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“Great Neighborhood Restaurant” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Cafe Italia I

Cafe Italia I
519 23RD St S, Arlington, VA 22202-2517
(703) 521-2565
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Ranked #128 of 675 restaurants in Arlington
Cuisines: Italian
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Restaurant details
Good for: Families with children, Romance, Large groups, Doing business, Local cuisine, Special occasions, Entertaining clients
Dining options: Breakfast/Brunch, Lunch, Dinner, Reservations, Late Night
Dining style: Casual Dining
Cross street: Jeferson Davis Hwy
Transit: ART-ARLINGTON TRANSIT The ART of getting around Arlington. ART operates within Arlington County, providing access to Metrorail and supplementing Metrobus with smaller, neighborhood-friendly vehicles. CommuterDirect.com.FAIRFAX CONNECTOR The Fairfax Connector bus system runs seven days a week.
Germantown, Tennessee
Top Contributor
108 reviews 108 reviews
80 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 26 cities Reviews in 26 cities
35 helpful votes 35 helpful votes
“Great Neighborhood Restaurant”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 30, 2012

My son just recently moved to the Crystal City area and had already been to the Cafe Italia once or twice. We went late on a Saturday. Great "local" - non-chain atmosphere. We were quickly greeted and seated. Fatima also quickly took out order and was was very atentive the entire eveneing. My son had Veal Cristina and I had the Pasta Platter. We were both happy. With respect to the Pasta Platter, I liked the Cannolli and Lasagne more than the Manicotti. They have a decent selection of Italian wines at very reasonable by the bottle prices. I will definitely go back when visiting or working in the DC area.

  • Visited December 2012
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Food
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118 reviews from our community

66% Recommend
    35
    43
    22
    12
    6
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • Japanese first
  • Swedish first
  • Any
English first
Montreal, Canada
Contributor
18 reviews 18 reviews
11 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
“Pleasantly Surprised”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 19, 2012 via mobile

I didn't want to walk too far from my hotel and was looking for a delicious plate of spaghetti after checking in to my hotel. Luckily I ended up at Cafe Italia ristorante. The service was absolutely beautiful, the restaurant had an old world European warmth to it and the pasta sauce was amazing. What more can a person hope for on a Monday night.

    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Long Beach, CA
Senior Contributor
39 reviews 39 reviews
13 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 18 cities Reviews in 18 cities
18 helpful votes 18 helpful votes
“Old School Atmosphere, great service and good food”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 8, 2012

Italian as you would expect it, lots of menu choices, friendly staff and a old-school checkerboard tablecloth and wine bottle laden atmosphere. I had the stuffed mushrooms as an appetizer which was just average and the putanesca which was pretty good. The price was average and they do offer value-conscious set menus.

  • Visited October 2012
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 3 of 5 stars Food
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Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
“"Carbo-loading for Marine Corps Marathon"”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 27, 2012

Even with the crowd of the Marine Corps Marathon coming in to get the best carbs in Crystal City, they were able to seat a party of 2 within 5 minutes, and not a long wait for slightly larger parties. The waiters and staff, while swamped with tables, were able to maintain their friendly composure and make us feel welcome. The food was excellent! One of the freshest red sauces that I've had in a while.

  • Visited October 2012
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Food
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Washington DC, District of Columbia
Top Contributor
308 reviews 308 reviews
117 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 104 cities Reviews in 104 cities
171 helpful votes 171 helpful votes
“Only for those who have not experienced decent Italian-American cuisine”
1 of 5 stars Reviewed October 23, 2012

As someone who grew up in Chicago (with outstanding Italian-American cuisine) and lived for five years in Rome, I found my recent meal at Cafe Italia as indescribable, as in indescribably bad. Despite the names of the dishes, they are neither quality Italian nor Italian-American. The pasta is overcooked, limp and starchy, the cheese is a gooey, like one finds in a tube in Europe, the bread is dry but not crunchy, the sauces are uninspired and the wine is best and favorably described as alcoholic. I thought I might do well with a dinner salad, but even that had no crisp greens.

Since I was a guest, I ate sparingly, returning home for some nice wine and cheese.

But...if you have a family in tow, and you and your kids are satisfied with sit-down comfort food at a reasonable price, this may be your place. Otherwise, steer clear. Crystal City is NOT the place to go. Instead, drive to nearby Alexandria to the Del Ray area or Old Town. The selection of quality restaurants in either area is excellent.

  • Visited October 2012
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
    • 1 of 5 stars Food
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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