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NYC to Clarendon/Ballston Area-Need Some Help

  • m

So my bf and I are NY'rs moving to the Clarendon area. We love to eat and we love to cook. We are looking for suggestions from the best quick bite to a nice restaurant? We love brunch as well. All suggestions are appreciated. Once we are in the neighborhood I'll be able to give more specifics or ask questions but right now I don't know where we will be. We have family in Vienna so we aren't strangers to the VA/DC food world. Thanks CH!!

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  1. Some quick ideas- Liberty Tavern for upscale American (close to Clarendon Metro), Minh's for Vietnamese (a little closer to the Courthouse stop), Rays the Steaks (also by Courthouse) for the best crab bisque anywhere as well as great quality:expense ratio. Eventide is fun for brunch, I love some of their cocktails, but miss having an eggs benedict selection on the menu. Recently went to Restaurant 3 for brunch and had a great- "southern style" eggs benedict with tasso ham and corn bread, really great version of EB. Those are probably my tops choices around Clarendon/Courthouse to get you started, welcome to the neighborhood!

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    Minh's
    2500 Wilson Blvd, Arlington, VA 22201

    Restaurant 3
    2950 Clarendon Blvd, Arlington, VA 22201

    The Liberty Tavern
    3195 Wilson Boulevard, Arlington, VA 22201

    1 Reply
    1. re: mjhals

      In addition to the recommendations above:

      -Rays Hell Burger (for the best burger you'll ever have)

      -Lyon Hall (brand new restaurant from owners of Liberty Tavern; don't know if it's good but it's probably worth a visit)

      -Eat Bar (good "gastropub" type place; good food and wine bar)

      --El Pollo Rico (Peruvian-style rotisserie chicken)

      -Boulevard Woodgrill (solid choice along the Clarendon strip)

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      The Liberty Tavern
      3195 Wilson Boulevard, Arlington, VA 22201

    2. Welcome to NoVA area! if your boy and you want to join my boy and me we love going out for lunch on Saturdays and early dinner for Sundays (annandale, falls church, etc,)

      On Clarendon they mentioned it (Lyon Hall, Liberty Tavern, coffee at the Northside Social (all these three places same owners). Minhs's, Rays Herll Burger, The Italian Store (very long walk or a short drive).

      Steve has mentioned Chez Manuelle which I haven't tried yet.

      China Garden for dim sum, though I have read that the good stuff is in Wheaton, MD

      Pupatella just opened a pizzeria just passing Ballston, they used to have a cart outside the Metro, I think is one of the best in Arlington, though my favorite pizza is the good old 2 Amys in DC.

      Thai Square & Bangkok 54 for Thai food on Columbia Pike I find is better than the Ballston/Clarendon area stuff.

      Quick bites Charrito Caminante (stay with the tacos & pupusas (except for the chicken taco). Dont order the Tamarind or Horchata, if you guys know the good stuff don't waste your time on their drinks, maybe some soda pop =)

      Anything specific you guys are hoping to find in the area?

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      Minh's
      2500 Wilson Blvd, Arlington, VA 22201

      Thai Square
      3217 Columbia Pike, Arlington, VA 22204

      Italian Store
      3123 Lee Hwy, Arlington, VA 22201

      The Liberty Tavern
      3195 Wilson Boulevard, Arlington, VA 22201

      Ballston Cafe
      4601 Fairfax Dr Lbby 2, Arlington, VA 22203

      Bangkok 54 Restaurant and Bar
      2919 S Columbus St, Arlington, VA 22206

      Pupatella
      5104 Wilson Blvd, Arlington, VA 22203

      1. Also wanted to add:
        Lebanese Taverna Market for quick take out Lebanese they have a few tables, the Burger Joint also has great burgers, Screw Top Wine Bar has good food and nice atmosphere, American flatbread for flatbreads and salads, the lounge at Eventide has awesome cocktails and some very good food as well as the upstairs, Tallula and Eat Bar (Tallula has great brunch too), Lost Dog over in Westover for sandwiches (they deliver to your area), Northside Social. Harry's Tap Room has good normal brunch fare. Earl's has awesome sandwiches. Tandoori Nights and Dheli Dhaba are ok for Indian, the plus being they both deliver (drdelivery.com). Minerva Express on Lee Hwy is good. Check out Carribean Grill for chicken with good sides and cuban specialites, Heidelberg pastry shop grills wursts outside and has picnic tables.

        Sushi Zen has ok sushi in the Lee Harrison shopping center, Taqueria Poblano in that same strip has pretty good tacos. Guajillo in Rosslyn has decent Mexican.

        In Ballston itself Uncle Julio's is a chain and is mainly avoidable, but they do have decent chicken fajitas and shrimp diablo in case you ever eat there. Willow is good and has nice happy hour specials. Big buns has burgers, chicken sandwiches and fish sandwiches (grilled not fried). Grand Cru has some good stuff, but can be hit or miss, they also do wine tastings on Wed. And Rustico will be opening a location in Ballston and also Mario Batalli has signed a lease for the Liberty Center bldg too. Brueggers Bagels are ok, but you will never find a perfect bagel or perfect NYC style pizza. Pizzeria Orzo will open soon in Falls Church and has a fantastic pizza man at the helm.

        All things mentioned in other posts are good stuff too.

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        Rustico
        827 Slaters Lane, Alexandria, VA 22314

        Grand Cru
        Arlington, VA, Arlington, VA

        Tandoori Nights Restaurant
        2800 Clarendon Blvd, R 900, Arlington, VA 22201

        Lebanese Taverna Market
        4400 Old Dominion Dr, Arlington, VA 22207

        Uncle Julio's
        231 Rio Blvd, Gaithersburg, MD 20878

        Ballston Cafe
        4601 Fairfax Dr Lbby 2, Arlington, VA 22203

        Taqueria Poblano
        2400 Mount Vernon Ave, Alexandria, VA 22301

        Brueggers
        500 John Carlyle St, Alexandria, VA 22314

        Lost Dog Cafe
        5876 Washington Blvd, Arlington, VA 22205

        The Burger Joint
        106 N Washington St, Alexandria, VA 22314

        8 Replies
        1. re: ktmoomau

          To add, I need to get to Minh's and kt and mjhals need to get to Nam Viet, but that's my big add. Try the salmon soup for an app and the curried squid dish (I've had nearly nothing bad there, but these are outstanding).

          Should also mention that there's a halal cart in Ballston that will come close to those on Wall St.

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          Minh's
          2500 Wilson Blvd, Arlington, VA 22201

          Nam Viet Restaurant
          3419 Connecticut Avenue, N.W., washington, dc, DC 20008

          Ballston Cafe
          4601 Fairfax Dr Lbby 2, Arlington, VA 22203

          1. re: Dennis S

            I do, Hubby doesn't really care for Vietnamese so I need some volunteers to go with me. Maybe mjhals and I can get a small group together.

            1. re: ktmoomau

              I'm in. And sorry for not getting back on this same issue earlier - swamped at work. If we can aim for sometime after next week, my time frees up incredibly.

              1. re: Dennis S

                I'm definitely in. We just bought an apartment by Courthouse so we're even closer now. Just let me know when!

                1. re: mjhals

                  The 8th or 9th would work for me. You can find me via my blog or work website on my chow profile if you want to email to coordinate.

                      1. re: littlew1ng

                        Ok, I just added my email to my profile too, please add me in! 8th or 9th works for me too.

          2. I definitely reiterate the recs for a bunch that have been mention, Liberty Tavern, Lyon Hall, Northside Social (warning, their wine list is pretty bad), Tallulah/Eat Bar. Eventide has a great roof deck. American Flatbread is tasty and casual, I've had some good meals at Me Jana (Lebanese), and Cafe Assorti has yummy manti and pelmeni (get the pink sauce!). For sure Ray's and Hellburger are fantastic and, at least in theory, we are getting a seafood place, wine bar and a place that serves venison and elk burgers out of that crew too at some point! Welcome to the neighborhood!

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            Me Jana
            2300 Wilson Blvd., Suite 140, Arlington, VA 22201

            The Liberty Tavern
            3195 Wilson Boulevard, Arlington, VA 22201

            Cafe Assorti
            1800 Wilson Blvd, Arlington, VA 22201

            1. would be remiss not to mention vapiano for a quick fresh homemade pasta and pizza--really good stuff and affordable, too. Earl's for great sandwiches. as others have said, liberty tavern has great food and an interesting beer selection. awesome bagels in courthouse at brooklyn bagel, go elsewhere for coffee though.