Kapnos Taverna Arlington

4.5
1259 reviews
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$31 to $50
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Greek
Mike Isabella’s Kapnos Taverna in Arlington serves classic and coastal-inspired Greek dishes, including favorites from the Greek Islands along with tastes from other regions known for their fine local products.
A sister restaurant to Isabella’s Kapnos, located on 14th Street in Washington, D.C., Kapnos Taverna Arlington features more traditional takes on the ancient cuisine alongside some of the biggest hits from his modern ode to mainland Greece. The restaurant’s liquid offerings feature a Greek-heavy wine list and Mediterranean-inspired cocktails by Mike Isabella Concepts beverage director, Taha Ismail.
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Private dining
Dining Style
Casual Dining
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Cuisines
Greek
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Hours of operation
Lunch
Mon-Fri 11:30am - 3pm

Brunch
Sat & Sun 11am - 3pm

Dinner
Sun-Mon 5pm-9pm
(bar open until 10pm)
Tue-Th 5pm - 10pm
(bar open until 11pm)
Fr-Sa 5pm - 11pm
(bar open until 12am)


Join us Monday - Friday for our Express Lunch!
Choose one gyro, one select side & a drink for $16

Happy Hour
Everyday from 3pm - 7pm in the bar area only.

All night Happy Hour at the bar on every Monday and Tuesday night!
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Phone number
(703) 243-4400
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Payment options
AMEX, Discover, MasterCard, Pay with OpenTable, Visa
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Dress code
Business Casual
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Executive chef
Mike Isabella, George Pagonis
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Catering
Whether you’re feeding a handful of coworkers at the office or a few hundred guests at a wedding reception, let our expert culinary team make it an event to remember. Bring a taste of Mike Isabella’s restaurants to your event. Our expansive catering menus offer an array of dining options in a number of cuisines, including Italian, Greek, Mexican and Contemporary American.

Visit http://mikeisabella.com/catering/
Contact us at events@mikeisabella.com.
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Neighborhood
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Cross street
Wilson & Quincy
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Parking details
In addition to street and metered parking, garage parking is available at 4075 Wilson Blvd, in Two Liberty Center across the street. Entrance is next to HSBC on Randolph St. $3 from 5pm-midnight during the week and all day on the weekends.
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Public transit
Ballston Metro/Virginia Square Metro.
Additional
Banquet, Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Beer, BYO Wine, Cocktails, Corkage Fee, Full Bar, Gluten-free Menu, Happy Hour, Outdoor dining, Weekend Brunch, Wheelchair Access, Wine

Private Dining

Kapnos Taverna Arlington offers private and semi-private dining along with multiple chef’s tasting menu options for you and your guests. Our small plate concept provides a taste of modern Greek cuisine for everyone in your party.
 We also offer full-restaurant buyouts. Please email for more info.

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What 1259 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.5based on recent ratings
4.4
food
4.3
service
4.3
ambience
4.0
value
Noise · Moderate
86% of people would recommend it to a friend
5
4
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TL
Washington DC
12 reviews
Dined a day ago
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 4

Wonderful food, excellent service.

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Washington DC
152 reviews
Dined 6 days ago
Overall 4food 5service 3ambience 4

We made a repeat visit to Kapnos Taverna for a birthday celebration. It was an opportunity to introduce some members of our party to the spectacular lamb shoulder. As always, this was excellent and represents a tremendous value.

It seemed that the impact from the Executive Chef's other business troubles have had little impact on Kapnos Taverna, although we did note a different technique for preparing the fried eggplant appetizer. The 'vibe' was quite subdued...very different than on previous visits.

Our server was extremely pleasant and clearly familiar with the restaurant and its offerings. However, several unexplained and curious things happened:
1. The lamb shoulder was not shown to us before final preparation, as is the norm.
2. The lamb shoulder was served BEFORE the appetizers...no coordination.
3. My spiked coffee was served lukewarm.

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OT
Washington DC
9 reviews
Dined on October 14, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 3

We came in after a soccer game around 8:00am on a Saturday night . We were early for a reservation and they had a seated right away. The problem was that once we ordered food it took quite a while to get it. The server explained that the kitchen was backed up. I wish he would explain that a little bit earlier instead of us having to try to wave him down. He kept peeking around the cashier station to see if we had our food yet. Apparently different people serve the food.
The food is a little over priced for the portions. It was tasty but the recommendation by the server to order 3 mezza servings was a little much since prices were between $12-18 each.
Three of us ordered the flank steak with cauliflower purée and chimichurri sauce. Tasty but very small portions.

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JM
1 review
Dined on October 12, 2018
Overall 1food 2service 2ambience 2

Far too much salt! I’m sure the ingredients were great but you couldn’t taste much. Some dishes were better than others, recommend the mussels but sadly the lamb was lukewarm and over cooked.

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KS
Washington DC
11 reviews
Dined on October 10, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 3

Wait staff was attentive and friendly and helpful. We were a group of 10 and not aware ahead of time that the menu was created for sharing but everyone seemed ok with that and we enjoyed trying some foods we personally did not order. The only negative was the noise level was so high and our table was a rectangle so we were not able to converse with those at the other end of the table and it was a bit challenging to hear those across from you. Parties of 2-6 would be advised for a group dinner. The food was so flavorful and well presented. Would definitely return!

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K
Chicago
5 reviews
Dined on October 6, 2018
Overall 2food 1service 5ambience 3

The food (lamb) was tasteless, that's not a Greek cooked lamb

The tzatziki was watery

This is far from been a Greek restaurant

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OT
Washington DC
3 reviews
Dined on October 6, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Kapnos Taverna was amazing! We were here celebrating my friend’s birthday and they gave us the best service plus free dessert and shots. They made this such a special occasion!

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B
Washington DC
8 reviews
Dined on September 22, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The all you can eat brunch is everything. The food is high quality, and with a staff that knows how to pace the dishes and recommend combos, my friends and I had an excellent dining experience.

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OT
Washington DC
7 reviews
Dined on September 15, 2018
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 4

Brussels sprouts, lamb chops, dolmades, eggplants spread, were my favorite out of what we ordered. Different and delicious!

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KN
Washington DC
19 reviews
Dined on September 15, 2018
Overall 3food 3service 3ambience 3

So - so. The food was good. Everyone enjoyed what we ordered. Service was haphazard, and confused, with at least three different servers "sort of" attending to our table of 4. The open kitchen and bar format, and the stylish hard industrial surfaces, together assure an energetic and noisy venue. Don't try to have a quiet conversation. But this is really only a matter of preference, and some diners obviously enjoyed the vibe. Server(s) didn't offer to refill waters, or even to offer additional drinks. We wanted to buy a bottle of wine, but after asking for a wine list. were ignored. (Perhaps we didn't fit the desired demographic?) Food arrived at random times, as promised, and was dropped off by servers as they passed by, assuring that they wouldn't have to interact with diners. Or take another order. Overall, Kapnos seems highly overrated. Glad we went, but none of us are interested in returning.

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OT
1 review
Dined on September 11, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Excellent pork gyro and salads!

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D
Washington DC
44 reviews
Dined on September 4, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We really enjoyed our meal. It was our first time at the restaurant and really appreciate our waiter’s recommendations and help with our order. Thank you.

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JS
Washington DC
25 reviews
Dined on September 4, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 4

Always great food and Yovan is an amazing server. We finally had the seafood platter. Also some always favorites : watermelon salad and lamb.

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D
Washington DC
11 reviews
Dined on September 1, 2018
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 3

Excellent cuisine, ambiance and service; that's all folks

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MG
1 review
Dined on September 1, 2018
Overall 1food 2service 1ambience 1

Honestly, I usually never leave reviews of restaurants, but in this case I felt compelled to do so. I had previously enjoyed Kapnos and wanted to show my friends a restaurant I hadn't been to in a while, but one that I really liked. Unfortunately, it was a pretty awful experience. The service was just terrible. The waiter would literally walk away while we were speaking to them and we had to ask multiple times just to put in our orders. We were their for the end of happy hour and the waiter tried to avoid us to stop us from ordering from the happy hour menu. The food itself was ok, but honestly nothing special. I would recommend anyone looking for good greek food with good service go somewhere else than this restaurant. It was disappointing and has really gone downhill over time. Its very sad for me to see a restaurant I used to enjoy diminished in such a striking way.

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JR
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on August 30, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Met a friend there for lunch...we had a lot of catching up to do. The waiter was very gracious about not rushing us to make our order or pay our bill. Food was delicious! Would recommend the Heirloom Beets and Israeli couscous with falafel salad bowl.

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AN
Washington DC
3 reviews
Dined on August 28, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

Came for happy hour prior to going to the movies. Happy hour menu was great. Gyro was AWESOME. Would come again.

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LI
Washington DC
8 reviews
Dined on August 27, 2018
Overall 4food 5service 2ambience 3

Food was excellent. Beautiful presentation and creative use of fresh ingredients. Shared 6 small plates among 3 ppl and it was the perfect amount of food. Service was ok, but not particularly attentive. Had to ask twice for new utensils when the original set were removed after the first round of dishes.

My gripe is we were overcharged on the bottle of wine we ordered. I noticed the mistake after they ran our credit cards. After a bit of arguing and a 15 min delay, the waiter returned with the original charge slips, which we destroyed and new ones which we signed. However they never voided the original charge out of the system and the overcharged version is now on my statement. I will have to dispute it via the bank. Not a good way to end what was a fairly nice evening.

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EH
Washington DC
2 reviews
Dined on August 26, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 3

I went here for my birthday and had a wonderful time. They were still featuring their restaurant week menu and was able to try many things for a reasonable price. Their cocktails are excellent and very unique. I would come here again.

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BI
Philadelphia
1 review
Dined on August 25, 2018
Overall 3food 2service 3ambience 4

I have had a great lunch here in the past so recommended it to my wife. My wife and I both took the $35 prix fixe dinner menu. Servers were friendly and the manager came by to speak French to my wife, which was appreciated. Food was decent but not transcendant. Best were the crispy fried eggplant and the vegetarian noodles, which reminded us of handmade German knoedels--al dente and fresh. The chocolate cake served at the end was stale cardboard, and what was apparently a ball of whipped cream was hard and sour--could've bounced it off the floor. Was it supposed to be sour cream?! It seemed like it had been in the fridge a few days. The baklava was a little better but definitely not freshly baked. We hope you don't have to select the more upscale prix fixe to get fresh food!

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MD
Washington DC
6 reviews
Dined on August 25, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Super. Third time around. Love this place.

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p
Las Vegas
2 reviews
Dined on August 19, 2018
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 5

Birthday celebration was great !!!

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CC
Washington DC
6 reviews
Dined on August 18, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 4

It was during Restaurant Week so we ordered off the special menu. Grape leaves, beet salad, cauliflower were outstanding. Lamb was plentiful but too salty and fatty. Our server was attentive and knowledgeable.
One negative was that it was really noisy and hard to hear one another.

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MT
1 review
Dined on August 17, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

It is good to go to Kapnos with three or more people so you can get a good variety of small plates. Two plates a person is fine, although depending on how hungry you are you might have to carry something home. I've been going to Kapnos since they opened and continue to like it, but would like to see them change up their menu a little more frequently for variety's sake.

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FF
Washington DC
5 reviews
Dined on August 16, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 3ambience 4

Service was good. We had asked for a to go box for our lamb, which the water took the lamb away to box and it never came back.

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KE
Washington DC
3 reviews
Dined on August 15, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 4

I went here for restuarant week, and i enjoyed it. Part of hte reason was that our waiters was very pleasant, and even gave us the hummus appetizer on the house. The hummus actually ended up being very tasty, the dolmas were probably the highlight for me. Authentic dolmas, homemade and not canned with a tangy zingy flavor. It's good! We also ordered the spit roast lamb with the quinoa side salad. Also tasty and has a strong lamb flavor. The only reason I gave it four stars was because of dessert; the chocolate cake with ice cream and the baklava were nothing spectacular, very regular.

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KA
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on August 14, 2018
Overall 4food 3service 4ambience 4

Our expectations for dinner at Kapnos may have been too high. We had a perfectly fine meal with great service, but the experience didn't wow us. The waiter did a great job picking a wine for us that went well with our lamb. Otherwise, it gets a "meh" review.

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PK
Washington DC
4 reviews
Dined on August 13, 2018
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 5

I’ve been many times before, quality is still great and the menu favorites continue to impress.

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GD
Washington DC
6 reviews
Dined on August 12, 2018
Overall 2food 1service 1ambience 2

Service was terrible. Went for a late Saturday brunch at 2:30 pm with a friend. We ordered the $35 all you can eat brunch and the waitress only brought half the food that we ordered. We each had two or three of the nearly eight small plates we ordered. The food we did receive was very underwhelming. Probably won't be returning or recommending to anyone. And mimosas were basically just orange juice.

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KJ
Washington DC
5 reviews
Dined on August 12, 2018
Overall 2food 1service 1ambience 4

I've been to Kapnos before and LOVED it. This experience was vastly different. Our service was awful - for example, I had to ask three times for coffee alone. Granted, they may or may not have been short staffed, so I'll give a little break there. What I have a hard time with is that all of the food we ordered was overcooked, some even burned and when we told our server, there was no attempt to try and get a new dish. The comment was simply taken and our server left. I was really upset to have paid as much as we did and not really taken advantage of the full brunch options because the food was consistently bad. I'll give this place one more chance because our first time there was so good, but I'm hesitant.

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m
1 review
Dined on August 11, 2018
Overall 4food 5service 3ambience 3

Great food, casual atmosphere. I would recommend it to anyone looking for an imaginative and healthy meal.

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OT
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on August 11, 2018
Overall 3food 4service 3ambience 4

Overall really was a good meal. However we ordered way too much food, to the point where the waiter really should have said something. Instead he encouraged us to run up the bill. (Note: I’m not talking about just another app, but the “for the table” portions.) by the time the whole lamb shoulder came out, everyone looked at it with dread.

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c
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on August 11, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Really good food, a little pricey

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D
Washington DC
14 reviews
Dined on August 10, 2018
Overall 2food 2service 2ambience 2

We’ve eaten here many times and loved it. More recently the food has seemed more Americanized with much larger portions and less Mediterranean than in recent memory. We ordered the pulled pork and regretted it as we could not eat it. It was very fatty and swimming on a bed of salad and dressing. When we told the waiter he told us to ask for him next time and he would give us a free dessert. I doubt there will be a next time. The quality of the food has gone down and I would expect our waiter to try to make amends while we are there instead of “the next time.”

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OT
Washington DC
2 reviews
Dined on August 5, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The food was fantastic! Speaking as a pescatarian, lots of options and absolutely delicious. Special shout out to our sever, Olecia, for her attentiveness & suggestions!

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FK
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on August 1, 2018
Overall 1food 1service 3ambience 4

Food was inedible, wine was corked, plates never cleared. This place is done, unfortunately. It was one of my favorites for years.

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c
Washington DC
55 reviews
Dined on August 1, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

This is one of 3 Mike Isabella's restaurants in the building next to the Ballston Mall currently under reconstruction. They share a kitchen, but the food is different. Be aware that there is no dedicated parking, so you need to be strategic in finding a spot.

The waiter advised us that most people order 2 items from the menu, since these are "mezze"--the Mediterranean equivalent of tapas. We started with a shared Melitzanosalat--smoky eggplant, roasted peppers, walnuts, and feta spread eaten with a soft flatbread--really tasty. We also shared fried zucchini patties, grilled octopus, 2 lamb chops, and spit-roasted lamb. Until the lamb, everything was great. I like my lamb rare and juicy and the two entrees were anything but. Although you can't get rare spit-roasted lamb, a lot of the meat was dry and tough. The chops were ok, but nothing special and we weren't asked how we wanted them cooked.

If we go again, I would probably stick with the mezze which were excellent and wine.

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LP
1 review
Dined on July 29, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Met my friend for brunch, first-time visit. Had to park in a garage, no street available. The food was fantastic, but the $35 all-you-can-eat option is the most economical. For example, the spit chicken and waffles gives you 1/4 waffle triangle and one chicken part (wing, thigh, or leg) on a coffee saucer sized plate for $15. Mimosas are $9 and it does not include the raw bar. However, the all you can eat serves mimosas for $0.25 ea. and the raw bar is included. Value would have been 5 stars if a la carte prices were lower. Our total for greek coffees, several mimosa refills, and 8 servings came to $85 whereas it would have been over $130 had we chosen a la carte. The service and food were excellent, easy to see how they earned a top rating for D.C. brunch.

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D
Washington DC
81 reviews
Dined on July 23, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Excellent foods! The seafood linguine was perfect. The salmon was super tasty!

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C
Washington DC
5 reviews
Dined on July 22, 2018
Overall 4food 3service 4ambience 3

The octopus entree was delicious as were the taramasalata and the eggplant dip. The crispy eggplant was not crispy and was a small portion.

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