Ambar - Arlington

4.7
2571 reviews
$31 to $50
Tapas / Small Plates
Ambar is the first modern, international Balkan cuisine restaurant in DC. Inside three locations in Belgrade, Arlington and Washington DC, Ambar blends tradition and heritage with creativity and modern design. The result is an unforgettable visitor experience that reaches all the senses with delicious food, unbelievable drinks and an atmosphere that blends comfort and high style. From rich food, fine furniture, interior design and the widest choice of the finest Balkan rakias, to our first class service – every detail is meticulously woven into an unique experience that will leave you breathless. Welcome to the best of the Balkans.

Support Ambar - Arlington during COVID-19

Safety precautions

Cleaning & Sanitising
  • Surfaces sanitised between seatings
  • Common areas deep cleaned daily
  • Digital, disposable or sanitised menu provided
  • Sanitiser 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
  • Waiting staff wear masks
  • Diners must wear masks unless eating or drinking
Screening
  • Sick staff prohibited in the workplace
What 2571 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
4.6
ambience
4.6
value
Noise · Moderate
95% of people would recommend it to a friend
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R
Ryno
Washington DC
1 review
Dined 3 days ago
Overall4food5service4ambience4

Great food! Enjoyed the Ambar Experience with all you can eat for two hours. Sometimes it took a long time to get water, order drinks, etc. Definitely recommend.

KR
KristenR
1 review
Dined 3 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Loved our first experience at Ambar! We had a short lunch break to celebrate our anniversary and this was exactly the kind of experience we wanted.

B
Bridget
1 review
Dined 4 days ago
Overall1food4service1ambience2

Dined here on Monday, June 14th for the 39.99 dinner special. Having lived in Croatia for a few months, I was so excited to visit Ambar for their authentic Balkan cuisine. While the food was delicious, and the location was great, the service we experienced was horrible. We were not greeted for more than 20 minutes from when we sat down on the patio, which ate into our 2 hour dining limit. Our server, Kristian, was clearly in the weeds and was unfortunately condescending the majority of our meal. All was still passable until the end when he rudely refused a to-go box for half a plate of food that was not eaten. He tried to explain that it was a restaurant policy to prohibit over-ordering, but I did not want the food to go to waste. It was very embarrassing to be lectured by a server and it was the opposite of the type of customer service that is expected in the DMV area. I would love to come back and will certainly recommend to friends as long as they request any server other than Kristian.

OT
vipOpenTable Diner
Washington DC
1 review
Dined 5 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Our sever was excellent! Loved the charcuterie board

OT
OpenTable Diner
1 review
Dined 5 days ago
Overall3food3service5ambience5

Service was good. We sat outside, on a side street and I could pretend I was in a European sidewalk restaurant. Food was ok but not outstanding. I suspect the Ambar in DC has better food.

SD
SuzanaD
Washington DC
1 review
Dined 5 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Outstanding food, service and ambience! A longtime favorite!

OT
vipOpenTable Diner
Las Vegas
1 review
Dined 5 days ago
Overall5food4service4ambience4

Great portions of food and good variety of menu items. The brunch special is very good and totally worth it. I will definitely come back.

JB
vipJaneB
Washington DC
6 reviews
Dined 5 days ago
Overall5food4service5ambience5

We really liked the Brunch Menu at Ambar - especially the great service by Kristian and the team today. When we sat down and told our server that we hadn’t been there before. He recommended ordering the menu “best hits” and a few drinks. Those were the best dishes we had. We had more dishes and they were all good and came out in a timely manner and hot. Really all the food that we had was very good, although very Americanized. The drinks were average but with a “.25” (really all you can drink model,” they were well worth the value. I recommend getting the mimosas over the bloody marys. All in - great value, make a reservation to avoid waits, and would bring guests here for a great D.C. brunch experience.

A
Andi
San Francisco
1 review
Dined 5 days ago
Overall3food5service2ambience5

The food is amazing and same with the drinks. But when ordering food during the brunch experience, order like 6 plates all at once since they’re very busy.

OT
OpenTable Diner
Washington DC
2 reviews
Dined 5 days ago
Overall1food1service3ambience4

Food was pretty poor overall. Some dishes were ok but some dishes came out cold. Just wasn’t impressed with the food.

g
gastronomygirl
Washington DC
3 reviews
Dined 6 days ago
Overall4food4service5ambience3

Very enjoyable evening with a very affable waiter.

OT
OpenTable Diner
Washington DC
4 reviews
Dined 6 days ago
Overall3food3service3ambience4

Food was ok- not as good as it used to be.

RM
RestonMatt
Washington DC
4 reviews
Dined 7 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Ambar is the place to go for a wide variety of delicious tapas and a wide assortment of craft cocktails. The servers are friendly and attentive and the atmosphere is lively. We enjoyed everything about Ambar and look forward to future visits.

CM
CarolM
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on 9 June 2021
Overall4food3service5ambience4

I forgot to ask for salad, if possible, without dressing, but the dressing was at least light. The wine was wonderful, the goulash tasty.

The bread was very nice too - a good variety.

CH
CHReview
1 review
Dined on 5 June 2021
Overall3food5service2ambience2

They had amazing Tapas, great lighting, servers were also very pleasant and kind!

However it becomes a very uncomfortable dining experience once you and a friend start getting your food. My friend and I found ourselves with little to no space between each other with only having 2 dishes each, our glasses of water, cocktails, and finally our sample plate and silver ware. The single tables inside are basically the size of an end table and I think the over all experience would greatly benefit from bigger tables.

Turn around on getting new orders placed was also not bad either. I imagine once things are fully back to normal that the service will become perfect to match the desire to fill orders too.

MA
MikeA
Washington DC
6 reviews
Dined on 4 June 2021
Overall5food5service4ambience4

The food is excellent. The indoor atmosphere is dynamic. It is a bit warm inside the restaurant.

E
Eater
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on 4 June 2021
Overall3food4service1ambience3

The service from the waitress was under par. Not a good service at all.

T
Ted1
Washington DC
20 reviews
Dined on 3 June 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Covid restrictions have just been lifted, it's Friday evening, and people expressed their pent-up cabin fever energy here. It was a wonderful experience and great to be normal again. The place was buzzing and all the waitstaff and workers were "zooming" past the tables to deliver food--YET, when we asked Marina to take our picture, she focused on us like we were her only customer. She did a fabulous job all around and I want to give her a shout out.

RA
RAKESHR
New York Area
1 review
Dined on 3 June 2021
Overall5food5service4ambience5

Liked many of the choices on the dinner menu and the ability to select items at a fixed price.

N
Nicholsgirl
Washington DC
5 reviews
Dined on 2 June 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Love going here with adventurous friends who are willing to try everything on the menu! It’s all so good!

A
Anotherfoodie
Washington DC
7 reviews
Dined on 2 June 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience4

The food was terrific and the lunch express was a great value!

j
vipjustreston
Washington DC
13 reviews
Dined on 2 June 2021
Overall4food5service3ambience3

Fantastic food! Service wasn't so great. Some dishes took exceedingly long time to get. The music was overall too loud to have conversation. Otherwise a great place to dine.

KS
vipKathyS
New York Area
8 reviews
Dined on 1 June 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We really enjoyed the variety of food options to try

TB
TashB
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on 1 June 2021
Overall3food5service2ambience2

(From my yelp review):
I was happy to see that the food is still delicious at Ambar years after opening (though Baba below will always be my favorite in the area). The goulash, chicken kabobs, white bread, and meatballs blew my mind. Only thing to fall short was the cauliflower and grilled veggies.

Unfortunately, our server Dunja was cold and unpleasant for no apparent reason. Our friend has severe food intolerances so we had to get specific about when ordering, but if that's the reason for her rudeness then that's unacceptable. She blamed us for giving the friend the wrong plates instead of taking responsibility for the fact that she made no effort to point out which were for her vs ours, so the runners ended up making the mistakes. She really tainted the experience. It was the first time I was ever annoyed to tip 20% out of respect for servers in general. Needs an attitude check, including how learning how to say thank you instead of grabbing the check from the table silently without a word. I also had to ask for water five times from runners since she never checked in with us throughout the meal. I wish my tip could've gone to them.

AC
vipAndyC
Richmond
39 reviews
Dined on 31 May 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Delicious, distinctive food, friendly and helpful waiters and servers, and fun atmosphere. We look forward to returning!

OT
OpenTable Diner
1 review
Dined on 31 May 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We sat outside and enjoyed brunch on memorial day. It wasn’t too loud outside and the waitstaff were very friendly.

C
Carl
1 review
Dined on 31 May 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Staff was amazing and so attentive. Food was beyond great. We fully recommended their brunch and hope to be back soon

OT
OpenTable Diner
1 review
Dined on 29 May 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

A very nice atmosphere with different cuisine

i
iggy
Montreal
2 reviews
Dined on 28 May 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Perfect
Authentic
...
As usual

k
kkwheelz
Washington DC
3 reviews
Dined on 27 May 2021
Overall4food3service4ambience3

Ambar capital hill is one of my fav restaurants. This location was not quite the same experience. Food was enhoyable but not as good and less attention to detail. Atmosphere is nice but not the same fun vibe. Lots of outdoor seating set up on what used to be a parking lot...nicely done.

J
Jayindahood
Washington DC
11 reviews
Dined on 27 May 2021
Overall5food4service4ambience4

Great deal for good food. All you can eat is the way to go if hungry. Tasty sauces & food is well prepared, unlike most buffets - each dish brought from kitchen to table.

OT
OpenTable Diner
Washington DC
2 reviews
Dined on 26 May 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Amazing food!!!!

ED
ErinD
Seattle
1 review
Dined on 26 May 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Staff was friendly and accommodating. Delicious food and great ambiance.

OT
vipOpenTable Diner
Portland
7 reviews
Dined on 26 May 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We came for lunch, thinking we would go for the all you can eat lunch express for $25, but instead saw their HH menu which is valid at the bar between 12 noon and 6 on weekdays. Fantastic drinks, food items, service was exceptional- friendly and personal. Will definitely be back!

OT
vipOpenTable Diner
New England
1 review
Dined on 23 May 2021
Overall3food3service1ambience2

Bad customer service. Gave our table away.

L
Liss
1 review
Dined on 22 May 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Delicious ! Great food and excellent service.

SM
SMSCM
Washington DC
4 reviews
Dined on 21 May 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience3

Our server was amazing!
The food was superb!
The downside was that we asked for outdoor seating thinking we would be on a terrace, not on the sidewalk by the parking lot!!! Stained plastic chairs and table, under a tree where bugs would fly around. Lastly the bathrooms needed attendance.
As for my server and the chef/kitchen staff they were 101% great and would govern six stars

JW
JenniferW
Washington DC
3 reviews
Dined on 20 May 2021
Overall5food5service3ambience4

Food and drinks are always delicious. Service wait time was a bit longer than usual.

GM
GraceM
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on 20 May 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Ambar is amazing! The food was delicious and unlimited food means everyone gets to try what they want from the menu. Can't wait to return!

DS
vipDShaw
Washington DC
24 reviews
Dined on 17 May 2021
Overall3food3service3ambience4

Sadly, the food was not nearly as good as the DC location. Lacked flavor. Tasted a bit stale.

FAQs

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

Ambar - Arlington is rated 4.7 stars by 2571 OpenTable diners.

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

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 bookings at the moment.