Ambar - Arlington

4.6
2810 reviews
$31 to $50
Tapas / Small Plates
Ambar is the first modern, international Balkan cuisine restaurant in DC. Inside three locations in Belgrade, Arlington and Washington DC, Ambar blends tradition and heritage with creativity and modern design. The result is an unforgettable visitor experience that reaches all the senses with delicious food, unbelievable drinks and an atmosphere that blends comfort and high style. From rich food, fine furniture, interior design and the widest choice of the finest Balkan rakias, to our first class service – every detail is meticulously woven into an unique experience that will leave you breathless. Welcome to the best of the Balkans.

Safety precautions

Cleaning & Sanitising
  • Surfaces sanitised between seatings
  • Common areas deep cleaned daily
  • Digital, disposable or sanitised menu provided
  • Sanitiser or wipes provided for customers
  • Contactless payment available
  • Sealed or wrapped utensils used
Physical distancing
  • Limited number of seated diners
  • Distancing maintained in common areas
  • Extra space between tables
Protective equipment
  • Waiting staff wear masks
  • Diners must wear masks unless eating or drinking
Screening
  • Sick staff prohibited in the workplace
What 2810 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.6based on recent ratings
4.6
Food
4.4
Service
4.5
Ambience
4.4
Value
Noise · Moderate
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RS
RohanS
Washington DC
1 review
Dined a day ago
Overall5Food5Service5Ambience4

Incredible as always! Must go if you're in D.C. or Arlington.

SG
SusanG
Baltimore
6 reviews
Dined a day ago
Overall5Food5Service5Ambience5

Simply spectacular from beginning to reluctant end…we were simply full! Extremely pleasant and gracious staff and the food was incredible. Had family from out of town, who can be opinionated about food. Everyone proclaimed this the best dinner ever…and they can’t wait to return. On top of that exceptional value for the price. Will certainly be returning.

N
Nicole
Cincinnati
12 reviews
Dined 2 days ago
Overall5Food5Service5Ambience5

Always a wonderful experience! The food, the service, and the ambiance are top notch. My favorite place to bring my hungry friends from out of town!

G
vipGinger703
Washington DC
10 reviews
Dined 3 days ago
Overall5Food5Service5Ambience5

We had the tasting menu at our table and our waiter could not have been a better guide to introduce us to so many wonderful tastes of Balkan cuisine.

CK
CharlieK
1 review
Dined 6 days ago
Overall1Food1Service1Ambience1

Got placed in the basement was in a dingy table with no light for 30 minutes without a waiter No food was served at all

GL
GregLT
1 review
Dined 6 days ago
Overall5Food5Service5Ambience5

Ambar is a great place in Clarendon. The food is excellent, professional service. Their Sunday brunch is very popular. Perfect for a celebration with friends or family, or just to spend valuable time together with good food. This is not my first visit there, but certainly not the last one.

JD
JoanD
Washington DC
3 reviews
Dined 6 days ago
Overall1Food1Service1Ambience1

Ambar had been highly recommended and We were all so so unhappy with food, service and ambiance. Food was cold for almost all dishes. Service was very slow and uneven. It was one of the worst meal experiences I have ever had in our area and embarrassing because I had set up the reservation for the 4 of us. We are experienced diners and will never go back!

TM
vipTempressMichele
Washington DC
8 reviews
Dined 6 days ago
Overall3Food3Service2Ambience3

First time dining at Amber for brunch and I didn’t really enjoy my experience. The brunch includes unlimited tapas for $39.99 and .25 cent brunch drinks. We made 1:45p reservations and arrived on time. We were told it was a two-hour limit at the table and brunch ends at 3:30p, which was completely fine. But we barely got a chance to order food items and drinks because our server completely ghosted us. We had to flag down other servers and the manager to get an order. Every time she walked past, we would try to get her attention and she’ll respond “give me a minute, I’ll be right back,” and 15-20 minutes would past without us seeing her. I completely understand if she was swamped or overwhelmed, but at least communicate or ask for help. We as guest at a restaurant had to flag down management for assistance. At 3:15p we flagged her down and asked if we could at least order one more drink before 3:30p (because we literally had two drinks due to no service), and when she “tried” to put our order in she comes back and told us she was unable to ring our drinks because at 3:15p they shut everything down. I was completely confused because on the menu and website it clearly states brunch ends at 3:30p.

AK
AlexK
1 review
Dined on 19 November 2021
Overall5Food5Service5Ambience5

My first thought when I woke up in the morning was how delicious our dinner at Ambar the night before was. The food was excellent. Our server was excellent. I didn’t get his name but I wish I had so I could shout him out. Couldn’t be happier with the food and service we received. Great value for the money.

I am a little hard of hearing and we went on Friday night around 7pm so naturally the restaurant was busy. I didn’t find it too difficult to have a conversation or hear our server, which I was surprised by. I usually have a difficult time hearing in busy restaurants, but Ambar Arlington was very pleasant.

OT
OpenTable Diner
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on 19 November 2021
Overall5Food4Service5Ambience4

Great Dinner! Good food, awesome service! I think Jess was our server

R
Radi
1 review
Dined on 19 November 2021
Overall5Food5Service5Ambience5

First-class, very tasty food, fast service, kind waiters.

JF
JenF
Washington DC
2 reviews
Dined on 18 November 2021
Overall5Food5Service5Ambience5

Would def buy a bunch of stuff to try and share all the food is good in my opinion. The Brussels were good the cocktails were good the beer selection. Was busy people like it there you can tell. Parked right next to building

AS
AlexandriaSoxFan
Washington DC
17 reviews
Dined on 13 November 2021
Overall5Food5Service5Ambience5

Great experience on the heated patio. Every dish was delicious (and we stuck with fish/vegetarian options only, of which there are plenty), and our preteen was thrilled not to be restricted on how much she could order. Service was friendly and informative. The stuffed piquillo peppers in particular were wonderful, as was the rainbow trout (fish of the day). And we are really glad that we went for the gnocchi dessert, even though it was extra cost. Worth the experience!

B
Beartrees
Washington DC
17 reviews
Dined on 13 November 2021
Overall5Food5Service5Ambience5

Everything was awesome

J
June
1 review
Dined on 13 November 2021
Overall1Food2Service1Ambience2

We've been here before for dinner and generally enjoyed it.
However, we recently went back for brunch and received a completely different experience. The food was mostly average to bad and carb-heavy (read: not even worth the price of AYCE brunch). The scrambled eggs were rubbery, cold, and not even seasoned. The donuts were hard as rocks. The mac and cheese was solid.
The service was absolutely terrible. While the waiters were friendly, they just... weren't there for the vast majority of the time. They were incredibly slow to take orders and to bring out the food. They also kept messing up our orders. We received several items that we definitely did not ask for. We were there for around 1hr and 45min for AYCE brunch and only managed to input two orders during that entire time.

The only saving grace was that service was terrible for everyone, not just our table. While we were eating, one group of diners got so tired of waiting on their very last order (a cheese pie) that they got up and left. A separate group got so tired of waiting for the waiter to pick up the check that they got up and brought it inside. A group of 3 sitting near us saw the service and decided to leave w/o ordering. A family sitting next to us was ignored for over 20 minutes while they tried to input their second order. They also didn't bring the dad any cutlery at first.

Absolutely awful and not worth it.

P
Polina
Las Vegas
1 review
Dined on 12 November 2021
Overall5Food5Service5Ambience5

Food is outstanding, a little too noisy on the weekend

JA
JeremyA
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on 10 November 2021
Overall5Food5Service5Ambience5

Awesome time and fantastic service

SN
SiriN
1 review
Dined on 10 November 2021
Overall5Food5Service5Ambience5

The "express lunch" is fantastic. Delicious food, good service, great decor.

CB
ChristopherB
1 review
Dined on 9 November 2021
Overall5Food5Service5Ambience5

First time trying this venue. Great food, lots of menu choices. Food was so flavorful and seasoned perfectly. Recommend

PB
PatrickB
Washington DC
12 reviews
Dined on 9 November 2021
Overall5Food5Service5Ambience5

It's amazing! The Ambar experience - unlimited small plates. How can the kitchen turn out so many different dishes that are excellent. We were there for lunch and it wasn't very crowded so the noise level was "quiet". That's not the case when it's packed at night.

KG
KrithiG
1 review
Dined on 7 November 2021
Overall1Food2Service1Ambience4

Worst service. No one ever cared( waiters).
Had to go to another restaurant in order to finish lunch.

RD
ReneeD
Washington DC
4 reviews
Dined on 6 November 2021
Overall5Food5Service5Ambience5

Great food. Good service !

KV
KaterineV
Washington DC
2 reviews
Dined on 6 November 2021
Overall3Food3Service3Ambience4

Took forever To get food to the table. I think I tried 4 things in the span of two hours.

IC
ItalianConnoisseur98
Washington DC
3 reviews
Dined on 6 November 2021
Overall5Food4Service5Ambience5

My friend and I's Ambar experience was great. The one reason I rated it a little lower is because the rate at which they bring food out is rather slow compared to what my friend and I were expecting. In the beginning, almost no food came out and then towards the end, an abundance of food came out which was overwhelming. I definitely will return back here.

A
Annelie
Memphis/West TN
4 reviews
Dined on 3 November 2021
Overall5Food5Service5Ambience5

I had a fantastic night with great service and lots of good food.

NM
NickeyM
San Diego
2 reviews
Dined on 2 November 2021
Overall5Food5Service5Ambience5

This was my first time there and we were super impressed with everything. The service was great and food options and the value was amazing. Food came out very fast and I love trying different dishes and they were all very good. My favorite dish was probably the slow roasted lamb. It was super flavorful and even the potatoes were so delicious that I ate them all. Next time we're back in DC, will definitely go there again.

NL
NadiaL
Las Vegas
1 review
Dined on 31 October 2021
Overall1Food4Service1Ambience5

The food and ambience were good; however the service by our server Ivan P made the overall experience very unpleasant. This server was extremely uninterested in helping us, was very short with all his responses, and seemed angry and upset to be serving our table. I wouldn’t recommend this place solely based on the bad service we received.

M
Msbf
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on 31 October 2021
Overall5Food5Service3Ambience4

Great place for a brunch

C
Caroline
Washington DC
4 reviews
Dined on 30 October 2021
Overall5Food5Service4Ambience4

Amazing food, great atmosphere (albeit very loud). The experience is awesome. Food just keeps coming.
Two things: the number of pieces on the plate should reflect the people at the table. If we have 5 experiences, but only get 4 of everything, it's a little harder to try particularly in a covid environment.
The service was awesome. But we ordered wine and while our server brought wine (but also champagne flutes) she just put the bottle on the table and walked away. Not a big deal for us to open it, but just strange.

EJ
EmilyJ
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on 30 October 2021
Overall3Food3Service2Ambience4

Restaurant was cute, filled with sunlight and greenery. Staff was friendly but service was quite slow which made it difficult to take advantage of the $0.25 drinks during our 2 hour reservation. Food was tasty!

L
vipLaura
Washington DC
120 reviews
Dined on 28 October 2021
Overall4Food4Service5Ambience4

If you get the Ambar experience, it is fun to try many of the small plates, but the tendency is to way overeat unless you are careful. Most items very tasty and nice variety.

CS
CeciliaS
Washington DC
4 reviews
Dined on 24 October 2021
Overall1Food1Service3Ambience3

The food was very sub par, and has gone down hill a lot since I last went to Ambar (prior to pandemic). I went from brunch and thought the $40 brunch experience was highly over priced. For example, the shrimp and grits barely had any shrimp in it. It was a shrimp chopped up into tiny little pieces. All the food was really mediocre at best.

OT
OpenTable Diner
1 review
Dined on 23 October 2021
Overall3Food4Service3Ambience4

The staff moved very fast so much so that we had to stop them ask what they put on our table

WL
WilliamL
1 review
Dined on 23 October 2021
Overall5Food5Service5Ambience4

The food and service were excellent. We tried six different items and all were tasty, prepared to perfection, and beautifully presented. Our only suggestion to improve ambience is that heaters be put in the outdoor dining space. We very much enjoyed the outdoor dining experience, but the evening air is now a bit chilly.

OT
OpenTable Diner
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on 23 October 2021
Overall4Food4Service4Ambience3

We had a 6:30 pm reservation and we were seated immediately. Started with cocktails; they have some interesting ones on the menu. The Ambar Unlimited menu was a great way to try everything we wanted on menu. Favorites included the kale salad, Brussels sprouts, fish of the day (trout).

DG
vipDivaGrande
Washington DC
35 reviews
Dined on 23 October 2021
Overall5Food5Service5Ambience5

We really enjoyed our brunch! It was a girl’s day out, and we had a blast! The plates came out quickly and were mostly delicious. A couple of things we didn’t care for, but that’s the beauty of the whole thing—we could order some else! It was so much fun! The food was well prepared and the service was great. We will definitely come back again.

BF
BridgetteF
1 review
Dined on 23 October 2021
Overall2Food1Service2Ambience3

Food and drinks weren’t good during brunch. Everything lacked flavor, except for the burger slider. The peach Bellini did not taste good. Didn’t even taste like peach at all. Traditional mimosa was okay, nothing special.

OT
OpenTable Diner
Washington DC
2 reviews
Dined on 23 October 2021
Overall5Food4Service5Ambience5

I took my wife to Amber for a brunch date and from the beginning we enjoyed our experience. I don’t remember our waiters name be he honestly was the best part of it all. He explained everything well, he was quick with our orders, and he made us feel like we were his only table even though he had several others. The steak, the bacon, and the Mac & cheese were my by far my favorite dishes. The potatoes were good, tho they didn’t taste fresh and more so like they had been sitting out for a while. All in all, our food and experience was great, the waiter was greater, and we’d definitely come back.

RG
vipRGup
Washington DC
33 reviews
Dined on 22 October 2021
Overall5Food5Service4Ambience5

Always an amazing experience dining at Ambar. We didn’t get a few items that were ordered as part of the unlimited tapas option, but then again, we were so satisfied from our other dishes that we had forgotten about a few we never got to try.

DM
DMVdiner
Pittsburgh
1 review
Dined on 22 October 2021
Overall4Food4Service5Ambience5

Food was mostly ok for the price. Tartare, lasagna, and cauliflower were the stand outs. Some dishes were really salty. Service was great and attentive. Nice ambience.