Rustico - Ballston

4.3
1000 reviews
icon/ic_price_rangeCreated with Sketch.
$30 and under
icon/ic_cuisineCreated with Sketch.
American
Top tags:
  • Good for a Date
  • Great Beer
  • Casual
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 1000 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
4.3
Food
4.1
Service
4.1
Ambience
3.9
Value
Noise · Moderate
89% of people would recommend it to a friend
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J
Washington DC
1 review
Dined 5 days ago
Overall 3Food 5Service 1Ambience 4

Awesome food but the service absolutely horrendous. Not sure if it was a fluke or what but it was terrible. Everyone around us was complaining how bad it was. Only thing that saved it was the fact the food was very good. I would go back to see how the service is but would not be surprised if I don’t make it back. Shame.

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CP
1 review
Dined 6 days ago
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

Amazing service, amazing food. The pizza was absolutely amazing

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SS
New York Area
3 reviews
Dined 6 days ago
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

Great atmosphere indoor and outdoor. Fast service. Great food.

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WT
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on 12 May 2019
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

The food was great as usual, and the beers were as well. They have some awesome beers on tap for any craft IPA fans like me, and the server was knowledgeable about them as well which was nice. The service this time was awesome! Our waiter Aaron was great, and the manager took care of our appetizer as we thought we needed it for our 1 yr old son and tried to cancel it before it was made. We were able to eat the appetizer and not pay for it which was a nice tough by the manager. This place gets it and gets it every time. Greatly appreciated!

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OT
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on 12 May 2019
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 4

Mothers day

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B
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on 12 May 2019
Overall 3Food 4Service 1Ambience 4

It was Mother’s day so the place was busy. We were seated in the far back corner (which in my previous experience is the “lost table”. ) It took 45 minutes to get the tea My daughter and I ordered and they ran out of coffee. The appetizer came out before we were served drinks. I watched 8 people get coffee refills before they told us they were out. The food was good, but the waiter only seemed to care about the larger tables. Probably because more tip. Can’t blame him, but it made our experience not so great and a very long wait. Honestly I think it was the waiters fault and not for not caring about the smaller groups and not the Actual Restaurant. Even though they employ him. The food was good and reasonably priced. Still gave the waiter a $10 tip on a $40 tab. I’ve been there before and service and the food has been great. I’ll give our waiter the benefit of the doubt, but will ask for another waitress or waiter if I get the same guy next time.

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OT
Washington DC
6 reviews
Dined on 12 May 2019
Overall 5Food 5Service 4Ambience 5

We went for brunch on Mother’s Day but definitely want to go back to try their pizza and beer selection! They gave all the moms truffles made by the chef. The food was amazing and the ambience was really unique.

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GP
Washington DC
5 reviews
Dined on 11 May 2019
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 4

Large portions, reasonable prices and menu diversity make this place s go-to neighborhood favorite’

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OS
Washington DC
10 reviews
Dined on 10 May 2019
Overall 4Food 5Service 5Ambience 4

Very good food, excellent service and fair prices. What else could you want? Worth the visit!

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BK
Washington DC
2 reviews
Dined on 4 May 2019
Overall 4Food 4Service 5Ambience 5

Good beer selection

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B
1 review
Dined on 2 May 2019
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

I took family, which included an eighth month old and a 2.5 yro. It was comfortable and enough room for everyone to be comfortable. The service was attentive without being overbearing and the food was great. I highly recommend the risotto and herb cheese tots.

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MW
Washington DC
3 reviews
Dined on 12 April 2019
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

All-around wonderful dining experience! I fell in love with the baked feta dip appetizer.

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JR
Washington DC
2 reviews
Dined on 11 April 2019
Overall 4Food 4Service 5Ambience 4

I came here for lunch with friends. I rated the restaruant as quiet, which it was, but they were not busy. The luncheon special (soup, 1/2 sandwich, salad) was a good bargain, but too much food for me at one sitting. Upon ordering I asked for my sandwich in a "to go" box and they gladly accomodated. Waiter was attentive but not overbearing. I especially loved the curry chicken soup and beet salad. My dining mate said the pizza was great too.

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JF
Washington DC
2 reviews
Dined on 9 April 2019
Overall 4Food 4Service 5Ambience 4

This is a great little Balston destination. Good food and great service with very good fresh fish of the day.

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VA
Washington DC
5 reviews
Dined on 5 April 2019
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

I picked Rustico because I had a friend that needed a gluten free option, but we wanted pizza. She said it was on of the best gluten free crusts she’d ever had! I even enjoyed the chickpea crust, as someone who is not gluten free.

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c
1 review
Dined on 4 April 2019
Overall 2Food 4Service 1Ambience 4

Our waiter ignored us most of the time and when he did he was rude, expensive for very poor service the food wasn't that good either

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OT
1 review
Dined on 29 March 2019
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 4

Tots were outstanding. The mushroom and spinach pizza was great as well. The best thing was the wide selection of beers that this place has.

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b
Washington DC
16 reviews
Dined on 20 March 2019
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 on 19 March 2019
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
4 reviews
Dined on 16 March 2019
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

Excellent as always. We love meeting friends there.

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t
1 review
Dined on 16 March 2019
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

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

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AB
Washington DC
17 reviews
Dined on 15 March 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 14 March 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 10 March 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 9 March 2019
Overall 3Food 2Service 3Ambience 3

Expensive for the quality of food. I was disappointed.

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K
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on 8 March 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 8 March 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 8 March 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 26 February 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 24 February 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
15 reviews
Dined on 23 February 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
38 reviews
Dined on 23 February 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 22 February 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 16 February 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 15 February 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
22 reviews
Dined on 15 February 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
6 reviews
Dined on 14 February 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 11 February 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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k
Washington DC
5 reviews
Dined on 10 February 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 8 February 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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