A food mosaic, slice of urban living: Mosaic District

Mosaic District’s blend of restaurants, retailers, luxury residences cultivates urban feel

The Mosaic District in Fairfax, Virginia is the renowned, up-and-coming, high-end residential and shopping community in the DMV. Over the past few months, this area has seen incredible growth. Every day, more and more restaurants are opening up and various apartments, townhouses and condominium complexes are being constructed and expanded to meet growing demand. The success of the Mosaic District has elevated the community life of the Merrifield area and attracted several people to not only visit, but to also call the area home.

Mill Creek Residential is one of the several luxury apartment complexes in the area. Having just completed the second phase of its Modera Mosaic mixed-apartment communities, the residences are perfect for the commuter who wants to be close to the city—13 miles to be exact—but far enough to relax and get away from the bustle. Several apartments, including this one, are located minutes away from the Capital Beltway and the Dunn Loring-Merrifield Metro Station.

More than the apartments themselves, though, it is the vast array for shops and eateries that make this neighborhood the place to be. The Mosaic District is home to 31 shops, 28 restaurants with more opening soon, and a variety of other services to meet the community’s needs, like salons, gyms and yoga studios, dry-cleaning services, and a boutique movie theater. The community’s stores and third-party organizers also host several events as well, so residents are engaged with one another and are never without an array of entertainment options. A highlight of the development is its selection of restaurants. With upscale, family-friendly and bar and lounge options, the Mosaic District is ready to feed and entertain any type of palette.

Bartaco's fresh, shareable tacos are a hit. Photo by Tom McGovern.
Bartaco’s fresh, shareable tacos are a hit in the Mosaic District. Photo by Tom McGovern.

The Mosaic District houses well-known chains like Le Pain Quotidien, Nandos Peri Peri, and Sweetgreen in addition to gourmet and artisan eateries like Taylor Gourmet Deli, Puree and Dolcezza. Bartaco is one of the newest additions to the Mosaic District’s assortment. Since its opening, business has been booming. “Given this is such a residential neighborhood, there’s already a group of regulars we’ve gotten to know, and we love seeing them a few times a week,” said General Manager, Mike Weaver. “Were also still pretty new so it’s fun to show anyone who hasn’t joined us before some of our favorite menu items.

And, the warm weather allows us to open up our beautiful patio.” Bartaco is one of the many modern, fusion-style restaurants in the area. While tacos are what’s on the menu overall, the fillings stem from a variety of cuisines and flavors, with Japanese inspired fish tacos Greek inspired falafel tacos.

Similarly, Jinya Ramen Bar is another hot spot that has flourished in the community. With strong Asian flavors blended with Western influences, Jinya specializes in authentic Tonkotsu ramen that has a pork-based broth. Customers can choose from a variety of toppings like Onsen Tomago (poached egg), Nori dried seaweed and Kikurage, to customize bowls to fit to their palette. Jinya also offers more than just Tonkotsu ramen with five different broths to choose from and different oils as well. The bar also makes some delicious Japanese inspired drinks, several of them with a sake base.

Jinya Ramen bowls are influenced by authentic, Tonkotsu ramen. P
Jinya Ramen bowls are influenced by authentic, Tonkotsu ramen. Photo via Jinya Ramen.

For Instagram worthy desserts, there’s Boba and Bites, where customers can find the famous soft serve ice cream in a “taiyaki,” which is a fish-shaped cake. The cake can be stuffed with red bean paste and then filled with black sesame, matcha, chocolate or vanilla soft serve ice cream, before getting topped off with several of their fun toppings such as wafers, mochi and sprinkles.

What brings all of these unique restaurants to the Mosaic District? As Weaver explained, “with the Mosaic District always filled with fun-loving families and a lot of people out and about enjoying the neighborhood, we’re excited to be a part of the action.” Bartaco, much like other eateries, creates an atmosphere for anyone for any occasion. “Whether you find yourself at the park and you’re craving a margarita, looking for a date spot before going to the theater, or if you’re running errands and want a quick lunch or dinner option, or even take-out—we’ve got you covered.”

With increased consumer traffic and an already upbeat and lively community, the Mosaic District draws in people from all over the DMV area. Some of the other eateries that recently opened are Five Twenty Ice Cream & Tea and Oath Pizza. Poke Bar and Cheesetique are coming soon.

Author credit: Sonikka Loganathan

Photo credit: Tom McGovern (Bartaco (top) featured, inline 1), Jinya Ramen Bar (inline 2)

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