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An omelet with home fries in the background, utensils in front, and coffee on the side.
An omelet from Bob & Edith’s
Photo: Bob & Edith’s [official site]

Where to Eat and Drink in Crystal City

Feast on 24/7 kebabs and classic paella

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An omelet from Bob & Edith’s
| Photo: Bob & Edith’s [official site]

Crystal City, home to skyward-reaching office buildings, a sizable Department of Defense workforce, and an extensive underground tunnel system, has, over the years, developed its own identity. As the area has evolved from commercial strip to residential neighborhood, so too have the dining options — leading to a medley of new and old that’s placed pop-up friendly kitchens alongside decades-old establishments not far from Reagan National Airport.

The area is sure to change once Amazon moves to town — fast-casual Indian spot RASA already plans to arrive this year. Longstanding establishments like Freddie’s Beach Bar and Athena Pallas already lend the corporate-feeling neighborhood some color and personality.

Don’t see a favorite Crystal City eatery? Sound off in the comments or shoot us an email (dc@eater.com).

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. The Stand

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1601 Crystal Dr
Arlington, VA 22202
(703) 413-8048
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The Stand, from the same team behind Common Ground in neighboring Rosslyn, Virginia, offers a rotating cast of pop-ups nearly every week. Right now in the cooler months, find La Colombe Coffee, but expect things to heat up come springtime. — Missy Frederick

2. Highline

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2010 Crystal Dr
Arlington, VA 22202
(703) 413-2337
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Game-filled Highline serves up a bevy of 30-plus rotating drafts and standard pub fare, including burgers, wings, and chili. The happy hour on Saturdays starts at 3 p.m. and and ends five hours later. —Lenore Atkins

A crowd of people gathered at a bar with exposed wooden beams above
Bar patrons at Highline
Highline [official photo]

3. We, the Pizza (Multiple locations)

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2100 Crystal Dr
Arlington, VA 22202
(703) 415-7992
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This homegrown chain from Top Chef alum Spike Mendelsohn offers gourmet pizzas whole or by the slice. The “Butcher’s Block” — made with tomato sauce, mozzarella, pepperoni, sausage, ham, and Applewood-smoked bacon — is among the most popular. — Lenore Atkins

4. Neramitra Thai Cuisine

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2200 Crystal Dr
Arlington, VA 22202
(703) 413-8886
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Find all the Thai basics here, from basil chicken to specials like Siamese beef and crab fried rice. — Missy Frederick

5. The Athena Pallas Restaurant

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556 22nd St S
Arlington, VA 22202
(703) 521-3870
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Old school neighborhood Greek restaurants can be kind of hard to find in the D.C. area. Crystal City has one in Athena Pallas, serving traditional dishes like spanikopita, moussaka, and house specialities like scallops with fennel. — Missy Frederick

Pasta topped with shrimp and tomato sauce
Seafood pasta from Athena Pallas
Athena Pallas [official photo]

6. Jaleo (Multiple locations)

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2250 Crystal Dr A
Arlington, VA 22202
(703) 413-8181
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Did someone say small plates? The cured ham cut from Spain’s famed, acorn-fed Iberico pigs is a definite must-try at restaurateur José Andrés’s iconic tapas spot. The restaurant’s “sangria hour” features a slew of tapas, from patatas bravas to salmon tartare, priced $3-$6. It gets pretty crowded, so get there early (starts at 4 p.m.) —Lenore Adkins

7. Freddie's Beach Bar

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555 23rd St S
Arlington, VA 22202
(703) 685-0555
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Freddie’s, a gay bar that welcomes all, has been around since 2001 and is best known for lively activities such as drag shows, karaoke, daily happy hour, buffet breakfast on Saturdays, and Champagne brunch on Sundays. Freddie’s also holds a monthly Pentagon happy hour for area defense workers. —Lenore Adkins

05/28/2005 The scene at Freddie’s Beach Bar on S. 23rd St. i Dudley M. Brooks/The The Washington Post via Getty Images

8. Bob & Edith's Diner

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539 23rd St S
Arlington, VA 22202
(703) 920-2700
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This diner used to be a small operation with two stand-alone locations, including this Crystal City outpost, but has since expanded to a mini local chain. Locals enjoy it for the basics, like biscuits and gravy or eggs cooked to order. Key: it’s also open 24 hours. — Missy Frederick

An omelet with home fries in the background, utensils in front, and coffee on the side.
An omelet from Bob & Edith’s
Photo: Bob & Edith’s [official site]

9. Crystal City Sports Pub

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529 23rd St S
Arlington, VA 22202
(703) 521-8215
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This towering community mainstay keeps packing them in by broadcasting every sport imaginable across over 100 TVs, and serving breakfast favorites including powdered sugar-topped French toast, crab-crowned eggs Benedict, as well as biscuits and gravy, all day, every day. —Lenore Adkins

Buffalo wings from Crystal City Sports Pub served with celery and bleu cheese
Wings from Crystal City Sports Pub
Crystal City Sports Pub [official site]

10. Enjera

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549 23rd St S
Arlington, VA 22202
(703) 271-6040
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Vegans, vegetarians, and carnivores all have plenty to choose from at this local restaurant specializing in Eritrean and Ethiopian cuisines. Along with traditional offerings including raw kitfo and seasoned tibs, the restaurant serves vegan “chicken” strips, and berbere-spiced injera bread. —Lenore Atkins

Three separate dishes placed atop injera bread
A platter of food from Enjera in Crystal City
Enjera [official site]

11. Portofino

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526 23rd St S
Arlington, VA 22202
(703) 979-8200
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This family-run restaurant has been Crystal City’s go-to for Northern Italian cuisine since it opened in 1970. The menu ranges from ricotta-filled, baked eggplant and meatball-studded Italian wedding soup to linguine with clam sauce and rosemary-crusted lamb chops. — Lenore Atkins

Veal-filled tortellini Piedmontese at Portofino.
Photo by Jai Williams for Portofino

12. Kabob Palace

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2315 S Eads St
Arlington, VA 22202
(703) 486-3535
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This perennial favorite has kept the neighborhood stocked with all the affordable curry chicken, grilled lamb, and stewed goat it could eat for decades. Not satisfied with serving over a dozen specialty kebabs — plus daily vegetarian platters — Kabob Palace goes the extra mile by staying open 24 hours a day, seven days a week. —Lenore Atkins

1. The Stand

1601 Crystal Dr, Arlington, VA 22202

The Stand, from the same team behind Common Ground in neighboring Rosslyn, Virginia, offers a rotating cast of pop-ups nearly every week. Right now in the cooler months, find La Colombe Coffee, but expect things to heat up come springtime. — Missy Frederick

1601 Crystal Dr
Arlington, VA 22202

2. Highline

2010 Crystal Dr, Arlington, VA 22202
A crowd of people gathered at a bar with exposed wooden beams above
Bar patrons at Highline
Highline [official photo]

Game-filled Highline serves up a bevy of 30-plus rotating drafts and standard pub fare, including burgers, wings, and chili. The happy hour on Saturdays starts at 3 p.m. and and ends five hours later. —Lenore Atkins

2010 Crystal Dr
Arlington, VA 22202

3. We, the Pizza (Multiple locations)

2100 Crystal Dr, Arlington, VA 22202

This homegrown chain from Top Chef alum Spike Mendelsohn offers gourmet pizzas whole or by the slice. The “Butcher’s Block” — made with tomato sauce, mozzarella, pepperoni, sausage, ham, and Applewood-smoked bacon — is among the most popular. — Lenore Atkins

2100 Crystal Dr
Arlington, VA 22202

4. Neramitra Thai Cuisine

2200 Crystal Dr, Arlington, VA 22202

Find all the Thai basics here, from basil chicken to specials like Siamese beef and crab fried rice. — Missy Frederick

2200 Crystal Dr
Arlington, VA 22202

5. The Athena Pallas Restaurant

556 22nd St S, Arlington, VA 22202
Pasta topped with shrimp and tomato sauce
Seafood pasta from Athena Pallas
Athena Pallas [official photo]

Old school neighborhood Greek restaurants can be kind of hard to find in the D.C. area. Crystal City has one in Athena Pallas, serving traditional dishes like spanikopita, moussaka, and house specialities like scallops with fennel. — Missy Frederick

556 22nd St S
Arlington, VA 22202

6. Jaleo (Multiple locations)

2250 Crystal Dr A, Arlington, VA 22202

Did someone say small plates? The cured ham cut from Spain’s famed, acorn-fed Iberico pigs is a definite must-try at restaurateur José Andrés’s iconic tapas spot. The restaurant’s “sangria hour” features a slew of tapas, from patatas bravas to salmon tartare, priced $3-$6. It gets pretty crowded, so get there early (starts at 4 p.m.) —Lenore Adkins

2250 Crystal Dr A
Arlington, VA 22202

7. Freddie's Beach Bar

555 23rd St S, Arlington, VA 22202
05/28/2005 The scene at Freddie’s Beach Bar on S. 23rd St. i Dudley M. Brooks/The The Washington Post via Getty Images

Freddie’s, a gay bar that welcomes all, has been around since 2001 and is best known for lively activities such as drag shows, karaoke, daily happy hour, buffet breakfast on Saturdays, and Champagne brunch on Sundays. Freddie’s also holds a monthly Pentagon happy hour for area defense workers. —Lenore Adkins

555 23rd St S
Arlington, VA 22202

8. Bob & Edith's Diner

539 23rd St S, Arlington, VA 22202
An omelet with home fries in the background, utensils in front, and coffee on the side.
An omelet from Bob & Edith’s
Photo: Bob & Edith’s [official site]

This diner used to be a small operation with two stand-alone locations, including this Crystal City outpost, but has since expanded to a mini local chain. Locals enjoy it for the basics, like biscuits and gravy or eggs cooked to order. Key: it’s also open 24 hours. — Missy Frederick

539 23rd St S
Arlington, VA 22202

9. Crystal City Sports Pub

529 23rd St S, Arlington, VA 22202
Buffalo wings from Crystal City Sports Pub served with celery and bleu cheese
Wings from Crystal City Sports Pub
Crystal City Sports Pub [official site]

This towering community mainstay keeps packing them in by broadcasting every sport imaginable across over 100 TVs, and serving breakfast favorites including powdered sugar-topped French toast, crab-crowned eggs Benedict, as well as biscuits and gravy, all day, every day. —Lenore Adkins

529 23rd St S
Arlington, VA 22202

10. Enjera

549 23rd St S, Arlington, VA 22202
Three separate dishes placed atop injera bread
A platter of food from Enjera in Crystal City
Enjera [official site]

Vegans, vegetarians, and carnivores all have plenty to choose from at this local restaurant specializing in Eritrean and Ethiopian cuisines. Along with traditional offerings including raw kitfo and seasoned tibs, the restaurant serves vegan “chicken” strips, and berbere-spiced injera bread. —Lenore Atkins

549 23rd St S
Arlington, VA 22202

11. Portofino

526 23rd St S, Arlington, VA 22202
Veal-filled tortellini Piedmontese at Portofino.
Photo by Jai Williams for Portofino

This family-run restaurant has been Crystal City’s go-to for Northern Italian cuisine since it opened in 1970. The menu ranges from ricotta-filled, baked eggplant and meatball-studded Italian wedding soup to linguine with clam sauce and rosemary-crusted lamb chops. — Lenore Atkins

526 23rd St S
Arlington, VA 22202

12. Kabob Palace

2315 S Eads St, Arlington, VA 22202

This perennial favorite has kept the neighborhood stocked with all the affordable curry chicken, grilled lamb, and stewed goat it could eat for decades. Not satisfied with serving over a dozen specialty kebabs — plus daily vegetarian platters — Kabob Palace goes the extra mile by staying open 24 hours a day, seven days a week. —Lenore Atkins

2315 S Eads St
Arlington, VA 22202

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