Guarapo is a south American tapas bar with hookah and mojitos. I would say that all of the above are good. Guarapo has a different feel than most of the places in Arlington almost like a little piece of DC. It is more upscale than most of the places in Arlington and has a diverse crowd.
The feel of Guarapo is pretty cool. Its a modern South American type feel. My favorite place to sit is on the patio although its hard to get seating on busy nights. It is worth the wait though as you get a view of everyone who walks up and down Wilson Blvd. This provides some interesting things to look at while dining, smoking or drinking. I have came here and chilled on the patio for four or more hours just smoking drinking and eating its a great time. Its even better if you have some great company.
Guarapos has a great happy hour with 4 dollar beers and 5 dollar mixed drinks. They also half a menu that has 5 and 4 dollar items that are pretty good. I have had a few of the food items for dinner but my favorite was the Palitos de Carne that was pretty amazing. It has skewers of stack over white rice with pico de gallo. It was surprisingly good and very moist. I also had the empanada trio which was really cool I picked the beef, chicken, and sausage. They were all pretty good but the chicken was my favorite I am kind of partial to it because I love chicken. The drinks they have are pretty good the mojitos are the best I have had in Arlington they are on par with Mate and Lima.
Guarapo has live Spanish music on Fridays which is pretty cool. There also is a DJ playing house over top which kind of brings an interesting fell. I really like this place and think everyone should check it out.
Ownership of most of the hot spots in DC is consolidated by a handful of club owners. One of those is Mauricio Fraga-Rosenfeld, whose company Latin Concepts is responsible for some of the top clubs and restaurants in DC including Chi-Cha, Mate, and Gazuza. As with the other Latin Concepts venues, Guarapo offers a trendy, sophisticated combination of food, music, and atmosphere and is one of the top venues in the Clarendon / Arlington area (and the only one I have been to in the area in the past several years).
Cost – $$
Service – A-
The general manager is Sevem Al-Hendi and he has done a good job staffing Guarapo with a combination of attractive, friendly bartenders and wait staff. I have always had a positive experience when interacting with the staff at Guarapo.
Food – B+
Ismael Otarola, the executive chef, is responsible for the menu that features a variety of Latin-infused tapas.
Decor – A-
I like the look and feel of Guarapo quite a bit. It offers a little bit of everything including an outdoor patio, upstairs bar, dance floor and dining/lounge area. It is also a versatile space – I have been there for dinner, happy hour and even a variety of events including fashion shows.
Feel – A-
Guarapo offers a sexy, laid-back ambiance that is conducive to socializing as well as a more secluded, romantic dining experience. I don’t venture into Virginia much on the weekends but if I did, it would definitely be to visit a handful of places and one of them would definitely be Guarapo.
2039 Wilson Blvd
Arlington, VA 22201