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What Kind of a Restaurant Would You Like to See in Rosslyn?

by ARLnow.com August 2, 2010 at 1:50 pm 3,747 71 Comments

Considering that it’s one of the area’s biggest commercial centers, Rosslyn is a bit lacking when it comes to places to eat breakfast, lunch and dinner. And that’s not to mention the dearth of fun places to hang out at night (with the possible exceptions of Continental and the handful of restaurants with outdoor seating up Wilson Blvd).

But here’s the good news. We have the ear of a real estate firm that’s looking to attract a new eatery to the area. Something moderately-sized — bigger than a lunch counter but smaller than a Cheesecake Factory.

So you tell us: in your wildest restaurant dreams, what would you like to see come to Rosslyn?

  • hooooos

    Buffalo Wild Wings.

    • JR

      YES YES YES!!!! Go BW3

      • Jackie

        I totally agree. I know it’s going in Crystal City but Rosslyn is so much closer!! BWW!!

  • local worker

    A non-assembly line eatery!

    As convenient as that stip on N Lynn St (Cosi, Quiznos, Chop’t, Chipotle, McDonalds, Baja Fresh) can offer a very quick lunch time escape, you’re absolutely right: You have to take a trek up Wilson, or find a hidden nook in Rosslyn, to actually sit down.

    I’ll get chided for this, but since there’s a Ruby Tuesday in town, why not an Olive Garden? Something of a sit-down variety, but nothing that will conflict with Rosslyn’s in-a-hurry personality.

  • Yum


  • TGEoA

    Strip club. No pasties.

  • My immediate thought was Lost Dog Cafe. They’re locally-owned, support a great cause, and can attract a crowd for lunch, dinner, happy hour and even on weekends (they could probably also do a mean breakfast if they tried).

  • Jack

    No chain restaurants please. I’d like a nice fish restaurant like Pesce or Hanks Oyster Bar or Johnny’s Half Shell in DC. Or something like the Majestic Cafe in Old Town.

    • Hikin’ the Pike

      I’d second a fish restaurant. Doesn’t need to be crazy high-end, but a place that is not questionable.

  • Greg

    Something like Cap City that can do lunch and happy hour (and dinner if the market exists for it) would work well there.

  • Mary Beth

    We need a good meat & three. great for lunch during the work day, Also great for weeknight meals!

  • Garrett

    Something nice, mid-priced – and open for both lunch and dinner for local workers, people staying late at work, people who live in the neighborhood, and people catching a show. Could we ask for a decent cocktail bar with a good selection of microbrews and wines?

    Maybe the Neighborhood Restaurant Group could be enticed to open a new venue in Rosslyn – I’ve been impressed with their concepts (Tallula, Rustico, ChurchKey/Birch & Barley, etc.)

    Or if we could entice Jamie Leeds to open another Hank’s Oyster Bar, I’d gladly contribute to the flower collection to let her know how much we appreciate her! That’d be a dream come true.

  • How about a seafood place called….Ray’s the Catch? They would serve ridiculously good seafood at a fraction of the cost of other restaurants.

  • Rosslyn

    We need a restaurant that works well for business lunches/dinners. Domaso and Cityplace get old after a while…

  • eater

    A second the seafood notion and no chains, please! Who actually goes to that Ruby Tuesday’s?

    • Courthound

      >Who actually goes to that Ruby Tuesday’s?

      The tourists staying in the hotel across the street.

      • That’s why Ruby’s went outta business at Ballston

  • Clarendude

    Orlean’s House ?

    • TGEoA


      Bring back the blue beehive hair-don’t

  • Steve

    I second the Cap City idea. I know their Capitol Hill location is looking for a new home (and they have strict standards for the type of building they can be in due to the weight of their tanks) but maybe an additional location would serve them well.

  • Courthound

    I would to see Cap City in Rosslyn. It would be a great bookend with Rock Bottom in Ballston.

    I would go to Oak Street cafe on Saturday mornings for breakfast. It looks like they are no longer operating on Saturdays now. 🙁

  • SUBWAY!!!!!!!!! As someone who WORKS in Rosslyn, lunch options are limited… I don’t know how there are 2 Quiznos in Rosslyn, but no Subways?? If they opened one up here, they would KILL IT on weekdays for lunch. Guaranteed. Heck, maybe I’ll jump on my own boat and open one up myself.

    • Ryan

      No lunch options? Are you serious?

      • Quiznos, Chipotle, Baja and cruddy over-priced corporate sandwich shops are the only options… which after 5 years of working in Rosslyn, make it feel like there are very few options here… again a SUBWAY would be great.

        Not sure a place like MicroBrew etc. would survive yet, not until the residential condos/apts they are building down here are complete and theres’ more nightlife and weekend life. Though another Happy Hour option would be clutch. Continental sucks (to be frank) and Cafe Asia becomes the only real option, thus it is generally packed…

  • charlie

    something fun — Cap City, Rio Grande, anything from Great American Restaurants — oh make sure parking is easy. No restaurant in Rosslyn has easy parking. I live in Arlngton but would drive to dinner.

    • Dawn

      I work and live here.. how do you think i feel. No bars to go out after work, its terrible! I would love to see a few restaurants and bars.. PF changs or some kind or Clydes /JPaul’s type place – anywhere for Happy Hour besides Contintial or Palomar

  • Superstar


  • Efrem

    Hooters with Babs Favola working there serving all the boneyard anti-american progressives that sneak in the place after going before the County Bored requesting the place be shut down because they don’t provide rest rooms for transgenders eager to someday artifically fill out a tight Hooters uniform.

    • Garrett

      Efrem, this is really offensive.

      • Please, Garrett–

        Don’t feed the trolls.

      • TGEoA

        Indeed. The thought of flabby Babs in short shorts is really offensive.

        • charlie

          it may increase the alcohol sales. Remember, rose colored glasses from your Frat Days at Enormous State University?

  • NorArl

    It would be nice to have a microbrew with American flare, along the lines of a place you’d find in a college town with wooden booths and a large selection of affordable appetizers and unique seasonal brew.Rosslyn lacks dining establishments that are warm and inviting. Also if they could some how find the showboat salad bar that was in the Orleans House and bring that back, I’d be there every weekend.

    • Ryan

      I second microbrew focus. The only real place for happy hour in Rosslyn right now is Continental, and that can even get too crowded, which shows there is a market for a new bar sort of place. the problem with food there is that it is just too loud. Something “cozy” is also great and would cater to folks visiting in town who are just looking for a nice local place for drinks and food.

  • Rachel

    I like the Cap City idea, I like the Ray’s idea (isn’t he already planning something like that?), PLEASE NO OLIVE GARDEN or other cheesy national chain. Also no wood-grill type pizza, Clarendon and Courthouse are going to be overrun with those shortly.

  • Ed

    Founding Farmers or Farmers and Fishers.

  • Rich

    Philadelphia concept: mom & pop type restaurant that’s BYOB (newly minted chef from culinary school) cooking up local produces and games (similar concept as Founding Farmers)

  • TuesdaysChild

    If it has to be a chain, I would vote for McCormicks and Schmits (sp?).

  • Eponymous Coward

    I’m no developer, but I would think that from their point of view, going to a local restaurant group with an established rep would seem like a good idea. First, you get points with the locals for supporting local business.

    Second, when the chips are down and maybe you need to raise the rent, or get some help with capital improvements to the property, who would you rather negotiate with? A local business that feels a connection to the community, or some national franchise whose decisions may well be made in some remote corporate headquarters, who might be thinking their money would be better invested in a strip mall in Jersey?

  • Bubba Gump Shrimp!

  • TuesdaysChild

    P.S. Do people still go to brew pubs like Cap City? I thought that was over with. See you at the cupcake store!

  • Hikin’ the Pike

    How crazy am I for thinking Waffle House…let’s go 24 hour!

  • Resident tired of the same ol’ thing

    Something ethnic or different would be great like an Indian, Thai, or Peruvian place! (Nando’s Peri Peri maybe?) There is a real lack of diversity currently. I know we have Tomo’s but it is not that good and Cafe Asia barely counts as Asian food. Kanpai and Santa Fe Cafe can be good, but it would be nice to have another option.

  • Amy

    A cajun restaurant with zydeco music. How about a second location of The Cajun Experience in Leesburg?

  • Efrem

    On second thought, how about a soup kitchen/homeless shelter for all the multi-generational hardworking American citizens that the County Bored has intentionally chased out of Arlington?

  • Dan

    Anything that would also work at night would be great.
    There are no pizza shops in rosslyn, up the hill at piola and dominos does not count, i want straight pizza join, MAYBE pizza and sub shop

    There are also no burger joints, mcdonalds does not count as beef which is a requirement of a real burger. Yes Ray’s Hell Burger is awesome, but i still think that whole area is more of courthouse than it is rosslyn, and i’m fit enough to walk there. Maybe elevation burger or five guys, or even BGR.

    There are no chicken places though this goes back to lunch only. yes you can eat chic fil a at dinner, but it seems as though no one lives in rosslyn.

    So, to fit dinner in, a nice sizable pizza joint with a bar (this is where lost dog cafe fits in nicely but i’m pretty sure they are family owned and you couldn’t just start one up, also not that fancy ass pricey moderately good stuff like piola), or an alternative to continental with a decent lunch/dinner menu and games and big tvs.

  • John Murphy

    WDC needs a DeFrisco’s!

  • MC

    Funny that the the BID wants Rosslyn to be Manhattan-sophisticated, but so many of these suggestions are belong in an suburban shopping mall.

    Rosslyn most needs a nice place to go for dinner that would draw people to Rosslyn in the evening because it is different than what’s available elsewhere. Remember, the Art-o-sphere or whatever it’s called will be opening up in the fall, and Rosslyn will have more night-time activity. Maybe something Indonesian or Peruvian (not a chicken joint), or even Greek.

  • North Highlands

    Something with a good happy hour that would work for both lunch, dinner and weekend crowds. Lost Dog is a good example. I miss Flattop Grill that used to be in Ballston (where the Alladin Eatery is now). I now have to wait till I’m in Chicago to eat there.

  • (1) No chains / plastic / prefab

    (2) Family restaurant. Something for the other 90% of Arlington with families that dont patronize trendy yuppie NYC-wannabe restaurants in Clarendon – Go to Joe’s Pizza sometime and see the tremendous business that family local business does. Other local family restaurants doing a killing: Lost Dog Cafe; Restaurant Abi. Lots of family tourists probably stay in the Rosslyn hotels and would patronize a good place.

    (3) Something that has a true veggie selection (where a veggie burger cooked on the same grill as the meat burger – is not a veggie option)

    (4) Some patio seating

    (5) And all the meals should come with free cars

  • AES

    Something to give Rosslyn some personality! A real neighborhood spot like Lost Dog, or even a Chadwicks or Mike’s American Grill. There are more than enough Rosslyn residents to draw a dinner crowd, but you’ll need a menu with variety to keep those neighbors coming back often.

  • “Something to give Rosslyn some personality!” Whoa, Rosslyn’s got personality. But not a good ice cream shop.

  • This guy

    How about anything by the Liberty restaurant group? The food is great, it’s local, classy, affordable and can do lunch/dinner and night life. Time to force them to hire a brew master!

  • JLA

    This is a great opportunity to further Rosslyn’s development. Ideally, we can kill two birds with one stone and have the future establishment serve two ends: one, as an eatery, and two, as a local attraction. A nice pub would be best suited to achieve these ends.

    A pub can serve high quality food during lunch and dinner, and then serve as a fun hang-out place after dining hours are over. The pub could have karaoke on some nights, trivia on others, and perhaps even live music on occasion. The marginal cost of adding these fun, entertainment activities is quite small, and the marginal benefit is very high. Rosslyn sorely needs a place like the one described above.

  • Vik

    A versatile restaurant for happy hour, dinner, sports, etc. would be nice, but I don’t see why diners and pizza joints are so few and far between around here.

  • dan

    I’m disappointed in the subway news. quiznos is no good and we have two, subway quality hasn’t been good for years imo.
    I would have liked a potbelly.

  • Rosslyn

    A Clyde’s could really jumpstart the neighborhood. Short of that, a Dogfish Head Alehouse would be awesome and would complement their existing places really well.

  • Kate

    Punk’s Backyard Grill (there is one location in Annapolis) it has a really nice selection of food, freshly prepared. It would be good for lunch or dinner and is at a price that would work well for a lunch or dinner crowd in the area.

  • Arlingtonian

    Something different and locally owned. A local brewery that also serves good steaks would be nice. No more chains, PLEASE.

  • How about a Hibachi place? Matsutake in Ballston is pretty good. I think a place like that would thrive in Rosslyn.

  • tikigap

    We need a REAL Tiki bar. Ever since the Honolulu Restaurant in Alex. closed down, I’ve been lost.

    Puffer Fish, no Jimmy Buffet, No neon signs, Martin Denney music, exotica of all kinds, including carved tikis, lots of bamboo, and especially good food and drinks.

    ‘Real’ Mai Tais (you knew they don’t have pineapple juice in them, didn’t you?), Navy Grog, Suffering Bastards, Scorpions…

    We are really lacking.

  • A NY Pizza chain (NOWHERE in the DC has franchised any NY pizza). Piola is decent but how about Pontillos Pizza (the best chain in Upstate and Western NY) I have talked with the owners and they WOULD franchise!

    If I had the time I would work on this myself. It would be a HUGE hit– some indoor and patio seating with some beer PLUS take out and delivery!


  • Justin

    gastro pub? Liberty Tabern-ish

  • Justin

    ^ Liberty Tavern / Eventide-ish

  • TGEoA

    Screw this “locally sourced” crap. That’s for suckers who are willing to pay more for the illusion it’s better.

    Now let’s have whale meat sushi flown in on Al Gore’s private jet.

  • GC

    It’s not that Rosslyn doesn’t have a bunch of lunchtime restaurants already– they’re just mostly mediocre. It would be great if Rosslyn had a good Chinese restaurant (sorry China Garden, you don’t qualify), pizza by the slice (like Pete’s Apizza or Washington Deli), a Banh Mi sandwich place (like the Rebel Heroes food truck in Clarendon), Indian (like Delhi Dhaba in Courthouse or the Fojol Brothers food truck in DC), Peruvian chicken (like Pollo Rico in Virginia Square), or a bakery/dessert/coffee place (like Baked and Wired in G-town or Northside Social in Clarendon).

  • Stacy
  • Dave

    I second the idea for a Punk’s Backyard Grill! It would work perfectly in Rosslyn!

  • Hire the guys from the basil thyme food truck to make fresh pasta. Or a greek restaurant. Or argentine.

  • urfadurf

    rosslyn is a business district, i’m not sure it will ever transform itself to be a dinner venue. So my vote is for BW three’3, or hooters..beer and wings c’mon..you really want to get fancy..go up the street then!


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