Located 20 miles southwest of Washington D.C., Centreville brings diverse amenities and a close-knit community feel to people who live here. Upper middle-class professionals and their families plant roots in this suburb for its low crime rates and great public schools. However, because of all the area has to offer, the 12-mile-wide neighborhood is packed to the brim with people of all ages. Despite the convenient commute to the city center, Centreville rivals D.C. in job opportunities and local culture, both of which draw residents to the neighborhood.
Restaurants & Nightlife
Centreville's restaurants and cafes hover along Lee Highway and extend down on Centreville Crest Lane. Cuisine in the area ranges from Vietnamese and Korean to savory Italian and classic American favorites, allowing locals to taste flavors from many countries without leaving the Centreville zip codes.
Start with Indian Ocean, a northern Indian café specializing in Ayurvedic style cooking with high-quality ingredients. Locals recommend pairing an Indian beer with the curried mussel appetizer at dinner time. Order the Lamb Vindaloo for a flavorful entrée if you don't wish to try the esteemed seafood curry.
Locals in need of an authentic Italian pizza head to Ciao Osteria, an award-winning eatery featuring Neapolitan pies made from scratch. Though pizza favorites include the Vesuviana and Salamino, frequent patrons suggest trying the gnocchi or fried eggplant. Make sure to leave room for dessert since the housemade tiramisu has been described as divine.
The diverse nightlife scene in Centreville spans venues ranging from pubs and lounges to comedy clubs and pool halls. Stop in at the Backyard Grill Restaurant on Metrotech Drive and chow down on a broad selection of comfort food as you watch the game. This joint offers a lively atmosphere from Thursdays to Saturdays, when live DJs and bands entertain the crowds.
Alternatively, sip on a glass of Mexican sangria at Lulu Café and Karaoke. The 2 a.m. closing time at this relaxing lounge means locals can sing their hearts out late into the night. With an ever-flowing fountain of drinks, Lulu ranks close to the top for its social atmosphere. However, beer enthusiasts tend to stick to the popular Sweetwater Tavern chain for its popular selection of brews.
History & Culture
Centreville was originally known as Newgate in the 1760s after a popular local tavern with the same name. However, Centreville was officially established in 1792 when locals petitioned for a centrally located town off the turnpike. During the Civil War, the town was the site of the first railroad built exclusively for military use. By 1990, the area had drastically increased due to the influx of technology companies and the jobs associated with them.
Residents visit the Stuart Mosby Civil War Calvary Museum or venture to historic sites to peruse the suburb’s beginnings. Without a prominent art or music scene, locals look forward to annual events such as the Vintage Virginia Wine Festival and the popular Fall Festival at Cox Farms.
Residents in Centreville depend heavily on cars for their transportation needs. Most destinations are too spread out to walk to, so residents choose to bike to several establishments around town instead. Cyclists are most common south of Lee Highway with additional cycling infrastructure around Stone Road.
With 89 percent of residents choosing to use automobiles, free residential parking comes easily but traffic can back up quite a bit. Instead of waiting in traffic, some residents who commute use the 640, 641 or 642 bus routes that connect to the Metrorail Station. People who work in the city also use both the Silver and Orange Lines. Locals without a set of wheels call ahead to one of several taxi services in Centreville or use Uber to schedule their rides.
Life amid the luxury townhomes and quiet streets of Centreville comes with a relatively affordable price tag, since the average cost of living sits only about 3 percent higher than that of Washington, D.C. However, standard goods and services such as groceries and health care cost less in Centreville, leaving transportation and utilities to count as the pricier facets of life. Fuel prices sit about 8 percent higher than the national average, and one-day rail pass fare costs $14.50. The average monthly rent runs $1,348 for a standard one-bedroom apartment, more affordable than housing in the city. Small luxuries such as a beer for $2.75 help alleviate the high costs associated with transportation and utilities, though prices overall are comparable to the District’s.
Shopping options are most populous along Lee Highway, particularly at its intersection with Sully Road. Many big-name retailers dominate the market, but a few local shops manage to thrive amidst the corporate competition.
Nollypop Mobile Boutique brings fashion lovers a unique selection of vintage jewelry and accessories. Locals say to keep an eye out, since the traveling shop appears in many locations through town so the one-of-a-kind pieces may go quickly.
Additional boutiques, such as hahaPink and Kid To Kid specialize in apparel for younger shoppers while thrift mavens peruse racks of affordable clothes, home goods and books at Clock Tower Thrift Shop on Centreville Crest Lane.
Locals pick up groceries from chain stores such as Trader Joes or Giant Foodstore on Stone Road. However, local options such as Lotte Plaza Market and Park N Shop remain long-time favorites for residents interested in purchasing specialty groceries. Park N Shop stands out for offering both a quick meal and Asian goods in the same space; locals praise its bahn mi and large selection of teas. Residents attend Cox Farms or the Good Fortune Supermarket for farm-fresh produce, fish and international health foods. The next nearest farmers’ market operates in Manassas on West Street.
Locals in Centreville are surrounded by green space in almost every direction, which makes it easy to indulge in a bit of outdoor recreation. Ellanor C. Lawrence Park on Walney Road remains a favorite, though it straddles the boundary with Chantilly and gets claimed by both boroughs. Locals escape into the 600-acre natural setting through a series of walking trails. Joggers use the trails to exercise, while pet owners stroll along the streams with their furry friends on leashes. Half of the trail system invites cyclists to pedal through the scenic paths, while families appreciate the playground.
The weekly program Saturdays Arts in the Park features free music performances and activities tailored for children. Locals suggest checking out the welcome center and nature exhibits, as well as exploring the historic parts of the grounds that lead to a 19th-century dairy.
For an even larger park with similar offerings, head to Cub Run Stream Valley Park west of Stone Road. The 800-acre park includes open fields of space, running and biking trails and a playground. Park and enter for free before heading into the trail that connects to a tot lot and basketball court. Further into the woods, residents can take in natural wonders of the area, starting with a hidden stone bridge that crosses the stream.
Locals flock to the woodsy area each April to catch the bluebells bloom, a phenomenon that fills everything in sight with vibrant cerulean hues. Neither park hosts events beyond small seasonal programs; however, locals find the lack of large groups more suitable for the sereneness that characterizes each location.