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Cherry blossoms in Colonial Village (staff photo)

Arlington’s Colonial Village community is the best place to live in America, according to new rankings.

The neighborhood next to Rosslyn and Courthouse is home to nearly 3,000 people and a historic, garden-style apartment and condo complex.

According to the ranking website Niche, which just updated its rankings for 2024, it’s the best neighborhood in the entire country.

Colonial Village, which has lower housing costs than other nearby neighborhoods, received high marks for schools, nightlife, diversity, proximity to jobs, health and fitness, outdoor activities, commute and being good for families. It’s easily walkable to two Metro stations and to numerous stores and restaurants.

Colonial Village neighborhood (map via Niche)

Another nearby Arlington neighborhood made Niche’s top 10: Radnor/Fort Myer Heights ranked No. 8 in the U.S., for similar reasons as Colonial Village.

The county as a whole, meanwhile, was ranked by Niche as the No. 4 on its “Best Cities to Live in America” list.

“Living in Arlington offers residents an urban feel and most residents rent their homes,” Niche wrote. “In Arlington there are a lot of bars, restaurants, coffee shops, and parks. Many young professionals live in Arlington and residents tend to be liberal. The public schools in Arlington are highly rated.”

Last year, Arlington was No. 2 on the “best cities” list. While the county fell on the list, Colonial Village moved up, from No. 2 to No. 1 on the neighborhoods list. Radnor/Fort Myer Heights also moved up, from No. 23. Ballston/Virginia Square, which was No. 21 last year, did not make the top 25.

The top 5 on both lists is below.

2024 Best Cities to Live in America:

  1. Naperville, IL
  2. The Woodlands, TX
  3. Cambridge, MA
  4. Arlington, VA
  5. Plano, TX

2024 Best Places to Live in America:

  1. Colonial Village, VA
  2. Carmel, IN
  3. Chesterbrook, PA
  4. Uptown Tampa, FL
  5. Cinco Ranch, TX

Hat tip to Rob S.

Rosslyn at sunset (staff photo by Jay Westcott)

Arlington is one of the most climate resilient places in the nation, according to a new set of rankings.

USA Today ranks Arlington No. 2 on its new-for-2024 “top-ranking cities for climate resiliency” list.

“Arlington, Virginia, has a low coastal and riverine flooding risk, and an even lower projected water stress score,” the newspaper wrote. “Arlington has made efforts to lower the risk of flooding… through stormwater management initiatives, including adding more capacity to stormwater processing facilities and increasing stormwater requirements to reduce pollution from new developments.”

Arlington also scored well for tree density and on a risk score published by the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

“Out of a possible score of 100, Arlington has a FEMA risk score of 73.91, the third lowest of any city in our study,” a PR rep noted. “Arlington has a tree equity score of 88 out of 100. Greater tree density helps mitigate the effects of climate change by reducing energy demands for cooling and lowering overall greenhouse gas emissions.”

While climate change fuels rising oceans and more devastating natural disasters, Arlington is relatively insulated from the biggest risks. But that’s not to say we’re immune from some of the effects of climate change here.

Arlington has seen significant flooding events in recent years, with storms dropping large amounts of rain in a relatively short period of time. And that’s not to mention the occasional tornado.

But as USA Today points out, the county has been taking measures to mitigate the flooding risk, with increased investment in stormwater management infrastructure. Much of the newer investment was made in response to community concerns that arose after significant flooding throughout the county in July 2019.

“The Commodore” apartments in Courthouse (staff photo by Jay Westcott)

There’s more evidence that Arlington is an expensive place to live.

The county has moved to No. 7 on a list of the priciest rental markets in the country, up from No. 10 last year.

Rental website Zumper just released its latest National Rent Report, and Arlington outranks even D.C. for median one-bedroom rent prices among the 100 U.S. cities and localities studied. D.C. remained more expensive for two-bedroom units, however.

In Arlington, according to Zumper, the median one-bedroom apartment is $2,330/mo, up 2.2% year over year, while the median two-bedroom apartment is $2,980/mo, up 1% year over year.

The county bucked a national trend of falling rents this month. The District, by comparison, had its one- and two-bedroom rents fall by 1.7% and 4.4% year over year, respectively.

“February marks the 5th continuous month of either flat or negative monthly changes for the national rent index,” Zumper noted. “One-bedrooms decreased 0.9% to $1,482, while two-bedrooms dropped 0.5% to $1,837.”

“While many Sun Belt and Intermountain markets are seeing rents fall due to new supply, the national rates are being stabilized by the rent hikes in low supplied Midwest and Northeast cities, where rents have climbed upwards of 20%,” the website wrote.

Feb. 2024 rent infographic (courtesy Zumper)
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When friends Alex Lopéz, Carlos Olarte and Ernesto Valenzuela opened Sabores Tapas Bar last year on Columbia Pike, they did not anticipate becoming a community staple so soon.

Since its debut last February — replacing a former Taqueria el Poblano location — the tapas bar was named one of the top 100 places to eat in the U.S. in 2024 by Yelp. Sabores ranked 48 on the list of 100 and was the only Northern Virginia restaurant to be featured.

Sabores was also named to Northern Virginia Magazine’s 2023 Best Restaurants list, cementing it as a new mainstay in the Penrose neighborhood.

“It was amazing news, we got really excited,” Olarte said. “It didn’t sink in completely until when it was announced and we saw the hype and started receiving phone calls from people that we knew, from customers calling us.”

Sabores samples regional cuisine from Spain and several Latin American countries, including Colombia, Venezuela and Honduras, from which López, Olarte and Valenzuela hail, respectively.

This is the first restaurant the trio has opened, though the restaurateurs have a combined 70-80 years of experience in the food and beverage industry, particularly in managing and opening restaurants, Olarte says. They worked together at a Brazilian steakhouse in Fairfax as well as Jaleo in Crystal City, which closed in 2021.

After the Yelp ranking, the business at 2401 Columbia Pike saw an immediate increase in customers, including upticks in large parties and reservations.

“We really, really welcome that push,” Olarte said. “People are being great. A lot of regulars, a lot of people coming in. It makes sense.”

As Sabores Tapas Bar welcomes more repeat customers, the restaurant become a place where “everybody knows everybody,” he continued.

“We really have become part of the neighborhood,” Olarte said.

Following the Yelp write-up, Sabores started serving bottomless brunch on Saturdays and Sundays and is working on launching a new lunch menu.

“We realize that a lot of people in the area are looking for something quick, so we’re adding more sandwiches, more salads, and also like a pre-fixe menu so people can pay a fixed price and get like three tapas of their choices so they can get in and out — something really quick and affordable,” Olarte said.

In the future, Olarte says he and his business partners are considering expanding Sabores as well perhaps opening other concepts. Right now, however, they are focusing on keeping up with the excitement at the current tapas bar.

“We’re hoping, right now especially with this, to start getting to a level that we feel comfortable that we can spare a little bit of our efforts for the new ventures,” Olarte said.

Despite these plans, the trio is still focused on serving Columbia Pike.

“This is our home,” Olarte said. “We can’t wait to see you again and again and again and again.”

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Falls Church may be pint sized compared to Arlington, but the Little City next door has the county beat handily in a new list of the region’s best restaurants.

Three Arlington restaurants appear in Washingtonian’s just-released 100 Very Best Restaurants list. Twice as many Falls Church restaurants appear in the same pages.

That’s despite solid Northern Virginia representation on the “Very Best” list.

“Some of the year’s coolest spots — Joon in Tysons, Ellie Bird in Falls Church, Kirby Club in Fairfax — debuted in the Virginia suburbs,” the magazine noted in its introduction. In all, 21 Virginia eateries were listed.

Those in Arlington are:

  1. Cafe Colline
  2. Ruthie’s All Day
  3. Padaek (which recently opened in Arlington and has another location in Seven Corners)

The six in Falls Church are:

  1. Ellie Bird
  2. La Tingeria (formerly an Arlington food truck)
  3. Nue
  4. Pho Ga Vang
  5. Rice Paper
  6. Thompson Italian

Last year Charga Grill topped the Washington Post’s annual list of top casual restaurants in the region.

That sent a flood of new customers to the eatery at 5151 Langston Blvd. Now two other Arlington restaurants, including another along Langston Blvd, are bound to see a big influx of diners thanks to the latest WaPo rankings.

Food critic Tim Carman’s list of the 10 best D.C.-area casual restaurants of 2023 ranks King of Koshary in Bluemont at #6 and Bostan Uyghur Cuisine in Cherrydale at #10.

King of Koshary, at 5515 Wilson Blvd, was previously praised by Carman for its “Egyptian food fit for royalty.”

“The King’s koshary is actually a joint effort from Ayob Metry and Nadia Gomaa, a pair of Egyptian natives who used to challenge each other to make the best version of this carb-heavy dish when they worked in the prepared foods department at Whole Foods in Ashburn,” Carman wrote in his latest list, published Tuesday.

Bostan Uyghur Cuisine, at 3911 Langston Blvd, was also noted for its compelling origin story — in addition to the food.

“Faced with the threat of a Chinese ‘reeducation’ camp if he returned to the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region to renew his passport, Mirzat Salam opted to flee to the United States with his wife, Zulhayat Omer,” Carman wrote. “Trained as a doctor in Xinjiang, Mirzat slipped quietly into the hospitality industry, the same profession that his father, a chef named Abdusalam, had warned him about as a boy.”

Topping this year’s list, in the former Charga spot, is Woodbridge food truck Lechonera DMV.


Washingtonian is out with the results of its 46th annual restaurant survey and while the rankings are decidedly D.C.-centric, one Arlington restaurant stands out.

Ruthie’s All-Day, which opened in Arlington Heights in 2020, was voted by the magazine’s readers as the No. 1 favorite restaurant in Virginia.

“Breakfast biscuit sandwiches, meat-and-three barbecue plates, and a family-­friendly approachability are the draws,” Washingtonian wrote of the all-day eatery at 3411 5th Street S.

The No. 2 and 3 reader favorite restaurants in the Commonwealth were Thompson Italian, in Falls Church and Alexandria, and long-time Michelin star magnet The Inn at Little Washington.

Ruthie’s is no stranger to acclaim, of course, having garnered a RAMMY award in 2022 and an entry in the Washington Post’s prestigious Fall Dining Guide this year.

“We are humbled and honored,” Ruthie’s chef and owner Matt Hill told ARLnow. “We could not be prouder of the dedication of our team and the support of our wonderful guests… A heartfelt thank you to everyone who has supported us and made RAD such a special place.”

Hill also said something potentially newsworthy about the future of the eatery

“We are actively seeking a second home for Ruthie’s and would love to hear your suggestions,” he said.

Some other restaurants with Arlington connections also made Washingtonian’s list of reader faves, including:

  • Boston-based chain Tatte, with an existing location in Clarendon and a planned location in Crystal City, was No. 3 for Favorite Breakfast
  • Chinese-Korean restaurant Chiko, which has a location in Shirlington, was No. 2 for Favorite Korean Restaurant
  • Burger restaurant Lucky Buns, which is coming to National Airport, was No. 2. for Favorite Burger
Weight room at Life Time fitness center in Clarendon (via Life Time)

Arlington ranked as the ‘fittest city’ in the U.S. for the sixth year in a row earlier this year. But the state in which the county is located is no slouch either.

Virginia is the fourth strongest state in the nation, according to a new study.

The Commonwealth weighs in behind Texas (1), Florida (2) and New York (3) in the rankings, which looked at data from the website Open Powerlifting.

“Virginia’s results: average squat: 573 lbs; average bench press: 364 lbs; average deadlift: 667 lbs,” noted a PR rep.

More from a press release:

Lift Vault, an online resource for powerlifting, bodybuilding and strength training, analyzed data, and set out to determine where in America do the country’s physically strongest men & women reside? They scoured through 5 years of data provided by Open Powerlifting focusing on 3 main powerlifting categories – the squat (a strength exercise in which the trainee lowers their hips from a standing position and then stands back up); the bench press (an upper-body weight training exercise in which the trainee presses a weight upwards while lying on a weight training bench); and a deadlift (in which a weight is lifted off the ground to the level of the hips, before being placed back on the ground).

The full set of rankings can be found here. The top and bottom five are below.

2023’s Five Strongest States:

1. Texas
2. Florida
3. NY
4. Virginia
5. California

2023’s Five Weakest States:

50. Vermont
49. Wyoming
48. Arkansas
47. North Dakota
46. West Virginia

Rosslyn skyline, with Tysons in the background (Flickr pool photo by Kevin Wolf)

Millennials are still flocking to Arlington.

That’s according to new rankings from the website SmartAsset, which looked at where those ages 25-44 moved in 2022. (Yes, there are millennials who are now in their mid-40s.)

Arlington was No. 6 on the list of U.S. localities where millennials moved last year, as a percentage of the population.

“About 11.5% of Arlington’s residents are new millennials,” according to SmartAsset. “The [county] saw 26,699 millennials move in in 2022, and the median age across the city is 35.6 years.”

Ranking above Arlington were mostly tech-oriented cities: Cambridge, Massachusetts; Santa Clara, California; Seattle, Washington; Sunnyvale, California; and Denver, Colorado. Neighboring Alexandria and D.C. were No. 13 and 15 on the list, respectively.

Arlington, meanwhile, was No. 1 in at least one regard.

“Arlington, VA had the highest rate of millennials moving in from out of state at 5.2% of the total population,” SmartAsset wrote. “Studywide, Arlington placed 6th. Charleston, SC (45th); Washington, DC (15th); and Sandy Springs, GA (10th) similarly saw particularly high rates of millennial transplants from out of state.”

In 2017, another ranking website declared Arlington to be the “Best City for Millennials” on account of its nightlife, diversity, public schools, and being “good for families.”

Ranking of “Where Millennials Are Moving” in 2022 (via SmartAsset)

Flickr pool photo by Kevin Wolf

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Sponsored by Monday Properties and written by ARLnow, Startup Monday is a weekly column that profiles Arlington-based startups, founders, and other local technology news. Monday Properties is proudly featuring Three Ballston Plaza

Four Arlington-based startups have made it onto Deloitte’s 2023 North America Technology Fast 500 Rankings list, released last week.

They are:

  • 29. GoTab, with 6,080% growth
  • 372. Brazen, with 342% growth
  • 423. Interos, with 287% growth
  • 525. Govini, with 212% growth

Awardees were selected based on percentage fiscal year revenue growth from 2019 to 2022, which ranged anywhere from 201% to 222,189% but had an average growth rate of 1,934% and a median growth rate of 497%, per a press release.

“Each year, we look forward to reviewing the progress and innovations of our Technology Fast 500 winners,” said Paul Silverglate, vice chair, Deloitte LLP and U.S. technology sector leader, in a statement. “This year is especially celebratory as we expand the number of winners to better represent just how many companies are developing new ideas to progress our society and the world, especially during a slow economy.”

Deloitte 2023 Technology Fast 500 Rankings illustration (via Deloitte)

All four Arlington companies have seen big changes recently. For most, the challenges Covid presented became fuel for their achievements.

GoTab’s streamlined ordering platform tailored to customers and restaurant staff rocketed into the public eye during Covid, when venues had to adapt to contact-less interactions. It has since launched new platforms, raised millions and expanded into Canada.

The fintech company Interos was founded in 2005 but its mission — using artificial intelligence-powered software to help businesses identify disruptions to their supply chain — became especially relevant during Covid, which caused trade restrictions and product shortages.

In 2021, Interos became Arlington’s first private startup to reach “unicorn” status, or a $1 billion valuation. Between 2019 and 2021, the company grew by 303% and has had its platform used by NASA, the U.S Department of Defense and several Fortune 500 companies.

Brazen provides virtual and in-person recruiting solutions to speed up the hiring process and works with some of the top brands in the world, including 15% of the Fortune 100. It has been expanding since it raised $3 million in 2019, but saw a marked increase in interest during Covid, when virtual events became the norm.

It was recently acquired by the cloud-based talent acquisition software provider Radancy.

Govini uses data and machine learning to advance U.S. competitiveness and combat eroding military dominance. Its claims to fame include a $400 million indefinite delivery, indefinite quantity, 5-year contract for data and analytics with the Pentagon, which it landed in 2019.

This year, it launched, which uses AI and machine learning to scan commercially available data for information to address “challenges in supply chain, nuclear modernization, acquisition, procurement, science and technology and foreign influence,” per a press release.

The company tied its recent growth not to Covid but with other current events: China’s rise to power and Russia’s war with Ukraine.

“In the face of these threats, national security leaders have realized that maximizing the Defense Acquisition Process is the first step to building an enduring military advantage,” Govini CEO Tara Murphy Dougherty said in another press release.

“This shift is evident in our growth and the widespread adoption of our flagship product,, across the Department of Defense,” she continued. “Govini remains deeply committed to equipping the defense community with a platform that answers the growing call for rapid, data-informed acquisition.”

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The forthcoming apartments dubbed “The Commodore” in Courthouse (staff photo by Jay Westcott)

Arlington has seen the greatest growth in people living alone of 342 U.S. cities.

That’s according to a new study by the website SmartAsset, which examined census data between 2016 and 2021.

Arlington is No. 1 on the list and neighboring Alexandria is No. 2, at a 3.54x and 2.98x increase of people living alone, respectively. In Arlington, about 42% of households only had one resident as of 2021.

“The rate of single people who live alone is rising dramatically in some U.S. cities,” a SmartAsset spokesman wrote. “Our findings show Arlington and Alexandria ranked among the top five cities where households changed the most.”

More from SmartAsset’s findings:

On average, the rate of single people living alone jumped to 28%. Five years prior, that figure was 24%. In Arlington, VA, which had the most drastic increase, the proportion of people living alone jumped from 11% to 41%.

Single people make up nearly half of households in these cities. The largest single populations across men and women are Washington, D.C. (48.23%); St. Louis, MO (47.49%); Alexandria, VA (46.52%); Richmond, VA (46.23%); Cincinnati, OH (46.20%); and Cleveland, OH (46.20%).

In the D.C. area, more than 25% of households are single women. Single-woman households are most prominent in Richmond, VA (28.00%); Washington, D.C. (26.74%); and Alexandria, VA (26.23%). These areas also saw the largest increases in the proportion of single women living alone over five years, with greater than 15% of households added to this cohort. Other areas with large bachelorette populations include St. Louis, MO (25.70%); New Orleans, LA (25.70%) and Cincinnati, OH (24.63%).

It’s perhaps worth pointing out that the end year of the study period, 2021, was in the midst of the pandemic — which might have prompted some to exit roommate situations.

2023 rankings for “Increase in People Living Alone in U.S. Cities” (via SmartAsset)

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