Signature Theatre in Shirlington has received national acclaim for its musicals—particularly productions of Stephen Sondheim’s work—as well as premieres and other plays; this year it won the Tony Award for regional theater. Dirty Blonde, Show Boat, and Sondheim’s Sweeney Todd are among this season’s offerings.
Gunston Arts Center (2700 S. Lang St.; 703-228-1850)—run by the county and housed in what was once a middle school—offers music, dance, and theater performances. The former school auditorium is a 460-seat theater, and the library is now a smaller “black box” space.
At the Arlington Cinema ’n’ Drafthouse, you can eat pizza and sip a microbrew while watching a movie. Admission is $1 on Monday, $2 on Tuesday, $3 on Wednesday, and $5.50 on other days. The old-fashioned cinema also hosts comedy shows.
You can catch live music nearly every night at Iota Club & Café. The intimate venue attracts mostly folk and rock bands, and tickets generally range from $10 to $15. There’s also a cafe with a patio where you can kick back with food and drinks.
Galaxy Hut is an Arlington favorite with cozy booths, funky art, and occasional live music. It has 20 beers on tap and plenty more by the bottle. And did we mention pinball and Ms. Pac-Man?
CarPool attracts a younger crowd for drinks and games. The auto-themed bar in Ballston has shuffleboard, darts, and 12 pool tables.
Thursday is mug night at Whitlow’s on Wilson. Buy a mug for $5 and beer refills are $1.50 until 9 pm. The popular hangout has other food and drink deals throughout the week.
If you’re looking to unwind in a more sophisticated setting, try Tallula. This restaurant and wine bar offers hundreds of wines, from California Zinfandels to Italian Pinot Grigios.
Peruvian-influenced Guarapo serves tapas and fruit-infused cocktails in a sleek, low-lit setting. The trendy lounge also offers hookah, live Latin music, and deejays.