Ballston Restaurants

Kapnos Taverna

4000 Wilson Blvd.
Arlington, VA 22203
703-243-4400

Greek


 

$$
$22.00
 

★★½

Good Value

MORE INFO

★★½

Good Value

LESS INFO  

Summary
Washington Post
Washingtonian
Don Rockwell
 
The second Kapnos from former Top Chef contestants Mike Isabella and George Pagonis is more of a sequel to the original than a spin-off. The new iteration — helmed by chef de cuisine Greg Basalla — is larger, and has far more of a seafood focus than the original, but the formula is much the same: small plates of hearty Greek fare, modernized a bit, but not reinvented. Like the original, there's also a handful of large plates for the table, including a $75 whole lamb shoulder. However, this one also has a great raw bar and much easier parking.
Summary
Washington Post
Washingtonian
Don Rockwell
 
2.5 Stars (10/7/2015) — Fall Dining Guide 2015
"If the real Greece is anything like this breezy paean to seafood in Arlington, sign me up. Part of the expanding empire of restaurateur Mike Isabella, the offshoot of Kapnos in the District employs servers whose smiles are backed up by smarts and an airy dining room that seems to run on sunshine. The food pulls its weight, too. You almost need a ladder to tackle the seafood tower…. (The extravaganza costs $125, but six diners can easily share it as a starter.) Don’t fish? Appetizers embrace spanakopita and saganaki, and among entrees “for the table” are a homey roast chicken. Be sure to settle in with some great dips … and stick around for something sweet. …" See Full Review…»
Summary
Washington Post
Washingtonian
Don Rockwell
 
No. 36 (2/8/2016) — 100 Very Best Restaurants 2016
"No doubt you’ve had a gyro before. Grayish-brown meat sliced from a vertical spit and stuffed into a packaged pita. Now get a load of the gyro at Mike Isabella’s Kapnos Taverna—thick slices of roasted lamb, dripping with juice and singing of garlic and fresh oregano, tucked into a flatbread fresh from the grill, and slathered with tzatziki so thick and rich you could envision eating it by the tubful. Isabella is Italian, not Greek, but he got his start at José Andrés’s Zaytinya, and his affection for the cuisine is evident in the bright, zesty dishes that fly out of these kitchens. At Kapnos, meat is dominant. At Kapnos Taverna, in Ballston, fish is the center of the menu. …" See Full Review…»
Summary
Washington Post
Washingtonian
Don Rockwell
 
 
Don Rockwell does not recommend this restaurant.

Rus Uz

1000 N. Randolph St.
Arlington, VA 22201
571-312-4086

Russian
Uzbek

 

$$
$15.73
 

★★

Good Value

MORE INFO

★★

Good Value

LESS INFO  

Summary
Washington Post
Washingtonian
Don Rockwell
 
As one of the only purveyors of Uzbekistani food in the area, Ruz Us, which also offers Russian food, is truly unique.
Summary
Washington Post
Washingtonian
Don Rockwell
 
Unrated (7/10/2013)
"The tables at Rus-Uz are covered with white linens. The music leans toward the classical. And the glassware will not withstand the rigors of a child pounding it on the table, demanding more juice." See Full Review…»
Summary
Washington Post
Washingtonian
Don Rockwell
 
No. 98 (2/8/2016) — 100 Very Best Restaurants 2016
"It’s hard to resist the Vodka Roulette at this Russian-Uzbeki restaurant: ten blind shots, randomly culled from house-infused vodkas. (We’re hooked on the horseradish variety.) But share with friends—otherwise you might have to bail on chef/owner Bakhitiyor Rakhmatulleav’s robustly satisfying cooking. Among the many savory meat-in-dough starters—including good versions of bun-like pirozhki and fried half-moon chebureki—the flaky samsa with spiced lamb is the clear favorite (the restaurant has been known to run out). Uzbeki dishes tend to outshine the Russian offerings …" See Full Review…»
Summary
Washington Post
Washingtonian
Don Rockwell
 
 
Don Rockwell does not recommend this restaurant.

SER

1110 N Glebe Rd
Arlington, VA 22201
703-746-9822

Spanish


 

$$$
$25.11
 

★★

Average Value

MORE INFO

★★

Average Value

LESS INFO  

Summary
Washington Post
Washingtonian
Don Rockwell
 
Co-owners Javier Candon and Josu Zubikarai (who served as executive chef of Taberna del Alabardero for 13 years) offer traditional Spanish cooking in a relaxed atmosphere.
Summary
Washington Post
Washingtonian
Don Rockwell
 
Unrated (3/27/2015)
"… Zubikarai, who opened the formal Taberna del Alabardero in 1989 and served as executive chef of the Washington restaurant for 13 years, intends to serve classic dishes representing the variety of his homeland. Enter bacalao, tweaked for modern tastes: Zubikarai’s salt cod comes with more vegetables (peppers and onions) than is traditional. …" See Full Review…»
Summary
Washington Post
Washingtonian
Don Rockwell
 
No. 96 (2/8/2016) — 100 Very Best Restaurants 2016
"The crisp-skinned suckling pig at this Modern Spanish spot is one of the most compelling dishes around. Not just because it’s tasty but because it’s “carved” with the edge of a plate instead of a knife. Co-owner Javier Candon (his partner is Josu Zubikarai, formerly of Taberna del Alabardero) does the deed with both nonchalance and flair. Other offerings—charcuterie and cheese, tapas, and larger plates—don’t have the pomp of the pig, but there are pleasures to be found. …" See Full Review…»
Summary
Washington Post
Washingtonian
Don Rockwell
 
 
Don Rockwell does not recommend this restaurant.

Earl's Sandwiches

4215 N. Fairfax Dr.
Arlington, VA 22203
703-647-9191

Sandwiches


 

$
$8.99
 

Cheap Eats
Exceptional Value

MORE INFO

Cheap Eats
Exceptional Value

LESS INFO  

Summary
Washington Post
Washingtonian
Don Rockwell
 
The hearty sandwiches at this beloved two-store chain (the Courthouse location is the original) features slow-roasted, hand carved meats, good bread, and quality ingredients. Owner Stephen Dugan also cuts his own fries and makes great chocolate-chip cookies from scratch.
Summary
Washington Post
Washingtonian
Don Rockwell
 
Unrated (2/1/2006)
The Post's only acknowledgement of this excellent sandwich shop is this ancient editorial review of the original location. See Full Review…»
Summary
Washington Post
Washingtonian
Don Rockwell
 
Unrated (12/14/2009)
Washingtonian's outdated review of the original location notes " two-fister sandwiches overstuffed with freshly roasted meats." See Full Review…»
Summary
Washington Post
Washingtonian
Don Rockwell
 
Italic — Recommended
"Freshly roasted and sliced meats distinguish this from its compeitors, our best sandwich chain." See 11/25/2015 Review…»

Sweetgreen

4075 Wilson Blvd.
Arlington, VA 22203
703-522-2016

Salads
Healthy

 

$
$9.90
 

Cheap Eats
Excellent Value

MORE INFO

Cheap Eats
Excellent Value

LESS INFO  

Summary
Washington Post
Washingtonian
Don Rockwell
 
This rapidly-expanding local chain with locations in the DC area, New York, Philadelphia, and Boston, offers healthy, good-quality salads. With its emphasis on fresh, local ingredients and calories posted on the menu, it's one of our picks for healthy "cheap eats."
Summary
Washington Post
Washingtonian
Don Rockwell
 

The Washington Post has not reviewed this restaurant.
Summary
Washington Post
Washingtonian
Don Rockwell
 
Unrated (12/1/2007)
The last word from Washingtonian is this badly outdated review of the original Georgetown location. The chain has expanded up the East Coast and hosts a yearly music festival. But it still follows the same basic format: salads and yogurt, featuring local ingredients and numerous toppings. See Full Review…»
Summary
Washington Post
Washingtonian
Don Rockwell
 
 
Don Rockwell does not recommend this restaurant.

Cheesetique Wine Bar

800 N. Glebe Rd.
Arlington, VA 22203
703-566-9189

Wine Bar
American

 

$
$11.54
 

Cheap Eats
Good Value

MORE INFO

Cheap Eats
Good Value

LESS INFO  

Summary
Washington Post
Washingtonian
Don Rockwell
 
Cheesetique is known as a great cheese shop, but it's also got a nice menu of light fare, with great mac and cheese, and a good selection of wines by the glass.
Summary
Washington Post
Washingtonian
Don Rockwell
 
Unrated (11/5/2008)
This outdated mini-review of the original location notes "a casual wine bar with elegant cheese and charcuterie boards plus salads and sandwiches." See Full Review…»
Summary
Washington Post
Washingtonian
Don Rockwell
 
Unrated (5/5/2016) — Cheap Eats 2016
"Leave it to cheese obsessive Jill Erber to transform a gooey crock of French onion soup into something even gooier—a sourdough grilled cheese spilling with Gruyère and deeply caramelized onions. At her twin wine bars, each fronted by a gourmet shop, she raids her sprawling cheese cases for pretty much every dish on the menu. …" See Full Review…»
Summary
Washington Post
Washingtonian
Don Rockwell
 
Italic — Recommended
"Cheesetique itself is one of our city's treasures, a truly great cheese store."

Super Pollo

550 N. Quincy St.
Arlington, VA 22203
703-970-3421

Peruvian
Chicken

 

$
$11.99
 

Cheap Eats
Good Value

MORE INFO

Cheap Eats
Good Value

LESS INFO  

Summary
Washington Post
Washingtonian
Don Rockwell
 
This local Peruvian chicken chain features well-seasoned and well-charred chickens that manage to stay juicy and delicious. Subs, burgers, and burritos are also available.
Summary
Washington Post
Washingtonian
Don Rockwell
 

The Washington Post has not reviewed this restaurant.
Summary
Washington Post
Washingtonian
Don Rockwell
 

Washingtonian has not reviewed this restaurant.
Summary
Washington Post
Washingtonian
Don Rockwell
 
Italic — Recommended
"Lots of cumin and char, Ballston open until 1 AM 7 days a week, my most recent visit to Ballston had good chicken and surly service." See 12/1/2015 Review…»
Ratings Guide:
★★★★ Extraordinary;  ★★★ Excellent;  ★★ Good;  ★ Average
All restaurants listed rate above-average or better. DCDiningGuide.com also includes a number of unrated local favorites, casual places, and other restaurants that we recommend if you’re in the neighborhood.
Price Guide:
$$$$$ Unlimited (>$45); $$$$ Very Expensive ($35-$45); $$$ Expensive ($25-$35); $$ Moderate ($15-$25); Inexpensive (<$15)
Price is based on the average cost of a dinner entree, which generally reflects a third of the cost of a full meal. Please note, however, that appetizer and beverage prices vary widely. Tasting menus are indicated with an asterisk (*).