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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 - 9:45 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, Reservations

TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

Read all 404 reviews
Visitor rating
  • 140
    Excellent
  • 180
    Very good
  • 63
    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
Really Good Local Chili

It's in Old Town--which could suggest a little high brow. Not Hard Times. It is good, it is full of flavor. It is plentiful. And it is humble. People are happy here. I go back all the time.

4 of 5 starsReviewed July 23, 2015
Frank B
,
Fairfax, Virginia
Good for:
  • Families with children
  • Dining on a budget
  • Local cuisine
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404 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Portuguese first
  • Any
English first
Fairfax, Virginia
Level Contributor
13 reviews
8 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 23, 2015 NEW

It's in Old Town--which could suggest a little high brow. Not Hard Times. It is good, it is full of flavor. It is plentiful. And it is humble. People are happy here. I go back all the time.

Was this review helpful? Yes
Altoona, PA
Level Contributor
9 reviews
5 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 21, 2015

The waiter could not have been a nicer gentleman. We had chicken salads- very big portions, and it was excellent. It is a little out of the way, but well worth it.

Was this review helpful? Yes
Level Contributor
395 reviews
126 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 462 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 21, 2015

Dropped in here for lunch when working nearby. Had the Chili Bubba. GOOOOOD stuff! And I'm not even much for chili.

Was this review helpful? Yes
Bel Air, Maryland
Level Contributor
10 reviews
5 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 14, 2015 credit card Amex Card Member Review

The chicken wrap was wonderful, tasty and tender. My friend chose the steak salad and it looked great. Next time that will be my choice too.

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Washington Dc, District Of Columbia, Usa
Level Contributor
39 reviews
22 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 8, 2015

Stuck to your bones good chili. And Frito pie! Great customer service as they educate you on the options in a fun way. Samples!

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Alexandria, Virginia
Level Contributor
7 reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed July 8, 2015

This is a great place for a bunch of guys, but not much for date night or gals on the town. The food is nothing to write home about and the service couldn't have been more blasé. food was over seasoned and dry.

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Virginia
Level Contributor
92 reviews
60 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 8, 2015

Hard Times is really a chili restaurant - bowls of chili, nachos with chili, chili on hot dogs... you get the picture. And that chili is pretty good and includes a few options including a vegetarian option. Ambience is informal and family friendly (although watch the peppers with the kids). Service is generally good. There are a number of Hard... More 

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Gainesville, Florida
Level Contributor
99 reviews
57 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 97 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed July 8, 2015

I have been coming to this restaurant for at least 18 years, it has always been a family favorite. I recently visited for lunch , as we had several family members visiting from FL, MD, a relative that drove over from Woodbridge and one from DC. We waited one hour for an order of chicken tenders, the wait staff was... More 

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Level Contributor
18 reviews
13 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 6, 2015

Came here last week with my parents while visiting the DC area. The service was impeccable...especially our waitress (I wish I remembered her name), she was so personable! They serve you a sampling of their 4 chili's so you can decide what you want to order. They were all so good that you can't go wrong! My dad loved the... More 

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Lakeland, Florida
Level Contributor
156 reviews
71 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 56 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed July 5, 2015

I have had many different kinds of chili but this was unique. Never before have i seen chili soaking in greese. The flavor was ok, spicy enough, texture was kind of rough. Temperature was luke warm when served. Atmosphere was good, as was the staff. Although i hate being asked how everything is when i have a mouth full of... More 

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Additional Information about Hard Times Cafe

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

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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, Dining on a budget, Local cuisine
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?