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Where to Eat and Drink Along Columbia Pike in Arlington

The essentials, from saltenas to sandwiches

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Grabbing a bite along Columbia Pike has always been about pushing boundaries.

This part of Arlington has long played host to cuisines from the all around the globe, boasting restaurants determined to share authentic tastes of Thailand, Ethiopia, Honduras, and beyond. From hand-braided saltenas to crispy basil-covered spicy duck dishes, all one has to do to enjoy a crash-course in worldly dining is stroll into one of the constantly rotating mom-and-pop establishments that dot the main drag, chat up the server for a little guidance and then dig into the freshly-made feasts spun out by the respective kitchens.

Some well-respected spots are still doing their thing. Bob & Edith's outlasted Bob's Big Boy (now a Rite Aid) in the battle for breakfast dominance. Attila's has been plying folks with doner kebab and sucuk sandwiches for over a quarter century. Cecilia's, since renamed The Salsa Room, continues to get people grooving. But newcomers like William Jeffrey's Tavern, Mazagan, 1000 Degrees Pizza, and Boru Ramen add craft cocktails, modern Moroccan, fast-casual pies, and noodle soup to the mix. The neighborhood even has a movie theater that serves food and beer, the Arlington Cinema & Drafthouse.

Here's a guide to the dining highlights of this Arlington neighborhood.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. Bob & Edith's Diner (Multiple locations)

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2310 Columbia Pike
Arlington, VA 22204
(703) 920-6103
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THE place to scratch late-night cravings — whether they be for hot cakes, half smokes, country fried steak or coconut cream pie — has kept night owls fat and happy since the Nixon administration. The original location (now one of three) continues to dish out stick-to-your-ribs-good grub 24 hours a day.
Official

2. Cantina Mexicana

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922 S Walter Reed Dr
Arlington, VA 22204
Looking for an everyday fiesta? This Tex-Mex joint serves up margarita deals each weeknight, putting fruity refreshment — mucho melon, strawberry and a peach-green apple blend are just some of the featured selections — in drinkers' hands, either frozen or on the rocks, at cut-rate prices ($5 and $9 for a regular or large drink, respectively). Fret not, beer drinkers: Cantina’s got them covered with $3 bottles or drafts as well as $10 pitchers of Corona Light.

3. Dama Restaurant

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1503 Columbia Pike
Arlington, VA 22204
(703) 920-3559
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So long, soggy cereal. Indulge in some of spiciest breakfast fare Ethiopia has to offer (think: baked beans seasoned with onions, jalapenos and chili paste). Or fill up on assorted chicken, lamb and beef dishes (plus cooked cabbage, stewed collard greens and spongy injera) at the lunch buffet. Do dinner right with raw beef escorted by spicy butter or tender chicken swimming in hot chili sauce.

4. L.A. Bar & Grill

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2530 Columbia Pike
Arlington, VA 22204
(703) 685-1560
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Lower Arlington Bar and Grill goes all in entertainment, orchestrating live bands, trivia nights and karaoke to keep its regulars amused. They're also happy to stuff themselves with 1/3 pound specialty burgers (notable building blocks include mac and cheese and fried eggs), signature hot dogs (bacon-wrapped, because, why not?) or gourmet grilled cheese (sautéed onions and Gruyere, for the win).

5. Lost Dog Cafe (Multiple locations)

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2920 Columbia Pike
Arlington, VA 22204
(703) 553-7770
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Who doesn't love a local chainlet that rescues animals (dogs and cats), spins out Tabasco-spiked onion rings and delivers beer to its customers? Granted, it’s more fun to poke one’s head into the wall of coolers and create an individualized craft brew sampler (Lambics and Tsingtao and Bocks? Oh, my!).

6. Mongol Nomads

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3203 Columbia Pike
Arlington, VA 22204
This East Asian kitchen is hiding in plain sight. The nondescript exterior gives way to a postage stamp-sized room that seats four. Pull up a chair and sample fresh baked naan, protein-packed piroshki, milk tea dumplings and tsuivan, a hearty stew featuring meat, vegetables and noodles.

7. Pedro and Vinny's Fresh Burritos

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2599 Columbia Pike
Arlington, VA 22204
(703) 302-3999
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Back when owner John Rider began pushing a food cart around 15th and K St. NW, Chipotle hadn’t yet broken out of its native Colorado. Rider took over a former Ollie’s Trolley stand to create this brick-and-mortar version of his iconic lunch wagon. He has remained faithful to the original menu, rolling out gut-busting burritos composed of multi-flavored tortillas (from plain white to habanero salsa), grilled meats (chicken, steak, pork), assorted fillings (rice, refried beans, veggies) and signature hot sauces (cilantro adds an herbaceous quality; tomato brings the heat).

8. Rappahannock Coffee & Roasting

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2406 Columbia Pike
Arlington, VA 22204
(703) 271-0007
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Jonesing for java? This local coffee shop grinds and roasts on sight, pouring the fruits of its labor into nearly a dozen espresso-based options (from straight up to honey-vanilla latte), frozen drinks (half dozen fruity smoothies, vanilla ice cream-laced frappuccino) and other refreshing alternatives (lemonade, hot apple cider with caramel sauce, hot chocolate with Ghirardelli chocolate).

9. Sugar Shack Donuts (Multiple locations)

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1014 S Glebe Road
Arlington, VA 22214
(703) 577-9636
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This sweets peddler is the pride of Richmond, luring in connoisseurs of the confectionary arts with deep-fried goodies sporting everything from a hot pink glaze reminiscent of strawberry lemonade to chocolate and caramel sauces speckled with sea salt. Brighten up a Monday morning with a French toast donut featuring a cake-like round draped in maple frosting and sprinkled with cinnamon sugar or a Fruity Pebbles-covered “log” that’s as airy and sweet as the rainbow crust is colorful and crunchy.
Official

10. Thai Square

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3217 Columbia Pike
Arlington, VA 22204
(703) 685-7040
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Standard-bearer. Neighborhood touchstone. Critical darling. Thai Square continues to reward intrepid diners with a flood of enticing flavors, both familiar and exotic. The kitchen consistently produces pulse-quickening curries and mouthwatering meats alike. Don’t miss the honey roasted duck, deep-fried whole flounder with chili sauce or pork-y drunken noodles. It's a standout in a neighborhood with several Thai options, from the stylish Bangkok 54 to Rincome Thai Cuisine.

11. Pike Pizza

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4111 Columbia Pike
Arlington, VA 22204
(703) 521-3010
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This South American retreat focuses on meaty Bolivian dishes. Feast on pique lo macho, pollo saltado and, of course, the big bronze saltenas filled with either chicken or beef.

12. Taqueria El Poblano (Multiple locations)

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2401 Columbia Pike
Arlington, VA 22204
(703) 271-8979
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This homegrown Mexican spot has become a go-to for chorizo-spiked queso, tacos al pastor, chile rellenos, crispy tostadas and duck carnitas. Brunch items bring the spicy on weekends.

13. Twisted Vines Bottleshop & Bistro

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2803 Columbia Pike
Arlington, VA 22204
(571) 482-8581
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This combination retailer/eatery is home to gourmet nibbles, local beers (“We only pour beer made by breweries within 150 miles of Twisted Vines,” management insists), and boutique wineries from around the world. Tasting flights are dictated by region (New Zealand; Willamette Valley, Oregon) or style (sparkling, Cabernet Sauvignon).

14. William Jeffrey's Tavern

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2301 Columbia Pike
Arlington, VA 22204
(703) 746-6333
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This late-night hangout specializes in freshly shucked oysters, steamed mussels, pan-seared crab cakes and barbecued, bone-in pork shanks. Expect live music on weekends and a make-your-own Bloody Mary bar during brunch.

1. Bob & Edith's Diner (Multiple locations)

2310 Columbia Pike, Arlington, VA 22204
Official
THE place to scratch late-night cravings — whether they be for hot cakes, half smokes, country fried steak or coconut cream pie — has kept night owls fat and happy since the Nixon administration. The original location (now one of three) continues to dish out stick-to-your-ribs-good grub 24 hours a day.
2310 Columbia Pike
Arlington, VA 22204

2. Cantina Mexicana

922 S Walter Reed Dr, Arlington, VA 22204
Looking for an everyday fiesta? This Tex-Mex joint serves up margarita deals each weeknight, putting fruity refreshment — mucho melon, strawberry and a peach-green apple blend are just some of the featured selections — in drinkers' hands, either frozen or on the rocks, at cut-rate prices ($5 and $9 for a regular or large drink, respectively). Fret not, beer drinkers: Cantina’s got them covered with $3 bottles or drafts as well as $10 pitchers of Corona Light.
922 S Walter Reed Dr
Arlington, VA 22204

3. Dama Restaurant

1503 Columbia Pike, Arlington, VA 22204
So long, soggy cereal. Indulge in some of spiciest breakfast fare Ethiopia has to offer (think: baked beans seasoned with onions, jalapenos and chili paste). Or fill up on assorted chicken, lamb and beef dishes (plus cooked cabbage, stewed collard greens and spongy injera) at the lunch buffet. Do dinner right with raw beef escorted by spicy butter or tender chicken swimming in hot chili sauce.
1503 Columbia Pike
Arlington, VA 22204

4. L.A. Bar & Grill

2530 Columbia Pike, Arlington, VA 22204
Lower Arlington Bar and Grill goes all in entertainment, orchestrating live bands, trivia nights and karaoke to keep its regulars amused. They're also happy to stuff themselves with 1/3 pound specialty burgers (notable building blocks include mac and cheese and fried eggs), signature hot dogs (bacon-wrapped, because, why not?) or gourmet grilled cheese (sautéed onions and Gruyere, for the win).
2530 Columbia Pike
Arlington, VA 22204

5. Lost Dog Cafe (Multiple locations)

2920 Columbia Pike, Arlington, VA 22204
Who doesn't love a local chainlet that rescues animals (dogs and cats), spins out Tabasco-spiked onion rings and delivers beer to its customers? Granted, it’s more fun to poke one’s head into the wall of coolers and create an individualized craft brew sampler (Lambics and Tsingtao and Bocks? Oh, my!).
2920 Columbia Pike
Arlington, VA 22204

6. Mongol Nomads

3203 Columbia Pike, Arlington, VA 22204
This East Asian kitchen is hiding in plain sight. The nondescript exterior gives way to a postage stamp-sized room that seats four. Pull up a chair and sample fresh baked naan, protein-packed piroshki, milk tea dumplings and tsuivan, a hearty stew featuring meat, vegetables and noodles.
3203 Columbia Pike
Arlington, VA 22204

7. Pedro and Vinny's Fresh Burritos

2599 Columbia Pike, Arlington, VA 22204
Back when owner John Rider began pushing a food cart around 15th and K St. NW, Chipotle hadn’t yet broken out of its native Colorado. Rider took over a former Ollie’s Trolley stand to create this brick-and-mortar version of his iconic lunch wagon. He has remained faithful to the original menu, rolling out gut-busting burritos composed of multi-flavored tortillas (from plain white to habanero salsa), grilled meats (chicken, steak, pork), assorted fillings (rice, refried beans, veggies) and signature hot sauces (cilantro adds an herbaceous quality; tomato brings the heat).
2599 Columbia Pike
Arlington, VA 22204

8. Rappahannock Coffee & Roasting

2406 Columbia Pike, Arlington, VA 22204
Jonesing for java? This local coffee shop grinds and roasts on sight, pouring the fruits of its labor into nearly a dozen espresso-based options (from straight up to honey-vanilla latte), frozen drinks (half dozen fruity smoothies, vanilla ice cream-laced frappuccino) and other refreshing alternatives (lemonade, hot apple cider with caramel sauce, hot chocolate with Ghirardelli chocolate).
2406 Columbia Pike
Arlington, VA 22204

9. Sugar Shack Donuts (Multiple locations)

1014 S Glebe Road, Arlington, VA 22214
Official
This sweets peddler is the pride of Richmond, luring in connoisseurs of the confectionary arts with deep-fried goodies sporting everything from a hot pink glaze reminiscent of strawberry lemonade to chocolate and caramel sauces speckled with sea salt. Brighten up a Monday morning with a French toast donut featuring a cake-like round draped in maple frosting and sprinkled with cinnamon sugar or a Fruity Pebbles-covered “log” that’s as airy and sweet as the rainbow crust is colorful and crunchy.
1014 S Glebe Road
Arlington, VA 22214

10. Thai Square

3217 Columbia Pike, Arlington, VA 22204
Standard-bearer. Neighborhood touchstone. Critical darling. Thai Square continues to reward intrepid diners with a flood of enticing flavors, both familiar and exotic. The kitchen consistently produces pulse-quickening curries and mouthwatering meats alike. Don’t miss the honey roasted duck, deep-fried whole flounder with chili sauce or pork-y drunken noodles. It's a standout in a neighborhood with several Thai options, from the stylish Bangkok 54 to Rincome Thai Cuisine.
3217 Columbia Pike
Arlington, VA 22204

11. Pike Pizza

4111 Columbia Pike, Arlington, VA 22204
This South American retreat focuses on meaty Bolivian dishes. Feast on pique lo macho, pollo saltado and, of course, the big bronze saltenas filled with either chicken or beef.
4111 Columbia Pike
Arlington, VA 22204

12. Taqueria El Poblano (Multiple locations)

2401 Columbia Pike, Arlington, VA 22204
This homegrown Mexican spot has become a go-to for chorizo-spiked queso, tacos al pastor, chile rellenos, crispy tostadas and duck carnitas. Brunch items bring the spicy on weekends.
2401 Columbia Pike
Arlington, VA 22204

13. Twisted Vines Bottleshop & Bistro

2803 Columbia Pike, Arlington, VA 22204
This combination retailer/eatery is home to gourmet nibbles, local beers (“We only pour beer made by breweries within 150 miles of Twisted Vines,” management insists), and boutique wineries from around the world. Tasting flights are dictated by region (New Zealand; Willamette Valley, Oregon) or style (sparkling, Cabernet Sauvignon).
2803 Columbia Pike
Arlington, VA 22204

14. William Jeffrey's Tavern

2301 Columbia Pike, Arlington, VA 22204
This late-night hangout specializes in freshly shucked oysters, steamed mussels, pan-seared crab cakes and barbecued, bone-in pork shanks. Expect live music on weekends and a make-your-own Bloody Mary bar during brunch.
2301 Columbia Pike
Arlington, VA 22204

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