Rustico Restaurant & Bar

Rustico Restaurant & BarRustico Restaurant & Bar
Rustico Restaurant & BarRustico Restaurant & Bar
Bar, Eatery, Beer-to-go

827 Slaters Ln
Alexandria, Virginia, 22314-1219
United States

(703) 224-5051 | map

View: Place Reviews
Recent ratings and reviews. | Log in to view more ratings + sorting options.
4.23 by srw from Virginia on Nov 03, 2017
Photo of BLebowski
4.63/5  rDev +5.9%
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4 | selection: 5 | food: 4.75
by BLebowski from District of Columbia

OK, its my neighborhood drinking establishment and I love the idea that in five minutes I can be drinking a beer that I've never heard of before.

Happy hour is a good deal - $2 off drafts 4-7 p.m. everyday.

Jun 12, 2017
4.75 by deereless from Colorado on May 26, 2016
4.31 by Boone757 from Virginia on Dec 19, 2015
4.5 by brandoman63 from Illinois on Dec 15, 2015
3.89 by Craft_Imperial from Pennsylvania on Nov 08, 2015
Photo of VABA
4.39/5  rDev +0.5%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.25
by VABA from Virginia

I met up with a current BA recently, and their beer selection and quality had improved drastically since the previous visit. Atmosphere is good and service is god.

Aug 25, 2015
3.69 by djhowell from Wisconsin on Apr 30, 2015
4.33 by kristougher from North Carolina on Apr 27, 2015
4.5 by Blazer22 from Colorado on Nov 01, 2014
4.75 by Loveyourbeer from Virginia on Oct 25, 2014
4.5 by bigred89 from Maryland on Aug 23, 2014
4.75 by reebtaerG from Maryland on Aug 18, 2014
Photo of wisrarebeer
3.93/5  rDev -10.1%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4.25 | selection: 3.75 | food: 3.75
by wisrarebeer from Wisconsin

I've stopped by Rustico numerous times and always enjoy the beer and food. On my last visit they had De Ranke XX ($8), Blvd Saisonbrett ($7), Jade IPA ($5), Spacewalker ($4) and several others. Not bad for a draft list.

One of our beers came out with a bit of foreign material floating in it (probably something from the beer line that dislodged) and our waitress exchanged it immediately. I wouldn't ding Rustico just because it does happen occasionally. We also were brought a beer that we didn't order and were told to keep it on the house.

Food is above average and include pizzas, hummus and other better bar food.

Aug 06, 2014
4.5 by Uf0T0fU from District of Columbia on Jun 28, 2014
5 by Bvoss from Virginia on Jun 21, 2014
5 by SteveBrew from Virginia on Jun 17, 2014
4.25 by Saudereth from Virginia on May 26, 2014
4.25 by duceswild from Heard & McDonald Islands on May 22, 2014
4.25 by DavidHume from Virginia on May 18, 2014
4.25 by DubCo21 from Virginia on Apr 16, 2014
4.34 by cjgiant from District of Columbia on Feb 15, 2014
Photo of Badger6
4.76/5  rDev +8.9%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4.75 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5
by Badger6 from Virginia

I used to live around the corner from this place...I wish I still did, it is probably the best bar I've ever visited.

The food is unique, eclectic, and always tasty...just understand that you may see some stuff font he menu that will be a surprise, like Pizza Duck Confit. But, don't let that dissuade you, the food is always good, and well prepared. When busy, the presentation can suffer, and sometimes the food quality (which still remains exceptional) is not as good as when not busy. Favorite time to visit the place was late afternoon, right at the beginning of happy hour or early Sunday afternoon.

Service never suffers, but the busier it gets, the longer it will take to get a refill, but planning ahead, and you'll never see the bottom of the glass.

Selection. Nearly 40 taps, casked ales, and hundreds of bottle varietals. You will find something you like there...from PBR all the way to a $40 a bottle rarity. They have it, if they don't they either sold it out, or it is not at the distributor.

Easily a go I said, wish I still lived around the corner.

Jan 22, 2014
4.34 by seanchai from Virginia on Dec 31, 2013
4.75 by MattNelson from District of Columbia on Nov 11, 2013
4.5 by billab914 from Virginia on Oct 24, 2013
Photo of Huhzubendah
4.13/5  rDev -5.5%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4.25
by Huhzubendah from District of Columbia

One of my go to places when we're out in the town and in the mood for a few good beers. I really enjoy the couches by the fireplace. If you get there early enough, you can secure a seat there. Fun art and tile work decorate the walls. Open and spacious feeling.

Nice list of rotating drafts, offering a variety of styles, to include a few out of market beers. Two casks available.

Decent bottle list, although some of the beers are marked up way too high. This isn't a cheap place by any stretch.

Great food. Far above average for a place that is seemingly focused on beer.

Definitely worth a stop if you're in the area.

Sep 13, 2013
Photo of Sludgeman
4.43/5  rDev +1.4%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 5 | food: 4
by Sludgeman from District of Columbia

Updated after a 4/22/12 visit.

Very similar to the Ballston location. Excellent selection of beer, but never the same as Ballston, so do not make that assumption. 40+ taps and a book for the bottles.The bottle beer can get quite expensive. On tap is the way to go, especially with 40+ choices.

A good bar scene with a vibe more towards a younger crowd (more so than Ballston). I like the bar and lounge layout better in Alexandria. Seems a little brighter which is preferable for me. Nice bar with knowledgeable and friendly bartenders.

A nice place to eat. Their menu is a bit "fancy." The pizza I had was better the second time. The "grilled" pizza was wonderful.

Parking can get a tight on Friday and Saturday nights.

Apr 24, 2013
Photo of Thorpe429
4.38/5  rDev +0.2%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5
by Thorpe429 from Illinois

My wife and I visit this location several times a month, and it never gets old. The atmosphere is really nice. It has a very modern feel with nice decor. It's usually crowded enough to not feel like a forgotten location, but is rarely excessively crowded, though admittedly we don't tend to go here on Friday or Saturday nights. The only place I take off points here is the lighting, which is almost non-existent in some areas of the bar.

The beer quality and selection are both fantastic. While the selection has dipped a bit since Churchkey opened up and presumably takes some of Rustico's allocation, this is still one of the prime spots in Northern Virginia to grab a beer. The tap list is filled with interesting offerings from here and abroad, and is frequently rotating.

The service is normally quite good. Some of the bartenders and servers are friendlier than others, but all tend to be very competent.

The food is quite good. The pizzas are my favorite, though the entrees tend to be very nice as well.

Overall, it is a bit on the pricey side, but not out of the norm for the area.

Feb 16, 2012
Photo of DapperGrowler
4.95/5  rDev +13.3%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5
by DapperGrowler from District of Columbia

I have been to Rustico in Alexandria twice now. First was for a birthday and the second was for Port City Brewery’s One year anniversary stout release. The place has a great vibe, it feels upscale but relaxed. The beer selection is amazing; there was a great selection and variety of beers. The staff is very knowledgeable. It is hard to find a waiter/waitress who truly understands their beers and beer/food pairings. The food was amazing but the prices were a little high. Because of this, I don’t know how often I can afford to go back. Otherwise, a great place.

Feb 13, 2012
Photo of Vierenner
4.33/5  rDev -0.9%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5
by Vierenner from Ohio

Great beer selection, server very knowledgeable on their beer offerings. Food was surprisingly good. Chef obviously takes pride in his/her preparations. Highly recommend!
Great beer selection, server very knowledgeable on their beer offerings. Food was surprisingly good. Chef obviously takes pride in his/her preparations. Highly recommend!
Great beer selection, server very knowledgeable on their beer offerings. Food was surprisingly good. Chef obviously takes pride in his/her preparations. Highly recommend!

Jan 25, 2012
Photo of clayrock81
3.83/5  rDev -12.4%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 3.5 | food: 3.5
by clayrock81 from Florida

Went on a busy Saturday night and can't complain. Were able to find two seats near the bar and w/ the loud din of people and sportswatchers we were able to get a server quick and who was very attentive. Food is good although not worth an arm and a leg (I'm a pizza snob mind you). Beer selection is a mixed for me - the bottle list is nothing special and most of what was on tap was nothing a beer geek will get excited and then there are a few beers on there (that not only did I try but they are very kind to let you get a regular pour or a 4 oz sample) that I have not seen anywhere else in the area at all. I would come back to grab a small bite and a brew or two for a game so take it at that and don't expect a beervana place.

Oct 18, 2011
Photo of Jesstyr
4.38/5  rDev +0.2%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5
by Jesstyr from District of Columbia

This place is as good as they come for a beer and a great meal. Its not quite Birch & Barley, but its a great sister restaurant, and a great place to find some unique brews.

Excellent design is clear, bar to the right with a mix of long tables and other high tops. Lighting is medium, and creates a nice atmosphere, though a bit loud. Everything here is great quality - top craft beers, excellent seasonal ingredients.

Service is good, though not necessarily very beer knowledgeable. Friendly and easy going. Selection is excellent, with a solid list of rotating taps, and a huge, but overpriced, bottle list. Food is a key, and without the brew, this would still be a great place to grab a meal.

Aug 24, 2011
Photo of siege06nd
4.55/5  rDev +4.1%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5
by siege06nd from Virginia

It's a craft beer bar, a gourmet pizza joint, a foodie haven...basically, it's my favorite bar in town.

Atmosphere: Fantastic. The interior is open, dark earth tones and wood adorn the restaurant. The bar area has a nice assortment of booths, tall-boys with stools, and even a lounge area with a couple of coffee tables. All are first come, first serve. The dining area is also impressive, with booths and table/chair set-ups all over. The design is similar to Churchkey, a blend of modern and rustic (HAH!) that is warm and inviting.

Quality: Great. One of the deepest draft lists and cellars I have seen. Always high quality craft beer on tap, often uber local, import, or rare items. They pair the beers with the appropriate glassware, which is a refreshing break from the standard pint glass that seems to plague this area (yep, I've had Abacus out of a standard pint). Food menu is deep, and foregoes standard pub fare in favor of eclectic, creative dishes.

Service: No complaints. Bartenders are knowledgeable and wait staff is happy to make recommendations on both the food and drink menu. They know the big draw here is the beer, and it is obvious management takes the time to train its staff in this regard. I'm used to staff having to check with the bartender for recommendations or questions, but the wait staff here knows its beer. Doesn't take too long to get seated, even on busy weekends.

Selection: Deepest beer list in Virginia. Great selection of imports, locals, and craft favorites. Almost always something rare on tap as well. They frequently throw events (e.g. brewer's nights). Food is also impressive. Their pizzas are made with choice ingredients and the rest of their menu offers more variety and complexity than one would expect from a beer bar.

Food: Outstanding. Gourmet pizza is the centerpiece of the menu, but there are plenty of other options (apps, salads, steaks/chicken/fish) to choose from, all inventive and all delicious. I've not had anything here that I haven't enjoyed. If you like pairing beer with food, this will be your mecca because of the flavors and complexities offered not only on tap, but on the menu as well.

Value: It's a little expensive, but the experience is one of a kind. Highly recommended.

Jul 24, 2011
Photo of whrice
3.85/5  rDev -11.9%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 3.5
by whrice from Pennsylvania

So I've been to this place a hand full of times and it's not bad. The decor and atmosphere are great, as you would expect for the area. The food that I've had here was good, I've only had pizza or apps I believe. The bar is big with lots of taps and bottles to choose from. I have to say the main thing about this that draws is their selection of beer, it's very impressive, especially for the area. I don't think there is any place that comes close in the area. Drinking outside is great and probably the best thing about it, however the bar is great too. I do have to say the first time I went here the I asked the server to bring me something she'd recommend. She brought me a framboise served in a highball glass. Really? A $10 framboise is my first impression. I hope she got fired. Horrible recommendation, I sent straight to a dark stout afterwards to make up for it. The other times I've been here the bartenders and servers have been great. The last server we had actually recommended a beer for my fiance based on what she said she liked and he got it right, which is no easy task with her. That was impressive. The main thing I don't like about this place is it is really expensive. Yeah I know the area is expensive and beers usually start at $5, that's not what I'm complaining about. It's the fact that some import and special bottles are priced way over what they should be. Maybe it's the distributor and not them. I bought a build your own six pack once from here and it was like $25. Really?!?!?!? The food is overpriced too. $10 for a small cheese pizza, literally like an appetizer size? It was good, but no pizza that size which probably cost $2-3 to make, should be $10. Overall a nice place just overpriced and honestly a little over-hyped.

Jul 20, 2011
Photo of Godot
4.08/5  rDev -6.6%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 3.5
by Godot from Virginia

Great beer selection (about 20 taps, large bottle list) at reasonable prices. Happy hour every day from 5-7 with I believe was 2 dollars off drafts. They also do tasting pours at a reduced price (4oz for half the price of a full pour). I had the oak aged unearthly from Southern Tier which was very good. I then had Sierra Nevada's Southern Hemisphere which did not seem to be as fresh as what I had had a few days earlier at another place. My wife enjoyed her selections as well.

The food is the weak point here. Pizza was underwhelming. Nothing offensive about it but I wouldn't give it more than a C+. My wife ordered the crispy salmon sandwich which was dry and, again, underwhelming. Prices seemed a bit steep for the quality of food (14 dollars for the salmon sandwich, about the same for pizza depending on toppings).

Highly recommended if your looking to try something interesting on draft. Ambiance was nice and service was attentive. However, I would go elsewhere if you are looking for a meal as well.

Jul 11, 2011
Photo of TurdFurgison
4/5  rDev -8.5%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4
by TurdFurgison from Ohio

I stopped here with Mike (Thorpe429) while in town, this was a very short walk from his house. How lucky to live within walking distance of a nice place like this.

We didn't order food, but it looked like they had a really decent menu. The taps were my main draw, maybe 20 deep and all solid. Good local breweries like Port City and DC Brau, also a nice cross-section of other major cities. The beer styles were widely represented as well, I had no difficulty finding a flight of good things to try.

The atmosphere is very nice as a restaurant, laid out to be family friendly but also with a central bar. We took outdoor seating as the weather in DC is a lot better than central OH.

Prices were reasonable, especially given the quality. Recommended.

May 18, 2011
Photo of CuttDeez
4.43/5  rDev +1.4%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5
by CuttDeez from Virginia

The atmosphere and vibe of the place is a little funky new age. Nothing bad but nothing fantastic. It isn't the real bar feel but something trendy.

Quality and service were good. The staff was knowledgable and they were attentive. It is a little slow getting your beer but I was not in a rush. note on the service - I orders a gueuze from the bottle menu and they accidently poured the same brewery's lambic and just gave me both while only charging me for one. I enjoyed that. Bonus points.

Selection was incredible. Always good solid beers on tap. They always have at least two taps that suprise you "wow that's on tap" 2 please! They also have things on cask all the time which is awesome. They do a 4 brew taster in little snifter glasses which is very nice and well priced in my opinion. The bottle menu is awesome and they have a good balance and selection of new bottles and age rare offerings.

Food was great! Get a pizza they are all good! I didn't ask for it but the staff is well versed enough to pair brews.

Value - a bit pricy in general but for the selection and quality I like it.

Notes: Go earlier in the week. They release their beer menu early in the week and you are more likely to get what you want on draft that way.
They have a can craft brew happy hour for 3 dollars a can craft beer. Not bad for the area. Ill take a Gubna for 3 bone!
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Mar 30, 2011
Photo of jayhawk73
4.63/5  rDev +5.9%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5
by jayhawk73 from Maryland

Rustico in Alexandria is becoming a go to place for me. Great draft selection (Had Sculpin on draft today), and big bottle list, and always a couple cask ales. The atmosphere is nice, not too loud, and usually not super packed for lunch. The service has been nothing but phenomenal, and I've been there probably 10 times over the last year. I ordered an espresso today, and their espresso machine was on the fritz. My waitress said, "I'll find you one", and ended up going across the street to get me one. Wow. It's been like that every time too. Above and beyond the call of duty. The food is fantastic as well- never had anything there that's been less than stellar. You can drop $30-$40/lunch w/ a couple beers, but it's worth it. Fantastic place, and I will continue to go there at least monthly. HIGHLY recommended!!

Mar 12, 2011
Photo of SingleFin1969
4.85/5  rDev +11%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 4
by SingleFin1969 from Virginia

Stopped in for a quick beer and fries for lunch after reading good reviews of this place.

Wow, what a beer selection!!! 2 cask ales, about 24 drafts of quality brews, and an uncountable number of bottled beers. I sat at the bar and ordered a Franziskaner draft and started looking over all the bottled beers: Dupont, Trappist Rochefort, and on and on.

The service, to echo prior reviews, was great. Beers are served in proper glassware for their types. The barkeeper was attentive, but allowed me to enjoy my beer in peace. I received a nice cloth napkin and silverware before the fries came.

I will be a repeat customer, since I enjoy quality service and I need to try those cask ales.

Mar 03, 2011
Rustico Restaurant & Bar in Alexandria, VA
Place rating: 4.37 out of 5 with 93 ratings