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Morning Poll: Food Options in the R-B Corridor

by ARLnow.com November 29, 2010 at 8:34 am 2,754 49 Comments

The Rosslyn-Ballston corridor will be getting not one but at least two new frozen yogurt stores next year thanks to rapidly-expanding D.C. chain FroZenYo.

While some will take a “more the merrier” approach to food in Arlington, others may question whether a three-mile stretch of Wilson Boulevard can really support 5-6 frozen yogurt shops, not to mention numerous ice cream and gelato places.

Likewise, many people have already wondered aloud whether there are more than enough pizza joints and cupcake bakeries planned for the R-B corridor. Receiving less attention is the abundance of food trucks, cafes and “modern American” style restaurants in the area.

Which of the preceding, if any, do you think has reached the highest “saturation” point?

  • NorthAdams

    you left out an option: NONE OF THE ABOVE. We simply do not have enough good places to eat. Plenty of places that are fine, but not enough “good” and with more competition people will step up their games. Consumers win.

    • None of the above is an option. We added it just before publishing the poll, so it might have taken a minute to update?

  • KalashniKEV

    I guess I’m the first burger vote- it’s not really a “problem” except when you are actually in the mood for a burger, then it’s hard to decide! I used to think 5 Guys was amazing- now I’m in the middle of Hell Burger, Whitlow’s is a good cheap burger on Mondays, E-W Grill burgers are pretty legit, and somehow I often end up with a late-night burger at any of the random bars.

    A better question is “What does teh RB corridor need?”

    1) More 24 hr options
    2) More informal/ counterservice
    3) More legit Chinese Food (not thai/ noodles/ pho)

  • KalashniKEV

    Spelling for teh win!!!

  • Zach

    What R-B really needs is a Jimmy John’s.

  • Black Flag


  • Vik

    I think we could use another diner or two. IHOP sucks; maybe tear it down, build something taller there and put a diner at the street level.

  • RJ

    I’ve been thinking for quite a while that there’s really nowhere in ARL that specializes in breakfast. Metro 29 and Silver Diner don’t count. I’m talking about a place that does an amazing breakfast and more creatively than just your standard pancakes and eggs. Maybe they follow it on with a great lunch, but then they’re closed for dinner.

    • Katie

      I agree. I used to live in Sydney, Australia, where the cafes that do a great breakfast AND a great coffee are ubiquitous (not cheap, though). Here we have either good coffee shops or diner or breakfast sandwich places–but never the whole package.

    • JamesE

      I haven’t tried it but the breakfast menu at Mike’s Cafe looks good. I go there quite often for lunch or dinner and their sandwiches are amazing.

    • NorthAdams

      Village Bistro used to do an awesome Brunch but haven’t been there in a few years.

      • S. Arl

        FYI – P. Brennans and Twisted Vines have great Sunday brunches. We like Tasteful Delight in Pentagon Row for Chinese takeaway. They have seating, but it isn’t like a full sized Chinese restaurant.

    • KalashniKEV

      I like Cafe Assorti for breakfast- crepes, yummy E. European baked things, and even their pancakes are weird… in a really good way.

      Is there a Deli though that does good cheap egg sandwiches, like NY? Brooklyn bagel is WEAK (one egg??), corner bakery is like eh, Cosi is weird, Euro Cafe is OK, but on like foccacia… I want a big kaiser roll w/ 2 eggs and bacon wrapped in wax paper… and cheap.

      • CherrydaleChris


    • Hey_Ovie_Go_Long

      Haven’t tried the breakfast sandwiches at Bayou Bakery yet, but they serve a fine cafe au lait, and the beignets have received rosy reviews. Plus the atmosphere is comfy if not downright cozy.

  • I agree with everyone about good breakfast places. I’d also like to see more ethnic places in R-B. Another good Indian place, a decent Chinese place, a good curry shop. etc. There’s certainly some room between the GMU law school & Liberty Tavern…

    • G-Man


  • Nick

    Echoing a few of my fellow commenters above, we REALLY need a decent Chinese place. Chinese food is supposed to be large-portioned (hence the “where there’s Chinese food, there’s leftovers” Seinfeld reference), tasty and inexpensive. Ten dollars for small sized platter of beef and broccoli does not cut it.

  • ChrisW

    If only there was a Waffle House!

    • Erin

      2nd the Waffle House!

    • Crystal_Mikey

      Methinks they are too scared to come anywhere near the Beltway. Let alone inside of it!

    • Superstar

      WAFFLE HOUSE!!! We need to get Fred Smoot on this.

    • lily

      SERIOUSLY!! The first person to open a Waffle House inside the Beltway will become a millionaire. I’m sure they’d have to raise prices for the business model to be viable with the high rents around here, but really, who’d care? Transplanted Southerners’ demand for real WaHo food has a price elasticity of basically zero.

  • Clarendon Resident

    If I had a wish list for restaurants, a Indonesian/Malaysian place would be at the top.

    But by far the most overlooked feature at any restaurant is the lack of planning for single diners. The R-B corridor is filled to the gills with single people, all of whom eat three meals a day, yet most restaurants are geared around sit-down table service for groups. I’d love to see more counter seating/service for those times when I want to grab a quick bite and get on with my life. Am I the only one?

    • Vinh An Nguyen

      Not at all. I agree 100%.

    • a’town

      you go out to eat alone?

      Kidding, I agree.

      Something a step above Potbelly, with bar/counter seating, that serves sandwiches, salads, (quick) pastas would do well. Also have a few beers on tap. 1 or 2 TV’s? Could do well for lunch for the days you want to get out of the office and away from co-workers, too.

      • LP

        Sounds like Vapiano to me.

        • Low Concept

          VAPIANO operates and franchises restaurants in over sixteen countries with over sixty restaurants open and over a hundred in development.


          • KalashniKEV

            I totally don’t get it… are you saying the more success a business achieves the lower their food quality generally is due to standards slipping, through less control? Or are you just saying that the more popular a place is, the less trendy it is, the less appeal it has?

          • Low Concept


          • KalashniKEV

            Forget trendy, we need 24 hour.

    • lily

      Totally. I work in the so-called Golden Triangle, which is full of such places, and I often grab dinner there before coming home because my food options in Ballston are so limited.

      And I’m not even single… but not much home cooking goes on at our place because my fiance is Korean and his idea of tasty food does not align with mine. I suspect this is a common problem in the R-B corridor.

    • +1 about single dining!
      Cafe Asia does have some Indonesian/Malaysian entrees but I would love to have a good restaurant dedicated to both those countries here…

  • Sandie

    The economy will only support so many food shops. Vote with your dollars. No business-no more shop!

  • southie

    Oh the irony of everyone begging for ethnic restaurants in Clarendon/Courthouse now.

    • Katie

      I agree…

  • NJmetsfan

    Ballston has Rock Bottom, Chipotle, and big buns. We don’t really need anything else. There are already a ton of restaurants to choose from.

    • Ross Lynn

      And on a similar note, Rosslyn has nothing and we could use some real resturants that aren’t in the Colonial Shopping Center.

    • JamesE

      That new burger place between pizza roma and first down should be open soon.

      • NJmetsfan

        I’m excited to try that place. Ballston definately needs more American food restaurants and bars.

  • Mike

    The biggest item they left out in what R_B has too much of is bank branches. I mean, how many bank branches do we really need. It seems like theres one on every corner. WHat a waste of good retail space. Who uses a bank branch these days anyway?

  • rft

    I’d like to see some foodie places (or haute cuisine) in R-B, perhaps something along the lines of Restaurant Eve or perhaps Central.

    But, please, for the love of god, we have enough shitty bars.

    • Novanglus

      Willow is great, but I agree that we need more great chefs here.

    • NJmetsfan

      What do you mean shitty bars? The bars in Ballston and Clarendon are great and all serve drinks.

  • JamesE

    I could go for a Persian place that isn’t moby dick and not in Clarendon.

    • jan

      Yes! I had wonderful food at a Persian restaurant in Naples, Fl. And it was packed with well-heeled midwest customers.

  • I would really love a Rosa Mexicano here, A Waffle House and a Sonic.

  • jen

    A place like “Leopold’s” (cady’s alley georgetown) or like ‘Cafe Bonaparte” on Wisconsin near P in Gtown. I miss those more upscale type places. Enough of these crappy chains and Americana restaurants.

  • Desperate need for a place you might take a date you’re really interested in. Sorry, Circa et al are good enough places but don’t make the cut.


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