Alexandria, Va. King St Locale
Hi, I'm on holiday from UK and staying on King St. There are a multitude of restaurants and I have tried 2 so far and been disappointed, I'm guessing I just fell for tourist traps. In fact we just lunched at Red Mei for $5.99 each and had a far superior meal than the 2 restaurants that we have visited since being here.
I'm therefore asking for a locals recommendation, I have my 11 y.o. daughter with me so the restaurant needs to be kid friendly. I do not care what the cuisine is since we are quite adventurous, I just want to avoid being stung again.
Edit: Hoping not to pay more than $25 per main course.
There's no middle ground in Old Town Alexandria, places are either good or bad. The good have been pretty much listed herein. I would add A La Lucia for a great and reasonably priced Italian lunch, not on King Street, but a nice walk near the north end.
Did you get suckered into Cafe Europa with their sidewalk board announcing a $19 three course special before 6 pm? If not, count yourself forewarned, quite gross.
Just repeating the others here, but I think Overwood and Majestic are the best two choices for good dining with kids. Kids menu at Majestic is one of the best I have ever seen - unusual amount of care and flavor is put into their kids offerings.
If your 11 yr old likes ethnic food, I would add the Pita House (Cameron - one street from King) and Taverna Cretekou (King St) to the list.
All good suggestions but I would like at add Asian Bistro and Austin Grill (on Washington Street a few blocks west of Washington Street on the right side) as options that arent too pricey and decent food. Further up - another option could be Vermillion (further west on the left) - it is owned by the same people who own Overwood - though i would eat there earlier rather than later - it becomes more of a "bar scene" on weekend evenings.
I'll third Majestic, Eammon's, and Overwood. The former is very kid friendly. Restaurant Eve might be a bit formal in the bistro, but I'm sure they'd be able to handle you and your daughter at the bar. They've got a very good Lickety Split lunch menu there.
There's also Hard Times Cafe chili parlor. Pretty cheap, consistent, and good with kids.
You probably were dining close to the river, right? I'm guessing that you want restaurants within walking distance?
Going further up King St. in the direction of the Masonic Temple is a good start. Here's some recommendations..
Majestic - great American food run by the same owners of
Eve - with an 11 yr. old I'm not sure if it's too pricey, but the Bistro would be great. They also own
Eammons's Dublin Chipper - excellent fish, chips and other fried goodies, even a fried Snickers bar! Informal, order at the counter and grab a seat type of place.
Other than the growing Armstrong empire (and thank goodness we have them in Old Town) there is:
Pita Palace on Cameron. Casual, good prices
Layla's Lebanese on King St.
Overwood on Lee St. has solid, classic American fare at very reasonable prices.
Vermillion on King St. is putting out excellent and inspired dishes right now.
King St. Blues for BBQ and decent burgers. It's on N. St. Asaph. The interior is really fun for kids!
Hard Times Cafe for chili (cincinatti is best) mac which is chili over spaghetti topped with beans and cheese. It's very popular in these parts.
Sorry that you wasted your time with the tourist traps! Eating will be much better with insider suggestions.
You can't go wrong with majestic. It's an Old Town institution, but under the ownership of Irish chef Cathal Armstrong now. Still, your 11-year-old will love the riff on grilled cheese, among many other entrees. I would have recommended Eammons' but you're British and you eat that all the time.....