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Hard Times Cafe

Certificate of Excellence
Old Town
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1404 King St, Alexandria, VA 22314-2715
+1 703-837-0050
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11:00 am - 9:45 pm
Closed now
See all hours
Sun - Thu 11:00 am - 9:45 pm
Fri - Sat 11:00 am - 10:45 pm
Dining options: Dinner, Late Night, Lunch, Reservations, Seating, Takeout, Waitstaff

TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

Read all 438 reviews
Visitor rating
  • 152
  • 193
    Very good
  • 68
  • 17
  • 8
Rating summary
  • Food
    4 of 5 stars
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
    4 of 5 stars
Great place of you like chili!

We had a party of 12 tonight. Everyone enjoyed their choices. They have 4 different types of chili and they bring out samples of each before you order. We ordered the onion rings and they were pretty good. I ordered the chili and tots, which was pretty good after I had filled up on onion rings. The... read more

4 of 5 starsReviewed 3 days ago
Warner Robins, Georgia, USA
Good for:
  • Dining on a budget
  • Families with children
  • Local cuisine
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438 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Warner Robins, Georgia, USA
Level Contributor
116 reviews
58 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed 3 days ago NEW

We had a party of 12 tonight. Everyone enjoyed their choices. They have 4 different types of chili and they bring out samples of each before you order. We ordered the onion rings and they were pretty good. I ordered the chili and tots, which was pretty good after I had filled up on onion rings. The service was amazing... More 

Thank luv2travel6482
Level Contributor
55 reviews
36 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 29 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed 5 days ago NEW

The service is great and the servers were nice. The prices are reasonable. The beer was cold. That said if your looking for dietary choices high in salt and fat, this is perfect. Otherwise, not so much.

Thank austinboy
jacksonville florida
Level Contributor
73 reviews
54 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 36 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed 1 week ago

They provide samples of the different chili they serve. It was REALLY REALLY REALLY good. Corn bread was so-so. Service was good; however, the wait was long during lunch hour. Had to get our meal to go as we ran out of time to eat.

Thank skeeterflorida
DC Metro Area
Level Contributor
23 reviews
12 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 1 week ago

Great home town, local feel with great food. Chili to everyone's liking. I prefer the sweet Cincinnati chili served five-ways--chili on a mound of spaghetti with cheese, beans, and onions. If you aren't sure, they will give you a little taste of all of them--Texas, Cincy, veggie or Terlingua Red....and you can add any toppings. The cornbread is great. Not... More 

Thank llcva
Raleigh, North Carolina
Level Contributor
39 reviews
19 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 1 week ago

I was in town for work, and this place was recommended by a lady I had been talking to on the flight in. She was right!! This place is AWESOME! Kind of a little hole-in-the-wall, (those are the best kind, aren't they?), but the food was EXCELLENT, and the prices wasjust.. WOW!! I ended up going back a couple of... More 

Thank Cpnbnanamn
Level Contributor
16 reviews
7 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed 2 weeks ago

Great staff, food was fast, hot and good, burger was fantastic, others had the chili Mac and tots and chili, really good more food than we could have eaten

Thank Chris O
Washington, District of Columbia, District of Columbia, United States
Level Contributor
8 reviews
6 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
3 of 5 stars Reviewed 3 weeks ago

The vegetarian chili is sugary sweet, reminiscent of barbecue sauce. The meat chills are all extremely salty. The upside is that they will let you mix them. What was recommended to me was to do a half vegetarian, half meat (there are a few choices) chili. It wasn't entirely satisfactory because it was still too sweet and too salty. Food... More 

Thank Ken I
Alexandria, Virginia
Level Contributor
29 reviews
24 restaurant reviews
4 of 5 stars Reviewed 3 weeks ago

Where can u go for great hot food dur'ng the winter months? Good Thing: Hard Times offers great HOT food dur'ng the icy cold winter months. Plus its not that far frm the local Blue & Yellow Metro Line, where lots o DMV locals & Tourists use. Menu has plenty o great food for those for a great price when... More 

Thank Claudia Virgini... A
Alexandria, Virginia
2 reviews
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 4 weeks ago

The place can get a bit crowded, but the food is excellent, perfect location and also reasonable prices

Thank todla
Level Contributor
15 reviews
11 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed October 20, 2015

We stopped in on a cold day of exploring King Street. We saw the sign "World Famous Chili". Well, all I can say is "That is not a world I want to be a part of." Drinks were good. Place was clean.

Thank knsdawson

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Restaurant Details

Location and Contact Information

  • Address: 1404 King St, Alexandria, VA 22314-2715
  • Location: United States  >  Virginia (VA)  >  Alexandria>  > Old Town
  • Neighborhood: Old Town
  • Phone Number: +1 703-837-0050

Price and Cuisine

  • Cuisine: American

Restaurant Characteristics

  • Good for: Dining on a budget, Families with children, Local cuisine


Open Hours
11:00 am - 9:45 pm
11:00 am - 9:45 pm
11:00 am - 9:45 pm
11:00 am - 9:45 pm
11:00 am - 9:45 pm
11:00 am - 10:45 pm
11:00 am - 10:45 pm

Questions & Answers

Here's what previous visitors have asked, with answers from representatives of Hard Times Cafe and other visitors
1 question
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Alexandria, Virginia

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Posting guidelines
Typical questions asked:
  • Do you have gluten-free options?
  • Is there a dress code?
  • Do you allow dogs on the outdoor patio?