Ambar - Arlington

4.6
2642 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 2642 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
91% of people would recommend it to a friend
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JK
JKNYEDINNER
Washington DC
12 reviews
Dined 3 hours ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

As a first time diner here what an amazing experience it was! I had no idea it was an all you can eat menu for $39.99! The food was absolutely stellar and the staff and our server was superb. An eclectic mix of foods was served and dessert was spectacular. The vodka cocktail was delicious and our empty plates were cleared immediately. Water was filled constantly and the restaurant is clean as a whistle. Parking on the street is 2 hour and there is a garage close by. Top notch experience.

A
vipAbby
Washington DC
5 reviews
Dined a day ago
Overall2food2service4ambience4

The food is just meh. Lots of dishes were over salted and just not that good. I was a little surprised with all the good reviews but the quality is just not there.

D
Diane
Washington DC
1 review
Dined 3 days ago
Overall2food3service3ambience4

They removed one of my favorite menus and the overall services were not great compared to pre-covid19.

SD
SheilaD
Washington DC
6 reviews
Dined 4 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The food and service are great at Ambar! I recommend the lamb lasagna, but everything here is delicious! :)

EM
EMeezy
Austin
4 reviews
Dined 4 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great ambiance and customer service

OT
OpenTable Diner
Washington DC
3 reviews
Dined 4 days ago
Overall5food5service4ambience5

The food was great and ambiance was great! Will definitely be coming back for brunch in the future!

OT
vipOpenTable Diner
Washington DC
10 reviews
Dined 4 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great service and good. I will definitely return.

a
addyd
1 review
Dined 4 days ago
Overall4food5service3ambience5

The food & drinks were great as expected & were well worth the money. Our server wasn’t as attentive as we would have liked. She seemed annoyed that we kept ordering and continuing to spend time during our 2 hour time limit and didn’t really engage with us at all. When attending a brunch spot, you expect your server to be as good as the food.

EX
EXHillStaffer
Washington DC
5 reviews
Dined 5 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great experience especially with a small group. Try some new things! You can improve your experience if you are aware that some of the portions are quite small, at least with the "Balkan Experience" option, in particular the spreads. On the other hand, you probably don't want to fill up on them. Don't forget the soups.

L
vipL1st
Washington DC
2 reviews
Dined 5 days ago
Overall5food4service4ambience5

Great food, drinks, atmosphere and service. Will definitely go back!

OT
OpenTable Diner
Chicago
3 reviews
Dined 5 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Phenomenal experience with great flavor and presentation in every choice. Make sure you show up hungry, because you definitely won’t leave hungry.

KW
vipKitW
Washington DC
1 review
Dined 5 days ago
Overall2food1service1ambience2

I was very disappointed with the quality of food. Most of the food was cold and the menu was very limited. Also the service was very slow. It makes me question if I will return in the future as I normally come here without any complaints.

SE
SashaE
1 review
Dined 5 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

I had a great experience with friends at brunch. Valentin was our server and he was great and accomodating to us!

OT
OpenTable Diner
New England
1 review
Dined 5 days ago
Overall3food4service1ambience4

Food was pretty good, service was terrible. Our waiter barely paid attention to us and we ended up ordering most of our food and drinks from other wait staff, he also charged us the wrong amount and ignored us when we tried to wave him down.

OT
OpenTable Diner
1 review
Dined 6 days ago
Overall5food5service4ambience5

We did the Ambar experience and it was so nice. They also gave us a complimentary birthday dessert.

OT
OpenTable Diner
Washington DC
2 reviews
Dined on 22 July 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Yum yum yum! Can’t recommend Ambar enough. This was my first time going and the service was fabulous the food was excellent and the ambience was perfect. Perfect for a nice night out with friends or a date. A little pricey for small plates but worth it for the unlimited option!

TG
TomasG
Washington DC
4 reviews
Dined on 22 July 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Good food, good recommendations by friendly staff.

SS
SusanS
1 review
Dined on 20 July 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience4

The Ambar experience is well worth the price. The ability to try so many different things on the menu made for a fun and delicious evening. There was nothing our table didn't like. Valentin our waiter was very attentive and helpful.

F
Foodie
1 review
Dined on 20 July 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Although there was some confusion about who our server was, the issue was quickly sorted out and we were treated extremely well and were more than compensated for the confusion.

OT
OpenTable Diner
E. Tennessee
1 review
Dined on 18 July 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Love the ambiance and the Balkan food! Such great tapas and you can’t go wrong with $0.25 mimosas. Make sure to schedule a few days in advance. They usually book up early.

OT
OpenTable Diner
Orlando
1 review
Dined on 18 July 2021
Overall4food4service5ambience3

Went for brunch. Seated downstairs in the “lounge” area. Very dark and smelled badly, like standing water. None of the patrons seated down there were thrilled with this location. It looked and smelled dirty. Overall, food was decent. Nothing was bad, but nothing was spectacular. Tried everything we wanted to on the menu so don’t see any reason to return. Most positive part was our server Paris. She was fabulous!

OT
OpenTable Diner
St. Louis
1 review
Dined on 17 July 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Sister intown! We LOVE Ambar brunch experience!

p
paige
New York Area
6 reviews
Dined on 17 July 2021
Overall4food5service3ambience4

The unlimited brunch is great but twice now im gone and some of the food I ordered doesn’t ever come to the table

BF
BalkanFamily
Jacksonville
2 reviews
Dined on 16 July 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great food and service. Will come again soon!!!

MT
MaryTylerH
Washington DC
2 reviews
Dined on 16 July 2021
Overall5food5service4ambience4

We lived in the Balkans and love how authentic the food is!

MM
MichaelM
1 review
Dined on 15 July 2021
Overall4food4service4ambience4

Ambar’s cocktails are poorer quality for the price in comparison to other restaurants of equal value. Their cocktails taste watered-down as if they pre-made. I don’t suggest going going here for cocktails only.

SM
vipSanjaM
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on 15 July 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Brilliant experience at Ambar yesterday during the lunch hour.
All the compliments go to our server Andreja who was amazing, hospitable, knowledgeable and the Chef! The food served was beyond words!
Highly recommend the place!!

JC
vipJCDC
Washington DC
12 reviews
Dined on 14 July 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

I went for an in-person lunch with my family, and it was fantastic!

We had the Balkan experience and everything we had was delicious (especially the slow-cooked items, steak, mussels, cauliflower, and Brussel sprouts, but we really liked everything. I will definitely return in the future and recommend it to friends and family.

Service was also great - we brought our 9 year old daughter to join us, and they happily adjusted the dishes for her (e.g., leaving the sauce off the fries). She can't wait to go back and try more stuff!

M
Mr1234xyz
Washington DC
3 reviews
Dined on 13 July 2021
Overall4food5service3ambience4

As always, the food was outstanding, and the fixed price, all you can eat menu has to be one of the best deals in town.

LL
LaurieL
Vancouver
2 reviews
Dined on 11 July 2021
Overall3food4service3ambience3

The server wanted us to get the dinner unlimited menu, but we asked for the regular menu with prices, she wasn't too happy. She didn't come back to take our order for almost 1/2 hour and that was after they told us there is a 2 hour limit per table.

Will not go there again.

KH
KathleenH
1 review
Dined on 11 July 2021
Overall2food2service2ambience3

I've been to Ambar several times before and been very pleased. However, the food and service at the most recent visit was only fair - and I'm being generous. We waited a while to have our orders taken and then the small plates arrived at long intervals, including two that didn't arrive until we were about ready to leave. I understand that small plates arrive whenever they're ready, but the timing seemed really uneven and overly long. Then, our dirty plates sat on the table for a long time which was unappetizing and sloppy.

The food was so-so with meatballs as hard as a rock and chicken skewers that were tasty but overcooked and dried out. The bacon in the brussels sprouts was also dried out and overdone and the portion itself was miniscule. The cauliflower was tasty but drenched in oil.

Considering that we paid $40 a head for the small plates, I don't feel that we got good value for what we spent.

Bonus to the experience was that all of the bathrooms were out of order with a sign on the door that customers could use the bathroom of the restaurant across the street.

DP
DakotaP
New York Area
1 review
Dined on 10 July 2021
Overall5food5service4ambience5

Ambar brunch was amazing as always. Service was a little slower outside compared to previous experiences inside. The kitchen also gets backed up later in the day as it gets busier which may have been the cause of the slowdown.

OT
OpenTable Diner
1 review
Dined on 10 July 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We had an early reservation for brunch, got seated right away, and our waiter was attentive, knowledgeable, and efficient. The food was wonderful. Great experience.

OT
OpenTable Diner
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on 9 July 2021
Overall4food4service2ambience4

Great ambiance and food, but they’re pretty slow getting the food and drink to the table.

B
Brutus
New York Area
5 reviews
Dined on 9 July 2021
Overall4food3service4ambience5

The air conditioning was dripping on some of the booths We did not move but had to sit close to the edige of the booth. This should be fixed.

The food was not as good as I have had at the 8th street SE place.
I was looking forward to it but in general it did not wow me.

I would try it again for dinner perhpas but there are other places nearby which I should try first.

M
Mary
Washington DC
4 reviews
Dined on 8 July 2021
Overall4food5service5ambience4

Although I could only reserve an outdoor table on line, Ambar accommodate my request to change to indoor seating because of expected bad weather conditions. The food, wine and service were excellent as usual. My group enjoyed the many small plate offerings of the Ambar experience. The noise level, however, makes conversation somewhat difficult.

AH
AndiH
Baltimore
6 reviews
Dined on 7 July 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

It was amazing. The server was awesome, we told her to just start sending things out and she killed it! The food is always amazing and the drinks were so tasty!

RN
RetiredinNVA
1 review
Dined on 7 July 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

This was our first visit since the pandemic. A couple of our favorites had been removed from the menu but overall still a great experience.

R
Rene
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on 6 July 2021
Overall4food3service4ambience4

Because of the pandemic they took a lot of the classics out of the menu so make sure you check it beforehand. Plates are also smaller than they used to. Would recommend the Ambar experience instead of a la carte.

SS
SharonS
Washington DC
6 reviews