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Hard Times Cafe

Certificate of Excellence
$
Old Town
American, Southwestern, Bar, Gluten Free Options
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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
See 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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584 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Time of year
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Showing 579: English reviews
Albany, NY
Level Contributor
8 reviews
3 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 3 days ago NEW via mobile

I've been coming to Hard Times Cafe since 1998. I've eaten at the Alexandria location, the voxel location comma and to Tysons location. The food is always good promise my personal favorite is the Cincinnati chili over macaroni comma but they also have other options for those we do not enjoy chili. The only criticisms I had is that the... More 

Helpful?
Thank leoelantra
Level Contributor
16 reviews
15 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 week ago via mobile

3 way, 4 way and 5 way Chili... Cincinnati style!!! What a great place to go for a reminder of home. Hard Times Cafe hits it out of the park!! Love the Chili Macs!

Helpful?
Thank JL W
Alexandria-Chili, Owner at Hard Times Cafe, responded to this review

JL Thank you for your kind comments. I will pass them on to the staff. Thank you for your business. Alexandria Hard Times More 

Mount Vernon
Level Contributor
13 reviews
6 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 weeks ago via mobile

Have come back to this place time and again over the years for the delicious chili. I love that when I bring someone new here they can try the little chili sampler to find out which of the four types of chili they like, this helped me out years ago when I had no clue. I love that you can... More 

Helpful?
Thank Leslie H
Alexandria-Chili, Owner at Hard Times Cafe, responded to this review

Leslie Thank you for your support of Hard Times over the years and for taking the time to comment. Our staff loves to hear from our guests. We appreciate your business. Best regards. More 

Bear, Delaware
Level Contributor
36 reviews
17 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 weeks ago

The chili was good there, make sure that you try the samples to see which you want. If you like the chili, get a bowl or it, I ordered the frito pie and it a lot more fritos than chili. Service was good. Was a neat little place to go, prices are reasonable for location.

Helpful?
Thank browndl63
Oxford, Massachusetts
Level Contributor
52 reviews
27 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 28 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 3 weeks ago

This place is a great place to eat. The Chili es wonderful. Whatever your taste is they give you a sampler and you can pick which one you like best. When I lived in Alexandria I went here every other week or so, and over time I tried a lot of their dishes. The wings are grilled! really nice flavor.... More 

Helpful?
Thank Santiago1109
Alexandria-Chili, Owner at Hard Times Cafe, responded to this review

Santiago Thank you for the kind words and taking the time to let us know. I does make a difference. I have passed on you comments to the staff. They love to hear from our guests. We appreciate your business and wish you safe travels. Rich Kelly More 

St. Louis, United States
Level Contributor
4 reviews
3 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 3 weeks ago

We didn't think this was a great restaurant. The food was slightly better than a fast food restaurant and the wait staff was not friendly.

Helpful?
Thank T8679GOstephanieg
Alexandria-Chili, Owner at Hard Times Cafe, responded to this review

Thank you for taking the time to let us know. We really screwed up. I apologize for the bad service. There is no excuse. I will be in the Cafe today and will discuss your comments with the General Manager and staff. We will fix it. Thanks again. Rich Kelly More 

Hinckley, Ohio
Level Contributor
64 reviews
37 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 35 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 5 weeks ago via mobile

We visited after a long morning/afternoon in DC for Inauguration ,heading back to our hotel. We loved that you are given samples of the 4 types of chili. I ordered the Texas one, which I originally thought would be my last choice. The onion rings and cornbread were good too. A short walk from the King Street metro station and... More 

Helpful?
Thank Hygienist83
DC C, Owner at Hard Times Cafe, responded to this review

Thanks for your kind words and taking the time to let us know. Our staff love reading the guests comments. Hope you had a great weekend and a safe trip home. Thank you for your business. More 

Willis, Texas
Level Contributor
24 reviews
13 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 18, 2017 via mobile

Friendly staff. Nice environment. Affordable. Chili had no heat. The description says it is an old Texas chili cook off recipe. The chili in Texas has heat. Suggestion, add a 5th option with some extra jalapenos and give it a kick with a habenaro pepper.

Helpful?
Thank Robertson820
DC C, Owner at Hard Times Cafe, responded to this review

Thanks for your heat suggestion and taking the time to comment. Should have known it was from a Texan. We will work on turning up the heat for our Southwestern visitors. Thanks for the business. More 

WASHINGTON
Level Contributor
20 reviews
3 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 10, 2017

My first visit to Hard Times...love the Cinci chili! Sort of a spare atmosphere, but nice. I would go back again

Helpful?
Thank 1Jp1
Zionsville, Indiana, United States
Level Contributor
346 reviews
259 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 86 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 9, 2017

On a cold January day, a bowl of chili sounded like the best lunch option. Hard Time Café was an excellent choice. They feature four styles of chili, each with or without beans and it can be combined with other options (Chili lovers will understand when I say you can get a "six-way" serving). Also excellent were the home made... More 

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

Thank you for your kind words. I will pass them on to Deborah and the staff. They love hearing from our guests and we post all the reviews. Thanks for your business. More 

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Restaurant Details

Rating summary
  • Food
    4 of 5 bubbles
    Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
    Atmosphere
    4 of 5 bubbles
Average prices
$8 - $15
Cuisine
American, Southwestern, Bar, Gluten Free Options
Meals
Lunch, Dinner, Late Night
Restaurant features
Wheelchair Accessible, Free Wifi, Delivery, Takeout, Seating, Waitstaff, Parking Available, Television, Serves Alcohol, Full Bar, Accepts American Express, Accepts Mastercard, Accepts Visa, Accepts Discover, Highchairs Available
Good for
Dining on a budget, Kids, Families with children, Local cuisine
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

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?