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Hard Times Cafe

COVID-19 Update: This restaurant is only available for takeout or delivery at this time.

Ratings and reviews



$5 - $12
American, Bar, Pub
Lunch, Dinner
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Reviews (26)
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Reviewed October 16, 2019 via mobile

Nice place. Pleasant staff. Food good. Great place to smoke a cigar and have a beer. Does not have coffee to serve in bar area. One coffe pot for dining area. Sad!

Date of visit: October 2019
Alexandria-Chili, Owner at Hard Times Cafe, responded to this reviewResponded October 17, 2019

Thank you for your feedback. We do have coffee for the guests and staff all the time. I will investigate why you were told different and get it resolved ASAP. Your feedback make is better. Thank you for your business.

Reviewed May 28, 2019 via mobile

Average food. When you first come in, there’s a stale cigarette smoke smell. It stays with you. I have a feeling, that the chili is probably great. We just didn’t go for chili. The wings weren’t done to our liking. They just don’t know how...to do wings, but then, that’s not their specialty.More

Date of visit: May 2019
Alexandria-Chili, Owner at Hard Times Cafe, responded to this reviewResponded May 29, 2019

Thank you for your feedback. Sorry, you did not like the wings. While our four chili's and free chili sampler are #1 our wings are very popular. We will review our cooking procedures to make sure the wings are prepared correctly. Don't know what to...More

Reviewed June 23, 2018 via mobile

Was in the neighborhood and this place was recommended by the hotel clerk. Really enjoyed ice cold buds on tap and dinner. Had catfish, delicious. Big shout out to Wes, the hardest working bartender/ cook.

Date of visit: June 2018
Alexandria-Chili, Owner at Hard Times Cafe, responded to this reviewResponded June 24, 2018

Thank you for your kind words. Wes is great and I will pass on the complement. Glad you liked the fish. Thank you for your business.

Reviewed June 10, 2018

My friends and I all got ribs. It was half-price day so what a bargain it was! I also devoured my Texas Chili, ordered "wet" style. With the ribs comes a trip to the salad bar so I saw no need to order extras for...the chili, I just scooped up some shredded cheese and onions from the salad bar and sprinkled them on my chili. The ribs are great, the Texas Chili is delicious. If you don't like Texas style chili (it is very rich), there are other kinds like Cincinnati style. Our server was a very nice young lady.More

Date of visit: June 2018
Reviewed September 30, 2017

It was getting a little late & restaurant we targeted was closed on Mondays. So we saw the sign for Hard Times & stopped in... not many choices on menu we were interested in for a light dinner. I asked if the fish & chips...was menu was available & server did not know, sent someone to check. Waited a bit & when no one returned with info, just asked for the burger. Wife had the cheese quesadilla. Both mediocre at best. Service slow & not attentive. Probably just 1 or 2 other booths with customers. Would not recommend for people visiting the area.More

Date of visit: September 2017
Reviewed August 7, 2017 via mobile

We are regulars at Hard Times. It is an average restaurant /bar. The food is good. You can play pool and watch sports and hear live music weekly. But it's nothing to write home about (no different than other Hard Times) which is why I've...never bothered to write a review. But tonight, Jessica, our waitress made our visit really enjoyable. From the moment she walked up to the table she was all smiles, greeting us warmly. She made some recommendations on appetizers (we followed her suggestion and tried the shark bites. Really spicy cajun Mahi Mahi - very tasty) and entrees. We tried the cajun shrimp Alfredo. I found it a bit too spicy (she did warn me it was spicy) but my husband loved it. She made just enough trips to the table, at precisely the right moments, to ensure that we were taken care of without being a nuisance. I have to say she is THE best waitress we have ever had at Hard Times. She said she'd been there a year but had worked on the other side of the restaurant. Jessica was fabulous. I'm glad she's working on the sports side now and I look forward to seeing her next time we are in.More

Date of visit: August 2017
Reviewed March 27, 2017 via mobile

Came in for a weekday lunch, it was fairly quiet in the restaurant. Prompt service with a smile. Chili was awesome, multiple varieties available. We got one of each! All were great. Will return to check out more on their menu. Prices are reasonable.

Date of visit: March 2017
Reviewed November 22, 2016

Great atmosphere....great seeing some old friends there..daily specials on beer and ..some f the best bands in town

Date of visit: November 2016
Reviewed February 29, 2016

We have dined regularly at Hard times, largely on Sunday evenings for the last several years. Recently after not having been for a little while we returned to find that the menu had changed. As well as the new menu being rather poorly designed when...it comes to ease of reading we discovered that many of our favorite menu items were no longer being served. One of the members of our party regularly orders an item that has not been listed on the menu for years but was always still available called a chili idaho.... escentially a baked potato topped with chili and served with a side salad. When he attempted to order it the server told him they didn't have that and we explained that while it hasn't been on the menu for years he'd always still been able to get it and asked her to go check. We were told she didn't want to go check because they would yell at her for asking, but after we insisted she did check and it was in fact still in the POS to be able to be ordered. This of course got the visit off to a bit of a bad start which was only compounded by mediocre service and poor food quality (for example they used to serve perfectly steamed and seasoned veggies and this time the veggies were poorly trimmed pieces of broccoli and cauliflower some of which were not only under cooked, but actually still completely raw and had obviously not even touched steam). Despite this not so stellar expirience we decided a week or two later to give it another shot since we had always been happy with the resturant in the past. This trip we had a different server and when the chili Idaho was ordered there was no issue and when we explained about last time we were told that it was one of the few old menu items that had been left in the system because it was ordered frequently, in fact our order was the 4th one served that day. This was a Saturday night rather than Sunday and not only was the service much better the food was up to par as well. Thinking that the previous bad expirience had just been an off night we returned a week later on Sunday night (last night). When our party member was again told they didn't have the chili Idaho he asked to speak to the manager and it all went downhill from there. When asked about the dish the manager was quite surrly and after it was explained to him that we were confused because it had been available the week before and had been told that it was the 4th one served that day just snipplily said well I know it's not now. We also explained that there had been some confusion over it once before but the more we "dared" to question the situation the worse his attitude became and while he may have been telling the absolute truth the way he presented himself was not only unprofessional but sounded like he was making up things as he went along. Rather than a rude I don't want to deal with you argumentative answer, the correct response would have been "I do apologize for the confusion. Yes it was still available last week but as of Monday or Tuesday (since he didn't seem to actually have any idea when he personally supposedly removed it from the system but came up with this after being asked several times to clarify his vague answers) it is officially no longer available as the owner gave word to remove it from the POS because we will no longer be offering it. While I can't offer an actual chili Idaho we could place an order for a baked potato with a side of chili and a side salad, would that be okay or is there something else on the menu you'd like to try? [after waiting for response] again we're very sorry about the confusion over this dish and I'll get your order right in. Is there anything else I can get you while you wait?" Especially when you are dealing with a customer who has been coming in regularly for years and routinely brings at least 3 other people with them and on occasion brings a party of 6-8. (After one of our party suggested the possibility of ordering the components sperately to the server after the manager left that is what our chili idaho regular was able to order) A correct handling of this kind of (expected) transitional issue/confusion might have also helped to downplay the fact that some of the food we did receive was not very good once again. A customer is much more likely to overlook imperfect food if they feel well treated and have a sense of loyalty to the establishment. Now as a result of the attitude of certain staff members and a drastic decline (or at best a drastic inconsistency) of the quality of the food we plan on choosing a different restaurant to frequent on Sunday evenings, and it is doubtful we will ever return to dine at Hard TimesMore

Date of visit: February 2016
Reviewed February 20, 2016 via mobile

Gave this place 8 years before another visit. The chilli here is pretty bad so we came in for a Friday special that was a lb of tough boiled shrimp, frozen corn on the cob that tasted like paste, boil potatoes were ok, salad bar...was ok. The shrimp boil special was $7.99 and all the sandwiches were at least a dollar more than that. We were done eating what we could in 10 minutes and brought the rubber shrimp home for the critters.More

Date of visit: February 2016
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Frequently Asked Questions about Hard Times Cafe

Yes, Hard Times Cafe offers takeout services.

Hard Times Cafe is rated accordingly in the following categories by Tripadvisor travelers:
  • Food: 3
  • Service: 3
  • Value: 3.5