Ambar - Arlington

4.6
icon/ic_reviewCreated with Sketch.
2121 reviews
icon/ic_price_rangeCreated with Sketch.
$31 to $50
icon/ic_cuisineCreated with Sketch.
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 .

Support Ambar - Arlington during COVID-19

What 2121 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.6based on recent ratings
4.6
food
4.4
service
4.5
ambience
4.5
value
Noise · Moderate
92% of people would recommend it to a friend
Sort by
Filters
OT
vipOpenTable Diner
Washington DC
1 review
Dined 3 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great service and good food. There was issues with the table next to us, and the manager was prompt to resolve the issue and make it right. Will be back.

OT
OpenTable Diner
Baltimore
2 reviews
Dined 4 days ago
Overall4food4service4ambience4

Some dishes were really good and others not so much. We enjoyed the unlimited small plates dining. Service was spotty but manager was really friendly. Drinks were good.

OT
OpenTable Diner
Washington DC
1 review
Dined 4 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Fantastic food, definitely go for the Balkan experience. Plates came out a little slow so order some multiples if you want to have more than a bite! They are extremely accommodating for COVID and have plenty of spaced out outdoor seating.

AA
AlwaysAscending
Washington DC
13 reviews
Dined 4 days ago
Overall5food4service4ambience5

Took a friend to lunch on the way to the airport. So many options for the Express lunch. Affordable at $25 and we definitely ate our fill.

OT
OpenTable Diner
New England
1 review
Dined 4 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Ámbar is the go to restaurant for my family. They have unlimited Balkan tapas and we have tried them all. Top restaurant quality tapas anytime!

JR
vipJuanR
Washington DC
9 reviews
Dined 5 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Our hostess was great. Our waitress did a great job describing the menu. The food was delicious!

LO
LouO
1 review
Dined 5 days ago
Overall5food4service5ambience5

Food is incredible! Only thing I would say is the dishes started getting saltier and saltier the later it got. I don't know if it was a bad batch, or a different chef, or intentionally so that we'd leave XD, but that made the experience less than spectacular. I'd say if this was a one time thing, I'd definitely come back

AD
vipAmyD
Washington DC
9 reviews
Dined on 7 July 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Amazing as always!

S
Schubert
Nashville
18 reviews
Dined on 7 July 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great food! $35, anything you can eat. Small plates. Everything tasty. Service great, helpful in deciding what to order. Noisy, busy place.

AK
AjaK
1 review
Dined on 6 July 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great option to try lots of delicious food in a very pleasant environment! I would definitely recommend to others.

A
vipAlsvball
Washington DC
31 reviews
Dined on 6 July 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Everything was excellent...food, service, ambiance, and experience! We went during an off time and the restaurant did a good job maintaining social distance inside. Everything was clean and spaced out. The food was exceptional, and we really enjoy trying all the Balkan specialties. The service was quick and efficient, plus our waitress was very attentive. Will definitely be back!

LM
LindseyM
Orange County
2 reviews
Dined on 5 July 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Excellent food and service as always. Brunch is spectacular!

OT
OpenTable Diner
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on 2 July 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Went here for an anniversary dinner. The service was spectacular. We got the $35/per person for unlimited small plates and were not disappointed.

d
dianeinpa
Philadelphia
7 reviews
Dined on 30 June 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We enjoyed meeting the wait staff--VERY friendly and helpful. Every dish that was brought to us was fabulous! New flavors we'd never tried.
What a pleasant surprise!
We'll be back!

BM
BlankaM
1 review
Dined on 29 June 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Always a great place to eat with great servers, service, people and food. Absolutely recommend Ambar!

OT
OpenTable Diner
Baltimore
1 review
Dined on 28 June 2020
Overall1food1service1ambience1

I made a reservation prior our arrival for 4 people and hostess try to put us on the bar table, when we had a very pregnant lady with us and restaurant was full and she was putting us on the middle of road where everyone is going through and many without masks .
Then they offer us a table outside on the sun without any cover. Very disrespectful and wrong behavior.
Management should really do more training on the staff.
We were so looking forward to try Serbian food, but instead we got cold shower with the way how are things organized in this facility.
I don’t think we would ever go back

DC
vipDCLiveWorkPlay
Washington DC
30 reviews
Dined on 27 June 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The staff at Ambar did a great job providing a clean and safe environment for my party to enjoy a nice night dining outdoors with them. They've added lots of seating in the parking lot behind their restaurant (in addition to the tables along the sidewalk in front and along the side of their restaurant). We had a nice table along the outside perimeter of the seating and were well taken care of by the staff and enjoyed a nice relaxing night. They served on all regular dishware but offered disposable flatware if you preferred and all staff were wearing masks and most (almost all) were also wearing gloves. Their setup is really quite nice and allowed you to almost forget about the current circumstances. The reservation was for 90 minutes technically, but there were open tables when we finished eating and there was no rush to move us along. We ended up staying for another round of drinks rather than trying to find another venue that we would be comfortable at. We had a great spot right there. Great hospitality provision during a difficult time.

OT
OpenTable Diner
1 review
Dined on 27 June 2020
Overall2food1service4ambience2

Went here with my boyfriend. While we enjoyed our helpful/ very attentive waiter the experience was subpar. We tried the $35 all you can tapas menu which was a quite a disappointment. Received wrong orders twice and then did not receive one of our orders at all and at that point gave up. The “meatballs” were burnt, pressed, and dry to the point where we actually asked the waiter if it was steak or meatballs because we honestly thought we received the wrong order (again). The drinks were OK and many of the beers on the menu were not available. We may have set too high expectations but will not be returning regardless.

RS
RanjnaS
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on 26 June 2020
Overall2food2service1ambience1

They could have done better for COVID 19 in outdoor seating with customers. I served a spot and the table was in front of the restaurant. People were not wearing masks and serve was so poor!

m
vipmary
Washington DC
15 reviews
Dined on 26 June 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

So great to have them open again. Food was amazing as ever and the servers were so happy to be back. You are treated like family at mbar!

OT
OpenTable Diner
1 review
Dined on 24 June 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

It was amazing! We look forward to going again soon!

S
Surabaya
Washington DC
9 reviews
Dined on 24 June 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

It was great lunch. Great food, staff great.

KS
KevinS
1 review
Dined on 23 June 2020
Overall5food5service3ambience5

Excellent place to go for small plates and great value. Cheese pie, zucchini cakes, tzatziki, shrimp and meatballs were our favorites

SK
SarahK
1 review
Dined on 21 June 2020
Overall4food4service5ambience5

The food is ok, but the plates are very tiny! This is a good place for a light bite and a drink. Do not come here with an empty stomach

PG
vipPeterG
Washington DC
17 reviews
Dined on 21 June 2020
Overall5food4service4ambience4

Great to see Ambar open back up after the Covid19 shutdown. Outdoor seating was nice, on a beautiful Sunday. The service and food were good all things considered going on at the moment. We will be heading back!

OT
vipOpenTable Diner
Washington DC
22 reviews
Dined on 20 June 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We were seated in the Baba section downstairs and it was everything, great ambience, great food, music. We had the best waiter too. We love this place. The cheese pie is incredible!

OT
OpenTable Diner
Hawaii
2 reviews
Dined on 20 June 2020
Overall4food4service4ambience4

A delivery truck parked next to our table and kept the engine running while we were dinning. Next time I visited the restaurant, I asked them not to sit me outside in the parking lot/tent area

BR
BlueRose24
1 review
Dined on 20 June 2020
Overall2food1service4ambience5

Ordered the Balkan Kebabs and the Mushroom Pilaf. The Kebabs looked And tasted like microwaved breakfast sausages. The mushroom pilaf was so salty it was almost inedible. All of the food comes in very small portions so be prepared to opt for the $35 per person all you can eat rather than the al la carte. The service was good and the ambience was great.

OT
OpenTable Diner
1 review
Dined on 20 June 2020
Overall3food4service2ambience4

Our reservation was at 1:45pm for brunch, and the server assured us they offered the bottomless food and drink options (drinks 25¢ each). However, she only came back to offer us more drinks twice in the 1 hour and 15 minutes that we sat there. Meanwhile, other servers were walking throughout the dining room with pitchers of mimosas making sure their tables’ drinks we’re being refilled. However, our server was nowhere to be found. At 2:55PM she came back to our table and told us that it was last call for any more food and drinks. I explained to her that we were disappointed that she only offered us refills on drinks twice in that 1 hour and 10 minutes we were sitting there, and she replied saying that she’s “sorry but I have all these other tables to serve as well”. She had also neglected to tell us that last call would be at 3pm until 2:55pm. If we had known this, we would’ve waved down ANY server around to ask for more drinks. Overall disappointed, but the ambiance was great and the food was tasty. However, I don’t think I would ever come back and order bottomless drinks.

N
Nahi
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on 20 June 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience4

This is my first time at Ambar. The brunch buffet was a great value and it is quite filling. The food was delicious. The drinks were great too. There was plenty of distancing in regards to seating. Would recommend, and I will be going again.

SP
SummerP
1 review
Dined on 20 June 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great food and service. They took safety measures and tables were far away enough apart. Staff wore gloves and masks. We sat outside and felt safe. The $35 unlimited brunch is a bit more expensive than before (it was $29) but still it was a good value

JR
JaneR
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on 19 June 2020
Overall5food5service4ambience5

Although the service took a lot longer than necessary, the social distance procedures and precautions taken to prevent spread of coronavirus were amazing. Our food was good, the drinks were good, and the outdoor seating was distanced and very comfortable.

OT
OpenTable Diner
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on 19 June 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Relaxing and delicious

A
Anonym
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on 18 June 2020
Overall3food1service2ambience3

Sorry I don’t want say anything really bad. But The food quality is mediocre, a lot of thing got burned, fish and shrimp were burned. Most of those plates don’t taste very good.

VO
VladO
Washington DC
2 reviews
Dined on 18 June 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Wonderful place with an eclectic menu, and perfectly adapted to the COVID environment - expanded outdoor seating in the parking lot and 50% capacity indoors.

JS
vipJSRS
Washington DC
29 reviews
Dined on 17 June 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Ambar was a super experience in these COVID days. Though we'd planned to sit outside, we were rained out. However, we had a super table, in a corner, distanced from others. All tables are spaced apart. Our servers all wore masks and some wore gloves.

One thing we particularly liked, given that the dining room is limited, it's finally quiet enough to hear inside Ambar ;-)

The restaurant has added a large outdoor area in back that looks like it'll be great when the weather cooperates. It's covered and there are rugs to absorb heat.

The food and drinks, as always, were excellent and our server did a fantastic job adding his expertise to our initial requests. He was outstanding. But, alas, they always are.

We'll be back!

KC
KevinC
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on 14 June 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Went to brunch during the Phase 1 of reopening after Covid and they managed everything incredibly well, from service to outdoor seating. The food was terrific and everyone we interacted with was very polite

CN
CaitN
Washington DC
8 reviews
Dined on 14 June 2020
Overall3food4service3ambience5

Even though capacity of customers they were taking was low, food came out quite slow. Food severs kept giving our orders to different tables or giving us other table’s orders. I like the taste of their dishes but I really don’t like their all you can eat option. I don’t think it is worth the price of $90 for two people.

BB
BarbaraB
Washington DC
2 reviews
Dined on 14 June 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We have been to Ambar many times and each time it is a very positive experience. I tell all my friends to go there. Food is so good and I love the atmosphere.

JP
JeffP
Washington DC
3 reviews
Dined on 14 June 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

It was great to be able to come back post COVID-19 shut down. So glad everyone here returned to work safe and sound and that things are getting back to normal!!!! The restaurant (inside and outside) is clean, sanitized and spaced properly.

The cuisine is bold with flavor and rich with seasoning. The food, as always, was outstanding. The Tapas-style all you can eat menu is excellent for the foodie in me and the wife. We loved the updated menu and selection. It came out hot and came out quickly!

The service, like always, is superb. The staff, food and ambiance make for an awesome dinning out experience. If you're looking to try Balkan food this is the place in the DC area to try. I would highly recommend this place...you wont be disappointed.

FAQs

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

Ambar - Arlington is rated 4.6 stars by 2121 OpenTable diners.

Ambar - Arlington does offer gift cards which you can purchase here https://www.giftrocker.com/secure/Order/?h=a90566d7.

You can book this restaurant by choosing the date, time and party size.