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Party Size
For 2
Wed, 2/21
9:30 PM
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1676 reviews
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$30 and under
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Balkan style
Top Tags:
  • Tapas (95)
  • Special Occasion (75)
  • Creative Cuisine (73)
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
Dining Style
Casual Elegant
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Balkan style, Jugoslavian, Eastern European
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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
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Phone number
(202) 813-3039
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Payment options
AMEX, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
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Dress code
Casual Dress
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Executive chef
Ivan Zivkovic
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Cross street
E Street
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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
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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).
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Special events & promotions
Please contact Ljubodrag Mojsilovic at or 202.813.7350.
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Gift Card
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

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.

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What 1676 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.8  based on recent ratings
Noise · Moderate
99% of people would recommend it to a friend
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vipKimberly (Washington DC)
5.0  Dined 3 days ago

We had the Balkan experience which was amazing. Both the service and the food quality were outstanding. We will definitely be back again.
We just let our waitress do the ordering and every item was out of this world.

5.0  Dined 3 days ago

We were visiting DC for the weekend and wanted a great meal before we went home on Sunday. The brunch was absolutely amazing. The items were creative, tasted great, and came out fast from the kitchen. We did the Balkan menu and have no regrets. Totally worth every penny.

Amie (Columbus)
5.0  Dined 4 days ago

We came here to celebrate, ordered the Balkan Experience ($49 per person for unlimited small plates and drinks) and loved it! It was really fun to try the Balkan specialties, and certainly worth the money!

5.0  Dined 4 days ago

This place was amazing! We got the Balkan experience meal. It was well worth it. Our server made wonderful suggestions and everything was delicious. Each dish she brought out was better than the one before. I was almost sad that I got full because I really wanted to keep trying new things. Everything was freshly prepared and exquisitely presented. It was delicious and different!
It was an experience and the food was the best food I ever had in DC. And the Mimosas were delightful.
You should go there!!

OpenTable Diner (Jacksonville)
3.0  Dined 5 days ago

While the food tastes great the service was disappointing. We frequently received meals that were not ours and didn’t receive two plates that we ordered.

Avery (Washington DC)
4.0  Dined 5 days ago

We were seated right up front near the entrance, which we were worried about at first due to crowds and the draft from the door opening, but soon realized it was more ideal since all the other tables were very crammed together. The small plates were very small and it would only be worth it to eat here if you do the unlimited food option. However the service was quick, and the food was tasty!

WAAaaa (Houston)
5.0  Dined 5 days ago

Ambar was in the top 5 dining experiences of my life, no exaggeration. Every single dish was excellent, and the Balkan Experience menu option is an unbelievably good deal. This restaurant was recommended to me by my Serbian in-laws, and it was, as they described, authentic and delicious food. Highly recommend, and will return next time I am in D.C.

OpenTable Diner (St. Louis)
5.0  Dined 5 days ago

Just fantastic! Unique cuisine that is absolutely delicious. Natasha and the rest of the staff was very attentive. Fun place.

OpenTable Diner (Baltimore)
4.0  Dined 6 days ago

Ambar is an amazing experience. Their "all you can order" style is perfect for people who don't really know what to order or what they want, and it allows you to try a ton of food whether or not you're sure you are going to like it. And I find this is especially important since most people don't know a lot about Balkan food - but the food is SO good. The best part is how affordable it is, especially for the neighborhood. You get so much food (and alcohol if you like) for an extremely reasonable price. I've been for brunch and dinner now, and I will keep going back because I love it. They are pretty flexible about the 2 hour time limit - I've never seen them ask someone to leave, so I think it's an honor/respect policy, which I appreciated.
I will say that sometimes the service can be awkward. Because everyone is constantly ordering food, the wait staff is running around and can be so-so at remembering which table they've been to lately. It's not awful, but you might have to flag them down when you're ready to order more. Slight inconvenience, but enough that it's worth mentioning.
Definitely recommend to everyone.

JamesA (Richmond)
5.0  Dined on February 14, 2018

Really enjoyable small plate spread. I would only suggest going for an all you can eat fixed price. The plates are quite small, but very good!

SBG921 (Washington DC)
5.0  Dined on February 14, 2018

Excellent special occasion dining with Valentine's day menu. I won't begrudge the wait staff a packed dining room, though it did take them over 15 minutes to take drink orders. Food and ambience excellent, wait staff was friendly with great recommendations, and incredible all you can eat and drink menu will definitely have us returning!

MarkT (Washington DC)
5.0  Dined on February 13, 2018

My wife and I love trying new food with a strong affinity for anything that serves scratch made hummus. This place was a great find (also avail. in Arlington) you MUST do the Balkan Experience which is all you can eat tapas, also add on the $15 all you can drink option you won't regret it either (just make sure to uber...). Everything we had was delicious and most dishes had some unique flare like the tuna tartare with a almond+date spread or the pulled pork over mash served with a sour slaw. Anyways, we will definitely be back!

vipOpenTable Diner (San Francisco)
5.0  Dined on February 11, 2018

Amazing food, amazing prices and amazing service.

viplj28 (Washington DC)
5.0  Dined on February 11, 2018

Ambar has an incredible brunch! $39 for all you can eat and drink is a steal, and the food is amazing! Bloody Marys were spicy (yum!) and the different types of mimosas were all divine. The service was great and the place was hopping. I can't wait to go back!

azdg (Washington DC)
5.0  Dined on February 10, 2018

We did the Balkan experience for dinner and were blown away by the food, the service, and the value! Drinks (some wine, some beer, some cocktails) were included. We loved it. You can order, and re-order, and try literally the entire menu.

Jacq (Philadelphia)
4.0  Dined on February 10, 2018

The atmosphere is fun and the bar offers great cocktails - we did have a little trouble finding a spot to sit/stand and it's a pretty tight squeeze if you end up standing in the bar area. Staff is whizzing by all the time, so you have to stay out of the way. Despite that, when we did get seated our food was amazing and the tapas selection is huge. You can do unlimited plates and drinks for under $50 a person which was a great bargain considering what we ordered. Had at least 3 cocktails and lost count of the number of plates we ordered. It was loud, but our group had a blast anyways. Would definitely go back and would recommend to friends!

OpenTable Diner (Washington DC)
5.0  Dined on February 10, 2018

Retirement dinner

vipOpenTable Diner (Washington DC)
5.0  Dined on February 9, 2018

The food is amazing. The service could be a bit better - more servers perhaps?

VitalyK (Denver)
5.0  Dined on February 6, 2018

This was truly a meal I will remember for ever, or until I come back here again. We decided to have the $49 "tapas" style meal which included drinks. The food here was outstanding, quick, simple, delicious, and unlike anything I've ever had. The food felt homey, but not rustic, elegant, but not pretentious, and delicious, but not fake. I could list you the 40 things we had and how they all tasted, but this review would be pages long.

Here's the main part: it's delicious, real, amazing food that can compete with any restaurant I've been to. It's better than most of the $150 meals I've had in my lifetime.

GO! you won't be disappointed.

OpenTable Diner (Chicago)
3.0  Dined on February 4, 2018

Food was ok, but overall experience was good