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Sep 29, 2008 02:10 PM

DC/Arlington Dining for One

I am attending a conference later this week at the Hyatt Crystal City in Arlington and I am looking for some good solo dining options within a reasonable cab ride from the hotel (either in DC or Arlington). Any suggestions are apprecaited.

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  1. Gotta give us more to go on:
    - What kind of food do you like, or what do you dislike or want to avoid?
    - How much do you want to spend (or not)? Expenses paid or are you on your own nickel?
    - What does the "Dining for one" mean to you? Do you enjoy eating at the bar? Do you feel that you're obligated to do so since you're solo (you aren't)? Would you prefer a place that treats a solo diner as a real customer (some really will and if you ask nicely, will give you a table other than the one by the kitchen door).

    1 Reply
    1. re: MikeR

      Thanks for your reply. As far as cuisine, I am wide open. I would prefer to avoid chains, even upscale chains. I also would like to avoid standard bar food -- I love bar food, but I like to do something a little different when I'm on the road. I do enjoy eating at the bar, in fact I prefer it when dining alone. I'm getting expenses reimbursed, but I can't go over-the-top (else I risk not getting reimbursed)

    2. I can't speak to them being perfect for 1, but some popular options would include walking over to Pentagon Row (maybe 10 minutes from your hotel) and there's Sine (a great irish pub). In Crystal City there's Ted's Montana Grill (which gets a good amount of single travelers for dinner actually) as well as Neramitra (a really nice little thai place), both of those are along Crystal Drive.

      1. In Crystal City is a decent brick oven pizza place, Cafe Pizzaiolo.

        If you want to travel a short distance you can go to Ray's The Steaks. A simple, but fantastic steak place in Arlginton. It is much better than the chains and less expensive. (There is both a Morton's and Ruth's Chris in Crystal City, but I wouldn't go to either myself).

        Right next door to Ray's the Steaks is another place he just opened called Ray's Hell Burgers. Best burger in town. There are a lot of posts on all three places on this board.

        Good eatin'.

        5 Replies
        1. re: sekelmaan

          Thanks for the info. Ray's sounds very appealing. Do you know if they have dining at the bar and if the bar has TVs (I am a Phllies fan and Game 2 of their series is 6:00 the night I will be eating out)?

          1. re: dougherj

            Sorry, no bar at Rays (Steaks or Hell Burgers). And no TV, either.

            1. re: dougherj

              Liberty Tavern has a very nice bar with TVs and good food, it is in Clarendon in Arlington. I like the skirt steak and the trout, but the fish changes frequently. They also have a great Vermont pizza and good salad.

              1. re: dougherj

                Sorry - I wouldnt go to Ray's. They dont take reservations and you could be waiting a long time by yourself for a table. Also there are no TVs and no real decor to entertain you (although they do have great steaks). I would take the Eat Bar suggestions instead - the bartenders are great to strike up a conversation with.

                1. re: dougherj

                  RAY'S THE HELLBURGER! There is no bar, but grab a burger (I think the finest in this area) then walk up the hill to Ireland's 4 Courts for the game.

              2. Another short cab ride would be to Old Town Alexandria where you could eat at the bar at Restaurant Eve, IMHO, one of the best restaurants in the city. Also in Old Town, and owned by the same people, is Eamonn's (fantastic fish and chips) and the Majestic, for more casual fare.

                You could also take a cab to Eat Bar, a gastro pub in mid-Arlington, slightly closer than Rays.

                I have heard raves and rants about Bebo Trattoria, run by former James Beard award winner Roberto Donna. Most rave about the casual, yet well crafted pastas and pizzas, but rant about horrendous service. I've never been.

                Finally, I like Lebanese Taverna, in the Pentagon Row shops. It's a local chain, with good mezza.

                2 Replies
                1. re: DC Taco

                  I liked Cafe Asia and if up for the adventure Eden Center

                  1. re: DC Taco

                    If Eve fits into your budget it is definitely the must go to in the area! Incredible food, drinks, and service. They serve the entire menu at the bar and also have a much cheaper bar menu of smaller snacks.