Tysons Corner, VA

The Town of Vienna is no stranger to landing on lists for prime spots to live.

For the second year in a row, Vienna nabbed the #1 spot for “The Best Places to Live in Virginia” list by HomeSnacks, which uses data from the Census, FBI, OpenStreetMaps and other sources to rank areas around the country.

HomeSnacks analyzed 62 places around the state and determined that Vienna’s low unemployment rate, “very stable household median incomes” and low crime rate made it stand out.

HomeSnacks used several criteria to evaluate its national “Best Places to Live” list this year, including high population density, low unemployment rates, median income adjusted for the cost of living, low housing vacancy rate, high expenditures per student, low student-teacher ratios and low crime.

So what do you think? Which of the following criteria do you think makes Vienna so desirable?

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Several public high schools in the Tysons-area, including Langley and McLean high schools, made the cut for U.S. News and World Report’s annual roundup of best high schools on the state and national levels.

“Schools are ranked on their performance on state-required tests, graduation and how well they prepare students for college,” according to U.S. News and World Report.

Fairfax County Public Schools dominated U.S. News and World Report’s “Best High Schools in Virginia,” and five out of the eight Fairfax County schools included two in McLean, two in Vienna and one in Falls Church:

  1. Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology: Alexandria
  2. Langley High School: McLean
  3. McLean High School: McLean
  4. Oakton High School: Vienna
  5. Open High School: Richmond
  6. Marshall High: Falls Church
  7. Madison High: Vienna
  8. West Springfield High School: Springfield
  9. W.T. Woodson High School: Fairfax
  10. Deep Run High School: Glen Allen

The Tysons-area high schools bumped up a few spots for this year’s list. Last year, Langley ranked #3, McLean was #5, Oakton was #6 and Marshall was #8.

Their rankings on the national level hit the top 200 and 300 categories:

  • Langley: #123
  • McLean: #127
  • Oakton: #173
  • Marshall: #251
  • Madison: #261

Image via Google Maps

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Monday Morning Notes

McLean Runner Places Third at Marathon — McLean native Anna Buser placed third among female competitors at the Rock n Roll D.C. marathon over the weekend, with a time of 3:15:43. [Getty Images, WTOP]

Temporary Amenities Help Improve Tysons — “Temporary urbanism, like holiday markets, beer gardens, and Park(ing) Day parklets, are an increasingly important part of our cities. But in many places, including Tysons, zoning regulations make them difficult to build.” [Greater Greater Washington]

Local Neighborhoods Among NoVa’s Hottest — The “hottest up-and-coming neighborhoods in Northern Virginia” include the Mosaic District, Pimmit Hills and Tysons, according to Northern Virginia Magazine. [Northern Virginia]

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Fresh off a ranking in Bloomberg’s wealthiest places in America list, McLean took the number 10 spot in a rundown of American cities ranked by money management.

The list by WalletHub, a personal finance website based in D.C., compared over 2,500 cities and ranked them based on 10 indicators of money management.

The ranking factors in things like credit card, mortgage, and other debts as compared to incomes.

The median credit score in McLean is particularly high at 761 with an average number of late payments at 0.75.

Vienna also made an appearance on the list at 37th overall. The town’s average credit score is 763, but residents are a little sloppier on the payment deadlines, with an average 1.1 late payments.

Falls Church comes in at number 68 with a credit score of 733 and 2.08 late payments.

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Morning Notes

Tysons Company Tops Fortune List — Tysons-based Hilton is No. 1 on Fortune’s new 100 Best Companies to Work For list. The hotel operator was also joined by local companies Navy Federal (#29, Vienna), Capital One (#39, Tysons), CustomInk (#86, Merrifield) and Mars Inc. (#98, McLean) on the annual list. [Fortune, Twitter]

State of McLean: Under Construction — “McLean is poised to benefit from a raft of infrastructure and revitalization projects, Supervisor John Foust (D-Dranesville) told the Greater McLean Chamber of Commerce Feb. 14 [during] his annual ‘State of McLean’ speech.” [InsideNova]

Falls Church Property Assessments Rise — “Property values are on the rise in Falls Church, according to 2019 assessment data released by the city. Overall residential and commercial property values have increased from January 2018. Commercial property values rose by 4.3 percent and residential real estate values by 2.93 percent over the last year.” [Patch]

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McLean, like nearby Great Falls and Wolf Trap, are all still in the Top 50 for Bloomberg’s 2019 Richest Places ranking, but the elite suburban communities took a dip in this year’s rankings.

McLean’s average household income is $283,992, a slight increase over 2016’s $280,225 and 2015’s $268,997, which was what the 2018 rankings were based on.

But that wasn’t enough to keep the locality from falling five spots in this year’s ranking. It was surpassed by newcomers like Rumson, a wealthy corner of Monmouth County in New Jersey.

Great Falls ranked higher than McLean, at number 16 in the rankings. It too took a hit, falling from a lofty 14th place with its $309,599 average household income.

Wolf Trap, currently ranked 42nd, fell three places. The neighborhood’s average household income is $251,610.

Overall, Fairfax County was ranked second in U.S. News & World Report’s richest counties, with a median household income of $117,515, between Loudoun County in first place and Howard County, Maryland in third place.

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Morning Notes

Video: Students Brawl at McLean McDonald’s — Cell phone video shows dozens of students from McLean and Langley high schools brawling in the McDonald’s at the corner of Old Dominion Drive and Dolley Madison Blvd. No one was reported injured from the fracas, which happened Friday night after a basketball game between the two rival schools. [Fox 5]

McLean Community Center Closing Early — In addition to the early dismissal for Fairfax County Public Schools, other weather-related early closings are being announced today. Among them: the McLean Community Center is cancelling all classes that begin at or after 1 p.m. [Twitter]

Fairfax No. 2 on Va. Net Worth Rankings — “Fairfax County is ranked #2 in a SmartAsset study showing the top 10 Virginia counties with the highest net worths. Despite having the highest per capita income on the list, Loudoun County came in only at #7 due to also carrying a significantly higher per capita debt burden, also the highest on the list.” [Fairfax Times]

Potomac School Student is Top Science Talent — “Carolyn Beaumont, a senior at the Potomac School, has been named a Top 40 Finalist in the 78th Regeneron Science Talent Search, the nation’s oldest and most prestigious science and mathematics competition for high-school seniors.” [InsideNova]

FCEDA Touts New Businesses, Jobs — “In 2018, the Fairfax County Economic Development Authority (FCEDA) worked with 143 businesses that announced the addition of more than 8,900 jobs to the Fairfax County economy.” [Fairfax County EDA]

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There is no shortage of places to eat in Tysons, though sometimes it can be hard to pick a lunch option or figure out a good meeting spot for a sit-down dinner.

We scoured the dozens of restaurants in the immediate Tysons area on Yelp and picked out the highest-rated options.

Included are everything from fast casual eateries to high-end steak and seafood restaurants. Many, as one would imagine given the local landscape, are located in malls, office buildings and single-story shopping plazas.

The top 15 restaurants are below, with the best-reviewed options at the top.

  1. Blessing Cafe (8618 Westwood Center Dr) — 5 stars — “While working basically next door this was the close place to grab a quick lunch and it certainly did not disappoint. I had the chicken teriyaki one day and then the beef bulgogi another day. Both were great.”
  2. Lei’d Poke (8032 Leesburg Pike) — 4.5 stars — “Lei’d Poke is a solid spot to get your raw fish fix. If you didn’t know, this joint is run by the same owners of Chasin’ Tails, Teas’n You, and Roll Play… Here, I’d recommend getting Matcha Edamame Rice with Sweet Maui Onion Salmon and Class Shoyu Tuna.”
  3. Banban Fusion Eatery (8251 Greensboro Dr) — 4.5 stars — “The restaurant… is a small office cafe-optimized for people to grab their lunch and go. They have several menu items such as sandwiches, bibimbap, and hibachi bowls.”
  4. Roll Play Grill (8150 Leesburg Pike) — 4.5 stars — “This is the real deal place for pho and Banh Mi sandwiches… go directly to the flat screen and place your order.”
  5. American Prime (1420 Spring Hill Road) — 4.5 stars — “Skip over everything else on the menu and order the house-smoked prime rib with sides of bone marrow mashed potatoes and bacon creamed corn.”
  6. Charlotte Artisanal (Tysons Corner Center, 1961 Chain Bridge Rd)  — 4.5 stars — “This crepe stand is located inside Tysons Corner mall in front of [the] Gap store… I ended up getting banana Nutella crepe and it was TERRIFIC!”
  7. Super Chicken (8357 Leesburg Pike) — 4 stars — “You know those rotisserie chickens you get from grocery stores? What if they were really really good? What if they were really cheap and came with sides (two sides per order) like chickpeas, veggies, fried rice, fried plantains, French fries, etc.? Well that just about describes the chicken at this place.”
  8. Coastal Flats (7860 Tysons Corner Center) – 4 stars — “Forget your usual mediocre, overpriced mall restaurants, this place is legit worth checking out. The have a pretty extensive menu so there’s something for everyone. Be sure and get the Ozzie rolls.”
  9. Eddie V’s Prime Seafood (7900 Tysons One Pl) — 4 stars — “Eddie V’s provides a tasteful atmosphere which combined with the live music and nice views, makes for a nice dining establishment. Beyond that, however, my experiences here have had a tendency to be inconsistent.”
  10. Crust Pizzeria Napoletana (8415 Old Courthouse Rd) — 4 stars — “Great, authentic Naples pizza – finally! – in Tysons/Vienna… Decent selection of drinks, good side dishes, slightly grumpy guys in charge – so just like Naples!”
  11. Nostos (8100 Boone Blvd) — 4 stars — A favorite of Washington Post food critic Tom Sietsema, who wrote: “My favorite place to eat in Tysons continues to be Nostos, home to a Greek menu and charming service.”
  12. Paddy Barry’s Irish Pub and Restaurant (8150 Leesburg Pike) — 4 stars — “Great spot for a Guinness and if you are looking for a quiet place for a business lunch, this is the place to go… It’s a rather large Irish bar with a good Irish draft beer selection and a good menu. Two in my group left no crumbs in their large Shepard’s pie and the fish and chips was a hit too.”
  13. The Capital Grille (1861 International Dr) — 4 stars — “I think this is possibly even better than Morton’s and Ruth’s Chris, certainly less stuffy although around the same price points and comfortable but very upscale ambiance. A great experience all around from excellent service to amazing food.”
  14. CAVA (8048 Tysons Corner Ctr) — 4 stars — “Cava bowls have a special place in my heart! They are nutritious and packed with flavor. It’s good to have an option of fast food that you don’t have to feel guilty about.”
  15. Thai’s Corner (8607 Westwood Center Dr) — 4 stars — “Probably the best Thai restaurant I have ever been to. Food is definitely good and the service is excellent… My favorite: Pad Thai, Drunken Noodles, Spring Rolls, Basil Chicken Fried Rice. Basically everything is good.”

Want to go out at night after your meal? Nightlife in Tysons leaves something to be desired, but there are several popular options to choose from.

And in case you’re wondering about the lowest-rated restaurant in Tysons with at least 5 reviews on Yelp — it’s the McDonald’s in Tysons Corner Center mall, at No. 207 on the list.

Photo via Instagram/Lei’d Poke

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Morning Notes

Police Release Sketch of Vienna Robbery Suspect — Fairfax County Police have released a sketch of the suspect who robbed a man at gunpoint on Oct. 6 along path to the Vienna Metro station. [Facebook]

Rapid Pace of Tysons Development — The pace of development in Tysons is impressing even seasoned local business people. At a recent Greater McLean Chamber of Commerce breakfast, the gathered crowd was wowed by a slide showing buildings now under construction and approved developments in Tysons. [InsideNova]

Local Firms Place High on Fortune List — From the most recent FCEDA E-Bird: “Hilton and Mars Inc. are among the top three places to work — not just in Fairfax County but in the world according to Fortune.com. San Francisco-based Salesforce, Tysons Corner-based Hilton and McLean-based Mars ranked 1-2-3 based on employee surveys conducted by Fortune partner Great Place to Work around the world. Companies racked up points based on respect, fairness, pride, camaraderie, and trust.” [Fortune]

FCPS Digital Citizenship Week — “This week is Digital Citizenship Week in our county schools and it’s important for parents/guardians to help children become safe, ethical, responsible and respectful digital citizens.” [Fairfax County]

Cvent Makes Big Acquisition — Tysons-based event tech company Cvent has acquired D.C.-based event and venue planning startup Social Tables for, reportedly, more than $100 million. [Washington Business Journal]

Reminder: Social Media Week Fairfax Tomorrow — Social Media Week Fairfax, featuring a number of marquee speakers including Judy Smith of Scandal fame, will be taking place tomorrow (Thursday) from 8 a.m.-1 p.m. at Capital One HQ in Tysons. A complete agenda is available here.

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Virginia is a good place to retire and Fairfax County is the best locality in the state for retirees, according to new rankings from SmartAsset.

The company says Fairfax is No. 1 thanks to a variety of factors, including proximity to parks, medical care, shopping centers and other amenities.

If you’re looking to retire in the great outdoors, Fairfax County may be the perfect place for you. The region houses many national parks, including Great Falls National Park and Mason Neck National Wildlife Refuge, the nation’s first sanctuary for bald eagles. You can also visit the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum.

You’d also have more than 300 miles of hiking trails to tackle as you stay active. In fact, the Fairfax County Park Authority runs more than 400 parks among more than 20,000 acres. Some feature wildlife preserves and working farms. But nature isn’t Fairfax’s only perk. You also have more than 200 regional shopping centers. And don’t worry too much about your wallet. The region’s mid-range 16.7% tax burden falls well below that of major cities. So it would behoove you to invest in tax-advantaged savings vehicles like a 401(k) or individual retirement account (IRA). And where can you use your hard earned savings? At tons of recreation centers, including an ice-skating rink and Wolf Trap National Park for the Performing Arts. You also have more than 800 playgrounds you can bring the grandkids to. And if you need it, Fairfax has more than 13 medical centers per 1,000 people. Overall, Fairfax County is definitely the place to retire in if you love the outdoors and still want some action in your life.

Also making the list: Falls Church at No. 2 — “perfect for the person who also likes a vibrant city lifestyle” — and Vienna at No. 7 — “those who enjoy the arts or intend to focus on continuing education will feel right at home.”

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