Crystal City is a unique stop on the Metro because a large part of its urban area is underground. Aside from the dramatic views of D.C., the shopping and dining options are worth a visit.
King Street Blues
1648 Crystal Square Arcade, Arlington, Va.
0.1 miles from Metro stop
American Classic | $$$$
King Street Blues, in the Crystal City Arcade, is a great place to get some Southern, Louisiana-inspired grub. This is a good place to go with a group of friends so that you can try all the different flavors that King Street Blues has to offer. A great start to the meal is an appetizer consisting of hush puppies ($4.99) and nachos ($8.99). They have traditional home favorites including country fried steak ($14.49), gumbo ($14.49) and po’ boys ($9.99). They even have some options for the health-conscious crowd too, such as a delicious grilled margarita chicken ($13.99). The country fried steak is pounded paper thin and breaded to crisp perfection, the gumbo is full of a variety of good seafood, vegetables and sauce, and the flavor of the margarita rub on the chicken was to die for. Add all this scrumptious cuisine to an adorable store front and you just can’t go wrong.
2200 Crystal Drive, Arlington, Va.
0.3 miles from Metro stop
Thai | $$$$
While in Crystal City, Neramitra is your answer to Thai food cravings. Begin with a t a Thai Iced Tea, for there are few drinks in this city that taste this good. The tea is sweet without being over-powering and its slightly-thicker-than-tea texture makes it super refreshing. It’s almost like a tea smoothie, if only such a glorious concept existed. Next, enjoy some summer rolls ($5.95) of fresh vegetables and chicken wrapped in a thin outer covering. They aren’t as heavy as egg rolls and will save your appetite for all the other tasty treats on the menu. Chicken Satay ($6.95) is another great appetizer with grilled, skewered chicken perfect for dipping in peanut sauce. The portion is big enough for splitting or for an entree for one. I went for the noodles. The Pad Woon Sen ($9.95-$14.95) is to die for with cellophane noodles, fried egg and mushroom. It’s all mixed together with amazing spices and a mouth-watering sauce; it even reheats well. If by some miracle, you still have room for dessert, try the crispy banana ($4.95). The menu is huge, meaning that the frequent Thai-food eater is sure to find what they’re craving, while the adventurous foodie has numerous exciting dishes to choose from. All of this amazing cuisine is housed in an adorable-yet-modern restaurant that is totally worth your time. The service is polite, friendly and fast. If you go on a weekday around lunchtime, you’ll see plenty of professional people enjoying a lunch out of the office, a fool proof way to guarantee that you’re eating good food for the price. Neramitra is a great destination out of the Georgetown area to explore with friends, but it’s also a good place for family dinners, or a romantic night out.
1680 Crystal Drive, Arlington, Va.
0.1 miles from Metro stop
Japanese | $$$$
Sushi Garden is the place for you to indulge your idea of being the sophisticated city student who can expertly order sushi. In other words, this is the place to have great sushi, even if you’re not sure what you’re ordering. Small, quaint and conveniently located only an escalator away from the Metro, Sushi Garden offers fresh roles, bento boxes and Japanese sides at affordable prices. There are so many good options that it’s easy to over order. For the raw fish-phobic there are California rolls and many gourmet rolls featuring vegetables and tempura. The Kabuki roll is about the size of a saucer. Its delectable filling includes shrimp tempura, cream cheese, avocado and ginger. For those who prefer more traditional rolls, there are all the usual options including eel, salmon and spicy tuna. The spicy tuna roll was excellent: it wasn’t overpowered with spicy sauce, but rather the sauce ensured that you could taste the tuna without the overly fishy taste that sometimes makes people wary of sushi. The service could not have been friendlier. The sushi chef was immensely patient as we butchered pronunciation and just ended up gesturing at what we wanted. He even gave us inside out rolls for free, based on our taste preferences. A beautiful bouquet of vegetables and rice for the fish-free consumer and a medley of fresh-tasting fish and vegetables for me. It was a very relaxed environment, and I left full and totally satisfied with my food. The kindness and patience of the sushi chef was a great bonus that made the meal all the more enjoyable.