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Arlington/Crystal City

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I'm visiting DC - the Arlington/Crystal City are all of next week for a conference and I'm looking for some great eats. I'm originally from New Orleans so I'm pretty food adventurous. For this particular trip I'm not incredibly worried about ambiance - I'd rather get great food at a dive or road side stand than mediocre food at a fancy place - so any and all suggestions are welcome. I'm also game for suggestions of particular dishes - I'm fine with grabbing a drink and appetizer at one place and then moving on if that is the only dish worth getting there. I'll mostly be needing dinner suggestions but I have one free breakfast during the trip so please include breakfast places you might know of.

Thanks in advance - can't wait to Eat it Up DC Style!

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  1. What part of Arlington are you staying in? For Crystal City, I'd recommend Jaleo for Spanish tapas. If you're staying around the Clarendon area I'd recommend Rays the Steaks for a great and reasonably-priced steak dinner (you must try the crab bisque to start- must!), Liberty Tavern is also great for inventive American food and good cocktails. I also like Restaurant 3 in Arlington for their Southern take on eggs benedict- their's is made with cornbread and tasso ham. None of these places is fancy by any means, but not road side stands.

    Maybe Steve could chime in if you're looking for some of the more hole-in-the-wall type places. If you're interested in small family-owned ethnic, I highly recommend Minh's for great Vietnamese, also between Courthouse and Clarendon. Sounds crazy- but they have the best escargot (but resembles sausage in taste and texture more than it does the garlicky-buttery French version), and bun!

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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. The problem is that a lot of things are not public transportation friendly in terms of cheap eats. I would suggest Ravi Kabob, Taqueria El Charrito Camiante, Minh's for sure, Ray's Hellburger or Ray's the Steak, La Carenquena. The Eden Center is a fun visit with a ton of Vietnamese shops in one shopping center.

      I agree on Liberty Tavern. Is the breakfast you have available weekday or weekend?

      In Crystal City there is also Kabob Palace which you might enjoy.

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      Eden Center
      Falls Church, VA, USA, Falls Church, VA

      Minh's
      2500 Wilson Blvd, Arlington, VA 22201

      Kabob Palace
      2315 S Eads St, Arlington, VA 22202

      The Liberty Tavern
      3195 Wilson Boulevard, Arlington, VA 22201

      El Charrito
      2710 Washington Blvd, Arlington, VA 22201

      1 Reply
      1. re: ktmoomau

        Ditto Kabob Palace. That place is awesome!

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        Kabob Palace
        2315 S Eads St, Arlington, VA 22202

      2. Will you have a car?

        1. In Crystal City, Jaleo is your best bet. Try the patatas bravas, croquetas de pollo, the fisherman's soup. You are close to Mt. Vernon Avenue which has a few interesting places, but CC is unfortunately, not one of the best areas to be in food-wise. Go Tigers (Bengal, that is)!

          1. If your free breakfast day is on a Tuesday or Thursday, then get a couple of breakfast tacos from the District Taco cart on Crystal Drive & 23rd. Chorizo is recommended over the bacon as meat of choice for the breakfast tacos. They're usually set up and ready to go at 8:00 AM.

            Jaleo for tapas, maybe Kora for dinner (though it has mixed reviews). Kabob Palace is okay for me. Good for Crystal City, and good value.

            There is an Ethiopian restaurant on 23rd Street. I have never been personally, but I have a friend who used to live in the area and loved it. Almost as good as what you'd find on U Street, she said.

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            Kabob Palace
            2315 S Eads St, Arlington, VA 22202

            U Street Cafe
            1301 U St NW, Washington, DC 20009

            1 Reply
            1. re: yfunk3

              The Ethiopian restaurant on S. 23rd St. is ok, but not one of the better places in the area.