50 Best Restaurants: Find your new favorite comfort food at Afghan Bistro

The Springfield restaurant ushered in a new era of Central Asian dining with well-spiced vegetables and savory meats.

afghan cuisine on white plate
Photo by Rey Lopez

By Stefanie Gans and Rina Rapuano

Afghan Bistro
Springfield | Afghan | $$

When Afghan Bistro opened three years ago it felt like a new chapter for Central Asian dining in the region. There’s always been great strip mall kabab houses, but this restaurant in Springfield found fame with composed plates and huge chunks of tender meats, like the Arcosian goat seasoned with garam masala, that seemingly dissolves into rice adorned with shredded carrots and raisins.

This post originally appeared in our November 2019 issue’s 50 Best Restaurants cover story. For more food reviews, subscribe to our weekly newsletter.

The vegetable dishes should get just as much attention: roasted eggplant that’s just a delight, savory, spicy, soulful. Whether tucked inside of a dumpling or snuggled up to a melange of other vegetables, fall-approved, orange-hued winter squash is just a hint sweet and can ramp up thanks to the quad of house sauces on the table (a favorite is the bright green avocado one with a hint of jalapeno).

Most everything is cooked long and slow, making this cozy, crowded spot a place to tuck into as the nights creep cooler. // 8081 Alban Rd D, Springfield, VA 22150

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