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Whether you’re a long-time Arlington resident, a professional working in the area, or a recent transplant exploring your options, you’re sure to find many exciting and delicious restaurants in this unique DC suburb. Here are just a few of our favorites no matter what the occasion.
Need a Breakfast Run?
Just off the exit from the Ballston Metro stop (901 N Stuart Street), Tivoli Gourmet Bakery and Pastry is a hidden gem. Opening at 6:00 am, Tivoli provides authentic and delicious Italian pastries and espresso that will set the tone for a productive day (hello, caffeine rush and sugar high!).
Next up is Bayou Bakery, a New Orleans style coffee shop near the Courthouse Metro stop. Two words: beignets and biscuits.
Workplace Happy Hour
Whitlow’s on Wilson is a beloved neighborhood joint offering the perfect vibe for your après-work get together. With happy hour specials running from 4-7 pm at their rooftop tiki bar and separate main bar area, you won’t be strapped for space or things to do with friends and coworkers. Try some team building by joining the cornhole league on Tuesdays or signing up for trivia night!
Care more about the beer than the socializing? Rustico in Ballston has over 300 unique beer offerings. Its wood-fired pizza makes the perfect happy hour accompaniment.
Arlington is rich in restaurants, but it takes a certain atmosphere to set the right tone on a date. The upstairs dining room in Liberty Tavern provides an intimate setting with fine dining and upscale casual options. The dinner menu rotates seasonally so you’re sure to find something fresh and interesting no matter when your date might be. When your meal wraps up and you’re ready for something more vibrant, head downstairs to the bar and lounge for a fun, hip atmosphere.
Also consider: 1789. Though located in Georgetown–just a quick uber ride away–nothing tops this restaurant in romantic atmosphere. Luxuriant and refined, you’ll love celebrating your loved one in this converted Federal house that oozes ambiance.
Bringing the kids to dinner? Don’t fret, most Arlington restaurants are casual enough to accommodate kids in a friendly, relaxed atmosphere. Lyon Hall kids’ meals come with free ice cream, but feel free to venture off the kids menu in favor of classic happy hour fair such as warm Bavarian Pretzels and Croque Monsiers. Neither adults nor kids will be disappointed by the variety of options at this French brasserie.
With two locations in Arlington, Lost Dog Cafe has you covered for a casual, family friendly neighborhood joint serving gourmet pizza, sandwiches, and craft beer. Be sure to go on the early side, though, as the seating areas tend to fill up quickly. Lastly, Fire Works Pizza has made a name for itself in the area for its amazing wood-fired pizza offerings. With an outdoor seating option and customizable pizza, the whole family is sure to love it!
For the Foodie
Foodies in Arlington might assume they have to cross the Potomac to get the best of D.C.’s restaurant offerings, but they’re mistaken. Arlington has several cutting-edge chefs providing unique dining experiences. Yona is a full-service Japanese noodle bar that offers much more than ramen. From small plates to poke bowls to steamed buns, the adventurous diner will be satisfied with the wide range of unique and tasty items at this joint.
Green Pig Bistro is another must-dine location. Founded by Arlington-native and chef Scott Harlan (winner of the 2013 RAMMY Award for “Rising Culinary Star of the Year”), the Bistro serves American-French dishes in the “nose-to-tail” fashion. Foodies will enjoy obscure cuts of meat prepared in inventive, original ways sure to delight the senses and challenge the palate.
These are just a few of our favorites – please share some of yours!