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

TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

Read all 368 reviews
Visitor rating
  • 125
    Excellent
  • 163
    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
Good Cincinnati Chile

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?

4 of 5 starsReviewed April 22, 2015
R B
,
Jacksonville, Florida
Good for:
  • Families with children
  • Local cuisine
  • Dining on a budget
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368 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Jacksonville, Florida
Top Contributor
196 reviews 196 reviews
82 restaurant reviews
84 helpful votes 84 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 22, 2015 NEW

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?

Was this review helpful? Yes
Cranford, NJ
Top Contributor
74 reviews 74 reviews
57 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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Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
4 restaurant reviews
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 10, 2015

Great for what it is - a local all-American restaurant. Our server, Terri, was awesome with our family. Clearly a mom herself, she was full of helpful suggestions and options for the kids. Generous portion sizes. The vegetarian chili was our favorite, surprisingly.

Was this review helpful? Yes
Contributor
18 reviews 18 reviews
9 restaurant reviews
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 9, 2015

Great menu of old style american chili. Both Texas and Cincinnati style chili with or without spaghetti. Corn bread, even one of my favs....Tater Tots with chili!! Always great old country tunes playing on the juke box, Texas style decor, good choices for kids and parents....even have Veggi chili if you like that.

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Pinckney, Michigan
Contributor
19 reviews 19 reviews
11 restaurant reviews
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 7, 2015

Somehow just finished the Chili Cheddarburger with the Texas chili. Meat on meat. Two perfectly Flat top grilled burgers, shredded cheddar, your choice of one of four in house chili's. Wow. Hard choice on which chili. Plenty of other choices to choose from the menu. I love the mix of local regulars and tourists.

Was this review helpful? Yes
Alexandria, Virginia
Top Contributor
116 reviews 116 reviews
79 restaurant reviews
60 helpful votes 60 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 30, 2015

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 

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Alexandria, Virginia
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
5 restaurant reviews
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 29, 2015

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!

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2 reviews
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 29, 2015

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 

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Raleigh, North Carolina
Top Contributor
152 reviews 152 reviews
98 restaurant reviews
43 helpful votes 43 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 27, 2015

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 

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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 

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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?