Ambar - Arlington

4.7
1484 reviews
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$30 and under
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Tapas / Small Plates
Top tags:
  • Tapas
  • Creative Cuisine
  • Good for a Date
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 .
What 1484 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
4.7
food
4.5
service
4.5
ambience
4.5
value
Noise · Moderate
95% of people would recommend it to a friend
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P
Washington DC
68 reviews
Dined 2 days ago
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 4

Ambar is a small plate restaurant that is different from the rest both in variety and quality. From the start to its end the menu is full of selections that are tempting the customer to try something new. The quality of individual plates and the sauces that accompany the main ingredient are a step up from other restaurants of this kind. Bread puffs are a particular treat and are the patrons' gift from the kitchen; soups should not be missed; and judging from this first visit, all of the small plates are first rate. The folks who serve you are experienced, cordial and quite adept at handling any situation. We enjoyed our first visit, and we will come back.

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RM
1 review
Dined 5 days ago
Overall 4food 3service 5ambience 5

The service was very good. Paris was our server and she took very good care of us. Most of the food was good. I was not blown away to be honest and wasn't crazy about any one of the millions of dishes we tried. The quality of ingredients seemed to be compromised by the large variety of dishes. Overall, it was a good experience.

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MN
Washington DC
9 reviews
Dined 5 days ago
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 3

The food and service is great. It's a little loud but we were having a birthday celebration for my daughter and it didn't bother us very much and with 5 people in our party, we were probably a little loud ourselves.

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OT
Washington DC
2 reviews
Dined 5 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great place for brunch the all you can eat comes tapa style. It was great flavors and gives you a great experience. Was able to try 75% of the menu. Will definitely be back for the dinner experience

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KK
Washington DC
5 reviews
Dined 5 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Some girlfriends were getting together after a long time of not seeing eachother, and we all did the bottomless brunch. This is SUCH A DEAL!!! And our server was so kind and attentive. The food is so good, the drinks are great, it's a relaxing and welcoming ambiance. Overall, this is now one of my favorite restaurants for brunch.

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BC
Cleveland
2 reviews
Dined 7 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

You would be very disappointed and making a grave mistake if you did not do the all you can eat Ambar experience. Absolutely delicious, such a cool way to try everything on menu. Few notable ones to get 3 or 4 servings of- boars neck, lamb lasagna, crusted chicken. A+ experience.

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D
Washington DC
10 reviews
Dined 7 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great service and food!

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BR
El Paso
1 review
Dined on 14 March 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

This is one of the best Tapa restaurants I’ve been to. Great atmosphere, great service, exceptional food. They have a flat fee all you can eat if you want to try lots of options and very reasonably priced. It is definitely a “repeater “ next time in DC.

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MS
1 review
Dined on 13 March 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We met friends for dinner, and all four of us were extremely satisfied with the entire experience. Our waitress was very knowledgeable and helpful and was especially solicitous of the needs of the one vegan in our group.

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DL
1 review
Dined on 13 March 2019
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 5

I can totally see why Ambar is so popular in DC & Arlington. Can't believe I can order whatever from their menu as small plates for just $19.99 at noon. We were so full and happy. Wish I lived in the area so I could frequent Ambar.

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FR
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on 12 March 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

great selection of food, service was great, food came out really fast, lots of variety, parking tough

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CM
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on 11 March 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

My favorite restaurant hands down. I have been 3 times and every time I have done the Balkan experience and have tried something new. Every small plate I have tried, I have loved.

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BS
1 review
Dined on 10 March 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

A little loud, but the soup was amazing. I would definitely go back again.

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DL
Washington DC
15 reviews
Dined on 10 March 2019
Overall 5food 5service 3ambience 3

Excellent choices and very happy with special menu for diners with allergies. Lots of options for the guest with nut allergies.

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JD
Washington DC
6 reviews
Dined on 10 March 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Fabulous food and service. We did the fixed price option and tried a little of everything. It was all great! The service was friendly and helpful. Fun environment and a cold decor.

Don't think twice! Give it a try!

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K
Washington DC
6 reviews
Dined on 10 March 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Good food and decent service as always. They don’t really give a crap if you are celebrating anything (I was celebrating an engagement and birthday), but I guess they don’t really have to care.

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G
Denver
5 reviews
Dined on 10 March 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great! Bartender makes a great Mexican coffee to compliment my brunch. 😃👏

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JR
Washington DC
3 reviews
Dined on 10 March 2019
Overall 4food 5service 3ambience 5

We went for brunch, food was great and came out fast but the drinks were slow. However I’ve been before and I will go again, food is awesome!

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OT
1 review
Dined on 9 March 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

My friends and I had a great experience at ambar brunch! I ran the dc rock and roll half marathon and wanted to get friends together to eat and drink and celebrate. We all had an awesome time and our server was amazing!!!

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AD
Washington DC
3 reviews
Dined on 9 March 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

Thoroughly enjoyed the food and wonderful dining experience for their brunch. I highly recommend this for anyone looking for a great bottomless brunch experience.

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NB
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on 8 March 2019
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 4

I love this place! The food is great value for the exceptional quality, the staff - including the very kind floor managers - are super nice, and the vibe has become that of a much-loved neighborhood joint. I’m so happy to see Ámbar thriving in Arlington. The only thing I would tweak is that I’d like to see more native grapes featured on the wine list; no one needs more chardonnay or merlot, esp when there are hundreds of delicious local varietals in the region. There is a good plavac and a good vranec by the glass; show me the babic, the grk, the teran!

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JT
1 review
Dined on 7 March 2019
Overall 3food 3service 3ambience 5

There were a few notable menu items, bust most of the food was more mediocre than I expected. I was somewhat disappointed, and do not know if I will return.

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JM
Philadelphia
2 reviews
Dined on 4 March 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 3

Dinner was fantastic, but they changed the size of the small plates and they’ve become so small that you HAVE to choose the unlimited option rather than just selecting four or five dishes to share. Also disappointing that dessert isn’t included in the unlimited menu. But overall still enjoyed the experience.

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D
San Francisco
2 reviews
Dined on 3 March 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Good food, good service, and good overall experience. I recommend this for people looking for Balkin style tapas.

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N
Washington DC
4 reviews
Dined on 3 March 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Always wonderful hospitality and delicious food!

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C
Washington DC
2 reviews
Dined on 3 March 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

The food is fantastic, but it's a busy restaurant, and sometimes things get lost in the shuffle. We had an entree served cold, and the restaurant replaced it and comped the entree -- but when eating with a three year old a delay throws everything off. That said, we'll definitely be going again, but we'll expect hiccups.

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OT
San Diego
1 review
Dined on 2 March 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

I enjoyed the all you could eat experience! It was definitely worth the $35 I can’t wait to come back for brunch.

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m
Washington DC
4 reviews
Dined on 2 March 2019
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 5

Great food and atmosphere. Go for the unlimited small plates and get a taste of everything!

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OT
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on 2 March 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great experience at Ambar. The food was amazing and the $35 unlimited tapas was the best deal. Our serwas attentive and friendly. It was noisy but I was still able to talk and hear my husband fine. Overall highly recommend Ambar!

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OT
Austin
2 reviews
Dined on 2 March 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Always an amazing night!

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SB
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on 2 March 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We had so much fun at Ambar! It was a great birthday celebration dinner...the food was amazing and just kept coming.....:) thank you to the manager and the wait staff for such a wonderful experience!

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AT
Washington DC
2 reviews
Dined on 1 March 2019
Overall 3food 4service 4ambience 3

We really liked, however the high top tables are very close to each other and it can get very hard to have a conversation. Also, the volume of the "background " music is too loud.
The food is very good. We just wished they had the same offer as the Ambar in DC. The Clarendon one doesn't include the unlimited drinks.

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MM
1 review
Dined on 1 March 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Chose Ambar for an office lunch for eight persons. Everything was perfect. Food, service, seating, and price. Might be my new favorite place.

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OT
1 review
Dined on 28 February 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Outstanding food. Knowledgeable and friendly service. Great experience.

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PB
1 review
Dined on 28 February 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 4

Wonderful restaurant with and the food was really good. Service was exceptional. Very busy restaurant and would make reservations.

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K
Washington DC
5 reviews
Dined on 27 February 2019
Overall 3food 3service 3ambience 3

Food was very blah. Expected more.

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PM
Washington DC
21 reviews
Dined on 26 February 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Always enjoyable with wonderful food and fantastic friendly service.

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K
Washington DC
19 reviews
Dined on 26 February 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Ambar is high quality in every way. We ate the unlimited $19.99 lunch and enjoyed every dish.

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d
Washington DC
12 reviews
Dined on 25 February 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great experience. The plates are small but so much care is in each dish. It is a great adventure that is definitely worth trying!

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JS
Washington DC
3 reviews
Dined on 25 February 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The noise level was quite tolerable during lunch. However, at dinner time the noise level is pretty intolerable.

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