Ambar - Arlington

4.7
2493 Reviews
$31 to $50
Tapas / Small Plates
Our aim is to put together the finest products of the New World and Old World for your dining pleasure. Perennially on the edge of great empires, the Balkans owes much of its food culture to its history, geography, and climate. The term Balkan is generally believed to come from the Byzantine word meaning: “a chain of wooded mountains.” With a desire to introduce Virginia to cutting edge Balkan cuisine, we created a dining space that will delight and indulge the senses. Primarily featuring “small plates,” Ambar also offers wines and spirits from the Balkans not often experienced by the American diner. Ambar showcases the best dishes from the Balkan Peninsula with a modern twist. These dishes are presented artfully, with modern combinations that deliver the flavor profiles in a unique way. Serbian natives Ivan Iricanin and Uros Smiljanic developed the menu with the help of Executive Chef Dejan Pilovic .

Safety precautions

Cleaning & Sanitizing
  • Surfaces sanitized between seatings
  • Common areas deep cleaned daily
  • Digital, disposable or sanitized menu provided
  • Sanitizer or wipes provided for customers
  • Contactless payment available
  • Sealed or wrapped utensils used
Physical Distancing
  • Limited number of seated diners
  • Distancing maintained in common areas
  • Extra space between tables
Protective Equipment
  • Waitstaff wear masks
  • Diners must wear masks unless eating or drinking
Screening
  • Sick staff prohibited in the workplace
What 2493 people are saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.7based on recent ratings
4.6
food
4.5
service
4.6
ambience
4.5
value
Noise · Moderate
92% of people would recommend it to a friend
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K
Kendall
Washington DC
1 review
Dined 2 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Food was delicious and service was friendly and professional.

JS
JulietteS
1 review
Dined 2 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Definitely get the Ambar Experience!! It is worth it because you get to try a bit of everything. I would also recommend taking your server's recommendations, they know best ;) This is a good place for foodies and is very price friendly, also good for people who are trying to branch out. Lots of flavors, the plates were very well put together and the presentation was great too

S
Surabaya
Washington DC
10 reviews
Dined 3 days ago
Overall5food5service4ambience4

We actually sat inside as the round tables are bigger for a party of four. It was a great lunch. Did the unlimited tapas, which is a great option. Salmon and Trout we're very tasty. Drinks were served and refilled promptly.

JH
JuanH
1 review
Dined 3 days ago
Overall4food4service3ambience3

It was interesting that for a Monday I went in and I was told that I had to wait an hour without reservations. I made a reservation on the spot and waited only 15 mins. Not sure if that says how the place is run or if I was just not welcome. Kind of struck me in a weird way, but I am putting this out there. So it is important to make a reservation, but I am more concerned about the restaurant operations. If I am new to town and want to check the place an hour wait will make me want to go somewhere else. The place was almost empty on a Monday evening. The food is great, and the service was as expected in a seat-down restaurant. I will make sure I make a reservation next time, but the wait and first impression left me with a bad taste. Would I recommend this place? No. Simply because you can get great food and drinks even for cheaper around the area with better customer service from the host/hostess.

S
Shannon
1 review
Dined 4 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Ambar is our favorite restaurant in Arlington and we have only had the very best experiences there. I'm vegetarian and have never left hungry, and my fiance loves the extensive menu and variety of meat served. Their deserts are unique and innovative, their coffee is comforting, and the wine is delicious. Beyond that, the ambiance (lighting, plants, service, music) are all perfection. Go for dinner or brunch, you will not be disappointed.

SB
SanjidaB
1 review
Dined 4 days ago
Overall2food3service1ambience4

The service was terrible. Our server looked lazy, seem liked she hated her job. Forgot our orders kept having to remind her what we ordered and asked when will it come out. Disappeared most of the times. Disappeared even after taking the payment. Overall just terrible. It was my first time but I would not recommend or go back.

w
winefoodie
Washington DC
10 reviews
Dined 5 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Sunday brunch for our anniversary. We had outside table in the sun, so it was comfortable. Food was amazing, and ample mimosas made a perfect meal.

LC
vipLexC
New York Area
4 reviews
Dined 5 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Wow. Absolutely delicious. Will be back ASAP! Great service too.

m
mimfoodreview
Phoenix
4 reviews
Dined 5 days ago
Overall4food5service4ambience4

Met a friend for drinks and food. Drinks were great and so was the food. I’d go back again, sitting outside for people watching was even more fun on a Saturday night.

s
sachris
Washington DC
3 reviews
Dined 5 days ago
Overall5food5service4ambience5

Fun place to celebrate. We went with the $35/person Ambar experience, which let us taste a lot of different items from the menu and order seconds of our favorites. The slow-cooked meats were particularly savory. We also loved the Balkan lasagna.

MD
MonicaD
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on April 11, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We had the most delicious brunch at Ambar! We are so happy we made a reservation, we were seated at our reserved outdoor seating right away. The service was excellent and the value for the Ambar experience brunch is unreal. The 25 cent drinks are a steal! Definitely would recommend dining at Ambar Arlington especially for brunch!

OT
vipOpenTable Diner
Washington DC
3 reviews
Dined on April 10, 2021
Overall5food5service4ambience4

Great food and service!

KM
KellyM
New England
2 reviews
Dined on April 10, 2021
Overall4food4service4ambience4

The brunch option is a great deal! I would just recommend that people keep in mind that the plates are pretty small so if everyone at your table wants a dish, you should order at least 2.

DE
DEEN
Washington DC
5 reviews
Dined on April 10, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

great bottomless brunch food, along with great and fast service.

HH
HeatherH
Austin
1 review
Dined on April 9, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Highly recommend the Balkan experience for the best value - the portion sizes are pretty small however that is a non issue with the AYCE option.

AS
AnnS12
Washington DC
4 reviews
Dined on April 9, 2021
Overall4food4service4ambience4

The food was good. However, some of it was very spicy without a description on the menu. I would prefer if they said it was spicy on the menu.

P
Paola
Washington DC
2 reviews
Dined on April 8, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great experience, wonderful food

LM
LindaM
1 review
Dined on April 6, 2021
Overall4food5service5ambience4

My first visit but it will not be the last. I really enjoyed the menu.

j
jonasc
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on April 4, 2021
Overall1food1service1ambience1

Food extremely salty, the food runner used his hands to put bread back on plate that fell off on tray not very sanitary using his hands to touch food

OT
OpenTable Diner
1 review
Dined on April 4, 2021
Overall5food5service4ambience4

Great food, unbeatable price!

OT
OpenTable Diner
Washington DC
2 reviews
Dined on April 3, 2021
Overall4food3service5ambience5

We were seated indoors at the lower level. The ambiance was great, very different from other restaurants in the area. We instantly noticed it was like a cafeteria, quite loud from all of the conversations going on, but you couldn’t catch one conversation in detail so no one was more loud than the next table. We participated in the $34 brunch special which is a great deal. The service was great! Some plates came quicker than others which was annoying but understandable being that everyone was ordering multiple things at the same time. We loved the drinks. I tried a Bloody Mary for the first time and i am not a fan lol but i can see why others like it!

L
vipLocavore
Washington DC
26 reviews
Dined on April 2, 2021
Overall4food4service4ambience3

Only outdoor tables were available and even with heat lamps it was very cold. Being on the street was very noisy as well. But as always the food was great and the Balkan Experience was a good value. Drinks were a bit pricey.

OT
OpenTable Diner
Richmond
1 review
Dined on April 2, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Excellent as always!!!

A
vipAlsvball
Washington DC
40 reviews
Dined on April 2, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Took my out of town visitors and had a wonderful dinner. The menu is excellent as are the beverages, and we had great service.

OT
OpenTable Diner
Miami
2 reviews
Dined on April 1, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We did the dinner experience , $35/ per person. It was a ton of food. Definitely worth the price. They tried to sit us in the basement but there was available seats upstairs so we asked for them and they sat us there without arguing. Our waitress was good. She was always there when we needed her but not overly aggressive or “salesy”. Would def go back.

OT
vipOpenTable Diner
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on April 1, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Military promotion lunch

PY
PYzzz
1 review
Dined on March 31, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

It was awesome. I recommend this place for food and a nice and cozy place.

R
Rhoda
Washington DC
4 reviews
Dined on March 30, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Food was great! The flavors were diverse and complex. Everything was delicious and melts in your mouth

LB
vipLisaB
Washington DC
17 reviews
Dined on March 29, 2021
Overall4food4service3ambience3

Food is always great. So fun to be able to try so many different things. Recommend going with a small group so you can share more. You'll leave full!

AS
vipAnaS
Baltimore
14 reviews
Dined on March 28, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

I absolutely LOVE Ambar

JS
JimS
New York Area
3 reviews
Dined on March 28, 2021
Overall3food2service3ambience3

Seems to have gone downhill a bit. Food was mediocre, greasy and they tightened up the menu and it seems a bit one note.

j
jiris
Vancouver
1 review
Dined on March 27, 2021
Overall4food5service5ambience2

As a big fan of Serbian food and rakija, I was excited to make Ambar my first destination after a year spent in Covid hiding.
Food did not disappoint and service was impeccable. I just didnt like sitting at a plastic picnic table on the side of a busy street. That ruined the experience a bit.
I am still looking forward to trying their DC location though, the food was THAT good!

OT
OpenTable Diner
San Francisco
3 reviews
Dined on March 27, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Food and ambiance is always good here. I always recommend to out of town friends

T
Toni
1 review
Dined on March 27, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

I’ve gotten brunch here a few times, and every time was excellent. Definitely worth the price.

OT
OpenTable Diner
Los Angeles
1 review
Dined on March 26, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience4

It was our first time here and the service was impeccable. My husband and I both had the unlimited small plates experience and we asked our server to be our guide since he grew up in the Balkin region. Everything he brought us was amazing. We’ll definitely be back.

m
vipmargog
Washington DC
26 reviews
Dined on March 26, 2021
Overall4food4service5ambience5

The food was as by and large excellent and service was prompt and responsive throughout the meal. Lots of outdoor seating, appropriately spaced. My only issue was that the portion sizes have gotten a lot smaller than they used to me. The pork stuffed cabbage was just one little piece. Of course with the $35 option you can get unlimited, but seems like they used to serve more when they brought it out. Maybe a more temporary Covid thing.

NC
NikoC
1 review
Dined on March 25, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

It was a great experience, would definitely return.

S
Simo
1 review
Dined on March 25, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Amazing format, all the plates are incredible!! Definitely recommend visiting!

C
Chachie5113
Pittsburgh
12 reviews
Dined on March 25, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The lunch express is one of the best lunch values in town. And the most delicious! A large variety of amazing food to suit anyone’s tastes. Highly recommend adding dessert, too!

l
viplindseyb
Philadelphia
7 reviews
Dined on March 21, 2021
Overall3food2service1ambience2

We had to wait 30 minutes past our reservation time to get seated (taking away from our 2 hour bunch limit, since the kitchen closed at 3:30). After we were seated, we waited 15 more minutes before flagging someone down to get helped

FAQs

Ambar - Arlington does offer delivery in partnership with Uber Eats. Ambar - Arlington also offers takeout which you can order by calling the restaurant at (703) 875-9663.

Ambar - Arlington is rated 4.7 stars by 2493 OpenTable diners.

Yes, you can generally book this restaurant by choosing the date, time and party size on OpenTable. Due to local restrictions, this restaurant may not be accepting reservations at the moment.