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Buena Vida - Arlington, Arlington, VA

Buena Vida - Arlington

4.0
4
720 Reviews
$30 and under
Mexican
Buena Vida promises more than great food; it provides a space to make memories. We pride ourselves in guiding customers through a curated menu, going beyond the expectations of hospitality, and leaving them to enjoy the company they are with.

Our tables are a gathering place for good conversation and community so people feel energized by the creativity of the food and drinks, excellent service, and time with loved ones.

Each table has 2h time limit. 2h time limit does not apply for reservations made after 1:00pm on Saturday and Sunday due to service closure at 3:00pm.
Rooftop seating cannot be reserved and it is only available on first come-first served basis. Unlimited dining is not available on our rooftop - a la carte menu will be offered instead. Rooftop will not be open for brunch service.
To best meet our standard, we highly recommend against the Buena Vida Experience service 1h prior to kitchen closing.

Make a reservation

2 people

7:00 PM


Booked 47 times today

Dining areas

Additional information

  • Dining style
    Casual Dining
  • Price
    $30 and under
  • Cuisines
    Mexican, Traditional Mexican, Latin American
  • Hours of operation
    Brunch Sat, Sun 10:00 am–3:00 pm Lunch Mon–Fri 12:00 pm–3:00 pm Dinner Mon–Thu, Sun 4:00 pm–10:00 pm Fri, Sat 4:00 pm–11:00 pm
  • Phone number
    (703) 888-1259
  • Payment options
    AMEX, Discover, Mastercard, Visa
  • Dress code
    Casual Dress
  • Executive chef
    Ismael Lopez
  • Neighborhood
    Arlington
  • Cross street
    Filmore Street
  • Parking details
    Street parking or Public lot
  • Public transit
    Buena Vida is located at 2900 Wilson Blvd. Arlington, Virginia 22201, just two blocks from the<br />Clarendon metro accessible on the orange and silver lines. Parking is available in the Colonial<br />Parking Garage at 1303 North Filmore Street.
  • Additional
    Banquet, Bar/Lounge, Beer, Cocktails, Dog Friendly, Entertainment, Full Bar, Gluten-free Options, Happy Hour, Late Night, Non-Smoking, Patio/Outdoor Dining, Patio/Outdoor Dining, Private Room, Vegan, View, Weekend Brunch, Wheelchair Access, Wine
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What 720 people are saying

Overall ratings and reviews

Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant

4.0
4 based on recent ratings
  • 4.1Food
  • 3.9Service
  • 4.1Ambience
  • 3.9Value

NoiseModerate

720 Reviews
  1. Naveen

    Philadelphia

    24 reviews

    3.0

    24 reviews

    Dined 7 days ago

    1. Overall 3
    2. Food 4
    3. Service 2
    4. Ambience 3
    This was not a terrible experience, but here was the problem with this place: 1. The staff was very friendly and nice, our server very pleasant. But they seemed understaffed, so it took a while for everything, even to be seated when there were plenty of empty tables, including the one we eventually sat at. 2. They only offered their brunch menu, which was more limited than their lunch menu, and if there were out of something, there were no substitutions or modifications. So if you have any dietary restrictions, this made a limited menu even more limited.

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  2. Essa

    Washington DC

    24 reviews

    3.0

    24 reviews

    Dined 7 days ago

    1. Overall 3
    2. Food 3
    3. Service 3
    4. Ambience 5
    The brunch is small plates and you can order as many as you like in 2 hours. Some items were undercooked (butternut squash was hard), some were overcooked (chicken was dry). The service was slow at times and it took us a long time to find our waitress at the end for a check. There are no coffee or beverages included in the brunch, any drink is extra. I do not think kids would enjoy this place.

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  3. OpenTable Diner

    Washington DC

    3 reviews

    5.0

    3 reviews

    Dined on May 5, 2024

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    Best tacos I’ve ever had! Went for cinco de mayo, good drinks too

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  4. AnthonyL

    Washington DC

    14 reviews

    vip
    1.0

    14 reviews

    Dined on May 5, 2024

    1. Overall 1
    2. Food 1
    3. Service 2
    4. Ambience 3
    We left after being seated. We didn’t like the idea of food being delivered in the elevator uncovered with other diners entering the restaurant in the same elevator. Not sanitary 🤮

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  5. Mimi

    Washington DC

    3 reviews

    2.0

    3 reviews

    Dined on May 5, 2024

    1. Overall 2
    2. Food 2
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 3
    Dissapointed. All the food that came out was overcooked and cold

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  6. OpenTable Diner

    Washington DC

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on April 24, 2024

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    We were celebrating a friend’s birthday. The food was great, the ambiance and music were fantastic. Will definitely go again.

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  7. JayySavg3

    Washington DC

    2 reviews

    4.0

    2 reviews

    Dined on April 21, 2024

    1. Overall 4
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 3
    4. Ambience 5
    I love coming to this place bc the service, food and drinks are always great. On this particular visit though, service was subpar. I should note that it was not that busy. Food took a long time to come out- if at all. Same with the drinks… I don’t even think we had our water refilled. I’m hoping maybe it was a temporary staff transition issue.

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  8. OpenTable Diner

    Washington DC

    2 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    2 reviews

    Dined on April 19, 2024

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    Service and food were phenomenal! The Steak and Cheese tacos, recommended by our server, were incredible!

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  9. OpenTable Diner

    Washington DC

    9 reviews

    4.0

    9 reviews

    Dined on April 13, 2024

    1. Overall 4
    2. Food 4
    3. Service 4
    4. Ambience 4
    This was a good place to dine with a toddler as it was pretty noisy & the food is simple.

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  10. Duff127

    Washington DC

    7 reviews

    vip
    2.0

    7 reviews

    Dined on April 12, 2024

    1. Overall 2
    2. Food 2
    3. Service 1
    4. Ambience 1
    First time at restaurant and was seated for dinner in bar area not in dining room which was very loud. Host never asked if we had a preference despite having a reservation. Service was ridiculously slow. Getting our drinks took way too long and the classic margarita was sub par - Isn't this the signature drink?? Appetizers arrived after our entrees. Tacos we ordered were good. Corn side dish was on the cob but cut in a way we couldn't eat it. Overall so disappointed. Terrible service. Terrible experience. We will not be back.

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  11. Marts

    Washington DC

    2 reviews

    2.0

    2 reviews

    Dined on April 5, 2024

    1. Overall 2
    2. Food 3
    3. Service 1
    4. Ambience 3
    We got tacos and they were delicious. It took over 45 minutes for our drinks to come, after our appetizers were on the table and the fountain drinks too an extra 45 minutes after asking our waitress and other servers why there was a long wait for fountain drinks. It was very disappointing that something as simple as that ruined the experience.

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  12. HelenM

    London

    2 reviews

    5.0

    2 reviews

    Dined on April 2, 2024

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 4
    4. Ambience 5
    Great location and delicious food. Taco Tuesday’s deal is better than Nacho Monday’s but it’s still a great time

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  13. OpenTable Diner

    Atlanta Metro

    4 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    4 reviews

    Dined on March 30, 2024

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    Bryan is amazing! Great experience overall. Will be back.

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  14. OpenTable Diner

    Baltimore

    2 reviews

    4.0

    2 reviews

    Dined on March 30, 2024

    1. Overall 4
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 3
    4. Ambience 4
    The food and drinks were great! An amazing brunch experience. We did book for the rooftop but we were sat on the second floor instead. The whole restaurant is nice so we got over it. There were serval items missing that we ordered multiple times and we received items we didn’t order so just hope they can improve on the efficiency of the food running in the future. It is a lot going on so I can see how it gets very confusing. Overall I would go back but make sure you have an empty stomach with a side of patience when going!

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  15. OpenTable Diner

    Washington DC

    12 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    12 reviews

    Dined on March 30, 2024

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 3
    4. Ambience 4
    Brunch tasted good, but server forgot some items we ordered several times.

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  16. Goosey

    Washington DC

    1 review

    3.0

    1 review

    Dined on March 27, 2024

    1. Overall 3
    2. Food 4
    3. Service 3
    4. Ambience 5
    The gentleman at the front that seated us was very friendly and welcoming! Our server was friendly, but he vanished for long periods of time. We did have to go to the bartender for our second drink and to ask for the check at the end of the meal. The restaurant did not seem to be busy as it was a Wednesday evening, so I'm not sure what the situation was. We enjoyed the sangria we ordered, but my buffalo shrimp tacos weren't as flavorful as I was expecting. I didn't taste much buffalo. It seemed more of just deep-fried shrimp with the additional toppings, no buffalo flavor. Maybe the next time I'm in town, I'll try Buena Vida again!

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  17. OpenTable Diner

    Los Angeles

    11 reviews

    4.0

    11 reviews

    Dined on March 25, 2024

    1. Overall 4
    2. Food 3
    3. Service 4
    4. Ambience 5
    The ambience is cozy, service is friendly , but the food is too fatty, the crab queso appetizer is better only call melted queso.

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  18. Hbarb

    Washington DC

    5 reviews

    5.0

    5 reviews

    Dined on March 24, 2024

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    My friends and I came to celebrate my birthday at Buena Vida and we had an awesome time! The food and service were great and they even put a candle on a churro I ordered 😊. We couldn’t find street parking so we ended up parking in the garage nearby for only $7.

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  19. OpenTable Diner

    Washington DC

    2 reviews

    4.0

    2 reviews

    Dined on March 23, 2024

    1. Overall 4
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 3
    4. Ambience 5
    Service could be improved but the table bussing was excellent. Food was very delicious and the dining ambiance was beautiful.

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  20. OpenTable Diner

    Washington DC

    40 reviews

    vip
    2.0

    40 reviews

    Dined on March 22, 2024

    1. Overall 2
    2. Food 2
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    I think this will be our last time here. The service was great. The drinks were great. The quesadilla were so mushy soft you couldn't pick it up, The Fish tacos were so oily you felt oil gush into your mouth, they probably went straight from the frier to the taco. The churros were inedible for the same reason and they came with a chocolate sauce that had a layer of oil on top. We asked the waitress about it, she said it wasn't mixed well and offered to get another. It looked curdled...

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  21. Grace

    Washington DC

    15 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    15 reviews

    Dined on March 18, 2024

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 4
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    The host and the server were friendly and attentive! We had a great time there and thank you!

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  22. MaddyH

    Greater Boston

    7 reviews

    vip
    3.0

    7 reviews

    Dined on March 17, 2024

    1. Overall 3
    2. Food 4
    3. Service 4
    4. Ambience 1
    We had a large group reservation and we were placed on the rooftop where Drag Brunch was also being had. I wish they had given us the option to be part of it, it was unbearably loud we ended up not being able to chat during our 2 hours reservation. Nothing against drag brunch, it just was not what we chose to partake in and we ended up being forced to be a part of it.

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  23. OpenTable Diner

    Washington DC

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on March 17, 2024

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    Amazing! Great food, service, and music!! Will definitely be back.

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  24. KennaD

    Washington DC

    2 reviews

    vip
    4.0

    2 reviews

    Dined on March 14, 2024

    1. Overall 4
    2. Food 3
    3. Service 3
    4. Ambience 5
    The ambiance is great but the food is subpar and definitely not worth the price…drinks are OK.

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  25. Stephanie

    San Francisco

    12 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    12 reviews

    Dined on March 9, 2024

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    The service was wonderful! The food was fresh, full of flavor. The ambiance was perfection. Very chill. Loved it!

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  26. AmAF

    Washington DC

    1 review

    2.0

    1 review

    Dined on March 8, 2024

    1. Overall 2
    2. Food 2
    3. Service 3
    4. Ambience 2
    The whole place smelled like disinfectant, like very strong smell. We wanted to order more drinks but the server just brought us churros and the bill and then stopped coming over, so we left and went to another bar. Chips and guac had no flavor.

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  27. MorganF

    Washington DC

    2 reviews

    5.0

    2 reviews

    Dined on March 2, 2024

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    I had such a good time celebrating my birthday with my sorority sisters. The hostess was excellent and we received free shots to start our celebration. The food was excellent and we never had to wait for food at all. I will definitely be back to try dinner or lunch. 

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  28. Kristen

    Washington DC

    1 review

    4.0

    1 review

    Dined on February 27, 2024

    1. Overall 4
    2. Food 3
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    The service was amazing at both the bar and at the table. The space is really cool and the restaurant seemed very clean. The food was fine and the music was a little loud at 6pm.

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  29. Sarah101

    Washington DC

    1 review

    2.0

    1 review

    Dined on February 27, 2024

    1. Overall 2
    2. Food 4
    3. Service 1
    4. Ambience 4
    The food was great, but the service was pretty bad. We had to call over our waiter every time we needed him. We received the wrong order for our main dish and when we asked our waiter for more chips, he brought over a whole other order of chips and guac that we did not ask for and charged us for it. I think our waiter may have been new to serving which would explain these mishaps, but it definitely affected our dinner experience. I enjoyed the food but don't know if I would eat here again.

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  30. Stefanie

    Washington DC

    24 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    24 reviews

    Dined on February 26, 2024

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    G was an excellent waiter and was patient and kind with our 2 year old. We couldn’t believe it was his first day working there- WELL DONE, G! we enjoyed happy hour drinks and nachos, enchiladas with black beans and rice, then finished with churros. Great food and service!

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  31. wizinit

    Washington DC

    78 reviews

    vip
    4.0

    78 reviews

    Dined on February 25, 2024

    1. Overall 4
    2. Food 4
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 3
    Good location in Clarendon. Even on Sunday night the DJ on the roof was going strong. The Mexican food is not authentic, and hamburgers are on the menu, so some kind of fusion. We asked that the music be turned down, and the hostess accommodated our request so we could have a pleasant conversation. The service was attentive.

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  32. Reviewer

    Washington DC

    7 reviews

    2.0

    7 reviews

    Dined on February 24, 2024

    1. Overall 2
    2. Food 3
    3. Service 1
    4. Ambience 2
    We love Ambar so were excited to try this location with a similar dining format and the same owners. Unfortunately, brunch was a disaster. When I arrived and tried to check in for my reservation, the very unfriendly host was adamant I didn’t have a reservation despite me showing him the confirmation on OpenTable. It turns out there was a mix up as my friend had arrived just a moment before me and checked in already, unbeknownst to me. However, there still should have been a record of the reservation for the host to let me know that someone had already checked in! Instead, he kept arguing with me and was unfriendly bordering on rude the whole time even though I was not being confrontational in any way and was just trying to figure out why they wouldn’t have a record of my reservation. I only figured out what happened when my friend texted me she was upstairs and seated already, so no thanks to him! We were at the restaurant for over 3 hours, and not because we were enjoying it! We did the unlimited brunch option, so the small plates should have been easy for the kitchen to churn out since that’s their typical format. Yet it took over an hour from the time we were seated until we received our first food. When our first dish arrived, it consisted of some tortilla chips, 2 small bowls of salsa, and the tiniest portion of guacamole I have ever seen (despite being marketed as a guac app).It was literally only enough for the three of us to have one small bite each. The food kept coming out incredibly slowly, some of the items we ordered never went through, and other wrong items came out. The food was mediocre, but the service was terrible. The server was nice but appeared to be the only one working (which is why we still gave him a good tip despite the very slow service!) and the multiple bussers barely came by with water. Super disappointing experience and we won’t be back. The price simply doesn’t match the value, and the experience was stressful rather than enjoyable!

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  33. zipzapzoodle

    Greater Boston

    1 review

    3.0

    1 review

    Dined on February 23, 2024

    1. Overall 3
    2. Food 3
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 3
    Decor's great. Food's good, but not outstanding. It's a tad bit loud for first dates.

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  34. OpenTable Diner

    Orlando

    6 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    6 reviews

    Dined on February 18, 2024

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 3
    4. Ambience 5
    Great food! We enjoyed the fajitas and guacamole. The margaritas were spectacular too.

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  35. Hbern

    Washington DC

    1 review

    3.0

    1 review

    Dined on February 18, 2024

    1. Overall 3
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 4
    4. Ambience 3
    We were a table of 5 that got seated in the upstairs in a small table for 4. I asked the waiter if we could move to a table downstairs to a table that had 6 because the table was too small and she said that one was reserved.. when I looked back at the table, it had TWO people sitting there.. so we could have sat there and that party could have sat where we were… also it was a million degrees in the area that we sat, like we were sweating.. other than that the food was goood

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  36. ArlingtonianGGGGGGGGGGGG

    Washington DC

    2 reviews

    2.0

    2 reviews

    Dined on February 17, 2024

    1. Overall 2
    2. Food 2
    3. Service 2
    4. Ambience 2
    Not great food, service, ambience. Would not go back.

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  37. AvanP

    Denver

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on February 17, 2024

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    My friends and I enjoyed the brunch special. The service was amazing, food amazing and the drinks were on point! We will definitely be back.

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  38. OpenTable Diner

    Washington DC

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on February 15, 2024

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    I had such an amazing experience. My fiancé and I went to experience the Valentine’s Day dinner. Unfortunately, we didn’t get the full experience because of some miscommunication; however, the staff was very accommodating and attentive! The food was amazing. Atmosphere was beautiful. Good music! Prices are reasonable! We are definitely looking to celebrate my birthday there in two weeks! Would def recommend 10/10

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  39. Daniel

    Washington DC

    1 review

    1.0

    1 review

    Dined on February 15, 2024

    1. Overall 1
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    About 25% of the plates we ordered didn't come out Still great time though

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  40. OpenTable Diner

    Washington DC

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on February 14, 2024

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    My girlfriend and I came here for Valentine’s Day. They decorated the entire restaurant and left little chocolate kisses on the table (how cute). Price was $60 per person for unlimited small plates and dessert. Unbeatable service with the kindest staff! The food was out of this world. The mussels are the best food I’ve ever had in my entire life. I’d pay for the recipe/chef’s time. We will be back!

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FAQs

Buena Vida - Arlington is rated 4 stars by 720 OpenTable diners.

Buena Vida - Arlington does offer gift cards which you can purchase here.

Yes, you can generally book this restaurant by choosing the date, time and party size on OpenTable.

Make a reservation

2 people

7:00 PM


Booked 47 times today
Google Map for Buena Vida - Arlington

2900 Wilson Blvd, Suite 1, Arlington, VA 22201

Dining areas

Additional information

  • Cross street
    Filmore Street
  • Neighborhood
    Arlington
  • Hours of operation
    Brunch Sat, Sun 10:00 am–3:00 pm Lunch Mon–Fri 12:00 pm–3:00 pm Dinner Mon–Thu, Sun 4:00 pm–10:00 pm Fri, Sat 4:00 pm–11:00 pm
  • Price
    $30 and under
  • Cuisines
    Mexican, Traditional Mexican, Latin American
  • Dining style
    Casual Dining
  • Dress code
    Casual Dress
  • Parking details
    Street parking or Public lot
  • Public transit
    Buena Vida is located at 2900 Wilson Blvd. Arlington, Virginia 22201, just two blocks from theClarendon metro accessible on the orange and silver lines. Parking is available in the ColonialParking Garage at 1303 North Filmore Street.
  • Payment options
    AMEX, Discover, Mastercard, Visa
  • Executive chef
    Ismael Lopez
  • Additional
    Banquet, Bar/Lounge, Beer, Cocktails, Dog Friendly, Entertainment, Full Bar, Gluten-free Options, Happy Hour, Late Night, Non-Smoking, Patio/Outdoor Dining, Patio/Outdoor Dining, Private Room, Vegan, View, Weekend Brunch, Wheelchair Access, Wine
Gift card

Gift card

Send gift cards instantly by email or print to present in person.

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