Skip to main content

Spin the Globe Series: 20 Ways to Experience Europe in Arlington

On the edge of the U.S. capital, Arlington, Virginia, boasts an array of authentic international experiences from every continent (okay, not Antarctica!). In this episode, “travel” to Europe at this sampling of local spots in Arlington neighborhoods.


Lyon Hall (Clarendon) – Executive Chef Miljohn Dimaano prepares steaming mussel pots, house-made sausage and schnitzel, freshly baked bread, handcrafted cheeses, and charcuterie daily, complemented by a wine list emphasizing small, family-owned French wineries.

Mussel Bar & Grille (Ballston) – Inspired by an old-world Belgian roadhouse serving bière (beer), moules (mussels), and frites (fries), Chef Robert Wiedmaier’s local favorite offers a wide range of classic Belgian casual dining fare.


La Côte D'Or Café (East Falls Church) – This cozy French spot serves only the finest and freshest ingredients each time it prepares an unforgettable meal, whether for a quiet romantic evening or a casual weeknight meal.

Le Village Marché (Shirlington) – From French glassware and luscious soaps from Marseilles to gold-leafed frames and beaded chandeliers, customers often say they feel as if they are strolling through a Paris flea market.


Bronson Bierhall (Ballston) – Choose from a wide selection of on-tap, bottled, and canned brews complemented by traditional favorites like house-made bratwurst, German potato salad, and sauerkraut. Or, try a new twist – the blue crab pretzel!

Heidelberg Pastry Shoppe (Lee Highway) – Setting trends since 1975, Wolfgang and Carla Büchler’s full-line European bakery and deli offers the best of both continents, from breakfast pastries and distinctive breads to deli foods and delectable desserts.

Kinder Haus Toys (Clarendon) – If you’re looking for toys that are powered by imagination, not batteries, you’ll find those and more at this old-fashioned local favorite also offering children’s books, hobbies, crafts, clothes, shoes, and more.


Athena Pallas Restaurant (Crystal City) – From the heart of Athens to the plates of Arlington, this family-run restaurant serves up authentic Greek classics: tzatziki, dolmades, spanakopita, moussaka, souvlaki, baklava, and more.

The Simple Greek (Rosslyn) – Celebrate the event of eating in a family-friendly atmosphere where you can customize your dish with endless possibilities and combinations of savory proteins, healthy veggies, and one-of-a-kind sauces.


The Celtic House Irish Pub & Restaurant (Columbia Pike) – Voted the Best Irish Bar in Virginia, Celtic House offers an array of Irish Whiskeys, Bourbons, and Scotches plus great land and sea entrees, tasty appetizers, and delightful desserts.

Ireland’s Four Courts (Courthouse) – A mix of Irish and American cuisine with proper pints in a cozy pub atmosphere, the Four Courts invites you to stop in for brunch, lunch, dinner or to have a chat with your friendly bartender.

Samuel Beckett’s Irish Gastro Pub (Shirlington) – Known for warm Irish hospitality, delicious pub fare, craft beers, creative cocktails and live music, Samuel Beckett’s features an imported Irish bar plus spacious patio dining.


Osteria da Nino (Shirlington) – Personalized service and old-world charm are hallmarks of this sleek Shirlington spot. Freshness is the focus of Nino’s family recipes from Sicily, including freshly made pasta, fish, oysters, sauces, and more.

Pupatella (Ballston & Columbia Pike) – Awarded the Verace Pizza Association certification, the definition of true Neapolitan pizza, Pupatella serves pizza exactly as it has been prepared for 200 years in neighborhoods throughout Naples.

The Portofino Restaurant (Crystal City) – In 1993, three generations of Micheli chefs joined forces as son Richard, a graduate of the famed Culinary Institute of America, combined his skills with his father’s expertise to create a truly unique dining experience.

Russia & Uzbekistan

Rus Uz (Ballston) – Featuring an eclectic dining area with global artwork, Rus Uz brings its vision of traditional Uzbek and Russian cuisine to Arlington. Enjoy the rich tastes of the region along with infused vodkas, compot, kvas, and teas.


Jaleo (Crystal City) – Chef José Andrés brings alive the spirit and flavors of Spain by showcasing the rich regional diversity of its cuisine in a festive, stylish, and casual atmosphere. Try signature tapas, savory paellas, superb sangria, and more.

Pamplona (Clarendon) – Named after the Spanish city famed for the annual Running of the Bulls, Pamplona is a tapas and sangria restaurant drawing its inspiration from Ernest Hemingway’s travels throughout the country’s Basque region.


Maya Bistro (Lee Highway) – This family-owned favorite features an upscale-casual dining experience celebrating the rich diversity of Turkish and Mediterranean food and culture through classic and contemporary dishes and superb hospitality.

Yayla Bistro (East Falls Church) – A hidden gem in Arlington’s East Falls Church neighborhood, Yayla Bistro offers a wide variety of traditional and healthy Mediterranean cuisine prepared fresh each day by experienced Turkish chefs.

Author: Emily Cassell