50 Best Restaurants: Eerkin’s Uyghur Cuisine combines ethnic dishes for flavorful creations

The restaurant’s cross between Chinese, Middle Eastern and Central Asian food is found in downtown Fairfax.

Photo by Rey Lopez

By Stefanie Gans and Rina Rapuano

Eerkin’s Uyghur Cuisine

Fairfax | Uyghur | $$

Maybe the predictions from 2017 that Uyghur food is the next big thing—when three local  restaurants opened in less than two years—didn’t come to fruition. Maybe we still need a pronunciation guide: WEE-gur. Maybe we still need help understanding this cross between Chinese, Middle Eastern and Central Asian food, a Silk Road-fueled journey of the Uyghur people. And, maybe we still need a nudge to try this food.

Photo by Rey Lopez

Head to Eerkin’s in downtown Fairfax, a small restaurant with the full range of Uyghur delights: kathlama naan, four golden triangles that are buttery, crispy and flaky, like a flattened croissant; lamb kabobs, the quintessential meat-on-a-stick with the spices so heavily applied you can taste the texture; and manta, dumplings that are all about a salty, savory sauce freshened with cilantro. The true joys are the various noodle dishes—be it the housemade laghman, thick and chewy, almost reminiscent of Japanese udon, or dapanchi, a giant plate with chicken and potatoes, plus silky, flat, jagged-cut noodles, more like a shaggy Italian tagliatelle—no maybe about it. // 4008 University Drive, Fairfax

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

Loading cart ...