- Things to Do
- Restaurants & Nightlife
- Travel Planning
This upscale village defines urban chill with a mix of upscale businesses and mom-and-pop shops, of buzzy coffee shops and hip restaurants.
Fun and lively, Clarendon buzzes with activity around the clock. Straddling the line between city and suburb, this walkable neighborhood boasts trendy bars and restaurants with rooftop and sidewalk dining, plenty of open space and tree-trimmed residential streets.
Residents drive a thriving coffee-shop culture and cocktail club scene and shop for high-end goods from among two dozen retailers at The Crossing Clarendon mall where sports apparel company Orvis even teaches fly-fish casting on the rooftop. Pick up designer duds on consignment at Current Boutique or high-quality children’s gifts at old-fashioned Kinder Haus Toys.
Families love Bond’s Escape Room, the largest such venue on the East Coast, for its live-action adventures and first-of-its-kind art splatter room and the playgrounds of Lyon Park for outdoor fun. Fido can romp around at James Hunter Dog Park. Host to farmers' markets and outdoor concerts, Clarendon Central Park features the stone-covered Clarendon War Memorial honoring Arlington’s fallen service members from five military conflicts.
Three popular outdoor events draw enthusiasts from near and far: The annual Armed Forces Cycling Classic is a premier biking competition held each summer. Clarendon Day, one of Arlington’s favorite fall street fests, features multiple music stages, kids’ activities, arts and crafts vendors and local food. And the springtime Arlington Festival of the Arts inspires art lovers with locally made paintings, sculptures, pottery, jewelry and photography.
Restaurants range from bistro to barbecue, from unpolished to upscale. Nam-Viet has served authentic Vietnamese cuisine for more than 33 years, a reminder of the time when Vietnamese refugees settled in Clarendon, inspiring the nickname “Little Saigon.” Hanabi Ramen specializes in the traditional Japanese noodle soup while Spice Kraft offers classic and modern Indian food. French/New American bistro cuisine stars at Maison Cheryl and classic French fare at Lyon Hall brasserie. Inspired by Ernest Hemingway’s travels in Spain’s Basque region, Pamplona shows off its innovative take on traditional Spanish tapas paired with sangria. Go Italian with thin-crust pizza topped with signature “hot oil” at Colony Grill and with authentic trattoria dishes at Mazaro. Smokecraft elevates BBQ classics, prime brisket and pulled pork. Tuck into next-level pub fare and brunch at Brass Rabbit Public House. Let the wine shine at Screwtop Wine Bar.
Clarendon takes its coffee very seriously. Stop for a cup of joe and sweets at nine venues: Bakeshop, Detour Coffee Co., East West Coffee Wine, Kaldi’s Social House, Northside Social, Sweet Science Coffee, Tatte Bakery & Café, Three Whistles or Waterhouse Coffee & Juice Bar. Or just pick up designer chocolates from Artisan Confections.
If you’re looking for evening fun, you’ll always find it in Clarendon. See and be seen at the rooftop bar of Don Tito, a three-floor cantina with 34 flat-screens. Go for live music at The Renegade and for classic board games and brews made on site at The Board Room, winner of a 2020 First Place Award and a 2021 Third Place Award in the Virginia Craft Beer Cup. Step back in time at the elegant Ms Peacock’s Champagne Lounge, offering an extensive list of open bubbles and tasty small plates — perfect for date night.