Jaleo Crystal City

4.7
3169 reviews
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$30 and under
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Spanish
Jaleo brings alive the spirit and flavors of Spain with a menu reflecting the rich regional diversity of classical and contemporary Spanish cuisine, under the direction of renowned chef José Andrés. Jaleo offers an impressive assortment of tapas, the traditional small dishes of Spain, as well as savory paellas, superb sangrias and a fine selection of Spanish wines and Sherries in a festive, casual atmosphere.

Jaleo Crystal City is the proud home to the only all-Spanish wine shop in the DC-area. Stop in to grab a bottle for your next dinner party or for your meal at Jaleo. Our servers and managers are available and ready to help you select something perfect from our unique collection.
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What 3169 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.7based on recent ratings
4.6
food
4.6
service
4.4
ambience
4.2
value
Noise · Moderate
96% of people would recommend it to a friend
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l
1 review
Dined 3 days ago
Overall 4food 4service 3ambience 2

I would have given five stars across the board except: we were sat in the middle of the dining room which I hate. There were plenty of empty tables along the perimeter when we arrived for our 530 res. Yes we had kids with us but still! The wait staff kept bumping into my chair.
We bought the tasting menu. The food was excellent except for the hair that I found in one of the courses which was sent back. Drinks were slow to come out. I actually sat without anything to drink for a good while.

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AC
Washington DC
1 review
Dined 5 days ago
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 4

Birthday dinner; it was exceptional. It seemed like every person working there know it was a special occasion. So thankful for the hospitality!

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

Seated on time. William was an excellent waiter. White Sangria was special. Outstanding choices on menu. Great food for good price!

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J
Atlanta
8 reviews
Dined 7 days ago
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 5

Wonderful food and excellent service

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

Food always delicious. Service was also terrific.

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BF
Washington DC
10 reviews
Dined on March 9, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Pre-Theater at Synetic. Worked great.

Why no points?

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JD
Washington DC
20 reviews
Dined on March 9, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Everything we tried was delicious , it was crowded but Sat night you would expect that. The service was outstanding.

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C
Washington DC
18 reviews
Dined on March 7, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Loved our experience! Great service. Great food. Great value in the lunch special menu.

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EB
Washington DC
2 reviews
Dined on March 6, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We did the chef's testing menu and it was excellent - small bites of everything, but SO MANY came out, we actually couldn't fully finish the final ones. Everything was so unique and different - we wanted an adventurous experience and got one. Our waitress was so friendly and attentive, and chatted with us about each dish and why she brought out the final dessert we had (a palate cleanser). We were seated quickly, the restaurant was full but not too loud, and both of us thoroughly enjoyed the entire experience.

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CI
Washington DC
7 reviews
Dined on March 6, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 3

Delicious and innovative food. Fine for sharing. Attentive service and management.
The only drawback -- too noisy, and it's necessary to speak with raised voices.

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m
Washington DC
2 reviews
Dined on March 6, 2019
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 5

Jaleo is one of my fave restaurants although I hadn’t been there for a while. The food was even better than I remembered. Two of my favorites - spinach with pine nuts & the shrimp & garlic were fabulous. But the real show stopper was the Rohan duckling. I am super picky about duck and this was absolutely amazing!!! Cooked to perfection, nice medium rare, very tender and flavorful. The mushrroms provided a delicious earthy complement to the duck flavor. Yum!!! My one and only complaint is the bread: very disappointing. Kind of dry and bland. Service was excellent as always!!! Thank you for a wonderful experience!!

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OT
1 review
Dined on March 3, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Love this place. Something for everyone. Vegan, gluten free so easy for business meal.
Gin & tonic oysters and apple fennel salad are must try’s.

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t
1 review
Dined on March 2, 2019
Overall 4food 3service 4ambience 4

The flavors were milder than expected, for Spanish cuisine. Most of the dishes we tried were bland and underwhelming.

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OT
Baltimore
2 reviews
Dined on March 2, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Service and food was wonderful!!!

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AN
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on March 2, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 5

Thank you for making a birthday dinner special

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DC
New York Area
4 reviews
Dined on March 2, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Love the food. Tried the liquid olives. A must do. The service was excellent too!

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R
Charleston
49 reviews
Dined on March 2, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Excellent service and food! Would certainly go back again if wanting Spanish tapas !

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TH
Baltimore
4 reviews
Dined on March 2, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 5

The food was amazing—you have to try the liquid olives a la Ferran Adrià! Service was attentive, almost to a fault—sometimes our plates got pulled off the table before I could squeegee the delicious sauces off the plate. Would definitely return, but a bit pricy. Am sure the high rent district has something to do with the prices.

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G
Washington DC
35 reviews
Dined on March 2, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 3

Choices of plates was almost overwhelming. All were excellent. Service was very attentive. Excellent non-alcoholic drink - lemonade and quince juice. Totally enjoyed the meal.

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ST
Washington DC
2 reviews
Dined on March 2, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 3

A tried and true standby, but the menu is beginning to feel a little tired. Everything we ordered was excellent, as usual, but I don't see much new to tempt me.

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OT
Raleigh
2 reviews
Dined on March 1, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

The food was phenomenal, as always. Jaleo is a go to for us when we want fun and delicious food and have friends in town. Love Jose Andres!!

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c
New York Area
8 reviews
Dined on February 28, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The food is fabulous and the attention is superb, the only annoying thing is the noise, it feels good to be in a crowded place that everybody enjoys but talking across a table of 6 becomes a challenge

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SS
Washington DC
2 reviews
Dined on February 27, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 4

It was crowded when we arrived and service was initially a bit slow -- tapas arriving before drinks, ten minute wait to order cocktails -- but as the evening went on it improved.

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VW
Denver
2 reviews
Dined on February 27, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Cannot wait to go back! Everything was delicious. The small plates make it easy to try lots of different things.

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DD
Washington DC
19 reviews
Dined on February 27, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 2ambience 5

Food was great, but I was hoping to only spend an hour for lunch at Jaleo. They don't seem to be able to handle lunch rushes very well.

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C
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on February 24, 2019
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 5

Always friendly service and spot-on wine recommendations. I'm thinking of going back just to pick up a couple bottles of wine. The gambas this time around were not as garlicky or acidic, they were still good, but not up to the usual.

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OT
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on February 24, 2019
Overall 3food 5service 4ambience 4

Food was delicious, but they advertise cava or mimosa comes with tasting experience, however the waitress said that’s only for DC, so we left disappointed it’s on Arlington’s menu and they don’t endorse the offer.

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JA
Cincinnati
19 reviews
Dined on February 21, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 3

Had large business dinner here.
Awesome food and service.

Wish they had a room to separate a dozen people away from the noise of the restaurant .

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LF
Washington DC
18 reviews
Dined on February 19, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

They put us away from the door so we wouldn't be cold, and it was quieter back there, which was great. I like that there are a lot of options I can have despite keeping Kosher style and so not eating pork or shellfish. And the new chocolate hazelnut mousse dessert cake is a real treat.

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CF
Denver
10 reviews
Dined on February 17, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 4

The restaurant is perfectly agreeable; the food good, the service also good. The problem is that you inevitably compare it to the original and it's just not quite there. Some of the dishes were very good; others just ok. In short if you're in Crystal City and want some decent tapas, go. If you want to understand why Jaleo has been the best tapas restaurant in DC for decades' go downtown.

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CB
Washington DC
3 reviews
Dined on February 17, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

I have dined at Jaleo’s for many years and the food and service has always been excellent, and this was no exception.

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KA
Washington DC
5 reviews
Dined on February 17, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

A perfect Sunday tapas brunch. Attentive (but not hovering) staff, wonderful options, and a comfortable setting. And free street parking on Sundays!

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HV
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on February 17, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

I generally keep my expectations low when I go to a place that has an established reputation of excellence because so many of them simply don't measure up to the hype. Jaleo does measure up - it's one of few, if not only, places in DC to surpass its reputation. The food was carefully prepared, not overly fussy, and simply spectacular. The gazpacho with beets was amazing. It was quiet enough to have a conversation without shouting, and waiter was attentive w/o being a pest.

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WM
New England
19 reviews
Dined on February 16, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

As noted in my previous review, this was our second night in a row at Jaleo, this time accompanied by a friend. We had a wonderful time. Fortunately, we were seated in the back corner of the restaurant, so that in spite of the generally loud ambience we could easily converse. The tapas continued to be good and the service attentive without being overwhelming.

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PL
1 review
Dined on February 16, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 3

Jaleo crystal city was great. I had a party that was extremely late, they were very patient with us. The food was amazing. Again, tapas are small so we ordered each 3 plates. Their experience option was $45 a person, however everyone must be present to order it. We went for brunch and the food and service was great. The location is visually appealing, but for some reason the temperature inside was cold. The bathroom were reasonably clean, however there is room for improvement. Overall a great experience. P.S they had a well stocked bar with many options.

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OT
Washington DC
19 reviews
Dined on February 15, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We've been to Jaleo several times, and always enjoy it, but we'd never tried one of the tasting menus. When we asked our server about it, she highly recommended it, and we are so glad she did! We had the five course tasting. The best part was there were items that we probably never would have ordered on our own, but having tried them, will order again! Too many items to mention; a wonderful combination of tastes and textures; each dish was identified and explained when it was presented. The pace of the meal was just right--our server advised us "it's a lot of food"--but when served as it was, we were able to eat without feeling rushed, and ended up feeling just full, not stuffed. Service was attentive but not intrusive. We also noted there was a family of four next to us; the parents were taking their kids (teenagers, maybe pre-teen) to a tapas restaurant for the first time. Their server was very welcoming and enthusiastic, really encouraging them to enjoy the experience. And at the end of the meal, when we thanked our server for her recommendation and service, (I regret I do not recall her name) she seemed genuinely pleased that we enjoyed it, and talked a little about how much she enjoys working at Jaleo. It showed!

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WM
New England
20 reviews
Dined on February 15, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Knowing that we were going to be in Crystal City just after Valentine's Day, we delayed our date night so we could celebrate at Jaleo. We were not disappointed. The food was excellent, and we particularly enjoyed the flauta de jamón ibérico de bellota and escalivada catalana, although the four other tapas were just as good. The honey drizzled over berenjenas a la malagueña con miel was a wonderful contrast to the crispy eggplant. For dessert we had the basque cake and three cheeses. The cake was perfect, but apparently our server had a lower threshold for "stinky" cow cheese than we do. We would have liked something a bit more forward. We did have a repeat of a wine issue from a previous visit, where the bottle that came out was not the vintage in the wine list - this time it was a three-year difference. We sent it back and made a different choice. Nevertheless, when a friend wanted to join us for dinner the next night and suggested Jaleo, we didn't hesitate to return. Great thing about that menu - plenty to choose from, although we couldn't resist ordering the escalivada catalana again.

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OT
Washington DC
4 reviews
Dined on February 14, 2019
Overall 3food 4service 2ambience 4

Really poor bar service, took about 20 min (unfortunately not exaggerating) to get two dirty martinis. Our server was really nice and attentive, but we felt like everything was just very overpriced for what it was. The food tasted good, but for the amount/portion size/quality, I’d rather go to a more upscale restaurant.

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OT
New York Area
3 reviews
Dined on February 14, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great service and delicious food. We had the tasting menu and got to savor many of their dishes. Great value.

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A
Minneapolis
7 reviews
Dined on February 13, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Loved it! Food was delicious and service warm and very helpful

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