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A hand somewhat awkwardly grasping a stuffed chicken sandwich
Chicken sandwich from Wooboi
Wooboi [official site]

Where to Eat and Drink in Old Town Alexandria

This historic area is well worth exploring, even for takeout

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Chicken sandwich from Wooboi
| Wooboi [official site]

Charming Old Town Alexandria is a favorite neighborhood for tourists because of its historic architecture, its waterfront setting on the Potomac River, and its proximity to D.C. But it also serves as a longtime dining staple for locals looking for everything from raw bar seafood to Southern barbecue to high-end Japanese tasting menus. During the pandemic, some familiar favorites are temporarily closed, such as the cozy Vermillion, but the scene remains lively, with waterfront patios bustling and portions of King Street reserved for pedestrians.

Here are 18 standout restaurants in Old Town in this moment.

Health experts consider dining out to be a high-risk activity for the unvaccinated; it may pose a risk for the vaccinated, especially in areas with substantial COVID transmission.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. Wooboi Hot Chicken

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531 Montgomery St
Alexandria, VA 22314

This spinoff from the original chicken shop in Herndon doesn’t shy away from the heat (consider yourself warned about the #5-level spice). White meat is the game here, used in chicken sandwiches and flavorful tenders. Order online here.

Tenders and pickles atop bread at Wooboi
Chicken from Wooboi in Alexandria
Wooboi Chicken/official photo

2. Oak Steakhouse Alexandria

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901 N St Asaph St
Alexandria, VA 22314
(703) 840-3395
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Oak Steakhouse broke into Old Town’s dining scene in 2019, granting the historic neighborhood a sleek new spot to devour hefty flatirons and filets in a crimson-colored leather banquette. The Charleston, South Carolina-based boutique chain has amassed a fast following for its Parker House rolls made of cornmeal from its home state. The ceviche of the day and roasted bone marrow are also good ways to start, with a namesake Manhattan in tow. Upscale bar fare here includes an A5 wagyu beef burger with decadent duck fat fries. — Tierney Plumb

Crimson-colored booths and chairs line Oak Steakhouse’s dining room.
Oak Steakhouse’s 130-seat dining room.
Rey Lopez/Eater DC

3. T.J. Stone's

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608 Montgomery St
Alexandria, VA 22314
(703) 548-1004
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This neighborhood hangout traffics in solid bar food, from smoked chicken wings to a respectable burger to jambalaya penne pasta. A barbecue combo brings a quarter rack of ribs, beef brisket, and pulled pork to the table. Open for indoor dining and takeout.

4. Chop Shop Taco

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1008 Madison St
Alexandria, VA 22314
(571) 970-6438
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A former auto body garage got a new life in 2019 as a hip, compact destination for elaborate riffs on Mexican food and tequila cocktails. Chef and co-founder Ed McIntosh’s menu features hand-pressed masa tortillas topped with elaborately prepared meats, burritos, and tres leches cake for dessert. Order takeout and delivery here. — T.P.

Wall decorations, tables, and a spiral staircase all visible.
Interior of Chop Shop.
Rey Lopez/Eater D.C.

5. Yunnan By Potomac Noodle House

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814 N Fairfax St
Alexandria, VA 22314
(571) 699-3935
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This member of the Alexandria scene focuses on regional dishes from Southwest China. Mixian rice noodles are the main focus. Yunnan by Potomac is open for indoor and patio dining (weather permitting), and customers can order takeout or delivery here.

A bowl of thick rice noodles in a red, spicy-looking broth garnished with scallion and soft-boiled egg.
A rice noodle dish from Yunnan by Potomac.
Yunnan By Potomac

6. Old House Cosmopolitan

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1024 Cameron St
Alexandria, VA 22314
(703) 717-9361
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Wiener schnitzel and spatzle can be surprisingly hard to find around greater D.C., but this old-school haunt has a bunch of German classics like bratwurst with a pretzel. There are some Bosnian dishes as well. Contact the restaurant directly for takeout.

Fried schnitzel with a salad on the side.
Schnitzel from Old House.
Old House/official photo

7. Caphe Banh Mi

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407 Cameron St
Alexandria, VA
(703) 549-0800
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Located one block off of King Street, this Vietnamese restaurant is known for its traditional pho and banh mi sandwiches. Contact the restaurant directly for takeout information. —Tim Ebner

A bowl of pho with toppings on the side as well as a white spoon.
A bowl of pho from Caphe Banh Mi.
Deb Lindsey /For The Washington Post via Getty Images

8. Nasime Japanese Restaurant

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1209 King St
Alexandria, VA 22314
(703) 457-0146
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Customers who step behind the curtain shielding the tiny dining room and chef’s counter will feel like they’re eating in Japan. A destination-worthy tasting menu restaurant, Nasime serves a six-course lineup ($95) that changes with the seasons. It usually features some sort of traditional soup, a grilled dish, and some of the freshest and most interesting sashimi in town. Reservations recommended; the restaurant also serves a $48 takeout bento (contact directly to order).

Raw fish on a black plate at Nasime
A delicate plate of sashimi at Nasime Japanese Restaurant.
Nasime Japanese Restaurant/Facebook

9. The Peoples Drug

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103 N Alfred St
Alexandria, VA 22314
(571) 257-8851
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The People’s Drug serves relaxed comfort food like veggie burgers and shrimp rolls alongside seasonal cocktails like a wasabi martini (classics are well-prepared here). The menu has a few eclectic touches, including pork belly skewers and fried chickpeas. The bar is small, but there’s a patio and indoor dining daily. Carryout available here, with delivery via UberEats.

10. Hank's Oyster Bar

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1026 King St
Alexandria, VA 22314
(703) 739-4265
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One of several locations in chef Jamie Leeds’s classic seafood chain, Hank’s is the place for lobster rolls, oysters on the half shell, and steamed mussels in a convivial setting. Eating at the bar here is a relaxing option, information on delivery and pick-up is available here. The restaurant will eventually be relocating to another space further north in Alexandria but will remain open here until the transition.

11. Taverna Cretekou

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818 King St
Alexandria, VA
(703) 548-8688
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Taverna Cretekou is as consistent as they come. That’s because this family-run, Greek restaurant has been in business for nearly half a century. Its spacious garden patio should be particularly appealing in warm weather.

An outdoor space with a heater and several chairs surrounding it.
Patio at Taverna Cretekou.
Taverna Cretekou/Facebook

12. Landini Brothers Restaurant

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115 King St
Alexandria, VA 22314
(703) 836-8404
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Around since 1979, this white-tablecloth institution for locals and discerning tourists alike sends out reliable Tuscan dishes and martinis in a sophisticated, stone-framed setting. Along with prime tenderloin cuts soaring past $50, top-selling mains include milk-fed veal scaloppini and homemade agnolotti alla fiorentina stuffed with spinach and ricotta. East Coast seafood picks include broiled or raw Chincoteague clams, Cambridge, Md. oysters, and grilled Atlantic squid. European and domestic wine pairings are plucked nightly from a handsome wooden rack stocked with 400 bottles. — T.P.

13. Vola’s Dockside Grill/Hi-Tide Lounge

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101 N Union St
Alexandria, VA 22314
(703) 935-8890
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This waterfront restaurant is a bustling option for a lobster roll, pan-seared swordfish, and tacos, with retro sister bar Hi-Tide Lounge connected by a hallway. Find boozy drinks like orange crushes and margaritas to go here as well, plus a weekday happy hour with $1 oysters and $6 cocktails. Order takeout or delivery here.

14. Daniel O'Connell's Irish Restaurant & Bar

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112 King St
Alexandria, VA
(703) 739-1124
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Daniel O’Connell’s is an Alexandria standby for a proper pint. This historic bar and restaurant is an elegant Irish pub typically known for live music, Irish egg rolls, and fish and chips. Saddle up to a table near the fireplace, a seat at one of its four bars, or one one of its snug nooks. Takeout available here.

A fried piece of fish on top of thick chips with a little container of mushy peas.
Fish and chips at Daniel O’Connell’s.
Daniel O’Connell’s/Facebook

15. Chadwicks

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203 Strand St
Alexandria, VA 22314
(703) 836-4442
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This decades-old, stone-lined stalwart on the water continues to produce reliable American dishes like filler-free crab cakes, braised short ribs, and burgers. It’s the last location left standing for a local chain. Curbside pickup are available. — T.P.

16. Hummingbird Bar & Kitchen

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220 South Union Street
Alexandria, VA

Restaurateur Cathal Armstrong’s riverside restaurant has views that are hard to beat. It’s located inside the Indigo Hotel, and the menu features seafood dishes from the Chesapeake Bay. Takeout available here.

17. Ada’s on the River

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3 Pioneer Mill Way
Alexandria, VA 22314
(703) 638-1400
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This new addition to the waterfront, heavy on meats and seafood, has been getting a lot of buzz for the cooking of chef Randall J. Matthews. Find everything from wedge salads to smoked swordfish. Order online here.

Seared scallops on an orange puree with pretty garnishes.
Scallops from Ada’s on the River.
Ada’s on the River

18. BARCA Pier & Wine Bar

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2 Pioneer Mill Way
Alexandria, VA 22314
(703) 638-1100
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Alexandria’s newest wine bar is Spanish-influenced and right on the water. Outdoor seating is dog-friendly (and also allows those with boats to dock and dine). Dine-in only.

Sauteed mushrooms with an egg yolk on top and slices of baguette.
A mushroom tapa from Barca.
Barca

1. Wooboi Hot Chicken

531 Montgomery St, Alexandria, VA 22314
Tenders and pickles atop bread at Wooboi
Chicken from Wooboi in Alexandria
Wooboi Chicken/official photo

This spinoff from the original chicken shop in Herndon doesn’t shy away from the heat (consider yourself warned about the #5-level spice). White meat is the game here, used in chicken sandwiches and flavorful tenders. Order online here.

531 Montgomery St
Alexandria, VA 22314

2. Oak Steakhouse Alexandria

901 N St Asaph St, Alexandria, VA 22314
Crimson-colored booths and chairs line Oak Steakhouse’s dining room.
Oak Steakhouse’s 130-seat dining room.
Rey Lopez/Eater DC

Oak Steakhouse broke into Old Town’s dining scene in 2019, granting the historic neighborhood a sleek new spot to devour hefty flatirons and filets in a crimson-colored leather banquette. The Charleston, South Carolina-based boutique chain has amassed a fast following for its Parker House rolls made of cornmeal from its home state. The ceviche of the day and roasted bone marrow are also good ways to start, with a namesake Manhattan in tow. Upscale bar fare here includes an A5 wagyu beef burger with decadent duck fat fries. — Tierney Plumb

901 N St Asaph St
Alexandria, VA 22314

3. T.J. Stone's

608 Montgomery St, Alexandria, VA 22314

This neighborhood hangout traffics in solid bar food, from smoked chicken wings to a respectable burger to jambalaya penne pasta. A barbecue combo brings a quarter rack of ribs, beef brisket, and pulled pork to the table. Open for indoor dining and takeout.

608 Montgomery St
Alexandria, VA 22314

4. Chop Shop Taco

1008 Madison St, Alexandria, VA 22314
Wall decorations, tables, and a spiral staircase all visible.
Interior of Chop Shop.
Rey Lopez/Eater D.C.

A former auto body garage got a new life in 2019 as a hip, compact destination for elaborate riffs on Mexican food and tequila cocktails. Chef and co-founder Ed McIntosh’s menu features hand-pressed masa tortillas topped with elaborately prepared meats, burritos, and tres leches cake for dessert. Order takeout and delivery here. — T.P.

1008 Madison St
Alexandria, VA 22314

5. Yunnan By Potomac Noodle House

814 N Fairfax St, Alexandria, VA 22314
A bowl of thick rice noodles in a red, spicy-looking broth garnished with scallion and soft-boiled egg.
A rice noodle dish from Yunnan by Potomac.
Yunnan By Potomac

This member of the Alexandria scene focuses on regional dishes from Southwest China. Mixian rice noodles are the main focus. Yunnan by Potomac is open for indoor and patio dining (weather permitting), and customers can order takeout or delivery here.

814 N Fairfax St
Alexandria, VA 22314

6. Old House Cosmopolitan

1024 Cameron St, Alexandria, VA 22314
Fried schnitzel with a salad on the side.
Schnitzel from Old House.
Old House/official photo

Wiener schnitzel and spatzle can be surprisingly hard to find around greater D.C., but this old-school haunt has a bunch of German classics like bratwurst with a pretzel. There are some Bosnian dishes as well. Contact the restaurant directly for takeout.

1024 Cameron St
Alexandria, VA 22314

7. Caphe Banh Mi

407 Cameron St, Alexandria, VA
A bowl of pho with toppings on the side as well as a white spoon.
A bowl of pho from Caphe Banh Mi.
Deb Lindsey /For The Washington Post via Getty Images

Located one block off of King Street, this Vietnamese restaurant is known for its traditional pho and banh mi sandwiches. Contact the restaurant directly for takeout information. —Tim Ebner

407 Cameron St
Alexandria, VA

8. Nasime Japanese Restaurant

1209 King St, Alexandria, VA 22314
Raw fish on a black plate at Nasime
A delicate plate of sashimi at Nasime Japanese Restaurant.
Nasime Japanese Restaurant/Facebook

Customers who step behind the curtain shielding the tiny dining room and chef’s counter will feel like they’re eating in Japan. A destination-worthy tasting menu restaurant, Nasime serves a six-course lineup ($95) that changes with the seasons. It usually features some sort of traditional soup, a grilled dish, and some of the freshest and most interesting sashimi in town. Reservations recommended; the restaurant also serves a $48 takeout bento (contact directly to order).

1209 King St
Alexandria, VA 22314

9. The Peoples Drug

103 N Alfred St, Alexandria, VA 22314

The People’s Drug serves relaxed comfort food like veggie burgers and shrimp rolls alongside seasonal cocktails like a wasabi martini (classics are well-prepared here). The menu has a few eclectic touches, including pork belly skewers and fried chickpeas. The bar is small, but there’s a patio and indoor dining daily. Carryout available here, with delivery via UberEats.

103 N Alfred St
Alexandria, VA 22314

10. Hank's Oyster Bar

1026 King St, Alexandria, VA 22314

One of several locations in chef Jamie Leeds’s classic seafood chain, Hank’s is the place for lobster rolls, oysters on the half shell, and steamed mussels in a convivial setting. Eating at the bar here is a relaxing option, information on delivery and pick-up is available here. The restaurant will eventually be relocating to another space further north in Alexandria but will remain open here until the transition.

1026 King St
Alexandria, VA 22314

11. Taverna Cretekou

818 King St, Alexandria, VA
An outdoor space with a heater and several chairs surrounding it.
Patio at Taverna Cretekou.
Taverna Cretekou/Facebook

Taverna Cretekou is as consistent as they come. That’s because this family-run, Greek restaurant has been in business for nearly half a century. Its spacious garden patio should be particularly appealing in warm weather.

818 King St
Alexandria, VA

12. Landini Brothers Restaurant

115 King St, Alexandria, VA 22314

Around since 1979, this white-tablecloth institution for locals and discerning tourists alike sends out reliable Tuscan dishes and martinis in a sophisticated, stone-framed setting. Along with prime tenderloin cuts soaring past $50, top-selling mains include milk-fed veal scaloppini and homemade agnolotti alla fiorentina stuffed with spinach and ricotta. East Coast seafood picks include broiled or raw Chincoteague clams, Cambridge, Md. oysters, and grilled Atlantic squid. European and domestic wine pairings are plucked nightly from a handsome wooden rack stocked with 400 bottles. — T.P.

115 King St
Alexandria, VA 22314

13. Vola’s Dockside Grill/Hi-Tide Lounge

101 N Union St, Alexandria, VA 22314

This waterfront restaurant is a bustling option for a lobster roll, pan-seared swordfish, and tacos, with retro sister bar Hi-Tide Lounge connected by a hallway. Find boozy drinks like orange crushes and margaritas to go here as well, plus a weekday happy hour with $1 oysters and $6 cocktails. Order takeout or delivery here.

101 N Union St
Alexandria, VA 22314

14. Daniel O'Connell's Irish Restaurant & Bar

112 King St, Alexandria, VA
A fried piece of fish on top of thick chips with a little container of mushy peas.
Fish and chips at Daniel O’Connell’s.
Daniel O’Connell’s/Facebook

Daniel O’Connell’s is an Alexandria standby for a proper pint. This historic bar and restaurant is an elegant Irish pub typically known for live music, Irish egg rolls, and fish and chips. Saddle up to a table near the fireplace, a seat at one of its four bars, or one one of its snug nooks. Takeout available here.

112 King St
Alexandria, VA

15. Chadwicks

203 Strand St, Alexandria, VA 22314

This decades-old, stone-lined stalwart on the water continues to produce reliable American dishes like filler-free crab cakes, braised short ribs, and burgers. It’s the last location left standing for a local chain. Curbside pickup are available. — T.P.

203 Strand St
Alexandria, VA 22314

Related Maps

16. Hummingbird Bar & Kitchen

220 South Union Street, Alexandria, VA

Restaurateur Cathal Armstrong’s riverside restaurant has views that are hard to beat. It’s located inside the Indigo Hotel, and the menu features seafood dishes from the Chesapeake Bay. Takeout available here.

220 South Union Street
Alexandria, VA

17. Ada’s on the River

3 Pioneer Mill Way, Alexandria, VA 22314
Seared scallops on an orange puree with pretty garnishes.
Scallops from Ada’s on the River.
Ada’s on the River

This new addition to the waterfront, heavy on meats and seafood, has been getting a lot of buzz for the cooking of chef Randall J. Matthews. Find everything from wedge salads to smoked swordfish. Order online here.

3 Pioneer Mill Way
Alexandria, VA 22314

18. BARCA Pier & Wine Bar

2 Pioneer Mill Way, Alexandria, VA 22314
Sauteed mushrooms with an egg yolk on top and slices of baguette.
A mushroom tapa from Barca.
Barca

Alexandria’s newest wine bar is Spanish-influenced and right on the water. Outdoor seating is dog-friendly (and also allows those with boats to dock and dine). Dine-in only.

2 Pioneer Mill Way
Alexandria, VA 22314

Related Maps