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Hard Times Cafe

Certificate of Excellence
$
Old Town
American, Southwestern, Bar
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1404 King St, Alexandria, VA 22314-2715
+1 703-837-0050
Website
Today
11:00 am - 11:45 pm
Closed now
All hours
Hours:
Sun 11:00 am - 10:45 pm
Mon - Thu 11:00 am - 11:00 pm
Fri - Sat 11:00 am - 11:45 pm
More Info
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561 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Showing 556: English reviews
New Jersey
Level Contributor
32 reviews
24 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 3 days ago NEW

Hard Times was recommended to us by locals who raved about the four versions of chili they serve. It was ok. Mexican dishes were much better. Good beer selection.

Helpful?
Thank njrider2016
DC C, Owner at Hard Times Cafe, responded to this review

Thank you for your feedback. I am glad you liked the the South of the Border Dishes. Even with four Chili's to choose from the other menu item's like the fish tacos and the grilled wings have a strong following. We have added some local craft beers from Alexandria, Williamsburg and Charlottesville VA, Thanks for the positive feedback. and your... More 

kansas city
Level Contributor
79 reviews
35 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 3 days ago NEW

A bit of a hole in the wall restaurant. Great chili (many options) and wonderful service staff. Don't miss this little gem.

Helpful?
Thank philipstrnad
DC C, Owner at Hard Times Cafe, responded to this review

Thanks for the kind words, and taking the time to let us know. I will pass them on to the staff. We appreciate your business. Go Jayhawks! More 

Washington DC, District of Columbia
Level Contributor
48 reviews
34 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 week ago via mobile

For all those who want to move from corporate brands and to actually pay for a meal without foodie hipster non sensical items. I always order the Reuben!

Helpful?
Thank Stale_Bread_Spanky
Ogden, Utah
Level Contributor
12 reviews
6 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 week ago

If you are looking for a place to eat that is affordable in Alexandria this is the place. I was staying in the area for a week and this area can be a little pricey for average food. The chili here was delicious. I opted for the chili dog and asked for extra for my fries. The person I ate... More 

Helpful?
Thank Jake J
DC C, Owner at Hard Times Cafe, responded to this review

Thank you for your kind words and for you taking the time to share them. I will pass them on to the staff. Feedback make us better and the staff loves to see how they are doing. Hope to see you on your next trip. Thanks Rich Kelly More 

Gothenburg, Sweden
Level Contributor
21 reviews
7 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 weeks ago

I got a very nice chilli at this restaurant. It was a nice touch that they served a sample set of their different chillis, made the choice easier. The service was a bit slow to begin with but it did catch up and I was very satisfied when I left.

Helpful?
Thank TravellingPoh
Gaithersburg, MD
Level Contributor
278 reviews
199 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 92 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 weeks ago

The food was as good as usual - not terrific, but OK. The service was lacking. Wait person seemed to disappear, was slow to take order, and slow to bring it out. Then, the fries with mine were cold and soggy - so when asked if everything was ok, I said no. The manager said she was very sorry, and... More 

Helpful?
Thank Anbrugo
DC C, Owner at Hard Times Cafe, responded to this review

Thank you for your feedback. We really blew it, I apologies. Fries should be hot and replacement fries should be quick and hot. I will speak with the Manager and staff and we will get it fixed ASAP. Thank you for supporting us in Rockville. The Rockville Team do a great job. Best regards Rich Kelly More 

Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 3 weeks ago via mobile

Was in DC this week and wanted to try something that wasn't the typical D.C. price point ($$$!). Found the Hard Times Cafe online, they were within walking distance and their Chili specialty sounded good so I thought I'd give them a try. The ambiance is very casual, like a sports bar. Where I was seated there were some good... More 

Helpful?
Thank jza80
DC C, Owner at Hard Times Cafe, responded to this review

Thank you for your feedback. We really blew it, I apologies. With two service complaint's that week it set of the alarm bells. We have worked on the staffing, training and manager follow up. There is no excuse for bad service. By taking time to let us know we can and will fix the problem. Thanks again, Rich Kelly More 

Fairfax County, Virginia
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 3 weeks ago

Arrived at 6:00. Seated immediately. Order taken at 6:50 p.m. Starters arrived 7:15 and one starter never even made it to the table (no explanation given). Entrees at 7:20. Entrees warmish - and remember their big thing is chili. Chili taste (cincinnati) was good but it was more like pureed beef than chili. Fritos were totally soggy - and did... More 

Helpful?
Thank Joanna C
DC C, Owner at Hard Times Cafe, responded to this review

Thank you for your feedback. We really blew it, I apologies. Feedback like your helps us fix problems. I will meet with the staff and Mangers and figure out what happened and work on solutions to prevent it from happening again. Thanks Rich Kelly More 

UK
Level Contributor
28 reviews
8 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 42 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 4 weeks ago via mobile

Thrives on its authenticity and doesn't disappoint. Super friendly waitress who really was excellent - I forget her name but it is in one of the other posts. Loved the Texas chili and rice ! I would come again.

Helpful?
Thank AshDG
Washington DC, District of Columbia
Level Contributor
384 reviews
218 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 181 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 4 weeks ago via mobile

Good place for a hangover. Tasty chili; they give samples if you are a newbie. Country music from the 50's makes for a unique experience.

Helpful?
1 Thank GypsyTraveller94

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Restaurant Details

Rating summary
  • Food
    4 of 5 bubbles
    Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
    Atmosphere
    4 of 5 bubbles
Cuisine
American, Southwestern, Bar
Meals
Lunch, Dinner, Late Night
Restaurant features
Takeout, Seating, Waitstaff, Television, Serves Alcohol, Full Bar
Good for
Local cuisine, Kids, Dining on a budget, Families with children
Open Hours
Sunday
11:00 am - 10:45 pm
Monday
11:00 am - 11:00 pm
Tuesday
11:00 am - 11:00 pm
Wednesday
11:00 am - 11:00 pm
Thursday
11:00 am - 11:00 pm
Friday
11:00 am - 11:45 pm
Saturday
11:00 am - 11:45 pm
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

Questions & Answers

Here's what previous visitors have asked, with answers from representatives of Hard Times Cafe and other visitors
2 questions
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Alexandria, Virginia
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?