Rustico - Ballston

4.2
982 reviews
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$30 and under
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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 982 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
4.0
service
4.1
ambience
3.9
value
Noise · Moderate
88% of people would recommend it to a friend
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b
Washington DC
14 reviews
Dined 4 days ago
Overall 3food 3service 4ambience 2

The food menu seemed a bit sparse. I had a pizza, which was good and certainly enough for a meal. The service was good, though the restaurant itself was uninteresting and a bit noisy. I'd recommend it as an OK place to go, but it's not a go-to place.

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F
Atlantic City
8 reviews
Dined 6 days ago
Overall 4food 5service 2ambience 4

Everything was great except for our server. He took our order but it was all Wong. He seemed more interested in chatting at the reception desk than providing quality service.

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CF
Phoenix
3 reviews
Dined on March 16, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Excellent as always. We love meeting friends there.

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t
1 review
Dined on March 16, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

very nice with gluten-free options ... great beer list

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AB
Washington DC
16 reviews
Dined on March 15, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Rustico food is good and the atmosphere very nice. Check it out, you will not be dissapointed!

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OT
Washington DC
12 reviews
Dined on March 14, 2019
Overall 2food 2service 4ambience 4

My fish was tasteless but everything else was nice.

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LT
Raleigh
3 reviews
Dined on March 10, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 4

Delicious and good tofu scramble. Service was good. It was the most amazing meal ever, but definitely a solid option for Sunday brunch, especially if you have vegans in tow.

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LR
Washington DC
8 reviews
Dined on March 9, 2019
Overall 3food 2service 3ambience 3

Expensive for the quality of food. I was disappointed.

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K
1 review
Dined on March 8, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 3ambience 4

We had a reservation at 7:30, but were not seated until around 8. The staff then seemed to be rushing us in an effort to free up our table. Food was just okay. Nothing special. Definitely not the wait with reservations or the price.

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CF
Phoenix
4 reviews
Dined on March 8, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We always enjoy the food and atmosphere at Rustico. Excellent service too.

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HG
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on March 8, 2019
Overall 1food 3service 1ambience 3

We made a Friday night reservation hours ahead of time, on OpenTable. We arrived on time. And we waited ONE HOUR to be seated. The restaurants explanations we just lame excuses (too lame to repeat). Simply unacceptable. What's the point of accepting reservations if you can't manage to honor them?

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LI
Washington DC
5 reviews
Dined on February 26, 2019
Overall 2food 2service 4ambience 4

The ambiance and service was great. However, my salad with Salmon was overally salty and the restaurant didn't offer any upscale salad green selections like Arugula. The mussels were dry. I would only come back here for a drink.

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K
Washington DC
19 reviews
Dined on February 24, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 5

We had a larger group which included several kids, and we were given a nice quiet spot with ample space. Everyone was happy with their food, and the kids options were great. We'll be back.

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E
Miami
14 reviews
Dined on February 23, 2019
Overall 2food 5service 2ambience 5

Atmosphere and food was good. Reasonably priced. Service was terrible. Waiter largely ignored us after serving entrees. Had to get up and go to him to get the bill.

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JM
Washington DC
35 reviews
Dined on February 23, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

We took a year plus break from Rustico after being fans for years and becoming frustrated with consistently terrible service. I am glad we gave them another chance. Service this time seem dramatically improved. I believe they also put some noise canceling panels on the ceiling which really seemed to help with noise level. We could actually carry on a conversation. Food was also very good. The broth for the muscles should be a little warmer, seems like that item may have been a little rushed out of the kitchen. But overall food was good, service was good. I'm optimistic that management has corrected service problems from recent years and we will go back in the near future in hopes that our old favorite has recommitted to providing good service and food.

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KP
New York Area
19 reviews
Dined on February 22, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Best burger I've had in a while. We arrived early, but by the time we left the place was buzzing. Great service, pretty view of green space, and good food! What else do you want?

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MK
Washington DC
2 reviews
Dined on February 16, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 3ambience 3

Probably shouldn't rate it this low as i have had much better experiences at Rustico in the past. This time, we waited almost 20 minutes with a reservation. No one came to our table for at least another 10 minutes. I ordered the pumpkin ravioli and it was dreadful - very overcooked and dry - only the filling made it palatable. If I had not been there with others, I would have sent it back. Others enjoyed their fish of the day and the carrot hummus was pretty good. Service improved slightly but was never great. I hope it was an off night and I will give it a second chance.

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s
Washington DC
32 reviews
Dined on February 15, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 4

Excellent neighborhood spot for casual or more upscale dinner, depending on mood. Good bar atmosphere in one half with sports on tv, quieter dining room next door. Reliably good food.

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

They have an incredible lunch deal! $15 for soup, salad, and sandwich. Amazing plus their outstanding carrot hummus can count as a sandwich if you want. I couldn't be happier!

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OT
Washington DC
5 reviews
Dined on February 14, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 3ambience 4

Great food. The service was on par for a very busy night. No stop by a manager, but again, it was slammed for Valentine’s Day.

I would come again with hopes to have more attentive service.

P.s. the donuts were amazing!

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DL
1 review
Dined on February 11, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Carlos was a great waiter. We had never eaten here but it was recommended to us and we appreciated being able to converse without loud background noise.

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OT
Washington DC
3 reviews
Dined on February 10, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Wonderful as always. Good local spot and good is always great! Highly recommend the pizza!!

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OT
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on February 8, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 5

The only reason we gave 4 stars and not 5 is because my husband couldn’t get the beer he wanted. Such a first world problem. Brussels sprouts and cauliflower are to die for.

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OT
Washington DC
23 reviews
Dined on February 8, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

Great pizza, beet salad and wine list. Stumbled upon this place while visiting a dr in Clarendon. Very nice casual dinner! Recommend for an easy dinner.

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OT
Washington DC
13 reviews
Dined on February 8, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 2ambience 3

The pumpkin ravioli was over cooked and dry with no sauce. My son did love the wings and fries. The fried Brussel sprouts were delicious. Our waiter was not good. He would disappear for a long time. He told me of happy hour wine prices and I ordered one but by the time he came back it was past happy hour and I got charged full price. Took us 15 min to flag him down at end for a check.

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JK
1 review
Dined on January 29, 2019
Overall 1food 1service 1ambience 1

Made a reservation and the restaurant was closed. You could email, phone to say the restaurant was closed or update your website.

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e
Washington DC
3 reviews
Dined on January 20, 2019
Overall 1food 1service 1ambience 1

Gave low rating due to water main break at restaurant and was not informed immediately. Understand things happen, but you could have notified customers who made reservations ahead of time - info was provided (name, phone, email).

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LG
Washington DC
70 reviews
Dined on January 19, 2019
Overall 1food 1service 1ambience 1

It was closed. We were so disappointed. We made an OpenTable reservation, which was accepted and confirmed and then when we made our way there on a rainy, cold night, it was closed due to water damage and apparently had been for days. Why would OpenTable accept and confirm our reservations for a restaurant that was closed?

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s
Toronto
6 reviews
Dined on January 9, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 3ambience 4

Food was excellent but server inattentive.

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a
1 review
Dined on January 7, 2019
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 4

Our waiter was quite patient with us as we took a long time to decide what we wanted to eat.

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IH
1 review
Dined on January 4, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

It was a last minute booking for dinner on a Friday night and they were able to fit us in for a late dinner. It was a nice restaurant the food was decent although the menu was a bit limited.

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OT
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on January 4, 2019
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 5

Went for the Maine Beer co tapping. Awesome event!

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PK
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on December 31, 2018
Overall 3food 5service 1ambience 5

We and several other parties arrived for 6:00 PM reservations on New Years Eve - only to be informed the restaurant was closing from 6:00 - 9:00. No prior warning recieved and our reservations were accepted online by Open Table. Previous non-holiday visits have been good-to-excellent.

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OT
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on December 27, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Wonderful service and the food was delicious. We had the spinach salad, which was very tasty, and the Greek salad pizza, which was absolutely delicious!

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LS
West Virginia
21 reviews
Dined on December 26, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 4

We were in the area to visit family and stopped in for dinner at Rustico. The restaurant creates a very relaxed and friendly atmosphere with well prepared comfort food. Delicious burgers, fish and chips and unique brews.

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b
Washington DC
2 reviews
Dined on December 22, 2018
Overall 3food 3service 3ambience 4

Mostly everything was good. The person who brought out entrees had to be told that women should be served first (3 of us ordered the same thing) by someone in our group. Pretzel and beer cheese was just not good at all. Pretzel tasted like it came from a frozen box and the dip was watery. I thought the steak was good but probably should include a vegetable as well for $27 instead of a massive amount of mashed potato. The menu was slightly peculiar with sides and salads grouped together with no option to add meat to salad. Probably would go back again for everyday dining.

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JL
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on December 20, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 2ambience 5

Our server was friendly but took way too long to check on us or bring us anything. They may just need to hire more wait staff. The food was very good, but I thought the entree portions were a bit small. Stylish interior made for a good ambiance.

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OT
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on December 18, 2018
Overall 2food 3service 1ambience 1

Appetizers were decent, but very over priced. Service was terrible. Will not be returning

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AC
Richmond
1 review
Dined on December 18, 2018
Overall 1food 2service 2ambience 2

Terrible hostess who was rude and ignored the fact that we had a reservation. She was rude and not helpful. We felt rushed and unwanted.

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SF
1 review
Dined on December 11, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 2ambience 4

Service was not good. Food was good. We had a group of 6 and it took forever for the server to take our orders. We were going to stay for dessert but because it took so long we just got it to go.

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