New empanadas restaurant opens at Tysons Galleria

A popular empanadas food truck has launched a dining space in Tysons Galleria.

Empanadas De Mendoza owners Gabi and Tyler Steelman opened up the new brick-and-mortar venue on the third floor of the mall on Thursday (Dec. 16). The restaurant offers meat and vegetarian options for the handheld pastries with light, flaky crusts.

The move brings the couple full circle to when they started selling their empanadas out of a food truck to Tysons offices over five years ago, eventually expanding their operations throughout Northern Virginia.

The made-to-order empanadas (from the Spanish word empanar, meaning “to bread”) feature a variety of fillings: traditional and spicy beef, honey barbecue pork, pineapple chicken, spinach ricotta, and three cheese. Churros and sides are available, along with pastry desserts known as alfajores, featuring coconut shavings.

Gabi Steelman said Saturday (Dec. 18) that they’ve had customers trickling in, many of them regulars who follow the business’ social media channels, and an electronic menu said January dates are coming soon.

Gabi Steelman started the business in 2013 at a local farmers market in Fairfax out of a desire to share her culture and how much empanadas mean family, friends, and fun in her hometown of Mendoza, Argentina.

She soon married Tyler Steelman, and the couple quit their full-time jobs to pursue Empanadas De Mendoza.

In 2020, the couple got a storefront with a production kitchen in Lorton, where they also host parties, and a second food truck.

The new store’s special hours for the rest of this month are today (Dec. 23) and next Tuesday through Thursday (Dec. 28-30) from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.

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