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It’s an incomparable shopping mecca, for sure, but Pentagon City also boasts trendy cafes and restaurants and iconic national attractions.

Yes, it’s named for the world’s largest office building, but Pentagon City is just as famous as a world-class shopping hotspot, less than a mile from the Potomac River. It may only count about  27,000 residents, but it punches way above its weight as a commercial hub.

Three major malls make it one of the most popular tourist destinations in the Washington, DC, region. These centers draw both shoppers — from designer-clad fashionistas to avant-garde trendsetters to savvy bargain hunters — and diners. The behemoth multi-level Fashion Centre at Pentagon City hosts 140 restaurants and upscale stores — from Aerie to Zara. At 300,000-square-foot Westpost (formerly Pentagon Row), a great place for a sip and stroll with your favorite drink, you can glide on the ice at an outdoor rink in winter and enjoy a concert on the plaza in summer. At its fall Makers Market, 20 local artists and artisans sell their handmade goods on the plaza to the accompaniment of live music. Those in search of a great deal delight in Pentagon Centre, directly above the Pentagon City Metro station, one of the busiest in the system.

Visitors also beeline to two American treasures: the soaring Air Force Memorial, whose three stainless-steel spires reach for the sky in a tribute to those who served in the U.S. Air Force, and the National 9/11 Pentagon Memorial, honoring the 184 people who died in the terrorist attack. And they can experience state-of-the-art interactive exhibits and displays at the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) Museum, which tells the story of the science and history of drug misuse prevention. 

For outdoor respite, Virginia Highlands Park provides 20 acres of lush green space complete with a dog park, walking trail, urban garden and facilities for baseball, basketball, soccer, tennis, volleyball — and even pétanque. 


Pentagon City’s malls offer dozens of tempting eateries, from the familiar to the exotic. Mediterranean food shines at Lebanese Taverna in Westpost and at Santé at the Ritz-Carlton Pentagon City, where grilled Virginia oysters happily coexist with lamb shawarma. Renowned local chef Cathal Armstrong’s Mattie & Eddie’s showcases an Irish farm-to-table menu (think: fish and chips and shepherd’s pie). Fish lovers appreciate Bonefish Grill for its wood-grilled specialties and handcrafted cocktails. Sample burnt ends, pig rolls and smoked wings at Epic Smokehouse, a sleek BBQ joint. South African-Portuguese flame-grilled chicken in spicy chili sauce is a perennial favorite at casual Nando’s Peri Peri. The trendy Nighthawk Brewery & Pizza brewpub specializes in thin and crispy pies that pair well with pilsners, ales and lagers.

Asian cuisine takes center stage at several eateries. Pillowy Taiwanese steamed buns with Korean fillings are the stars at Bun’d Up while Young Kang Street showcases the flavors of Taiwan, Hong Kong and China. Go to SaiGon SaiGon for a taste of Vietnam and to Asia Bistro for sushi.


The speakeasy-style Sparrow Room is an elegant mahjong parlor serving craft cocktails with dim sum classics. Pair fine wine with Asian tapas while enjoying weekly live jazz or blues at Zen Bistro & Wine Bar.

Sparrow Room