Bistro Aracosia

4.8
634 reviews
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$30 and under
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Afghan
Bistro Aracosia is an authentic Afghan gourmet and chop house located in the Palisades neighborhood of Washington, DC.
Dining Style
Casual Dining
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Cuisines
Afghan
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Hours of operation
Lunch
Tue–Sat 11:30 am–2:30 pm
Sun 12:00 pm–3:00 pm
Dinner
Mon–Thu 5:00 pm–10:00 pm
Fri, Sat 5:00 pm–11:00 pm
Sun 5:00 pm–9:00 pm
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Phone number
(202) 363-0400
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Payment options
AMEX, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
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Dress code
Casual Dress
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Additional
Beer, Cocktails, Counter Seating, Full Bar, Gluten-free Menu, Late Night, Non-Smoking, Takeout, Wine
What 634 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.8based on recent ratings
4.8
food
4.7
service
4.6
ambience
4.6
value
Noise · Moderate
99% of people would recommend it to a friend
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OT
1 review
Dined 3 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

They do a really great job of making it comfortable. The food was sensational and we're plant based. The bartender made a terrific cosmo....I couldn't decide between 3 cocktails so he surprised me and it was a delicious drink. Please come to Carytown!

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JS
Washington DC
2 reviews
Dined 4 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Had to wait to be seated, tho we had a reservation, but staff was accommodating and pleasant... food is always good, and experience was excellent.

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AA
Washington DC
3 reviews
Dined 4 days ago
Overall 4food 4service 3ambience 3

Tasty Afghan cuisine, but ambiance needs a bit of refurbishing with peeling wood on one low wall, and some of servers' clothes were noticeably not clean. A bit of a turn-off. Food is good and moderately priced.

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K
Washington DC
10 reviews
Dined 5 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We had a most delightful dining experience. Not only was the food superb but also the openness of staff and management was a special plus. The vegetarian options, whether kale or eggplant or squash, were superb. The lamb shank and chicken stews did not disappoint. We enjoyed the range of spice options. Easiest to go with a slightly larger group to sample range of foods. Most unique was the ease of engaging in conversation with staff. The owner has created a warm and welcoming atmosphere.

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SM
Washington DC
22 reviews
Dined 5 days ago
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 4

Love this place. Fabulous food as always. Lively atmosphere. Great hospitality. Great restaurant attracts great crowds. Tables close and full. Makes it hard for wait staff and conversation. Time to expand.

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CP
Washington DC
4 reviews
Dined 5 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 3

Food NEVER disappoints. Delicious, generous portions, etc. Only downside is for a large group the tables can be a bit awkwardly sized/shaped. Still with such excellent food, it's worth the slight awkwardness.

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JD
Washington DC
1 review
Dined 6 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Excellent food and service. We have been there several times and the staff always goes above and beyond. Their lamb chops and lamb shank dishes are excellent. Really lovely cardamom milk cake. Highly recommend everything about this place.

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IS
Washington DC
3 reviews
Dined 7 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 4

second time in one month that we had dinner there. Ample choice and outstanding food. Easy parking. Price wise it's reasonable. No doubt we will be back

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SE
Chicago
3 reviews
Dined on December 4, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great food. Really good atmosphere. Spectacular staff. We were late because of traffic. “No problem” even though they were full on a Tuesday night. Worth rhe short Uber ride from downtown!!!!

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DM
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on December 4, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Amazing restaurant. Friendly helpful staff, delicious food, and terrific location.

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BD
Washington DC
50 reviews
Dined on December 4, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

My 4th or 5th time at Bistro Aracosia. Again, it did not disappoint. Excellent food and attentive and understanding service. We will be back.

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T
Washington DC
31 reviews
Dined on December 2, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We have been to this restaurant several times and every time the food has been delicious and excellent service.

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SM
1 review
Dined on December 1, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

It was my first visit to this restaurant and I was so impressed with the food and the service!

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LC
Washington DC
3 reviews
Dined on December 1, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Great food great service nice ambiance a little noisy

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L
Washington DC
64 reviews
Dined on December 1, 2018
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 3

The food and service are good, however, the tables are so close together that it feels like those at the next table are part of your party. It's somewhat annoying as are the servers bumping into your seat all the time because there isn't enough room between tables to move thru the restaurant. It detracts somewhat from the experience, but the food makes up for it.

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CH
Washington DC
14 reviews
Dined on November 29, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We have now been to Bistro Aracosia three times, and had a great experience every time. The service is incredibly friendly - like you are a guest in their home - and even when it is busy, which is most of the time, you never feel hurried. We have tried all sorts of their dishes, from appetizers through desserts and liked everything. They have a whole list of stews which are great at this time of year. For those who are not familiar with Afghan cuisine (I was not), it is somewhat similar to Indian. Not identical but if you know Indian, you can navigate the menu pretty easily. And the staff goes out of their way to explain if you have questions, and they also make suggestions which we have found helpful. Extensive and impressive beer list, from all over the world. This is a great addition to the Palisades dining scene.

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m
Washington DC
21 reviews
Dined on November 29, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Our birthday lady was ecstatic about the extra touches the staff provided to honor her.

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LW
Washington DC
63 reviews
Dined on November 28, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Excellent food. Was my wife's birthday and they treated her like a queen. A nice touch with champagne and cake at the end.

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MP
Washington DC
7 reviews
Dined on November 28, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

It was my husbands birthday and it was our first visit there! What a great pic because everything about this place is fantastic!!! We are so happy it is close to our place!!

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K
Washington DC
16 reviews
Dined on November 27, 2018
Overall 2food 2service 2ambience 4

I ordered one of only two salads on the menu, and the waiter brought the wrong one. I ate it anyway and it was not good at all. The greens were actually soggy. My main course was supposed to be their ground beef kabob, which I know and love, but the waiter showed up with a steak kabob, which was tough and $11 more expensive. I complained and they brought me an appetizer portion of the ground beef kabob, which was poorly prepared and mushy inside. I only had a couple of bites of the two meat dishes, and they still charged me $27.95 for the steak kabob. I had been there three times before, but for now I can’t see returning. My two-star review is a generous one considering that I got two dishes that I hadn’t ordered.

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MJ
Washington DC
37 reviews
Dined on November 27, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 5

It took a while before anyone waited on us -- but when we (finally) got a server, she was excellent.

The food, as always, is the main draw!

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r
Washington DC
3 reviews
Dined on November 27, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 5

It was a birthday celebration for three out of four of us. They were terrific at explaining foods.!they gave three ladies cake with candles and topped it off with glasses of Champagne for all!

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e
Washington DC
12 reviews
Dined on November 26, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

The food was so delicious, and the service so warm and friendly I was compelled to write this review -- you cannot go wrong at Bistro Aracosia. I'm a big fan of Afghan food, but even if you were new to the cuisine, the family that runs BA would guide you through an incredible culinary experience. The dishes are deeply flavorful, complex, delicious, and almost exclusively dairy free (except yogurt) -- absolutely delicious and I'd go back in a heartbeat. Make a reservation as the word is out and tables tough to get!

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AN
New York Area
1 review
Dined on November 26, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

This is one of my favorite places for dinner. Not only is the food delicious, but the people who manage the place (mostly one family) are the kindest, most genuine and accommodating people. The service is nearly perfect every time, and for tiny things that aren't, they notice, acknowledge and try to fix. Shortly after we were seated the other night, the restaurant filled up quickly within 5-10 mins. We were perfectly content, but they came over to preemptively note that things had filled up quickly and they would do their best to ensure everything still came out on time, but to let them know if we had a problem. The small gestures are what make this place great. Also the fact that they are easygoing and happy to chat and joke around with diners who are in the mood to do the same. I haven't tried everything on the menu, but the ox tail, lamb sabzi and Qabuli vegetarian sampler plate (especially the squash) are some of my favorites so far.

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ND
Washington DC
2 reviews
Dined on November 26, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

This was my second visit to Bistro Aracosia. It was a special occasion and did not disappoint. The service was excellent and food excellent, especially the lamb shanks with eggplant. Great dish! We had several vegetarians in the group and they were also happy. The staff was also flexible with one person showing up very late and another only wanting soup. Great spot. I no longer need to drive to Baltimore for world class Afghan food!

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s
Washington DC
15 reviews
Dined on November 25, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Absolutely delicious food and excellent service. Unique offerings, beautiful interior and reasonably priced. Also very good beer and wine selecction.

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OT
1 review
Dined on November 25, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Excellent service and food. We arrived early for our reservation and were not expecting to be seat immediately, but they took us right away.

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TN
Washington DC
4 reviews
Dined on November 25, 2018
Overall 4food 5service 3ambience 4

Everyone was VERY happy with the food. ALL of us noticed the sparse service. (I've had more attention there with 4 people than we had for 9 people even though i reserved more than one month ahead.) Maybe the strategy is to avoid weekends. Back to the HIGH lights: pumpkin dumplings, quail, bread with four sauce choices.

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V
Washington DC
9 reviews
Dined on November 23, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

One of the best restaurants in DC! The food is fantastic !!! Excellent service and atmosphere. We took hot Mazza Assortment which was gerat, especially dumplings and eggplant. The main course was also outstanding - lamb shank mahoulu and grilled lamb and beef. It is really worth to travel there, we will definitely come back. I think this will be our most favorite restaurant in DC area.

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c
Richmond
3 reviews
Dined on November 23, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Loved the eggplant and squash on the appetiseer plate

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MH
1 review
Dined on November 23, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

If I could give it additional stars, I would. The spices in the food were exceptional, the service great and the presentation terrific. I will definitely return and have already recommended it to friends.

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A
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on November 21, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Always fantastic! The incredible food is equally matched by the gracious hosts. Couldn't recommend more highly.

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DG
Washington DC
22 reviews
Dined on November 20, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great food and great atmosphere. We had a wonderful first time dining experience and plan to return again soon.

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G
1 review
Dined on November 19, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

I usually will not give a 5-star review without having visited a place more than once, but everything about Bistro Aracosia was superb. A friend wanted to take me out somewhere really nice as a present. (I'm not a fan of going out to eat because I can cook so much at home just fine.) I'm a vegetarian; he is not. He was expecting to wind up at a veggie restaurant, but this place had enough options to make both of us very happy. I had the vegetarian sampler plate, which was amazing. He had a chicken and beef combo plate, which he loved. We each a cocktail. My smokey manhattan was delicious; I could really taste the smokiness. He had a gin drink; I don't know what it was, but he liked it. We had ice cream for dessert. Two of my favorite flavors are cardamom and rose. Rose water ice cream with cardamom on top? Yes please! It was fabulous; even the vanilla flavor came through.
The ambiance was lovely. Very nicely decorated, not over-the-top in any way, comfortable. And there was live sitar music. Staff was attentive, friendly, and helpful.
Arriving by bus was easy (the D5 and D6 stop across the street), and my date had no trouble finding parking.

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L
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on November 19, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

As always, Bistro Aracosia was wonderful - great food and outstanding hospitality.

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E
Washington DC
10 reviews
Dined on November 18, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The ambiance, wait staff, and food are great. The complimentary bread with its accompanying variations of dipping sauces are excellent. You might be tempted to feast just on that. But don't!

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ML
Washington DC
22 reviews
Dined on November 17, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great food, appreciative and helpful staff. This was our fourth meal there; we are still exploring the menu.
Ask if you are sensitive to hot spices, since they are not always obvious on the menu.

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JB
Adelaide / SA
19 reviews
Dined on November 17, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We were greeted warmly and shown to our table. The servers and manager helped with menu (first visit). We were made to feel welcome and saw the same efforts at other tables.

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PW
Richmond
2 reviews
Dined on November 17, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Sometimes one word is all you need but Open Table requires a minimum of 50 characters 😜. But really all I want to say is that Bistro Aracosia was “Excellent”!!!

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w
Washington DC
27 reviews
Dined on November 17, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 5

A friend mentioned this place and it was a great find. We visited for weekend lunch and it wasn't too busy, which suited us. We opted for the mazza sampler as an appetizer, which was a great way to try the delicate little dumplings and vegetable Bouranees - that could have been a meal. The menu is huge, which was augmented by a lunch special menu. We tried a lentil stew with beef dumplings, as well as a grilled filet with rice - both were delicious. We didn't need dinner - very filling. We will be back with friends so that we can share and try more things.

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