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Mar 2, 2011 04:56 AM

Will be at Crystal City but want to got to Old Town Alexandria

I am an artist and we heard great things about Alexandria. Any recommendations for an artsy night out? Can the metro take us there or should we =drive and park? Mid range $$ for dinner is ok, we eat everything. We will be there this weekend.

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  1. Metro- depends on where you're staying. If you have to get in the car to get to the Metro, then just drive. It's very close and more convenient if you want to explore the Torpedo Factory down by the water.
    Can you be more specific about cuisine preferences and budget? It just helps to narrow suggestions, as there are a lot of restaurants, some of which are perfectly fine to grab a sandwich. If you want a more "foodie" experience with regards to cuisine and drinks, I think CH'ers can help you out with more tailored rec's.
    BTW....Sat. is the St. Patty's Parade, which will wind up about 2pm or so. Old Town will be PACKED with regards to parking and street closures, but probably will be very lively into the night.
    Please check this out if you haven't yet. It will help to orient you and plan your visit.

    1. Choose carefully - many of the restaurants in Old Town - as you get closer to the waterfront - are dreadful. Try Eammon's - A Dublin Chipper (just what it sounds like) or The Majestic for good food and good value.

      A Dublin Chipper
      728 King St, Alexandria, VA 22314

      5 Replies
      1. re: Just Visiting

        Dreadful is a bit overstated as a blanket statement. There are "tourist" spots and then there are pretty inexpensive eats that will be a pleasant, if not a culinary, experience.
        Eammon's is a wonderful chipper, with a counter and seats, but as I said, it's St. Patty's Day in Old Town (for all intents and purposes, so be warned!).

        1. re: monavano

          Columbia Firehouse can be good for that price point, if only for their fries and onion rings.

          Don't forget to go to the Torpedo Factory!!!

          1. re: monavano

            just curious, ramona, but why is st. patty's THIS weekend, instead of the next?

            also, i was going to recommend the OP look at your blog, but i see your link is gone. have you quit doing your blog? ;-(.

            1. re: alkapal

              Sorry to respond so late! I haven't been keeping up with the blog for a while working on another one to focus on local farmers market goodies.
              The Old Town St. Patty's parade is always the first Sat in March. One of my dogs is getting all cut and beautiful just so he can look all handsome in his Irish scarf!

              1. re: monavano

                good for you blogging about the farmers markets; i know you had been giving us lots of info on products and vendors -- with nice photos -- for a while.

                have fun in the parade. hope you beat the rain.

        2. If you enjoy long walks (1+ miles) the metro is fine -- it's very walkable (meaning there are sidewalks, pleasant neighborhoods). Otherwise getting parking is usually do-able, however as mentioned the St Patricks parade this weekend raises uncertainty.

          At the $$ price point (what I am guessing you mean by that) I suggest looking at Pizza Paradiso or the Majestic.

          Also I have not been to either of these but if it were me I would consider them: Hank's Oyster Bar and Eammons (already mentioned above).

          1 Reply
          1. re: KeithW

            Oh, yes yes yes yes yes. Hank's Oyster Bar and the Torpedo Factory. A great night!

            Hank's Oyster Bar
            1026 King St Ste 1, Alexandria, VA 22314

          2. Not sure if it qualifies as an "artsy night out", but I've always enjoyed La Tasca Spanish Tapas Bar in Old Town. They do a live guitar and flamenco show on Thursday nights.

            If you join their email club ( they'll give you 20% off your first visit as well.

            La Tasca Spanish Tapas Bar
            607 King Street, Alexandria, VA 22314

            2 Replies
            1. re: ForFoodsSake

              But the food is way better at Jaleo, which is _in_ crystal city.

              In old town I vote for Red Rocks pizza over Paradiso, Eamonn's is great, and I (although other people don't seem to so much) like the sandwiches at Brabo Butcher Block (or whatever it's called - the counter service place attached to Brabo, on King St. pretty close to the metro). BGR
              (non-fast-food burgers) is good, too.

              Layla's not bad for middle eastern.

              Overall, Old Town is good for atmosphere, but I happen to think that only a small fraction of the restaurants are particularly good (and it so happens that crystal city has my favorite kabob (Kabob Palace) and tapas (Jaleo), but zero atmosphere).

              728 King St, Alexandria, VA 22314

              1. re: noamb

                I didn't know about Red Rocks pizza. Looks like a great place for me to try.

            2. Crystal City is not far at all from Old Town, I'd do a taxi, but if you have to do metro, get off at the King Street metro and start walking down if it's a nice night and/or hop on the trolley that runs all the way to the waterfront and back. King Street is the spine of Old Town with many restaurants and boutiques. If you taxi'ed it, grab a return taxi at one of the hotels, Hotel Monaco, for example.

              King Street Cafe
              1018 King St, Alexandria, VA 22314