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.
Book On TripAdvisor Bonus Book your hotel on TripAdvisor — then save 20% on things to do for your trip. Use code BOOKTOSAVE.

Hard Times Cafe

Certificate of Excellence
Old Town
Map
Satellite
Map updates are paused. Zoom in to see updated info.
Reset zoom
Updating Map...
Get directions
1404 King St, Alexandria, VA 22314-2715
+1 703-837-0050
Website
Today
11:00 am - 9:45 pm
Closed now
All hours
Hours:
Sun - Thu 11:00 am - 9:45 pm
Fri - Sat 11:00 am - 10:45 pm
More Info
Add Photo Write a Review

517 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

Traveler rating
Traveler type
Time of year
Language
  • More
Showing 512: English reviews
Oswego, New York
Level Contributor
174 reviews
111 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 60 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 2 days ago NEW via mobile

We haven't been to Alexandria for a few years but when we scheduled a few day vacation here we knew where our first meal would be. We have been here every time we come. And we are never disappointed. The staff is great in the no frills cafe. The food is outstanding. It's know-to us anyway-as a chili place. Four... More 

Helpful?
Thank kpurvis87
Level Contributor
12 reviews
5 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 5 days ago NEW

While visiting Old Town Alexandria, did both eat in and Take Out at Hard Times. Great service and well prepared food. Excellent Chili. Santa Fe Chicken Salad was good and don't miss the bacon cheese fries. On line order was ready and packed to travel.

Helpful?
Thank john c
Covington, Washington, United States
Level Contributor
67 reviews
51 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 31 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed 1 week ago

I thought the quality and quantity of the food was good for the price. Homey place with fun décor and friendly staff. The Chili Fries were great, although I didn't think their "Spicy" chili was hot enough.

Helpful?
Thank Chad W
Zebulon, North Carolina
Level Contributor
44 reviews
22 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 2 weeks ago

Food was great and delicious. Help was very nice and we had a great conversation while there with the waitress.

Helpful?
Thank Thomas Z
Pinellas Park, United States
Level Contributor
15 reviews
6 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 2 weeks ago via mobile

The food was okay, but the service was amazing. I did have to wait a while, but the great communication was worth the wait.

Helpful?
Thank Lasonya M
Windsor, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
398 reviews
149 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 130 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed 3 weeks ago via mobile

This restaurant claims to have a world famous chilli and if its your first visit they bring you tasters of the different strengths. The corn bread and the chilli are both good. Great salads too. It's not a top notch place but we all had a good meal and the portions are big.

Helpful?
Thank Jeannie2207
Apex
Level Contributor
22 reviews
10 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed 3 weeks ago

I love me some meat. I was completely dumbfounded when I preferred their vegetarian chili to the other 3 selections! The place has a rustic feel, but still clean. We came in for Sunday lunch and were seated promptly upstairs. The waitress took good care of us and the food was good. My only complaint is that it took quite... More 

Helpful?
Thank jerobins
Humble, United States
Level Contributor
51 reviews
27 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 3 weeks ago

The Hard Times Cafe is basically an old neighborhood bar in Old Alexandria, VA right on King Street. This place knows that there are no beans in chili (but if you live East of the Mississippi they will add them on request). The three of the four types of chili are great (I am unclear on how they can serves... More 

Helpful?
Thank Henry C
Melbourne, Australia
Level Contributor
133 reviews
68 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 68 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed 3 weeks ago via mobile

I had never tried chilli so I was glad to be offered the sampler to see the difference between the 4 types. I went for the standard on macaroni with cheese, onion and sour cream and I was not disappointed. Really tasty and not greasy at all. Friend,y staff, nothing flash but a good simple meal. Will definitely go back.

Helpful?
Thank maxtedandlily
Brandon, Florida
Level Contributor
121 reviews
80 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 28 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed 3 weeks ago via mobile

Kid friendly with nostalgic decor. Great variety of Tex-Mex. They bring you a sample of Four home made chili choices. The menu offers tex mex, hot dogs, and hamburgers. I think the also had a steak. We ordered chili cheese fries and tacos. It was good and filling and affordable. Service was good as well.

Helpful?
Thank Paula33559

Travelers who viewed Hard Times Cafe also viewed

 

Been to Hard Times Cafe? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Is This Your TripAdvisor Listing?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing
Improve this listing

Restaurant Details

Rating summary
  • Food
    4 of 5 stars
    Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
    Atmosphere
    4 of 5 stars
Cuisine
American, Bar, Gluten Free
Meals
Lunch, Dinner, Late Night
Restaurant features
Takeout, Seating, Waitstaff, Television, Serves Alcohol, Full Bar
Good for
Local cuisine, Families with children, 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
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
Ask a question
Alexandria, Virginia
Alexandria, Virginia

See all questions (2)

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?