Alexandria  (especially Old Town) has many fine restaurants, lots of "white linen & waiters."  Finding the cheap eats is a bit more of a challenge.   Visitor's might be tempted to eat at the Torpedo Factory Food Court, but they will likely be disappointed with mediocre food and poor service, even though the waterfront location is great.   Grab some ice cream to hold you over, and walk further up the street for the main dish.

These are the restaurants where the locals eat along the King and Washington Street corridors:

Unique and local:

  • Red Mei - quick, fresh Asian cuisine.
  • Old Town Deli - Huge menu  and daily specials from the longtime family run deli.  Their specialty is Greek home cooking, but the Italian and American choices are good, too.
  • Bittersweet Bakery / Cafe - Breakfast and lunch specials, salad bar, pastries.
  • Chicken Out - a little further south on Washington, featuring a remarkably broad selection of chicken salads, sandwiches, and platters  CLOSED.
  • Bugsy's Pizza  - Lunch buffet featuring genuine Chicago-style deep dish pizza

National /  Regional chains:

  • La Madeleine can be affordable at lunchtime
  • Bruegger's Bagels
  • Cosi
  • Chipotle
  • Firehook Bakery Cafe

Off the beaten path, but still near Old Town:

  • On Slater's Lane, try Buzz Coffeeshop & Bakery.  Free wireless, open 'til midnight.
  • In Del Ray (Mount Vernon Ave), don't miss St. Elmo's Coffee Pub.  The atmosphere is great, and the quiche and pastries are spectacular.
  • On Fairfax - Bruscato's Deli - panini, pizza, salad, lasagne

Happy Hour

The Washington DC area features deep discounts at long-lasting happy hours.  For starters, try Austin Grill, at 801 King St. for great margaritas and meal-size mexican appetizers.