Rustico - Ballston

4.3
1099 Reviews
$30 and under
American
Rustico is the quintessential neighborhood pub in the heart of Ballston in Arlington, Virginia. The menu features seasonal, hearty American fare from a wood-fired oven and grill, including pizzas and rotisserie meats, along with other rustic cuisine using the freshest local ingredients available. There"s also no mistaking Rustico's love for barley & hops! The bar's focal point is a custom galvanized bar with 40 brilliant taps book-ended by two massive coolers holding more than 400 different types of ales, lagers, ciders and stouts.
What 1099 people are saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.3based on recent ratings
4.5
food
4.1
service
4.4
ambience
4.1
value
Noise · Quiet
71% of people would recommend it to a friend
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GW
GraceW
1 review
Dined 18 hours ago
Overall3food4service1ambience4

What a strange experience. Not a lot of device- everything done by app; couldn’t ask about serving sizes, taste, wine. The food was good, but maybe I’m just too old to go to a restaurant without waiters. It was weird

OT
OpenTable Diner
1 review
Dined 18 hours ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Amazing service and food

OT
OpenTable Diner
1 review
Dined 18 hours ago
Overall1food1service1ambience2

They only accept orders online, you don’t get a server. They also don’t have any mixed drinks.

LM
LaMarseillaise
Washington DC
12 reviews
Dined 7 days ago
Overall3food3service3ambience3

Tasty pizza, but very strange to order everything on your phone rather that interact with a real waiter. Outside space is very pleasant; inside the restaurant was too loud to have a conversation.

g
ggreene
Washington DC
12 reviews
Dined on May 6, 2021
Overall5food5service4ambience4

Always good food, attentive service, friendly ambiance. A lot of appealing eateries in the neighborhood, but this ends up being the favorite for family get-togethers.

JM
vipJenM
Washington DC
2 reviews
Dined on April 27, 2021
Overall5food5service4ambience5

They did their homework when it comes to pandemic preparedness- spaced outdoor seating, contactless ordering, great food and customer service.

P
Pampers
Denver
7 reviews
Dined on April 25, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The food was amazing! It was our first time to Rustico and we loved it. The ordering on the app was super easy and the staff were super helpful and attentive (when requested on app - Covid safety). Spacing was great. Wonderful outdoor space as well.

RB
RobinB
Washington DC
3 reviews
Dined on April 10, 2021
Overall3food4service1ambience4

Ordering through the website was very inconvenient. Hopefully this is temporary and they will eventually be able to hire servers. Orders were lost so simple entrees were delayed by 30 min. Expectation to tip normally is unreasonable.

DC
DebC
Washington DC
5 reviews
Dined on April 3, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

There is plenty of outdoor dining space with a nice atmosphere. The food was amazing! I would recommend the donuts with chocolate sauce. Yum!

A
vipAnthony
Washington DC
20 reviews
Dined on March 26, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great pizza and outdoor seating. Would recommend

LF
LindaF
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on March 14, 2021
Overall3food5service1ambience4

Haven't been to Rustico since last March but we went on Sunday evening. The food was as good as always, but I was shocked that it is still using that stupid app to order food. I am used to using my cellphone to look at the menu, but to have to use it to order and pay for food is really annoying.

I won't be going back until they have in person servers.

KE
vipKEArion
Washington DC
67 reviews
Dined on March 13, 2021
Overall4food3service3ambience3

Rustico has a great outdoor space, which is especially good during COVID times! Not so good is that their cocktail menu right now is very limited; they pre-mix the cocktails ahead of time, so you can't even customize the drinks they do offer. But their serving sizes are good and the food is very yummy!

OT
OpenTable Diner
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on March 11, 2021
Overall4food3service4ambience4

Salad was very salty. However chicken was tasty. Very nice and comfortable atmosphere.

OT
OpenTable Diner
Hawaii
12 reviews
Dined on March 3, 2021
Overall4food4service4ambience4

The piece of Salmon for the $26 dinner item was very small

F
Familyouting
Philadelphia
6 reviews
Dined on February 20, 2021
Overall3food4service3ambience3

Seated promptly but no one explained you had to submit your order online, so sat waiting 20-30 minutes for a server that wasn’t coming. All food came out at once even though appetizers were ordered. Most food was very good, grilled cheese sandwich was disappointing.

Water provided in a growler, but not nearly enough for one pour for the group, no one came back to check on the table, so difficult to get more.

Lightning in bar coolers very distracting

Overall we had a good time because of the group dining together, nothing to do with the restaurant.

Would recommend take out only.

AY
AY1974
1 review
Dined on February 17, 2021
Overall2food4service1ambience2

Previously visited this place before COVID - enjoyed very much.
Post-COVID, they changed their business model. They force you to QR the menu - which is okay, I guess - but there are no servers to take your order. They politely (but firmly) push you to order through your smartphone, and their system closes out your tab each and every time you order anything.
That system thoughtfully automatically adds a 20% gratuity - and makes it difficult to adjust it. If I wanted Shoney's salad bar, or an impersonal experience, I can get it for much less cost. It may as well be a "pick up your own order at the bar" type of delivery system - there were workers on the floor but they weren't doing much.

Bottom Line: The food is still good (but not as good as I remember it). I definitely won't be back until they rethink their processes, because the ordering (and paying) experience was absolutely terrible.

PB
PatrickB
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on February 12, 2021
Overall2food3service1ambience2

All ordering is through your phone. You can't get a custom cocktail. The servers only bring your food and do not check on you. It felt like McDonalds.

OT
OpenTable Diner
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on January 29, 2021
Overall1food1service1ambience3

Terrible experience, staff was rude and unattentive. Food was below average and drinks were pre-made.

LH
LawrenceH
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on January 23, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Food was great, but not enough portions

p
parmejeanne
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on January 14, 2021
Overall5food5service2ambience4

Awesome food! Because of Covid, you do all of your ordering online, and I personally prefer having a server, so that was a little odd.

OT
vipOpenTable Diner
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on January 8, 2021
Overall4food5service4ambience4

You’re not able to order any drink you please. You have to order everything through your phone, choosing from few beers, few wines (only by the glass) and pre-made cocktails. I understand this is all because of COVID precautions, just not the dining experience I was expecting. We’ll definitely be back after things get beck to “normal”, but for now, Rustico is a better takeout place rather than dining-in.

TK
vipTomK
Washington DC
25 reviews
Dined on December 31, 2020
Overall4food5service4ambience4

Good experience for sure. Just a little challenged checking on people outside on the sidewalk.

p
vippsuedophoodie
Washington DC
20 reviews
Dined on December 12, 2020
Overall3food4service3ambience1

Was a bit disappointed in the experience.
We were seated outside which was important to us but then we were left there as we’re supposed to use the QR code to do all ordering and payment. I wanted to get another beer but having to log on again and order it via the QR code, I passed.

From our observation, indoor seating had a more traditional dining experience with wait staff attending to the table.
Given the arrangement, I’d rather order takeout (food was good) or go elsewhere for a more enjoyable dining experience.

OT
vipOpenTable Diner
Philadelphia
5 reviews
Dined on November 20, 2020
Overall1food2service1ambience5

Service: So this resturant is basically a “to go” format that lets you eat in. You order and pay from the QR code menu and a runner drops it off ONLY AFTER YOU PUT YOU MASK ON every time they come to the table...yes they wait until you do. Rest assured they are not coming to see how you are enjoying your food or that they have any form of communication. It’s kind of like having Uber Eats bring your food at a resturant doing multiple orders (unless you drink one drink) except more annoying and tipping out each time. PS hostess was very nice and personable!!!

Food: Started with the tomato basil soup, it would have been delicious were it not for the massive amount of salt. For entree I had the spaghetti and meatballs. Again the meal would have been great but they dumped so much salt I could barely finish.

Positives: great date spot, the patio is nice, they have outdoor heaters and nice table layout, signature cocktails were well made

Won’t go back

SB
vipSylviaB
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on November 20, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great accommodations for COVID! Food was terrific.

A
Anna
Washington DC
10 reviews
Dined on November 13, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great Happy Hour outside. Fire pit seating was wonderful. Some of the best mixed drinks I’ve had, especially mulled wine, other person had great hot toddy

Very Covid conscious!

AA
vipAndreaA
Philadelphia
36 reviews
Dined on November 8, 2020
Overall4food4service4ambience3

I've been to Rustico a few times over the years while visiting friends in the area, the brunch is always our go-to. With Covid there are restrictions on dining, so for the time being you order and pay from your phone at the table, and then the servers will bring items out as they're ready. The beer list was significantly shorter than usual, as was the brunch menu, but the food was still delicious.

OT
OpenTable Diner
Washington DC
2 reviews
Dined on September 20, 2020
Overall3food4service3ambience2

Did not say it was patio only. Had zero source of heating outside.

OT
OpenTable Diner
Washington DC
4 reviews
Dined on August 15, 2020
Overall3food5service3ambience3

We walked up to the hostess stand and there were signs saying to speak to the hostess or check in using open table. There wasn’t a hostess around so we used open table. A waiter walked by and he offered to seat us around the side but because it was raining we told him we’d prefer to wait for a covered table. We sat in our car waiting. Another guy walked up as we sat in the car and we saw them seat his party at the recently vacated umbrella table. I walked up to the hostess and told him we had been waiting and they took our table. He shrugged and said sorry. Luckily another umbrella table opened.

The menu was entirely online. They wanted us to order through our phones on their website. Of course the website crashed and no one could order. My husband went up to inform the hostess of the issue and they all acted like we were the inconvenience and informed us that now it would take a little longer as they were working on a skeleton crew.

Eventually someone came out to take our order. Food and drinks came out quickly and were delicious. We had to go find someone to close the check. We chose Rustico because that was our first date place four years ago. We wanted to support them through this tough time but they made it feel difficult.

OT
OpenTable Diner
Washington DC
2 reviews
Dined on August 14, 2020
Overall2food3service3ambience5

We reserved through OpenTable because that was what the person who answered the phone recommended when we called. We called again and they said just to come in person. When we arrived, we were told the “app crashed” but we would be seated within 5 minutes. So essentially no reservation system even on a busy Friday night. The ambiance was great and we loved the outdoor seating. Drinks were good and food was okay. Pasta primavera seemed like something I could’ve easily made at home and my boyfriends NY strip was cooked well done when he asked for medium. We are hopeful that if we try their pizza next time we’ll be pleased! They are doing an excellent job with contactless dining during COVID.

OT
OpenTable Diner
1 review
Dined on June 18, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great space, distanced service, friendly staff!

OT
OpenTable Diner
Washington DC
4 reviews
Dined on March 7, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Everything was great! Will definitely be back.

SB
StaceyB
Washington DC
3 reviews
Dined on March 5, 2020
Overall3food2service4ambience3

Nothing to add to my rating. Not something I need to do again.

R
Rasc
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on February 29, 2020
Overall4food4service5ambience4

great pizza and drinks. Fresh fish was very good too

DR
DavidR
Washington DC
3 reviews
Dined on February 15, 2020
Overall5food5service4ambience5

We go there often and the food is always good. The atmosphere is good too

CD
ClarkD
Washington DC
3 reviews
Dined on February 14, 2020
Overall4food4service3ambience5

Decent place to eat, limited menu but food was pretty good. The decor was fancier than the food, so it was a little odd. Good prices, especially for the Ballston area.

r
ronnieg
Denver
11 reviews
Dined on February 9, 2020
Overall3food5service3ambience4

The food was terrific. The service so slow and food came
At
Different times. Some that waited for all to be served had
Cold brunch.

RO
ROBERTL
1 review
Dined on February 8, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience4

The happy hour draft beer selections are awesome and at a great price. Very friendly server. The pizzas were absolutely delicious. We will be eating there very often!

RM
RunMamaRun
Washington DC
12 reviews
Dined on February 7, 2020
Overall4food4service4ambience4

Good drinks and food. Enjoyed the 5 dip option and risotto tots. Would like to see a few more entrees to choose from that are not pizza...

AC
AC123
New York Area
4 reviews
Dined on February 1, 2020
Overall3food2service3ambience5

The portions were so small for the money, and the waiter never said anything when we ordered. We all left hungry and disappointed.

FAQs

Rustico - Ballston does offer delivery in partnership with Uber Eats. Rustico - Ballston also offers takeout which you can order by calling the restaurant at (571) 384-1820.

Rustico - Ballston is rated 4.3 stars by 1099 OpenTable diners.

Yes, you can generally book this restaurant by choosing the date, time and party size on OpenTable. Due to local restrictions, this restaurant may not be accepting reservations at the moment.

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