Italian District has only recently opened, but this new Herndon eatery is already gaining a loyal local following. Yelp reviewers note that it fills an important niche: quick, casual, and affordable Italian cuisine in a full-service restaurant environment.

The menu features classic pasta dishes (try the gnocchi with an order of house-made tomato soup to start), as well as a variety of hand-held sandwiches (ranging from Italian subs to gyros and wraps). The shop also serves up creamy gelato, so be sure to leave enough room for dessert. The dining room has a retro, diner-style vibe, thanks to the counter seating running down one side of the restaurant, as well as the big gleaming dessert cases filled with cakes, pies, and cannoli.

Insider tip: just like at a classic diner, you’ll head to the register to pay your check after you finish your meal at Italian District.