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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
Website
Today
11:00 am - 10:45 pm
Open now
See all hours
Hours:
Sun - Thu 11:00 am - 9:45 pm
Fri - Sat 11:00 am - 10:45 pm
Dining options: Lunch, Dinner, Late Night, Reservations

TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

Read all 377 reviews
Visitor rating
  • 127
    Excellent
  • 169
    Very good
  • 62
    Average
  • 14
    Poor
  • 5
    Terrible
Rating summary
  • Food
    4 of 5 stars
    Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
    Atmosphere
    4 of 5 stars
Hard Times is good times ….

When we stay in Alexandria, VA we dine at Hard Times at least twice. The food is great. The have the best corn bread and of course the chili is good. I tried the Chili Mac over spaghetti & it was delish!!!! I liked it so much I made it at home LOL. The staff is great and is average... read more

4 of 5 starsReviewed May 20, 2015
Rhonda P
,
New York City, New York
Good for:
  • Families with children
  • Local cuisine
  • Dining on a budget
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377 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Portuguese first
  • Any
English first
Lancaster, NY
Senior Contributor
46 reviews 46 reviews
37 restaurant reviews
34 helpful votes 34 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 22, 2015 NEW

Ate in the upstairs dining room, which was not as dark as downstairs and felt much more open. Plenty of space for a high chair for our 6 month old, who was fully entertained by the packets of crackers on the table the entire meal! Started off with the chili sampler to help decide which chili to order, which was... More 

Was this review helpful? Yes
New York City, New York
Senior Contributor
42 reviews 42 reviews
16 restaurant reviews
26 helpful votes 26 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 20, 2015 NEW

When we stay in Alexandria, VA we dine at Hard Times at least twice. The food is great. The have the best corn bread and of course the chili is good. I tried the Chili Mac over spaghetti & it was delish!!!! I liked it so much I made it at home LOL. The staff is great and is average... More 

Was this review helpful? Yes
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 20, 2015 NEW

Good variety for kids (mine are ages 5 through 12). Quick and friendly service. Relaxed and welcoming atmosphere. Ask for the chili sampler if it's your first visit.

Was this review helpful? Yes
Alexandria, Virginia
Top Contributor
134 reviews 134 reviews
64 restaurant reviews
30 helpful votes 30 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 19, 2015 NEW

Delicious and really fun. Great Chili and really fun place. The chili was about the best I have had.

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Manitoba
Top Contributor
123 reviews 123 reviews
31 restaurant reviews
117 helpful votes 117 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 7, 2015

Very easy to walk right by this place. Atmosphere was the standard hole-in-the-wall authentic place. Service was good, prices very reasonable. They'll give you a sample of all the chili before you order. I only really enjoyed 2 of them, but they were all unique.

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New Zealand
Contributor
15 reviews 15 reviews
9 restaurant reviews
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 5, 2015

My husband and I have had many disappointing meals so far in the Washington area but this cafe turned out to be a little gem. We both had chili dogs that came with our choice of chili (we got to try a sample of each before we ordered) and included their own chips (fries) and pickle. Very satisfying meal for... More 

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Washington DC, District of Columbia
Contributor
19 reviews 19 reviews
16 restaurant reviews
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 5, 2015 via mobile

This review pertains to the Old Town Alexandria location on King Street. Unlike the Clarendon location which (in our opinions) ruined a good thing by opening up a second level for loud hipsters, the Old Town location is a cozy cave with wooden booths, a bar well-worn from years of enjoyment, the light of a juke box and Old West... More 

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Crown Point, Indiana
Contributor
14 reviews 14 reviews
11 restaurant reviews
3 of 5 stars Reviewed April 28, 2015

What I loved about the café was they give a sampling of four different chili's which I thought was great. Their French fries were great, also. I had the black and bleu burger which had bacon and bleu cheese on it. In spite of the bacon and cheese it tasted somewhat bland. It needed some seasoning or something.

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Jacksonville, Florida
Top Contributor
198 reviews 198 reviews
83 restaurant reviews
86 helpful votes 86 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 22, 2015

It is what it is. Great in-house beer and authentic chili. Went with the Cincy 3-way. Good stuff. Close to a real Cincy chili parlour. Period. What more do you need?

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Cranford, NJ
Top Contributor
87 reviews 87 reviews
68 restaurant reviews
22 helpful votes 22 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 11, 2015

Stopped in for dinner with some friends since it was close to the hotel and had been recommended by a friend who lived in the area. Very busy on a Friday night and we were lucky to be seated immediately. They started off by giving us the chili sampler platter which was all tasty but we weren't big chili fans... More 

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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: Families with children, Local cuisine, Dining on a budget
Open Hours
Sunday
11:00 am - 9:45 pm
Monday
11:00 am - 9:45 pm
Tuesday
11:00 am - 9:45 pm
Wednesday
11:00 am - 9:45 pm
Thursday
11:00 am - 9:45 pm
Friday
11:00 am - 10:45 pm
Saturday
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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Questions? Get answers from Hard Times Cafe staff and past visitors.
Posting guidelines
Typical questions asked:
  • Do you have gluten-free options?
  • Is there a dress code?
  • Do you allow dogs on the outdoor patio?