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Restaurants in Arlington

We will be staying in Arlington, Va for the week of 12-26-1/1. We have reservations @ CityZen & Citronelle in DC area. Want to spend time exploring restaurants in Arlington, specifically in Courthouse area? Open to all cusine.

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  1. Ultimately your best bets for fine dining, in my opinion, are in DC (with the exception of Inn @ Little Washington). There are certainly plenty of good places in that area, but not a ton of great ones. Do you have price ranges or is price not an issue?

    1 Reply
    1. re: jpschust

      Price is not an issue. We are planning to spend most of time in DC area. Wanted to explore Arlington area for 1 or 2 nights.

    2. Are you planning on 5 straight days of fine dining then? If you're willing to slum it in Arlington:

      In the Courthouse area, you will want to check out Rays the Steaks (search for other discussions). Other places that have been discussed before, and I enjoy regularly in Arlington include Pasha, Whitlow's on Wilson, Ravi Kabob, Super Pollo, Attilla's on Columbia Pike, El Paso Cafe, El Charrito Caminante, Carribean Grill, Lost Dog, Lebanese Taverna, Nam Viet, and others. There are a lot of other establishments, but these are all moderate to low-priced options and not chains...well Nam Viet and Lebanese Taverna have a couple locations but they started in Arlington.

      1. I apologize, I neglected Ray's the Steaks. It is truly wonderful for Arlington.

        1. Geez...I definitely wouldn't refer to dining in Arlington (especially the Clarendon area) as slumming it! While DC has the majority of nicer restaurants...Arlington has it's fair share of fun, nice and authentic restaurants. I would encourage you to head more towards Clarendon versus Courthouse...but it's just one more Metro stop up...or a quick walk.

          I have enjoyed my meals at:
          Sette Bello http://www.settebellorestaurant.com/
          Boulevard Woodgrill http://www.boulevardwoodgrill.com/
          Harry's Tap Room http://www.harrystaproom.com/
          Tallula Restaurant & Wine Bar http://tallularestaurant.com/

          I also like Cafe Asia in Rosslyn...though some other Chowhounders disagree...I think it's a fun environment with delicious asian dishes...and great sushi.

          Since you've picked two of the best DC restaurants...don't expect the same at the above restaurants...however these restaurants still offer some great choices! Welcome to the DC Metro Area...I hope you have a great experience!

          1. How about Bebo in Crystal City? Not the Courthouse area, but close to Metro and it's getting a lot of good mentions on the boards here.

            1. I'm always a fan of Swatdee Thai--located right in the Courthouse Plaza, steps from the metro. I eat there about once every week or two, and have never had a disappointing meal or experience. Good luck & enjoy.

              1. What? The whole range is accounted for here and no mention of Thai Square or Bangkok 54? They are two of three thai places deemed by a group on this board a year or more ago as the top in the metro area. Both are on Columbia Pike btwn Walter Reed and Glebe. Attilla's, previously mentioned is just on the other side of Walter Reed on the Pike (they have a sit down area and a take out area. The Donner kebab is only offered in the sit down side).

                I'll also put in my ubiquitous second on Nam Viet in Clarendon.

                1. Indeed, the full range is suggested here. And in addition to Thai Square and Bangkok 54, there are probably others we could suggest. Since you say you want to explore Arlington restaurants, and you already have reservations at 2 of the fine dining places in D.C., you may want to really "explore" Arlington and try a range of the many ethnic restaurants. That is really the strength of Arlington. If you are willing to expand your exploration to Falls Church, it's even better. I don't know what you have where you currently live and travel, but chances are you will find places that equal or surpass those you are used to. I'll second some of those mentioned above and add in some of my own.

                  Thai Square mentioned above is just about the best in the D.C. area. Bangkok 54 is also good.

                  Good Korean food can be found a bit farther out, but if you'll have a car for an extra 15 minutes drive and are interested, local hounds can offer suggestions.

                  Eden Center is just over the Arlington line in Falls Church, where you can find excellent Vietnamese food from pho to bahn mi sandwiches to regular meals at Nam Viet or Tay Do.

                  One thing we don't have is good Mexican. However, give some thought to trying some other Latin American cuisine such as Peruvian at Costa Verde, or Central American food such as pupusas at the above-mentioned Taqueria El Charrito Caminante, a lunch counter with a few stools; or Bolivian at a place (help me hounds with the name) that's a couple of miles outside of Arlington in Falls Church on Arlington Blvd and Graham Rd). Rotisserie chicken is good at Super Pollo, and they have some good side dishes. They almost always have tripe stew among the specials, too.

                  We have excellent Lebanese food at the Lebanese Butcher in Falls Church. Much better than the more upscale Lebanese Taverna. Another place for decent Lebanese foor in Arlington is Lyalina.

                  The food at Ravi Kabob is Pakistani and excellent.

                  4 Replies
                  1. re: bacchante

                    The Bolivian place is Victor's. There are two locations, but I recommend the one on 29, just south of Broad St. Looks like they're redoing their web site, but some of the menu is still up here: http://www.victorsgrill.com/Grill.html The Bife Argentino con pure is crazy good.

                    There's also a different style of Peruvian on Columbia Pike named El Puerto - it's behind (attached) to the 7-11 near Bangkok 54, next to Abi's - a good Salvadoran place but one you should pass unless you live here.

                    For a better Salvadoran experience, go a couple of miles east on the Pike, until you're near 4 Mile Run (down in a valley). On the right you'll see a bright pink building which is Aclacatl.

                    1. re: Dennis S

                      I wasn't thinking of Victor's for the Bolivian, but that's good too. The place I was thinking of is across from Loehman's Plaza with a very difficult name (begins with an L). It's better than the one right off Columbia Pike at the 7-11. There's also the Peruvian place on Walter Reed right off of Columbia Pike, but I've never been. Steve??

                      Is Atlacatl good now? We used to go when it was in the old falling-down building on Pershing and then a few times after it moved and they opened and closed the second location.

                      1. re: bacchante

                        Llajtaymanta. Or something like that. Hardcore Bolivian.

                        Altacatl is probably the best Salvadoran in NoVa right now.

                        1. re: bacchante

                          Great, I didn't know about the one near Loehman's. The places behind the 7-11 on the Pike are Abi's - a Salvadoran place serving decent Mexican mainly. Then El Puerto which is Peruvian - mostly deep fried seafood. There's the Pike Pizza that I believe is Bolivian on the Pike but that's further east, maybe at the corner of George Mason drive?

                          It has now been a year or so since getting to Aclactl. I didn't know about the Pershing location. It's not stellar, but it's good.

                    2. If they're heading out Columbia Pike, then Bamiyan (Bamian?) is a good place for Afghani food, intersection of Route 7 and Columbia Pike, but you need to use an access road by the Babies 'R Us to get around to it.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: weezycom

                        Yep. Get the aushak or the meat dumpling appetizer, one of the stews, and either the pumpkin or the eggplant. The kebobs are better at Ravi.

                      2. There is an upscale diner on Lee Highway called "Metro 29" which is really good, and they serve really big portions, and I would suggest trying it out if you have time.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: yorkie

                          I enjoyed a perfectly good meal there, that is, until I found a nasty hair in my salad. It was a big disappointment b/c the food tasted good up until then.

                        2. If you are looking for downscale meals with food as good as Citronelle, etc, then you will probably have to go outside of the Courthouse area. By all means take a cab to Eden Center,a Vietnamese shopping center with about 23 Vietnamese restaurants, bakeries, cafes, stores, etc. A group of us recently had an impressive meal at Tay Do, highlighted by one of their exotic hot pots. A mountain of food meant for sharing.

                          Also in the same area is El Pike, a Bolivian place with wonderful snack food like saltenas and humintas. Ask for these. They will knock your socks off.

                          1. There are a lot of good suggestions here, but I'm surprised no one has mentioned Minh's Restaurant at 2500 Wilson. It's walking distance from Courthouse, has outstanding Vietnamese food, and is even fairly elegant. It made the most recent Washingtonian Cheap Eats Top 100 list and it has never failed to favorably impress my out of town guests. Try the caramel fish and the sizzling catfish.

                            1. One more casual favorite not mentioned - Village Bistro in Rosslyn. Not much to look at (strip mall) but great food at very reasonable prices. I guess the menu would be considered European - some french, italian, greek influences.


                              1. Check out Matuba for very good Japanese, just off Walter Reed Drive on Columbia Pike. Nice place.

                                And, of course, there is the original Bob and Edith's Diner on Columbia Pike (there's another one west on the Pike, near Bailey's Crossroads, just as good), open 24 hours, the quintessential DC diner. Nothing else comes close. Their food is classic, their pies are fabulous, the people are just as delicious, the ambience is pure and friendly, and you are always going to be treated well, fed well, and feel like you just had an authentic American experience - because you have.

                                We get all our holiday pies from Bob and Edith's - have for years - they're sensational.

                                1. Arlington's got a wonderful assortment of fun, interesting, affordable restaurants. You should stay longer--particularly if you're into ethnic food. Check out the Washingtonian magazine Web site and see which of the Best 100 Restaurants and Best 100 Cheap Eats Restaurants (http://www.washingtonian.com/restaura...) are in and around Arlington.

                                  Courthouse has some nice places, but Clarendon has a wider selection of quality places. My favorites in central Arlington: Willow (just west of the Ballston Metro stop), Matsutake (in Ballton) for all-you-can-eat sushi at lunch or waiter/chefs who cook your dinner at your table/grill, Delhi Club (right next to the Clarendon Metro) for Indian, Taqueria el Poblano for Mexican, Minh's for Vietnamese, and Ray's The Steaks (for beef).