Neighborhood Review: Virginia’s up-and-coming Mosaic District
Reminiscent of a mixture of New York City’s SoHo and Chelsea neighborhoods, Fairfax, Virginia’s Mosaic District is the perfect marriage of convenience and culture. Stepping off the shuttle that takes you from the metro to the development, you might forget that you are 20 minutes from downtown Washington D.C. and not in a quaint Northeastern town.
Located just off the Gallows Road to the east, Route 50 to the south, Lee Highway to the north, and Eskridge Road to the west, the bustling Merrifield, Virginia town center began opening shops in 2012 and accepting residents in 2013. Up until then, the complex was just a Multiplex and before that, an area for a drive-in theater, according to the Fairfax County Government.
What was once deemed a “suburban wasteland” is now a hip area full of many activities for those who enjoy either the indoors or outdoors. Art festivals, farmers markets, restaurants and trendy shops make Mosaic the ideal mix of residential and commercial.
Unlike any of its counterparts in the area, Mosaic has something for every type of enthusiast with D.C.-based shops that expanded to the Virginia location. It’s almost as if the District decided to colonize Fairfax.
Restaurants in Mosaic include the popular Mediterranean Cava Mezze Grill, health-minded SweetGreen, American classic Ted’s Bulletin, bakery Le Pain Quotidien and seasonal True Food Kitchen. Dolcezza is a delicious gelato and desert hub, sure to please many palettes.
Photo by Katarzyna Strycharz
For those looking to pick up a gift for themselves or someone special, there are plenty of familiar D.C. shops at the Fairfax location. Alex and Ani, Anthropologie, Capital Teas, Hip to be Round, Neiman Marcus, Paper Source, Target and South Moon Under provide an eclectic selection.
Budget-minded college students can find free events to do year round. Yogis can enjoy yoga in the park. Film students and self-proclaimed critics can enjoy films outside on the lawn of the Angelika Theater. Avid readers can enjoy storytelling time in the theater lounge. Foodies can enjoy the Mosaic Central Farm Market, which rivals that at Union Station. Musical prodigies and novices alike can enjoy pianos that cleverly say the words “Play me.”
For those of you that want to visit this vibrant community, you can make a stop at the Dunn Loring Merrifield Metro Station on the orange line. For those choosing to drive instead, the District is a 20 minute trip on I-495S, with free parking available in garages throughout the neighborhood.
Mosaic District’s charm is sure to only keep growing.