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Crystal City/Old Town Recommendation

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

        1. 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

            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

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

          2. 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

              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

                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.