Ambar is one of our favorite spots for a group dinner in Arlington. The food is from the Balkans, and you can expect a mix of Mediterranean and Eastern European, with flatbreads and croquettes and also lamb pate and crispy smelt. You’ll inevitably have trouble narrowing down your order, so our advice is to go for the “Balkan Experience,” which gets you unlimited small plates for $35. After your fourth bowl of tzatziki, have a post-dinner drink at Baba, Ambar’s cocktail bar nextdoor. They also serve a limited food menu if you’re looking for a quicker bite.
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Mussel Bar & Grille
Mussel Bar is a go-to when your parents are in town. Grab a seat on the patio if it’s nice out.
Northside Social is a coffee shop by day and a wine bar at night. If you live in Arlington, it will come in handy at least once a week.
Screwtop Wine Bar
Screwtop is a wine bar that doesn’t suck in Clarendon. Use it for an early date, or to convince your parents your taste has matured.
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In the middle of Clarendon, Cava Mezze is a solid spot for a Mediterranean group dinner or brunch.
Tail Up Goat
Wear elastic-waisted pants when you go to Tail Up Goat in Adams Morgan, and make sure to get involved with the pastas and lamb ribs.
When you're feeling guilty about all the pizza you've had recently, head to Shouk in Mt. Vernon for healthy-ish salads and pita sandwiches.
Suggested by our writers
The phenomenal tapas and fun times here might be the best example of what Jose Andres has done for DC eating.
Lyon Hall can solve most of your eating dilemmas in Arlington. The German food and multiple levels work for a date, group drink, or catch-up dinner.
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