Buena Vida - Arlington

4.2
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250 Reviews
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$30 and under
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Mexican
At Buena Vida the cuisine featured is traditional, indigenous fare incorporating recipes that have been handed down through generations. One will have an authentic experience, tasting a Mexican cooking that transcends what one expects from most Mexican restaurants in America. For example, there is no flour used in any savory dish as seeds are ground and incorporated, as is the tradition for authentic cuisine from this country. The restaurant takes pride in using fresh, seasonal ingredients as well as sustainable and socially responsible cooking methods. All items are made from scratch including organic corn tortillas, house-made sauces and made-to-order salsas.

Support Buena Vida - Arlington during COVID-19

Complimentary specials

Complementary Sparkling from us

Every reservation made from 5 pm to 6pm every day in the week- will be offered sparkling on the house. Be our guest! Start Fiesta right way!

What 250 people are saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.2based on recent ratings
4.2
food
4.1
service
4.4
ambience
3.9
value
Noise · Moderate
82% of people would recommend it to a friend
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JC
JustineC
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on March 8, 2020
Overall1food1service1ambience4

I was disappointed with both the food and the service. We waited a long time for our food and often times items were missing! They kept forgetting little things like napkins and coffee which btw they charge for which is outrageous! Coffee should be included in the 35 dollar brunch cost! Not going back.

TH
THalyard
Washington DC
2 reviews
Dined on March 8, 2020
Overall3food3service4ambience5

Best part about this brunch was the drinks and the atmosphere. Decor is beautiful and definitely has a hip vibe. Our issue was with the food. Everything was pretty bland and left a lot to be desired. I think they need to pair down the brunch menu to fewer well-made dishes. I gave it a good overall rating for the service, drinks and vibe.

OT
OpenTable Diner
Richmond
1 review
Dined on March 7, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great experience! Food came very quick

CN
CaitN
Washington DC
6 reviews
Dined on March 1, 2020
Overall3food4service2ambience4

Went for a brunch all you can eat during peak hour. This place is super busy during brunch and super loud. Some of tapas were good and some were so-so. Also, they took forever to get our foods.. and people next to us were also complaining about their food not coming out on time. I wouldn’t go back because it is just too chaotic..

DM
vipDeeM
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on March 1, 2020
Overall5food5service4ambience4

Went there for brunch and had some of the drink specials too. Our favorites were the Chicken empanada and Serrano ham Benedict and the spicy cucumber cilantro drink. They were all delicious!

M
vipMeem
Washington DC
59 reviews
Dined on February 29, 2020
Overall4food4service4ambience3

Love the food and the small plates fixed price menu. Noise level is ridiculous, made tolerable by late dining.

S
vipSusan
Washington DC
33 reviews
Dined on February 28, 2020
Overall4food4service4ambience3

Buena Vida is an energetic restaurant with an overwhelming menu -- $35 for all you can eat tapas, which was too much. We managed to get the a la carte menu and order reasonable quantities of food. What we had was good, including brussel sprout quesadillas. The restaurant is large and loud.

CJ
vipCJBoy
Washington DC
18 reviews
Dined on February 23, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

This was a great place to dine. We came for brunch and I was most impressed with the interactions of the wait staff, host, and manager throughout our experience. They constantly checked in to make sure we needed anything, made excellent suggestions about the menu, and thought ahead in asking about food allergies. I also appreciated how we were originally seated near a window, but the staff had a request from an older couple dining that afternoon that wanted the table instead and how apologetic yet understanding they were in seating us elsewhere. In most circumstances a diner might be agitated and want to push back, but we were more than willing to accommodate upon the host communicating the issue with us. Great drinks and filling tapas, I definitely look forward to returning soon.

KL
KatieL
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on February 22, 2020
Overall2food5service2ambience3

The food was really delicious but service TERRIBLE!!! Took 30 minutes to get our margaritas after we ordered. Multiple orders were messed up. The server clearly forgot to put in orders. I really did love the food but I don’t think I’ll come back here bc of the service. I just wanted a margarita and relaxing dinner for my birthday but it was kind of ruined!

G
Gloria
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on February 22, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

This is my third time coming back to Buena Vida and it's been a great experience!

DT
vipDilgeT
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on February 21, 2020
Overall4food4service5ambience4

Food is great, we really liked the limitless tasting menu, the only downside of this place is the margaritas being expensive compared to other Mexican restaurants.

A
vipAdams
Indiana
9 reviews
Dined on February 17, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Amazing brunch! Loved this place!

LM
LindseyM
Orange County
2 reviews
Dined on February 16, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The perfect brunch! I went here with a couple of my friends and had the unlimited brunch and it was everything that I had hoped for. Every plate that came out was delicious and the drinks were great too. Do not sleep on the yogurt parfit. IT IS AMAZING.

OT
OpenTable Diner
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on February 16, 2020
Overall4food5service3ambience5

Food and drink were amazing. Service started out great, but after awhile we got the hint that she wanted us gone, because she became totally scarce or avoided us altogether.

OT
vipOpenTable Diner
Washington DC
25 reviews
Dined on February 15, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Celebrated my birthday here and had a great time! They really took care of us!

OT
OpenTable Diner
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on February 15, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

I loved that there were plenty of options for vegetarians. We had fantastic service.

OT
OpenTable Diner
1 review
Dined on February 14, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great staff, great food. I’d definitely recommend dining there.

g
vipgolflgcc
Washington DC
17 reviews
Dined on February 11, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Food and service was unbelievable, people, you need to try this place.

OT
OpenTable Diner
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on February 9, 2020
Overall4food5service2ambience5

Wait or forgot our orders multiple times

TM
vipTMonster
Washington DC
12 reviews
Dined on February 8, 2020
Overall5food4service5ambience5

We did the $35 endless small plates option and would highly recommend. Lots of very delicious bites and a few weird ones. The lamb barbacoa, chorizo croquettes, and chicken empanada were universal hits. Only one of our party of 6 liked the mushrooms in BBQ sauce... But when it's endless, nothing feels like a terrible waste :-) Great, friendly, and well-paced service. We'll be back!

OT
OpenTable Diner
1 review
Dined on February 1, 2020
Overall2food4service1ambience4

Overall everything was great but the service was not. Sadly we could never find our waitress. The food was delicious though. Definitely will go again but will ask for a different waitress.

ML
vipMargaretL
Washington DC
15 reviews
Dined on February 1, 2020
Overall5food4service4ambience4

Love the ambar-style approach to the dinner menu. Hits: guacamoles, ceviches, vegetable burritos, grilled salmon, branzino and Shrimp. So-so -- eggplant, lamb barbacoa.

BB
BirthdayBrunch
Washington DC
3 reviews
Dined on February 1, 2020
Overall5food4service5ambience4

Great experience! We had been at this location when it was a different restaurant. We weren’t big fans of the last restaurant so we were a little concerned that it might be the same owners. Turns out there was no reason to be concerned, it was a wonderful experience. Good food, great service.

EA
EatAndRun
New York Area
28 reviews
Dined on January 26, 2020
Overall5food5service4ambience4

An outstanding array of small plates that can be shared (or in our case hoarded). Plenty of options for vegetarians, pescatarians, and carnetarians. Authentic renderings of classic dishes and innovative additions, as well. Good service overall.

J
vipJanine
Washington DC
34 reviews
Dined on January 26, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

What an excellent choice for brunch. Food was fantastic, inventive and flavorful. Dishes were small enough you could try many different options and go back to what you liked the best (which I personally love at unlimited tapas restaurants). Service was good, friendly and did not rush as we ate ourselves into oblivion. Drinks were fantastic. Can't wait to return!

A
Azza
1 review
Dined on January 24, 2020
Overall4food5service5ambience4

We had the $35 restaurant week menu. I really enjoyed the food and the selection of dishes. Will dine her again soon!!!

SM
vipSkierMomArlington
Washington DC
53 reviews
Dined on January 16, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

LOVED the variety - and the $35 unlimited small plates during restaurant week! We are fans of their sister restaurant across the street - Ambar - and have confirmed they are doing just a brilliant a job at Buena Vida!

KD
KristinaD
New England
7 reviews
Dined on January 15, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Wonderful staff, food was fantastic, tapas style plates, enjoyed visiting with family
Will be back, keep up the good work.

CC
CarrieC
Washington DC
6 reviews
Dined on January 12, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Awesome Brunch! Great food and service.

OT
OpenTable Diner
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on January 11, 2020
Overall4food4service3ambience4

. We had a 8 pm reservation but we’re not seated until 8:37

Not acceptable. John Hackett

Ps

We arrived 10 minutes early as well

l
laurenk
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on January 1, 2020
Overall2food4service1ambience5

Employees were very accommodating and friendly and helpful. Delicious food, great atmosphere. Slow bar, slow kitchen.

SV
SavaV
1 review
Dined on December 31, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Spent new years at Buena Vida.
The ambiance was great the general look and feel of the place is very pleasing.
Food was really good, very edgy with the taste combinations and traditional mexican cuisine.
Service was the best part, really friendly folks, Dusan our server for the second time was great, and all the folks there are very patient and friendly which is a win win combination.

OT
OpenTable Diner
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on December 31, 2019
Overall1food2service3ambience4

Great location and nice venue. Low value. Food overpriced.

KD
KevinD
Washington DC
2 reviews
Dined on December 31, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Outstanding service, very attentive wait people, food delicious and overall experience was excellent. Will definitely recommend to others and expect to visit again in the near term. Great New Year Eve menu as well for ringing in 2020.

BD
vipBobDiane
Washington DC
37 reviews
Dined on December 30, 2019
Overall4food5service5ambience4

Another great celebration at Buena Vida. Great food, great cocktails and friendly service. Such a treat!

OT
OpenTable Diner
1 review
Dined on December 29, 2019
Overall3food5service5ambience5

Waiter was accommodating and very pleasant. Food came out very slow once tables started getting filled, despite the restaurant not being full. Would go back for bottomless brunch,but slightly earlier so that we wouldn’t have to wait so long for food and drinks

AE
vipAaronE
Washington DC
9 reviews
Dined on December 28, 2019
Overall4food4service4ambience4

Food is good but pricey, the $35 all you can eat tapas is a nice experience but you best be hungry if you want to get value for your dollar. The wife and I spent $100 there for two drinks and the food and it didn’t quite feel like it was a nice enough place to spend that kind of money.

OT
OpenTable Diner
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on December 25, 2019
Overall3food2service3ambience4

The food could be better. Great ambiance, but generally I wished more from the flavor of the food.

C
vipCrackers
Washington DC
33 reviews
Dined on December 25, 2019
Overall3food3service4ambience3

The portions were large and the prices were high, so we wasted a lot of expensive food. The food was okay. We just didn't love it. We think the chef must really like pepper and we don't. Spaghetti and meatballs were fine -- lots of garlic, the steak was fine but the fries were crispy all the way through, the kale and quinoa salad was very filling so I couldn't eat much of it, the snapper was good but I left most of the other things on the plate, and the pork chop was pretty good. Dessert was the best part: we enjoyed the bread pudding and warm chocolate cake. The atmosphere is very casual and service was attentive.

CD
CDKL
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on December 25, 2019
Overall4food4service4ambience5

most dishes needed salt, $35 all you can eat is best value

FAQs

Buena Vida - Arlington does offer delivery in partnership with Postmates.

Buena Vida - Arlington is rated 4.2 stars by 250 OpenTable diners.

Buena Vida - Arlington does offer gift cards which you can purchase here https://www.giftrocker.com/secure/Order/?h=b375e77f.

You can book this restaurant by choosing the date, time and party size.