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6 Reasons to Visit BABA

BABA is the hipster step child of Ambar Clarendon. It is the cutest little cocktail bar in the heart of Clarendon that serves amazing Balkan-inspired small plates, top notch cocktails, and a delicious brunch. We could give you just one reason to go to BABA, but we’ll give you six.

$6 happy hour cocktails.

The cocktails are funky, creative, unique, and affordable. From 4 – 7 p.m. Monday through Friday, enjoy six of their expertly mixed and strategically thought out cocktails. We sampled a few, naturally. We loved the Brazilian Smash made with Cachaca and mint, the Serbian Sombrero with pink peppercorn tequila and jalapeno, and the Raspberry Fizz with rum and raspberries.


The food.

We must have tried just about every dish on the menu–and we’re so glad we did. Each dish was better than the last. The flavors, creativity, and presentation set this cocktail bar apart. They don’t just serve a good cocktail, they know their food too. The stand outs were the blue cheese fried olives, smoked Gouda, chips, pork belly slider, scallops, and gnocchi dessert.


The experience.

The service, food, drinks, and space are all exceptional and well planned. The service was friendly and efficient, the food was presented beautifully and tasted even better, and the drinks were all delicious and well mixed. You can tell that the staff take pride in their work and they are happy to work there and create a memorable experience for diners.


It’s cool.

This is a “cool” spot. There’s no sign alerting you to its existence except for a discrete “BABA” written on the door and innocent “cocktail bar” inscribed above. The short descend into the basement bar makes you feel like you have to be “in the know” to be there–which you are now. It gives you speakeasy vibes and has a hipster energy. They’re not trying to be anything they’re not, and they’re killing it–try to get a seat at the bar on a Friday at 7 p.m. Go ahead, we dare you.


The authenticity.

The manager is actually from the Balkan region and tries to recreate her grandmother’s recipes and traditions. Listening to the stories and personal memories really added to our experience and made us feel like we were getting the true Balkan experience. We loved that the Balkan themes are present throughout the decor, drinks, food, and individual people.


The quality.

You can tell that the food and drinks are high quality. The flavors are simple and concepts are clean, yet the taste explodes in your mouth. The scallops are simply seared, yet they were honestly the best scallops my mom or I have ever tasted. The potato chips are made in-house every morning and double fried for the ultimate crunch. The salmon tartare is marinated for hours with fresh beets and served with capers, quinoa, and pine nuts.


Head to BABA for the fun and unique experience. Don’t settle for anything boring or average again. There’s a much better option, and it’s nestled in the heart of Clarendon.

2901 Wilson Blvd
Arlington, VA


Tess enjoys all things D.C. and food related. You can find her pursing a marketing career during the week while brunching and boozing all weekend. Will work for truffle potato chips.

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