California Pizza Kitchen(CPK) in Tyson's Corner Mall - The best pizza around! Their pizzas are "gourmet" style ie. individual sized, thin crust and just about any type of topping you can imagine. My favorite is the duck sausage pizza. My wife though enjoys the grilled eggplant cheeseless pizza (basically a salad on a pizza crust). The only downside of CPK is that it's VERY popular!
America in Tysons Corner Mall and Union Station - One of the most extensive menus in town. They have everything from grilled cheese sandwiches to steak. The decor is nicely upscale but casual enough for the average mall patrons. The entre prices range for a couple of dollars to $20.
Rio Grande in the Reston Town Center - The best Mexican restaurant around with relatively low prices. The decor is a bit tacky. They went for the stereotypical third world, falling apart, roadside dive motif. It is interesting though.
Paolos in the Reston Town Center - I hesitate to include this restaurant here because it is better than "quick and inexpensive" but it is not quite "fine dining". It is a wonderful Italian restaurant with a young, slightly casual atmosphere. An unexpected treat was to find out they do a Sunday Brunch! This is one of the best brunches we've experienced.
Clydes in the Reston Town Center - The best burgers anywhere! Their entres are very good too though not usually too exciting. The only downfall here is they don't take reservations and the wait can be as long as an hour or more. I don't wait that long for any restaurant!
World Gourmet Pizza in the Cascades Market Place (Sterling Va.). This was originally listed under places NOT to eat. But out of fairness we tried them again. It appears most if not all of the wait staff has been replaced. Though they do still need a little practice, they are good. The pizzas are very good (though not quite as good as CPK). The price is very appealing; two people can dine for under $10!
Northwest Cafe in the Reston Town Center - Some of the best "healthy" sandwitches around. One of my favorites is the turkey reuben! They are also the primary suppliers of cappuccino in the Town Center.
Austin Grill at 801 King St. Old Town Alexandria. One of the areas best TexMex eateries. The atmosphere is crouded, noisy, and fairly young. Try a frozen Margarita or two while waiting for a table. It's often a long wait.
Ireland's Own132 N Royal St Old Town Alexandria. - The premier Irish Pub in DC! They have of course the best corned beef and cabbage in town. Being of Irish descent I do enjoy quaffing a pint of correctly drawnGuiness and listening to live Irish music.
NOTE: You may have noticed, I have not listed places such as Ruby Tuesdays, Bennigans, etc. This is because most of these places have the same menus, service, and decor. They are all fine for a quick lunch or a cheap dinner. I am more interested though in directing people to some of the lesser known establishments.