Nearby points of interest

  1. Distance: 0.32mi
  2. Distance: 0.37mi
  3. Distance: 0.49mi
  4. Distance: 0.50mi
  1. Distance: 0.32mi
  2. Distance: 0.37mi
  3. Distance: 0.49mi
  4. Distance: 0.50mi

Nearby points of interest

  1. Distance: 0.32mi
  2. Distance: 0.37mi
  3. Distance: 0.49mi
  4. Distance: 0.50mi
  1. Distance: 0.32mi
  2. Distance: 0.37mi
  3. Distance: 0.49mi
  4. Distance: 0.50mi

About Ambar

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.

523 8th Street SE
Washington, DC 20003
View Larger Map

Dining Style:
Casual Elegant

Cuisines:
Balkan style, Jugoslavian, Eastern European

Hours of Operation:
Lunch : Monday - Friday 11am - 2pm
Brunch: Saturday - Sunday 10am - 3:30pm
Dinner: Monday / Tuesday/ Wednesday/ Thursday 4pm - 10pm
Friday 4pm - 11pm
Saturday 4:30pm - 11pm
Sunday 4:30pm - 10pm

Cross Street:
E Street

Dress Code:
Casual Dress

Price Range:
$31 to $50

Payment Options
AMEX, Discover, MasterCard, Visa

Phone Number:
(202) 813-3039

Website:
http://www.ambarrestaurant.com/

Parking Details:
Valet parking is available Wednesday – Saturday across the street from our location.

Public metered parking via parking station is available along 8th Street, SE from E Street to our north to I street to our south.

2 hour residential parking located nearby in the surrounding neighborhood at E Street, G Street, 7th Street, and 9th Street

Public Transit:
We are metro accessible via the Orange, Blue and Silver Lines exiting at the Eastern Market metro station. Walk east to 8th Street and then proceed south 1 and a half blocks to our location at 523 8th Street (west side of the block).

Executive Chef:
Ivan Zivkovic

Additional:
Banquet, Bar/Lounge, Beer, BYO Wine, Cafe, Chef's Table, Cocktails, Corkage Fee, Full Bar, Gluten-free Menu, Happy Hour, Non-Smoking, Outdoor dining, Patio/Outdoor Dining, Private Room, Weekend Brunch, Wheelchair Access, Wine

Special Events & Promotions:
Please contact Ljubodrag Mojsilovic at draza@ambarrestaurant.com or 202.813.7350.

Specials

Valentine's Day Special Menus & More

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Specials

Valentine's Day Special Menus & More

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Details

$85 per person for all you can eat - all you can drink. 2h time limit per reservation.

Send a Gift Card

Buy now and send it instantly by email, or print a card to give in person.

Private Dining

Ambar is a modern Balkan tapas-style restaurant. With a desire to introduce Washington, D.C. to cutting edge Balkan cuisine, proprietor Ivan Iricanin has created a dining space that will delight and indulge the senses.

Ambar Ratings and Reviews

5
4
3
2
1

4.8

Overall Rating

based on recent ratings
food

4.8

service

4.7

ambience

4.6

value

4.7

Noise

Moderate

99% would recommend it to a friend

Tapas (86)
Creative Cuisine (73)
Special Occasion (65)
See All
Good for a Date (64)
Fit for Foodies (63)
Authentic (62)
Neighborhood Gem (57)
Fun (56)
Casual (48)
Tasting Menu (45)
Cozy (42)
Good for Groups (41)
Good for Birthdays (37)
Good Vegetarian Options (34)
Good for Anniversaries (33)
Worth the Drive (32)
Hot Spot (28)
Bar Seating (27)
Great for Brunch (27)
Romantic (27)
Comfort Food (26)
Handcrafted Cocktails (21)
Healthy (18)
Vibrant Bar Scene (17)
Happy Hour (15)
Pre/post Theatre (15)
Sunday Lunch (15)
Great for Lunch (13)
People Watching (13)
Great for Outdoor Dining (13)
Business Meals (11)
Seasonal (10)
Local Ingredients (9)
Spicy (8)
Quiet Conversation (7)
Vegan (7)
Great Beer (5)
Late-night Find (5)
Notable Wine List (5)
Paleo Friendly (4)
Gluten Free Options (3)
Afternoon Coffee (2)
Kid-friendly (2)
Disabled Access (2)
Organic (2)
Quick Bite (2)
Scenic View (2)
Live Sports (1)
Sort by
S
1614 reviews
Loading Reviews ...

 
 (Washington DC)·Dined a day ago

I’ve been to Ambar before and it has always consistently been an incredible experience

Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Richmond)·Dined a day ago

The Balkan Experience was beyond worth it. I would recommend it to anyone and I will definitely come back for brunch again soon!!

Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience4
service3
value5

 
 (Orlando)·Dined 2 days ago

I made a reservation for just me, I was in town for the night and wanted to wine and dine myself a little. I arrived on time but was told for a table I'd have to wait about 15-20 minutes otherwise they had a spot at the bar for me. I took the spot at the bar mostly because it's a small entryway and it wouldn't have been ideal to stand by the door for 20 minutes. The service at the bar was great and they even bought one of my beers. Still wish I would have gotten the full ambiance at a table though! Single diners sometimes want table service too.

Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food4
ambience3
service5
value4

vip
 (Washington DC)·Dined 4 days ago

Great find in Capitol Hill with delicious, interesting food.

Tags: Tapas, Fun, Creative Cuisine, Good for a Date
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food4
ambience4
service4
value4

 
 (Washington DC)·Dined 7 days ago

I love Ambar, it's one of my favorite spots. The food is always delicious, and the staff accurately sets expectations about the Balkan Experience -- tapas-styled food coming out on a rolling basis. This time, I was particularly struck by how amazingly attentive the service was. A great meal as always, and I'll definitely be back.

Tags: Special Occasion, Good Vegetarian Options, Casual, Neighborhood Gem, Hot Spot, Good for Anniversaries, Great for Brunch, Tapas, Comfort Food
1 person found this review helpful.
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Washington DC)·Dined 7 days ago

Great brunch as always. We ordered off the menu instead of the bottomless and there was an error with the food brought out . The servers immediately brought out a charcuterie board while we waited for the correct order and continued to be attentive throughout our experience.

Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food4
ambience4
service4
value4

 
 (Washington DC)·Dined on January 14, 2018

Superb. The food comes quick and the glasses are always full.

Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

vip
 (Baltimore)·Dined on January 13, 2018

Do the Balkan experience! It’s $49 for all you can eat and drink - amazing deal!

1 person found this review helpful.
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service3
value5

 
·Dined on January 11, 2018

Nice food. Left a lot of money. Expected a bit more patience and kindness from waiters. Nothing critical though.

Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service4
value5

vip
 (Los Angeles)·Dined on January 9, 2018

Ambar was a gem. I can't wait to go back--even though I will have to travel all the way from California. The spreads, made with milk and accompanied by home made breads, are unique and delicious. Not like anything I've ever tried. Must be sampled to be believed. The Brussel sprouts in yogurt were so good that I asked for the recipe and am going to try to make them for friends this weekend. The stuffed cabbage was superb, and we enjoyed the pulled pork, though next time I'm going for the pork sausage as the meat was slightly bland compared with everything else. The wait staff was charming and helpful. Don't miss Ambar!

Tags: Fun, Fit for Foodies, Cozy
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
·Dined on January 9, 2018

Our second "Balkans Experience" and there will be more :-) A little hiccup on the seating. OpenTable didn't allow us to specify "where in the restaurant" and when we arrived the hostess told us our table was downstairs. Given the reduced hustle and bustle upstairs and some over 70s hearing, we preferred upstairs. After being a little persistent, we were welcomed to dine upstairs. Service was excellent, as before and food may have even been better than before - even better than excellent. Each dish was an exciting and tasty sampling of nuanced culinary effort.

Tags: Authentic, Creative Cuisine
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience4
service5
value4

 
·Dined on January 7, 2018

We love this place!!! The staff are outstanding and treat us like family. Recommend this to everyone!!

Tags: Neighborhood Gem, Tasting Menu, Great for Lunch, Cozy, Worth the Drive, Romantic, Creative Cuisine, Great Beer, Tapas, Good for a Date, Good for Groups, People Watching, Happy Hour, Bar Seating, Fit for Foodies, Local Ingredients, Vibrant Bar Scene, Authentic, Casual, Quick Bite, Good for Anniversaries, Hot Spot, Kid-friendly, Fun, Great for Outdoor Dining, Comfort Food, Special Occasion
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
·Dined on January 7, 2018

This place was so good! It was the second time I have been here and it did not disappoint! Every dish on the menu is delicious, there are no wrong choices.

Tags: Creative Cuisine, Healthy, Business Meals, Tasting Menu, Hot Spot, Good for Birthdays, Cozy, Tapas, Fun, Spicy, Romantic, Special Occasion, Good for Anniversaries, Comfort Food, Vibrant Bar Scene, Good for a Date, Worth the Drive, Authentic, Bar Seating, Handcrafted Cocktails
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Washington DC)·Dined on January 6, 2018

Perfect morning brunch with girl friends visiting from out of town. The Balkan Experience bottomless food and drink is the way to go.

Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
·Dined on January 5, 2018

Awesome food.! Coming to Ambar the second time, first visit was to the Ambar at Arlington. Tried the Balkan experience this time and loved all the dishes. Worth the value and a really nice ambience. The place was little too warm, but everything else was perfect. Would love to visit again.

Tags: Creative Cuisine, Fit for Foodies, Authentic, Good for a Date
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience4
service5
value4

 
 (New York Area)·Dined on January 3, 2018

Unique Balkan cuisine( AKA Serbian ) with unique tasting dishes as appetizers. Exquisite stuffed pepper entree. Accompagnied by Slavic fruit flavored alcohol known as Raka. Creamy dessert
with orange flavored liquor cake. Finish with Turkish coffee.

Tags: Casual, Authentic, Fit for Foodies, Creative Cuisine, Tasting Menu
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience4
service4
value4

 
·Dined on January 1, 2018

Took 40 minutes to get our check but everything else was good.

Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service2
value5

vip
 (Baltimore)·Dined on January 1, 2018

The best restaurant we have been to in a while. We will definitely go back and put it on our must recommend list. The food was unbelievably wonderful. Our waitress was great and gave us great recommendations. It was our first time in that neighborhood. We want to go back and make a day exploring the neighborhood and end with dinner at the Ambar!

Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (New York Area)·Dined on December 31, 2017

Best meal and service we had on our month long holiday. Food and service was amazing. We ate here on New Year’s Eve/my birthday and were very impressed with food and value for money. Highly recommend.... all the way from Australia :)

Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
·Dined on December 31, 2017

Wie zuhause , etwas anders , aber sehr lecker !!

Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

vip
 (San Francisco)·Dined on December 30, 2017

Outstanding flavors and service. It was like being back in Serbia sipping rakia and eating delicious Balkan food.

My husband and I took my sister and brother in-law to this restaurant as we wanted to introduce them to Serbian cuisine and this restaurant had great reviews and a promising menu. It didn’t disappoint!

My sister and brother-in-law have traveled quite a bit and are used to sophisticated flavors, we were happy to see them enjoying every bite and sip.

Our server was attentive, explained the different menu options (we chose the unlimited dishes menu). The whole staff made sure that dirty dishes were promptly picked up and that the food kept coming.

We will certainly be back when visiting the area. It was one of the most memorable meals we have had in DC!

Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Raleigh)·Dined on December 30, 2017

Super fun place to try all kinds of different foods prepared Balkan style

Tags: Creative Cuisine
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience4
service5
value4

 
 (New York Area)·Dined on December 29, 2017

Everrytime I am in DC, I always make sure to have dinner at Ambar. The Balkan dishes are delectable and never disappoint. It's fun to have the dishes keep coming when you partake in the "Balkan experience" dinner option. Everything was delicious and a good value. Our waiter, Dojan, was excellent, attentive and warm.

Tags: Neighborhood Gem, Special Occasion, Fit for Foodies
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience3
service5
value4

 
·Dined on December 29, 2017

Service was friendly and quick. All of the staff were attentive. A great experience.

Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food4
ambience4
service4
value4

 
 (Atlanta)·Dined on December 29, 2017

This year I had the luck to dine in 3 of the world best 50 restaurants, and a few Michelin star restaurants as well. This restaurant has nothing to envy some of the a.m. in terms of food quality, however, price-quality, this is by far the best restaurant I have ever been. The balkan experience, which includes all-you can eat – all dishes in the menu, and all you can drink on selected drinks for 49. USD is amazing, if I was living in Washington, I would eat there once a week :)

Tags: Good for Birthdays, Tasting Menu
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

vip
 (Washington DC)·Dined on December 28, 2017

Their Balkan Experience for $39 (without alcohol) has to be one of the best dining values in DC. Our waitress made the experience all the better with her indomitable spirit and constant smile. Kudos!

Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food4
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Washington DC)·Dined on December 25, 2017

Amazing! Gone a couple times. Making it a bi weekly reservation. The food’s amazing, but it’s nothing compared to the service. Not over attentive, but they make sure you never go without

Tags: Cozy, Special Occasion, Tasting Menu, Creative Cuisine, Seasonal, People Watching, Tapas, Comfort Food, Fit for Foodies, Hot Spot
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

vip
 (New York Area)·Dined on December 25, 2017

Amazing food! If you are here you must try the mussels!! Delicious!!!

Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Washington DC)·Dined on December 25, 2017

We came to ambar for Christmas celebration. As French-tourist in Washington we were not sure of the choice since we really wanted good food for this specisl day. We were very surprised since it was a Very good restaurant! The meals were wonderful and the drinks very good. The best remains the price... 50 dollars for all you can eat and all you can drink. The mojitos are certainly ones of the best we have ever drunk. The only drawback is the fact it was quite very noisy place. Not a good point if you expect a romantic moment. Otherwise do not heditate and go to Ambar!!!! So it was our first time in Ambar and I can tell not the last since we have planned to vome back for next trip in Washington.

Tags: Good for Birthdays, Authentic
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food4
ambience4
service4
value4

 
 (Washington DC)·Dined on December 24, 2017

This is a very fun and interesting place to eat.

We did the full menu including drinks for 50 bucks. It was well worth it. I think we each tried five or six different small plates. Next time will probably order a la carte’ because we know all the things we want now. The drinks alone make the meal deal worth it.!

Tags: Creative Cuisine, Tapas, Authentic, Special Occasion, Good for a Date, Comfort Food, Tasting Menu
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience4
service5
value5

 
 (Hawaii)·Dined on December 24, 2017

Great service and great food. We will be back! We chose the Balkan experience and truly enjoyed the many unique dishes....all well-prepared and perfectly portioned for our small group of three. The quality of the drinks, including the wine, was equally satisfying. Many of the staff members are from Serbia or Croatia and their kind hospitality was a very pleasant component of our "Balkan experience." The atmosphere and clientele were great, but we thought the Balkans affiliation was so understated as to risk being overlooked (at least on the first floor where we dined). Such a unique and exceptional culinary experience would benefit from a bit more of the Balkans' cultural flavor and ambiance in order to allow the diners to feel more immersed in the experience.

Tags: Special Occasion, Casual, Tapas
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience4
service5
value4

vip
 (Baltimore)·Dined on December 23, 2017

Like most of the other diners who have reviewed Ambar, we also took advantage of their Balkan Experience.

Everything we ordered was delicious and presented beautifully. Each item is made to order, which means you could be waiting a little while for your selection to appear. But, because we ordered as we wanted something, there was always food on the table.

Some of the items we had were the almond-crusted chicken (see pic), steak frites, veal schnitzel, veal soup, leek croquettes (most excellent), pork filet, lamb prosciutto, and zucchini soup.

Natasha was our server for the evening and she made some good recommendations. She was also very nice.

I highly recommend Ambar for any occasion. I can definitely say we will be back.

Tags: Handcrafted Cocktails, Special Occasion
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

vip
 (Philadelphia)·Dined on December 23, 2017

Phenomenal in all aspects from food to service. Especially impressed with management’s attention to detail and customer service. Can’t wait to go back!

Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Washington DC)·Dined on December 23, 2017

Knowledgeable service vice to take you on a very interesting, memorable Balkan Experience!!

Tags: Worth the Drive, Special Occasion, Romantic, Healthy, Good Vegetarian Options, Good for Birthdays, Seasonal, Cozy, Handcrafted Cocktails, Tasting Menu, Fun, Fit for Foodies, Neighborhood Gem, Creative Cuisine, Good for a Date, Quiet Conversation, Tapas, Vegan, Organic, Authentic
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

vip
 (Washington DC)·Dined on December 23, 2017

The food was fantastic, especially the spreads tasting. We also got the salmon benedict and the prosciutto benedict. But we were put off by a few things.

When we walked in the first thing they said after "hello" was that they have a two-hour limit on the tables. I understand this is the policy for their Balkan Experience, but we were planning to order a la carte anyway, and it just seems strange for the first thing you hear to be the time limit on your meal. We were out in an hour, for what it's worth.

We were seated at the very top of the restaurant. My mother has trouble with stairs. Since the banister was covered in decorations for the holidays, it was hard for her to hold on as she went up and down. They did not ask if we had a preference to be seated on the first floor.

Once we got up to our table, from our perch, we could see the top of the ventilation unit and horizontal support beam, which were dir-ty. I get that the atmosphere is shabby chic, but it did not feel clean.

When they brought the spreads, they brought only three or four small pieces of bread - not enough. We had to ask two servers for more, then sit staring at the half of the spreads remaining without any bread to eat it for quite a while before they replenished it. My water glass was empty most of the meal. We were not impressed with the service.

While the food is very tasty, I don't think I would go back.

1 person found this review helpful.
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience2
service2
value3

 
 (Richmond)·Dined on December 23, 2017

Brought some of my long time friends here for a double date. As always loved the environment and the service. The food was nothing but amazing and we left enjoying our experience. Thank you Ambar stuff for always being such good hosts.

Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Washington DC)·Dined on December 21, 2017

Fantastic food, always, and one of the best wait staffs in all of DC...always!

Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience4
service5
value5

vip
 (Los Angeles)·Dined on December 21, 2017

Ambar was perfect. The food, drinks, atmosphere, staff... Definitely will be returning.

Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

vip
 (Washington DC)·Dined on December 18, 2017

I love this restaurant and have been many times. One of last three times was oncein Clarendon location and it was an amazing experience when I also met two of the managers, and then again on the Hill, also amazing experience, but this time was one of the worse and disapointing experieces. I did first time that "Balkan Experience" thing and we were constatly short of either food, o bread, or drinks or two of this, sometimes even for 20-ish minutes on three long-ish ocassions. Barbara, the Czech lady was amaizng trying her best to juglle between the tables, aslo her young helper, young gentleeman w glasses and excellent knowlege of the food and lots of personality, but I could feel that the kitchen as well bar were backed up and food was coming to our table cold-ish and after long waits. The same thing happened to the table next to ours where was dining sister of chef from Rose's Luxury next block.

I love Ambar, I have been here many times since it opened under Richard Sandoval, when i got married I had wedding dinner here, and as luxury hotel Concierge, i send my guest here on the regular for superb dining experience, but last dinner was beneath averidge and disapointing experience. Sarma was dry, cold and too salty, friend bread was dowy...

I hope next time will be better.

1 person found this review helpful.
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food4
ambience5
service4
value4

 
·Dined on December 17, 2017

Crab kajmak, bread, tenderloin, schnitzel, kebab, veggies--all great. Don't forget dessert--Forrest gnocchi was unique.

Tags: Special Occasion, Seasonal, Happy Hour, Pre/post Theatre, Romantic, Cozy, Authentic
1 person found this review helpful.
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience4
service4
value5

Report this review as inappropriate?

If you believe this review should be removed from OpenTable, please let us know and someone will investigate.