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Crystal City/Old Town Recommendation

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Mkgalby Apr 17, 2011 08:54 AM

We're coming to DC the end of this week with our two kids, ages 6 and 8, and are looking for recommendations for dinner. We're staying in Crystal City but will have a car and are comfortable taking the Metro. My daughter and I visited a month ago and ate at Il Porto in Old Town. Atmosphere was nice, but we were unimpressed with the food. We loved walking around Old Town, though, and would like to find a better restaurant. Our favorites are Italian, American (good American ... not typical chain food) and pizza.

Here are a few we're considering:
Landini Brothers
Fireworks Pizza
Cucina Vivace
Liberty Tavern
Red Rock Pizza
Socci (at the new Renaissance Crystal City)

I've also thought of Filomena's in Georgetown, but I'm not sure how difficult it will be to find parking on a Thursday night. I've also seen some mixed reviews ("too touristy") recently, although we had a fabulous meal there several years ago.

Also, any good breakfast spots in Crystal City?

Thanks for your help!

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Cucina Vivace
509 23rd St S, Arlington, VA 22202

The Liberty Tavern
3195 Wilson Boulevard, Arlington, VA 22201

Fireworks Pizza
2350 Clarendon Blvd, Arlington, VA 22201

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    profjmm RE: Mkgalby Apr 17, 2011 02:06 PM

    Columbia Firehouse would be a good place to go in Alexandria (Old Town). Good food for both the adults and grownups. Between Crystal City and Old Town is Buzz Bakery, which would be a good breakfast choice.

    1. ktmoomau RE: Mkgalby Apr 18, 2011 10:04 AM

      Well if you like Neapolitan pizza then Red Rocks is a great choice. It is my favorite pizza in DC. I also love Liberty Tavern and they are very good with kids and have great but very accessible food.

      I second Columbia Firehouse and would also add Overwood. Not sure about Crystal City for breakfast, but Perks and Extra Perks have breakfast in Old Town. You might also check out the Del Ray section in between Crystal City and Alexandria, it is super cute and kid friendly. I like Taqueria Poblano, Cheesetique, Evening Star, but there are a bunch of other places I haven't had a chance to try yet that look good.

      I had a good meal at Filomena, but it too was a while ago. Actually weeknights, so long as after 6:30 when street parking opens back up some don't seem to be as bad as weekends. I think if you stick to their homemade pastas and keep it pretty simple you will probably have the best luck if you want to try that. But I know there are places people like for Italian in Alexandria, I just have never been I think A La Lucia gets good ratings.

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      Overwood
      220 N Lee St, Alexandria, VA 22314

      A La Lucia
      315 Madison St, Alexandria, VA 22314

      Evening Star Cafe
      2000 Mt. Vernon Ave., Alexandria, VA 22301

      The Liberty Tavern
      3195 Wilson Boulevard, Arlington, VA 22201

      Taqueria Poblano
      2400 Mount Vernon Ave, Alexandria, VA 22301

      Red Rock Cafe
      385 Muddy Branch Rd, Gaithersburg, MD 20878

      1. k
        katecm RE: Mkgalby Apr 18, 2011 10:11 AM

        If you want a break from Italian, Hard Times Cafe and their variety of chilis could be fun for the kids.

        1. t
          theyawns RE: Mkgalby Apr 18, 2011 03:21 PM

          La Strada in Del Ray (just north of Old Town) is a great little local Italian place. Del Ray's got plenty of other cozy little places, too -- Evening Star Cafe, Cheesetique. Del Ray Pizzeria is a good place for happy hour - great prices on bar food and beers - though I can't say much for the pizza.

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          Evening Star Cafe
          2000 Mt. Vernon Ave., Alexandria, VA 22301

          La Strada
          1905 Mount Vernon Ave, Alexandria, VA 22301

          2 Replies
          1. re: theyawns
            m
            Mkgalby RE: theyawns Apr 18, 2011 05:13 PM

            Thanks, all, for the great recommendations. Lots of good options! I'm not sure which we'll choose for dinner, but I know we'll be stopping at Buzz Bakery -- the cupcakes look fabulous!

            1. re: Mkgalby
              h
              hamster RE: Mkgalby Apr 20, 2011 12:34 PM

              Those are my favorite cupcakes in the area. And I've done some pretty thorough research!

          2. Mulan RE: Mkgalby Apr 18, 2011 05:39 PM

            I'm a regular at a la Lucia so I highly recommend them. Also recommend Jackson 20 for American food.

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            Jackson 20
            480 King Street, Alexandria, VA 22314

            2 Replies
            1. re: Mulan
              ktmoomau RE: Mulan Apr 19, 2011 07:52 AM

              What do you get at Jackson's I have yet to have a good meal there yet, but think I just keep choosing wrong.

              1. re: ktmoomau
                Mulan RE: ktmoomau Apr 19, 2011 06:00 PM

                I love their fried green tomatoes and the shrimp fritters from the bar menu. My gal pals and I will be hitting it for lunch on Saturday so I will follow up and let you know if I am still enthusiastic.

            2. x
              xena1441 RE: Mkgalby Apr 18, 2011 06:45 PM

              The Light Horse (very kid friendly with delicious food).
              Eamonn's for the fish and chips.

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              The Light Horse
              715 King Street, Alexandria, VA 22314

              Eamonns
              728 King St, Alexandria, VA 22314

              1. m
                MizYellowRose RE: Mkgalby Apr 18, 2011 07:39 PM

                In Crystal City, consider Tagolio. If you like pizza baked in a coal-fired oven, Tagolio's the place to go. They also have other Italian entrees.

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                  Scotteem RE: Mkgalby Apr 19, 2011 04:26 PM

                  I second the suggestion for Eamonn's. The fish and chips are great, and I hear everything else there is also.
                  If you're in Old Town for lunch on a weekday, consider the bar at Restaurant Eve for the Lickety Split Lunch. Any two courses (or a beverage and a course) on the special menu for $13.50. Most of the courses on the menu sell for more than that price EACH on the bistro menu. Food is all fresh, seasonal, and primarily sourced locally from sustainable farms.

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                  Restaurant Eve
                  110 South Pitt Street, Alexandria, VA 22314

                  Eamonns
                  728 King St, Alexandria, VA 22314

                  3 Replies
                  1. re: Scotteem
                    monavano RE: Scotteem Apr 19, 2011 04:32 PM

                    Lickety Split is first come, first serve in the bar lounge only.
                    Eamonn's is an order at the register and wait at a table if you can find one.
                    I recommend Pizza Paradiso on King St, and BGR for very good burgers.

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                    Eamonns
                    728 King St, Alexandria, VA 22314

                    1. re: Scotteem
                      alkapal RE: Scotteem Apr 20, 2011 06:12 AM

                      i wouldn't waste a meal time at eammon's. it was greasy and very hard to find a place to sit.

                      1. re: alkapal
                        h
                        hamster RE: alkapal Apr 20, 2011 12:34 PM

                        I loved it on both my visits, and had no trouble finding a seat! Both were weekday nights, I believe.

                    2. Smiles2008 RE: Mkgalby Apr 20, 2011 12:18 PM

                      Two Amy's would be worth your trip. Also, in Old Town they have Pizzeria Paradisio

                      http://www.eatyourpizza.com

                      Also, Rustico on Slater's Lane in Alexandria.

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                      Two Amys
                      3715 Macomb St NW, Washington, DC 20016

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: Smiles2008
                        ktmoomau RE: Smiles2008 Apr 20, 2011 01:33 PM

                        No offense, but I would never choose Pizzeria Paradisio over Red Rocks, there is just no comparison. And I even think the pizza at Red Rocks is better than Two Amy's but the small plates at Two Amy's are very good, not worth the extra drive though which takes us at least 40 minutes by car. And now that Orso doesn't have either Edan or Adam, Red Rocks may be in top Neapolitan contention.

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                        Two Amys
                        3715 Macomb St NW, Washington, DC 20016

                        Red Rock Cafe
                        385 Muddy Branch Rd, Gaithersburg, MD 20878

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