There’s nothing that says “It’s gorgeous outside!” quite like dining outdoors. And lucky for Alexandrians (and all who flock here for Alexandria’s delectable culinary scene), the city is chocked full of ample opportunities to dine alfresco. With each unique restaurant comes a unique dining experience. Whether you’re in search of something quiet or romantic, bustling or riverside, search no more.
1. Best quiet spot: Taverna Cretekou
Stepping into the gardens of Greek restaurant Taverna Cretekou is like finding a little oasis just off King Street. Bask in the sun amongst lush foliage and nibble on some grape leaves (warning: raucous and awesome plate breaking take place on Thursday). Greek food not your thing? How about French? Fontaine Caffe & Creperie is a fabulous little spot off King, equipped with calmer vibes and some exceptionally delicious sweet or savory crepes (oh la la!).
2. Best waterfront views: Waterfront Market
Picture this: you’re sitting beside the docks, watching boats glide by as you sip on a cold pint of Port City Brewing Co. beer. At Waterfront Market, this is a reality. For more stellar views of Alexandria’s Potomac waterfront, try the Chart House or the second floor of Virtue Feed & Grain.
3. Best people watching: Daniel O’Connell’s Restaurant & Pub
We’re all people-watching culprits (don’t deny it!). So if you prefer a dining environment involving crowds trickling beside your table, try Daniel O’Connell’s Restaurant & Pub, whose outdoor dining lines popular King Street. Other favorite people-watching spots include Landini Bros. and the Wharf, also on King Street just across the way.
4. Best for Sunday brunch: Cheesetique
Brunch is no longer a sometimes occurrence. It’s a full blown “thing.” Therefore, it’s important to find a great spot with ample outdoor dining. Cheesetique, a cheese and wine bistro in Del Ray, has awesome outdoor dining right along Mount Vernon Avenue. Not in the mood for cheese and wine in the morning? (I’m always in the mood for cheese and wine). Try FireFlies, which is just down the road, and recently visited by President Obama for lunch.
5. Best for romance: Indigo Landing
Photo by Indigo Landing
Outdoor dining with spectacular views of Washington, DC? Yes please. This spot is excellent for a romantic evening, as it’s off the beaten path and a little quieter than the hotspots in Old Town proper. Another romance-heavy place is Bastille, whose killer wine selection and French cuisine is certain to keep the love going.
Bonus! Best for summer nights: The Front Porch at Evening Star Cafe
Lean back in bright red-orange lawn furniture for an adult picnic in Del Ray! Evening Star’s rooftop garden provides ingredients for their pop-up concept, The Front Porch, located in the open patio next to the restaurant on Mount Vernon Avenue. Sip on a specialty slush and sample summer offerings including chef Jim Jefford’s take on Polish street food, Zapiekanka.
Find more restaurants with outdoor dining here.