Ballston Restaurants Field Handful of Awards on National, Local Levels

It’s no secret that Ballston is home to some of northern Virginia’s best dining options. Ballston has established itself as a premier eating and drinking destination for Washington DC area food lovers, boasting over 60 restaurants, monthly Mega Markets featuring a beer gardens and celebrity chef demos and the annual food festival Taste of Arlington. Here’s a closer look at some of Ballston’s finest restaurants – the chefs & restaurateurs behind the concepts and the awards & titles they have earned over the past 2 years. By the time you finish indulging in this post- you’ll be ready for your next meal out in Ballston!


Ballston is home to the 3rd location of “Cheese Lady” Jill Erber’s restaurant and ship which is a local cheese lover’s paradise. So much more than just a specialty cheese store, Cheesetique doubles as a wine bar with killer wine & cheese specials throughout the week and a menu loaded with gooey, cheesey favorites. Accolades: Northern Virginia Magazine’s Best Cheese Shop, Best Mac & Cheese in America: Food & Wine Magazine, Travel + Leisure Magazine, Huffington Post, & Thrillist, Tripadvisor’s Certificate of Excellence.

Kapnos Taverna

The sister restaurant of Top Chef alumni Mike Isabella and George Pagonis’s Kapnos in Washington, DC, Ballston’s Kapnos Taverna focuses on classic coastal Greek fare. Featuring some of the “greatest hits” of mezze from the original Kapnos and expanded seafood offerings, Kapnos Taverna is a must visit for Arlington foodies. Accolades: Washingtonian’s 100 Very Best Restaurants, Northern Virginia Magazine’s 50 Best Restaurants, Eater DC’s Essential 38 Restaurants, Best New Restaurant: Washingtonian Reader Poll.


Winner of the BID’s 2014 Restaurant Challenge, SER has been making waves on the food scene since it’s 2015 opening. SER, which is an acronym for “Simple, Easy, Real”, is a laid back, inventive take on Spanish cuisine with a focus on exploring Spanish food beyond the traditional tapas. Accolades: Washingtonian’s 100 Very Best Restaurants, Best Ambiance - Arlington Magazine Best of 2017, Eater DC’s Essential 38 Restaurants, Northern Virginia Magazine’s 50 Best Restaurants, Tripadvisor's Certificate of Excellence.


Started by three Georgetown grads who felt DC was severely lacking in healthy options, Sweetgreen’s Ballston location is the place to go for a meal that is as nutritious as it is delicious. Sweetgreen offers endless customizable combinations of salads and grain bowls featuring all local, sustainable, and seasonal ingredients. Accolades: Best Salad Chains in America: Thrillist & The Daily Meal. Readers Poll, Best Salad in DC: Washington City Paper.

Taylor Gourmet

The fast-growing Washington, DC chain’s Ballston outpost is a perfect place to grab a lunchtime sandwich you can feel good about. Inspired by Philadelphia-style hoagies, Taylor Gourmet sandwiches are built with house-roasted meats and seasonal, local produce. An already expansive sandwich menu is bolstered with a limited-time seasonal hoagie menu that changes each quarter.  Accolades: Best Sandwiches: Washington Post Best of DC 2016, Winner: Washington Post Fast-Casual Madness 2016.


Opened in 2015 as part of local celebrity chef Mike Isabella’s growing restaurant empire, Yona offers inventive Japanese-inspired fare. Japanese classics are turned on their head and given a regional twist, like Maryland Blue Crab Ramen. Accolades: RAMMY Award: 2016 Rising Culinary Star of the Year, Most Important DC Chefs to Watch in 2016: Thrillist, Most Anticipated Restaurant Openings of 2015: Zagat.