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Jan 14, 2009 12:59 PM

Wkend in Old Town Alexandria: Top Picks?

Greetings! My girlfriend and I are leaving the husbands and kids at home this MLK weekend to venture up to Old Town Alexandra (so excited!). We've never been there and will be staying on King Street but willing to drive/Metro as well for meals. Looking forward to enjoying some good meals. Interested in hearing about your favorite breakfast places, coffee shops/cafes, locations for good ethnic foods and, overall, high quality meals. Price is not a huge deterrent, but we're not desiring to spend a lot for each meal, either. Thanks so much!!

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  1. My favorite places in Old Town within walking distance of King are:
    Majestic Cafe - On King St, upscale comfort/Southern food. Great mixed drinks. Even if you don't go for food, it's not a bad place for drinks after dinner when the crowd's disperse. The bar is a tiny area though. Get a reservation now.
    I would recommend drinks at P/X Blue Light, a speakeasy above Eamonn's Dublin Chipper on Columbus, just off of King, but they're probably booked. It's pretty small so they've started taking reservations, but a really neat place for drinks (I think they have snacks now too - but not a place to eat). The drinks are out of this world. It's a really cool place to hang out.
    Farrah Olivia is terrific, but it's about six blocks down Washington off of King St, so it's a bit of a hike in cold weather. Again, get reservations now. It's a bit pricey but very good.
    Misha's Coffee - in Old Town just off of King on either Patrick or Henry St's (they are both directions of Hwy 1 and I get them confused). It's not much to look at but they have good coffee and I like the funkiness of it.
    Vermillion is very good, and Hanks' is a nice place for seafood in a relaxed atmosphere.

    There's a crepe place (Fontaine) that's a nice spot for drinks and desserts or a moderately priced lunch or dinner off of King on either Pitt or Royal (I forget which but they're close to each other - all of these are a reasonable walk from each other).

    Oh, and Bistro Lafayette and La Gaulois (right next to each other) aren't bad either.

    If you don't mind a quick drive, check out either Bastille for French or A la Lucia (Italian) on the north end of Old Town Alexandria, a short drive away.

    Taverna Cretekou, also on King, is a tad kitschy, but can be fun.

    If all of the above are booked, then you can drive over to the Del Ray area of Alexandria for Evening Star Cafe for dinner or Cheesetique for drinks and desserts in the back. Del Ray is centered around Mt. Vernon Ave and has some fun little places like a chocolate shop (with housemade Kingsbury Chocolates) and the Dairy Godmother, a custard shop.

    Old Town is packed with tons of shops, galleries, and places to eat, so you could spend a far amount of time just wandering. Since it's your first time, wander a few blocks in either direction of King between the water and Washington and enjoy the centuries old townhomes (a fun one about two blocks from King St is about 8 feet wide) and shops. You've got plenty of good options for food, but beware of some of the places closer to the river that prey on tourists and serve up some pretty pedestrian food.

    Hope you have a great weekend.

    1. One more thing - you'll probably get a lot more replies if you post this in the DC section.

      1 Reply
      1. re: dinersaurus

        Thanks so much for your great recs! We did post this request on the DC section as well. Thought I would post in both to get as much feedback as possible! :-) We're looking forward to the trip!