Get Balkan-Inspired Cocktails and Eats at Baba

by Dan Lesniak

In this video, Drew Carpenter of the Keri Shull Team takes us inside local speakeasy Baba.

At the bottom of a brick stairwell you’ll find a door opening into a warmly lit interior. Here you’ll find armchairs pulled up to tables for two and tables for four; framed paintings hung in a collage on the wall; and red velvet upholstered booths welcoming you in. Illuminated window frames decorate the wall and ceiling.

This is Baba, the Balkan cocktail bar in Clarendon.

Baba’s drinks

Baba serves a variety of delicious and clever cocktails. The cocktail menu sorts these into categories:

    • Light & Refreshing, like the plum rakia “CPR” or the apple rakia “Welcome to Belgrade”
    • Strong & Boozy, like the balanced and complex “Southern Delight” or “Tiger Coffee,” chilled espresso with Irish whiskey
    • Spicy, Smokey & Sour, like the “Malas Palabras” with pineapple-infused Mezcal or the peppery “Serbian Sombrero” with its pink peppercorn tequila and jalapeno orange liqueur


  • Drinks with Benefits, which come paired with extras like the “Cinema Manhattan’s” sweet and spicy popcorn or the “Balkan Caviar Martini”


Manager Marijana favors drinks with Rakia, a popular Balkan fruit brandy. If you’re indecisive or adventurous, ask your server about “Baba’s Secret,” a daily special labeled only as “Whatever grandmother feels like today.”

Baba’s eats and events

During happy hour you can get $5 Prosciutto croquettes and $6 cocktails like their Rasperry Fizz, Zastava Sidecar, Don’t Forget to Breathe, and Serbian Sombrero.

Prosciutto croquettes, beef skewers, veal schnitzel: you can always find something delicious to pair with your cocktail at Baba.

Catch live acoustic acts here on Wednesdays starting at 8:00pm. Friday and Saturday nights, dance to  Baba’s live DJ until the room spins. As Baba says, “No getting up early tomorrow, so Baba accepts no excuses tonight.”

On weekend mornings, Baba offers brunch for six and a half hours – from 9:30am to 3:00pm every Saturday and Sunday. Make sure you try their Baba’s burek pastries with beef or cheese. You can also get Balkan eggs with sautéed vegetables, and Baba’s Turkish coffee with a side of walnut Turkish delight.

Whatever night you visit, you’ll find a warm and energetic welcome in a cozy atmosphere. As Marijana says: “Anyone who comes to Baba is respected as part of the family.” That’s what makes Baba one of our favorite bars in Arlington.

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