Your Guide to Dining in Alexandria and Arlington

by Stephanie Kenney | Posted: Aug 29, 2018 | Updated: Sep 25, 2019

Comments: 4 Comments

Northern Virginia’s food scene rivals that of many large cities. Food and drink options from around the globe, specialty desserts and world-renowned chefs make for a truly memorable culinary experience in Alexandria and Arlington.



– Photo Credit: David Hills Photography –

Northside SocialAn Arlington institution. The two-story neighborhood hangout has an outdoor patio. Come for the coffee, stay for the happy hour wine.

Metro 29 Diner Featured on Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives. New York-style diner providing quality food, prompt service and a warm, easy going dining experience. Patrons are greeted by a glass case filled with layered cakes, cream pies, cheesecakes and 18 different kinds of mouthwatering pastries.

Fontaine Caffe & CreperieLocated in the heart of Old Town, Alexandria serving authentic Brittany style savory and sweet French crêpes, seasonal specials, and French Sparkling Cidres in a casual European cafe setting.

Junction Bakery & BistroAmerican bistro boasting fresh-baked bread and homemade goods. Grab a cup of Commonwealth Joe espresso or fresh-pressed juice from Grateful Juice Co.

Bob ‘n Edith’s DinerClassic, family-owned 24-hour diner serving up all of your favorite dishes.



Photo Credit: Rose Collins / Neighborhood Restaurant Group

Columbia FirehouseBuilt in 1863, now stands as a historic, beautifully preserved American Brasserie and bar in the heart of Alexandria’s Old Town.

Magnolia’s on KingServes elevated brunch classics and Southern-inspired surprises in a historic 200-year-old building. Local tip: Try their benedicts – classic-style or with Maryland lump crab.

The Liberty TavernFeatures modern American cuisine paired with a diverse wine list, creative specialty cocktails and a great selection of premium draft and bottled beer.

Buena VidaLocated in the Clarendon neighborhood, Buena Vida curates traditional dishes from Mexico City. Chef Gerardo Vazquez Lugo serves up cultural cuisine using recipes that have been in his family for generations.

Evening Star CafeSpecialties include a Bloody Mary garnished with a bite-sized grilled cheese sandwich and bacon, and blueberry pancakes with whipped brown sugar cream and toasted pecans.



Stomping GroundCasual neighborhood favorite. Everything is made by hand from scratch utilizing local and sustainable meats, dairy, produce and grains whenever possible.

Jaleo Crystal CityExplores the spirit and cuisine of Spain. Festive, casual dining experience with its menu centered on a large selection of tapas, the “little dishes” of Spain. Under the culinary direction of Jose Andres – winner of the James Beard Award and Bon Appetit’s Chef of the Year.

BastilleAward winning brasserie and wine bar, offering guests a contemporary spin on French cuisine and pet-friendly patio.

Busboys & PoetsLocal favorite serving up everything from traditional meals to local spins on the classics as well as extensive vegetarian and vegan options.

Mia’s Italian KitchenUpscale-casual Italian restaurant near the waterfront in Old Town Alexandria. House-made pasta, Italian sandwiches, charcuterie, and square pizzas.

Quarter MarketQuarter Market is the modern equivalent of a food court, with over a dozen restaurants located within the indoor/outdoor eatery space. For lunch, try Hot Lola’s, Copa Kitchen & Bar, Turu’s By Timber Pizza Company, Mi & Yu Noodle Bar, or Sloppy Mama’s BBQ.

Texas Jack’s BBQLocally-sourced, reclaimed wood and hand-forged metals lend a warm backdrop to their succulent, smoked meats. Pair them with a curated collection of craft cocktails, local beers, American bourbons and whiskeys. Named best barbecue joint in the D.C. area by the Washington Post.



Photo Credit: Arlington Convention and Visitors Service

VermilionClassic neighborhood restaurant and bar located in Old Town. Features a menu of contemporary American cuisine and bar with extensive list of specialty drinks.

Virtue Feed & GrainModern American tavern food on the Alexandria waterfront. Virtue Feed & Grain features soaring open windows, exposed brick and giant iron girders.

Lebanese TavernaLocally family owned restaurant featuring Middle Eastern cuisine. Offers many favorite dishes such as falafel, kabobs and a large selection of vegetarian dishes.

Palette 22Part restaurant, part art gallery. The menu features fusion cuisine from around the globe, all plated artfully and created in an open display kitchen.

Green Pig BistroRated among Washingtonian Magazine’s “Very Best 100 Restaurants”. Serves classic rustic French cooking with a decidedly American push: solid and basic yet approachable dishes.



Vola’s Dockside GrillWaterfront dining in Old Town, Alexandria. A friendly, familiar place with a raw bar and the largest outdoor riverside patio where the food, atmosphere, service, and experience are always fantastic.

Mussel Bar & GrilleOffers a wide-range of casual dining fare that include grilled and wood-fired dishes and Belgian classics, iced seafood platters and an expansive Belgian beer list. Be sure to check out Chef Wiedmaier’s exclusive brew, Antigoon.

Hank’s Oyster BarA local favorite serving coastal and New England beach fare classics like lobster rolls and daily fish specials. Lightly fried items such as the popcorn shrimp and calamari and clams balance Hank’s ice bar options.



Photo Credit: Rose Collins / Neighborhood Restaurant Group

Buzz BakeshopA beloved neighborhood bakery with locations in Alexandria and Arlington. Features a myriad of sweets from freshly baked cupcakes and rich fudgy brownies to decadent cream cheese-filled pumpkin muffins and more.

Livin’ the Pie LifeSmall-batch scratch bakery featuring fresh local ingredients and flaky handmade crust. Sweet and savory pies, old-fashioned cookies, cakes, scones, and more.

Dairy GodmotherDeclared a “dessert destination” by the Washington Post. One-of-a-kind real Wisconsin-style frozen custard shop specializing in imaginative flavors both nostalgic and new.

Bayou BakeryServes Cajun classics, including Bayou’s beignets and king cake on Mardi Gras. Owner David Guas is a Louisiana native and a pastry chef, as well as a go-to chef for “The Today Show.”

NicecreamCombines fresh local grass-fed cream and local ingredients from nearby farms. Ice cream is frozen on the spot creating the freshest handcrafted cup of ice cream you can get.



– Photo Credit: Arlington Convention and Visitors Service –

Copperwood TavernFarm-to-Table restaurant serving locally sourced meats, seafood, and produce. Offers 20 draft beers, 30 small-batch whiskeys, superb wine selection and southern Virginia’s white whiskey – yes, moonshine! Pet-friendly patio with custom copper dog bowls available!

Captain Gregory’sA secret spot serving innovative, award-winning handmade cocktails and donut-inspired bites behind a secret sliding door in the Sugar Shack – in true speakeasy tradition.

Baba Bar Exciting speakeasy cocktail bar, serving top notch cocktails by expert mixologists, weekend brunch, fun dining and decadent desserts.



Port City Brewing CompanyArtisanal brewery producing an exciting line of handmade, great quality, locally crafted ales.

Heritage Brewpub and RoasteryBrewpub and roastery featuring hand crafted brews and eats sourced from local ingredients and handmade. Hearty and light fare in a uniquely American setting.

New District Brewing CompanyFeatures an onsite tasting room with typically 12-14 beers on tap at any time and three staple beers, 1821, Ginger Saisan, and 1821 dark that can be found locally in Arlington.



CheesetiqueThe go-to spot for fine cheeses, food-friendly wine, and an eclectic, cheese-centric menu in Arlington and Alexandria.

Sonoma CellarFeatures hand-selected wines from 180+ Sonoma County boutique wineries and 20+ Virginia-based wineries. Bistro menu features freshly prepared craft foods, designed to pair with the wines.

Screwtop Wine BarWine and cheese bar, specializing in charcuterie. It also holds educational wine classes and tasting events. Brunch, lunch and dinner is available. Check out their artfully made craft sandwiches.

Grand Cru Wine Bar & BistroBlends fine wine and excellent cuisine at a reasonable price. Exceptional food, great service and a world class selection of wines all in a quaint European style of dining.

BraboContemporary American fare with European and French techniques and flavors. The menu features a range of dishes including hand-cut pastas, slow-roasted tenderloin, and seasonal seafood dishes, all made to complement an extensive wine list and hand-crafted cocktails.


Visit these restaurants in Arlington and Alexandria and find more awesome food experiences around the Commonwealth to eat & drink what you love in Virginia!



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Avatar Elle says:

How about Courthaus Social? Their burgers and sausages are awesome and they have some delicious benedicts for brunch!

Avatar Kelly Jeffers says:

Anybody coming to this region must visit Texas Jack’s BBQ as its leather menu covers offer really good barbecue.

Avatar Murch Helen says:

I visited this place with my fiance and we loved this place. We especially like Mussel Bar & Grille as it cafe menu covers offers really yummy dishes.

Avatar Ayesha Mark says:

This place is really good as its cafe menu covers offers great food and drinks.