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

TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

Read all 415 reviews
Visitor rating
  • 144
    Excellent
  • 185
    Very good
  • 65
    Average
  • 16
    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
CHILI. !!

We go to the Old Town Alexandria location for chili mac. It's great on an Autumn or winter evening, if you have the chance to nap afterwards! The atmosphere is slightly divey, in a goid way. The staff's really friendly. And, since it's on the west end of King Street, you'll find mostly licals... read more

4 of 5 starsReviewed August 21, 2015
trippinnow
,
Washington, DC
Good for:
  • Dining on a budget
  • Local cuisine
  • Families with children
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415 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Portuguese first
  • Any
English first
Arlington, Virginia
Level Contributor
10 reviews
3 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 2, 2015 NEW

I have been going here since this opened as a sort of biker bar and been a loyal customer for all these years and still love the place. I love the Cincinnati style chili, which is authentic. The wings are GRILLED, not fried, and the sauces are so tangy. NOT your average wings. The fries are boardwalk style and the... More 

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Miami, Florida
Level Contributor
18 reviews
8 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed September 2, 2015 NEW

Walking into this place I almost turn around and left but my friend wanted to have some chili. We sat in a booth on the first floor, I did see a lot of families going upstairs. We had the nachos with the Texas chilli on it. My friend enjoyed it, it did nothing for me. Then we had the hotdog... More 

Was this review helpful? Yes 1
Fayetteville, Arkansas
Level Contributor
7 reviews
7 restaurant reviews
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 27, 2015 NEW

Is it winter? Then go here. All kinds of delicious chili - and they let you try a taste first! This place makes cold weather so much better

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Washington, DC
Level Contributor
52 reviews
26 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 42 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 21, 2015

We go to the Old Town Alexandria location for chili mac. It's great on an Autumn or winter evening, if you have the chance to nap afterwards! The atmosphere is slightly divey, in a goid way. The staff's really friendly. And, since it's on the west end of King Street, you'll find mostly licals, regulars hanging out and catching up... More 

Was this review helpful? Yes 2
Pittsburgh, PA
Level Contributor
28 reviews
13 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 33 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 17, 2015

We visited here based on Trip Advisor reviews and we were NOT disappointed! I will say this though -- from the look of the place from the outside, I probably would have passed it up. It just looks small and like nothing fancy. It is a well-kept secret. I was traveling with my two adult children in the area to... More 

Was this review helpful? Yes 2
Staunton, Virginia
Level Contributor
6 reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed August 11, 2015

The food was good and the portions were very large to my surprise. The waitress was good and brought us samples of the chili. We made the mistake of ordering an appetizer as that would of probably sufficed alone due to the large portion given us. Food was good, service was good and when I asked my son what he... More 

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Level Contributor
146 reviews
97 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 37 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 11, 2015

Great chili!! I normally don't eat chili but absolutely loved it! If you would've asked me if I would be eating chili in Washington DC, I would've laughed, but then I fell in love!! Wow!!

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Delavan, Wisconsin
Level Contributor
24 reviews
13 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 11, 2015

On your first visit, they bring you a sampler of the 4 types of chili they have. Their menu had chili served numerous ways and other items that don't have chili. We had their onion rings which were really good and come with a mildly spicy dipping sauce. My husband had the chili dog which was really good and I... More 

Was this review helpful? Yes 1
Evansville, Indiana
Level Contributor
85 reviews
30 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 52 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 9, 2015

I used to live in Alexandria and started going to this and the other Hard Times soon after they opened. Having been away for 20 years, I was pleased to walk in and feel like I had never been gone. The bar staff/cooks were awesome and engaging as usual and the "Cheers" feel was comforting. The food was plentiful as... More 

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Brisbane, Australia
Level Contributor
71 reviews
19 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 29 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 1, 2015

The best thing about this chain food restaurant was the warm understated welcome of the staff...I appreciated the more genuine consideration by my waitress over the larger than life 'plastic' greetings that await tourists in the US....The food was fresh and servings way too big (welcome to America). Tasty and great for a quick re-fuel in a novel setting,

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