Rustico - Ballston

4.2
1124 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.

Experiences

  • Dining Room Reservation at Rustico Ballston

    Multiple dates available

    Our outdoor patio and bar seating are first come, first serve, but we will happily guarantee you seating indoors in our dining room!
What 1124 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
4.3
food
3.8
service
3.9
ambience
3.9
value
Noise · Moderate
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OT
OpenTable Diner
1 review
Dined 2 days ago
Overall4food3service5ambience3

I can’t really judge too fairly because we were outside under the tent. It was loud but the dogs barking constantly next to me didn’t help . The inside seems nice with low lighting which I like. I would think they would have a pavilion outside instead of a tent, but if it works lol.

SR
SR9876
Washington DC
10 reviews
Dined 2 days ago
Overall3food5service3ambience3

Food is delicious, but the new ordering from the QR code isn’t great. There is absolutely no other service (no one checking on you, filling water, etc.), which really impacts the experience.

NZ
NathanZ
Washington DC
21 reviews
Dined 3 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We started off a very special evening (returning to the Kennedy Center after 20 months) with a dinner for four at Rustico. You exceeded expectations! The server was friendly, funny, and efficient. The food came quickly and was delicious. The atmosphere was perfect. We can't wait to go back to Rustico again!

S
Sallie
Washington DC
12 reviews
Dined on October 7, 2021
Overall4food5service2ambience5

The food (burger and fries) were delicious. BUT at noon on a weekday with the place empty, service was soooo slow. In addition, there was no mustard or tabasco in the whole restaurant! Seems odd. Otherwise, was great.

M
Michele923
New England
18 reviews
Dined on October 3, 2021
Overall4food4service3ambience3

Good food and outdoor eating option. The picnic style tables are very narrow so for 5 of us it was kind of tight with apps etc on the table but it works out fine.

L
vipLeslieava
Washington DC
119 reviews
Dined on October 2, 2021
Overall2food2service4ambience3

This was our first meal at Rustico. Nice seating on a balmy Saturday in October. Service very good but restaurant wasn't busy. Food was eh! We won't be back.

OT
vipOpenTable Diner
Washington DC
2 reviews
Dined on September 29, 2021
Overall2food4service1ambience3

The order online, tipping, the service, it all seemed convenient for the staff but not for me as the customer.

NZ
NathanZ
Washington DC
22 reviews
Dined on August 27, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We had an outstanding experience at Rustico. We celebrated a birthday and our party of four all ordered different items. Without exception the food was excellent. The service was fast and we ate outside. The prices were reasonable and we had such a great meal! Thank you for making the birthday special!

OT
OpenTable Diner
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on August 22, 2021
Overall1food1service1ambience1

Understand the challenges of COVID but the online menu and ordering that Rustico has is unlike any other restaurant I’ve been to abs is quite off putting. Came for brunch but left because of it. If I have to order online like that I’ll just stay home and use door dash since the experience is basically the same if not worse.

JP
JPP1
Washington DC
2 reviews
Dined on August 18, 2021
Overall2food5service1ambience1

I complete dislike the new system. Order on your phone, pay and tip as you go. You want glass of wine gotta pay and tip. You then order a beer..pay and tip.
Not once did any server come up to us after seating us.
I have to tip before experiencing any service or tasting any food or drink.
Good luck guys.

L
vipLocalguy
New York Area
8 reviews
Dined on August 13, 2021
Overall4food4service4ambience4

Once you get used to the QRcode ordering it is very efficient and I liked eating outside under the tent in the rain. Very decent and they are trying hard.

LG
LG2021
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on August 12, 2021
Overall2food4service1ambience1

Unlike other restaurants in the DC Metro area, Rustico has not brought back its wait staff. This is probably why the restaurant is empty and the normal vibe and appeal is gone. You arrive to your table with a stack of appetizer plates and silverware piled on top. Someone placed 7 glasses of warm water on the table and that was the last help we received. We had to use our phones to pull up the menu (not an issue), and we had to buy (and tip) upon deciding on an appetizer. Then again for drinks. Then again for dinner. Then for the next round of drinks. So you come home to 5 charges, including tips to who knows who, because we didn't have a server. The food was excellent, as usual, but we're not coming back until it's back to normal.

L
vipLove2eat
Washington DC
26 reviews
Dined on August 11, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

staff was absolutely awesome - as was the food

OT
OpenTable Diner
Kansas City
2 reviews
Dined on August 3, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great selection and delicious food! Also dog friendly outside!

OT
OpenTable Diner
Philadelphia
1 review
Dined on July 31, 2021
Overall4food5service4ambience4

Solid beer selection and great thin crust pizza. Ordering app could be improved by allowing you to run a tab. Right now you have to pay after each part of your order.

NH
NealH
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on July 26, 2021
Overall4food5service3ambience2

I love Rustico but the new ordering platform was a disappointment. I generally like the phone ordering applications but at a nicer place I would rather have full service.

OT
vipOpenTable Diner
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on July 22, 2021
Overall5food4service5ambience4

Chris was an amazing waiter!

a
anginator
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on July 18, 2021
Overall4food5service3ambience5

Food is awesome, ambiance is nice. The no contact service is odd. You scan you're QR code for the table and order from the website which is fine but if you're in a group it makes this weird as you have to coordinate when you're ordering with everyone at the table. Things come out of the kitchen as they are ready. You even have to let your server know when to refill your water. I know its a covid thing, but it makes the restaurant feel more fast casual.

EA
EatAndRun
Washington DC
2 reviews
Dined on July 16, 2021
Overall4food4service2ambience3

Apps required to order sucks.
No waiter/waitress service sucks.

GP
vipGwennP
Washington DC
28 reviews
Dined on July 14, 2021
Overall5food5service4ambience5

Understanding that it is difficult for restaurants to hire staff during this difficult time, our service was slow. However, our server let us know this in advance, so we were not surprised. That being said, the food quality and amount were great for the price. I will definitely return!

BN
vipBrittanyN
Washington DC
20 reviews
Dined on July 12, 2021
Overall3food4service3ambience3

TL;DR The food was good but the drinks sucked.

We got a basic Margherita pizza with a side of cauliflower tots. It was out fast and tasted good. But the drinks were awful. The old fashioned tasted like sugar water and the beers were HORRIBLY poured. It was really just our server I think who clearly shouldn’t be working the bar (we sat at the bar on a casual Monday evening so it was pretty quiet in the restaurant). They were all too foamy and it took him three tries to pour one beer that’s how much foam was happening.

OT
vipOpenTable Diner
San Diego
4 reviews
Dined on July 12, 2021
Overall2food4service1ambience1

They're hanging on by just a thread. They only had two people working the front of the house - host and bar tender. There are no servers; you must order through their app. They could only afford to air condition the building down to about 80 degrees, which is uncomfortably warm. The only saving grace was the kitchen; the quality of their food was still pretty good. So sad to see this place go.

OT
OpenTable Diner
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on July 9, 2021
Overall2food3service1ambience1

Food was fine. Ordering process was poor at best. No more waiters. Ordered from QR code. Had to order and pay every time we wanted something else. Felt like counter service with restaurant prices and the expectation of a 20% tip. Won’t be next soon. Bring back the waiters.

PS
PatS
1 review
Dined on July 7, 2021
Overall3food4service2ambience5

Pizza and Tomato soup are wonderful. They use San Marzano tomatoes, which are outstanding. The hummus was not so good - watery and not very flavorful. The celery, carrots and pita that came with it were very good, however.

M
Mary
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on June 20, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience3

I absolutely loved eating at this restaurant. I liked how we had to order online, and then our food was brought directly to our table, rather then having a waiter take your order. The service was excellent, our waiter was very nice and accommodating to our requests. Ambiance is great. Didn’t have to wait long at all for our food, it came out very quickly which we loved. Food was absolutely delicious, truffle fries and steak were to die for - as well as the tots. Highly highly highly recommend this restaurant. Definitely coming back

CD
CatherineD
Washington DC
12 reviews
Dined on June 19, 2021
Overall3food3service1ambience1

Sadly, this restaurant has changed a great deal. No

OT
vipOpenTable Diner
Tampa
13 reviews
Dined on June 18, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Sat outdoors and loved the tent layout and web-ordering process. Everything was really quick even though it wasn't traditional wait staff. Margharitaville pizza was so delicious that we ordered 2 more pizzas and between 2 of us, ate all 3. No true dry Rosé bottles, but there are so many great options. Cannot wait to go back soon!

GK
vipGKRK
Washington DC
61 reviews
Dined on June 17, 2021
Overall4food3service4ambience4

We had a very nice lunch. Food was good, and service was very good. We were a group of senior citizens, some of whom were not equipped to use the QCR, but they wait staff were very accommodating. And the outdoor seating area was very pleasant.

T
Timo
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on June 16, 2021
Overall3food4service2ambience3

Perhaps there's a shortage of waiters, but resented having to go on line to order and once the order was received, I never saw the waiter. We were never able to refresh our drinks.

PS
vipPatS
Washington DC
60 reviews
Dined on June 12, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

As always, Rustico was great. We sat outside, which was nice. Our dishes were delicious! Highly recommend the mushroom bruschetta and dates wrapped in bacon for appetizers. The short rib ragu over pappardelle was heavenly as was the gnocchi. The service was very attentive and prompt. We had a great time.

r
robertk
Washington DC
2 reviews
Dined on May 24, 2021
Overall4food4service2ambience2

Food was great, and the staff was very friendly. BUT, I hope they go back to having waitstaff in lieu of the computer ordering system. Very impersonal, and it detracts heavily from the experience.

OT
OpenTable Diner
Washington DC
2 reviews
Dined on May 15, 2021
Overall1food3service1ambience1

Not worth going during covid precautions. You have no server, you have to order online on your phone and pay online too. If you have any questions about the menu there’s no one to answer and impossible to make any alterations to dishes. I wanted to order a Moscow mule and upgrade the vodka to Tito’s so it would be gluten free (I have an allergy) and I finally flagged down a staff member and was told the cocktails are pre made so no alterations can be made. Very limited cocktail/drink menu and apparently it’s all pre made so not worth it in my opinion. Food was just ok and the menu is ok but they had much better options pre covid. Won’t go back until they go back to the way it used to be.

TW
TessW
Washington DC
4 reviews
Dined on May 15, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Made reservations, sat outside, service was good, food/drink were quick and tasty. Will definitely return.

GW
GraceW
1 review
Dined on May 14, 2021
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 on May 14, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Amazing service and food

OT
OpenTable Diner
1 review
Dined on May 14, 2021
Overall1food1service1ambience2

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

OT
vipOpenTable Diner
Washington DC
16 reviews
Dined on May 9, 2021
Overall3food4service3ambience4

When eating outside you have to add your tip when you order your food. Service was good up until food is delivered. Barely any service after that. Numerous times we asked for a to go box & never got it. Had to go inside to get one myself. I tipped generously b/c I know it’s tough right now, but I won’t do that again. Probably won’t be back any time soon.

LM
LaMarseillaise
Washington DC
18 reviews
Dined on May 8, 2021
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.

a
amack
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on May 8, 2021
Overall2food2service1ambience1

Rustico is using its online ordering system inside the restaurant which makes the atmosphere too casual and unpleasant. One of our party ordered a diet coke and the host brought out the whole case of soda to the table before fishing out a room temperature can. The accommodations and substitutions we listed in the app were not comprehended, so we received the wrong orders. I enjoyed Rustico before the pandemic, but the new model is a disappointment.

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.

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 4.2 stars by 1124 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.

Tweets by Rustico - Ballston