The complete guide to Reston Town Center

Reston Town Center (or RTC) is a cute little block of what could pass as a city if you forgot for a second that you were smack dab in the middle of suburbia. BUT, it's where I've called home for the past couple of years. And I can guess that you've probs never heard of Reston Town Center until NOW.

Why now? Because RTC started to charge for all parking + people understandably flipped their shit like I've never seen before. Just google "Reston Parking" to see all the news surrounding this shit show. 


Whether you're a regular reader of Honestly, Though, or if you're just visiting for the first time, WELCOME. And I hope this guide helps you fall in love with my little slice of local! 


FOOD

Community Canteen // Go here to breakfast on-the-go. It's a super popular spot for all of the working peeps during the week + their "build-your-own" oatmeal is unbeatable. Look for their bakery section — made EVERY morning. If you're an eggs person, their make your own omelette is v popular. 

Ted's Bulletin // Suuuuuuch a staple for Washingtonians. Think of it as a 1920s take on dining with America classics, homemade pop tarts + alcoholic milkshakes. I order avocado toast + hashbrowns + fruit. Maxim loves the Walk of Shame Burrito + Jon's Omelette. And almond milk lattes because. duh. 

BARTACO // I mean, BarTaco is literally my life. Look to them for a great outdoor area, bite-sized tacos, amazing guac + secret tacos. Their newly designed menu is perfect for newbies to the taco trend + features lots of options for kids. I go here, like, 2-3 times a week because I'm a monster. 

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BUSARA THAI // This is the "other" thai place in town. It's nestled on the corner of the town center, across from Vapiano's and next to LouLou boutique. There's never a wait, but it's also never empty. Lunchtime is overrun with business suits + negotiations over pad thai. Dinner brings in more families + couples. Order the tofu triangles + crispy spring rolls as apps, get drunk with the Mai Thai + dig into the pad thai or drunken noodles. Go easy on the spice try, though, because they pack in the heat. 

OBI SUSHI {sooooo underrated} // All-you-can-eat sushi buffet on the weekends, easy, fast, service + servers that will remember you by name AND order. They have a huge sake menu that has bottles I can only find there. If you go in for lunch, opt for their special rolls or the bento box. 

SWEETGREEN // If you live near one, you already know. This place started the trend of make-your-own salads from small, local farms + produce. Forever a favorite in my heart. 

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RED VELVET CUPCAKERY // Think of them as Georgetown Cupcakes on crack. 10x better, cheaper + just all around amazing. You can also get a half dozen for $20. They always have between 2-6 vegan + gluten-free flavor options + pair super well with San Peligrino. OH AND BTW, they have an adorable mini community library where you can bring, leave, borrow books. 

BIG BOWL // Uhm, I AGGRESSIVELY stay with the thai green curry or the tofu pad thai with no egg. But the lettuce wraps are amazing too. Their Sangria is GREAT + they have half-off bottles of wine on certain week nights. Pro tip: Sit outside in the summer. Their outdoor seating beats their indoor setting 500 to 1. **BUT, their service has gone down A LOT recently, and I now opt for Busara over Big Bowl. 

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CYLDE'S // A staple in the area. Go for a great manhattan, adorable outdoor brunch with a perfect view of the RTC bustle and classics like burgers + pasta.

RESTON WINE BAR // Your typical wine tasting establishment with a focus on Virginia wines + yummy bites . There's always events going on, and I feel like I discover a new favorite wine every time I go in. Obviously skip the menu and opt for the "card," allowing you to try sips of everything. Budget $20-30 per person for a serious tasting. 

IL FORNAIO // An upscale Italian place that almost always needs a reservation. For the most bang for your buck, head there during happy hour, where you can snag cocktails + full-size pizzas both for $6. 

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SHOPPING

POTOMAC RIVER RUNNING // They're an amazing store for all of your running needs. They're a super location establishment and host events for kid runners, high school athletes + serious marathoners. Whether you're looking for a running buddy or a new pair of shoes, you HAVE to hit them up. 

MADEWELL // Think California cool mixed with some boho chic. Their jeans are my life. 

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SOUTH MOON UNDER // A local boutique shop that supplies trendy fashions. They used to have a men's shop, but it's been since shutdown. 

ATHLETA // Athletic wear to take you from yoga to running to errands to wine tasting. 

MAYFLOWER SHOP // For literally every flower you could ever need. Their succulent selection is incredible. 

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Other noteables: 

- William + Sonoma 

- HUGE Victoria's Secret 

- Francesca's 

- White House Black Market 

- Banana Republic + J.Crew

- Paper Source

- Anthropologie

 

 

 

COMING SOON

- J.Mclaughlin

- Scout & Molly's Boutique // A small, local boutique with a few locations across the DMV. Look for pricier fashions that would impress women of all ages.   

- Cava Grill // YES. I know. I've been waiting forever too. So right across the street from the town center, Cava Grill is setting up shop. If you live in DC, you KNOW that this place is super popular. Look for mediterranean fast casual. 

HOW TO AVOID PAID PARKING

I live in the town center, so I obviously pay for underground parking as a part of my rent. BUT, I totally get how awful it is to pay for parking when it's always been free. And obviously I'm here with the hacks on how to avoid it: 

  • Parking across the street at The Container Store + Best Buy. It takes longer for me to walk to Ted's than it would take you to walk back over to RTC. Seriously. 
  • Buy food/drinks/stuff from any of the stores that validate parking. Just be careful, because restaurants will only validate for CERTAIN garages. Here's the list.