Reviews

Star Rating:

***** Bar-J Chili Parlor is rated 4.8 out of 5 stars, based on 93 reviews!

  • *****

    Great local spot for TexMex. Wonderful outdoor seating. The service is really good too!

  • *****

    Bar J's Chili is a great spot to sit down and listen to some live music, if you're there at the right time of the day. They bring you a basket of chips & salsa right away, which are so tasty, while checking out the menu. Bar J's Chili is delicious, as is their great Mexcian food! Their prices are pretty reasonable too! Located down in Occoquan, it's a fun spot to walk around and check out the little shops nearby, after a great meal at Bar J's Chili Parlor! ?

  • *****

    this place is the most relaxing way to spend a weekend afternoon. The live music on the back porch was retro 60s and 70s. Throw in a beer and chips and nachos and the river flowing behind it provided an enjoyable getaway for my spouse and I. The food looked delicious and plentiful, especially the salad which was generous enough for two. Get away to Bar J, even if you live in the area and escape back in time.

  • *****

    Very nice place with reasonable prices. The outside seating has a great view of the river. The inside appears to be more of a pub than restaurant

  • *****

    Dropped my this small local gem with a couple old school troublemakers and was NOT disappointed! Great chili great small town feel!

  • *****

    I have been craving their food. And the music on the patio area is awesome. My dog automatically goes to this restaurant for a great time.

  • *****

    Great chili mac. Very friendly place. Very good live music on weekends for middle aged folks like me anyway.

  • *****

    Delicious Tex mex food. Great prices for portions. $1 off tacos on Tuesdays!!

  • *****

    I've lived in Woodbridge since 1987, and I cannot believe that I failed, miserably, by not visiting the Bar J before today. What a treasure. Fantastic food and exceptional service. Tremendous location, and the patio overlooking the Occoquan is just sooooo relaxing. Two thumbs up, enthusiastically.

  • *****

    Walt and I really enjoyed the Chili Mac! Walt said he could of had another one. And I believed him! Was a little surprised you didn’t serve sweet tea! But Coka Cola was fine!

  • *****

    Lots of fun!

  • *****

    ??????????Amazing service, celebrated baby shower there, thx to everyone?Will be back definitely

  • *****

    Quick find. Staying at a hotel up the road. Out door seating with good live music!!!! Nice surprise on a Tuesday night.

  • *****

    I would have say it still a great place eat. I went back in early 90s to and it was the best. I went back June 1 2018 and it is still great. I'm looking forward to travel again it going to be one of my stops.

  • *****

    I would give 10 stars its as good or better than original!! Thanks again Kathy Anderson for briging to life again!!

  • *****

    Love coming over here! Incredibly friendly staff, good atmosphere, and good food.

  • *****

    We first started going to the Bar J some forty (yes, 40) years ago back when it shared a concrete-block building with Booth Feed down on U.S. 1. It looked scary (but wasn't) and the food was wonderful. We got to know the owners and family and for years followed the Bar J all over Prince William and south Fairfax Counties as it was forced to move by highway expansion and such, or opened new endeavors (including, at one time, an upscale Italian restaurant at Tackett's Mill). The address changed but the food didn't.

    We thought it was gone for good when both the original owners had passed on and the last location in Woodbridge at US 1 and Rt. 123 closed some years ago. NOW IT'S BACK and the original recipes are still the same--it's like finding a long-lost family member. Don't cheat yourself, GO! (I was shocked to see so many negative reviews; that surely has never been my experience). And order my favorite, the pork burrito, when you're tired of chili concoctions. Welcome back, Bar J!

  • *****

    We first started going to the Bar J some forty (yes, 40) years ago when it shared a concrete block building with Booth Feed down on U.S. 1. It looked scary (but wasn't) and the food was wonderful. We got to know the owners and followed the Bar J all over Prince William and south Fairfax Counties for years as it was forced to move by highway expansion and such, or opened new locations . The address changed but the food didn't. We thought it was gone for good when both the original owners had passed on and the last location at US 1 and Rt. 123 closed some years ago. NOW IT'S BACK and the original recipes are still the same--it's like finding a long-lost family member. Don't cheat yourself, GO. And order my favorite, the pork burrito, when you're tired of chili concoctions. Welcome back, Bar J!

  • *****

    So happy to have Bar J back in the area. Their staff and food is great. I had my husbands' birthday party there and everyone was happy. We sat outside and enjoyed the homey feeling.

  • *****

    Great food. Great service. Great View!

  • *****

    Food and service was excellent a little too expensive!!!

  • *****

    Just stopped in for drinks, but very happy w the service and atmosphere

  • *****

    Good Tacos, Margaritas, Service & Live Music.... Husband & I definitely enjoyed our Friday Night. Will be back real soon.

  • *****

    Great food. Great people. Great live music. A must when passing through Prince William County.

  • *****

    I've been going to the Bar J since my dad took me to the original by Booth Feeds on Route One. Then I was a regular at the one on 123 in Woodbridge for my entire life. Even when I moved away, whenever I was home I would have to come by the Bar J. I took all of my friends there. Everyone loved it.
    When that location closed it was legit traumatic ;-)
    I was ridiculously excited when it opened by up in Occoquan even though I live in Arlington. I find my way to the Bar J at least every other week. The food is still amazing, but the ambiance and decor is much improved. I LOVED the old location and there was incredible charm to that dive, but this is much better.
    There's no better Salsa than Bar J's Hot Salsa. I've been all over the world I've had a lot of Salsa. There's in the best. This new mild they have, I skip it. Salsa is hot :) The only thing close in the area is the Salsa Verde at Dos Amigos in Del Ray.
    I've had probably everything on the menu at least once. All of the burritos, enchiladas & fajitas are great. The tamales are good. I LOVE the Texas Devil Steak. The Chicken Bubba Sandwich is delicious. And of course the Chili is championship good.
    I LOVE the Bar J.

  • *****

    Old school Mexican fare with a rock solid authentic uniqueness all it's own. Go out of your way if you have to, to experience this slice of tex-mex faire!

  • *****

    LOVE this place. The best Tex Mex anywhere around. My dad took me to the original location & the Woodbridge location for as long as I can remember. I brought all of my friends there and anyone who came to visit. Everyone loved it. So glad it's back in Occoquan. Everything is great. Best salsa anywhere. LOVE!

  • *****

    After I was able to find a parking space for my 24’ Sprinter Winnebago motorhome (no small Feat) Boomer and I walked over to the patio around back and the Wonderful, Caring and Beautiful Hostess discreetly noticed right away that I was having trouble walking and standing and seated me immediately, brought us chips and salsa we listened to some Really great music by Louie and then she brought me one of the best hamburgers I’ve ever had!
    Kathy, You have a winning combination going on here

  • *****

    Bar J is not your quinoa-based Mexican food. It's Texas roadhouse grub and some of it is great.

    I ordered the cheese enchiladas because that's always my first test for Tex-Mex food. Bar J's almost brought tears to my eyes. The enchilada was filled with cheese, onions and green onions, with plenty of real, melted jack cheese on top. I choose Texas, no beans, chili for the sauce.

    This is stick-to-your-ribs-follow-you-home-and-keep-you-company-at-night food. It brought back memories of childhood in West Texas. As you can see from the photo below the dish had just the right amount of grease (I'm searching for a more appetizing word, but no luck). It was soo good I'm going to have trouble ordering anything else the next time I visit.

    The other dishes we ordered weren't up to the standard set by the enchiladas. Keep in mind at Bar J the price includes just the entree. My enchiladas didn't come with frijoles or rice. You must order those as sides.

    My wife had enchiladas with 'green chile sauce.' She was disappointed because the sauce was not a traditional green chile topping, instead it was a tomato-based sauce with a few chopped chiles added.

    We also had a problem with the tamales. The default sauce is 'Cincinnati Chili.' When we moved here I was shocked to learn I'd been eating Cincy Chili all my life, only we called it spaghetti sauce and it has no business on tamales. The measure of a good restaurant is how it responds when there is a problem. Bar J passes. The young lady serving immediately offered to bring out some Texas Chili which does belong on tamales.

    I'm going back when I can. My advice is avoid the spaghetti sauce and initially stay with the basics.

  • *****

    ABSOLUTELY unique but GREAT chilimacs. Been going there for like 30yrs. original chain closed years back, but relatives reopened it with the same recipes...I travel 60 miles to get my chilimac...that should say it all.

  • *****

    Always great employees, great food, wonderful experience, inside or out, music inside or live music outside!

  • *****

    Awesome! Best bean dip around! An icon restaurant of Woodbridge/Occoquan/Lorton.

  • *****

    Nice place it's worth the trip, they don't go light on the cheese so it's good for a splurge meal. Chili was so so but the pork burrito was delicious!

  • *****

    The Mexican Fondue was great and the margaritas are an awesome price delicious! Nice atmosphere too, will definitely be back!

  • *****

    Alls I can say...best Food and Staff and sooooooo clean.... and old friends.Saw Sharon which blew my mind..we were the old Bar J bunch..I know where I'll be spending Springtime!!! Come to the Bar J for FOOD, FUN and FAMILY!! More than excellent <3

  • *****

    The day that Bar-J reopened ranks along with my wedding day and the days that my kids were born as the best days of my life. #princewilliamproud

  • *****

    The crab sandwich is delicious! Jumbo lump meat, tartar sauce was fabulous and served on a brioche bun. Waffle fries we perfectly fried. Relaxing atmosphere inside and out. Dock staff very friendly and helpful. Would definitely recommend to dock and dine.

  • *****

    Awesome food! Awesome Service! You Need to eat there.

  • *****

    I met some friends here for drinks and had a pretty good time. The beer was cheap, but the variety was not extensive. There were some local brews on tap though. The appetizers we ordered were okay. The waiter was friendly and the atmosphere was clean and non-threatening. This is a good casual place to meet colleagues after work.

  • *****

    Reminds me of home... Texas. Great chili here... excellent live music everytime I've visited... and friendly folks, both employees & patrons... just like back home... incredible & rare in an area like this!!

  • *****

    I love the Texas style chili here. I have had it in tacos and in a bread bowl. Taco's are $1 off on Tuesdays all day! The owner and staff are always friendly and they have outdoor seating by the river when the weather is nice.

  • *****

    This is a great little local hangout. The chili is great, no filler, just meat and spices. They have indoor seating, a bar and a great outdoor patio with music when weather permits. Highly recommend!!!

  • *****

    We love this place. If you go I recommend trying Mexican hot burrito, Chili Mac (with Texas chili), fajitas (beef), or if you are into Hot Texas devil steak. It's a family run restaurant and the patio is wonderful in the summer months.

  • *****

    The fajitas at Bar-J are the best I've had anywhere. Chicken is my fav. The chili is also good. My partner likes the Texas chili, I prefer the Cincinnati chili Mac. One critique: there is no Sauvignon Blanc on the menu. Other: the guacamole could be better.

  • *****

    Mel and Cici are true delights, they keep the environment at an all time high and I can say I've never had a bad time. Will continue to come to this restaurant as well as recommend to anyone coming through the area.

  • *****

    Best Tex-Mex east of the Peckos! Friendly service, supports live music artists and friendly bar.

  • *****

    Food was good as usual, can only go sometimes . We live in md but it's worth the drive. Needs more beer choices . If waiters & waitress are a little more attentive they would make more tips. We will be back !! ( have the wet burritos ready )

  • *****

    The Texas Chili MAC was great. The service was great. Will definitely recommend this place. Can’t wait to go back!

  • *****

    Can't get enough! And, love the patio and Louie!!!

  • *****

    We are from New Jersey and went there for my B-day dinner. It was great food and the staff was very nice . Will definitely go back ,if I come down to visit.

  • *****

    Awesome Fajita burrito and extra hot devil steak with great music on the patio!

  • *****

    It was nice and relaxing, the playing guitar was nice and friendly, and our waitress was nice we just had drink and bean dip with chips.

  • *****

    My wife were in the area and tried Bar J on a whim. Glad we did. Food was great - loved my Chorizo Burrito - and the people were super welcoming. And not just the staff, other patrons were warm and engaging. I'm sure we'll be back.

  • *****

    Great atmosphere, live music on a Saturday night, food was yummy (had the Chili mac). Couldn't ask for much more.

  • *****

    Great food and service. Live music was an extra bonus that is hard to find. Definitely come again.

  • *****

    This place has a cool vibe to it. It's TexMex basically. Very good service. We were able to be seating for lunch on a Sunday on the patio with no wait. I've only been there once but I'd certainly go back.

  • *****

    The food and service were outstanding. The musician on the patio who frequents this location was the reason I'm compelled to write this. I'm told his name is Louie, but don't quote me on the spelling. His set list was awesome, non stop great music and his style and voice made them all unique and great. I'm not sure why he isn't playing for a place that charges admission but I'm glad that we found this place and he's a regular each weekend.

  • *****

    Bar J is head and shoulders above the place that use to be in the same spot. Good service, good food, nice atmosphere, and clean!

  • *****

    Had an amazing time there with live music. Food and drink prices reasonable. Definitely going back again. Would recommend it to anyone.

  • *****

    Fantastic service, my BF ordered the wrong menu item and they replaced it and gave us the wrong one to take home!!! I have to say that not being a chili fan I still managed to eat a large portion of my boyfriends chili mac (the wrong one). Service was SUPER friendly and efficient. I don't think we will become regulars, but I am sure we will go back.

  • *****

    It all started with the Pig Out dish. The pulled pork with BBQ sauce drizzled over it was, and not to downplay it, amazing. The coleslaw was really good as well. It had a wonderful consistency and flavor. The hospitality and family atmosphere speaks volume of the community focused business model. The 30+ year history exists for a reason, and a really good one at that; the community loves this place, because Bar J loves the community.

  • *****

    Free music on weekends, beautiful patio; pet friendly, great food!! We love it!!

  • *****

    We stopped in as a large group for a work lunch. The staff was very friendly and hospitable. The menu is really nice, unique and loaded with all sorts of great items! They have a large selection of Tex-Mex/Southwestern specialties as well as chili and decent adult beverages too!

    Their chili is REALLY good! The Cincinnati was tasty without having too much cinnamon. The Texas was outstanding, nice and spicy and you can get it dry as well, so you don't have too much grease.
    The soft tacos are really tasty as well. They also sell corn and flour tortillas to enjoy with your chili. They offer plenty of fixings for your chili also.

    Overall, it was a great visit and this is definitely the best restaurant in Occoquan!

  • *****

    The wife and I went here for drinks and apps. The drinks prices for happy hour is good!!! The nachos were good they use real shredded cheese and jalapeos. We took home dinner, wife got a taco salad and I got the Pig Out! The pork BBQ was very good as well as the taco salad!!!

  • *****

    use to come here when I was first dating my wife, when they were by ames. the menu and the food are the same except the prices, which I understand have to go up food came up quick and exactly as I remember. glad it was cold outside so I could go cool off after forgetting how spicy the chili is,haha worth a visit.

  • *****

    If you don't like crowds, then don't go to a small and super popular restaurant. Get over yourself. This place is an institution. It was packed back in the day and it's packed even more so now after such a long hiatus. It's as great as it was back in the day, if you have a problem waiting for a table then just go somewhere else, but just stop complaining about it!!!! Oh, and for the record, if you give shoppers a better rating than wegmans, you lose all credibility as a reviewer, just saying.

  • *****

    One of the best burritos I've had in a while! Excited to come back and try the rest of the menu. The atmosphere is very quant and the decor is the perfect addition to the Woodbridge area!

  • *****

    My husband and I are so happy. We we're so sad when the last one went out of business. The chili is just the way we remembered. You can have you way. With or without beans cheese an onions. Hot and spicy or mild. Thank you for coming back.

  • *****

    I'd never been to any of the old Bar-J's but I wanted to find out if the chili was any good for starters. I was impressed with the decor of the place as soon as I walked in. Very good job. I thought the place was small, and because of that, the booths and tables are somewhat awkwardly arranged.

    I ordered chili con queso as an appetizer. It was pretty good and unique in that it had some red sauce swirled through it. The chips were ok, kind of typical, but ok. The table salsa was very good, though.

    Next, I had the Texas chili with beans. It was very good, but spicier than I'm used to, but I liked it more and more as I finished it. I'll try the Cincinnati flavor another time.

    The waitress, Melonie, was pleasant, good at her job and followed up frequently.

    This place could be three times the size and still be crowded. I think they undershot expectations for how popular they would become.

    I'll be back again to work my way through their impressive menu, that's for sure.

  • *****

    Awesome blast from the past! The food was awesome and the menu did not disappoint. The strawberry sopapillas were right where they should be on the menu... scrumptious!!! Cant wait to go back.

  • *****

    First time here. Food was awesome. Chilli was great. They know how to make a perfect tamale and the burito was just right. Thank goodness Occoquan has another good place to eat

  • *****

    Went there for lunch at their new location in Occoquan. Facility has been remarkably redone and looks fantastic. The menu is identical to what they used to carry in Featherstone Plaza wayback in the day - and they even brought back the same cooks. This is a family oriented place, the food quality is very high, and the prices are extremely reasonable. I would wholeheartedly recommend for Jay's to anyone who's looking for a place to have a meal with their family.

  • *****

    Went in for lunch, I used to frequent Bar J before it closed some time ago. The salsa was hot and delicious. The chips fresh and the chicken enchiladas were awesome. A great lunch and the place was packed. Go a little bit early to beat the crowds.

  • *****

    The food is excellent, i tried the texas quesadilla and the chicken chimichanga...the service is exquisite, very friendly and helpful, and the prices are reasonable. They also have an awesome outdoor patio, definitely recommend this place!!

  • *****

    I don't know why I keep coming here...maybe because the food is good.! The Texas quesadilla is amazing and the chili Mac is good. Don't let the size of the plates fool you: the food is very hearty and filling. The atmosphere is cool and the view of the river makes for an enjoyable experience. Let's not forget that the staff is awesome. Earlier I gave this place 4 stars. It gets 5 because they're pet friendly.

  • *****

    The chips and salsa they bring out are incredible! The wait staff is fast and very friendly. I'll be back often.

  • *****

    Fajitas are amazing. A bit pricey, but worth it. I'm a fan! Can't wait to try the chili mac next time.

  • *****

    They're back! Same menu, same taste! Cute new small location. Service was great the first time even with the huge opening weekend crowd, with one of the old place's original girls. Second time the place was less busy and the service was a little slower but this has to be on your list if you are looking for good tex-mex and descent portions. Texas chili, wet and dry, burritos, devil steak, chips and salsa! Yum! A must have is the famous honey sopapilla!

  • *****

    Mel is the bestest and Cici makes the yummiest drinks ever! I absolutely love this place.

  • *****

    The chili's pretty good, but it's also really expensive. Bartender isn't very observant either. It's nice to have a chili parlor somewhat local, but the price is a bit of a turn off.

  • *****

    Occoquan needed something different from the normal fare and they finally got it. Great Guacamole dip. Hot salsa! Nice place, like the patio.

  • *****

    Outstanding food and staff. My first time but the folks I came with say it's as good as they remember. Seating is somewhat limited and the bar was packed. The food was fresh. The drinks cold and the atmosphere was fun.

  • *****

    A family owned restaurant that makes incredibly delicious Tex-Mex food. I traveled to Texas quite a bit and this restaurant is the closest you can come to true Tex-Mex in our area.
    The entire staff is overwhelming welcoming. They make you feel like you're part of their family.

  • *****

    I have eaten at Bar J a number of times since they came to Occoquan and the food has been great. I like sitting out on the patio area by the water. My favorite is the taco salad, really enjoyed it.

  • *****

    So at first I was on the fence about this spot due to a limited beer selection and the fact that I couldn't find anything on the menu that just wowed me.

    HOWEVER. My husband and his fam remember this place from before and it was a big part of their past. So I stuck it out and kept visiting and FINALLY found some things I loved.

    Happy Hour during the week from 3p-7p you get a dollar off cans of beer. The beers change out pretty regular so lean on the staff to figure out what's good.

    MEXICAN PIZZA. OMG. Pro Tip: If you want one of these, order it as soon as you sit down because it takes 25 mins. It's so worth it, though!

    Also: Taco Tuesday.

    Find them on instagram @barjchiliparlor and follow them. That was really the turning point for me because I could actually see pictures of the items I'd never ordered and it helped me to navigate what I might want to try next. And also where they post specials, etc.

    I really encourage you to get out and try this spot. It's not fancy, but it's consistent. It's a good "hole in the wall" (not really. It's trying to be divey but it's just too new and it's in Old Town Occoquan which is cute and niche by default) spot to grab some beers and cheap tacos every Tuesday... or meet up with your local friends and split apps.

  • *****

    Great service always and a nice crowd too. Great food as well.

  • *****

    This is my new favorite spot! I've been here probably 6 times in the last two weeks and still have not gotten tired of it! The service is great, and it's an overall nice place. I can't speak on the entire menu because all I've ordered from here are tacos, but the tacos are GREAT! It's Taco Tuesday today and I'm about to enjoy myself!

  • *****

    We love the beautiful outside patio, the servers are very attentive, fast and friendly , and live music on the patio.
    The guacamole dip and the fajitas are the best
    I definitive coming back.

  • *****

    Bar J - back again in quaint waterfront in Occoquan. The decor was fabulous with a beautiful outside patio. We tried the tacos and California burrito , both were very good. The drinks were ice cold and reasonably priced. Service was perfect and very attentive. Pleasure seeing Kathy (Owner) while we were there!! Big menu variety of all the classics, give it try. !

  • *****

    The CHILI MAC was great, same menu as the one located on RT-1 next to Booth Feeds back in the 80s.

    Service was fast and friendly, plus, the atmosphere was very present.

    The chips and salsa were just like I remembered.

    Happy customer.

  • *****

    I came here when I was 7 (different location) and 20 years later I came back.
    Service was on point, food was delicious, atmosphere ( is "Tex mex" inside) we ate outside on a beautiful day.
    Had the beef and chicken tacos = big portions and yummy!
    My mom loves their taco salad. My dad loves everything on menu.
    Come check this place out!

  • *****

    This has been a good addition since Hard Times went away. The Texas chili was very tasty. With a slow growing burn, but no too hot. The guacamole
    Was very good and the chips were right on point. Server dos a very good job and another lady pitched in when drinks were low. Second time we have been here since the came back to the area. I recommend giving them a try. The one star deduction is for it being a little tight in there. Luckily no real wait today. Seems they might outgrow this location.

  • *****

    Stop the chili press! Bar J's serves up some outrageously scrumptious Chili. With just the right combination of flavors and sauce, Bar J's conjures up a chili feast that is reminiscent of an old time chili roadhouse. It is like you're stepping back in time when things were unceremoniously done with pride and love. Hell, if my Grandma were still around, she might even have to bow to their chili, and she was chili old school.

    Bar J's atmosphere is casual cool, and I felt right at home the moment I took a seat at the bar. My bartender was friendly and charming, and I quickly got the impression that that was service standard for this chili oasis.

    Of course, judging by some Yelp reviews, Bar J's does have some detractors, but these reviews seem to center on the possibility of a somewhat long wait. To those reviewers I say, "Hey, good chili draws the crowds, foodie.. Lighten the chili up. ;)"

    So in a nutshell (or a chili bowl if you prefer), Bar J's serves up some superb chili.. Oh, and don't forget to try a side of their in house coleslaw, one of the better things that has ever been done to cabbage.. Yum!