The Southeast Quadrant of Old Town: Our Favorite Places
There is so much to discover and enjoy in Old Town. To make it a little bit easier, we’ve rounded up our favorite spots in each quadrant of Old Town. In this article, we explore the lovely Southeast Quadrant of Old Town. The Southeast Quadrant of Old Town is full of charm and history, like the old cobblestone road on the 100 block of Prince Street. Amidst all of this history, it offers many fabulous restaurants, shops, parks and more. Our team has gathered up our favorite spots in the Southeast Quadrant of Old Town.
Our Favorite Restaurants in the Southeast Quadrant of Old Town
Barca Pier and Wine Bar
2 Pioneer Mill Way
Barca Pier is a modern version of the traditional Spanish beach bars or chiringuitos. Constructed out of shipping containers, Barca Pier features al fresco dining, with seating for up to 200 guests at tables, a bar, and lounge areas covered by retractable awnings. Barca features a vast selection of unique wines from around the world. The exterior patio provides outdoor seating for 24 with sweeping Potomac River views. Menus for both venues highlight small plates with Mediterranean, Greek, Italian, and Moroccan flavors.
Grape & Bean
118 South Royal Street
Grape & Bean definitely has a “locals only” vibe, with a small intimate bar area at the front of this bar, restaurant, and market. It’s the perfect neighborhood spot for wine and coffee aficionados alike, perfect for a quick glass on the go before dinner. Wine, beer, and more are available for sale at Grape & Bean and the staff is always ready to make the perfect recommendation. Allison always counts on their expertise when buying wine for clients and friends. You can check out all of our recommendations for wine bars in Alexandria here.
Virtue Feed & Grain
106 South Union Street
Located in an 1880’s historic feed house, Virtue Feed & Grain offers an “American tavern menu, made with fresh, local flavors and ingredients.” Virtue’s oversized patio is the perfect spot to enjoy a summer evening. Visit for lunch, dinner, happy hour, or for its “late night menu” and/or signature cocktail, the “Virtue Martini,” made with stolichnaya vodka, St. Germain, strawberry coulis, sparkling wine, and basil. Yum! Virtue offers space for private events as well.
220 South Union Street
The creators of Restaurant Eve just recently opened Hummingbird, located inside of the new Hotel Indigo. Enjoy delicious clam cakes, crab boils, and fish fries on the patio overlooking the Potomac River. You can check out our full review here.
119 South Royal Street
You don’t have to travel to France to enjoy an authentic crepe! Our summer intern, Emily, loves this delightful French cafe in the heart of Old Town (and being able to get one of its sweet or savory crepes anytime!). Caffe Fontaine’s food is gluten free, which Marty loves, and has vegetarian options as well. Heartier French fare such as Steak Frites and Pan-roasted Trout, is also available. They also offer Sunday brunch and (free) international movie nights on Thursdays at 7pm.
Union Street Public House
121 South Union Street
Sited on four lots on South Union Street, the iconic Union Street Public House (open since 1986) is a combination of a taproom, grill room, regatta room, and oyster bar. Tourists and locals alike appreciate its fresh seafood and perfectly grilled steaks. Oyster lovers will appreciate Union Street’s many offerings (shooters, fried, on the half shell, and with bacon!). Union Street becomes very lively at night, with happy hour every Monday through Friday from 3-7 pm in the Tap Room.
Lavender Moon Cupcakery
116 South Royal Street
For those with a sweet tooth, Lavender Moon is the place for you. After eating one of Lavender Moon’s cupcakes, you’ll feel like you’re floating on cloud nine. There are so many different flavors to choose from, but make sure to try their Blood Orange Dreamsicle (YUM) or Red Velvet cupcakes!
203 Strand Street
Their slogan “casual dining at its very best” truly lives up to its claim. The perfect quick place to dine in the Southeast Quadrant of Old Town, Chadwick’s has a kid-friendly brunch and amazing clam chowder. Visit on a Monday for ½ Priced Burgers All Day or on a Wednesday for $5 Martini Night. Champagne Brunch is offered Saturday and Sunday every weekend. Our listing manager, Jamyn is a big fan!
Our Favorite Shops in the Southeast Quadrant of Old Town
39 South Fairfax Street
Enchanted Florist is our team’s “go-to” shop when we need the perfect arrangement for a client or special event. This charming store somehow transports you to a Parisian flower shop! With stunning, nature-inspired designs and exceptional customer service, you’ll never go anywhere else for your floral needs!
600 Franklin Street
Balducci’s is a local gourmet food retailer that has fabulous imported cheeses, a variety of meats, and other delicacies. Its baked goods are divine! Balducci’s wine selection is tremendous and the staff is always helpful in picking out that perfect bottle. It’s a great stop for lunch (one of Sue’s favorites!) with its salad, soup, ramen bars, prepared foods, and custom made sandwiches.
320 Prince Street
The “chic dresses and playful sportswear” from Sara Campbell are perfect if you need a last-minute outfit. Sara Campbell’s beachy, New England style offerings are adorable yet classic, standing the test of time. The company prides itself on selling items “Made in the USA.” Sara Campbell is well known for its commitment to philanthropy and hosts many in-store fundraisers. This store is one of Sue’s favorites!
Wellness & Pampering in the Southeast Quadrant of Old Town
Selin Hair Studio
619 South Washington Street
If you need a place to pamper yourself with a fresh new look, Selin Hair Studio is the perfect place! Open in Old Town since 2010, Selin prides itself on “high-end style and a personal touch that only local small businesses can give.” Its new client deal (20% off their first service) is worth the trip. Relax while the stylists give you a brand new look!
Refresh Yoga Center
110 King Street
Refresh Yoga Center has an amazing deal for new students – 2 classes for $29! Refresh has a fabulous variety of classes, including beginner, power, vinyasa, prenatal, and restorative yoga – even a Saturday morning “Run & Yoga” club! The calming atmosphere and helpful teachers will make you feel comfortable if you are trying yoga for the first time. They also offer massages at this location as well.
Windmill Hill Park
501 South Union Street
This park in the south end of Old Town is perfect for a family outing! It has basketball and volleyball courts, a fabulous playground for the little ones, and lots of open space. Best of all? Windmill Hill Park is right on the waterfront so you can enjoy fabulous views of the Potomac while having fun with the kids. You might spot Allison – and Brooks in his stroller – doing some work on one of the benches as they overlook the river!
Jones Point Park
100 Jones Point Drive
Located right next to the Woodrow Wilson Bridge, Jones Point Park is a spacious park with playgrounds, a fishing pier, and lots of parking (major bonus). Emily loves to ride her bike through Jones Point Park and over the bridge to National Harbor. Fun fact: the Jones Point lighthouse, built in 1855, is the last remaining riverine lighthouse in Virginia.
1A Prince Street
Nothing beats the view of National Harbor from Alexandria’s Waterfront Park! There are always street performers and musicians, balloon and caricature artists performing here. Check out Waterfront Park on a Friday or Saturday night to see the action first hand.
The Southeast Quadrant of Old Town has so much entertainment and is full of life. There is always something going on, it is hard not to have fun! Did we miss your favorite stop in the Southeast Quadrant of Old Town? Please let us know in the comments below!
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