Experience an influx of D.C. dining darlings, artisanal coffee shops and scenic rooftops among more than two dozen new restaurants in Alexandria, Virginia, located just outside of D.C. Keep reading for new and coming-soon concepts in Old Town Alexandria and throughout the city, from beloved bagel spots to laid-back diners and beyond.
D.C. Dining Influencers
Some shining stars of D.C.’s kitchens have crossed the Potomac to bring their culinary stylings to Alexandria. Kismet Modern Indian, open in Old Town since fall 2021, showcases the MICHELIN award-winning cuisine of Chef Ajay Kumar, known for his elevated Indian fare at Karma Modern Indian in Chinatown. Meanwhile, Jack Caminos borrows from his boozy ventures at the ever-popular Compass Rose and Thip Kao to debut new creations at Old Hat Bar alongside business partner Tim Prosser. The highly anticipated gastropub reopened at its St. Asaph Street home in early 2022. On the horizon is Call Your Mother Deli, the buzzy D.C.-based regional bagel franchise, expected to bring its jam-packed sweet and savory sandwiches to Old Town later in the year.
Hot Chicken and More New Culinary Offerings
Alexandria’s dining scene expands with even more menus to explore. Last year’s hot chicken trend continues with the early 2022 opening of Hangry Joe’s Hot Chicken, a small regional chain offering Nashville-style spicy chicken, in Alexandria Commons, as well as Korean fried chicken from Bonchon Chicken, which landed at Bradlee Shopping Center in January.
At Arlandria’s Ferman Bar & Grill, open since July 2021, former chef at The Alexandrian Rodrigo Ferman serves Latin American cuisine with high-end breakfasts and brunches on the weekends. Across the city, Roha Ethiopian Restaurant promises to bring a taste of East Africa to Van Dorn Plaza later in the year.
In early 2022, Chicago-based franchise Foxtrot will open its first Virginia outpost at the intersection of King and N. Washington Streets. Foxtrot boasts 30-minute grocery delivery services, a curated house-made grab-and-go menu and much more.
To visit just-opened Turkish Coffee Lady is to travel to the nation by mug. As of January 2022, guests can sip coffee prepared in a “cezve” and spiced with cardamom and mastic, see intricate artwork crafted with coffee grounds by an in-house artist and more at the Old Town outpost. Meanwhile, Cortado Café, which opened in fall 2021 in the West End’s Shoppes of Foxchase, is inspired by the owners’ Moroccan heritage and the tradition of gathering to sip and socialize.
Stomping Ground’s Nicole Jones opened Mae’s Market & Café in Old Town in summer 2021, offering a made-from-scratch selection of coffee, baked goods and salads. Look for sister restaurant Virginia’s Darling to open in spring 2022, complete with a 2,000-bottle wine cellar and raw bar. In June 2021, beloved Misha’s Coffee debuted a sister shop on Prince Street, complete with a rooftop river view and beer and wine bar. Meanwhile, Aslin Beer Co. has branched out to brewing its own line of coffee in addition to quirky beers, while St. Elmo’s Coffee Pub will open a third location at Fairlington Shopping Centre.
Later, Charlottesville-based Mudhouse Coffee Roasters will open on upper King Street, while the team behind Chop Shop Taco and The Peoples Drug will debut a dazzling new outpost, Electric Café, inside the West End’s Brandywine Building. Bad Ass Coffee of Hawaii will open in the upcoming Carlyle Crossing development to bring coffee from Kauai, Oahu, Maui, Moloka‘i, Kona and Ka’u.
Tea lovers have two new destinations to explore. Under new ownership, ESP Tea & Coffee reopened in early 2021, providing a Bohemian vibe, enticing pu’erhs, non-alcoholic herbal elixirs and more. For a high tea experience, look for LadyCamellia Pastry and Tea Room to resettle from its Georgetown location to the Alexandria waterfront in the first half of 2022.
Three upcoming diners offer a laidback setting to gather over mouthwatering comfort food with friends and family. Regional franchise Bob & Edith’s Diner expands to upper King Street at the end of February, with hot cakes sizzling on the griddle 24/7. At Bradlee Shopping Center, Beeliner Diner will bring a hearty menu and crave-worthy oversized cake slices beginning in early 2022. Meanwhile, Mount Vernon Avenue will see an upgrade with Matt & Tony’s, which promises classic American fare in the former Charlie’s on the Avenue space.
Alexandria’s pizza trend expands with incoming Frank Pepe Pizzeria Napoletana, the New Haven-based franchise known for thin-crust, coal-fired pies, set to open at Alexandria Commons in summer 2022. The pizzeria joins Del Ray’s Stracci, where former Vermillion Chef Thomas Cardarelli’s team has slung Roman-style pies since March 2021. Brooklyn-based Emmy Squared boosted the pizza trend when it debuted its Detroit-style slices on lower King Street in summer 2021.
Hungry explorers can follow the scent of fresh-baked bread into three upcoming bakeries. Call Your Mother, D.C.’s wildly popular bagel outpost, will open a sibling shop on Pitt Street in late spring 2022. Meanwhile, Old Town North’s Chewish Deli will bring its hand-rolled, New York-style water bagels to upper King Street in early 2022. Fresh Baguette, a Bethesda-based regional franchise which utilizes state-of-the-art French baking equipment and techniques, will open on upper King Street in March.
Cocktail lovers rejoiced when highly anticipated gastropub Old Hat Bar reopened in Old Town in early 2022. Well-known cocktail creator Jack Caminos and business partner Tim Prosser introduce a menu infused with Asian, Midwestern, Spanish, New York and Eastern European influences, plus a bar menu that leans on Tiki influences. The tropical vibes continue at Tiki, Homegrown Restaurant Group’s February 2022 pop-up at the former sushi bar space on Mount Vernon Avenue, to be followed by a Mardis Gras-themed setup. Find mouthwatering booze-free beverages at Umbrella Dry Drinks, a non-alcoholic bar and bottle shop open for a February 2022 pop-up in Old Town, with the possibility for a permanent location in the future. Or, visit ESP Tea and Coffee on King Street for non-alcoholic herbal elixirs including Kava, a calming alcoholic alternative with origins in the Pacific Islands.
Rooftop and Balcony Dining
In addition to a newly debuted balcony at Chadwicks and Misha’s Coffee’s Prince Street location, two Old Town eateries promise rooftop views to sip and dine. In early 2022, Hank’s Oyster Bar, by regionally-acclaimed Chef Jamie Leeds, will migrate to the former Hank & Mitzi’s location in Old Town North, complete with a brand-new rooftop dining experience. Meanwhile, Village Brauhaus promises an al fresco penthouse perch to enjoy Bavarian brews and plates, starting in spring 2022.
Learn more about what’s new in Alexandria in 2022 here.
Header Image: Pictured, left to right: Kismet Modern Indian, Turkish Coffee Lady and Call Your Mother Deli; Image Credits, left to right: Evan Michio for Visit Alexandria; Instagram Account of Turkish Coffee Lady; Instagram User @hungryhannah23