Best of Outdoor Dining in Alexandria

There’s no better way to usher in summer than dining al fresco. Here in Alexandria, we’re pretty much pros at dining outdoors, with dozens of restaurants offering waterfront seating, courtyard patios and street-side eats. Itching to pair some fresh air with your rosé? Read on to see our top picks for outdoor dining in Alexandria:

Best Waterfront Views

Blackwall Hitch 

alexandria-va-waterfront-dining-al-fresco-blackwall-hitchImage courtesy of Blackwall Hitch

Blackwall Hitch is located right at the Alexandria waterfront, complete with live music, fresh seafood, an oyster bar and outdoor dining with views of the Potomac and Washington skyline. Sounds like you can count on this rustic, elegant restaurant to serve up one dreamy evening, no?

Chart House

DSC_0390Image Credit: M. Enriquez for Visit Alexandria

Chart House is about as close to the water as you can get without going for a swim, giving you perfect Potomac River views from the patio. The fresh and creative seafood menu is just as good as the view, especially when enjoyed sitting under under the warm summer sun.

Vola’s Dockside Grill and Hi-Tide Lounge

Image Credit: Vola’s Dockside Grill and Hi-Tide Lounge Facebook Page

The new restaurant from Alexandria Restaurant Partners (Lena’s, Virtue Feed & Grain, The Majestic) features outdoor dining right on the Marina overlooking the Potomac River at 7 King Street. The restaurant, named after former city manager Vola Lawson, serves up fresh seafood.

Indigo Landing

outdoor-dining-alexandria-va-waterfront-indigo-landingImage Courtsey of Indigo Landing

If you’re looking for romantic riverside views, Indigo Landing just north of Old Town is your spot. Or for a more lively evening, hit the spacious deck on Tuesday from 7-9 p.m. for Indigo Live on the Potomac, featuring live music, sailboat races, burgers, beer and sangria.

Best for Drinks and Small Plates

Evening Star and The Front Porch

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Two words: bourbon slushes. Every summer Evening Star Café rolls out The Front Porch, their inviting patio featuring picnic tables, hung lights and bites sourced from the restaurant’s rooftop garden. Head over after work to this neighborhood hangout for Southern-inspired eats and the signature slush.

Cheesetique 

Old Town Historic AlexandriaImage credit: C. Davidson for VTC

It is a truth universally acknowledged that cheese and wine are meant to be consumed outdoors. Luckily, wine and cheese bistro Cheesetique has street-side dining right along Mount Vernon Avenue that makes their grown-up grilled cheese taste even better, if that’s possible.

Virtue Feed & Grain 

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Virtue’s large, dog-friendly patio right off the Potomac River is the perfect place to catch a summer breeze. Plus it’s tucked away from the street, making it ideal for relaxing with a cocktail under the patio’s hanging candle lanterns.

Coziest Patios

Sonoma Cellar

Sonoma Cellar_Outdoor Dining_CigarNightImage Credit: Sonoma Cellar Facebook Page

The backyard wine garden at Sonoma Cellar is a unique and cozy escape where you can taste wine around a fire pit and enjoy special events like tastings, Tuesday cigar nights, and live music. It feels like a relaxing, rural getaway right in the heart of Old Town.

Taverna Cretekou 

outdoor-dining-old-town-alexandria-taverna-cretekouImage credit: R. Kennedy for Visit Alexandria

The secret garden behind authentic Greek restaurant Taverna Cretekou is an oasis of lush foliage and a heaping helping of ambiance. Trust me, you’ll want to linger long after you’ve polished off the calamari and grape leaves. If you’re there on a Thursday evening, you’ll be treated to dancing and tradition Greek plate-breaking.

Hunting Creek 

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This steakhouse on King Street will have you swooning over its garden patio tucked under leafy trees. The courtyard is accessible from King Street but feels private and intimate, the perfect setting for a steak dinner and—why not?—decadent dessert.  Local Nancy Pollard of La Cuisine even calls it “heavenly.”

Best New Neighborhood Places

Stomping Ground

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Everyone from Washington Post to Washingtonian has been raving about Stomping Ground in Del Ray, and if you’ve ever been, you know why. Their biscuits are like pillows of heaven and the fried chicken changed my life—it’s that good. The winners of this year’s Taste of Del Ray award also have outdoor dining on Mount Vernon Avenue, which is especially fun during the Saturday farmers’ market in the adjacent parking lot for people watching and post-biscuit shopping. 

Hank’s Pasta Bar

Credit_Hank's Pasta BarImage Credit: Hank’s Pasta Bar Facebook Page

Hank’s Pasta Bar has also been generating a lot of buzz in the DC region, named one of the top 10 best new restaurants by the Washington Post. Located in North Old Town, the new outdoor patio at Hank’s is the perfect spot for summer sips and homemade pasta. I highly recommend the Goat Cheese & Beet Plin, which is melt-in-your-mouth delicious and a beautiful beet-red.

Lena’s Woodfire Pizza + Tap

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The patio at Lena’s is the perfect place to share a bottle of wine with friends around the fire pit. Order some appetizers or try the Mushroom pizza, which swaps out traditional red sauce for roasted garlic cream and tops it all off with perfectly melted mozzarella, wild mushrooms and truffle oil. 

Bastille

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Bastille, located near Braddock Metro station, features a large courtyard patio and the signature French cuisine that made it a top fine dining destination in Alexandria. Grab a glass (or a bottle, pourquoi pas?) of red wine and imagine you’re in the French countryside.

Live Oak 

Live Oak just opened in the Del Ray neighborhood on Commonwealth Avenue, with a Charleston, S.C. inspired menu from executive chef Justus Frank.

 

Great King Street People Watching

The Majestic

Majestic Alexandria CREDIT Majestic Jeremy Brandt VorelImage Credit: Jeremy Brandt Vorel for The Majestic

The Majestic is an Old Town favorite with a new twist, including a new chef and menu. The outdoor seating on King Street puts you in a prime spot for fun people watching while you enjoy your meal outside the iconic Art Deco inspired building, which still includes a refurbished original sign from the 1930’s.

Landini Brothers

Landini_Brothers_King_St_CREDIT_R_Kennedy_for_ACVA_720x510_72_RGBImage Credit: R. Kennedy for Visit Alexandria

Landini Brothers is a staple in Old Town, serving up authentic Tuscan recipes in a cozy atmosphere. Their outdoor patio puts you right on the brick-lined sidewalks of King Street, perfect for people watching and post-dinner walks to the waterfront.

Daniel O’Connell’s

outdoor-dining-old-town-alexandria-va-o-connellsImage Credit: R. Kennedy for Visit Alexandria

Old Town fixture Daniel O’Connell’s is the place for a pint and some street-side people-watching. Choose from sidewalk seating along King Street or snag a coveted spot on the balcony overlooking Old Town’s main thoroughfare below for a bit more privacy without sacrificing the view.

Coming Soon!

Whiskey & Oyster

Opening in the Carlyle neighborhood this August, Whiskey & Oyster will feature a 20-foot oyster bar, a 50-foot bar, and outdoor dining with fire pits perfect for summer nights.

 

For more information on outdoor dining in Alexandria, click here.

Header image courtesy of Blackwall Hitch