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

TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

Read all 350 reviews
Visitor rating
  • 118
    Excellent
  • 152
    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
Most recent review
Old favorite

The Alexandria Hard Times is our favorite of their locations. We have gone there for about twenty years now and always ask for Terry's section (great service!). Just before, or just after, the lunch rush are good times to go. They serve a "sampler" of Chili so one can compare the types before... read more

4 of 5 starsReviewed February 20, 2015
Mary C A
Good for:
  • Families with children
  • Local cuisine
  • Dining on a budget
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
  • Reservations
  • Late Night
Add Photo Write a Review

350 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
2 reviews
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 20, 2015

The Alexandria Hard Times is our favorite of their locations. We have gone there for about twenty years now and always ask for Terry's section (great service!). Just before, or just after, the lunch rush are good times to go. They serve a "sampler" of Chili so one can compare the types before ordering. The menu has expanded over the... More 

Was this review helpful? Yes
new jersey
Top Contributor
70 reviews 70 reviews
37 restaurant reviews
56 helpful votes 56 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed February 18, 2015

This was actually my second time at this restaurant and I am not sure I would go back. The menu is typical bar type food, and while the food was good the atmosphere is not the best and the wait staff is not the most accommodating and was slow. The tables are also very close together so that you are... More 

Was this review helpful? Yes
Knoxville, Tennessee
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
3 of 5 stars Reviewed February 18, 2015 via mobile

Chili was their big draw but it was mediocre - my husband, who is from Texas, makes MUCH better chili. The corn bread was wonderful and so was the service. If we went back it would be to get the corn bread to go....

Was this review helpful? Yes
Alexandria, Virginia
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
4 restaurant reviews
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed February 13, 2015

Overall good experience whenever I have lunch, but service is spotty at times. Standard comfort food fare. A wait at lunch which perhaps could be managed better.

Was this review helpful? Yes
Senior Contributor
30 reviews 30 reviews
13 restaurant reviews
38 helpful votes 38 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 3, 2015

Ok, this is a local place and not fancy. Thank goodness. Just good down home chile and fixins. I rarely see chili and rice and corn bread on a menu and loved it here. Good with a cold beer. Sat there and did email and watched people come and go. This is a simple, unpretentious place. Just what the dr.... More 

Was this review helpful? Yes 1
Madison, Wisconsin
Top Contributor
141 reviews 141 reviews
78 restaurant reviews
58 helpful votes 58 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 3, 2015

This place has a working class feel that is a nice respite from the upscale eateries in Alexandria. Grilled wings are great and staff even better.

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Senior Contributor
38 reviews 38 reviews
26 restaurant reviews
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 29, 2015 via mobile

To look at the street front view you would be skeptical to go in. But once you walk in the front door that all changes. The staff is great. The FOOD IS AWESOME AND SO MUCH TO PICK FROM AND THE WALLET DOESN'T FEELING VIOLATED WHEN THE CHECK ARRIVES. GREAT JOB EVERYONE.

Was this review helpful? Yes
Alexandria, Virginia
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
10 restaurant reviews
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 27, 2015

With a chill in the air, there is nothing better than the food that warms you from the inside out, chili. Hard Times in Old Town brings the perfect recipe to comfort food. Starting off with two different types of wings as appetizers, the hulking sized yard bird coming in at over 1lb per dish were in themselves a hardy... More 

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Crisfield, Maryland
Contributor
15 reviews 15 reviews
12 restaurant reviews
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
3 of 5 stars Reviewed January 26, 2015

This is a great family restaurant right in the heart of Old Town. Lots of chili dishes, rice dishes, very reasonably priced. Grandkids had a ball!

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Madison, Alabama
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 21, 2015

Really enjoyed my first visit here. My husband I wanted to get out of the cold and grab something quick to eat. After seating, we were able to try the four chili's they had. They all were great. This place is a must next time I am in town.

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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?