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Chop Shop Taco took over an auto garage shop near the Braddock Road Metro.
Rey Lopez/Eater DC

Alexandria’s Hottest Places For a Drink or Bite

New places for ramen, edgy cocktails, and tacos

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Chop Shop Taco took over an auto garage shop near the Braddock Road Metro.
| Rey Lopez/Eater DC

Alexandria is a longtime go-to dining destination for tourists and locals, thanks to its waterfront views along the Potomac River and seafood-centric mainstays.

While the colonial-era Old Town neighborhood houses many staples, Alexandria as a whole has exploded in the past year with an assortment of new options. The Carlyle area near the picturesque George Washington Masonic National Memorial just git a modern spot to slurp bivalves with the arrival of Whiskey & Oyster. And a once-sleepy section of family-friendly Del Ray got new beer (Hops n Shine), seafood (Catch on the Ave), and all-American (Northside 10) options all in the past few months.

Meanwhile, a historically industrial strip near Braddock Road Metro just got a hip new hangout for tacos (Chop Shop Taco) and stylish to-go operation (Pendleton Carryout Co.), and the Eisenhower East area just welcomed a brand new cidery.

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Hops N Shine

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This Mount Vernon beer hall has a menu of moonshine cocktails and prides itself on accommodating keto fans, with an entire menu dedicated to loaded grilled cheese sandwiches on special bread. There’s a huge selection of New England-styled IPAs and hefeweizens and “Sour Saturdays” featuring 15 sour varieties.

Northside 10

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This Del Ray newbie serves up classic American burgers and sandwiches, chicken fried steak, and blackened catfish. A covered patio encourages drinking craft brews in the summer rain.

Catch on the Ave

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This seafood venture, splashed with pops of red and oversized fish murals, brings barbecue octopus, buttermilk biscuits with crab fat butter, and hot catfish and po’boy sandwiches to Del Ray. Shrimp and vegetable dumplings and bang bang shrimp are good starting points. Mimosas and “Blood in the Water” bloody marys are perfect for brunch.

Catche on the Ave. catfish sandwich
A hot catfish sandwich with crawfish-corn remoulade, andouille, and shredded lettuce
Catch on the Ave. [official]

CHOP SHOP TACO

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A former auto body garage in Alexandria got a second life this spring as a grungy-cool destination for elaborate riffs on Mexican food and tequila cocktails. Chef and co-founder Ed McIntosh’s compact food menu reflcets the shop’s size — 47 seats across 1,000 square feet — with four tacos to start, but no burritos or enchiladas.

Yunnan by Potomac

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The same mixian rice noodles that owner and general manager Zongmin Li ate while growing up in China’s Yunnan Province landed in Old Town this year. 

View this post on Instagram

A perfect bowl of comfort on a cloudy spring day.

A post shared by Anna Spiegel (@annaspiegs) on

Pendleton Carryout Co.

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This stylish carry-out spot debuted last fall, functioning as a tiny restaurant incubator offering to-go options from rising chefs. Rotating selections hail from food truck start-ups and established brands testing out new dishes from pizza to dumplings.

Pendleton was transformed from its former life as a bodega with colorful wallpaper, light wood accents, and neon lights.
Pendleton/official photo

The Study at Morrison House, Autograph Collection

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The quaint Old Town hotel’s new restaurant offers an all-day selection of fresh seafood, local produce, and high-quality butcher cuts from chef Peter McCall. The bar draws inspiration from a bygone era, using smoked beef tallow-infused Woodford Reserve and rosemary-infused Aperol in its cocktails.

Inside The Study
The Study/official photo

Mia's Italian Kitchen

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The modern-meets-rustic Italian establishment arrived last spring with a lengthy menu meant to satisfy a range of cravings across two stories. There are meat and cheese options, hot and cold sandwiches, half a dozen pastas made on site, and 12 Sicilian-style pan pizzas available by the slice. Alexandria Restaurant Partners (ARP) also operates Vola’s Dockside Grill and Virtue Feed & Grain, both safe bets on the waterfront.

Mia’s houses bright pops of color and modern accents on its second floor.
Mia’s/official photo

Urbano 116

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Chef Alam Méndez Florián, who splits his time between Virginia and Mexico City, just rolled out an atypical brunch menu at his new neon-lit Old Town eatery. His favorite hangover helper? Caldo de gallina, or hen soup with peppermint, cilantro, chayote, potatoes, carrots and green beans. “It’s the perfect cure for any ailments,” says Florián.

Urbano 116 [official]

Whiskey & Oyster

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Head to Alexandria’s Carlyle district to find seafood towers and, naturally, whiskey and oysters at this nautical newcomer. The Instagram-ready bar, splashed with mermaid decor, stars a repurposed dry cleaning conveyor rotating more than 120 varieties of whiskey around the 100-seat space. It’s safe to say prolific Alexandria restaurateur “Mango Mike” Anderson knows what he’s doing; he’s opened 20 restaurants, starting with Shooter McGee’s in 1979.

Whiskey & Oyster
Whiskey & Oyster/official photo

Lost Boy Cider

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Sit and stay at Eisenhower East’s brand new soaring taproom with a gorgeous bar made from a maple tree that fell near Winchester. The formerly vacant warehouse space is stocked with a production facility to make its gluten-free cider.

Lost Cider’s new taproom and production facility.
Lost Cider/Facebook

Hops N Shine

This Mount Vernon beer hall has a menu of moonshine cocktails and prides itself on accommodating keto fans, with an entire menu dedicated to loaded grilled cheese sandwiches on special bread. There’s a huge selection of New England-styled IPAs and hefeweizens and “Sour Saturdays” featuring 15 sour varieties.

Northside 10

This Del Ray newbie serves up classic American burgers and sandwiches, chicken fried steak, and blackened catfish. A covered patio encourages drinking craft brews in the summer rain.

Catch on the Ave

This seafood venture, splashed with pops of red and oversized fish murals, brings barbecue octopus, buttermilk biscuits with crab fat butter, and hot catfish and po’boy sandwiches to Del Ray. Shrimp and vegetable dumplings and bang bang shrimp are good starting points. Mimosas and “Blood in the Water” bloody marys are perfect for brunch.

Catche on the Ave. catfish sandwich
A hot catfish sandwich with crawfish-corn remoulade, andouille, and shredded lettuce
Catch on the Ave. [official]

CHOP SHOP TACO

A former auto body garage in Alexandria got a second life this spring as a grungy-cool destination for elaborate riffs on Mexican food and tequila cocktails. Chef and co-founder Ed McIntosh’s compact food menu reflcets the shop’s size — 47 seats across 1,000 square feet — with four tacos to start, but no burritos or enchiladas.

Yunnan by Potomac

The same mixian rice noodles that owner and general manager Zongmin Li ate while growing up in China’s Yunnan Province landed in Old Town this year. 

View this post on Instagram

A perfect bowl of comfort on a cloudy spring day.

A post shared by Anna Spiegel (@annaspiegs) on

Pendleton Carryout Co.

This stylish carry-out spot debuted last fall, functioning as a tiny restaurant incubator offering to-go options from rising chefs. Rotating selections hail from food truck start-ups and established brands testing out new dishes from pizza to dumplings.

Pendleton was transformed from its former life as a bodega with colorful wallpaper, light wood accents, and neon lights.
Pendleton/official photo

The Study at Morrison House, Autograph Collection

The quaint Old Town hotel’s new restaurant offers an all-day selection of fresh seafood, local produce, and high-quality butcher cuts from chef Peter McCall. The bar draws inspiration from a bygone era, using smoked beef tallow-infused Woodford Reserve and rosemary-infused Aperol in its cocktails.

Inside The Study
The Study/official photo

Mia's Italian Kitchen

The modern-meets-rustic Italian establishment arrived last spring with a lengthy menu meant to satisfy a range of cravings across two stories. There are meat and cheese options, hot and cold sandwiches, half a dozen pastas made on site, and 12 Sicilian-style pan pizzas available by the slice. Alexandria Restaurant Partners (ARP) also operates Vola’s Dockside Grill and Virtue Feed & Grain, both safe bets on the waterfront.

Mia’s houses bright pops of color and modern accents on its second floor.
Mia’s/official photo

Urbano 116

Chef Alam Méndez Florián, who splits his time between Virginia and Mexico City, just rolled out an atypical brunch menu at his new neon-lit Old Town eatery. His favorite hangover helper? Caldo de gallina, or hen soup with peppermint, cilantro, chayote, potatoes, carrots and green beans. “It’s the perfect cure for any ailments,” says Florián.

Urbano 116 [official]

Whiskey & Oyster

Head to Alexandria’s Carlyle district to find seafood towers and, naturally, whiskey and oysters at this nautical newcomer. The Instagram-ready bar, splashed with mermaid decor, stars a repurposed dry cleaning conveyor rotating more than 120 varieties of whiskey around the 100-seat space. It’s safe to say prolific Alexandria restaurateur “Mango Mike” Anderson knows what he’s doing; he’s opened 20 restaurants, starting with Shooter McGee’s in 1979.

Whiskey & Oyster
Whiskey & Oyster/official photo

Lost Boy Cider

Sit and stay at Eisenhower East’s brand new soaring taproom with a gorgeous bar made from a maple tree that fell near Winchester. The formerly vacant warehouse space is stocked with a production facility to make its gluten-free cider.

Lost Cider’s new taproom and production facility.
Lost Cider/Facebook

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