HOME > Chowhound > Washington DC & Baltimore >


Places to eat near the signature theater in Arlington and Center Stage in Baltimore


My son and I are spending a theater weekend in the area, seeing an evening performance of Kiss of the Spider Woman at the Signature Theater in Arlington and a matinee of A Little Night Music at Center Stage in Baltimore. We will be spending the night in Fairfax. Any dinner/lunch suggestions would be great plus Fairfax breakfast ideas.

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. Caryle Grand Cafe is the best option in Shirlington Village, for before or after Kiss of the Spider Woman.

    1. Don't know about Baltimore but there's a slew of places near the Signature Theater.Carlyle Grand is probably the most downscale-upscale place, Capitol City Brewery is a decent yuppie style brewpub, the Thai, Indian and Mexican places are decent, good wraps at Aladdin, good sandwiches at Best Buns, even prepared foods at Harris Teeter grocery store. The only places that have been consistently rated "ehhhh" are Extra Virgin (Italian) and the new version of Charlie Chang's (which hasn't really had much press here so far). For a real Taste of Washington, there's Weenie Beanie (chili dogs) just across the creek.

      Other than Carlyle Grand, which is pretty busy, there's no reason to plan much ahead. Just browse when you're hungry.

      1 Reply
      1. re: MikeR

        this is sooo old. Extra Virgin Modern Italian Restaurant in Shirlington Village is now rated highly. come and check it out! New Chef Paul Anthony Fario is the best and don't forget it has the best service in the whole of Shirlington Village. Nice venue for entertainment - great bands frequently plays at Extra Virgin.

        Extra Virgin Modern Italian
        4053 Campbell Ave, Arlington, VA 22206

      2. We are Signature season ticket holders and frequently head into DC for dinner after weekend matinees. Since you have an evening performance you could consider a pre-theater fixed price meal downtown and likely still make it to Shirlington in time. It's only 10 minutes from DC. Though if you want to eat within walking distance, I second Carlyle Grand. The Thai place in Shirlington village (forget the name) is also excellent.

        1 Reply
        1. re: Meg

          T.H.A.I. of Shirlington. Great pad thai.

          Thai In Shirlington
          4029 Campbell Ave, Arlington, VA 22206

        2. I also like Carlyle, but you can't make reservations. They have "Call Ahead" but that's it. Still may be worth a little wait if you want to stay in Shirlington Village.

          Shirlington's problem is there's a huge selection of decent/so so places, but not much that's really standout.

          About 5 min down the road (at Glebe and Pershing in Ballston) is El Paso Cafe, which has really good Mexican/Salvadoran food. It's reasonably priced, family-owned atmosphere, etc.

          1. Aroma Indian in Shirlington is not real upscale, but it has white tablecloths and good indian food. I ate once at Extra Virgin, and it was decent, but not incredible, but that was also on Valentine's Day which is not a good night to judge a restaurant on. Mmmm Carlyle and their bread.

            1. Near CenterStage is Iggies (gourmet type thin crust pizzas). Its not open on Sundays though if thats when your show is that wont work. The Helmand for dinner (not open for lunch) for Afghan food is one of the best restaurants in the city is also only a few blocks form Center Stage. My Thai and Indigma I haven't eaten but are both nearby and are upscale Thai and Indian food respectively. Both have been mentioned on this board. Those are the best places in the immediate area of the theatre. All are only 2 blocks from CenterStage.

              1. The restaurant at the Peabody Court Hotel --George's -- is good for burgers, soups, salads, etc. and is open for lunch and dinner 7 days a week. Good breakfast food available at Sunday lunch too (great pancakes). It is 2-3 blocks from Center Stage and faces the beautiful Mount Vernon Place parks.

                1. IXIA is wonderful for Center Stage. Wonderful food, service, and a very creative martini menu. They also have a 3 course theatre menu.

                  5 Replies
                  1. re: crabapple

                    Thanks to everyone for the great suggestions. I think we will try and get into the Carlyle Grand and because we are seeing a Sunday matinee at center stage we will have lunch at George's. All of the other great restaurants do not appear to be open on Sunday afternoon.

                    1. re: matika

                      The Thai place, THAI Shirlington, is open on Sunday afternoons if you'd like to go there. If you do, try to save room for dessert. The fried roti dough with taro is out of this world.

                      1. re: julialimei

                        thats in VA not baltimore. sunday afternoon OP is saeeing a show in baltimore.

                        1. re: jes

                          Thanks to all - we did have a lovely lunch at George's before the theater. Sat. night we ended up eating in. Next time will have to try the Carlyle. An aside - both productions were great, even to a jaded NYC theater person.