Alexandria, Virginia

It’s been such a long time since I’ve posted! Life has been so crazy these last few months and I needed some time to get things sorted. However, I am back!

I just got back from being in Old Town Alexandria, VA for work. It was such a fun town and I definitely miss it! I was going to do multiple posts for this trip but I decided to keep it to one (slightly long) post. I was able to do some tourist activities but mostly visit a lot of local shops and restaurants.

Let’s get into it!

I stayed at a hotel only a few blocks from King Street – the main strip in Old Town! It was amazing. I was there for work but was able to make some time to explore. I found several amazing restaurants and experienced so much! Unfortunately, I was terrible at taking pictures but I have linked to as many websites as I could!

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First stop on my food tour of Old Town… Red Rocks! This tasty pizzeria was higher up on King Street, farther away from the water. I ended up going here a couple times – the first by myself and the second with my mom when she came to visit. I got the beet salad pictured below.

The Roasted Beet Salad was a bed of arugula topped with candied pecans, goat cheese, beets, cara cara oranges, with a champagne vinaigrette and balsamic reduction drizzled overtop. Honestly, I had never had beets before this but this salad was fantastic.

When I went with my mom, we ordered the margherita pizza and the pepperoni pizza to share. They were 11″ personal pizzas. We also ordered a side of brussels sprouts as a starter (had get some vegetables in somewhere!)

Overall, Red Rocks is a great place for dinner! They have some outside seating and a bar inside. They have an upstairs area as well. The staff was always so friendly and extremely attentive.

 

 

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Later in the week, my dad visited on his way down from DC. We strolled King Street and went to Fish Market all the way at the base of King Street. There is a Fish Market in San Diego as well.

I chose the Southwest Blackened Grilled Shrimp salad. This salad was made with shredded romaine, roasted tomatoes, roasted corn, black beans, tortilla strips, cotija cheese & avocado with a lime-cumin vinaigrette. I devoured this – it was so tasty. Our waiter was very friendly and the food came out so quickly. I definitely recommend Fish Market for a fresh seafood dinner!

 

 

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The following weekend, my mom came up to visit and explore Old Town and DC with me. Friday night, we went over to National Harbor to walk around and get dinner. We went to McCormick & Schmick’s. We got a table outside and ordered a glass of wine each and started with a plate of seared ahi tuni and pickled lipstick peppers with Yuzu dressing. The ahi was so tasty. A few moments after our ahi came out, it started to pour rain and we were moved inside for the rest of our meal. For dinner, I had the buttermilk fried shrimp with Chesapeake fries. My mom had a crab-cake sandwich. I much rather would have preferred dining outside. It was a much more enjoyable setting.

 

 

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On Saturday, my mom and I went over to Tyson’s Corner to do some shopping. We just grabbed snacks from my hotel’s breakfast buffet on the way out. Whenever we come to DC, we usually stay at the Ritz at Tyson’s Galleria – somewhere I highly recommend staying.

After we shopped for several hours, we stopped at Le Pain Quotidien, which was connected to the Bloomingdale’s shoe department. It’s a bakery with so many fresh and clean ingredients. We just got coffees but I have had some of their pastries and meals before and everything is always so tasty. There are multiple Le Pain locations in the DC area – there is one on King Street in Old Town!

 

 

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Before my mom headed south on Sunday, we obviously went out for brunch. We went to an amazing place at the end of King Street right by the water called Virtue Feed + Grain. I think this was one of my favorite brunches. I ordered a crab-cake eggs benedict with avocado and a toasted brioche bun, served with fingerling house potatoes mixed with peppers and onions.

They have a beautiful outdoor patio which was so full when we went. There is a downstairs and an upstairs area. We sat near the kitchen and I watched so many plates go by of food that all looked incredible. If you are ever in Old Town, I highly recommend Virtue!

 

 

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Another fantastic spot on King Street is La Tasca. This is a tapas and pinchos bar with a few locations in the area. I love tapas bars because the main idea is to order multiple small plates and pass them around to share with a group of friends! It was a little tricky to do that this time since we had a few different dietary restrictions and preferences at the table. So we ended up ordering our own tapas and offering bites to try. I ended up getting pan con tamate and prawns. Both of these items were amazing.

La Tasca is a beautiful restaurant and our waitress was so friendly. She made some excellent recommendations on what we should order. There was a bar and high top tables that offered Happy Hour specials. There was an upstairs space for large parties or special events, and a more secluded section in the back that would also be a great area for an event.

 

 

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There were a few restaurants that I highly recommend but did not get any pictures of. The first is Vola’s. Also down on King Street down by the water, I ended up here a couple times. The first time I went, I met up with a friend from USC for dinner. We  shared an order of the hushpuppies. There were seven or eight of them in the order and they were about the size of a golfball with corn inside. For entrees, we both ordered the Dockside Fish tacos topped with southern slaw, chipotle aioli, and mango salsa. There were three in an order and they were so fresh. I noticed so many restaurants used the corn tortillas for tacos or burritos.  The second time I went, I ordered the crab dip as my meal. I definitely recommend Vola’s for dinner, and I strongly encourage sitting outside!

Another restaurant I went a couple times was Los Cuates on King Street. This was higher up, closer to Red Rocks. It is a hole-in-the-wall kind of place. Both times I ordered the chicken enchiladas. The first time, I ordered online and walked to pick my order up. By the time I got back, my food was cool and I had to do a little assembly. However, it was still so tasty!!! So I went a second time and ate there. The food was even better. Again, corn tortillas and there was so much lime in the guac, which made it taste so fresh. I highly recommend Los Cuates for a casual Mexican dinner!

This is not really a restaurant but I finally was able to try sweetgreen! We (unfortunately) do not have any of these here at home so I knew I had to check out the hype while I was walking distance from one. I ordered online a few nights for dinner and got the same bowl every time. I made a bowl with wild rice, apples, carrots, lentils, corn, toasted almonds, shredded parmesan, roasted chicken, and a light caesar dressing.

 

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Have you visited Old Town Alexandria before? If so, comment your favorite restaurants or things to do below!

 

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