste. My personal Solo favorite is the Margherita Pizza. Also be sure to try one of Solo’s amazing cheesesteaks – best cheesesteaks this side of Philly! Solo Pizza comes in at #10 on my Top Leesburg VA Restaurants list.

9. Thai Pan

    2 Harrison St SE |  (703) 777-9487

The best Thai food in Loudoun County is hidden in plain sight – Thai Pan is tucked away next to a gas station between Loudoun and Harrison Streets. Also known as “Gas Station Thai,” this

spot is a true gem on the Leesburg dining scene. When you’re in the mood for authentic Thai food for lunch or dinner, Thai Pan should be on your speed dial. You can also order online for quick pickup – choosing from a huge menu of soups, curries, noodles, fried rice, seafood and vegetarian dishes. We order from Thai Pan on a regular basis and you can’t go wrong with anything on the menu. My personal choice is the Green Curry with Chicken. Thai Pan is my #9 choice for Top Leesburg VA Restaurants.

8. Ford’s Fish Shack

    19308 Promenade Drive | (571) 333-1301

Located in Landsdowne Town Center, Ford’s Fish Shack has established itself as THE place for fresh, New England style seafood. Dining at Ford’s brings back memories of salt-air beach vacations on the Cape – all that’s missing is water and those pesky seagulls. Chef Tony Stafford sources the freshest fish, lobster, oysters and clams from fishmongers all of over the country, offering off-the-hook seafood of the highest quality in his home style dishes. My grandmother had a house in Cape Cod and the yummy clams at Ford’s always take me back to my childhood summers at the shore. Ford’s fans also highly recommend the “lobstah” roll, served 2 ways. Connecticut style is served warm with melted butter for dipping while the Traditional lobster roll is chilled and mixed with a mayo-based dressing. In addition to melt in your mouth seafood, Ford’s also offers an extensive beer and cocktail list and is a great place for weekend brunch! Ford’s Fish Shack comes in at #8 on my favorite Leesburg VA Restaurants.

7. Fireworks

    201 Harrison St SE, Leesburg | (703) 779-8400

Market Station is the home of Fireworks – my favorite place for wood-fired pizza and craft beers. Take a seat at one of the many tables on the large wrap around patio (dog-friendly and heated in winter) and try one of their signature pizzas piping hot from the wood-fueled oven. Create your own pizza or check out one of their many signature offerings loved by locals including: Smokey Blue , The Barcelona, Firecracker or Black Sheep. Also be sure to order one of their many salads, filled with fresh greens and other ingredients sourced from Loudoun County farms. Firework’s wine and beer menu is huge, so you’ll always find the perfect vino or beer to accompany the pizza. Save room for dessert too – one of our favorites is the individual pan chocolate chip cookie topped with vanilla ice cream. Fireworks Pizza is my #7 choice for Best Leesburg VA Restaurants.

6.  MELT Gourmet Burgers

      525 E. Market Street | (703) 443-2105

My number 8 pick, MELT Gourmet Burgers, has won numerous honors for their incredible food including Best of Loudoun (2012-2019), Best Burger in Virginia, Zagat 2016, and more! Owners Steve & Debbie Hancotte start every burger with house made buns and 100% natural, freshly ground meat. The menu includes every kind of burger under the sun, from Crab Burgers to Bison Burgers. Their visionary takes on the basic hamburger range from the Fire-Roasted Green Chile Cheeseburger to my top pick, the “Diner Blue Plate Special” – a beef burger topped with smoked bacon, homemade pimento cheese, lettuce, tomato, a fried egg and finished with
MELT’s special house sauce. Ah-mazing! Be sure to order a side of their thin, crispy fries or onion rings touched with sea salt and balsamic reduction. If you have room after your meal, try one of their homemade shakes, malts or floats. If you’re dining in, you’ll be surrounded by photos of adorable animals up for adoption. In addition to making the best burgers in the state, Steve and Debbie have raised more than $100,000 for the Loudoun County Animal Shelter & Other Great Animal Rescue Organizations since opening in 2012! Melt is the #6 pick on our list of Best Leesburg VA Restaurants.

5. Roots 657

    42301 Spinks Ferry Rd. | (703) 779-9657

Chef Rich Rosendale, one of only 70 Certified Master Chefs nationwide, heads up our number 5 spot: Roots 657. Located a short drive from downtown Leesburg on Route 15, Roots is your ultimate destination for house-smoked meats, burgers, fresh baked goods, and homemade meals created using the best local produce and ingredients from Loudoun farms. The in-house café offers incredible sandwiches stuffed with fresh-off-the-bone smoked brisket, pulled pork, and smoked turkey. Add a side of cole slaw and fresh cut fries for a complete lunch or dinner. Just in time for winter, pick up a to-go quart of one their hearty soups including Turkey Chili, Maryland Crab or San Marzano Tomato. Don’t feel like cooking for the holidays? Order one of Roots 657’s holiday dinners or catering to go. You can’t go wrong with anything on their menu! Roots notches #5 on our list of favorites Leesburg VA Restaurants.

4. Echelon Wine Bar

    32 S. King Street | 703-829-9482

For a New York City aura right in the heart of historic Leesburg, plan a date night at the beautiful Echelon Wine Bar. Owners Todd and Aimee Henkle, also the owners of The Vineyards and Winery at Lost Creek, have created a stunning modern interior for this hip enclave, rivalling any wine bar you’d find in a global metropolitan city. Echelon Wine Bar houses more than 100 bottles of wine and offers more than 30 wines by the glass from a Spanish sparkling Cava to a rich, red Valpolicella hailing from Italy. The true Echelon experience comes in pairing their unique wines with farm-to-table tapas styles small plates. Of course, no wine tasting is complete without one of their custom charcuterie boards. Their other imaginative small plates include lobster risotto, roasted brussels sprouts, seared ahi tuna, and my personal faves, the blackened swordfish and lamb T-bone. Echelon Wine Bar is our #4 choice for Favorite Leesburg VA Restaurants.

3. The Wine Kitchen

     7 S. King Street |  (703) 777-9463

Coming in at number 3, The Wine Kitchen highlights the incredible talent of Chef Tim Rowley. Located in a historic building with warm and cozy surrounds, this popular spot focuses on artful bistro style food and great wine. Enjoy one of more than 40 wines by the glass or try a flight, complete with a funny written anecdote describing each wine in the flight. The Wine Kitchen is a perfect in-town choice for a relaxed date night or a small group gathering. Chef Tim has recently launched Paulie’s Italian offering hearty homemade pasta dishes and other Italian delicacies to-go for an authentic at home feast – complete with wine of course! The Wine Kitchen is #3 on our list of favorite Leesburg VA Restaurants.

2. The Conche

    1605 Village Market Blvd SE, #J108

Celebrity chef and Food Network alum, Santosh Tiptur, is at the helm of The Conche – a dream come true for chocolate lovers! After serving as head pastry chef at Coco Sala in DC., Santosh realized his dream when he opened his own restaurant in the Villages of Leesburg. We are so lucky that he decided to make Leesburg his home and open one of the most creative concepts in all of Virginia right here in our own backyard. From the glass-encased chocolate lab to custom crafted cocktails, a night at The Conche is an experience like no other! A master of gastronomy, Santosh offers beautifully plated chocolate-inspired cuisine ranging from cocoa nib crusted scallops to cocoa-rubbed New York Strip. And we don’t have to tell you to save room for the highlight of any evening at The Conche: dessert!!! They’re all so amazing it’s hard to choose, but I usually go with the Magari with Madagascar Vanilla and Chocolate Mousse. Still can’t decide? Take home one of their scrumptious pastries or cakes and be sure to stop by the Chocolate Boutique on your way out for holiday gifting.  This was a really hard pick for us. We could easily have ranked The Conche as our number one pick. But for now and for reasons we will explain further in this article, it is our #2 pick for our Favorite Leesburg VA Restaurants.

After writing and talking about all the incredible restaurants here in Leesburg, it was definitely not easy to pick my favorite among all these options but here goes….my pick for #1 restaurant in Leesburg goes to:

Leesburg Public House

962 Edwards Ferry Rd NE | (703) 777-6333

Leesburg Public House is my number one choice for several reasons. While many of the above-mentioned spots are ideal for special occasions or date night, the Public House is my neighborhood version of Cheers – a warm family-friendly vibe combined with exceptional food and a stellar cocktail and beer selection. My family can be found at Public House at least one day a week and sometimes two, if we don’t feel like cooking.

The owners, Chef Mark Marrocco and Kim Ross, offer a creative menu that focuses on comfort food at its best. My kids love the LPH cheeseburger – juicy beef smothered with cheese and topped with pickles. The menu also features delicious pastas, salads, and mouth-watering fish, chicken and beef entrees. One of our favorite sections of the LPH menu is the starters! For fun, you have to try the Bacon Popcorn – yes, that’s a thing! Then split an order of Crispy Thai Cauliflower or Smoked Chicken Wings blackened on the grill. Best wings ever…

For a main course, I highly recommend the Adriatic Sea Brodetto – a seafood stew made with sauteed grouper, shrimp, mussel & calamari herb tomato broth with fresh basil, saffron aioli and a side of toasted rustic Italian bread. Drawing from his Italian heritage, Chef Mark also makes an amazing Ale-Braised Pork Shank in the “Osso Buco” style. Served with roasted garlic whipped potatoes and root vegetables, the meat is so tender it literally falls off the bone.

LPH also has some of the friendliest and most knowledgeable servers around – always ready to make a great recommendation or help you celebrate a special birthday.  The service, the setting, the always on the mark menu at a great value – they all come together to put Leesburg Public House at my top spot of Leesburg restaurants.

While we’re all currently navigating our “new normal” for now, the restaurants on this list have all shifted to continue to safely serve their customers from online ordering to curbside pickup to family meal deals. I hope you’ll help me support these extraordinary community restaurants through the holidays and beyond by taking advantage of their dine-in, catering, takeout and gift card options.