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Lunch in Clarendon/Ballston/Virginia Square

Can anyone recommend a nice, metro-accessible place for lunch in the Clarendon/Ballston/Virginia Square area? I know about Tandoori Nights in Clarendon but not too much else. I am open to American or ethnic cuisine. Thanks!

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  1. There is all sorts of good stuff.
    At Clarendon:
    Liberty Tavern has great sandwiches and pizzas, I have also heard good things about their salads. And the space is nice, and you can sit outside if it isn't melt your skin hot like today. Their bread is really good, they make their own sausage, and some of their meats.

    Sette Bello- I think they do lunch, I like their pizza and risotto.

    Boulevard Woodgrill- your normal american fare, but good, not as good as liberty, but good.

    Mexicali Blues- good burritos, not as upscale, but still nice.

    In Ballston: Willow has a nice lunch a little more upscale.

    I love Grand Cru for lunch- it is a little hard to find, but really good, their salads are well dressed, their poached crab sandwich is good, so are the chicken skewers on the small plate menu, and their small plate of crab cake, they have good bread too. I haven't had anything I disliked their yet, except their cheese plate is a little small.

    Rio Grande is ok for normal tex mex I don't think of it really as nice, but I guess it can be especially if you can sit outside.

    Front Page is ok, but nothing special.

    Faccia Luna- ok pizza and pasta, I find it so salty.

    And I think Harry's Tap Room is open for lunch, I have found their brunch and happy hour and dinner to be good, I haven't had lunch there.

    I have assumed by nice you mean a little nicer and sit down, because if not there are others like El Pollo Rico or Earl's, or the Pupatella food cart at Ballston which has GREAT pizza and other things.

    Also Minh's for Vietnamese is good.

    10 Replies
    1. re: ktmoomau

      ktmoomau hit up a good number of them I'll add:

      Sit downy:
      Willow in Ballston (expensive)
      Nam Viet in Clarendon (Vietnamese)
      Delhi Club in Clarendon (Indian)

      Cheap:
      Big Buns in Ballston (Burgers)

      1. re: chaofun

        Nam Viet. Search for multiple listings of options off the menu.

        1. re: chaofun

          If you go to Big Buns, get the whole wheat bun, it is so much better, for some reason I don't seem to like their regular buns, but really like the whole wheat ones.

          1. re: ktmoomau

            Where is Big Buns in Ballston? I've never heard of it, but am always willing to try a new burger place!

              1. re: chaofun

                Thanks a lot! That website sounds so dirty, I wonder if it will be blocked at work :-) hahaha

              2. re: julialimei

                It and Grand Cru are kind of hidden across from the park in between Fairfax and Wilson in the courtyard of appartments/condos so if you are in the park not towards the starbucks and ruby tuesdays but the other way. Must be between Taylor and what is the U one, Utah? Right around the corner from Vapiano.

                1. re: ktmoomau

                  Okay, so it's actually in that same courtyard with Grand Cru? Now I have two reasons to head over there.

        2. i love this dish at rio grande:
          "Guadalajara
          Our signature grilled jumbo shrimp brochette; stuffed with Monterey Jack cheese and jalapeños wrapped with bacon and your choice of chicken, beef or combination fajitas."

          imo, the fajitas are better quality than when you order them alone.

          1. Ballston:
            Willow for upscale... its quite good, but I dont think as good as critics give it credit for
            Big Buns - good burgers, but they have sweet potato fries, yum!!
            Vapiano - pretty good fresh italian... nice fresh oven baked pizzas and very good pastas (all fresh)
            And of course Rio Grande... a VA staple.

            1. i forgot this deal: whitlow's on wilson has 1/2 price sandwiches between 11 and noon. i like their 1/2 price monday burgers a LOT!

              1. I'll add also ones in courthouse (I know its a stop further in):

                Guajillo
                Ray's Hell-Burgers

                And get gelato at Boccato if you are in Clarendon.

                3 Replies
                1. re: chaofun

                  Ray's Hell Burgers is only open for weekend lunch though I think, because I was there on weekday and they weren't open for lunch, so we had Pho instead, which of course didn't disappoint us at all since that place in that center has great Pho.

                  1. re: chaofun

                    Ray's is only open for lunch on weekends.

                    For the ultra-casual, go to the Pupatella napoli-style food cart at Ballston metro! http://www.pupatella.com

                    1. re: DanielK

                      Yeah it doesn't say when the lunch is. :) And I didn't mention Pho 75 which is great as well.