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New to Courthouse, Arlington, VA

Just moved here from Richmond, right near Rays Hells Burger, which I tried the other day and made me feel like it was my 1st time eating a burger. Dying to try Rays the Steaks, but wanted to see if there are any other good local restaurants around the Courthouse area. Just looking for a good feel and moderate prices. Any suggestions.

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  1. Dozens. Why not just walk around the neighborhood and read menus in the windows? Just across the vestibule from Ray's HellBurger is Guajillo, an excellent Mexican restaurant. Right across the street is an Eastern European cafe with a variety of dumpling-like things, salads, and sweet pastries. A few blocks up the hill toward Clarendon you'll find a strip with practically every shop being a restaurant, all good for something. There's a kabob place, TNR (Asian - Tea, Noodles, and Rice), Brooklyn Bagel, California Tortilla, and dozens of dozens in Clarendon. It's about 3/4 mile between the Court House and Clarendon Metro stations so you can walk or be lazy.

    1. Minh's has good Vietnamese food. Earl's has good sandwiches, especially anything with roast pork. I second Guajillo, in that same shopping center there is Pho 75 which has good Pho.

      Up a stop in Clarendon you have a lot of choices: Liberty Tavern, American Flatbread, Screw Top Wine Bar, Tallula, Eat Bar, Restaurant 3, Eleventh Street Lounge (I haven't been in a while). Mexicali Blues has good pupusas. Spider Kelly's. For more upscale there is Eventide (which has a great, cheaper bar menu). El Pollo Rico in Virginia Square for chicken or Carribean Grill on 29. The Lebanese Taverna Market and Cassat's off 29, as well not too far of a drive. The IItalian Store for take out. And that is just the immediate vicinity.

      And Tandoori Nights is acceptable for Indian, not stellar, but does the trick, especially for delivery (they use Dr. Delivery like a lot of other places in that area).

      Ravi Kabob a little south in Ballston area is really good too.

      1. In the same strip as Ray's Hellburger is an overlooked gem, Village Bistro. Great little place with a nice range of entrees. Plus you can hear your dining partner--it's a nice quiet place.

        1. i lived here last year and can tell you we almost always picked ray's the steaks for supper on the way home. We liked to stop at the whole foods in clarendon for salad/hot food bar on nights we didn't feel like eating out or cooking. Pho 75 is FANTASTIC if you're a big pho fan. Brooklyn Bagel has, in my opinion, the best bagels in the entire metro area. The kabob place is good, too, for a quick bite, and TNR is fine Chinese food for delivery. Not the best, but still pretty good (avoid the sesame noodles). Listrani's has decent pizza and standard italian food (also best just for delivery, not really worth it for dine-in.)

          1. Oh boy, too bad you started with Rays. Thats no easy act to follow :)

            You've got plenty of good leads on the thread so far-- I especially like Liberty Tavern and Minhs, two great spots that are affordable for what you get. I'd throw in Delhi Club in Clarendon for pretty good Indian and El Charrito Caminante a bit outside of Clarendon for cheapo tacos (chorizo is my favorite).

            Other random food-related courthouse notes...the farmers market outside courthouse metro, i believe, is year round and should have some decent vendors in the winter. I havent been in a few months but if Quail Creek Farm is there get some bread! Best bread in the area. Also a great Arlington chocolate shop called Artisan Confections recently relocated to Clarendon--salted butter caramels are jaw-droppingly good there.

            1 Reply
            1. re: CoconutMilk

              I won't repeat all the good suggestions you've gotten, but down the hill from Rays Hell Burger is Piola which makes a pretty good pizza.

            2. Oh and if you ever end up at Cafe Asia, their spicy chinese dumplings are tasty- I believe they are on the happy hour specials with the $1 nigri. Not the most creative or best sushi, but they have quick turnover so it tends to be fresh and affordable. And they have some good noodle dishes- big enough to last me two meals normally.

              1 Reply
              1. re: ktmoomau

                At the other end of the block from Cafe Asia, Santa Fe Cafe has good Southwestern food. At lunch during the week, it's busy with office workers, but at night, they have table service, and have some good specials with an emphasis on fresh New Mexico chilies. They have a couple good beers on tap, and make a pretty good margarita too.

              2. My three favorite items in the area (that you haven't tried):

                Manti (dumplings) at Cafe Assorti. Get the pink sauce. Across from Hellburger
                Goat taco at Taqueria El Charrotio Caminante (chorizo also v. good) on Washington Blvd.
                Veggie enchilada at La Union Market (carry out only) Ensalda to drink. On lee Hwy.

                2 Replies
                1. re: Steve

                  thanks for all the suggestions. Tried Pho 75 last night just for something quick and I was satisfied and surprised. Looks a little run down, but aesthetics aside pretty darn good for the money you put down. Looking forward to tryin all the suggestions, thanks again!!

                  1. re: bukowski333

                    bukowski! i am so jealous of you. we got to pho 75 at EIGHT O CLOCK last night and they were closing. That's the one thing I hate about that place -- they just close up shop whenever they feel like it.

                2. I have to add Nam Viet in Clarendon to the list. While I've tried many things and have never been disappointed, I'm a broken record about the salmon soup (last on the page) and the curried squid as an entree.

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: Dennis S

                    hahaha, funny you should bring that up because that's exactly where we went when we couldn't get pho 75. I was pretty impressed.

                    1. re: littlew1ng

                      Cool - glad to hear you liked it. It was actually my first chow outing ever in the area.

                      My wife and I were in a rut for a long time when I lived on Columbia Pike. Try as we might (and we tried a lot) to order something OTHER than that soup and that dish, we failed maybe 3 or 4 times in a row. We finally broke out and sampled other things on the menu, and we've had bites of other things that the many friends we've brought with us have ordered. Now we only get down there maybe once a year, and we don't stray - we get our fix.

                      Our last time was just a couple of months ago, and it didn't disappoint.

                  2. I moved from Arlington to Richmond!!! The opposite...so miss the restaurants there...both of these are in South Arlington...

                    Bob and Edith's Diner on Columbia Pike...the original location ...love it

                    Bangkok 54...also on Columbia Pike...there are about 5 good Thai restaurants in about a 5 block radius there...I lived on Thai food....I so miss it here in Richmond!!!