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Irish guy posted for 6 weeks in Alexandria VA

Hi there my company is sending me to Alexandria/DC for 6 weeks for training.
Previously I have lived in new York and London and enjoyed exploring all the food on offer.
Can you guys recommend some good places I can check out while im there.
In particular good bbq pizza and Mexican since London kinda sucks for that.
Thanks in advance!

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  1. Hate to break it to you. DC is pretty poor in those two categories. We're much better in Salvadoran.

    1. For pizza in Alexandria proper, I'd say either Red Rocks or Pizzeria Paradiso, both on King Street in Old Town. I like Taqueria Poblano on Mt. Vernon Ave in the Del Ray neighborhood for reasonably good Mexican. Other people like Los Tios, just a couple blocks further north on Mt. Vernon for Mexican in that neighborhood.

      There are a lot of very good restaurants in Alexandria, and it's easy to get into DC or Arlington for even more choices.

      1. BBQ - Rocklands for the chopped pork sandwich. Sides of texas corn pudding and greens. Arlington

        Pizza - Pupatella. Especially the buratta pizza. Arancini and panzarotti are great also. Arlington


        First, there are antojitos, whcih are snacks. Tacos, etc. come under this category. My favorite is the tacos de cabrito at Taqueria El Charrito Caminante. Arlington. Also very good chorizo tacos. El Costalilla south of alexandria has good sopes.

        For more than snack food, I recommend Casa Oaxaca in DC. Very good mole sauces. The enmoladas with black mole, the skirt steak with red, and the pork ribs with green mole are all deeply satisfying.

        1. Mexican: La Mexicana Bakery and Tacqueria (tortas, particularly the cubano and ahogada) and Tacos El Costalilla.

          Pizza: Valentino's for NY slice, Red Rocks or Paradiso for Neapolitan (good beer selection at the latter). Pupatella also does excellent pies.

          BBQ: nothing really outstanding inside the Beltway, but Rocklands is close and competent. You need to head out to Sterling for the real deal.


          1. You didn't ask for it, but since you're Irish, there's a place in Old Town called "Eamons - A Dublin Chippery". It's owned by a high end Irish chef and it's (I think, but have never been to Ireland) a classic fish and chips place.

            1 Reply
            1. re: Bart Hound

              Haha great, thanks guys.
              And yes a good Irish chipper is always worth knowing about since I did crave the stuff when I lived in Colorado for 3 months!

              Thank you all for your feedback, it's much appreciated!
              Looking forward to experiencing your capital!

            2. I second the rec for Red Rocks which makes really good pizza. If you go to Taqueria Poblano I really like the crispy tacos. Another contender for BBQ in the area in Pork Barrell BBQ in Del Ray, not the best ever made, but not bad and they have a nice bar area, probably better than anything in London.

              I would also recommend Cheesetique, The Light Horse, Extra Perks for breakfast, Misha's for coffee, A La Lucia, Royal Thai, Brabo, Rustico and Society Fair. And if you can get away for lunch downtown I think Restaurant Eve still does their Lickety Split lunch which is great food at a great deal. I haven't been to Royal Thai, but I know a lot of Alexandrias like it so it might be worth a gamble.

              2 Replies
              1. re: ktmoomau

                Pork Barrel is not good at all. Some of the worst I've ever tasted. Dried out chopped pork, and they wrap their ribs in plastic wrap thereby steaming them.

                The lickety split lunch is at Eve is impressive and affordable. It's popular, so you'll probably need to reserve.

                1. re: Steve

                  No rezzies for the bar lunch... which makes it tough to time. But a party of one might stand a good chance.

                  In that same (restaurant and literal) family,is the lunch at the bar at Majestic. I've leaned towards that over Eve since it's less rich.

              2. Oh and if you can get around a bit you should definitely try to get to the Eden Center and just go crazy eating Vietnamese food. Or go to Annandale for Korean.

                1. In DC I like Hill Country BBQ. Friends from Texas say its as authentic as you can get without an open pit fire. It's on the Metro at Archives.

                  For Mexican there's Austin Grill on King Street in Alexandria.

                  5 Replies
                  1. re: eweiss

                    Austin Grill? My kids like going to Austin Grill with my inlaws, who also hate Mexican food. It's Tex-Mex for people who hate Tex-Mex. Also themselves. About the best I could say is that it's a solid, inoffensive, mediocre place for chips, salsa, happy hour, and people with strollers. It's like Lauriol Plaza with slightly better parking options.

                    1. re: monkeyrotica

                      Lauriol Plaza food is really that bad?

                      1. re: Insidious Rex

                        You can have a pretty good time there al fresco with some margaritas and nice weather, but once you start ordering food, all bets are off.

                        1. re: monkeyrotica

                          I agree, the Mex menu at Lauriol is pretty lame but the Cuban stuff (lomo saltado, platanos, etc.) is decent. That said, I would never sit anywhere except on the roof, because the noise inside is deafening.

                          1. re: flavrmeistr

                            I agree - the masitas at Lauriol Plaza are in fact excellent. i followed your rec. These days you'd be lucky to get them as good in Miami where most of the Cuban restaurants have become South Americanized.

                  2. I forgot Bubba's BBQ in Falls Church, if you have a car.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: eweiss

                      I don't like Bubba's, and I wouldn't cross the street for it much less drive, but in the same center is one of the area's best places to eat: Myanmar. A bit removed from Alexandria or DC, though.