Ambar - Arlington

4.6
2837 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
What 2837 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
4.4
value
Noise · Moderate
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JB
JoannB
Washington DC
8 reviews
Dined a day ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

4 of us did the "All you can order in 2 hours" special and had a blast. Food was delicious. Ian and the staff kept the orders coming. A great, fun evening.

AC
vipAliceC
Washington DC
4 reviews
Dined a day ago
Overall1food1service1ambience1

The noise level was very high - almost impossible to have a conversation. Did not stay for dinner.

EM
EMichelle
Washington DC
1 review
Dined 2 days ago
Overall3food3service3ambience4

Wasn't super impressed. Really wanted to love this place but the food itself was dry and overcooked. It honestly felt like I was eating glorified cafeteria food. The sauces were overpowering and seemed like they were trying to cover up the poor execution of the dishes. The cheese pie was so dry it broke in a million pieces when I cut into it and the friend chicken was so hard I couldn't even cut it! The cocktails were meh. The ambiance is nice but thats about it.

OT
OpenTable Diner
Detroit
2 reviews
Dined 3 days ago
Overall1food2service1ambience5

I’ve been to Ambar for brunch countless times and the experience I had today was nothing like I’ve experienced before.

The service was absolutely horrible. Our server came to our table a total of three times. Filled our water once and gave me one mimosa over the course of two hours. This almost would’ve been acceptable had the server next not visited the table directly behind us just as few times, but they didn’t. They visited that table many more times than us.

The food today was incredibly slow coming from the kitchen, so much so that it took an hour for an item I ordered to come out. (I’m partly thinking our server forgot about it.) I also ordered their potato hash (which I get every time and usually multiple orders) and it was completely dried out, too crisp, and not hot. Makes me think it was sitting there and just keep warmed up.

Their little cornbread muffins were dried out which was a bummer because that’s another favorite of mine and it just wasn’t at its usual standard today.

At some point I was able to get the attention of a manager walking by to order their red wine punch, and unfortunately, that wasn’t good today either — it was very watered down.

Overall, today was a very bad and sad experience. Hopefully, the stars will align the next time I go.

OT
OpenTable Diner
Washington DC
3 reviews
Dined 3 days ago
Overall4food4service4ambience4

Sat outside. The heaters were great and the brunch was delicious.

OT
OpenTable Diner
1 review
Dined 4 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Jeffrey was by far the best server we have ever had here

OT
OpenTable Diner
Washington DC
13 reviews
Dined 4 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Delicious place for small plates!

J
Josie
1 review
Dined 4 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience4

We did the all you can eat option and tried most of the menu. Everything was delicious! The slow roasted lamb was a favorite. The portions are smaller because everything is served tapas style and I recommend doing the AYCE option instead of ordering a la carte

AL
AllanL
1 review
Dined 4 days ago
Overall2food2service4ambience3

A bar has changed for the worse. A few years ago food was light, medium seasoned. You looked forward to each new plate. Now, most dishes are heavy, salty, over seasoned. Liked the mussels, cauliflower, steak tartar. Cheese pastry was so heavy, beef was salty, frites were overdone French fries. Food was a disappointment. Service was fine. Ambiance? It always too loud there, but you should know that going in. Not an enjoyable experience, especially at $40/.

R
vipRach2231
Washington DC
9 reviews
Dined 4 days ago
Overall4food5service1ambience4

Food was fantastic and we will definitely go back and just hope our service is better next time. We waited 5 mins to get our table (with reservation) at 4:30pm with about 90% of the restaurant empty. They seemed very unorganized. Our server was a little short with us as well. But like I said, the experience and food out weighed the negatives.

O
Ollie
Washington DC
1 review
Dined 4 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience3

Worth checking out this new approach to ordering from the menu. But be prepared for a noisy meal.

r
rkyoung366
Atlantic City
2 reviews
Dined 4 days ago
Overall4food4service3ambience4

Took a while for us to get seated even with a reservation, but that's brunch in Arlington on a Saturday for you. Everything else was great.

j
vipjazzyj996
Washington DC
1 review
Dined 4 days ago
Overall5food5service4ambience5

The Ambar Experience deal was awesome for my group of 4, but the restaurant was packed so the drink service was a little slower than I'd have liked (it was my birthday!). The food was fantastic though, and I definitely plan to go back!

S
Sarah
Chicago
15 reviews
Dined 4 days ago
Overall4food3service3ambience5

The restaurant is a nice vibe and brunch is a great deal, but the food and service can be spotty. Some things definitely felt more mass produced with less care and service was slow at times. But if you go knowing what to expect it's fun and a few plates are gems.

F
Fatboy
Baltimore
21 reviews
Dined 5 days ago
Overall4food4service4ambience4

Great spot, good food, good service, nice ambiance. Only reason for the 4 and not 5 stars is due to then braised lamb and the meatballs being way too salty.

FR
FarizR
Baltimore
1 review
Dined 5 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Nice dining experience. The menu is a little confusing in reference to the pricing - the individual dishes do not list prices, but at the top it states the price for any and all of the items... As a first time guest I was a bit confused, thinking that all the listed items were individually orderable as in a la carte menu. Turned out, the top price was for everything (sans drinks), and the place was similar to a "buffet" but with each of the items served by servers/waiters... Once that concept was understood, the rest was easy... Good experience.

C
vipChristy
Washington DC
8 reviews
Dined 5 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience3

Always excellent -- Love the small plates, and each one is unique. Noise level is quite high, but thanks to the pandemic, there seem to be fewer people inside. And I've identified a table where I can hear people fairly well. Truly one of my favorite restaurants.

R
vipRyan
Richmond
7 reviews
Dined on December 1, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The atmosphere and food were amazing! We will definitely consider Ambar for future events.

XD
XinshenD
1 review
Dined on December 1, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Exact food and services! will come again soon in next week.

JC
JaredC
Little Rock
1 review
Dined on November 30, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Food was amazing and the service was equally amazing.

DP
DianaP
Washington DC
7 reviews
Dined on November 29, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great good and staff as always!!! Food was excellent!

B
Brunchie
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on November 28, 2021
Overall3food3service1ambience4

We visited Ambar for bottomless brunch. It was nice enough, however I think the staff missed the “bottomless” information. We didn’t drink a lot as the drinks were quite strong, but there was more than one occasion where we needed both alcoholic beverage and water top ups. At one point our waiter completely disappeared and couldn’t be found, and we had to speak to another member of staff to order food.

We also had to chase up several food orders - items ordered right at the beginning of brunch only appeared right at the end. I’m pretty sure we also received food we didn’t order. In addition to this, as a group, we ordered items thinking that multiples of the same item would come on the same plate. Nope! Multiple plates for individual waffle quarters or tiny burgers. It was baffling. Overall it was nice enough, but I’ve had better brunches elsewhere in Clarendon.

N
Nicole
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on November 28, 2021
Overall4food3service3ambience4

Food was OK, I've been here several times and the food has been much better before, somethings were cold and others were just not seasoned well. Overall it's a great deal and a fun time for large groups

OT
OpenTable Diner
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on November 26, 2021
Overall5food5service4ambience4

The food was delicious and we had good service. If you looking for something different and want to try a variety of menu choices, this is the place!

RS
RohanS
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on November 25, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Incredible as always! Must go if you're in D.C. or Arlington.

n
null
1 review
Dined on November 25, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Food was AMAZING!!! Would definitely recommend!!!!

SG
SusanG
Baltimore
6 reviews
Dined on November 25, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Simply spectacular from beginning to reluctant end…we were simply full! Extremely pleasant and gracious staff and the food was incredible. Had family from out of town, who can be opinionated about food. Everyone proclaimed this the best dinner ever…and they can’t wait to return. On top of that exceptional value for the price. Will certainly be returning.

OT
vipOpenTable Diner
Washington DC
8 reviews
Dined on November 25, 2021
Overall4food5service4ambience4

Thanksgiving

N
Nicole
Cincinnati
12 reviews
Dined on November 24, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Always a wonderful experience! The food, the service, and the ambiance are top notch. My favorite place to bring my hungry friends from out of town!

G
vipGinger703
Washington DC
10 reviews
Dined on November 23, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We had the tasting menu at our table and our waiter could not have been a better guide to introduce us to so many wonderful tastes of Balkan cuisine.

OT
OpenTable Diner
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on November 21, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Wonderful atmosphere and food. We ordered Ámbar experience and got to try almost everything on the menu. Our server Jessica was phenomenal 🤩

CK
CharlieK
1 review
Dined on November 21, 2021
Overall1food1service1ambience1

Got placed in the basement was in a dingy table with no light for 30 minutes without a waiter No food was served at all

GL
GregLT
1 review
Dined on November 21, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Ambar is a great place in Clarendon. The food is excellent, professional service. Their Sunday brunch is very popular. Perfect for a celebration with friends or family, or just to spend valuable time together with good food. This is not my first visit there, but certainly not the last one.

JD
JoanD
Washington DC
3 reviews
Dined on November 21, 2021
Overall1food1service1ambience1

Ambar had been highly recommended and We were all so so unhappy with food, service and ambiance. Food was cold for almost all dishes. Service was very slow and uneven. It was one of the worst meal experiences I have ever had in our area and embarrassing because I had set up the reservation for the 4 of us. We are experienced diners and will never go back!

TM
vipTempressMichele
Washington DC
8 reviews
Dined on November 20, 2021
Overall3food3service2ambience3

First time dining at Amber for brunch and I didn’t really enjoy my experience. The brunch includes unlimited tapas for $39.99 and .25 cent brunch drinks. We made 1:45p reservations and arrived on time. We were told it was a two-hour limit at the table and brunch ends at 3:30p, which was completely fine. But we barely got a chance to order food items and drinks because our server completely ghosted us. We had to flag down other servers and the manager to get an order. Every time she walked past, we would try to get her attention and she’ll respond “give me a minute, I’ll be right back,” and 15-20 minutes would past without us seeing her. I completely understand if she was swamped or overwhelmed, but at least communicate or ask for help. We as guest at a restaurant had to flag down management for assistance. At 3:15p we flagged her down and asked if we could at least order one more drink before 3:30p (because we literally had two drinks due to no service), and when she “tried” to put our order in she comes back and told us she was unable to ring our drinks because at 3:15p they shut everything down. I was completely confused because on the menu and website it clearly states brunch ends at 3:30p.

AK
AlexK
1 review
Dined on November 19, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

My first thought when I woke up in the morning was how delicious our dinner at Ambar the night before was. The food was excellent. Our server was excellent. I didn’t get his name but I wish I had so I could shout him out. Couldn’t be happier with the food and service we received. Great value for the money.

I am a little hard of hearing and we went on Friday night around 7pm so naturally the restaurant was busy. I didn’t find it too difficult to have a conversation or hear our server, which I was surprised by. I usually have a difficult time hearing in busy restaurants, but Ambar Arlington was very pleasant.

OT
OpenTable Diner
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on November 19, 2021
Overall5food4service5ambience4

Great Dinner! Good food, awesome service! I think Jess was our server

R
Radi
1 review
Dined on November 19, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

First-class, very tasty food, fast service, kind waiters.

JF
JenF
Washington DC
2 reviews
Dined on November 18, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Would def buy a bunch of stuff to try and share all the food is good in my opinion. The Brussels were good the cocktails were good the beer selection. Was busy people like it there you can tell. Parked right next to building

AS
AlexandriaSoxFan
Washington DC
17 reviews
Dined on November 13, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great experience on the heated patio. Every dish was delicious (and we stuck with fish/vegetarian options only, of which there are plenty), and our preteen was thrilled not to be restricted on how much she could order. Service was friendly and informative. The stuffed piquillo peppers in particular were wonderful, as was the rainbow trout (fish of the day). And we are really glad that we went for the gnocchi dessert, even though it was extra cost. Worth the experience!