We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The Tripadvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.
Reserve a table
2
Tue, 11/29
8:00 PM
OR
Get food delivered
RATINGS
Food
Service
Value

Details

PRICE RANGE
$5 - $34
CUISINES
Eastern European, European
Special Diets
Vegetarian Friendly, Vegan Options, Gluten Free Options
View all details
meals, features, about

Location and contact

1.5 miles from Arlington National Cemetery
Improve this listing
Reviews (509)
Filter reviews
498 results
Traveler rating
359
87
32
12
8
Traveler type
Time of year
LanguageEnglish
More languages
Traveler rating
359
87
32
12
8
Show reviews that mention
All reviews brunch cheese pie goulash tapas stuffed peppers pork neck tzatziki chicken skewers brussel sprouts bread gnocchi balkan food small plates all you can eat drunken mussels balkan region during restaurant week
Sort and selected filters
Sort FilterEnglish
Updating list...
Reviewed 1 week ago

I stopped into Ambar not knowing what to expect; I was early for a meeting and was just looking for a place to kill time and have a bit of lunch. It turned out to be a very fortunate choice. I walked into the restaurant,...was greeted by a friendly hostess, and put in the hands of a staffer who led me to my table, handed me a menu, and explained the "Ambar experience." For $25, I could choose any (and every) item on the menu, with the only limitation being that my meal could not last more than 2 hours. I chose that option, and it provided an excellent introduction to the world of Balkan food. I began with the Veal Soup, a bone broth-based dish with abundant pieces of veal, ample vegetables, and a bit of creme fraiche. From there, I moved on to the Sarma 'Pork Belly Stuffed Cabbage,' which was baked for an extended period and accompanied by root vegetables and smoked peppers; Beef Short Rib Goulash, which was served over pasta; the Stuffed Pepper, which was probably my favorite dish of the entire meal, and had a rich aroma that wafted up from the dish and foretold of excellent flavor, the Slow Roasted Pork, served over mashed potatoes and topped with cabbage salad; and, finally, the Drunken Mussels, served in cream sauce with capers and lemon. The latter two dishes, although well done and enjoyable, did not rise to the same level as the others, but were nonetheless good. Service was polite and attentive. The meal was worth far more than the $25 charged, particularly given the fact that I could have continued to dine had I chosen to do so. My only regret is that I stopped for a pre-meeting lunch, and thus was unwilling to sample what was a very intriguing wine list, which featured rarely offered wines from Moldova, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Macedonia and other Balkan locales. This would be the perfect restaurant for a long, leisurely group dinner, in which all of the diners chose the Ambar experience (it is an all-or-nothing option, which must be chosen by everyone at the table) and sampled a number of the unusual wines. Should I ever have the opportunity to do so in the future, I most certainly will.More

Date of visit: November 2022
Helpful?
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
Reviewed September 22, 2022 via mobile

We enjoyed a wonderful dinner eating outside. Having a small group may help with the full dinner experience. We were able to enjoy smaller amounts of a wider variety of dishes. Highly recommend making a reservation. This restaurant is popular for visitors and locals.

Date of visit: September 2022
Helpful?
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
Reviewed September 6, 2022

The brunch is amazing. The atmosphere is chill and cozy. I definitely recommend it. Remember to make a reservation if you don't wanna wait for amazing food.

Date of visit: September 2022
Helpful?
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
Reviewed August 17, 2022 via mobile

Decided to try this Balkan restaurant before my flight out . Just so happens it’s restaurant week! Tried the $25 Ambar experience! We ordered Brussel Sprouts, Lamb lasagna, pepper Croquette, pork neck, mussels, Goulash, stuffed pepper, strawberry Quinoa, beet tzatziki and fried chicken. All were...delicious! Favorites were the brussel sprouts pepper croquette and strawberry quinoa. A must especially during restaurant week! We were able to try so many!More

Date of visit: August 2022
Helpful?
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
Reviewed August 10, 2022 via mobile

A new for us place, recommended by a Serbian acquaintance, that provides a wonderful array of Balkan dishes in a tapas all you can eat format. Lunch is $25 and dinner is $40, very reasonable for the quality and variety offered. We highly recommended it!

Date of visit: August 2022
Helpful?
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
Reviewed August 7, 2022

We ate at the Anbar on Barracks Row in DC a few years ago and the food was excellent. The same small plates, Slavic food menu, wonderful. Yesterday we went to the one in Arlington, and having checked the website, expected a similar experience. But...this is the DC area, and a weekend, and it was brunch. It was like a different restaurant. Very few items were Slavic. The music was like being in a dance club. While alcoholic beverages were included, iced tea was not, so we were charged for each glass. If this had been a weekday, and had the regular lunch menu, it would have been different. Just avoid it on the weekend if you are looking for the Slavic food items and choice not to be charged for the alcohol if you do not drink alcohol.More

Date of visit: August 2022
Helpful?
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
Reviewed July 21, 2022

There was about 60 of us, from all over the US and a few from Bolivia. None of us had ever been here before and we sure got lucky! The food was incredible, and there were many things to choose from. All the breads were...great, as were the veggies. My favorite was the lamb lasagna, which I'd never heard of. The servers were wonderful. Yes, we were all asked about food allergies, very thoughtful. If I lived in the area I would most definitely return!More

Date of visit: July 2022
Helpful?
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
Reviewed July 6, 2022

We had a wonderful experience at Ámbar! We were a party of five who all chose the fixed-price lunch option ($25). In two hours, we were able to try most of the small plates. Favorites were lamb lasagna, stuffed peppers, shrimp, and the white flatbread,...although everything was tasty. They also offer a variety of unique wines from around the Balkan region, as well as some nice dessert options.More

Date of visit: July 2022
Helpful?
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
Reviewed July 1, 2022

I have a severe allergy to shellfish. The manager took the time to write on a paper menu which items I should avoid, that may have come in contact with shellfish in the kitchen. The waitress was extremely accommodating with my situation. All the food...was wonderful and I will definitely go back to this restaurant in the future!More

Date of visit: June 2022
Helpful?
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
Reviewed June 21, 2022

We are new to the area and live nearby. We decided to try Ambar after reading some of the glowing reviews and because they had outdoor seating. Unfortunately, our experience was not a good one. To start with, the high cost of the SMALL plates...(by design) makes it a no-brainer to order the "Ambar Experience," and all-you-can eat of dishes on the menu with the exception of drinks and dessert. We started with our server's recommendations - "everything is delicious," but "get the asparagus, the fried chicken, the drunken mussels, the cheese pie..." We did, along with the slow roasted lamb, and several others. The food was average, at best. The service was OK... servers cleaned up quickly, but apparently (according to our server) part of our order was lost or miscommunicated so that we sat there for about 20+ minutes with no food arriving after we had already begun our meal. The biggest issue is as we were having the last of our dishes, a couple with a VERY large dog (part mastiff, part labrador, part something else the owner told the host) was seated next to us. We heard the owner say "we rescued him about 6 months ago," and that "he loves waiters. But when you deliver the food, be sure to hold it up high.") In fact, after our chicken skewers were delivered to our table and my husband went to try one, the dog jumped up, put his paw on my husband's leg, and went for the chicken. Luckily, my husband was not hurt. The owner offered to pay for our meal, but the damage was done, and we paid our own bill and left. Our bill came to $100+, and we will NOT be back.More

Date of visit: June 2022
Helpful?1  
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
Reviewed June 3, 2022 via mobile

My husband and I had a wonderful date night experience. Our waitress was amazing; food was yummy, quick and hot! We also had the pleasure of meeting the manager D’Mani who shared nothing, but positive vibes. Will definitely be back!

Date of visit: June 2022
Helpful?
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
Reviewed May 30, 2022 via mobile

Very poor service. Left waiting for 15 mins - had to find our server. Food has remained the same from its opening over 5 years. Some food served were cold and chewy. Probably will not go again. What a fall for a good restaurant.

Date of visit: May 2022
Helpful?1  
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
Reviewed May 21, 2022 via mobile

Visited Ambar for my daughter’s birthday dinner. The food was good however…durinf our meal, I glanced down and noticed an enormous cockroach directly next to my foot. We immediately notified our server who sent a busser over to get rid of it. As he was...hustling over. He slipped on a rubber glove….as we were sitting there, we noticed this same busser husting over to several other areas around the dining room , in the same manner, slipping that glove on and then hurrying back behind the kitchen. I can only assume he was disposing of other cockroaches throughout the room. It was so unsettling. We left quickly after and would never return! It was then that I looked up similar complaints and found many cockroach complaints dating back to 2019. We dine out frequently in cities around the country and I have never seen cockroaches in a dining area like this! Truly disgusting .More

Date of visit: May 2022
Helpful?1  
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
Reviewed March 21, 2022 via mobile

Seven of us had a fabulous dinner at Ambar. Loved the huge variety of food, with lots of great flavors and so many options. Be sure to get the crazy forest gnocchi dessert too - impossible to describe but incredible! What really put our evening...over the top was our outstanding server, Kristian - the greatest combination of funny helpful and efficient that I've ever seen! Can't wait to come back.More

Date of visit: March 2022
Helpful?
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
Reviewed March 21, 2022

First time for the Blban food and I was truly amazing. The food is so tasty and presentation looks great. Pricing is more than reasonable to today's market.

Date of visit: March 2022
Helpful?
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
View more reviews
Best nearby
Best nearby hotelsSee all
Residence Inn by Marriott Arlington Courthouse
549 reviews
.33 miles away
Hyatt Place Arlington/Courthouse Plaza
892 reviews
.35 miles away
Clarion Collection Hotel Arlington Court Suites
613 reviews
.51 miles away
Hilton Garden Inn Arlington Courthouse Plaza
1,619 reviews
.52 miles away
Best nearby restaurantsSee all
Nicecream
84 reviews
.06 miles away
The Cheesecake Factory
314 reviews
.05 miles away
Cava Mezze - Arlington
178 reviews
.09 miles away
Best nearby attractionsSee all
Women in Military Service for America Memorial
346 reviews
.61 miles away
Conte's Bike Shop
10 reviews
.62 miles away
Canadian Cross of Sacrifice
14 reviews
.61 miles away
Arlington Arts Center
5 reviews
.68 miles away
Questions & Answers
Ask a question
LAJ20814
August 30, 2020|
AnswerShow all 2 answers
Response from atomic-mama-reviews | Reviewed this property |
We did takeout, so we didn't actually use their outdoor seating. However, when we picked up our food, we saw they had set up a tent in the parking lot behind the building (off of Fillmore) and the tables seemed spaced out... More
0
Votes
deanna_ddc
January 18, 2020|
AnswerShow all 4 answers
Response from Amy D | Reviewed this property |
I agree with Paul L. See his answer.
1
Vote
Is This Your Listing?
Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.
Claim Your Free Listing

AMBAR, Arlington - Menu, Prices & Restaurant Reviews - Order Online Food Delivery - Tripadvisor

Frequently Asked Questions about Ambar

Yes, Ambar offers takeout services.

Ambar is rated accordingly in the following categories by Tripadvisor travelers:
  • Food: 4.5
  • Service: 4.5
  • Value: 4.5