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Arlington, Virginia: Where to Eat Around Shirlington

My sister recently moved to DC from our hometown of Chicago, after completing her PhD at University of Chicago and beginning her research role at the National History Museum with Smithsonian. She quickly settled on the Shirlington area of Arlington, for its dog friendly vibes (like, so dog friendly that it’s overwhelming - in a good way, if you love dogs) and it’s excellent downtown strip of restaurants. After 3 years of living in DC, I hadn’t visited this area once, and was absolutely blown away the first time I came by. The downtown strip is so charming and chock full of amazing restaurant options. Since her move, I’ve tried quite a few (to say the least).

Here’s a list of some of my favorites...

T.H.A.I. In Shirlington Restaurant

4029 Campbell Ave, Arlington, VA 22206

When I posted about this spot for the first time, an undergrad professor of mine (throwback) reached out and exclaimed - “my favorite Thai restaurant when I lived there 15 years ago!” YES! It’s been around forever and it’s clear why. This has to be one of the best Thai restaurants in the DMV area, truly standing the test of time. My Pad Thai was excellent, and they clearly care about each dish and customer. Highly recommend ordering-in from them if you live in the DMV!

Copperwood Tavern

4021 Campbell Ave, Arlington, VA 22206

A great vibe, and bumpin’ every time I’ve passed. Copperwood has a cool wooden interior, while still incorporating some TV screens for you to watch DC sports while enjoying a beer. Outside, the dog friendly seating areas provide a great atmosphere, too. Each time I’ve gone, I’ve gotten their lobster lettuce wrap appetizer, and honestly I’ll continue to do so. Every dish I’ve tried has been delicious, big portions, while still providing big quality flavors. A great spot!

Busboys And Poets

4251 Campbell Ave, Arlington, VA 22206

A DC classic. Busboys has multiple locations around the DMV area, and for good reason. Not only does Busboys & Poets always provide some good grub, they are known for their live speakers, artists, music, and book selection. All establishments in this restaurant group have a mission to bring topics around various justice issues to light through art and literature. If you’re into that (and I highly recommend that you are), this is a great place to grab food and attend some awesome events.


4024 Campbell Ave, Arlington, VA 22206

A restaurant completely devoted to wine and cheese. Need I say more?

Honestly, a great date night restaurant or spot to enjoy with a friend or two. Each dish is cheese focused with suggested wine pairings, all at a very reasonable price.

Samuel Beckett's Irish Gastro Pub

2800 S Randolph St #110, Arlington, VA 22206

One of our go-to spots. First of all, let me say this place is charming as can be, with waiters straight from the UK and a delicious selection of food. The interior is spot on, but they really excel when it comes to exterior space. If you have a dog (like most people in Shirlington), this is a great spot to relax and grab some UK food and drinks with some friends.

Best Buns Bread Company

4010 Campbell Ave, Arlington, VA 22206

If you want to grab a breakfast sandwich to go, this is your spot. Easy pick-up, GF options, and always fresh. If I sleepover at my sisters, this is where I grab some food in the morning.

Aroma Indian Cuisine

4044 Campbell Ave, Arlington, VA 22206

I don’t know about you all, but Indian is one of my top go-to’s when I’m ordering-in. Aroma is a great option if you’re in the area and are craving some delicious Indian food. Tons of curry options and delicious naan- what more could you want?

Big Buns Damn Good Burger Co.

4251 Campbell Ave, Arlington, VA 22206

Another go-to for me when I want to grab a quick burger in the area. Listen, this place delivers. Their burger options are unbelievable and always delicious. And their fries!! Don’t get me started.

I always go here (and wish they had an option in the district) because of their delicious gluten free bun option. I’m not allergic to gluten, but it always sits better in my stomach and tastes exactly the same here. What a score!

They even have a little walk up window so you can grab your order without going inside.

Fun tip: I order the kids' meals every time. It’s a one patty burger and comes with plenty of fries. The portions are great and it saves some money. That being said, I always suggest going for their creative monthly burger options.

New District Brewing Company

2709 S Oakland St, Arlington, VA 22206

Love this spot. So, I don’t have a dog but my sister has two. Spending time with them is one of my favorite aspects of visiting her in Shirlington. Our routine is to go to the amazing dog park right in town, and then swing by New District Brewery, which basically hugs the park, for some drinks if the weathers nice. This spot is great for everyone, but truly a hub to grab a drink if you’re a dog owner.

They also have some delicious spiked seltzer’s with in-house flavors. Last time I went, I got a nice fruity combo seltzer and loved it!

Stellina Pizzeria

2800 S Randolph Street, Arlington, VA 22206

Stellina Pizzeria first opened in DC and quickly became a local favorite. Placed high on the “Best Pizza in DC” list, they grew in popularity and eventually opened another location right in Shirlington. You can grab pizzas to go or sit down and enjoy with some drinks. I actually don't typically love Neapolitan pizzas (too much crust, not enough cheese) but this place delivers! It also has a pasta vending machine- how fun is that?!

Dudley's Sport and Ale

2766 S Arlington Mill Dr, Arlington, VA 22206

I am very picky about sports bars. Here me out- they are often full of TVs, cold, & often lifeless. So, when I was first invited to Dudleys I was skeptical. Boy, was I wrong. First of all, their bar food is excellent. It is such a great spot to sit down and enjoy wings and drinks. Second, their rooftop is definitely one of the best in Arlington. It can be hard to find a seat, but if you are okay with standing and enjoying the summer air while watching a few games and drinking, you won't even notice. Not a fan of the rooftop? There is also outdoor seating in the front AND back. Since my first visit, I have returned multiple times, and plan to continue throughout the summer.


4028 Campbell Ave, Arlington, VA 22206

Everytime we pass Guapo’s, there are people waiting for a table. What I love about Guapo’s is that it is so clearly a family spot- a restaurant that you go to every time you're home with the group. There are a couple of Guapo’s around DC, and all of them are constantly packed with people, margaritas, and delicious Mexican food. This is a great spot to go with a group - affordable with a menu that is fit for everyone.

Taco and Piña

4041 Campbell Ave, Arlington, VA 22206

Taco and Piña is such a cute concept- a great place to spot by to grab some tacos and maybe a marg to-go. We came while we were waiting on our table down the street, making it the perfect stop to enjoy some delicious homemade salsa, warm chips, and drinks. It is also great for lunch, if you want to grab a few quick, delicious tacos!

Palette 22

4053 Campbell Ave, Arlington, VA 22206

Palette 22 is the perfect brunch restaurant if you have a group of friends that want to enjoy this warm weather and eat their hearts out. With a set price of around $30 for UNLIMITED plates, we feasted! We ate Grilled Spanish Octopus, Moroccan Lamb Meatballs, Roasted Sweet Potatoes, Crispy Brussels Sprouts, Mushroom Brick Oven Pizza, Dan Dan Noodles. Definitely come hungry and expect to stay for a while! One of my favorite brunch spots in the DMV.



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