13 Best Restaurants in Arlington, VA [2022 Updated]

For those who are looking for the best restaurants in Arlington, we’ve got you covered. Arlington, Virginia boasts a strong culinary scene with diverse eateries, from Italian Pizzerias to Indian tandoor vendors to authentic Spanish pubs. The best restaurants in Arlington include these popular local tourist attractions and hidden gems.

Carlyle

$$$ | (703) 931-0777 | WEBSITE

Carlyle offers a fine-dining experience with elevated American fare for a pretty penny. Although the price point for this restaurant is high, Carlyle delivers according to local restaurant lovers on cuisine quality, customer service, and convenience.

Parking for Carlyle comes at a premium, just like the food. Restaurant goers should definitely prepare to arrive early for a reservation to find parking.

The most beloved dishes on Carlyle’s menu include their Slow Roasted Beef Short Rib with a red wine reduction, served with a side of mashed potatoes and a healthy serving of asparagus, topped with crispy fried onions.

 

El Pollo Rico

$ | (703) 522-3220 | WEBSITE

 

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Although El Pollo Rico’s restaurant name translates to “The Rich Chicken” in Spanish, restaurant-goers do not need to be rich to dine at this quick bite Peruvian/Latin dining establishment. In fact, it ranks a low price point, making it affordable to students and visitors with a tight budget.

Popular dishes on El Pollo Rico’s menu include their famous charcoal-broiled chicken. El Pollo Rico offers plenty of parking, wheel-chair access, and high chairs to accommodate families. Established in 1987, El Pollo Rico is happy to claim their spot as the first Peruvian street-style chicken restaurant in the United States.

 

Ambar

$$$ | (703) 875-9663 | WEBSITE

 

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For those who want to splurge on high-end cuisine hailing straight from the Balkan Peninsula, Ambar Claredon is the best in Arlington, VA. Ambar offers all-you-can eat options for guests who want to indulge without an unpredictable bill.

They also have a menu from which reserved guests can order directly. From classic “‘Cevapi’ Balkan Kebabs” to more inventive Lamb Lasagna, Ambar offers a robust dinner menu for adventurous and refined diners alike.

Their dessert Forest Gnocchi begs a try. Ambar also boasts a decent wine menu for those who want to wine and dine their date or dinner guests.

 

The Italian Store

$ | (703) 528-6266 | WEBSITE

The Italian Store

Whether you are looking to grab a quick sub or a slice of authentic pizza, The Italian Store has you covered. Currently, The Italian Store offers curbside pick-up and limited in-store dining.

This quaint establishment proudly identifies as a “family owned gourmet Italian Specialty Shop.” For over three decades, the shop has been owned and operated by the Tramonte family.

The Italian Store specializes in rare Italian products sourced directly from Italy and the family’s network in Brooklyn, NY. In addition to subs, sandwiches, and pizza, the store offers homemade-style ravioli and pasta. They also include wine on their menu.

 

MeJana

$$ | (703) 465-4440 | WEBSITE

For authentic Lebanese cuisine, look no further than MeJana. Sitting between a mid-range and high-end price point, this restaurant is the perfect place to find exotic food at a decent price–or splurge on a special occasion.

With a robust Brunch Menu, Lunch Menu, Dinner Menu, Gluten-Free Menus, Vegan Menu, Vegetarian Menu, Dairy-Free Menu, and Wine/Drinks selections, MeJana is sure to please even eaters with specific restrictions any time of day.

They offer popular Mediterranean starters like falafel. They also offer salads with many ingredient options. Their sandwiches and main plates, such as kebabs, are worth exploring, too.

 

CIRCA at Clarendon

$$ | (703) 522-3010 | WEBSITE

 

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With a tagline like “Wine, Dine, and Unwind,” CIRCA already shows promise for a delicious mid-to-high price range bistro in Arlington, VA. From their inventive small plates such as the Tuna Poke Nachos to their mouth-watering salads like the Blackened Chicken Mango salad, CIRCA gets serious about the delicious, creative fare.

The bistro also offers an extensive menu of craft beers, cocktails, red wines, and white wines to put the “happy” in Happy Hour. CIRCA includes a gluten-free menu for gluten-sensitive and gluten-intolerant diners. They also offer vegetarian options, so everyone can enjoy their dining experience.

 

Quarterdeck

$$$ | (703) 528-2722 | WEBSITE

 

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No trip to the Virginia seashore would be complete without a visit to a seafood eatery and Quarterdeck certainly delivers on that experience. For over four decades, Quarterdeck has been impressing locals and tourists with delicious food and hospitality.

In their years of service, they have crafted a menu that makes the talk of the town with Maryland Blue Crab. In addition to this classic seasonal item, Quarterdeck serves up a great range of American staples and seafood fare all through the year. For those who prefer to eat land animals, they offer chicken tenders and buffalo wings.

 

Liberty Tavern

$$$ | (703) 465-9360 | WEBSITE

Liberty Tavern ranges from a mid-to-high price point, making it the perfect place to make a good first impression or celebrate date night. Their classic American dishes, including favorites such as Fried Chicken, Lasagna, and Chicken Parm, are sure to please just about any American palette.

The Liberty Tavern offers indoor and outdoor seating, so diners can enjoy a great meal amid some fresh air. The Liberty Tavern also hosts a Happy Hour with a wide range of red wines, white wines, sparkling wines, rose wines, house-made cocktails and classic cocktails. It’s the perfect balance of comfort and refinement.

 

Tupelo Honey

$$ | (703) 253-8140 | WEBSITE

 

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Tupelo Honey aims to be “a revival of Southern food and traditions rooted in the Carolina mountains we call home.” Their simply crafted, responsibly sourced recipes are made from scratch with seasonal ingredients. Operating for about two decades, Tupelo Honey is a staple of the Arlington cafe scene.

With Southern must-haves such as their Fried Green Tomato dish and Tupelo Shrimp and Grits, Tupelo Honey infuses Southern Hospitality into all of their dishes. They offer in-house dining and takeout for convenience. Additionally, Tupelo Honey boasts all-day brunch. Their cuisine will make you feel at home with an elevated appeal.

 

Fire Works Pizza

$$ | (703) 527-8700 | WEBSITE

If you are on the hunt for an elevated pizza place in Arlington, look no further than Fire Works Pizza. Fire Works Pizza ranges from mid-level prices to high-end prices, depending on the order. The pizzeria and bar serves up wood-fired pizzas, but they also offer a full menu with other awesome choices for those who want to shake it up.

Their salads, house-made pastas, and subs stand up to their high-quality pizzas. For drinks, Fire Works Pizza boasts a wide range of draft beers, wines, ciders, and cocktails. Their heated patio and garage parking make them worth a visit.

 

Lyon Hall

$$$ | (703) 741-7636 | WEBSITE

 

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Lyon Hall in Arlington, VA offers a fine dining experience with classic French cuisine and other European favorites for high-end diners. From their Coq au vin to their steaming mussel pots to the house-made sausage and schnitzel, this establishment transports diners to Europe through the palate.

Their wine list boasts an arrangement of selections, with a focus on small, family-owned French wineries. They complement cuisine with some of the world’s most notable beers, such as 20 on tap. This fine dining experience will elevate a night out with a special someone. They can also accommodate parties for an unforgettable event.

 

Urban Tandoor

$$ | (703) 567-1432 | WEBSITE

Urban Tandoor

For authentic Nepali, Indian, and Asian cuisine in Arlington, look no further than Urban Tandoor. At a mid-to-high price range, the Nepali dining establishment is worth a splurge for a dinner date.

Urban Tandoor offers all of India and Nepal’s finest meals, including exotic treats such as Buffalo Choila, which includes real char-boiled buffalo. They also offer a vegetarian menu to include non-meat eaters in the dining experience and seafood options for those who prefer a pescetarian meal option.

Urban Tandoor’s specialties get their name from being prepared in the traditional Indian clay oven (“tandoor”). They also offer grilled choices.

 

Pamplona

$$ | (703) 685-9950 | WEBSITE

 

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Pamplona is a fancy Spanish pub and bar in the heart of Arlington’s business district of Clarendon. As a Spanish Tapas restaurant, they offer small dishes, drinks, and an extensive sangria program which they pair with a creative take on traditional Spanish cuisine.

The restaurant garners its title from the famous Spanish town where Running of the Bulls event takes place. Earnest Hemingway’s adventures in Spain’s Basque area sparked much of Pamplona’s menu. Pamplona offers small plates, large plates, and paella, including an exotic squid ink paella that attracts adventurous eaters.

 

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