Rustico - Ballston

4.2
1085 reviews
$30 and under
American
Rustico is the quintessential neighborhood pub in the heart of Ballston in Arlington, Virginia. The menu features seasonal, hearty American fare from a wood-fired oven and grill, including pizzas and rotisserie meats, along with other rustic cuisine using the freshest local ingredients available. There"s also no mistaking Rustico's love for barley & hops! The bar's focal point is a custom galvanized bar with 40 brilliant taps book-ended by two massive coolers holding more than 400 different types of ales, lagers, ciders and stouts.
What 1085 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.2based on recent ratings
4.4
food
4.0
service
4.2
ambience
3.9
value
Noise · Moderate
57% of people would recommend it to a friend
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Familyouting
Philadelphia
6 reviews
Dined on 20 February 2021
Overall3food4service3ambience3

Seated promptly but no one explained you had to submit your order online, so sat waiting 20-30 minutes for a server that wasn’t coming. All food came out at once even though appetizers were ordered. Most food was very good, grilled cheese sandwich was disappointing.

Water provided in a growler, but not nearly enough for one pour for the group, no one came back to check on the table, so difficult to get more.

Lightning in bar coolers very distracting

Overall we had a good time because of the group dining together, nothing to do with the restaurant.

Would recommend take out only.

AY
AY1974
1 review
Dined on 17 February 2021
Overall2food4service1ambience2

Previously visited this place before COVID - enjoyed very much.
Post-COVID, they changed their business model. They force you to QR the menu - which is okay, I guess - but there are no servers to take your order. They politely (but firmly) push you to order through your smartphone, and their system closes out your tab each and every time you order anything.
That system thoughtfully automatically adds a 20% gratuity - and makes it difficult to adjust it. If I wanted Shoney's salad bar, or an impersonal experience, I can get it for much less cost. It may as well be a "pick up your own order at the bar" type of delivery system - there were workers on the floor but they weren't doing much.

Bottom Line: The food is still good (but not as good as I remember it). I definitely won't be back until they rethink their processes, because the ordering (and paying) experience was absolutely terrible.

PB
PatrickB
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on 12 February 2021
Overall2food3service1ambience2

All ordering is through your phone. You can't get a custom cocktail. The servers only bring your food and do not check on you. It felt like McDonalds.

OT
OpenTable Diner
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on 29 January 2021
Overall1food1service1ambience3

Terrible experience, staff was rude and unattentive. Food was below average and drinks were pre-made.

LH
LawrenceH
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on 23 January 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Food was great, but not enough portions

OT
OpenTable Diner
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on 14 January 2021
Overall5food5service2ambience4

Awesome food! Because of Covid, you do all of your ordering online, and I personally prefer having a server, so that was a little odd.

OT
vipOpenTable Diner
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on 8 January 2021
Overall4food5service4ambience4

You’re not able to order any drink you please. You have to order everything through your phone, choosing from few beers, few wines (only by the glass) and pre-made cocktails. I understand this is all because of COVID precautions, just not the dining experience I was expecting. We’ll definitely be back after things get beck to “normal”, but for now, Rustico is a better takeout place rather than dining-in.

TK
vipTomK
Washington DC
23 reviews
Dined on 31 December 2020
Overall4food5service4ambience4

Good experience for sure. Just a little challenged checking on people outside on the sidewalk.

p
vippsuedophoodie
Washington DC
19 reviews
Dined on 12 December 2020
Overall3food4service3ambience1

Was a bit disappointed in the experience.
We were seated outside which was important to us but then we were left there as we’re supposed to use the QR code to do all ordering and payment. I wanted to get another beer but having to log on again and order it via the QR code, I passed.

From our observation, indoor seating had a more traditional dining experience with wait staff attending to the table.
Given the arrangement, I’d rather order takeout (food was good) or go elsewhere for a more enjoyable dining experience.

OT
vipOpenTable Diner
Philadelphia
5 reviews
Dined on 20 November 2020
Overall1food2service1ambience5

Service: So this resturant is basically a “to go” format that lets you eat in. You order and pay from the QR code menu and a runner drops it off ONLY AFTER YOU PUT YOU MASK ON every time they come to the table...yes they wait until you do. Rest assured they are not coming to see how you are enjoying your food or that they have any form of communication. It’s kind of like having Uber Eats bring your food at a resturant doing multiple orders (unless you drink one drink) except more annoying and tipping out each time. PS hostess was very nice and personable!!!

Food: Started with the tomato basil soup, it would have been delicious were it not for the massive amount of salt. For entree I had the spaghetti and meatballs. Again the meal would have been great but they dumped so much salt I could barely finish.

Positives: great date spot, the patio is nice, they have outdoor heaters and nice table layout, signature cocktails were well made

Won’t go back

SB
vipSylviaB
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on 20 November 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great accommodations for COVID! Food was terrific.

A
dinerA
Washington DC
9 reviews
Dined on 13 November 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great Happy Hour outside. Fire pit seating was wonderful. Some of the best mixed drinks I’ve had, especially mulled wine, other person had great hot toddy

Very Covid conscious!

AA
vipAndreaA
Philadelphia
34 reviews
Dined on 8 November 2020
Overall4food4service4ambience3

I've been to Rustico a few times over the years while visiting friends in the area, the brunch is always our go-to. With Covid there are restrictions on dining, so for the time being you order and pay from your phone at the table, and then the servers will bring items out as they're ready. The beer list was significantly shorter than usual, as was the brunch menu, but the food was still delicious.

OT
OpenTable Diner
Washington DC
2 reviews
Dined on 20 September 2020
Overall3food4service3ambience2

Did not say it was patio only. Had zero source of heating outside.

OT
OpenTable Diner
Washington DC
4 reviews
Dined on 15 August 2020
Overall3food5service3ambience3

We walked up to the hostess stand and there were signs saying to speak to the hostess or check in using open table. There wasn’t a hostess around so we used open table. A waiter walked by and he offered to seat us around the side but because it was raining we told him we’d prefer to wait for a covered table. We sat in our car waiting. Another guy walked up as we sat in the car and we saw them seat his party at the recently vacated umbrella table. I walked up to the hostess and told him we had been waiting and they took our table. He shrugged and said sorry. Luckily another umbrella table opened.

The menu was entirely online. They wanted us to order through our phones on their website. Of course the website crashed and no one could order. My husband went up to inform the hostess of the issue and they all acted like we were the inconvenience and informed us that now it would take a little longer as they were working on a skeleton crew.

Eventually someone came out to take our order. Food and drinks came out quickly and were delicious. We had to go find someone to close the check. We chose Rustico because that was our first date place four years ago. We wanted to support them through this tough time but they made it feel difficult.

OT
OpenTable Diner
Washington DC
2 reviews
Dined on 14 August 2020
Overall2food3service3ambience5

We reserved through OpenTable because that was what the person who answered the phone recommended when we called. We called again and they said just to come in person. When we arrived, we were told the “app crashed” but we would be seated within 5 minutes. So essentially no reservation system even on a busy Friday night. The ambiance was great and we loved the outdoor seating. Drinks were good and food was okay. Pasta primavera seemed like something I could’ve easily made at home and my boyfriends NY strip was cooked well done when he asked for medium. We are hopeful that if we try their pizza next time we’ll be pleased! They are doing an excellent job with contactless dining during COVID.

OT
OpenTable Diner
1 review
Dined on 18 June 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great space, distanced service, friendly staff!

OT
OpenTable Diner
Washington DC
4 reviews
Dined on 7 March 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Everything was great! Will definitely be back.

SB
StaceyB
Washington DC
3 reviews
Dined on 5 March 2020
Overall3food2service4ambience3

Nothing to add to my rating. Not something I need to do again.

R
Rasc
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on 29 February 2020
Overall4food4service5ambience4

great pizza and drinks. Fresh fish was very good too

DR
DavidR
Washington DC
3 reviews
Dined on 15 February 2020
Overall5food5service4ambience5

We go there often and the food is always good. The atmosphere is good too

CD
ClarkD
Washington DC
3 reviews
Dined on 14 February 2020
Overall4food4service3ambience5

Decent place to eat, limited menu but food was pretty good. The decor was fancier than the food, so it was a little odd. Good prices, especially for the Ballston area.

r
ronnieg
Denver
9 reviews
Dined on 9 February 2020
Overall3food5service3ambience4

The food was terrific. The service so slow and food came
At
Different times. Some that waited for all to be served had
Cold brunch.

RO
ROBERTL
New England
1 review
Dined on 8 February 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience4

The happy hour draft beer selections are awesome and at a great price. Very friendly server. The pizzas were absolutely delicious. We will be eating there very often!

RM
RunMamaRun
Washington DC
12 reviews
Dined on 7 February 2020
Overall4food4service4ambience4

Good drinks and food. Enjoyed the 5 dip option and risotto tots. Would like to see a few more entrees to choose from that are not pizza...

AC
AC123
New York Area
4 reviews
Dined on 1 February 2020
Overall3food2service3ambience5

The portions were so small for the money, and the waiter never said anything when we ordered. We all left hungry and disappointed.

H
vipHungry
Washington DC
17 reviews
Dined on 26 January 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Food was excellent. Great beer selection.

OT
OpenTable Diner
1 review
Dined on 19 January 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We went for restaurant week and the food was incredible. Our service was amazing and we really enjoyed everything about the experience.

OT
OpenTable Diner
Washington DC
2 reviews
Dined on 18 January 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great service! Great food!

DC
DavidC
1 review
Dined on 17 January 2020
Overall4food5service4ambience4

Went during Restaurant Week, Jan. 16, 2020. RW special was excellent, with generous portions over five courses. It was a bit difficult to get refills on drinks, but that was the only issue. Overall, excellent.

OT
OpenTable Diner
1 review
Dined on 17 January 2020
Overall2food3service2ambience4

Food was ok. Have had better pizza. Brussel

l
lwithaz
Washington DC
9 reviews
Dined on 15 January 2020
Overall4food4service4ambience3

Four of us went to Rustico during Restaurant week, and we were glad we did. All four got the special, which was Five courses for $35. Every course was delicious, starting with the deviled eggs, with bits of bacon sprinkled on top. That was followed up by a pear and arugula (?) salad, then a terrific course of burrata on diced squash and pomegranate seeds! The main entree was a steak with roasted carrots and onions, cooked perfectly and very tasty! Finally, dessert was a molten chocolate cake! Everyone loved it, but I was so full I had to take my cake home. The drinks were reasonably priced, which was good because we were all drinking something different. Definitely will return in the future, looks like they have lots of outdoor seating for the summer!

MP
MorganP
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on 11 January 2020
Overall4food4service2ambience4

Server was terrible, not happy to be there. Made it difficult when ordering food and drink; had to flag him down for the check. He had an attitude when us customers were asking simple questions.

OT
OpenTable Diner
Washington DC
3 reviews
Dined on 31 December 2019
Overall3food3service4ambience3

The restaurant has high ceilings and does little to mitigate noise, so it was pretty noisy. The dipping appetizers were fairly commonplace. The lentils in particular were over salted. The wait staff was very good and even discussed with us the traits of our beer choice to make sure that was what we wanted. We ended up changing our order on the beer after the discussion. The waiter brought us a small glass of the originally selected beer so we could have a taste.

o
vipouttakitchen
Washington DC
43 reviews
Dined on 29 December 2019
Overall4food4service5ambience5

The pear salad was very good, burgers were good as well. What we especially loved were the dip selections with bread. Excellent and different. Highly recommend the trout, feta, and the eggplant. Service was excellent. Bar area was cozy.

DS
vipDeniseS
Washington DC
7 reviews
Dined on 27 December 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Always a family favorite. Service was terrific and we enjoyed our meal. Nice to have a go to for Mom, Dad and the 3 teens.

V
vipVisitor
Washington DC
57 reviews
Dined on 20 December 2019
Overall4food3service5ambience4

I enjoyed my dinner with two out-of-town guests. Our service was great and we appreciated that we were note rushed. We were excited to try the chickpea crust pizza and share a bottle of wine. The cauliflower dish was also delicious. I do wish there were more salad options on the menu (especially without meat/cheese) and more whole grain options, in general.

OT
OpenTable Diner
Seattle
2 reviews
Dined on 15 November 2019
Overall2food4service2ambience4

Service was slow and forgetful. Add the price and it was not a worthwhile experience.

KH
KHoran
New York Area
14 reviews
Dined on 9 November 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Very comfortable place with great food and drink. Will come back again.

B
vipBbvis
New England
29 reviews
Dined on 1 November 2019
Overall3food3service4ambience2

Pizzas were fantastic. The chicken dish was not anything special. The chickpea dip was very good.

FAQs

Rustico - Ballston does offer delivery in partnership with Uber Eats. Rustico - Ballston also offers takeaway which you can order by calling the restaurant at (571) 384-1820.

Rustico - Ballston is rated 4.2 stars by 1085 OpenTable diners.

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.

Tweets by Rustico - Ballston