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The Pentagon City and Crystal City neighborhoods (now called National Landing) in Arlington, VA have dozens of eateries, with new ones popping up seemingly every day. With so many choices, it can be hard to know where to go. Here are our recommendations for the best restaurants in South Arlington:
Best Restaurants in South Arlington
Below are our recommendations for the best restaurants in South Arlington. Not sure which ones are nearest to you? Be sure to scroll down to the map at the bottom of the post.
BREAKFAST & COFFEE
Yes, we have Starbuck and Dunkin’ Donuts, but why not fuel up for your day at some local favorites instead:
Bob & Edith’s Diner (All-day breakfast)
539 23rd St S, Arlington VA 22202
Bob & Edith’s is a famous local chain that has recently opened up shop on Restaurant Row in Crystal City. You’ll find all-day breakfast at this 1950s style diner. What’s more, it’s open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. On weekend mornings, get there early or be prepared for a slight wait for a table.
Commonwealth Joe (Coffee, coffee, and more coffee)
520 12th St S, Arlington, VA 22202
Sure, you could grab a cup of joe at one of the many Starbucks around, but for the serious coffee aficionado whose love language is “Nitro Cold Brew” (or anyone who even understands what that means), then Commonwealth Joe is the place for you.
CASUAL LUNCH & DINNER
You can find a full array of fast-casual and fast-food restaurants in the neighborhood. However, if you are like us and enjoying eating at local establishments when you travel, then here are the places we recommend:
McNamara’s Pub & Restaurant (Irish)
567 23rd St S., Arlington, VA 22202
McNamara’s is the most recent addition to Restaurant Row. Don’t be surprised if the friendly owner from stops by your table to make sure you are enjoying their Irish fare. In need of a pint? Happy hour runs from 3:00 to 7:00 p.m. McNamara’s has daily specials as well. Tuesday, for example, is fish and chips night. On Wednesdays, you can have “Pie and a Pint” (chicken pot pie or shepherd’s pie plus a pint of beer or glass of house wine) for a great price.
McNamara’s is currently part of the airlines’ dining program (see details here on how to quickly register, so you can earn bonus frequent flier miles when you dine there.
Kohinoor Dhaba (Indian)
2800 S. Eads St, Arlington, VA 22202
Kohinoor Dhaba has the best Indian cuisine in the ‘hood. Look up “hole in the wall restaurant” in the dictionary, and you may just see a picture of it. The no-frills space does not incite high expectations, but don’t be turned off—the food is excellent. Your best bets are to fill up at the all-you can eat (and trust me, you’ll eat plenty) buffet at lunch or order dinner for delivery or pick-up. Kohinoor Dhaba is a great option for vegetarians and carnivores alike. Our favorite dishes are the Tikka Masala, Chicken Tikka, and Malai Kofta. If you have a sweet tooth, make the Mango Lasi your beverage of choice. A discount is available for paying in cash.
Kabob Palace (Middle Eastern/Pakistani)
2315 S Eads St, Arlington, VA 22202
This is another restaurant that isn’t much to look at but that serves up excellent food. Kabob Palace offers counter service 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for their Middle Eastern kebabs and curries. Some of their food has a real kick, so ask about the spiciness level of your dish if that’s a concern. There’s not much ambience to dining in, so this is another great candidate for ordering to go.
Saigon Saigon (Vietnamese)
1101 S Joyce St B16, Arlington, VA 22202
Confession: I am a spring roll addict. Saigon Saigon is my go-to place within walking distance when I have a hankering for Vietnamese (translation, when I need a fix of crispy spring rolls with vermicelli).
If you are serious about your Vietnamese food and don’t mind a drive, head out to the Eden Center in Falls Church, which has 30+ Vietnamese restaurants and shops.
Extreme Pizza (Wait for it, they serve…pizza!)
1419 S Fern St, Arlington, VA 22202
In addition to the classics, Extreme has a wide variety of specialty pizzas including some of our favorites: Paia Pie, Yard Sale, and Whambam Thank you Mammoth. Wheat and gluten-free/vegan crust are available. Takeout and delivery are available.
Good Stuff Eatery/Shake Shack (Burgers and Shakes)
Good Stuff Eatery in Crystal City (2110 Crystal Drive) and
Shake Shack in Pentagon City (1100 South Hayes Street, Space H25)
both serve great burgers, fries and shakes in a fast-casual environment.
MORE FORMAL LUNCH & DINNER
Epic Smokehouse (Smoked meats and more)
1330 S. Fern Street, Arlington, VA 22202
We find that Epic is one of the best values in the neighborhood. It is not the least expensive eatery, but you get great quality for your money.
Federico Ristorante Italiano (Italian)
519 23rd St S, Arlington, VA 22202
Long-time neighborhood restauranteur “Freddy” offers classic Italian cuisine at this location. Reservations are a good idea at this popular spot (703-486-0519).
Lebanese Taverna (Mediterranean)
1101 South Joyce St, Arlington, VA 22202
This local chain has tasty Mediterranean cuisine. Their Chicken Fatteh is one of my favorite comfort foods!
Jaleo (Spanish tapas)
2250-A Crystal Drive, Arlington, VA 22202
Internationally acclaimed chef (and philanthropist) José Andrés serves up Spanish tapas at this location. This is a great place to sit outdoors in the summer and sip sangria.
Where to find the best restaurants in South Arlington:
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For more recommendations on where to eat and what to see and do in Arlington, VA, we have a podcast episode on We Travel There all about area favorites! Listen here.
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