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Cafe Italia - Arlington

3.6
153 reviews
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$30 and under
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Italian
Perfect For:
  • Neighborhood Gem
  • Good for Groups
  • Kid-friendly

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About

Café Italia in Arlington, Virginia specializes in serving authentic Italian cuisine. Serving the Arlington area for more than 40 years, the restaurant offers a casual, homey dining atmosphere.

Café Italia serves lunch and dinner daily with an additional brunch service offered on the weekends. Brunch at the restaurant includes lobster bisque, cheese omelet, Italian omelet, garden vegetable calzone and spaghetti carbonara. Lunch and dinner at Café Italia features an array of starters, soups, salads, pizza, pasta, main entrées and kid friendly fare. Main entrées offered at the restaurant include salmon alla griglia, shrimp scampi, linguine and clams, butternut squash ravioli, zuppa di pesce and lobster ravioli.

Dining Style
Casual Dining
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Cuisines
Italian
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Hours of operation
Lunch: Monday - Friday: 11:00am - 3:30pm; Dinner: Sunday - Thursday: 3:30pm - 10:00pm, Friday - Saturday: 3:30pm - 11:00pm; Brunch: Saturday - Sunday: 12:00pm - 3:30pm
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Phone number
(703) 521-2565
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Payment options
AMEX, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
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Dress code
Casual Dress
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Executive chef
Fermin Cevedo
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Private party facilities
Host your gathering events at Cafe Italia Ristorante. Whether
you're planning lunch, dinner or cocktail reception, we will deliver! Our restaurant section have been design to fit small and large groups.
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Private party contact
Sal Flores: (703) 521-2565
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Catering
Cafe Italia has knowledgeable staff to help you to delight your guest with an exceptional customized menu for your special occasion. Whether you’re hosting a corporate brunch meeting, a business luncheon, a social gathering ~ we can help you every step of the way. Cathering Menu upon request
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Neighborhood
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Cross street
Jeferson Davis Hwy
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Parking details
Parking Information:
* Street parking is free after 6 PM on weekdays and on Sundays
* Located within just blocks of National Airport, Crystal City Metro, and Pentagon City, and just 2 miles from Washington D.C.
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Public transit
ART-ARLINGTON TRANSIT
The ART of getting around Arlington.
ART operates within Arlington County, providing access to Metrorail and supplementing Metrobus with smaller, neighborhood-friendly vehicles. CommuterDirect.com.FAIRFAX CONNECTOR
The Fairfax Connector bus system runs seven days a week.
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Entertainment
PIANO & SAX MUSIC by THE ARROW DUET

Come and enjoy an evening of great songs played every Friday/Saturday.



ACOUSTIC GUITAR ENTERTAINMENT by Ron Recinos

His songs are based on a variety of guitars and styles fusing folk, funk and reggae, with hinted...



Join us every Sunday and enjoy our delicious food, ambiance, and our live music.
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Special events & promotions
Cafe Italia charming sections have been designed to host any private event. Book your event with us and let our experts help you taylor a special menu to fit your budget and delight your guest with exquisite food and our charming decor.
Additional
Banquet, Bar Dining, Beer, Entertainment, Full Bar, Gluten-free Menu, Happy Hour, High Tea, Non-Smoking, Outdoor dining, Private Room, Takeout, Weekend Brunch, Wheelchair Access, Wine
What 153 People Are SayingWrite a review
Overall ratings and reviews
3.6based on all time ratings
3.5
food
3.9
service
3.5
ambience
3.9
value
Noise · Moderate
80% of people would recommend it to a friend
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2.0Dined on July 15, 2016

Very disappointing, mediocre experience at best. Service was good, food just fine and ambiance nonexistent. Would not recommend or go back - too many other choices in and around Arlington.

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4.0Dined on July 6, 2016

It's an unpretentious neighborhood trattoria that's been there forever. The prices are reasonable and the food is traditional American Italian - nicely prepared and served in a low-key and friendly manner. Dinner salad and bread are included with your entree. The calamari fritti is perfectly cooked. It's a great local standby for regular dining and is also great for a group or a family dinner.

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4.0Dined on June 23, 2016

Love the old charm of this restaurant. Have been there a few times and enjoyed it every time.

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4.0Dined on June 17, 2016

After visiting the competitor across the street one month prior, this return visit reassured me that this was our go-to Italian restaurant on 23rd St. The staff was friendly, the food was very good, and overall we enjoyed our dinner on the covered patio. We look forward to our next visit.

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2.0Dined on June 10, 2016

Typical Crystal City tourist restaurant. Have seen this place busy on numerous occasions so I've been wanting to try it. The lobster bisque tastes like it was frozen, my pasta meal tasted a bit bland. Service was quick and great.

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1.0Dined on June 8, 2016

The house wines (Chardonnay and Pinot Grigio) were very nice. The chicken Marsala was awful as was the chicken piccata. Just barely edible.

Friendly service but we will not be returning.

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4.0Dined on May 25, 2016

Great go to place with a small group. Casual but good service and dependable food.

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3.0Dined on May 15, 2016

Food was good, service was great!

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5.0Dined on May 10, 2016

Waitress Glenda tool good care of us. She made good recommendations that were very tasty - the F. B. I. and the bolognese. The home made Italian salad dressing was good too. Another successful meal at Cafe Italia!

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5.0Dined on May 8, 2016

Very friendly. Yolanda the hostess made you feel like a long lost friend . There was nothing to complain about. The waiter was very attentive. Good place to go to.

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4.0Dined on May 7, 2016

My wife and I couldn't decide on lunch locally, so we checked the Open Table app and found Cafe Italia with good reviews a short 15 minutes away in Crystal City. It had been pouring rain and there weren't many folks out and about yet. As a result, we were only the second table in the restaurant. We sat out on the closed in patio area, to enjoy the nice temps (finally) and despite a leak in the roof nearby, still had a pleasant experience. The food was terrific and the waiter's attentiveness was prompt, but not overbearing. They offer a fixed price multi-course lunch, but we chose to order off of the menu starting with a basket of freshly baked bread and bruschetta plus salads with a great house dressing. For entrees, a calzone and chicken piccata were plentiful and well prepared. We look forward to another visit soon.

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2.0Dined on May 6, 2016

Our party of 4 got there on time and were seated in a fairly empty restaurant. We ordered after about 5 minutes (our choice as we were debating on appetizers). Then we waited over 40 minutes for our meals. We did not order anything complicated (2 salads and 2 pastas). The bread was mediocre, the soup too salty, and the calamari too chewy. The raviolis were amazing...but that was it.

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4.0Dined on May 5, 2016

This little neighborhood gem was nice. The service was good, and the food was typical Italian comfort food. Nothing spectacular, but then again, nothing to walk away from neither. Was rather disappointed by the dinner salads - some lettuce and shaved carrots on a plate. That said, when I'm in Arlington, I won't hesitate to visit again. Beware - the tables here are bunched up really tight; really tight!

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2.0Dined on May 5, 2016

Cafe Italia had a cozy ambiance and good service, which made up for the mediocre food somewhat. We ordered garlic toast to start and it was very bland ; it had very little garlic and tasted like plain toast. The bruschetta was skimpy and disappointing - each piece of toast had one grape tomato sliced in two in addition to bland mozzarella cheese. Two people in our party ordered the fettuccine alfredo and said it was too milky and liquidy. The pasta puttanesca, however, was good - flavorful and satisfying. For dessert our party ordered the almond cake which was ok and the creme brulee which was disappointing. Overall, the food was disappointing and I would not recommend this restaurant.

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3.0Dined on May 4, 2016

It was OK for a moderate priced restaurant. They had plastic tablecloths w cloth napkins no wine list to speak of. Your average local Tuesday night pizza place

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4.0Dined on April 29, 2016

Nice location, nearby accessible parking, staff friendly. My only complaint would be the time we had to wait for the food. It took a pretty long time. Food was good.

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4.0Dined on April 9, 2016

The server was great, very patient with our large group and we had a child

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4.0Dined on April 2, 2016

met friends for dinner, we are both out of towners. Food was delicious, great little area. Waiter was so friendly and nice.

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4.0Dined on April 1, 2016

The Waiter was very nice!! The food was delicious .

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2.0Dined on March 18, 2016

Except for the house dressing this place was B.A.D.

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4.0Dined on March 14, 2016

Portions were small but very tasty and deli sous. Will try again

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4.0Dined on March 14, 2016

Excellent lunchtime specials. I make a special trip there sometimes.

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3.0Dined on March 7, 2016

Odd place, desperately in need of a renovation. Decent food, but service that has all the quirks of a family-run place with little of the charm.

This entire strip of "old Arlington" is stuck in the past and gentrification is passing it by.

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5.0Dined on February 22, 2016

Delicious food,.I love Italian food

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1.0Dined on February 20, 2016

We did not enjoy anything about our dinner. Found it greasy and service and ambiance did nothing to make up for it.

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1.0Dined on February 13, 2016

Worst place I've ever been. I'm not one to give a review of a restaurant and definitely not a bad review, but the overall experience at this place was bad. I reserved a table two weeks in advance and got there and they forgot to reserve my table. The host and the wait staff weren't on the same page as far as seating. I ordered veal and it was the fattiest piece of veal I've ever seen, and the dish I order had a clear description of not having mushrooms and when I received the food it was covered in them. The tables were too close together so when the couple next to me got up they knocked over a wine bottle in my lap, after that my appetite was gone so we paid and left very disappointed in the overall quality of this restaurant.

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5.0Dined on February 13, 2016

It's a great neighborhood restaurant that I've been eating at for the last 15 years and hope to continue to eat there for another 15.

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4.0Dined on February 9, 2016

We had not been to Cafe Italia in quite some time and decided to go for dinner. We were not disappointed. We had chicken Parmesan and chicken piccata that came with the house salad - both tasty. Our waiter was attentive and quick and very welcoming. The meals were reasonably priced too. As we left everyone said good bye. The restaurant has an old, and old fashioned, feel to it that we like - a little on the dark side (as in lighting not Star Wars) which we also like. Now that we have returned after several years away we will be back far more often.

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3.0Dined on January 30, 2016

Went to Cafe Italia for a friend's birthday. Made a reservation and called when we were running a few minutes behind. The woman who answered didn't know what I was talking about and was extremely confused. That made me nervous. The lobster bisque was over salted. The bread was clearly purchased and not made. The entrees were bland.

The wine was nice and a great deal. Our waiter was fantastic!

Loved the service. Disappointed in the food.

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5.0Dined on January 27, 2016

Old Italian rustic inn type place.

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4.0Dined on November 14, 2015

This is a charming Italian restaurant off the beaten path with excellent food and service !

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5.0Dined on November 7, 2015

The service was outstanding and the food was delicious. We arrived early and were warmly greeted, seated quickly, and the servers were extremely attentive.

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5.0Dined on October 17, 2015

I used to frequent this restaurant quite a bit then the new owners were too worried about opening a second location everything went down hill from there.
We had friends coming into town requesting Italian so I decided to go back and try cafe Italia.
Oh my gosh they brought back Billy's the chef from the old owner and food is back to where it was. Javier our waiter was exceptional with his service and glad to see this little gem coming back.

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2.0Dined on September 19, 2015

If you are looking for great Italian food, I recommend you look elsewhere. The food is okay (not bad) but nothing to write home about. The service is decent but again, nothing to write home about. That said, Café Italia is a place I'd go to again but I'm sure there are better options in the area.

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3.0Dined on June 12, 2015

We went to Café Italia after a service at Arlington Cemetery. it was quite early only just 5pm yet my order was forgotten. it could have been prepared several times by the time it was actually brought. Although the waiter apologized, there was no enumeration. I would have expected something. All others in my party were finished eating by the time I was served. Very poor service. The food was ok by the time it came, but by then I was pretty aggravated.

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4.0Dined on May 5, 2015

Its been a while since I've been here. I travel for business and stay in this neighborhood. I enjoy this old style neighborhood restaurant. Reminds me of those basic unpretentious Restaurants where families and friends old eat when growing up. Interesting decor. I'll be going back again and look forward to trying other menu items

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4.0Dined on March 10, 2015

I have dined here several times and have always enjoyed the experience. The food is quite good and the establishment has a mom & pop feel to it. The prices are reasonable for hearty portions. I recommend the lasagna. The service is always good, even if I grab something to go and wait at the bar. Highly recommend an occasional visit.

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3.0Dined on December 20, 2014

The place is cozy (tables are a little tight). I was annoyed that we stood for 10 minutes before being acknowledged and seated. The food is mediocre. I have the chicken marsala and had to bring it home to add some seasoning. It was very bland. My companion had the chicken carbonara and the chicken was so dry and overcooked it was not edible. The pasta was ok, but again lacked seasoning, just very bland. The highlight was the Crema Caramel for dessert. Sweet and creamy. It is a good spot for a quick glass of wine and dessert. Also the karaoke was top notch. Real singers, with real talent and personality.

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4.0Dined on November 25, 2014

This little place has a lot of character and wish it was only located on Crystal Drive, so that it was not such a walk.

The food was outstanding and the service was ok. Our waiter was not on top of it the entire time but the owner/manager filled in rather well. This is also not a place to come for a little snack as the food portions are well-sized and if you walk out hungry it is YOUR fault.

Overall, I will return!

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4.0Dined on November 7, 2014

Good food. Very busy.
**
**

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