Skip to main content

Driven by innovation

Driven by innovation and urban cool, Ballston is a lively neighborhood surrounded by quiet park-laced residential areas.

 With 75 percent of the population under 45 and myriad scientific research agencies and universities, Ballston is hip, smart and sophisticated. It’s the Washington metro region's hub of innovation, learning, technology and science as a base for the federal Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) and the Office of Naval Research, as well as campuses of George Mason University, George Washington University, Marymount University and Virginia Tech University.

At neighborhood centerpiece Ballston Quarter, an indoor/outdoor mall, you can shop for affordable fashions at Gossip on 23rd, dine on globally inspired cuisine at Quarter Market’s food hall eateries, take a class at Cookology Culinary School, learn how to paint (while sipping wine) at Muse Paint Bar and watch the Washington Capitals practice or skate yourself at MedStar Capitals Iceplex.

More than 15 gyms and fitness studios — from boxing to CrossFit to yoga — make Ballston the “fittest neighborhood of the fittest city in the country.” Families enjoy Mosaic Park as well as high-tech gaming at the Electric Gamebox. Everyone gathers in shady Welburn Square for the weekly Ballston Farmer’s Market, while art lovers beeline for the Museum of Contemporary Arts Arlington, one of the largest non-federal venues for contemporary art in the Washington area with nine exhibition galleries, working studios for 12 artists and three classrooms.


More than 80 restaurants line a five-block radius offering something for everyone — from Belgian to Italian to Mexican. The Salt Line marries classic New England seafood dishes with the bounty of the Chesapeake. Enjoy tacos and margaritas in Crayola-colored El Rey Ballston. Sit at a long communal table for German-American food and beer at Bronson Bierhall or take a culinary journey through Spain at award-winning SER. A high-energy neighborhood bar and restaurant, Ballston Local features comfort food and handcrafted cocktails. Don’t miss the smoked, brined and flash-fried wings and tenders at Ted’s Bulletin. Also in Ballston Quarter, enjoy international social plates at the WHINO restaurant, bar and art gallery and upscale Latin street food in resort-like bartaco. Rustic Italian rules at the cozy Rustico while star chef Robert Wiedmaier shows off his Belgian roots at Mussel Bar & Grille. Sichuan meets Nashville at Hot Lola’s, where the fried chicken turns up the heat with in-house chili oil and Sichuan spices with cayenne pepper. Got the family in tow? They’ll enjoy Ice Cream Jubilee, an Asian American-owned ice cream parlor with dozens of classic and exotic flavors made from all-natural, 18-percent-butterfat, grass-fed cream.


Barbecue, beer, billiards and 25 TVs guarantee fun at CarPool. Late-night crowds frequent American gastropub Punch Bowl Social for craft cocktails, karaoke, bowling, ping-pong and vintage arcade games. Brew fans love World of Beer for almost 300 craft beers plus live music, themed trivia and TV sports. Go local at Crafthouse, which boasts 50 craft beers on tap and more than 250 bottled craft beers and ciders, as well as local and regional spirits, wines, scotches, whiskeys and bourbons.