There’s no reason to venture down to DC in search of a fabulous meal with all the incredible restaurant options Leesburg has to offer.

In fact, Leesburg and surrounding Loudoun County have become such a a hot destination for food and wine lovers, the Epicurience Festival (in conjunction with SAVUER magazine) has adopted LoCo as its permanent home. From five-star dining to down-home barbeque joints, Leesburg has options to satisfy every palate, with new exciting eateries being added to the restaurant landscape monthly. With so many young families living in the town, you’ll be hard-pressed to find one that’s not kid-friendly.

If you’re thinking about a move to Leesburg, here’s the list of my personal favorite Top 10 restaurants to try – be sure to bring your appetite!

  1. MELT Gourmet Cheeseburgers 

Bet you never thought a Top 10 restaurant list would start with a burger joint. In addition to being a repeat Best of Loudoun winner for four years running, Melt’s amazing burgers have earned the #7 spot on Trip Advisor’s Best Burgers in the Country! Conveniently located right off of Market Street, MELT serves up a variety of gourmet options to top off their award-winning beef burgers (I’m a big fan of their Bacon-Blue burger). Their fantastic fries come with a side of their delicious house sauce while balsamic drizzled onion rings are MELT fan favorites. Don’t forget to save room for one of their homemade shakes! The owners and staff at MELT are always friendly and know them names of all their regulars. They also donate some of their proceeds to help save homeless animals and the walls of MELT are adorned with life-sized photos of cats and dogs currently available for adoption at the Loudoun County Animal Shelter.

  1. Tuscarora Mill 

An iconic Leesburg gathering place, Tuscarora Mill (also known as Tuskies) prides itself on its locally-sourced menu. In business for more than 30 years, Executive Chef Patrick Dihn keeps patrons coming back with innovative farm-fresh cuisine and special beer and wine tasting dinners. The bar pays homage to its roots as a former grain mill with expansive wood ceilings and old mill machinery and serves as one of the town’s most popular watering holes. The bar and café menu offers a variety of shared plates, sandwiches and salads for a relaxing night on the town. The more formal dining area is a terrific place to celebrate a special occasion – from birthdays to bridal showers. The menu changes seasonally to offer the freshest meats and produce from local Loudoun County sources.

  1. Fireworks Pizza 

Like many Leesburg residents, my family are regulars at  Fireworks Pizza – on pretty much a weekly basis! Like its sister restaurant, Tuskie’s, Fireworks dishes up thin, wood-fired pizzas using the freshest ingredients from local farms. From cheese to pork to herbs, the chefs at Fireworks rely on seasonal ingredients for their one-of-a-kind gourmet pizzas. The Smoky Blue is a personal favorite and they feature a new specialty pizza each week. Fireworks also offers one of the most extensive beer and wine lists in Leesburg. Relax on their deck and try one of the many craft beers or house-made sangrias on a sunny summer day. Or enjoy one of their popular pizzas at home by taking advantage of their carryout service.

  1. Lightfoot Restaurant

Plan a visit to Lightfoot Restaurant in Downtown Leesburg and prepare to be “wowed.” The space is a reconstructed bank building dating back to the 1800’s and the interior is simply breathtaking. A former bank vault provides the backdrop for one of the restaurant’s popular bar areas. The creative cuisine presented by Chef Ingrid Gustavson reflects a Southern influence with favorites including Fried Green Tomatoes, Jumbo Lump Crab Cakes and Shrimp & Grits. Enter the historic building through the grand front entrance and be welcomed by the life-like faux butler, complete with silver tray and arm towel. This magnificent setting is perfect for celebrations of all sizes – from corporate parties to wedding receptions. Lightfoot is also well known among locals for its weekend brunch complete with bottomless Mimosas and exquisite desserts.

5. The Wine Kitchen 

The Wine Kitchen, located on King Street in historic downtown, has earned a well-deserved following of local foodies and wine connoisseurs. The quaint bar and eatery offers more than 40 wines and seasonal, locally-sourced small plates and dinners. Not sure what type of wine you’re in the mood for? The Wine Kitchen serves flights that allow you to sample different labels of a certain varietal. Each glass comes with a cleverly written description of the wine to easily note your favorites for future purchases. The weekly happy hour spotlights their most popular appetizers along with reduced price wines and beer. Sunday Brunch and Sunday Supper are also great opportunities to try the Wine Kitchen’s bistro menu in a relaxed atmosphere.

6.  Blue Ridge Grill 

Whether you’re visiting Blue Ridge Grill for happy hour, brunch, lunch or dinner, don’t be surprised to run into a neighbor or two. Tucked behind Route 15 Bypass and Edwards Ferry Road, Blue Ridge Grill offers classic American dining in a family-friendly environment. The bartenders and wait staff at this popular eatery are some of the friendliest folks this side of the Potomac. Some of the most notable menu items include the Brentwood Salad, Lobster Bisque and the Leesburger. Ask any local and they’ll tell you that Blue Ridge’s barbeque ribs literally fall off the bone and rival those found in barbeque hotspots like Memphis. Venturing out for Sunday Brunch? Blue Ridge Grill draws a regular crowd so you may want to call ahead to experience their renowned Crab Cake Eggs Benedict.

    7. Pike’s Fish House 

Love seafood? One visit to Pike’s Fish House and you’ll feel like you’re dining near the ocean – their seafood is that fresh. Fairly new to the Leesburg restaurant scene, Pike’s is located in the Lansdowne Town Center. Pike’s features a full bar with handcrafted cocktails and weekly happy hour favorites like spiced shrimp and half-price oysters. Indulge in salty oysters from bivalve capitals across the country including New England, Virginia and Washington State. If you’ve brought a    big appetite, share one of Pike’s impressive seafood towers comprised of the freshest oysters, shrimp and lobster. Seafood fans will have a hard time choosing from Pike’s broad menu of fresh grilled fish, shrimp & grits, handhelds and chowders. But never fear landlubbers, Pike’s has plenty of options for you as well!

8. South Street Under 

Located directly underneath Tuskie’s, South Street Under is a beloved breakfast and lunch spot among Leesburg residents. They are best known for their freshly baked ciabatta bread, which is used as the base for their homemade sandwiches and accompanies the soup of the day. Loaves of ciabatta are baked each morning and usually sell out by the end of the day. South Street Under is a cozy spot for a cup of cappuccino and one of the many breakfast treats on display. Because of its proximity to the Loudoun County Government Center, it’s a busy spot for employees who want to grab a quick breakfast sandwich or a cup of piping hot soup (with ciabatta bread of course). Grab a seat outside on the sunny patio for breakfast or lunch and don’t forget to save room for one of their savory desserts! 

     9. Leesburg Public House

The building that currently houses Leesburg Public House has seen many restaurants come and go but lucky for us, LPH looks like it’s here to stay. The creative American menu starts with innovative appetizers – one of the most popular being the bacon popcorn. Yes – bacon popcorn and it’s delicious! With an expansive bar and countless big screens, LPH draws a crowd during football season and Washington Capitals games. Aside from a full bar and flavorful apps, LPH features numerous salads, entrees, burgers and traditional bar fare. There’s also a special menu for the kids, who are always welcome.

10.  Jasmine Chinese Cuisine

Jasmine is definitely not your run-of-the-mill takeout. Their menu offerings are made fresh to order and many of the family recipes have been passed down through the years. Jasmine is conveniently located in Market Station with plenty of seats both inside and out for those wanting to enjoy a meal al fresco. In addition to classic Chinese dishes, Jasmine is known for its authentic sushi bar with the best sushi in Leesburg. Grab a seat at the bar and enjoy a glass of wine while watching the sushi chefs work their magic. Jasmine also offers delivery of all their menu items (including sushi) for those nights you just don’t feel like cooking.

Of course there are many, many more fantastic restaurants in Leesburg that warrant a try – these are just a few of my family’s favorites. With all of these and new ones popping up on the horizon, there’ll never be a shortage of dining options in Leesburg!