We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Hard Times Cafe

Claimed
Order Online

Ratings and reviews

Certificate of Excellence2015 - 2019 Winner
RATINGS
Food
Service
Value
Atmosphere

Details

PRICE RANGE
$8 - $15
CUISINES
American, Southwestern, Bar
Special Diets
Vegetarian Friendly, Vegan Options, Gluten Free Options
View all details
meals, features

Location and contact

Menu

APPETIZERS
7.89
Chili Nachos
piled high with chili, melted cheddar, onions, jalapenos, sour cream and diced tomatoes
6.79
Jalapeno Pepper Poppers
mild or hot
6.49
Chili Cheese Fries
roadhouse fries topped with chili, melted cheddar and sour cream
6.49
Chicken Fingers
regular with honey mustard bbq sauce or ranch
6.99
Chicken Fingers.
texas hot and spicy with blue cheese and celery
6.79
Santa Fe Egg Rolls
crispy tortillas wrapped around chicken, black beans and corn with melted jack cheese
6.29
Bacon Cheese Fries
roadhouse fries with bacon and melted cheddar
5.29
Onion Rings
our famous beer batter rings
WINGS
Order Them Grilled
7.29
Original Texas
made with our original hard times texas spice
7.29
Honey Bbq
basted in succulent honey bbq sauce
7.29
Chili Lime
special combo of chili and lime with a spicy kick
7.29
Honey Mustard
cooked with a sweet honey mustard sauce
HARD TIMES TRADITIONAL CHILI
Our Recipes Are Authentic and Historically Correct Versions of the Chili Created On the Turn-of-the-Century Cattle Drives of the Southwest and In the Cincinnati Chili Parlors of the Midwest.
Texas Chili
the original. coarse ground beef cooked in its own juice, using an authentic turn of the century family spice blend and recipe.
Cincinnati Chili
introduced in 1922 by greek immigrants, it is a fine grind of beef with a tomato base and sweeter spices including cinnamon.
Terlingua Red
a tribute to the texas ghost town that hosted the first chili cook-off. a redder color and spicy kick of championship chiles.
Vegetarian Chili
soy flakes cooked in a tomato base with fresh mushrooms, onions, green peppers, jalapenos and peanuts.
CHILI MAC
6.59
Chili Mac
your choice of chili over spaghetti
7.49
Three Way Chili Mac
spaghetti, chili and cheese
7.79
Four-Way Chili Mac
spaghetti, chili cheese and onions
7.99
Five-Way Chili Mac
spaghetti, chili, cheese, onions and beans
CHILI BY THE BOWL
5.99
Chili by the Bowl
your choice of chili with or without beans
TOPPINGS
All Chili Is Served with Homemade Corn Bread
0.9
Cheddar Or Parmesan Cheese
0.3
Chopped Onions
0.95
Sour Cream
0.95
Chopped Fresh Jalapenos
0.3
Diced Tomatoes
CHILI BUBBA
7.89
Chili Bubba
two pieces of cornbread topped with two of your favorite chilis, then smothered with cheddar, tomatoes, onions, and sour cream.
FRITO CHILI PIE
7.89
Frito Chili Pie
back in the 1940's you'd split open a bag of frito's and pour the chili on top. we put the frito's in a bowl, you choose your chili and we load it with shredded cheddar, diced tomatoes and sour cream.
CHILI CHANGA
7.89
Chili Changa
a soft tortilla shell filled with cheddar cheese and choice of chili, topped with cheddar, tomato, lettuce and sour cream, includes salsa and chips.
BURGERS
Burgers Are Served with a Heaping Portion of Our Homemade Roadhouse Fries, Lettuce, Tomato, and a Pickle, Burgers Are 1/2 Lb. Fresh Ground Beef, Grilled to Orderplease Allow for Cooking Time.
7.99
Chili Cheddarburger
topped with your choice of chili with shredded cheddar and onions
7.69
Bacon Cheeseburger
with crisp bacon and choice of cheddar, jack or american cheese
6.99
Cheeseburger
choice of cheddar, jack, or american cheese
6.49
Hamburger
plain and simple, grilled just right
6.49
Veggie-Burger
choice of cheddar, jack, or american cheese
7.49
Veggie-Burger with Veggie Chili
Reviews (747)
Filter reviews
740 results
Traveler rating
270
313
111
30
16
Traveler type
Time of year
LanguageEnglish
More languages
Traveler rating
270
313
111
30
16
Show reviews that mention
All reviews cornbread chilli texas chili wings frito pie beans spaghetti chili dog burger onion rings salad chicken great chili four kinds texas style old town comfort food
Selected filters
FilterEnglish
Updating list...
1 - 10 of 740 reviews
Reviewed 2 weeks ago

We have eaten at Hard Times Cafe every time we visit DC. This area has a plethora of great expensive restaurants. At least one time during our trip we go to Hard times. They have a great menu, 4 kinds of chili and Nathan’s hot...More

Date of visit: June 2019
Thank Livingthegoodlife1
Alexandria-Chili, Owner at Hard Times Cafe, responded to this reviewResponded 1 week ago

Thank you for your feedback and for sharing it with our TripAdvisor family. After 39 years we are proud to keep our promise of good food, great staff, and reasonable prices. Thank you for your business and see you next time.

Reviewed 3 weeks ago via mobile

Ate here based on past reviews. The Hard Times Cafe did not disappoint , it was awesome.We lucked up and ate on a Tuesday night- All Burgers 7.99-We started with the loaded Nachos. They could have been a meal for anyone, trust me. They were...More

Date of visit: June 2019
Thank N700BFjamesw
Reviewed 4 weeks ago

So nice to have the variety of chili and fixins in addition dogs, grilled wings,m&c, cornbread, salad and fruit

Date of visit: June 2019
Thank Linpt41
Reviewed June 9, 2019 via mobile

It is not an impressive looking place but they were over the top with the food. I love chili and to announce that it was the best chili in town is a bold statement that I had to verify myself. Starting with the sampler which...More

Date of visit: June 2019
Thank Chief2800
Alexandria-Chili, Owner at Hard Times Cafe, responded to this reviewResponded June 10, 2019

Thank you for taking the time to share your thought with our Trip Advisor community. After 39 years we do know chili. I think the Vegan veggie chili is clearly the most underrated chili. Many people don't believe its Vegan. I like to mix it...More

Reviewed May 23, 2019 via mobile

If you like greasy food then this is your place. I went with several people for dinner and were placed in upstairs in a nice comfortable room. The service was intermittent as our server had to work tables both upstairs and downstairs. The ultimate margaritas...More

Date of visit: May 2019
Thank MelbourneMitch
Reviewed May 14, 2019

I was pleasantly surprised by this little hole in the wall. A variety of unique meals with a special “Hard Times” touch. An excellent amount of food that was reasonably priced.

Date of visit: May 2019
Thank robertlB832HQ
Reviewed May 11, 2019 via mobile

We chose this place whilst in the area as it had decent reviews on trip advisor. It also appealed as a reasonably priced eatery which was family friendly. The chilli tasters definitely made me change my mind on what to eat, I opted for the...More

Date of visit: April 2019
Thank LiverpoolDes
Reviewed May 8, 2019

I read the reviews of this place before my wife and I visited. While she thoroughly enjoyed her meal fo blackened chicken salad I was not impressed either with the chili dog I had or the chili sampler that I had. While the service was...More

Date of visit: April 2019
Thank m3schmied
Reviewed May 7, 2019

So thought this would be great. Place old and a little dingy, service slow, food adequate and as old as the building. Onion rings barely coated and soggy, Chili on the sliders was definitely sitting a pretty good while. Not as good as the area...More

Date of visit: May 2019
Thank 758harriss
Reviewed May 5, 2019 via mobile

Hard Times Cafe is incredible. I almost hesitate to write this review, only because I don’t ever want to wait in a line at this incredible restaurant. Authentic western atmosphere, with wonderful staff, Hard Times offers the best chili in the DC area - bar...More

Date of visit: May 2019
Thank VAPioneer
View more reviews
Nearby
Nearby HotelsSee all 54 nearby hotels
Kimpton Lorien Hotel & Spa
1,465 reviews
.11 miles away
Hampton Inn Alexandria - Old Town/King Street Metro
953 reviews
.15 miles away
Hilton Garden Inn Alexandria Old Town
697 reviews
.20 miles away
Wyndham Old Town Alexandria
343 reviews
.23 miles away
Nearby RestaurantsSee all 901 nearby restaurants
Vaso's Mediterranean Bistro
297 reviews
.14 miles away
Vermilion Restaurant
468 reviews
.13 miles away
BRABO Tasting Room
256 reviews
.11 miles away
Casa Rosada Artisan Gelato
87 reviews
.06 miles away
Nearby AttractionsSee all 158 nearby attractions
Alexandria's Christ Church
392 reviews
.42 miles away
Alexandria National Cemetery
103 reviews
.35 miles away
Alfred Street Baptist Church
28 reviews
.34 miles away
Freedom House Museum
26 reviews
.15 miles away
Questions & Answers
Ask a question
JoeHill47
April 27, 2016|
AnswerShow all 3 answers
Response from chaz4021 | Reviewed this property |
agree above 1/2 priced burgers on Tuesday
0
Votes
Alexandria H
January 30, 2015|
Answer
Response from Medic-7314 | Reviewed this property |
Contact trip adviser administration on their Web site. Under CONTACT US.
0
Votes
Is This Your Listing?
Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.
Claim Your Free Listing