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Eat. Drink. Love. in Clarendon

Located in the heart of Arlington, the Clarendon neighborhood is Arlington’s premier dining, shopping, and nightlife destination. Centered around Wilson and Clarendon Boulevards, which are lined with restaurant and retail locations, the neighborhood is surrounded by quiet neighborhood streets, green spaces, and parks. By day, visitors and residents of the neighborhood can be found shopping and gathering with friends and colleagues and, in the evenings, Clarendon’s streets come alive as visitors flock to the area for its dining and nightlife.

Start your day at Northside Social for coffee, pastries, and breakfast sandwiches. In the evening, the space transforms into a romantic wine bar, with beverage service and food pairings served upstairs and on its patio. Northside has two sister establishments in the neighborhood – Liberty Tavern and Lyon Hall, which was the recipient of a 2020 Diner’s Choice Award by Open Table. 

Your pup is sure to enjoy a walk through the neighborhood, taking in Clarendon’s picturesque residential neighborhoods and open space. The dog-friendly neighborhood is also home to the James Hunter Dog Park and local boutique Loyal Companion, which stocks treat, toys, gear, and other essentials sure to Fido rollover. Many of the neighborhood’s restaurants are well known for their dog-friendly patios. 

Not a dog person? Clarendon’s idyllic setting offers many other outdoor spaces and recreational opportunities – it is a hotspot for boutique fitness studios or consider a visit to Bond’s Escape Room or navigate the neighborhood with a group of friends on the Pedal Saloon. A local favorite, Board Room Game Bar and Brewery has board games and Tuesday is trivia night, a popular evening affair. Coming up in September, the acclaimed Arlington Festival of the Arts draws visitors from throughout the region for an annual two-day festival showcasing the work of renowned artists and artisans. Looking ahead, Clarendon hosts the Armed Forces Cycling Classic each year in June and its acclaimed Clarendon Day celebration is set to return in Fall 2022. 

Continue into the evening with dinner at Ambar, which serves a unique assortment of Balkan dishes or drinks unlike any other culinary experience in the area. The establishment was recognized by Washingtonian Magazine and the Washington Post as one of DC’s best restaurants. From casual bites at Wilson Hardware  Colony Grill to classic fare at Circa and a luxe rooftop experience at Buenavida Gastrolounge, there are options to suit any palette at dinner out in Clarendon. 

As the neighborhood comes alive in the evening, options for a romantic night out abound. Enjoy a glass of bubbly at Ms. Peacock’s Champagne Lounge or stop by Screwtop Winebar. If a night in is more your style, Screwtop also stocks a top-notch selection of wine, cheese, charcuterie, and gifts for purchase from their expansive wine shop. And, make plans for date night throughout the year by joining their wine club, which gives you wine selections each month that include tasting events offered virtually and in person. 

Not to be forgotten, dessert options are plentiful in Clarendon. Whether you like ice cream from Nicecream, milkshakes at Silver Diner, cupcakes and ice cream sandwiches at Bakeshop, or decadent chocolates at Artisan Confections, there is something to satisfy anyone’s sweet craving.  

A destination at any time of day, Clarendon’s wide array of entertainment, fitness, dining, and nightlife destinations offer the ideal setting to eat, drink and love. Without a doubt, the neighborhood offers something to make your heart flutter.

Author: Kirby Clark