Restaurants in Virginia

Mexican Cuisine for Two or Four at Jessy's Tienda y Taqueria (36% Off)

Jessy's Tienda y Taqueria

East Ocean View

Chips and guacamole, carne asada tacos, and other homemade recipes served in a lively setting that also sells baked goods and imported items

$25 $16

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$15 for $30 Worth of Sushi at Yu-Mi Sushi Bar and Grill

Yu-Mi Sushi Bar and Grill

Greenbrier East

Specialty rolls include the Sunshine with fried shrimp and lobster salad in a yellow soybean wrap, and the Spicy City with conch

$30 $15

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Japanese Cuisine for Two or Four at Sushi Rock (40% Off)

Sushi Rock

Court House

Sample the sushi chef’s 15 signature styles of maki rolls paired with specialty cocktails and sake

$20 $12

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Three or Five Large One-Topping Pizzas from Papa John's (Up to 50% Off)

Papa John's

Multiple Locations

Hand-tossed pizzas slathered with sauce made from vine-ripened, California-grown tomatoes

$47.91 $26

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Seafood Dinner for Two or Four at Finn McCool's Fish House (Up to 48% Off)

Finn McCool's Fish House

Bland

Casual neighborhood restaurant serving fresh affordable seafood with a refreshing experience

$50 $26

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$9.99 for a Triple D Burger Combo with Fries and a Drink at BGR The Burger Joint ($15.77 Value)

The Burger Joint

Multiple Locations

Crowd-favorite burger topped with bacon, fried egg, cheese, and grilled jalapenos comes to the menu full time

$15.77 $9.99

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Seafood and Pub Food for One, Two, or Four at Olde Towne Tavern (Up to 45% Off)

Olde Towne Tavern

Pheobus

Neighborhood tavern offers various dishes, including Yuengling fried shrimp, swordfish tacos, and house-made crab cakes, and other pub fare

$10 $6

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Medium Pizzas and Appetizers at Goodfellaz (Up to 53% Off). Two Options Available.

Goodfellaz

Multiple Locations

Locally owned pizza joint whips up an array of gangster-themed pies with out-of-the-box ingredients, such as beef, bacon, and cheddar

$24.48 $12

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$30 for $60 Worth of Neo-Southern Food at Stove, the restaurant

Stove, the restaurant

Portsmouth

An ever-changing menu of neo-southern food made with locally sourced ingredients at a restaurant celebrating seven years in business

$60 $30

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Indian Cuisine for Two or Four or More at Rajput Indian Cuisine (Up to 43% Off)

Rajput Indian Cuisine

Suffolk

Chicken tikka masala, flame tandoori mixed grill, and other Indian favorites, including vegan, vegetarian, and organic specialties

$30 $17

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Tex-Mex Cuisine for Two or Four at Red Rocks Cafe & Tequila Bar (Up to 50% Off)

Red Rocks Cafe & Tequila Bar

Centreville

Serrano wings, barbecue fajitas, and enchiladas with scallop and crab served in a watering hole with regular live music

$24 $12

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$22 for $40 Worth of Sushi and Japanese Cuisine at Nikko Sushi & Hibachi

Nikko Sushi & Hibachi

Reston

Nigiri sushi and specialty maki rolls complement hibachi meals of teriyaki chicken, steak, and shrimp

$40 $22

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Classic Italian During Lunch for Two or Carry-Out at l'Italia Restaurant and Bar (Up to 50% Off)

l'Italia Restaurant and Bar

Harrisonburg

Braised lamb shank and shrimp scampi shares menu space with traditional pastas, including tortellini and ravioli

$11 $5.50

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$29.99 for Indian Dinner for Two Including One Appetizer, Two Entrees and Two Desserts at Cafe Taj (59% Off)

Cafe Taj

McLean

Traditional tandoori dishes and curries served at Indian eatery with fountain and Romanesque columns

$58.43 $24

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Greek Cuisine at Greek 4 U Restaurant (Up to 58% Off). Two Options Available.

Greek 4 U Restaurant

Tuckahoe

Flaming cheese, stuffed grape leaves, spinach-filled spanakopita, moussakas, lamb skewers, and sautéed shrimp with white wine sauce

$20 $10

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$17 for $30 Worth of Local Cuisine and Seafood at The V Eatery & Brew House

The V Eatery & Brew House

Beaumeade

With ingredients and beverages sourced from local farms and breweries, chefs craft butternut risotto and herb roasted chicken

$30 $17

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$11 for $20 Worth of Coffee and Cafe Fare at Land of A Thousand Hills Coffee Company- Daleville Shop ($20 Value)

Land of A Thousand Hills Coffee Company

Daleville

Fresh-brewed soups and baked goods pair with fair trade coffees sourced from Ethiopia and Rwanda

$5 $2.75

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Three Groupons, Each Good for $7 or $10 Worth of Diner Food at Joe's Diner (Up to 50% Off)

Joe's Diner

Blacksburg

Classic burgers and all-day breakfast served amid historical photos and ancient tin signs

$7 $4

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$12 for $20 Worth of Coal-Fired Pizza, Pasta, and Italian Fare (40% Off)

Coal Fire

Burke

Cooks layer sauces and toppings atop homemade dough crisped in a 900-degree coal-fired oven, as well as craft gourmet sandwiches and pastas

$20 $12

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$17 for $30 Worth of Korean Fare and Sushi at Palace Korean BBQ in Annandale

Palace Korean BBQ

Annandale

Menus written in Korean & English highlight dishes ranging from hearty porridges to meats seared at tableside barbecue pits and sushi

$30 $17

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$12 for $20 Worth of Tex-Mex Cuisine for Two or More at El Cactus

El Cactus

Downtown Manassas

Menu includes tacos such as Angus, chicken, brisket, fish, fried fish, and Korean, as well as burgers, fajitas, turkey subs, and ice cream

$20 $12

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Italian Cuisine for Two, Four, Six, or Takeout at Italian Kitchen (Up to 50% Off)

Italian Kitchen

Mechanicsville

Classic pastas, handmade pizzas and authentic veal, steak and seafood dishes served on white-clothed tables

$30 $16

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Upscale American Cuisine for Two or Four at The Bistro at Market and Grove (50% Off)

The Bistro at Market and Grove

Petersburg

European and Southern-influenced dishes such as beef medallions, chicken and crab pasta, and chicken with prosciutto

$30 $15

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Ethiopian Food for Two or Four at Merkamo Ethiopian Bistro (Half Off)

Merkamo Ethiopian Bistro

Springfield

Vegetarian and nonvegetarian Ethiopian meals include beef over collard greens, lamb strips with jalapeños, and spicy bean shiro wet

$20 $10

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$20 for $40 Worth of Sushi and Hibachi Cuisine at Otani Japanese Steak & Seafood

Otani Japanese Steak & Seafood

Multiple Locations

Fresh seafood rolled in creative signature sushi rolls, and fire-kissed steak from the hibachi grill

$40 $20

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Dine-In, Take-Out, or Catered Comfort Food at Just Like Grandma's Cafe (Up to 52% Off)

Just Like Grandma's

Winchester

Classic comfort foods served during breakfast and lunch, including shrimp and grits, pork chops, and specialty burgers

$25 $12

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Family-Style Food for Lunch, Dinner, or Takeout at Salem House Restaurant (Up to 44% Off)

Salem House Restaurant

Salem

Family-style eatery offers home-cooked cuisine such as sandwiches, salads, mashed potatoes, meat loaf, and more

$14 $8

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$11 for $20 Worth of Thai Cuisine at Elephant Thai Short Pump

Elephant Thai Short Pump

Henrico

12 stir-fry dinners, 6 curries, and 12 vegetarian options; authentic preparation with spices flown in each week from Thailand

$20 $11

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Indian Cuisine for Two on Sunday-Thursday or Friday–Saturday at Taj Indian Cuisine (Up to 48% Off)

Taj

Fredericksburg

A Punjabi chef creates tandoori specialties with a menu that includes kebabs marinated overnight and 16 types of bread

$25 $13

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Indian Dinner for Two, or Carry-Out at SupperClub of India (Up to 50% Off)

SupperClub of India

Herndon

Authentic Indian cuisine such as pickled boneless chicken, jumbo prawns marinated in mint and spices, and mango lassis

$30 $15

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Korean Barbecue for Dinner at Annangol (55% Off). Two Options Available.

Annangol

Chantilly

Eatery specializes in Korean barbecue, such as galbi and bulgogi, as well as other Korean dishes, including kimchi and bibimbap

$30 $14

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$15 for $30 Worth of Indian Fare at Bollywood Bistro in Fairfax

Bollywood Bistro

Fairfax

Indian cuisine with local, organic vegetables served amid Bollywood movie stills and music

$30 $15

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Seafood Dinner for Two or Four at Crab Creek Seafood (Up to 48% Off)

Crab Creek Seafood

Christiansburg

Shrimp and grits with andouille sausage, hand-battered coconut shrimp, and sautéed blue crab in garlic, among other seafood specialities

$25 $13

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Japanese Dinner for Two or Four Adults, or for Takeout on Sunday–Thursday at Hiro Sushi Japanese Cuisine (Up to 43% Off)

Hiro Sushi Japanese Cuisine

Bon Air

Sushi restaurant whips up fresh, hand-rolled maki, stacks tempura shrimp, chicken teriyaki, and pork katsu

$30 $17

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Indian Cuisine at Aroma Indian Cuisine (Up to 42% Off). Two Options Available.

Aroma Indian Cuisine

Lorton

Traditional tandoori lamb or chicken entrees and a variety of vegetarian dishes ranging from saag paneer to channa masala

$30 $19

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$16 for $30 Toward Hibachi Dinner for Two at Kabuto Japanese Steaks and Sushi

Kabuto Japanese House of Steaks and Sushi

Midlothian

HIbachi chefs sear morsels of Japanese cuisine as they slice and cook at tabletop grills

$30 $16

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Indian Cuisine at Diya Restaurant, Lounge & Banquet (51% Off). Two Options Available.

Diya Restaurant, Lounge & Banquet

Tysons Central 7

Classic Indian cuisine dishes and specialties slow roasted over slow fire in sealed clay pots in 200-year-old Dumpukht style

$80 $39

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$13 for 2 Groupons, Each for $13 Worth of Country-Style Food at Aunt Sarah's Restaurant ($26 Total Value)

Aunt Sarah's Restaurant

Glen Allen

Chicken and waffles, three-egg omelets, half- and third-pound burgers, fried chicken, and country-fried steaks

$13 $6.50

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Italian-American Food for Lunch or Dinner at Vic's Family Restaurant (Up to 40% Off). Four Options Available.

Vic's Family Restaurant

Clifton Forge

Menu combines Italian, southern, and American foods such as broasted-chicken meals, pizza, fettuccine alfredo, and roast-beef sandwiches

$20 $12

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$10 for Two Groupons Good for $10 Worth of Smoothies at Tropical Smoothie Cafe Williamsburg ($20 Value)

Tropical Smoothie

Multiple Locations

Wholesome flatbreads, wraps and salads pair with real-fruit smoothies packed with vitamins and supplements

$10 $5

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American Food at Midlo's Bite (Up to 53% Off). Three Options Available.

Midlo's Bite

Midlothian

Pulled pork sandwiches, burgers stacked with classic pizza toppings, and rich desserts

$16 $8

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International Cuisine for Lunch or Dinner at K Town Bistro (Up to 53% Off)

K Town Bistro

Silver Spring

Medley of French, English, and American cuisine; seared seafood, duck breast a l'orange, and beef wellington

$15 $7

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Half Off Italian Cuisine at Italian Cafe (Half Off). Two Options Available.

Italian Cafe

Falls Church

Chefs whip up pizzas, 12 oz. portions of Angus steak, and mussels over linguine

$40 $20

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Southwestern Steak and Seafood for Two or Four at Cactus Steakhouse (29% Off)

Cactus Steakhouse

3

Southwestern flavors infuse steak and seafood plates, paired with occasional live music

$35 $25

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$14 for Four Vouchers, Each Valid for $6 Worth of Tex Mex Food at Tippy's Taco House ($24 Value)

Tippy's Taco House

Warrenton

Staples such as queso dip, fish tacos, chicken burritos, cheesy enchiladas, and Mexican pizza

$6 $3.50

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Dinner for Two or Four at Lulu's Smokehouse and Tavern (Up to 50% Off)

Lulu's Smokehouse & Tavern

Virginia Beach

Feast on American smokehouse favorites such as dry-rubbed wings, barbecue burgers, and pulled pork

$39.97 $20

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$23 for $50 Worth of Upscale Bistro-Style Cuisine at The Green Onion

The Green Onion

The Green Onion

Pan-roasted duck with apple tort and mustard greens, cashew-crusted lamb, and wild mushroom risotto pair with slices of lobster cheesecake

$50 $23

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$10 for $20 Worth of Thai Dinner at Royal Thai Cuisine in Chesapeake

Royal Thai Cuisine

Chesapeake

Chefs employ housemade sauces to flavor homestyle Thai recipes with adjustable spice

$20 $10

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Modern American Dinner Fare at The Curious Grape (Up to 50% Off). Two Options Available.

The Curious Grape

Fairlington - Shirlington

Pan-roasted sea scallops and summer heirloom tomato with mozzarella, plums, nectarines, and mint pesto shine with seasonal ingredients

$40 $20

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Cuban and Caribbean Fare for Two or Four at Havana 59 (Up to 50% Off)

Havana 59

River District

Traditional Cuban and Caribbean dishes made with fresh, quality ingredients, such as slow-roasted pork with black beans or plantain mofongo

$50 $27

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Modern American Cuisine for Two or Four at Craft 60 Ale House (Up to Half Off). Four Options Available.

Craft 60 Ale House

Newport News

Chefs prepare bacon-wrapped rib-eyes, Juicy Lucy burgers, beer-battered fish filets, and crabcakes using local, sustainable ingredients

$30 $15

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Three-Course Italian Meal for Two or Four at Sapore D'Italia Italian Ristorante and Pizzeria (50% Off)

Sapore D'Italia Italian Ristorante and Pizzeria

Alexandria

Cooks prepare classic Italian favorites, such as fettucine alfredo and mussels marina, alongside desserts such as tiramisu

$58 $29

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Southern Fried Chicken and Seafood at Chuck's Famous Chicken & Seafood (Up to 50% Off). Four Options Available.

Chuck's Famous Chicken & Seafood

Hampton Roads Center

Fried chicken, fried shrimp, fried fish, hush puppies, and other home-cooked Southern and soul-food dishes

$10 $5

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$11 for $20 Worth of Mediterranean Dinner for Two at Double Apple

Double Apple

Roanoke

The eatery offers Mediterranean dishes made with homemade spices and special seasonings from the middle east

$20 $11

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Seafood for Two or Four at Dock of the Bay (Up to 43% Off)

Dock of the Bay

Portsmouth

This cozy, creekside restaurant serves up impeccably fresh seafood dishes such as shrimp tempura tacos and clam chowder

$30 $17

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High Tea for Two or Four at Stillwater House Tea Room (Up to 60% Off)

Stillwater House Tea Room

Suffolk

Enjoy finger sandwiches, sweets, and your own pot of tea during an elegant high tea service

$50 $23

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Indian Cuisine and Drinks at Mayuri Indian Cuisine (55% Off). Two Options Available.

Mayuri Indian Cuisine

Reston

Northern and southern Indian cuisine, including fish kebabs barbecued in the tandoor oven, a variety of dosas, and curries with fresh spices

$30 $14

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Pool plus Burgers and Fries for 2, 4, or Up to 10 People at Gold Crown Billiards (Up to 59% Off)

Gold Crown Billiards

Harrisonburg

Friends play a few rounds of pool before celebrating their victories with burgers, fries, and sodas

$31.75 $13

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Pizza Dinner with Garlic Bread and Salad for Carry-Out or Dine-In from Red Tomato Pizzeria (Up to 44% Off)

Red Tomato Pizzeria

McLean

Large cheesy pizzas covered with basil, ricotta, and other toppings pair with garlic bread and salad to make a hearty meal for families

$37.76 $23

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Indian Cuisine at Delhi 6 (50% Off).

Delhi 6

Ashburn Farm

Six seafood specialties, six Chinese-inspired entrees, and eight lamb options; elegant decor with high-backed booths and white tablecloths

$30 $15

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$15 for $25 Worth of Indian Food at India Garden

India Garden

Kabrich Crescent

Variety of lamb and chicken entrees served with varying spice levels, from mild to very hot

$25 $15

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$29 for a Japanese Prix-Fixe Meal at Honey Pig Izakaya ($59 Value)

Honey Pig Izakaya

Annandale

Enjoy a sampling of Japanese cuisine with bits of nigiri, sushi rolls, shrimp and veggie tempura, and pork belly or bulgogi

$59 $29

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Vietnamese Food for Two or More or Four or More People at Pho Time (Up to 40% Off)

Pho Time

Manassas

Vietnamese dishes such as pho with flank steak, tripe, or brisket, plus vermicelli plates and bubble teas

$20 $12

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Pub Food, Drinks, and Pool at First Break Sports Bar & Grill (45% Off). Two Options Available.

First Break Sports Bar & Grill

Sugarland Run Shopping

Newly rehabbed sports bar with granite bar tops and hardwood floors serves food until 2 a.m. as players compete on 9-ft. Diamond pool tables

$20 $11

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Coffee, Tea, Sandwiches, and More at Steamy's Cafe (Up to 47% Off)

Steamy's Cafe

Winchester

Aromatic La Colomboe coffee, frittata, and gourmet salads at cozy cafe with used books and free wifi; 10% of its profits combat homelessness

$10 $6

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Thai and Vietnamese Cuisine for Two or Four or for Take-Out at Lemongrass (Up to 49% Off)

Lemongrass

Short Pump

Vietnamese-style vermicelli dishes filled with barbecued pork or grilled shrimp rest side by side with Thai curries and sautéed veggies

$22 $12

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$20 for $40 Worth of Turkish and Mediterranean Cuisine

TurCuisine

Herndon

Turkish meals of grilled halloumi, hummus, and spicy, succulent doner kebab served amid streamlined, modern decor

$40 $20

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$13 for $25 Worth of South American Fare at Don Churro Café in Chantilly

Don Churro Café

Chantilly

Wide range of South American dishes with recipes from Peru, Venezuela, Chile, Argentina, Colombia, and Spain

$25 $13

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Gourmet Deli Food at Bernie's Delicatessen & Gourmet Market (45% Off). Two Options Available.

Bernie's Delicatessen & Gourmet Market

Fairfax

Seasoned deli owners churn out authentic New York–style sandwiches, housemade seasonal soups, and daily breakfast

$10 $6

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Italian Cuisine for Dinner at Ristorante Antonio (45% Off). Two Options Available.

Antonio's Ristorante and Wine Bar

Chester

Italian dishes such as fettuccine alfredo and deep-dish Sicilian pizzas silence hunger alongside award-winning wines

$30 $16.50

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Burgers and Kebabs at Neighbor's Restaurant (40% Off). Two Options Available.

Neighbor's Restaurant

Vienna

Diners enjoy a laid-back lounge and sports-bar environment while digging into cheesy burgers or plates of the restaurant’s specialty—kebabs

$20 $12

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Pizza Meal for Two with Salads and Drinks or $10 for $18 Worth of Italian Food at Brick Oven Pizza

Brick Oven Pizza

Ashland

Crispy pizzas and subs from brick oven meet with traditional Italian pasta dishes beneath vivid murals

$18 $10

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American Cuisine at Jimmy's Oven and Grill (Up to 63% Off). Two Options Available.

Jimmy's Oven and Grill

Williamsburg

Hearty omelets, burgers, pizzas, pastas, and a rotating selection of buffets that change daily like the Friday night seafood buffet

$15 $5.50

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Sports Bar Food for Dine-In or Carry-Out at Mulligan’s Sports Grille (Up to 40% Off)

Mulligan’s Sports Grille

Midlothian

Sports bar brims with live music, karaoke, pool, and plenty of sports; classic bar food, including 14 burgers and sandwiches and jumbo wings

$20 $12

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Ethiopian Cuisine for Two or Four at Skyline Cafe (Up to 57% Off)

Skyline Cafe

Falls Church

Ethiopian eatery dishes out food like sambusa, karamara tibs, doro wat, and gomen besiga, a beef stew prepared with collard green

$30 $13

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Catering from Briar Patch Tea Room (Up to 54% Off). Three Options Available.

Briar Patch Tea Room

Poquoson

Tea room caters elegant meals featuring finger sandwiches, quiches, pasta, breads, and salads

$50 $30

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$17 for $30 Worth of Thai Food and Sushi Rolls at Burapa Cafe

Burapa Cafe

Haymarket

Menu features steamed pork dumplings with sweet soy sauce, tom yum soup, pad thai, and panang curry, as well as Japanese sushi rolls

$30 $17

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One or Two Large Pizzas with Wings at Chicho’s Pizza (Up to 51% Off)

Chicho's Pizza

Northeast Virginia Beach

Hand-tossed pizzas with sweet or spicy tomato sauce and 20 available toppings; specialty pies such as the bacon cheeseburger

$23.24 $12

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Japanese Cuisine and Sushi at Dinner at Soya Sushi Bar & Bistro (50% Off). Two Options Available.

Soya Sushi - Norfolk

Norfolk

California rolls, hibachi-style lobster tail, and tempura udon

$20 $10

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Select Local Merchants

"Sorry, can you hold on a sec?" Jobi's Pizza owner Mark Hinckley attends to a delivery phone. He's efficient and friendly. Upon returning, he graciously apologizes and continues his story. "Well, we all have day jobs. This is something fun to do at night." The "we" Mark is referring to is himself and his two business partners, Joe Kuftack and a man named O'Brien. It was the combination of their names that spawned the restaurant's curious moniker—Jobi's. "We work for engineering companies," Mark explains. "I work for architecture, the other two in military civil service." Maybe it's this background in creating something from nothing that explains the success of the restaurant's hand-tossed pizzas and made-from-scratch wing and pasta sauces. However, Mark believes that it's something more immediate that brings customers in the door. "They're supporting a local business. When regulars come in, sure, it's the quality. But here you can feed a family of four for under $20. It's a tough economy, and we want to help." Through the floor-to-ceiling restaurant windows, night is settling in, and the tables are filling up for dinner. The red-and-white-checkered tablecloths slowly populate with hot sandwiches, gooey specialty pizzas, and whole-grain pastas. Looking around at the wood paneling, smiling faces, and pizza ovens aggressively wagging their tails, there's a palpable feeling of friendliness in the room. Mark believes that comes from a place that larger chains can't access. "One of the people that works here––the one who painted the Jobi's logo on the wall—he's an airbrush artist. Wintertime, he works at the pizza place. The rest of the year, he works airbrush on the ocean," Mark says proudly. "We can do things like that. We're very family oriented."

4740 Baxter Road
Virginia Beach,
VA
US

"Fisherman can place their orders, no matter what time during the morning. It's not abnormal for me to go up at 6 a.m. and deliver sandwiches," says Kathy Cunningham, general manager of Captain's Galley. With Kathy's own boat right there on the marina, it seems that she has never known anything different, crafting homemade mac, coleslaw, and potato salad only steps from Chesapeake Bay. But this routine started only a few years ago?Vinings Landing Marina caught wind of the popularity of Kathy's deli in town and decided to pay her a visit. "They had a space available and asked me if I'd set up shop," Kathy says. "And, well, I love boating."?

Her relocation dovetailed nicely with a full renovation that bestowed the place with new tile floors, new walls, and hardwood tables. But a big selling point for Kathy was the outdoor patio to the Marina. "Here people can pop in by car, by boat, or by foot. It's very accessible." During winter months, regular fisherman and new guests alike stop in for her lunch offerings of made-to-order deli and breakfast sandwiches; as the calendar turns to April, warmer weather welcomes acoustic Fridays and the return of the cool sun who wears sunglasses. "The menu becomes more expansive," she says. "Burgers for dinner?also tuna salad, chicken salad, egg salad. I know the winter menu says just chips. But in summer, we'll roll out the fries.?

8166 Shore Dr
Norfolk,
VA
US

Michael Gomori has always been led by passion. As a young man and recent college graduate, he sidestepped a potential career in biology, a subject for which he'd lost his spark, and joined the Navy. He was eager to see the world, so he spent 27 years seeing, learning, and climbing the ranks.

When Michael reentered civilian life, he was determined to discover his next true passion—as it turned out, his passion was tucked under the crisp linens of fine dining. Joined by his wife, Diane, Michael developed a restaurant to embody his way of life, and the pair fittingly named it Passion the Restaurant.

Inside the romantic restaurant with white linens and crimson accents, couples and friends converse over new york strip steaks, Virginia crab cakes, and deboned chicken cooked under brick. Tapas dishes, such as duck sliders, spring rolls, and a cheese platter, play into the intimate environment under twinkling chandelier light.

Local artists’ works dapple the walls and are for sale, with a portion of proceeds donated to Our House Families, an organization that helps support families in need. Twice a month on the patio, patrons can partake in a cigar social, puffing away and reminiscing about the old days of candy cigarettes.

The Shoppes at Greenbrier, 1036 Volvo Parkway
Chesapeake,
VA
US

Even though Portuguese explorers couldn't pronounce the Swahili name for the African bird's eye chili—pili-pili—the sailors fully embraced its flavor shortly after landing in the region known today as Mozambique. Intrigued by the small, fiery pepper, they combined it with aromatic doses of herbs, garlic, and lemon to create the first peri-peri sauce. That sauce eventually became a wildly popular marinade for poultry, and the tasty concoction made its way to South Africa over the next several centuries. There, in 1987, two friends decided to honor this culinary legacy by founding the first Nando's Peri-Peri restaurant. The eatery continued to remain true to its South African roots, even while expanding to encompass locations in 24 countries across four continents.

Beginning with fresh chickens that never see the inside of a kitchen freezer, the chefs furtively marinate the birds in a secret peri-peri sauce for 24 hours before grilling them over an open flame. Diners dictate the heat level of their order, requesting that the grilled chicken arrive relatively mild or that wings be slathered with even more incendiary spices. The succulent chicken can be plated with hearty side dishes—such as Portuguese-style rice with herbs and peppers or peas with mint—or served in the form of a sandwich, wrap, or pita. To complement the menus' African flavors, Nando's worldwide locations collectively feature more than 4,000 pieces of African artwork.

1301 South Joyce Street
Arlington,
VA
US

Sharing is a must at Nile Ethiopian Restaurant. Orders arrive served atop communal platters, from which diners pluck bites stewed meats and vegetables using of injera, a sourdough flatbread made from the gluten-free grain teff. The batter ferments for three to four days, producing its signature tang and a spongy texture that's ideal for soaking up richly seasoned sauces and wine spills.

Staff are happy to explain the menu and the staples of Ethiopian cooking found on a menu that, according to the Richmond Times Dispatch, "offers enough diversity for the most seasoned diners but also provides novices an excellent introduction to Ethiopian food." Along with injera, the most iconic component of Ethiopian cooking is the powdered blend of chilies, basil, ginger, garlic, shallots, fenugreek, and cardamom known as berbere. This spice blend, prevalent throughout the menu, lends a pleasant kick to everything from sautéed beef and stewed lentils to slow-cooked potatoes and a blend of cabbage and whatever vegetables happen to be in season. Those entrees that don't star meat are vegan, as the cooks make them without butter or dairy.

A review in Style Weekly lauded recent renovations at Nile, along with service that "couldn't be better." The sensory experience starts even before you enter: the little brick building in the Fan bears a huge mural of a black-and-white crowd scene on one side and a brighter, more traditionally Ethiopian array of colors and shapes on the facade.

309 N Laurel St
Richmond,
VA
US

Prasit "Ken" Khachenrum's culinary journey spans more than 11,000 miles. In his native Thailand, the young chef began mastering the dishes of his home soil at Grand Hyatt Hotel in Bangkok. Later, after landing a position with Commodore Cruise Lines, the globetrotting Khachenrum continued plying his skills while sailing beneath the Caribbean sun. Upon deciding to settle in Washington, DC, Chef Ken worked through the city's restaurant scene on his way to becoming sushi chef at Yosaku Japanese Restaurant, opening his first restaurant in Yorktown in 2002, and finally, opening Thaijindesu. Thaijindesu—translated from the Japanese word "romanji," meaning "Thai people"—invites guests into an elegant spiral of Thai and Japanese flavors. Chef Ken places bowls of steaming noodles and curries beside fresh rolls of sushi, uniting regional nuances on a single menu rather than uniting two menus with Velcro.

2180 William Styron Sq S
Newport News,
VA
US