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“The Best of Times and Worst of Times Here” 4 of 5 stars
Review of O'Faolain's Irish Pub

O'Faolain's Irish Pub
20921 Davenport Dr, Ste 134, Sterling, VA 20165-6157
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Ranked #8 of 199 Restaurants in Sterling
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $30 - $30
Cuisines: Pub, Irish
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Bar scene
Dining options: Breakfast, Late Night, Dinner, Lunch, Reservations, Seating, Waitstaff
Dining style: Casual Dining
Cross street: Route 7 & Palisades Parkway
Herndon, Virginia
Level Contributor
88 reviews
48 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 41 helpful votes
“The Best of Times and Worst of Times Here”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 23, 2013

This is our neighborhood pub and equivalent of Cheers and the wait staff is friendly and welcoming. Great sports bar. Some of the food is excellent but some is pedestrian - it is a matter of taste. Their fish specials are always served with too me (an Italian, no less) strange types of risotto, for instance. But, unlike some places you can have a burger cooked to order and they have an OUTSTANDING seafood chowder.

Their Sunday brunch is excellent - especially with bottomless mimosas. For that reason we sometimes opt to come and go by taxi.

I don't care for their Friday night music - they offer little in what Americans think of as "Irish" Music, that I like like the Irish Rovers - and the management doesn't care for IRA glorification.

We visit almost weekly so that is a pretty good endorsement - I just wish they'd have better music!

  • Visited March 2013
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 3 of 5 stars Food
Thank MarcoPolodiNuovaYork
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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88 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Level Contributor
85 reviews
40 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 36 helpful votes
“Fun Irish Pub -- Great Food, Music, Atmosphere; Friendly Service”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 18, 2013

We went here on the eve before St. Patrick's Day, after going to the movies at the theatre in the same complex. It was very crowded and we didn't have reservations, so we hung out in the bar area for an hour before a table was ready for us. We had a really great time, both in the bar and the main restaurant. It's a really lively, happening place with a great atmosphere, and both the Irish band and the contemporary one that followed were great! I loved my appropriately green drinks, and the food was very good. My friend and I both ordered the Shepherd's Pie; it was wonderful!! I especially love the bread and butter! They were so good!! (and I was quite happy they accidentally brought us two servings of it). All the staff here were extremely friendly and helpful, despite it being so crowded. It was a perfect place to go both on St. Patrick's Day Weekend and year-round. It's everything an Irish pub should be! A great place to go for an evening or before or after the movies.


Visited March 2013
Thank MominVirginia
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Aurora, Colorado
Level Contributor
255 reviews
147 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 117 helpful votes
“Friendly staff, good food, nice atmosphere!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 2, 2013

This was our first trip to O'Faolains and we were glad we went. First, you can make reservations on Open Table which is nice, so we made reservations for 6:00 pm on a Sat night - it wasn't really necessary as there were lots of open tables when we arrived. It's located in a strip mall type area so doesn't look like much from the outside - plenty of parking obviously due to the location.

We were seated right away and our waiter came over soon after to take drink orders. My wife ordered the prime rib special and I ordered a hamburger. We decided not to order an appetizer as we planned to split a dessert. We were glad we skipped the appetizer as the waiter brought out a bread basket that had regular white bread and a zucchini bread. The zucchini bread was outstanding! The waiter told us it was home made and the manager later told us it was something he and the chef came up with on a whim and it was so popular they now sell it by the loaf.

My wife's prime rib was cooked as ordered, medium, and it was delicious. My burger was very good as well, though I asked for medium and it was a little overcooked, but not dried out. The waiter also told me it didn't come with raw onion on it, just onion strings, but he was wrong on that count. No problem as I just took off the raw onion. My wife had a soda I had 2 O'Faolain Pale Ales with dinner and they were very good - $4 a pint which I thought was very reasonable.

We ordered the managers special for dessert, profiterole - 3 small cream puffs filled with vanilla ice cream, laid on a raspberry sauce and drizzled with hot chocolate - excellent!

The manager came by to ask how our meal was, and he delivered the dessert as well. He gave us dessert on the house, maybe just because we told him this was our first visit and we were very pleased with the meal. The bill would have been $49 total for the two of us if we paid for the dessert, and was $43 when that was taken off.

The whole staff was extremely friendly, the atmosphere is very relaxing, it was quiet so you can carry on a normal conversation, and the food and service were great. It should say something that it is about a 25 mile jaunt for us to go but we will definitely go back, and recommend it to our friends. Was very impressed.

  • Visited March 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Food
Thank MT1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
North Jersey
Level Contributor
17 reviews
15 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Don't judge by the outside...”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 16, 2013 via mobile

Found O'Faolains right here on Tripadvisor. Absolutely fantastic. Once you get past the strip mall entrance, you're transported to an authentic feeling pub. We ordered and shared the Seafood Chowder (yes they are willing to split the serving...it's more than enough). It was fresh, creamy, and chock full of seafood. My husband had the corned beef Reuben...loved it. I ordered the grilled chicken chopped salad. It was enormous. Should ask if that can be shared too. Or, ask for the dressing on the side so you can bring it home. Either way, awesome salad.

We also ordered O'Faolains Pale Ale. So crisp and flavorful. Very very good! Also, our bill was only just over $40...but again we didn't order entrees.

We're in VA for the weekend, but if we're ever in this neck of the woods again, we'll be back.

    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
Thank maryfran30
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sterling, Virginia
Level Contributor
46 reviews
28 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
“It's hit ot miss”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed February 15, 2013

I like the location and the interior of the place. It's old but cozy and always have plenty of empty tables. The place fills up fod sinner but is pretty empty around lunch hours. I would describe it as a good place for business lunches or just for catching up with friends there because the noise level is very low. I found their menu not always accomodating for the lighter eaters or vegetarians. Their Shepard's pie is basic but good and the reuben sandwich is pretty good too but extremely greasy.

Visited December 2012
Thank Happy C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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