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Moved to Alexandria instead!

Hello DC chowhounders. My hubbie and I just got settled into Alexandria, we should be here till mid December. We originally planned to move into DC, but from what I hear the food in Alexandria is worth checking out (and often better than DC itself). We are so excited to get out and start eating. Already looking foward to Michel Richards Central and interested in City Zen. Our favorites include real italian, sushi and seafood, thai, bistros, tapas, a great steak place, home style, southern cooking from time to time. We love doing brunch, and are big tea and coffee house, wine bar types. We also are doing some split shiftgs, so any good lunch places would be nice to know. Honestly tho, basically anything goes, lol. We eat out at a high end place once or twice a month ($200ish for 2), and average to lower priced once a week or so. I would love to find a great cheese shop (its my favorite food on earth), a trustworthy butcher and fishmonger. I did see you have whole foods, but also love to hit the farmers markets as often as possible. Living off Jefferson Davis, but willing to travel for anything that tweaks my taste buds.

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  1. Well you are in a great spot.

    For Southern a more high end would be the Majestic, and more low end would be Southside 815.

    Not on your list really but Eammons has great fish and chips, and The Pita House has great Middle Eastern and you must go to Eve or PX for cocktails, well and Eve for food too :)

    For a good cheese shop, Cheesetique in Alexandria is great, there is a butcher right there as well, but I have never been there or used him. The farmers market in Del Ray is nice.

    For lunch you can get the Lickety Split lunch at Eve for a steal, which is a nice way to taste their food. Vermillion has nice Italian, Hank's Oyster Bar has good seafood.

    There is also a Trader Joes in Alexandria, and etc. I do all my shopping at Wegmans so I don't have to go to a whole lot places, but the closest one might be a drive for you I am not sure.

    In Del Ray they have a great taco place Taqueria El Poblano (not listed as one of you food things, but thought you might be interested) also in Del Ray for classic American Evening Star Cafe is really nice.

    Also I just went to Food Matters and was really impressed, they have small and large plates, the antipasto appetizer plate was very good.

    In Rosslyn Ray's the Steaks is the steak place. It is really the best in our area. Brunch in Arlington at Tallula, in Shirlington at Carlyle and Luna Grill are nice.

    For Tapas I think Jaleo is pretty good, they have one in Crystal City. In DC for authentic Spanish Tapas I also really enjoy Taberna Del Aberdero, the ham, cheese, croquettes and patatas bravas taste almost as good as eating them in Spain. I also like Zaytinya for greek tapas. I like it better than Jaleo although they are owned by the same person.

    If you just search the threads for the different things you eat you will find lots of stuff. But if you are having a hard time finding something specific just ask.

    3 Replies
    1. re: ktmoomau

      Went out in the rain today and happily stumbled on Cheesetique. Hubbie and I had sandwiches and wine in the back and brought a few cheeses home for later. Looking foward to trying some suggestions from CH.

      1. re: ktmoomau

        I'd agree w/ kt's recs on everything except Food Matters (I haven't been there yet), but I wouldn't call Vermillion an Italian place or Majestic a Southern place; both seem to me to just be contemporary upscale (and good) American.

        Also, the OP mentioned farmer's markets; Alexandria has a handful, detailed on the city's website at


        1. re: ktmoomau

          I wouldn't really call Majestic "southern," at least not in it's most recent incarnation. There are fried green tomatoes on the menu, but otherwise it's just good solid Americana, with a 4-star chef behind it, no less. Your recs are great, though, having only been here a few months myself. What is the story on Food Matters?

        2. One of my personal favorites is a popular, local chain called Moby Dick.
          There are about 12 of them in the DC/MD/VA area. It is Iranian food, and in my
          experience always high quality and freshly prepared. (I have been mostly to the one in Bethesda.) It is great value and heatlhy, too. I go for the "chicken and bread" (joojh) or chicken and rice. The hummus is creamy and amazing, too. Please report back if you try it! ENJOY!

          1. One more thing....it is actually called MOBY HOUSE OF KABOB." =)

            1. Italian-A La Lucia!!
              Local/Seasonal-Vermillion, Eve, Evening Star Cafe
              Cheap Eats- The Pita House, Southside 815, King St. Blues
              NoVa has terrific Korean in Annandale, Vietnamese at the Eden Center
              Sushi-MoMo Cafe in Old Town
              Thai-Passara Thai in Kingstowne and Rice and Spice on Franconia
              Farmers Markets-Get thee to the Fairfax County markets, Del Ray market and West End Alexandria market before they close for the season at the end of October. They are all terrific. The Old Town Alexandria market runs year round, as does the Dupont Market in DC (very worth the trip into DC).
              Southern/BBQ- Dixie Bones in Woodbridge is worth a short drive south.


              1. For one of your high end meals you must go to Restaurant Eve. It's my favorite restaurant in the DC area. The food is incredibly delicious, you can try cocktails from the best bartender in the area, and the service is always excellent.

                Also, I know Tallula was already mentioned for brunch, but I've had some great dinners there as well so I would definitely try there too. And, the bar connected to the restaurant (Eat Bar) is a great wine bar w/ good small plates.

                2 Replies
                1. re: dcfoodie13

                  Resto Eve was spot on, enjoyed every morsel from Steak Tartare, to Rabbit, to Fish. The sevice was great, and friendly. I couldn't believe the cocktail list- YUM! The wine sommelier also came over even tho hubbie and and I only got a glass each and he choose wine that wasn't on the list for our meals. I ended with the cheese course, hubbie with special donuts. All delectable.
                  ALso been to momo sushi a few times, Zaytinyas in Dc (awesome), among others. Heading to Rays Hell Burger on Monday- any suggestions there? Planning to do a Tapas place next weekend (cork vs jaleo). Overall enjoying the food here.

                2. A fun place, north end of Old Town, is Stardust. I've always had great food there, and the people are delightful. A very wacky, playful ambience.


                  1. Second the Restaurant Eve suggestion for a high end night. Le Galois (sp?), long time French place on King near Vermillion, has a very nice wine bar upstairs now.

                    Overwood is consistently good, get the ribs even if you're not a huge rib fan. Had a nice meal at the Majestic recently, looking for best place to post my review. If you go to Evening Star, get the Coleman Estate Pinot, it will blow your doors off. Also Tallula in Arlington, same family of restaurants.

                    In DC, we just ate at Cork, the hottest wine/tapas place in the area. We had a long wait, but the buzz is justified. If possible don't go on a Fri/Sat night, small place.

                    4 Replies
                    1. re: TeknoFin

                      If you like Italian, you must try Cafe Pizzaiolo off Jeff Davis. It's on the corner of 23rd and S. Eads. They have the best authentic Neopolitan Pizza in the area, as well as some great pasta dishes. It's very reasonably priced and has become a weekly (at least) staple for us. They also deliver, and are one of the few places that also deliver wine and beer!

                      1. re: TeknoFin

                        teknofin, how's the food lately at le gaulois? once the original husband-and-wife chef/front room team and owners left a while back, it went downhill. it used to be one of our favorite spots. the new owners/mgmt. took away a lot of our favorite dishes, to add insult to injury.

                        1. re: alkapal

                          alkapal -- sorry for belated reply. We liked it, but it had been years since i'd been. Had calamari and nicoise salad to start, then boullabaise and rack of lamb. Lamb was good, little small portion wise.

                          1. re: TeknoFin

                            thanks. last time we went i had the bouillabaisse, but it was like $32 -- at lunch! i miss the old dishes, like spaghettis des courgettes, and their blanquette de veau, or the beef in peppercorn and brandy stew, or quenelles de brochet in sauce americaine. the real (french) deal!

                            since it has been years since you had gone there, what other differences did you notice? other than portion size? didn't you miss the old menu?

                      2. Try a Wegmans if you haven't yet. Great cheese selection, good fish, and meats.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: tolo

                          Wegmans? alexandria? for cheese, i would go to balduccis, although cheesetique is good also. And baduccis for meat (porterhouse, hanger steaks etc).

                        2. Sushi Momo in Old Town. The place is tiny - 2 tables , 6 seats at the sushi bar and six more at the window counter. Inventive sushi - try the jalepeno flounder and the dragon rolls.

                          2 Replies
                          1. re: keithdcil

                            Been to momo 3 times. I have a weakness for good, small sushi places. Very happy there. Went to Jaleo and was pleased as well, not great but very good. Was surprised by the very delicious pork sausage and grilled white beans.

                            1. re: jme1beachbum

                              i fourth the momo suggestion! it's the best in OT for sure. and southside is as close as you'll get to southern--unless you want to venture into section 8 territory--and it's damn good. definitely try the "815" biscuits.

                              i sincerely second driving to woodbridge for dixie bones, as well.

                              one of my favorites is bastille--on the north end next to abaca imports. wonderful steak and frittes, house made ketchup and general rustic french fare. they're closed on mondays, though.

                              for an east coast diner-style lunch or breakfast, try out table talk (on duke) but pass on jack's place (lee street).

                              the best nearby indian imo is dishes of india out in belle view. and if you can take the long drive, los toltecos out on duke has the best nearby mexican (a little further is el paso on route 1, totally worth it) and for an orgasmic chicken experience, trek out til duke becomes little river and stop into bon chon, for the most delicious korean fried chicken on earth.

                              but most importantly, have you been to lavender moon cupcakery?