Ambar - Arlington

4.6
2765 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.
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Private Dining

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Safety precautions

Cleaning & Sanitizing
  • Surfaces sanitized between seatings
  • Common areas deep cleaned daily
  • Digital, disposable or sanitized menu provided
  • Sanitizer 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
  • Waitstaff wear masks
  • Diners must wear masks unless eating or drinking
Screening
  • Sick staff prohibited in the workplace

Featured specials

Select a special by choosing a date, time and party size

New Year's Eve Special Menus & Offers

Dine in
Starting Dec 31, 2021

Join us with your loved ones for special New Year's Eve celebration with our famous unlimited small plates + Chef's specials of the day + unlimited selected drinks. For more information's please call us on 703-875-9663 and we will give you all the details.

What 2765 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
4.3
service
4.5
ambience
4.4
value
Noise · Moderate
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HH
HannahH
1 review
Dined 2 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We visited for restaurant week and our waitress was super helpful and informative about menu items and best deals. Food was very tasty and arrived quickly.

PB
vipPatrickB
Washington DC
11 reviews
Dined 3 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience4

So many small plates, all wonderfully prepared. The Amber Experience is the way to go. If there is a negative, it’s the noise level.

NK
NancyK
Washington DC
11 reviews
Dined 3 days ago
Overall3food3service5ambience4

It was very busy and the food was not as good as the last time we were there. Several things came out cold. Many things were still delicious and this brunch is still a good value.

DC
DCVegetarian
Washington DC
1 review
Dined 3 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Ambar, as always, does not disappoint! Phenomenal food, phenomenal service - the $40 all-you-can-eat brunch is hard to beat!

OT
OpenTable Diner
Washington DC
5 reviews
Dined 4 days ago
Overall3food3service3ambience5

Loved the decor and the ambiance; however, wasn’t very impressed with the food. There were a couple of dishes that were really good and really well plated, but some of it I didn’t care for.

I really enjoyed the Tomato Soup; I wish it came with a little piece of bread or something. The Brussel sprouts were pretty good too. The skewers were ok, but it had a rubbery taste to them…kind of reminded me of chic fila grilled nuggets. The lamb was a little too salty, but paired with the potatoes, it did help to cut the salt. I did not like the fresh green salad…it was just weird. My friends had the Pom frittes — she also said those were too salty.

Our waiter was nice, but sometimes he got lost so by the time he came back, we didn’t care to try anything else and was ready to go.

Overall, I wouldn’t go back, BUT I would go if I were invited by someone else. 😌

C
Chip
Miami
1 review
Dined 4 days ago
Overall5food5service4ambience4

Great, upbeat ambience. Very creative food and delicious. Recommend this place for date night.

DI
vipDavidInDC
Washington DC
20 reviews
Dined 4 days ago
Overall4food5service4ambience4

Great food & drinks, albeit they stopped additional service to our outdoor table (due to the rain). So we went elsewhere for a round of coffees.

F
Fiorellin
Washington DC
6 reviews
Dined 4 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great service! Our waitress was super attentive and help us experience the best food on the menu that was pretty much everything.

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

The atmosphere was nice and relaxing, and food was really good. We were down stairs

VD
vipVesnaDC
Washington DC
7 reviews
Dined 7 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Ambar is a wonderful restaurant with delicious food, friendly service, and a pleasant ambiance for any celebration. One of my go-to restaurants for celebrations with family and friends and visitors from out of town. Enjoy!

C
vipCatlover
Washington DC
67 reviews
Dined on October 12, 2021
Overall3food4service2ambience3

Haven't been to Ambar in 2 to 3 years. Firstly - the taste of the food (except for the complimentary Baklava) was outstanding. Baklava was soggy. Had the shrimp, trout, brussels sprouts and the beetroot dip with warm bread - all was extremely delicious. Unfortunately the portions are much smaller than they had been in the past, and they took forever to come out. In the past when I had ordered their tasting menu - where you used to be order as many dishes as you wanted - they would always take a long time to bring the more expensive dishes - their way of making sure people didn't have too many pricey items to save costs I would guess. The prices of course have gone up - due to inflation and covid. Didn't get the tasting menu this time - my friend and I had 3 dishes each and a dip to share - and it took forever for everything to come out - and the longest for the trout and shrimp. Again - food flavours are oustanding, but otherwise won't rush back I'm sorry to say.

OT
vipOpenTable Diner
Atlanta
5 reviews
Dined on October 10, 2021
Overall2food2service2ambience2

Wasn’t bad but wasn’t great

JB
JasmineB
Washington DC
2 reviews
Dined on October 10, 2021
Overall2food3service3ambience5

The decor in the restaurant was so cute. They don’t require mask but encourage it. My friends and I came for brunch. I was excited about the unlimited brunch menu because you can try different items off the menu plus it was u limited mimosas. We got there and the waiter offered us drink options first. The mimosa came and it was bad. It taste like flat soda and orange cocktail (not juice). I gave it a pass because it was unlimited and I felt it would get better or I will feel a buzz and forget the nasty taste. WRONG! It never got better. My friends ordered the spiked wine which was sangria but they said it was bad as well. Glass full of ice and flat old wine. A waste of calories if you ask me. So the food. The food had potential to be good but was so cold. I mean as soon as it got to the table it was cold. Our waitress encouraged us to order many items at a time because the kitchen was slow. So we did that but the food just didn’t come and when it did it was cold. A friend of mine is vegan and her choices were limited but she was able to order some things off the menu. The only thing is she asked for coffee and they only had one option for milk. Which was surprising especially in the current times, mostly all restaurants have a vegan option for milk. Overall I would give them a 3. They had potential but the cold food, old mimosas, and slow service it’s not worth coming back. Maybe the DC location will be better.

C
Chris
Washington DC
3 reviews
Dined on October 10, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The best brunch in Arlington. You can get a very diverse menu

OT
OpenTable Diner
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on October 9, 2021
Overall2food2service3ambience3

From the beginning, it was pretty bad. I made a reservation for two for my birthday dinner and while I was waiting to check in, a man cuts me in line and asks for his table. I let it slide and found out he also had a reservation at the same time as me and my boyfriend and was seated immediately. When I approached staff about my reservation they made us wait an extra 10 minutes before we were seated (keep in mind there was plenty of seating for two at the time). Finally they seated us but at a very uncomfortable table behind a large pole and it barely fit our two plates and silverware on top. My boyfriend asked if we could be seated elsewhere because there was no way we would have a comfortable dinner at that table. After much discussion with the host, our waiter was able to get us seated at a larger table. Honestly, the only good thing about this restaurant was our waiter. We did the Ambar Experience and our waiter was nice enough to put in orders for dishes for us since it was our first time and we didn’t know what to get. Unfortunately, every dish was either over cooked/dry or cold. The only dish we semi enjoyed were the hand cut fries and slow roasted lamb. Overall, I did not have a good experience here and I never plan on coming back again. Not worth the money.

YS
YoshikoS
1 review
Dined on October 9, 2021
Overall2food2service2ambience2

Definitely not $36+tax+tip experience. We went for Saturday brunch. I understand they were very busy but it took so long to get each plate and the foods were just ok (Charcuterie didn't have any cheese)... So many carb-loading items that look so cheap and surely they make great profits over them. I would not go back.

Q
Quinn
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on October 9, 2021
Overall3food3service5ambience5

Solidly average food. Eggs were overcooked on the Benedict's, drinks were weak.

K
Kate
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on October 9, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great atmosphere. Had a great time at brunch. Loved the small plates and unlimited option. Will go again soon!

R
Rebeca
Washington DC
5 reviews
Dined on October 8, 2021
Overall4food4service3ambience3

Ambar was a cute find for dinner - tapas style. It had two floors though it only looks like one. The basement floor is mood lighting and less crowded. While the top floor is brighter, busier, and heavily decorated with greenery.

G
Grinder
Washington DC
2 reviews
Dined on October 7, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

I have waited for too long to eat here. I am a fan of Balkan food but have never gotten around to coming into Arlington to eat here. I will go back.

OT
vipOpenTable Diner
Washington DC
4 reviews
Dined on October 3, 2021
Overall2food2service2ambience4

Very mediocre food. The veggie dishes were tasty but the meat dishes we sampled and the stuffed peppers were overcooked and over sauced.

NG
NievesGPrados
Richmond
7 reviews
Dined on October 3, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

La comida es buenísima y la experiencia para volver a repetir.

Report
JM
JuliaM
New York Area
1 review
Dined on October 3, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

I have never had a bad experience here. The service is quick without being overbearing, the food is always served fresh and hot, and the prices are fair. $44 per person for unlimited food can't be beat! The only thing I haven't tried here yet is the brunch, which is next on my list. This is also the perfect restaurant for almost any occasion: birthday, date night, dinner with parents, etc.

OT
OpenTable Diner
Tampa
9 reviews
Dined on October 3, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Friends and I did brunch. Definitely worth the $35 all you can eat. Overall the service was great and they were quick with the food. Great food. My only complaint is that the drinks were watered down even the non-alcoholic drinks like OJ. But overall it was great experience. Definitely want to go back there again.

OT
OpenTable Diner
New York Area
1 review
Dined on October 2, 2021
Overall5food4service5ambience5

Great outdoor seating.

SR
vipSusanR
Washington DC
4 reviews
Dined on October 2, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We did the fixe prix dinner - for the second time - you chose off the menu, and try as many items as you like. Each was just wonderful - fresh and freshly prepared.

A culinary adventure.

OT
OpenTable Diner
Washington DC
4 reviews
Dined on October 2, 2021
Overall5food4service5ambience5

Had a Wonderful experience thanks to our server. Brunch is definitely value for your money and most of the dishes were so delicious. Plus it’s unlimited tapas. Would do again.

OT
OpenTable Diner
Nashville
1 review
Dined on October 2, 2021
Overall4food5service3ambience4

The food was great and the drinks were spectacular for the price (we went for brunch). The waitress was a bit hard to catch but the restaurant was quite busy on a Saturday morning! Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed it and will certainly be back.

RG
RenataG
Washington DC
13 reviews
Dined on October 1, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Food was great, love the experience to try different dishes! And on top of that they served us a special desert to celebrate my birthday

j
vipjoel
Washington DC
40 reviews
Dined on September 28, 2021
Overall3food4service2ambience4

The food was very good - most of it like the steak & frites, the slow roasted lamb, the pork neck, and the kale caesar salad were excellent. Unfortunately this next part is becoming more and more prevalent it seems - the service could've definitely been better. Our waiter was great at the beginning - quick and friendly. He did, however, only suggest the $39.99 all you can eat option to us. We heard the other waiter greet the table next to us and inform them of both the AYCE option as well as the a la carte menu. It wasn't a big deal as we'd already decided on the AYCE option. He took our order of a glass of wine and several dishes. We wanted to order more food at one point but he was serving other tables but wouldn't come back to ours. Finally, when my glass of wine was empty he came back. We ordered the additional food and another glass of wine. Again, we wanted the last few dishes ordered but he never came back to our table. We had to order the last couple dishes from the waiter that was serving the adjacent table. The next time we saw our waiter was for the service of the bill and to pick up the credit card signature. It couldn't been a much better experience but for the waiter.

MH
MichaelH
Washington DC
2 reviews
Dined on September 25, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

A nice variety of tasty Balkan food served by friendly staff!

JG
vipJackG
Washington DC
11 reviews
Dined on September 25, 2021
Overall3food3service4ambience5

Food was plentiful but so-so in quality. Ambiance was excellent.

NI
NIKOLAJ
1 review
Dined on September 23, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience3

trim the vines so people can walk without ducking or brushing them aside

KT
vipKatieT
Washington DC
4 reviews
Dined on September 22, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The team at Ambar never disappoints. I hadn’t been since their first year of operations in Capitol Hill, but this experience made me wonder why, other than no longer working and living in the district I hadn’t been.

Great food, wonderful service!

OT
vipOpenTable Diner
Washington DC
7 reviews
Dined on September 21, 2021
Overall2food2service3ambience3

Although they heavily push their fixed price unlimited experience, we ordered a la carte. Food was mediocre at best. Was first time at this location and was disappointed. Did not live up to experience at Capitol Hill location.

CS
ChrisS
Atlanta
1 review
Dined on September 20, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Always a treat. Delicious food, and attentive, friendly staff. Well worth the splurge!

PS
ParnianS
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on September 19, 2021
Overall3food4service3ambience4

We were celebrating a big birthday for my daughter and they were out of Goulash and Muscles which was definitely on our list of items t order. That was disappointing and the server never told us and the shift changed and when we asked the 2nd server about them she said oh we are out! the first sever never told us and also brought incorrect food that we had not ordered and did not bring what we actually asked for!

CG
CateG
Washington DC
8 reviews
Dined on September 19, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience3

We went to Ambar this past weekend for brunch and had a wonderful experience. We were a party of six, sat outside which was wonderful. The food and staff was excellent!!

H
Haitham