Lunch

Going out to eat isn't always about cravings. Often enough, mealtimes dictate our choices, limiting restaurant possibilities. When circumstances narrow the options, let 10Best help. We'll direct you to the best Lunch restaurants in Alexandria and save you the hassle of calling around for business hours. 10Best readers find much to enjoy at Landini Brothers thanks to its all-around good offerings. It's also hard to beat Laporta's Restaurant, which serves just what you're looking for when you're in the market for a great Lunch.

10 Five Guys
Get burgers topped any way you like at this casual joint. They're legendary local fare — thick, juicy, and delightfully fattening! Five Guys also makes some of the area's best homemade fries and grilled dogs. Family-owned and operated by the five Murrell brothers, the restaurant is now a regional chain. The owners assert that the popularity of their burgers and fries comes from using only the freshest ingredients. (703-671-1606)

9 Eamonn's
"Thanks be to cod" reads the sign on the entrance to this casual, Dublin-inspired, fish and chip joint. They offer a variety of fresh fish options, including prawns, grouper, and, of course, cod. The fried fish of your choice is served in one of their special mayo-based sauces with a side of hand-cut fries. But try not to fill up on the main course -- they also have a selection of "fried sweets" for dessert! Fried Snickers, anyone? (703-299-8384)

8 Hard Times Café
If you're looking for an extremely laid-back atmosphere reminiscent of America's heartland, this is a great choice. People enjoy the jukebox's country tunes and stark, turn-of-the-century Western landscapes, but the biggest draws are huge bowls of piping-hot chili, served in a variety of styles. Try beefy Texas chili, spicy-hot Cincinnati chili, or satisfying vegetarian chili. You'll also find plenty of sandwiches and salads. If you can't get enough chili, get a gallon to take along or buy spices to recreate the taste at home. (703-837-0050)

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7 Akasaka Japanese Restaurant
Sushi lovers adore this attractive, minimal restaurant, which fashions some of the area's best sushi. From simple California rolls to extravagant creations like the Rock 'n' Roll (eel, avocado, and flying-fish roe) or the Crunch Roll (tempura bits and tuna), the place constantly rates a "thumbs up" from sushi connoisseurs. Beverages include Japanese rice and plum wines, which add to the authentic experience. Folks who don't like sushi can enjoy hearty noodle dishes, chicken teriyaki, or seafood dumplings. (703-751-3133)

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6 Grape + Bean
With their winning combination of wine bar and coffee shop, Grape + Bean has quickly become an Old Town favorite for intimate dining. They set themselves apart by offering independently produced wines, fair trade coffees, and a menu of delectable gourmet dishes for lunch and dinner. Start off with a scrumptious sampling of artisinal cheeses and freshly baked bread, and move on to an assortment of small and large plates featuring gourmet ingredients, such as rosemary ham and heirloom tomatoes. If you like what you taste, they sell a variety of their meats, cheeses, wines, and coffees in their shop! (703-664-0214)

5 Fontaine Caffe
Whether your craving savory or sweet, Fontaine will supply you with just the right crêpe to please your tastebuds. From the "Old Towner" crêpe of ham, sauteed spinach, and caramelized onions to the "Bella" of Nutella and fresh strawberries, they get the flavors just right. They also offer vegetarian and gluten-free options for those with dietary restrictions and soups and salads for those looking for a non-crêpe meal. But once you feast your eyes on one of the scrumptious crêpe delights, you might just develop a crêpe craving.

4 Satay Sarinah
This cheerful, vividly-painted restaurant offers wonderful Malaysian and Indonesian cuisine and has become one of the area's fastest-growing restaurants. Although the food is exotic, the knowledgeable staff will gladly guide you through menu offerings. With so many excellent dishes to try, the best bet is to order the rijsttafel, which presents small samples of favorites like coconut and potato croquettes, Bogor-style chicken, and items that do wonders with tofu. (703-370-4313, 703-370-9672)

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3 Afghan
For a taste of Afghan cuisine, consider this great, unimposing restaurant. A plain exterior opens into a friendly, upbeat atmosphere, and long, family-style tables perfectly accommodate crowds. Bread alone is worth a visit — light, airy, and delivered from the clay oven to your table in loaves as big as manhole covers. Juicy kebabs and Afghan-style turnovers called bulanee offer excellent options, and the house specialty is aushak — light dumplings (with your choice of filling) topped with mint and yogurt. (703-548-0022)

2 Taqueria Poblano — Alexandria
Taqueria Poblano takes you south of the border with its brightly colored walls, tiled bar, photographs of Mexico, and lively mariachi music. The menu, a mix of Southern Californian and Mexican cuisine, is just as festive. Fresh ingredients and friendly service make the place a sure-fire winner. To start, try zesty taquitos or quesadillas. Then, sample a Baja fish taco, chicken burrito, or plate of chilis rellenos. Margaritas, Mexican beers, sangria, and Chilean wines serve as thirst-quenchers. (703-548-8226)

1 219 Oriental
Housed in a renovated Victorian, this elegant dining room offers Thai dishes in addition to its traditional Cajun menu. Among the many choices are the King Street crab and chicken dumpling and charcoal marinated flank steak with spicy dipping sauce. Upstairs, the Basin Street Lounge offers live jazz Friday-Saturday nights. (703-549-1141)


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Maps and Directions

10
Five Guys 10Best List Arrow
Cuisine: American, Burger
Dining Options: Disabled Accessible, Family Friendly, Group Friendly, Non-Smoking, Take Out
Neighborhood: Airport - Dca
COST: $
9
Eamonn's 10Best List Arrow
Cuisine: European, Irish
Dining Options: Take Out
Neighborhood: AIRPORT - DCA
COST: $
8
Hard Times Café 10Best List Arrow
Cuisine: American, Continental
Dining Options: Bar / Lounge, Bar Dining, Catering, Disabled Accessible, Family Friendly, Take Out
Neighborhood: Airport - Dca
COST: $
7
Akasaka Japanese Restaurant 10Best List Arrow
Cuisine: Asian, Japanese, Sushi
Dining Options: Chef's Table, Family Friendly, Group Friendly, Non-Smoking, Take Out
Neighborhood: Airport - Dca
COST: $
6
Grape + Bean 10Best List Arrow
Cuisine: Coffee Shop, Ethnic
Dining Options: Wine Cellar
Neighborhood: AIRPORT - DCA
COST: $
5
Fontaine Caffe 10Best List Arrow
Cuisine: European, French
Dining Options: Take Out
Neighborhood: Airport - Dca
COST: $
4
Satay Sarinah 10Best List Arrow
Cuisine: Asian, Indonesian
Dining Options: Bar / Lounge, Catering, Delivery, Disabled Accessible, Family Friendly, Group Friendly, Non-Smoking, Parties / Private Rooms
Neighborhood: Airport - Dca
COST: $
3
Afghan 10Best List Arrow
Dining Options: Family Friendly, Group Friendly, Parties / Private Rooms
Cuisine: Indian
COST: $
2
Taqueria Poblano — Alexandria 10Best List Arrow
Cuisine: American, Latin, Mexican, Tex-Mex
Dining Options: Bar / Lounge, Disabled Accessible, Family Friendly, Non-Smoking, Take Out
Neighborhood: Airport - Dca
COST: $
1
219 Oriental 10Best List Arrow
Cuisine: American, Asian, Cajun, Thai
Dining Options: Bar / Lounge, Bar Dining, Live Music, Parties / Private Rooms
Neighborhood: AIRPORT - DCA
COST: $
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