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

TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

Read all 363 reviews
Visitor rating
  • 123
    Excellent
  • 160
    Very good
  • 61
    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
Key lime pie...

Went late on a Saturday night looking for coffee and something sweet. Service was a little slow for how many people were in the restaurant. We were served a small sample of their chili's which were very good. They ended up having a great key lime pie. (not home made) inside had poor lighting, but... read more

4 of 5 starsReviewed March 29, 2015
Christopher M
Good for:
  • Families with children
  • Local cuisine
  • Dining on a budget
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
  • Reservations
  • Late Night
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363 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Alexandria, Virginia
Top Contributor
105 reviews 105 reviews
69 restaurant reviews
54 helpful votes 54 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 30, 2015 NEW

My wife and I have been going to Hard Times for years and it is always great. Be sure to get the Chili Mac but before you order ask for a sampler so you can taste the 4 chili's that are on the stove in the kitchen. The corn bread is awesome and check out the Texas Style Wings! Whether... More 

Was this review helpful? Yes
Alexandria, Virginia
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
4 restaurant reviews
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 29, 2015 NEW

This place was really cool, feels very local. We went for lunch on a Wednesday and there were still lots of people there. Classing chili dishes, but better!

Was this review helpful? Yes
2 reviews
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 29, 2015 NEW

Went late on a Saturday night looking for coffee and something sweet. Service was a little slow for how many people were in the restaurant. We were served a small sample of their chili's which were very good. They ended up having a great key lime pie. (not home made) inside had poor lighting, but it was late at night... More 

Was this review helpful? Yes
Raleigh, North Carolina
Top Contributor
147 reviews 147 reviews
95 restaurant reviews
41 helpful votes 41 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 27, 2015 NEW

Wings and pub food along with a variety to tap and bottled beer. The service is fast and the wings are great. They have a Texas slant on their cuisine and, judging by the line on a weekday night, it is a popular spot for the locals. I recommend the boneless wings and the Hard Times Pale Ale Lager. Great... More 

Was this review helpful? Yes
Alexandria, Virginia
2 reviews
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 19, 2015

This LOCAL FAVORITE is a Chili Parlor in a League of its own. Owner Fred Parker knows Chile, Beer & how to make you happy. You will never leave Hungry & will always be happy with the Prices, as they are CHEAP. Quality food in a GREAT enviroment. The Jukebox is loaded with Classic Country & ALWAYS playing. I get... More 

Was this review helpful? Yes
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
5 restaurant reviews
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 17, 2015

What can I say - these guys have excellent chili! Very meaty, spices just right. if you are looking for some good, hearty food that will fill you up without leaving you broke, then here it is! Staff is fantastic, service is great, atmosphere is fun! I come here on a regular basis and love it every time. I HIGHLY... More 

Was this review helpful? Yes
Roanoke, Virginia
Senior Contributor
33 reviews 33 reviews
20 restaurant reviews
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 14, 2015

Wow! Now this place is quite the find. If you're looking for healthy light fare, keep on walking. If you are looking for down home delicious, this is your place!!!! The chili! Oh OMG! I haven't had frito pie this good outside of Texas. I love this little joint.

Was this review helpful? Yes
Arlington, Virginia, USA
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
6 restaurant reviews
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 10, 2015 credit card Amex Card Member Review

Very friendly service in a quaint atmosphere - try the chili bubba! Easy to walk to - on King Street.

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De Pere, Wisconsin
Senior Contributor
35 reviews 35 reviews
21 restaurant reviews
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 10, 2015

I went to Hard Times Cafe probably 20 years ago and still remember their wonderful chili, so when I was in Alexandria recently I made a special effort to go back. It's a wonderful atmosphere - rustic wooden booths and historic vibe. The waitress brought a chili sampler so we could taste their four types of chili, and we could... More 

Was this review helpful? Yes
Clarksville, Indiana
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
7 restaurant reviews
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 10, 2015

Went with a group from work; the restaurant brought out chili samples to help us make our decision. The Cincinnati and Terilingua Red were my favorite. Went with a burger that was pretty good. Relaxed atmosphere and great TVs for watching sports.

Was this review helpful? Yes

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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
Ask a question
Alexandria, Virginia

See all questions (1)

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?