Bistro 1521

4.3
72 Reviews
$31 to $50
Filipino
Bistro 1521 is a Filipino Restaurant - Bar based in Washington D.C. that offers a variety of authentic Filipino dishes with a unique fusion style of cooking, which evolves from influences of Spanish, Malay, Chinese and USA. The combination of enriched native ingredients and style of cooking will leave an amazing and unforgettable taste that guarantees to excite the palate.

Bistro 1521’s Filipino style of hospitality is top-notched and it’s our priority that our guest will have an amazing and memorable time with us and it’s our goal to bring you the best experience and to make sure that you’ll come back for more!
Year “1521” is a significant part of history upon the discovery and exploration of the islands of the Philippines.

In-House & Outside Catering
KAMAYAN "Boodle Fight"
Filipino Street Food Friday Night
Live Music (featuring OPM)
Karaoke Night
Check our website for more information
What 72 people are sayingWrite a review
Overall ratings and reviews
4.3based on all time ratings
4.2
food
4.3
service
4.1
ambience
4.0
value
Noise · Moderate
82% of people would recommend it to a friend
Sort by
Filters
OT
vipOpenTable Diner
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on February 14, 2020
Overall2food2service1ambience3

First time review! Too bad it has to be for such a poor experience.

Started badly with a delayed seating of about 20 minutes. Valentine's day menu (my bad for choosing to go out on a busy day/night...but it was a Friday and had hoped for a nice meal out). Limited "tapas" style menu with one free drink for a fixed price. Fine, though not ideal. We were not instructed we could order off the regular "limited" menu before placing our tapas order.

Tapas being smaller, pre-prepared items (lumpia, skewers, soup, sliced beef in sauce) should have allowed for rapid service but didn't. We placed an order for 3 items apiece and then proceeded to wait patiently for 20 minutes. No bread, hors d'oeuvre, or other pre-meal items. Midway through our wait our waitress asked if we wanted to place our order...despite the fact that we hadn't received our first. Bizarre.

Waitress did not return until another 20 minutes after we had received our first round of tapas. Placed an order and then proceeded to wait another 15 minutes. By this time, not only frustrated but also hungry we asked for the check so we could move on.

Paid for bill but did not leave a tip. Regret that as I know it was likely not the waitresses fault. I do hope that the restaurant will take care of her with the sizeable bill that represented our poor eating experience.

Frustration during the meal was worsened by a couple of things: unavailability of a beer that was on their featured list for the special evening event. Again, bizarre. And food on the "featured" menu was bland, especially compared to the bountiful and fragrant platter ordered by the adjoining table.

Won't be returning but I do hope that the owners of the restaurant think to invest more time in providing its patrons with a better experience.

JB
vipJonB
Chicago
8 reviews
Dined on February 9, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The food here was incredible. I am so mad at myself for not noticing this place sooner. We will absolutely become regulars here.

E
Ellen
1 review
Dined on January 27, 2020
Overall4food3service3ambience4

It would be great if your servers are Filipino so they can explain well to your customers more about the food from the menu. Other than that all is good.

g
vipgastronomique
Washington DC
7 reviews
Dined on January 25, 2020
Overall1food1service1ambience1

We never ate / drank bc we had to wait so long to be seated/ served.... they’re definitely under staffed

OT
vipOpenTable Diner
Washington DC
6 reviews
Dined on January 9, 2020
Overall5food5service4ambience4

The Chicken Adobo was absolutely delicious. Space is bright and welcoming. Definitely adding to my lunch rotation for sit-down meals (though I know they do take out as well)

BP
vipBeverlyP
Washington DC
75 reviews
Dined on January 8, 2020
Overall4food4service4ambience4

My four member book club met here for dinner to discuss the book...the book took place in the Philippines. Chicken noodle dish was delicious and about $12. Also tried the deep fried lumpia which were thin snd the chicken filling really hot...and tasty. My friends also got wine. Our booth could have seated six
Restaurant was full on a Tuesday night but not too noisy for us to discuss our book. Only downside is underground parking about a block away was $11 for 1-2 hrs and there is no metered parking right in front or across the street from the restaurant. Service was friendly and knowledgeable.

OT
OpenTable Diner
Washington DC
5 reviews
Dined on December 29, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great Filipino food which reminded us all of my father who was a great Filipino cook. Service was perfect. Will definitely return!

OT
OpenTable Diner
New York Area
1 review
Dined on December 21, 2019
Overall1food1service4ambience4

Food is precooked and reheated. Chicken was dry and hard, sisig was chewy. Fresh lumpia was really rancid, even the manager acknowledged this. No apology. The waiter laughed at me when I complained about the food as if he heard it all before.

c
catc
Washington DC
5 reviews
Dined on December 14, 2019
Overall3food3service4ambience2

We had not been here before but decided to go based on the recommendation of a friend. Our waiter was very good, the food was so-so and the noise level was exceptionally loud due to a live band. We could not hear each other at all once the band began to warm up and then to play.

OT
OpenTable Diner
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on November 29, 2019
Overall5food5service4ambience4

Absolutely delicious food, average service. Also affordable.

d
dcfusion
Washington DC
2 reviews
Dined on November 15, 2019
Overall3food3service4ambience3

I was recommended to try Bistro 1521 from my Filipino coworker because she said it is very authentic. I've never had Filipino food before so this is my first try. The restaurant greetings were warm and the waiters and waitresses were nice. However, I'm just not that into the food. The menu is limited and the food I ordered all had that "fishy" taste. I'm ok with the fishy flavor but less so with the dishes being too salty.

OT
vipOpenTable Diner
Washington DC
7 reviews
Dined on November 10, 2019
Overall3food2service5ambience3

The bartender was great at recommending items. Their lemonade special item was legit!! So great! The cold burrito was interesting. I ask for no nuts in it but it was still there. Pig ears made me sick. I think it was the sauce. The fried pork leg and rice is a winner for AA who are trying new things. Stick to the basics. I wouldn’t go back to be honest.

MP
MitziP
Washington DC
22 reviews
Dined on October 12, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Bistro 1521 never fails in serving authentic & flavorful Filipino food👍🏼! Or, as we say in Pilipino/Tagalog, “Ang Sarap!” My friend & I each ordered Pinoy bkfst (served Sat.-Sun.): bangsilog (bangus/milkfish) & longsilog (sausage) plus lechón kawali to share. We & ate & savored every morsel of our viands😋! Aftwds, we had turon (fried banana rolls) & ube (purple yam) ice cream. As with our main dishes, we devoured our desserts wholeheartedly! We left fully satisfied—so “busog” that we vowed not to eat dinner! But being the gluttons we were, we each ordered pancit palabok & bibingka muffin to take home (baon)—w/c we satiated our stomachs with later in the evening! Undoubtedly, our epicurean experience @ Bistro 1521 is well worth-repeating! Thus, expect me/us (my friends & I) to be back sooner than later! Mabuhay at maraming salamat, Bistro 1521 🇵🇭 !

OT
OpenTable Diner
1 review
Dined on September 13, 2019
Overall5food4service5ambience5

Food was great! Service was outstanding! Always happy to eat some good Pinoy food here! Their kare-kare is the bomb!!!

OT
OpenTable Diner
Washington DC
12 reviews
Dined on August 31, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Our server pointed us toward a shared platter. We had one for 3 people that was mixed meat, veg, and seafood grill. Excellent! Though we could have used a bit more vegetables. We had lovely service and the restaurant was cheerful and unpretentious. Good for families.

P
Pupule
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on August 10, 2019
Overall3food2service3ambience3

Food had no taste. Didn't have a couple things I ordered.

JR
JaneR
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on August 4, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience4

The service was outstanding and the food was great! I was not disappointed taking my family to try this restaurant and introducing authentic Filipino food ti them. We ordered the ihaw-ihaw, halo- halo, bistek, ukoy, lumpiang shanghai, pancit, ube cheesecake and cassava cake. Everything tasted great and the presentation was outstanding. We will definitely come back!

OT
OpenTable Diner
1 review
Dined on July 30, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

In my 4 years here in the US, I have never come to to Filipino restaurant that comes close to how each dish should be until I came across Bistro 1521. We had Kare-Kare, Inihaw Platter, Sisig, Pancit Canton and Turon. Everything was spot on! Note that this was with my colleagues who were from Switzerland and they loved it too! 👍🏼👍🏼👍🏼

RC
RCarrera
1 review
Dined on July 30, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The best one in Virginia. Everything in this restaurant is great. The platters are so worth it, and don't forget their desserts, too.

JC
JamieC
Baltimore
1 review
Dined on July 11, 2019
Overall3food3service2ambience4

We were very excited to try this restaurant. But were pretty disappointed. The food was average at best, but was very expensive. The highlight of the neql was definitely dessert. I had the ube cheesecake and my wife had halo-halo. The service was pretty bad. I'm hoping our waitress was new because her attentiveness was very lacking. We spent about an hour and a half in the restaurant and saw her maybe 3 times. I needed a spoon so I could eat my soup, but it took about 20 minutes for her to come around so I could ask for it and the restaurant was not very busy. But when it was time to pay she was right there very quickly to give us our bill. We don't live in the area, but if we're back there again I wouldnt return to this restaurant and I would not recommend it to others.

OT
OpenTable Diner
1 review
Dined on July 5, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Me and my family really enjoyed the food and the company. The employees were able to communicate with my spouse in her native language. This was her first time visiting Washington D.C. and this was a very memorable moment for her. Thanks for the hospitality and I'd definitely recommend your restaurant to anyone visiting the area.

r
robertm
New York Area
1 review
Dined on June 28, 2019
Overall5food4service4ambience3

My husband and like coming to the Bistro 1521. The food are well prepared and not greasy. Every time I am in Arlington I usually goes to this restaurant . Keep up the good work.

R
Rosenkratz
1 review
Dined on June 21, 2019
Overall2food4service1ambience2

The food was pretty great and the location was perfect, but experienced exceptionally poor service.

Our waiter didn’t write down orders which led to lots of confusion, we didn’t receive silverware until after the meal had arrived and never received napkins despite asking several times. The waitstaff was very nice but absent overall. Refilled my own water several times throughout the evening after asking for a refill.

I’d like to give it another shot sometime but not a great first experience.

OT
vipOpenTable Diner
Washington DC
15 reviews
Dined on June 16, 2019
Overall4food4service4ambience4

Great Father’s Day dinner

ED
ElleDeeDee
Washington DC
15 reviews
Dined on May 11, 2019
Overall2food2service4ambience3

Fourof us had a very good time at this restaurant on Saturday night. The banquette fit four very comfortably. The drinks were very good on the service was good. There was barely anyone else in the restaurant except for a couple of birthday parties. Our waiter was very good and the service was good. We ordered the fried Spring rolls and the grilled platter for the table plus the beef tenderloin. The Chicken on skewers was fantastic, the Shrimp and eggplant were good. There wasn't anything particularly different about it from any other grilled meat and seafood platter in any other restaurant. The beef tenderloin was rather tough in in are very tasty sauce but oversalted. We left there happy but not feeling like we had eaten anything terribly different which was a little disappointing. We were told that the menu is much more philippine on Friday nights and we might try that sometime.

r
robertz
Washington DC
13 reviews
Dined on April 27, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

An amazing valentine's dinner experience. Worth the money and ambiance to enjoy a romantic evening

OT
OpenTable Diner
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on April 24, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Delicious drink recommendation from the waiter!

MD
MarjD
1 review
Dined on April 20, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Will come back there again. They serve an authentic Filipino food which i love.

HC
HazelC
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on March 17, 2019
Overall1food1service2ambience1

Overpriced food and it was terrible. This restaurant will not last for another 6 months.

OT
OpenTable Diner
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on March 14, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great spot for business lunch

OT
OpenTable Diner
1 review
Dined on February 14, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Got engaged here. She said yes. Needless to say review is positive. Management was extraordinarily helpful for arranging a picture perfect engagement. Food is delicious. Get the Ube cheesecake.

OT
OpenTable Diner
Washington DC
2 reviews
Dined on February 14, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The Monggo soup was a delightful surprise. My first time having this dish. Lovely hearty soup with balanced rustic flavors. The cassava cake dessert is a must try.

TB
TimB
1 review
Dined on February 13, 2019
Overall2food3service2ambience4

It was a slow night, -so the bartenders and waitress could have given us a high level of service, -but they just didn't care. Just not looking at us, not coming over. When she did come over, -she was trying to up sell us, and acted disappointed when we selected regular items, instead of the most expensive. Then, they just apparently spending time in the back, -turning on the friendly when it was time to give me the bill, which I had to ask for. No, "thank you for coming in!" from the bartenders. Just kept visiting with each other.

OT
OpenTable Diner
Orlando
1 review
Dined on January 12, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

I really liked the Pancit Bihon and Ube Cheesecake. Staff were friendly and attentive.

W
vipWazza
Washington DC
61 reviews
Dined on January 11, 2019
Overall4food4service5ambience3

Food really tasty and we had a great waitress! I'll definitely go back as we want to try some of the other options that we didn't try this time. The only "downside" was that there was karaoke going on in the bar

CD
CristinaD
Richmond
2 reviews
Dined on January 4, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

My favorite Filipino restaurant, thus far, in the DMV area. My boyfriend and I enjoyed our meal here and will definitely recommend to our friends, family and will definitely be going back!

BM
BrianM
Washington DC
4 reviews
Dined on December 7, 2018
Overall5food5service5ambience5

I've been here a few times on a date and group dinners and lunch. Number one, the food is delicious. I love their ihaw ihaw platter. I always get that. Number two, as a parent, the restaurant is kid friendly. It's great there are booths to contain the children. Number three, there is a karaoke area in the back with another bar. I wouldn't hesitate bringing over friends or business colleagues to try out Filipino food at Bistro 1521.

TR
TotoRS
1 review
Dined on December 6, 2018
Overall4food4service4ambience4

Excellent food, service, and venue. I will recommend to friends and other family members who want to taste or miss Filipino dishes.

k
vipkkch
San Francisco
39 reviews
Dined on November 26, 2018
Overall5food5service4ambience3

Great food!

KL
KathleenL
1 review
Dined on November 24, 2018
Overall5food5service5ambience5

This is our fave restau in Arlington. Great service from everyone too!!! Our all time fave is their Binagoongan Rice.

FAQs

Bistro 1521 offers takeout which you can order by calling the restaurant at (703) 741-0917.

Bistro 1521 is rated 4.3 stars by 72 OpenTable diners.