Arts & Entertainment

Restaurant Review: Cosi

CosiWith a temperature drop all but guaranteed, Cosi, situated amidst the bustling Broad Street traffic in Falls Church, promises to bring “fresh food, prepared and served in a warm atmosphere.”

Cosi started as a restaurant chain in 1996, after becoming popular in Europe as a gourmet sandwich and salad shop and the franchise has gradually expanded to include pizza, and soups in addition to offering breakfast, desert and a full espresso bar. 

The key to any good sandwich is the bread, and perhaps no restaurant chain understands this better than Cosi, with its famous straight-from-the-hearth flatbread.

The bread is based on a two-millennia-old recipe and is reminiscent of the bread enjoyed by the Romans. Each loaf is made from scratch on the premises and cooked in an open-flame stone oven, prominently displayed behind the restaurant’s counter. In addition to the rustic flatbread, Cosi also recently added the healthier Etruscan whole grain option to its menu, also oven-baked in the hearth.

With new restaurants popping up all over, Cosi is constantly expanding their menu to meet customer’s needs, offering pizzas, melts and salad combos or even letting you make your own by filling out a form located by the register. Their selection of natural and preservative-free soups include pollo e pasta and tomato basil aurora, as well as a rotating soup-of-the day, all complimented with your choice of bread.

Although Cosi is slightly pricey, most sandwiches are under $7 and worth every penny. They’re also served with your choice of Cosi chips or baby carrots. Each salad or sandwich is made fresh right in front of you and if you get lucky you might be able to score free samples of bread right from the oven.

The restaurant’s look and feel is inspired by a small Parisian café, tastefully decorated with oversized arm chairs and small tables to give customers a sophisticated, yet comfortable atmosphere to enjoy their meal.

By offering items such as hummus & fresh veggies or the warm spinach artichoke spread, Cosi is a step up from the average sandwich joint. The restaurant is also open during the week until 10 p.m., offering customers a chance to unwind and casually sip a cup of coffee long after their classes or respective workdays are over.

One of the most popular items on the menu is the S’mores, which have become almost synonymous with Cosi’s restaurant. The traditional S’mores, ($7.39 for two or $12.99 for four) offers all the campfire goodness of graham crackers, Hershey’s chocolate and gooey marshmallows in a do-it-yourself format, where making it is (almost) as fun as eating it.

While more than half of Cosi restaurants serve alcohol, the Broad St. location currently does not (they are still working on getting a liquor license).  However, don’t condemn yourself to water just yet — the non-alcoholic beverages selection is superb, offering fruit smoothies, caramel apple cider and mint chocolate specialties, coupled with an assortment of lemonade and teas. To prepare for the chilly holiday weather, two new drinks, the pumpkin spice latte and egg nog latte are now available as well.

Of course, if you already are part of the Cosi faithful, limited-time items such as the holiday spice turkey & cranberry or chicken Geneva rustica sandwich, topped with bacon and imported Swiss, should keep customer interest fresh.

Cosi currently operates over 90 restaurants with homes in 17 states and DC.



513 West Broad St.

Falls Church, Va.


Mon. – Fri. 7 a.m. – 10 p.m.

Sat. 8 a.m. – 10 p.m.

Sun. 8 a.m. – 9 p.m.