Our guide to the best eats in Alexandria, VA did so well, we decided to do one for Arlington. A-town’s a pretty hip town, and although we still have exploring to do, here are 6 must try restaurants that will treat your tastebuds right. We’ll be covering everything from maki to tacos so be excited, Nom fam!
1. Sushi Rock
Arguably the best sushi in Arlington, we love everything about Sushi Rock. It has such a fun vibe, and the food’s absolutely killer. They’re known for their amazing specialty rolls, but we also love their tempura, wasabi pork shumai (fried, of course), oasis appetizer, and katsu (Japanese style cutlet).
It’s so tough to pick favorites when it comes to their maki, but our go-tos are as follows:
- Light My Fire: crunchy shrimp, spicy tuna, avocado, jalapeño, spicy aioli and eel BBQ sauce.
- You Shook Me All Night Long: tempura shrimp, avocado, crab stick, tobiko, negi, Japanese aioli, and eel sauce.
- Deep fried California roll
- Spicy tuna and avocado
- Spicy crunchy shrimp
The first two are specialty rolls, and the last 3 are our favorite classic rolls. They’re open for dine-in, takeout and delivery daily, and for those of you looking to save some moolah, they have bomb lunch specials and crazy good happy hour deals (only available at their bar and high top tables from 3-7PM).
2. Hot Lola’s
Chef Kevin Tien can do no wrong in our book, and Hot Lola’s is just another example of why we love his food so much. Located inside Ballston Quarter, this epic handheld is everything you’ve ever wanted, in sandwich form. They offer Sichuan x Nashville style chicken so it’s a unique twist that you’ll undoubtedly love.
We’re partial to the sando combo (an additional $5 for a side and drink), but they also offer tenders and wings if that’s more your thing. There are 6 levels of heat available: from not hot to flippin hot. We’re seasoned veterans when it comes to spice so we always go hard, but if you’re unsure, it’s better to be safe than sorry.
Topped with slaw, pickles, comeback sauce and served on a big Marty’s bun, each bite’s guaranteed to induce euphoric joy. PS. we hear they’re planning on offering a 3-piece fried chicken set soon-ish so keep an eye out for that as well.
Who’s ready to enjoy some dope Balkan cuisine? Lauded by the Michelin guide, Ambar is as beautiful as it is delicious. The interior’s beyond instagram-worthy, and they have all-you-can-eat options for brunch ($35.99), lunch ($25) and dinner ($39.99).
We recommend going with a group of friends and ordering a big spread to share! With everything from flatbreads to lavish seafood dishes, there’s a lot to sample. And in addition to delicious food, they have a very strong cocktail program so order a drink or two so you can imbibe with your meal. Prefer something non-alcoholic? They have a bunch of NA options available in addition to a handful of cold pressed juices.
You can’t have a roundup without ‘za – are we right or are we right? Known for their obscenely delish Neapolitan pizza, they’ve been one of our favorites for years. As tradition “requires,” they bake their pies in a 900+ degree wood-fire ovens manufactured in Naples, Italy.
Due to their immense popularity, they’ve expanded to various neighborhoods in the DMV area, but the original Arlington brick and mortar will forever be our favorite. Our recommendations include any (…or all) the following:
- Margherita DOC: Neapolitan buffalo mozzarella, basil, olive oil
- Prosciutto Arugula: prosciutto de parma, organic baby arugula, fresh mozzarella and parmesan
- Capricciosa: sauteed mushrooms, marinated artichokes, prosciutto cotto and fresh mozzarella
- Diavola: spicy salami, fresh mozzarella, basil
5. Taco Bamba
We stan, Taco Bamba. There’s a reason why they’ve opened so many locations in the area, and it’s because they have some of the best tacos around.
In addition to classics like al pastor and barbacoa, they have unique flavor combinations with fun names like “One Night in BangKok” (seared shrimp and spicy chorizo larb, mint, basil, chiles, and crispy onion) or “Slumdog Millionaire” (chipotle pork vindaloo, raita vede, cucumber, candied chili, flour tortilla).
We haven’t had a bad taco there, and trust us when we say we’ve enjoyed a lot. They’re obviously known for their tacos, but they have sandwiches, nachos, desserts, and oh so much more. Head to their Ballston location to treat yourself stat because to us, every day is taco Tuesday.
It’s been far too long since we last visited Ser, but we have fond memories of their food nonetheless. Located on 110 North Glebe Road, you may have heard of their sister restaurant, Joselito. The quality’s very much on par so if you’re looking to enjoy a beautiful meal out, make sure you secure your table today.
We’re big fans of their Pan Catalana (crushed tomato, EVOO, garlic bread) so get an order to start, and make sure you get their paella for your main. It serves 2 though so either go with a friend or plan to enjoy leftovers for the next few days because portions are ginormous. It’s priced at $60, and you choose between seafood (lobster being an additional $15pp), meat or vegetable.
Prefer to do a set menu? They offer a family-style tasting menu priced at $55pp so that’s an option as well. Wine pairings are available for an additional $30!
Thoughts friends? Let us know by leaving a comment below, and if there are A-town restaurants we need to try, please spill. We’re always looking for good eats so we’d be more than thrilled to hear your recommendations. For more on Virginia foodporn, click here, and make sure to give us a follow on @tiktok for droolworthy content that’ll feed your feed.