Now Open: Buena Vida Gastrolounge, Nighthawk Brewery & Pizza, Seoulspice and More

Dive into lamb barbacoa, Mumbai panini and shucked-to-order oysters.
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Buena Vida in Clarendon is back with a new chef, new format and a soon-to-reopen rooftop. (Photo by Tigran from Calypso Photos)

Arlington has long been a destination for great restaurants, with new spots popping up on a weekly—and sometimes daily—basis. Here are some of the most recent additions to the area.

Buena Vida Gastrolounge

After closing earlier this year for a revamp, Mexican eatery Buena Vida is back with a modified name and a new concept. The tri-level restaurant from Ivan Iricanin and Street Guys Hospitality (Ambar) first opened in 2019 with taqueria TTT on the first floor, upscale Buena Vida on the second, and a breezy rooftop bar. After pivoting to a carry-out focus led by TTT during the pandemic, the restaurant temporarily closed and made several changes; the entire restaurant now serves an unlimited tasting menu designed by Mexico City-bred chef Jaime Pelayo. Choose from shrimp chamoyada (poached shrimp, jicama, roasted peanuts, golden beef noodles, sweet potato), lamb barbacoa (slow-roasted with pickled cabbage, scallion, radish), mushroom quesadillas and more than three dozen other small plates. And beginning later this month, take in aerial views of Arlington and D.C. from its soon-to-reopen rooftop lounge. Opened: April 19. // 2900 Wilson Blvd #103, Arlington (Clarendon)

Quincy Hall

This Ballston beer hall and pizza place was in the works for nearly three years before unveiling its tavern-style pizzas and deep menu of ales last month. Pop by from 4-7 p.m. Monday-Friday and enjoy happy hour specials, including $5 rail drinks and discounted pints. Opened: April 15. // 4001 Fairfax Drive, Arlington (Ballston)

The Union

This McLean-based, family-owned restaurant opened a second location in Arlington in April. The eatery is helmed by Giridhar Sastry, who draws on his Indian heritage and international travels for the brand’s eclectic fare. Find Mumbai panini (chaat masala, cilantro chutney, Havarti cheese, veggies), calamari with Lebanese garlic sauce and sesame wings on the menu. Opened: April 4. // 3811 Fairfax Drive, Arlington (Virginia Square)

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Westpost newcomer Nighthawk dishes out thin-crust pies, Wagyu beef hot dogs and low-ABV brews. (Photo by Hawkeye Johnson)

Nighthawk Brewery & Pizza

Feel like a Saved by The Bell cast member at this pizza and beer destination in Westpost (formerly Pentagon Row) from chef Johnny Spero (Michelin starred-Reverie), restaurateur Scott Parker and Aslin Beer Co. Highlights include littleneck clam pies, Wagyu beef hot dogs and low-ABV brews. Opened: March 24. // 1201 S. Joyce St. C10, Arlington (National Landing)

Harvey’s

From chef Thomas Harvey comes a Falls Church comfort-food spot that is steeped in nostalgia, from its checkered floors to its vintage Coca-Cola signs. In addition to an array of breakfast sandwiches, appetizers and indulgent entrees, find a well-stocked market with beers, wines (p.s. they have a wine club) and prepared foods to dive into at home. Opened: March 14. // 513 W. Broad St., Falls Church City

Steak Frites 2

In May, Falls Church comfort-food outpost Harvey’s began serving brunch, including steak frites with a sunny side-up egg and IPA aioli. (Photo courtesy of Harvey’s)

Brass Rabbit

Carrot “fries” and lettuce wraps are the order of the day at this Clarendon restaurant and nightspot from restaurateur Reese Gardner, the name behind Copperwood Tavern, Dudley’s Sport & Ale, The Pinemoor, Quinn’s on the Corner. Suggestion: Order a wild berry bramble (Empress gin, muddled berries, wild berry seltzer) beside its mini rabbit-themed gallery. Opened: March 22. // 1210 N. Garfield St., Arlington (Clarendon)

Urbanspace

After a two-year, pandemic-related hiatus, this Tysons food hall reopened with some new concepts in the lineup. Pick up a sashimi bowl at Japanese emporium Donburi, a mushroom and onion slice from Andy’s Pizza and, on weekends, pan-African soul food from Hedzole. Opened: March 22. // 2001 International Drive, 3rd Floor, McLean (Tysons)

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Rosslyn food hall Assembly got a new member in March with Fog Point Oysters & Seafood, whose menu includes Maryland crab soup, Scottish salmon and mussels. (Courtesy of Fog Point Oysters & Seafood)

Fog Point Oysters & Seafood

Rosslyn food hall Assembly added a new dining option in March with full-service coastal food outpost Fog Point Oysters & Seafood. Savor shucked-to-order oysters, Maryland crab soup, and cocktails that include a fresh take on a mint julep. Opened: March 15. // 1700 N. Moore St., Arlington (Rosslyn)

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The Falls Church location of Taco Rock includes a sizeable patio. (Photo by Connor Reed)

Taco Rock

The taqueria from restaurateur Mike Cordero unveiled its third location in March as part of the redeveloped Birch and Broad complex in Falls Church. The 2,815-square-foot eatery features puffy beef tacos, cream-filled churros and a spacious outdoor patio. Opened: March 8. // 1116 W. Broad St., Falls Church City 

Seoulspice Entrees 2

Korean fast-casual restaurant Seoulspice serves a gluten-free menu with loads of bowl and “kurrito” options. (Photo by Scott Suchman; Food styling by Nichole Bryant)

Seoulspice

Get your fill of “kurritos” at this Korean fast-casual concept in Rosslyn from chef Eric Shin. The gluten-free, vegan-friendly restaurant includes a variety of options for its custom bowls, from purple rice to ginger-carrot sauce. Opened: Feb. 23. // 1735 N. Lynn St., Suite 106, Arlington (Rosslyn)

El Rey new restaurants in arlington

Find mezcal margaritas and papas birrias nachos at the Ballston location of popular D.C. restaurant El Rey, one of the new restaurants in Arlington. (Photo by Mykl Wu)

El Rey

Brothers Ian and Eric Hilton have further cemented their stake in Arlington’s food scene by opening up the first Virginia location of El Rey, a popular D.C. spot for mezcal margaritas and Micheladas. While you linger at their 50-foot bar, dig into the tacos al pastor or papas birrias nachos: fries topped with braised beef, two types of queso and black beans. Opened: December 2021 // 4201 Wilson Blvd., Arlington (Ballston)

CarPool

CarPool has returned to Arlington, not far from where it held court in Ballston from 1995 through 2017, before a brief run in Fair Lakes. Pop by for fried pickles, a chicken waffle sandwich and any of the 24 beers on tap. Plus, you can play all the darts and pinball your heart desires. Opened: December 2021 // 900 North Glebe Rd., Arlington (Ballston)

Mimi’s Handmade Ice Cream

Sharing a name with one of owner Rollin Amore’s daughters, this frosty-treat destination at Westpost (formerly Pentagon Row) sports roughly three dozen ice cream flavors, including bourbon peach, super Oreo and vegan roasted banana. Opened: December 2021 // 1201 S. Joyce St., Arlington (Westpost)

Inca Social new restaurants in arlington

At Inca Social, make sure you check out the swings that scream Instagram moment. (Photo by Eliza Tebo)

Inca Social

Merrifield eatery Inca Social has opened its second location in Rosslyn, offering Peruvian fare (causa, saltados, arroz con pollo) and pisco sours from an expansive dining room on Wilson Boulevard. A must-see? The twin swings near the entrance, surrounded by a floral tapestry. Opened: December 2021 // 1776 Wilson Blvd., Arlington (Rosslyn)

Jack’s Ranch

This 11,000-square-foot Tysons restaurant, helmed by Steve Roberts of Texas Jack’s Barbecue, boasts a 360-degree bar, aerial hanging garden and Hell’s Kitchen alum Declan Horgan as executive chef. Among the offerings: Buffalo chicken pizza, arancini and Nutella pizza dough. Opened: November 2021 // 1755 Tysons Central St., Tysons

La Tingeria

Nearly a decade after launching the La Tingeria food truck, David Peña opened the doors to a brick-and-mortar storefront for his chorizo tortas, vegan birria and (eventually?) dinosaur-shaped quesadillas. A struggle with the City of Falls Church over customer parking threatened to shut down the business, but the taqueria appears to be on a solid footing now. “I absolutely [want] to stay here and see how much we can grow,” Peña recently told ARLNow. “This is just the beginning.” Opened: November 2021 // 626 S. Washington St., Falls Church

Poppyseed Rye new restaurants in arlington

If you need a ready-to-go gift item while picking up a quick bite, Poppyseed Rye may have what you’re looking for. (Photo by Eliza Tebo)

Poppyseed Rye

Delicatessen-meets-floral shop Poppyseed Rye is a new addition to the Ballston lunch scene. Feed your avo toast cravings, find marinated tofu on banh mi, or pick up a canned cocktail to sip on site or tote home. Opened: November 2021 // 818 N. Quincy St., Suite 102, Arlington (Ballston)

Pines of Florence

Pines of Florence is back. The family-owned Italian restaurant that once had locations throughout the D.C. area closed its last remaining location, in Alexandria, in 2020. Now, the eatery serving fritto misto and lobster ravioli has a new Arlington location. And watch out for more—co-owner Naveed Mughal says the operating team plans to open sister restaurants down the road. Opened: November 2021 // 2109 N. Pollard St. (Cherrydale)

Chiko

Traditional Chinese and Korean flavors meet contemporary kitchen trends at Chiko. Its Shirlington location, the first in Arlington, serves several breaks from the ordinary, such as half-a-cado salad, soy-glazed brisket and sesame custard. Opened: November 2021 // 4040 Campbell Ave., Arlington (Shirlington)

The Salt Line Ballston Appetizer

Sure, there are oysters at The Salt Line. But there are also several other divine menu items for the seafood lover, including coddies and fried clam bellies. (Photo by Jennifer Chase)

The Salt Line

Nats fans no longer need to cross the Potomac to savor the flavors of this Navy Yard oyster haven. The Salt Line’s new Ballston location shares many menu items, as well as some exclusives: among them, the Wilson Boulevardier (Sagamore Spirit rye, aperol, Punt e Mes vermouth and orange). Opened: October 2021 // 4040 Wilson Blvd., Arlington (Ballston)

Bostan

This Langston Boulevard restaurant focuses on traditional Uyghur food, native to an ethnic group who lives predominantly in northwest China. Among the offerings are grilled shrimp kababs, Saozi noodles and polo, a blend of meat, carrots, rice and onion cooked slowly in a cast-iron cauldron. Opened: October 2021 // 3911 Langston Blvd., Arlington (Cherrydale)

Santé

Santé has replaced Fyve at the Pentagon City Ritz-Carlton. The Mediterranean-influenced eatery serves shareables and entrees, such as grilled octopus and roasted branzino. And, in addition to beer and cocktails, choose from 1, 3 and 6-ounce pours of a wide array of wines. Opened: October 2021 // 1250 S Hayes St., Arlington (Pentagon City)

Leila Cocktail

New Tysons spot Leila sports a patio and lounge, and hosts a weekday happy hour. (Photo by John Robinson)

Leila

With Leila, Bikram Keith has brought a vision to life. After touring the world as a DJ with U.K. singer Jay Sean, Keith wanted to create a restaurant and lounge that pays tribute to flavors and cultures from the Middle East, Persian Gulf and Northern India. Here, you can find spreads such as baba ghannouge, tandoor-roasted salmon and baklava on the menu. Consider staying for a while; they have a late-night menu. Opened: October 2021 // 7943b Tysons Corner Center, Tysons

Kamayan Fiesta

The family-owned Filipino eatery has expanded to Falls Church (its sister location is in Springfield), bringing with it chicken adobo, dinuguan (pork blood stew) and pinakbet, a vegetable stir fry with shrimp, okra, eggplant, bitter melon, squash and tomatoes in shrimp paste. Opened: October 2021 // 301 S. Washington St., Falls Church

Wren

Wren, an upscale take on an izakaya with Japanese-inspired dishes, is located just steps away from Tysons’ new skypark, The Perch. Among the menu highlights are the sea bass, roast pork ramen and the “seductively boozy Nightcap,” says Arlington Magazine dining critic David Hagedorn. Opened: September 2021 // 1825 Capital One Drive S., Tysons

Rako Ginger Rosemary Latte

Courthouse café Rako serves single-origin coffees and inventive lattes, as well as natural wine. (Press photo)

Rako

D.C.-area sisters Lisa and Melissa Gerben have unveiled their first brick-and-mortar shop, not long after launching their roastery in Lorton. The Courthouse storefront plays triple-duty as a coffee shop, all-day café and wine bar, with natural wines on the menu. Opened: August 2021 // 2016 Wilson Blvd., Arlington (Courthouse)

Maison Cheryl

Think date night with this petite French-American eatery—which serves an artisanal cheese plate, as well as foie gras and jelly sandwiches—is perfect for date night. On the menu, mains include ratatouille and parmesan polenta, grilled Chilean sea bass and honey lavender duck. And if cronuts aren’t too passé in your book, order one for dessert. Opened: August 2021 // 2900 Wilson Blvd., 104, Arlington (Clarendon)

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Categories: Food & Drink