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US$8 - US$15
American, Southwestern, Bar
Special Diets
Vegetarian Friendly, Vegan Options
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meals, features
Reviews (778)
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All reviews cornbread chilli cincinnati chili beans chili dogs burger pasta old town king street
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Reviewed 2 weeks ago via mobile

We love this place for dinner when we are in town. This time they only had one waiter working and he was the best! He was fast, friendly and took really good care of us. We started off with the fried chicken tenders appetizer. They...were delicious and came with homemade ranch and honey mustard on the side. I ordered the salmon with broccoli and sweet potato fries. The salmon was perfectly grilled and the waiter suggested some sweet chili sauce to go with it, which was fabulous. The broccoli had a delicious pesto on it and the sweet potato fries were amazing. My husband had the grilled chicken sandwich and tater tots, which was also great.More

Date of visit: November 2021
Reviewed 17 October 2021 via mobile

Old Town has its share of fancy restaurants. But if you want something simple and cheap, Hard Times delivers. You can choose from Cincinnati or Texas style chili and add your own toppings. The Cincinnati chili with beans and cheddar hit the spot.

Date of visit: October 2021
Reviewed 12 October 2021 via mobile

This place is great! They brought out samples of their different chilis. All were yummy but the spicy hot one was the best. Their cornbread was to die for! Should be called corn cake! Our server (wish I could remember his name) was so friendly...and fun to talk to! If you are in Alexandria you need to come here!More

Date of visit: October 2021
Reviewed 7 July 2021 via mobile

Stopped in for lunch in a very hot day… waitress was was very nice we sampled all 4 of their Chili’s .. which were great … had the chicken tenders great choice… and we had a chili over tots and a chili over rice….and some...cold beers… great choice…would highly recommend!!More

Date of visit: July 2021
Reviewed 20 May 2021

We ordered the chicken tenders and an order of loaded fries. The huge chicken tenders were moist and very favorable. The best ever! Our waiter , Artie, was attentive , recommended foods and flavors. He was a great server. We'll be back each time we're...in Alexandria !More

Date of visit: May 2021
Alexandria-Chili, Owner at Hard Times Cafe, responded to this reviewResponded 22 May 2021

Thank you for your Five Star review. Artie is the best. We make our our chicken tenders from scratch. We appreciate your business and hope you will return soon.

Reviewed 16 May 2021 via mobile

We ordered the chicken tenders to go. The chicken was so tasty and juicy. Some of the best tenders we’ve ever had. Definitely were home made and not pre frozen. Wish we had found this cafe earlier in our trip. Looking forward to trying the...burgers next time we are in town!More

Date of visit: May 2021
Reviewed 11 October 2020

We ordered carry out and it was excellent! We had bbq boneless wings they were delicious. We also had the whiskey bbq chicken sandwich it was amazing. The staff was super friendly and they bagged everything up and made sure we had napkins, ketchup and...silverware. We can’t wait until our next trip to Alexandria Old Town to eat there again.More

Date of visit: October 2020
Alexandria-Chili, Owner at Hard Times Cafe, responded to this reviewResponded 13 October 2020

Thank you for your kind words and for taking the time to share them. Our Alexandria team does a great job. If the weather is nice we have two new open tents so you can enjoy your meal outside. Thank you for your business, we...More

Reviewed 2 October 2020 via mobile

This is our first time visiting Alexandria and Hard time cafe. I ordered steak which comes with 2 side for $12:99, its pretty good deal. I love their corn bread. I have never been a fan of corn bread but OMG their corn bread are...awesome. Our waitress was very nice lady she gave us a box of corn bread for free. We enjoyed our mealMore

Date of visit: September 2020
Alexandria-Chili, Owner at Hard Times Cafe, responded to this reviewResponded 5 October 2020

Thank you for your kind comments. We appreciate your business and hope you return soon.

Reviewed 3 August 2020

I had a coupon for a free chili dog but I had to purchase something to use the coupon. The OJ I got was $2.50 so with tip and tax I spent $6 for a free hot dog.More

Date of visit: July 2020
Alexandria-Chili, Owner at Hard Times Cafe, responded to this reviewResponded 4 August 2020

Thank you for joining us for National Chili Dog Day. The chili dogs were free with any purchase. I apologize that the City of Alexandria has the highest meals tax in Virginia. The eleven % tax does not come to us. I know our great...More

Reviewed 22 April 2020

Every time I go to Alexandria the Hard Times Cafe is the first place I go for a meal and a cold beer. Located in Old Town the neighborhood has charm and character. The restaurant is cozy and fun. Sit at the bar or sit...in a booth and enjoy a great variety of chili with cold beer on tap. Friendly service and a great atmosphere. Oh, by the way, the chili is delicious. Don't miss this place.More

Date of visit: December 2019
Alexandria-Chili, Owner at Hard Times Cafe, responded to this reviewResponded 25 April 2020

Wayne, thank you for your kind words and for taking the time to share them with our TripAdvisor family. After 40 years we have figured out our Chili. Thank you for your business.

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Questions & Answers
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27 April 2016|
AnswerShow all 3 answers
Response from chaz4021 | Reviewed this property |
agree above 1/2 priced burgers on Tuesday
Alexandria H
30 January 2015|
Response from Medic-7314 | Reviewed this property |
Contact trip adviser administration on their Web site. Under CONTACT US.
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Frequently Asked Questions about Hard Times Cafe

Yes, Hard Times Cafe offers takeaway services.

Hard Times Cafe is rated accordingly in the following categories by Tripadvisor travellers:
  • Food: 4
  • Service: 4.5
  • Value: 4.5
  • Atmosphere: 4