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Olive bars in DC?

A friend of mine is a huge fan of olives but doesn't really seek out food himself, so I was thinking of taking him to an olive bar somewhere. Can anyone recommend a good spot? Doesn't have to be fancy - just a good selection of quality olives. We don't have a car so we are limited to public transportation. Thanks in advance!

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  1. Olive bar? Do you mean like Whole Foods or Wegmans? Or a bar that serves drinks and olives?

    1 Reply
    1. re: agarnett100

      A place to buy olives: Whole Foods

      A place to have a drink and eat olives: Dino at happy hour

    2. Sorry this isn't the same thing, but there is an olive oil bar in Bethesda, a couple doors down from Jaleo (Jaleo, btw, serves some pretty good olives).

      3 Replies
      1. re: Doh

        Name? I'm on the hunt for some good olive oil for eating (not cooking).

        1. re: mdpilam

          I couldn't remember the name, but a search for "bethesda olive oil bar" revealed that it is Secolari--


        2. re: Doh

          Olive oil stores seem to be springing up all over the place. The one in Shirlington is call Ah Love. This place sells estate olive oil along with lots of store brand name infused/blended oils and balsamic vinegars. The new store in Tysons, whose name I don't remember, only sells its own store brand. Their products incude olive oil, infused/blended olive oils, and balsamic vinegars. (The store is located on the lower level between Nordstroms and Bloomingdales.) Both of these stores have good arrangements for tasting.

        3. If we're talking about grocery stores as well as places to eat them, Fresh Market has a great selection (only been to the Vienna one, but I'm guessing they all have olive bars).

          1. Don't know of any olive bars in DC, but if I remember correctly, Bar Pilar serves a nice bowl of assorted olives. They closed recently for renovations, but I think they have just reopened.

            3 Replies
            1. re: Guy Incognito

              Thanks for the suggestions, everyone!

              @Guy I was actually at Bar Pilar last night - didn't notice the olives but will try them next time! They reopened last week and dinner service is now available on the top floor. Pretty exciting stuff.

              1. re: mferng

                Red Rocks pizza in Columbia Heights and Alexandria serve roasted olives that are excellent. Hot out of the oven with a few herbs. Bext $6 appetizer you can buy to go with a glass of wine.

                1. re: PennQ

                  Well, it's good to hear they can do something well.

            2. Kellari Taverna on K st. has huge bowls of olives out on the bar.

              1. The olives last weekend at Society Fair were some of the best I have had. I am sure you can buy them in their market too. They were marinated really well, and had a lovely variety.

                1. good olive selections:
                  harris teeter at ballston (best price, self-serve).
                  lebanese taverna at lee highway and lorcom lane (advantage -- other goodies to be bought….kibbeh, stuffed grape leaves, spinach pies (FAB)….plus other lebanese delicacies (and groceries, too).
                  arrowine in arlington, lee-heights shopping center (better prices at lebanese taverna for olives, though. advantage: fabulous cheese and cured meats selection, friendly service, nice wines to buy, great baguettes from leonora bakery).

                  1. I can't tell you anything about olive bars but I can tell you a thing or two about olives. Most of the olives I've seen in olive bars are produced be either DeLallo (Fresh Market) or Divina (Wegman's/Whole Foods) and while they are perfectly fine, I would recommend that you look for olives produced by a French company called Barnier Fresh Harvest (available at some, if not all Whole Foods). At Whole Foods at least their ID tag at the olive bar will show "France", "Spain" or sometimes "Tunisia" as the country of origin. One of the things that makes Barnier olives stand apart is that they are not pasteurized before packing and thus they retain a much better texture. I would highly recommend their Picholine and Grand Lucque olives as well as their many olive mixes. Their oil cured olives are sublime! If you like kalamata olives, Divina sells a single-estate Kalamata sold under the name "Messina Estate" and they are the best kalamata's I've tasted.