Fairfax restaurant listed among 25 best in D.C. by New York Times

Inside Mama Chang in Fairfax City (courtesy Mama Chang)

Mama Chang may not be in D.C., but that didn’t stop it from being named among the city’s best restaurants by the New York Times.

The Fairfax City eatery from high-profile chef Peter Chang earned a spot in a list of the “25 Best Restaurants in Washington, D.C., Right Now” that the Gray Lady published on Monday (April 29), continuing a series highlighting the food desk’s favorite restaurants in cities around the U.S.

Conceived as a showcase for the women in Chang’s family, including his mother Ronger Wang, wife Lisa Chang and daughter Lydia Chang, Mama Chang opened at 3251 Blenheim Blvd, Suite 101, in March 2019. It specializes in home-style Chinese cooking, particularly from the Hunan, Szechuan and Hubei provinces.

“Standouts include fish ball and lamb soup, lychee pepper chicken and a stew filled with sweet potato noodles, sour cabbage and pork,” Times contributor Brett Anderson wrote for the “25 Best” list. “Eating this dazzling food at this elegant Northern Virginia restaurant, lined with comfortable booths and blond wood surfaces, feels like an occasion.”

Anderson noted that many dishes on Mama Chang’s menu have since been introduced at the Chang family’s 16 other establishments in the D.C. area — a list that grew last year with Peter Chang opening in McLean.

Another Peter Chang is expected to open in Herndon later this year.

“We are so honored to have made the New York Times list and are constantly striving to continue bringing the most authentic dishes from China to our tables for our loyal diners to enjoy,” Peter Chang said. “We cannot thank our guests enough for their support — it is not possible without you!”

The other Northern Virginia restaurants in the Times’ round-up are Ellie Bird (125 Founder’s Avenue) in Falls Church City and Bostan Uyghur Cuisine. The newspaper specifically highlighted Bostan’s original Arlington location (3911 Langston Blvd) but acknowledged that it expanded to Herndon (1141 Elden Street) late last year.

Anderson praised Bostan’s kebabs as “juicy, hot-from-the-coals [and] heady with cumin,” while Times food editor Nikita Richardson said Ellie Bird’s cuisine proves that “suburbanites are as hungry for imaginative cooking as any city denizen.”