Afghan Bistro, experience casual dining with a modern flair.
Located in the ALBAN SHOPPING CENTER.
8081-D Alban Road
Springfield, VA 22150
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ROSE & RIESLING
Firesteed Pinot Noir Rose (Willamette Valley, Oregon) 49
Minuty Rose (Provence, France) 58
Trimbach Riesling (Alsace, France) 72
Bauer Eiswein (Wagram, Austria) 91
Cockburns Special Reserve Port (Porto, Portugal) 58
My friend read my Yelp reviews recently and pointed out how I hadn't given a restaurant 5 stars in over 3 years. Well, I'm finally breaking that streak and giving Afghan Bistro the 5 stars it deserves!
Believe me, I can be pretty harsh and unforgiving when I have an unpleasant experience at a restaurant. But everything from the food to the decor to the customer service was perfect, I seriously have zero complaints. I came here on a Thursday night with a couple of friends - I got the Qabuli Palou, and my friends got the Chicken Kabob Special (has the carrots and raisins on the rice) and the Lamb Chops Special. All of us could not stop talking about how delicious our food was.
I love the vibe of the place too. Very modern but cozy, good music, really nice decor. The customer service was amazing too - we were able to meet Omar and his family, and they were so very attentive and accommodating to us. My water was also never empty - it's like they had some sort of ESP where they could sense when your water was getting low and would immediately refill it.
I can't wait to come back here. I'm seriously thinking about the food right now as I write this. Must check it out!!
- Ange M. (Lorton,VA)
I had their Veal dish and it was amazing...I am a picky eater and has tasty food....definitely worth trying...I am coming back again. Family owned and the customer service is great....friendly and warm...
This place will do great!!
-David K. (Springfield,VA)
My husband and I were in the area after a meeting and decided to check this place out for lunch and I'm so glad we did!
As an afghan, I appreciated the authenticity of the food, the decor, and the overall vibe of this place. The food was beyond amazing and so delish!! We ordered their boolaunees for appetizers and it did not disappoint. I ordered their kufta kabob special w risotto (shula) and loved every bite. My husband being a meat lover ordered their lamb chops w qabuli pauloa and really enjoyed his dish as well. My hubby is very picky about lamb meat but def liked the lamb chops here. The naan, chatni (dipping sauces) everything was honestly on point. Ohh and we also had a side of pumpkin (kadu) n it was the best I've ever had. They do afghan food right and were afghan we give this place two thumbs up!
The ambiance inside is nice as well. You feel like you're at a high end uppity restaurant but w out the pretentious attitude or jacked up prices. The owner is really nice and the service you get here is second to none. We will def be going back!
-Sofia C. (Woodbridge,VA)
The owner was so kind and generous. You can tell that he genuinely wants this place to succeed and his food to be eaten. And I'll tell you what, I'm grateful that he does because it was wonderful! The place has such a great vibe and is super clean too. Perfectly prepared food with amazing flavors.
I was actually just nearby for an event and exploring Yelp for lunch when I saw this place's solid reviews and decided to give it a try. I don't even live nearby but I WILL be back to eat again. You must try. No, i am in no way affiliated. I just really enjoy the good stuff :D
-Sean V. (Orlando,FL)
As an Afghan I'm critical of any place that bares our namesake but this place delivers! The food is delicious. Everything is extremely authentic; flavors are amazing and dishes well cooked.
Service: The service was excellent. Everything was extremely smooth and efficient. Omar (owner) took great care of us and was extremely attentive.
Spicy dumpling appetizer:
The dumplings were perfectly steamed with beef and onion in the center, topped with a sautéed vegetable medley and yogurt mint sauce drizzled on top. One of my favorite Afghan dishes and they made it perfectly!
By far the best sholah (savory rice dish with vegetables and meat) I have ever had outside of my grandmothers kitchen. Seriously someone must be making love to that stuff while it's marinating cause all I taste is love when I eat it. It had an amazingly rich and complex flavor- would definitely comeback just for this dish!
Ok now, this is probably the most popular entree at any Afghan place, the kabobs were perfectly cooked and the white rice was seriously good. Man that rice was good. Their tender juicy chicken with a slight char on the outside was delicious when dipped in their avocado chutney.
Their modern yet comfortable decor definitely provides a great atmosphere to have some chai and a slice of baklava after a delightful meal.
By the end of this meal I wanted to give the owners mom (who's cooking these dishes from scratch) a giant hug. I would definitely comeback soon and recommend to any of my friends/family.
Like the Afghans say "Nosh-e-jan"
-Rasool S. (Springfield,VA)
Long story short, this place is really good! The owner is super friendly and knowledgable. It's only been open for a few days but I can tell once people know about this place they're gonna have to hire more staff!! Haha!
No but really, the kabobs are delicious and their green sauce! Very well priced for a halal jointWill definitely be coming back and bringing people with me!
-Fabio R. (Thousand Island Park, NY)
While traveling to the DC area on business, I was looking for a place to eat that was outside the big box chains. After looking on Yelp, I came across the Afghan Bistro - it was a hot new location highly recommended, and for good reason.
I had the spicy beef dumpling appetizer and the chicken and beef kabob entrée - both were presented very well and tasted just as good!
The staff was extremely accommodating and helpful, the restaurant decor was very nice, the facility was squeaky clean, and the food was great - you can't go wrong with this place!
-Andrew V. (Springfield,VA)
Found this place while attending a week long conference nearby. I'm on day two of my conference and have been here twice already! The flavors and quality of the food is top notch! Service was also excellent and the owner made sure that everything was perfect.
-Chad N. (Charleston,SC)
It's difficult to write a review when all the superlatives and best adjectives have been used in previous reviews.
Wow! Found it by accident on yelp and decided to give it a try. By far THE best prepared and most authentic Afghan food we've had in the states.
I stopped in for takeout and met Omar. Super nice guy, honest and sincere in his desire to make it about more than just the food and as much about the hospitality and culture of the Afghan people.
He brought me a bowl of incredible Lentil soup while I waited. One bite and I knew I would never be forgiven if I didn't take some home.
My wife had one bite at home and said "Oh my, this is the best I've ever had, we're going back on Wednesday!"
Suffice it to say that we have a new go to Afghan restaurant.
We wish the owner and his family much success and will do our small part to help!
This was my first time here. We had to wait a while for the food, that was the only negative thing. It was definitely worth the wait. The food had amazing flavor, was a great portion and perfectly filling. The menu has a lot of options and the staff was very friendly.
-Max M. (Alexandria,VA)
Exceptional. We had the spicy beef mantu for an appetizer. I had the lamb chops and my wife had the beef shank. All were cooked and seasoned perfectly. I thought it was a little cheesy saying the food was made with love on the door, but it was readily apparent quickly after our first bite. It is great to see the love for this food expressed through the food itself. To finish we had some green tea with cardamom and it was the perfect end and we were full, but had to take some baklava home for dessert later. Service was great and it was good to talk to the staff about the ingredients of the meal, which I was not very familiar with. My only nitpick is that I wish this place was closer to home.
-Tony P, (Frederick,MD)
I stopped in here for lunch today and the food was great! I had their chicken and beef lunch special with their butternut squash as a side. I don't think I've ever had anything so tasty.
Can't wait to go back and try more.
-Eva H. (Alexandria,VA)
This food is "smack you on the back of your head" good....I've tried my fair share of Persian/afghan food and this has to be right at the top of my list. Here is what I ordered (carry out)
Braised beef and risotto - amazing quality and great portion. Meat was super 'fall off the fork' tender
Butter nut squash dish - this might be quite simply the best butter nut squash dish I've ever had
Their mug lentil soup is also a great option for vegetarians.
I love how they put foil under your food for the carry out order, big difference when your food is sitting on foil and not just the container.
Overall, this place has only been open for several weeks but I already know it's going to be a hit for a LONG time...home made type quality food, the owner (Omar) is all about the customer experience. And the prices are very reasonable given the quality and portion sizes.
As Arnold used to say, I'll be back!
-Rakesh M, (Silver Spring,MD)
Typically new establishments need a few weeks or months to tweak their dishes, not this one. Service was prompt and flavor a of the food was spot on. Definitely worth the drive from D.C. To experience Afghan food. I posted a few pics. The spicy beef dumplings were OUTSTANDING!
-Marcus W. (Washington,D.C.)
I have been to Afghanistan 3 times and this is better than anything I had over there. You can tell that the owners really want you to enjoy the meal for your own pleasure more than for their profit. My colleague ordered the chops and the owner came out and explained that he uses the rib for the chop as opposed to the shoulder because it is a much better cut. We got free samples of the beef kabob with out even asking. The food is AMAZING and any plate you get will fill you up. I have lived and worked in Kingstown for 4 years and this is the best restraint in the area, BY FAR!!!
-Richard F. (Franconia,VA)
The food was hot and delicious. The service was nothing less than fantastic. The atmosphere was awesome. Great restaurant run by great and conscientious people. If I could give it 10 stars I would ! Lou
-louis F. (Montross,VA)
I was looking for a place to eat lunch and "stumbled" upon this gem. My son-in-law and daughter had eaten there once and I wondered why they went so far to a restaurant (while I babysat). Now I understand! The food is so good, it makes you smile. I had the spicy beef dumplings appetizer, and the rack of lamb with qabuli (brown rice with raisins and carrots). It was so delicious. Service was excellent also. I bet it is awfully crowded on weekends. I will definitely visit again and again. Fortunately, my schedule is flexible, so I can get there during non-busy times. Don't question the reviews! Just get on over there and enjoy!
-Leila B. (Washington,D.C.)
I love Afghan food, so I was so excited to try this restaurant out after it came highly recommended from a good friend of mine. I've since been here a few times, and I am a huge fan! I came after DC's first 2016 snowstorm finished up and again on Valentine's Day.
I've had all of the vegetarian items, from appetizers to main entrees. The boulanee (turnovers) and aushak (dumplings) were tasty and good shareable apps. The avocado "chutney" is creamy and refreshing; I wish they sold it by the jarful! You could put it on everything. The other spicier chutney is also delicious and pairs well with every dish on the menu. So typically, the aushak is offered with a beef topping, but I don't eat beef. The service was impeccable - they suggested a vegetable topping instead, and it turned out really good! On one occasion, my group and I ordered one app of the aushak and then I got the hot mazza sampler as my meal. To avoid double-counting of the aushak, I was allowed to make a substitution for the pumpkin dumplings. The owner, Omar, gave me the idea and made it happen! It's really nice when people in the restaurant business actually use their heads.
All of the vegetarian entrees involve at least one of the following: pumpkin, potato, eggplant, various greens, and butternut squash. Everything is consistently cooked well no matter what you get. Pair a veggie with risotto for a heavy and filling entrée or with regular rice for a more manageable meal. Always add those chutneys! Plus, we got some pickles which added some great tanginess to the meal.
When I came on Valentine's Day, two of us got very lucky - Afghan Bistro is not usually open on Sundays and we simply called ahead without making a formal reservation. We were still taken in for dinner while others were turned away. This is when I tried the meat dishes, and they were awesome. First we were offered a special dinner menu of small plates with dessert - a great idea and perfect for one person. I ordered the chicken kabob but also got to try this special. I cleaned out my plate! The chicken was superb, and the portion was perfect. From the special, both the lamb and salmon were tender and wonderful. I didn't eat the beef, but it apparently was divine. The meats were cooked so well, just under "well done."
Dessert-wise, the cardamom ice cream is a pass - powdered cardamom is dusted on top of vanilla ice cream, so the flavor doesn't penetrate throughout. The rose ice cream is better and more satisfying. Drinks-wise, I've had two cocktails that were reminiscent of white Russians but infused with Afghan flavors (like rose/cardamom). So delicious and unique!
Bottom line. JUST GO. This is such an amazing dining experience for anyone, I can't get over it. The hospitality is truly fantastic. I highly recommend this restaurant!
-Natasha G. (Falls Church,VA)
Was on travel and decided to try something out of my comfort zone. This little jem is hard to find, but is totally worth it.
Had 3 different kabobs. The chicken and ground beef were nothing special, but the beef sirloin kabob knocked my socks off. The wait staff was attentive and very friendly. The owner came out to chat and asked me about my food. I finished up with a cardamom rosewater custard. OMG is that awesome.
You must go.
-David G. (Rising Sun,MD)
I came here with the fiancé for date night. Neither one of us had ever tried Afghan food before and we had no idea what to expect.
Let's just say that everything about this place is phenomenal. The staff is super attentive and friendly, the food is DElicious, and the ambiance is very cozy and romantic. The restaurant itself is pretty small, so I would either make a reservation or call ahead to see if there might be a wait.
The avocado chutney they serve with the complimentary bread is amazing--slightly spicy and super flavorful. We ordered two appetizers: the Mantu (spicy beef dumplings) and Quroti. For the entree, we both got the lamb chop and beef tenderloin combo. Both the lamb and beef were SO tender and juicy.
I seriously cannot wait to go back to try some of the other stuff on their menu!
-Lisa Y. (Fairfax,VA)
What a GEM!!! Afghan Bistro is a family-owned modern/casual Afghan restaurant nestled in Springfield. The menu offers daily lunch specials and dinner offerings, including items such as appetizers, soups, salads, kabobs, burgers, wraps, and even vegetarian options. The hubs and I came here for an early dinner, and we started off with: a Potato & Leek Turnover (the Boulanee, which is a fried dumpling filled with sauteed potatoes and leeks, served with a side of avocado chutney; these were not overly greasy, and light and crispy); one of their appetizer specials, the Quroti (a rendition of Afghan bread pudding, topped with minced beef and yogurt - this was SUPER DELICIOUS! Generous mounds of savory meat with a lovely soft bread underneath (reminded me of a garlicy/butter bread)); and, a Hot Mazza Assortment (a sampling of the spicy beef dumplings (the mantu; minced beef with carrot and peas qorma sauce on top), roasted butternut squash (the kadoo bouraanee, with a slight demi-glace), roasted eggplant puree (the barta - this was super delicate, savory, and oh-so-yummy!), and the leek dumplings (the aushak; steamed and filled with minced beef and lentil qorma)). Comlimentary bread is given, which is warm and slightly toasted. For the main entree, we shared one of the house specialties, the Beef Tenderloin Kabob with the Qabuli rice (chunks of tenderloin with a wonderful covering of spices, charbroiled, and served with a side of moist yummy Qabuli rice; there were also some stewed potatoes that came with). There were a variety of sauces/chutneys, but honestly, none of these were not needed as the food was just that flavorful and seasoned perfectly! I also liked that we received warm (hot hot hot) plates for the appetizers and for the entrees - it really keeps the food warm! For dessert, we tried the Cardamom Ice Cream (comes in a martini glass! Freshly-crushed cardamom topped a vanilla-flavored ice cream - the ice cream was very soft and fresh) and the Firni (an Afghan pudding infused with cardamom and rose water, topped with some finely-crushed pistachios; loved the flowery rose water; this will probably be even more delicious with the rice!). Everything was super tasty and delicious, as you can tell that they put a lot of heart into each of the dishes, as well as being small portioned (but allows you to sample more items) :D Service was super wonderful - cousins Wais and Taliha were both so welcoming, friendly, and super kind, and checked up on us frequently to make sure that everything was great! The restaurant itself is small, but intimate, and very cozy and chic - perfect for dates or a little family get-together! Definitely check this place out - I can't wait to go back and try out their Risotto with the Beef Shank, the Lamb Chops, the Rose Water ice cream, and the Sheer Birinj. Just a note - they have BYOB for small corkage fee on Mon-Thurs!
+Kadoo Bouraanee (butternut squash)
+Qabuli rice! :D
+Cardamom Ice Cream
+warm (hot) plates!
+ask for Wais and Taliha :D :D :D
+BYOB Mon-Thurs with a small corkage fee
+plenty of parking in shared lot!
-Hannah H. (Alexandria,VA)
I was in town for business, and looking for a good lunch place beyond the typical cafeteria-style sandwich shops in our office building. Quick Yelp search pulled up this little gem. Disclaimer: i've been to Afghanistan for work several times and although it's sadly not a safe place to visit, I fell in love with the fantastic food and warm & friendly people. Afghan Bistro checks all those boxes. The food is phenomenal. I had a lamb kebob special; everything from the rice to the meat and sides were cooked perfectly. The family members who run the restaurant are all attentive and friendly. I'm looking forward to another business trip to DC if only so I can come back to Afghan Bistro!
-Caesar G. (Calgary, Canada)
I had never had Afghan cuisine before coming here for lunch one day. The food is excellent, the staff is very friendly and attentive, and the lunch specials are priced very competitively for the quality of the food. I will definitely be coming back!
-Joe T. (Fredicksburg,VA)
I am not sure how I just noticed this restaurant. After seeing it from outside two times and noticing the cozy warm look of the place I decided to try to for a date night with my husband.
The extent of our experience with afghan food is limited to various kabobs and little else. This place blew us away. As it is only 5 minutes from home it will be a frequent destination for us!
The food was phenomenal. We got the messa platter which had 4 different items - I am terrible at remembering details but two were dumplings, one was butternut squash and one eggplant. Every tin I tasted just kept getting better. We split the tenderloin kabob which was excellent. The rice with carrots and raisins was delicious. I don't even like raisins and I loved it. Not to mention they offered twice to refill all sides and brought is extra warm fresh bread without is even asking!
The service and atmosphere were also so pleasant. This place is warm and inviting. The staff is a big family. Everyone helped out and at least 3 people routinely checked on us. While talking to the young lady she mentioned her mom and gramma were cooking and that dad was the operator.
Friday's and Saturdays feature live music. It added to the already relaxed and warm atmosphere. Such a great addition to this area!!!
-Amy F. (Springfield,VA)
I came to this places based on the reviews on Yelp and it did not disappoint! I ordered carry out around 6:00pm on a weekday and the wait was only 10 minutes! This was my first time having afghan food and will NOT be my last!
In my attempt to eat less meat I ordered the Kadoo Chalou, a vegetarian entree that consisted of stewed butternut squash, rice and a slice of bread (FYI, I did not miss the meat!). The butternut squash was seasoned so well it brought out flavors I've never experienced on butternut squash. The squash paired well with the rice and the sauces on the sides. The dinner portion was also very large and the staff seemed friendly, (although I wasn't there long).
This place place fully deserves all 5 stars and has for sure made my "Restaurants to go to in Springfield VA" list.
-Delissa C. (Baltimore,MD)
We are currently looking for new members to add to our growing team. We offer flexible hours, employee benefits, great pay with opportunity for quick growth. Contact us for more information (703) 337-4722 or (571) 278-1253 OR email us at firstname.lastname@example.org