Welcome to Alexandria

Well, I’ve been here for a while now.  But in honor of some great friends moving here very soon (Hi S and W and G!) I thought I’d write a post listing all my favorite places in the OT (Old Town for those of you who don’t speak my jive).

Here we go:

Favorite Restaurant:  Fontaine Caffe and Creperie

fontaine

They make the absolute best crepes.  So satisfying and freshly made.  They are also gluten-free (made with buckwheat) if that’s your bag.  And the owner is usually there and really nice.  Fontaine hosts a French movie night every Thursday, where they show French films for free and you can enjoy crepes (sweet or savory) if you like.  Oui Oui!  Last year they opened Petite Fontaine Salad & Company right next door.  It’s a more grab and go style restaurant but still with the same high-quality ingredients.  Delicious sandwiches.  I LOVE sandwiches.

Favorite Boutique:  Red Barn Mercantile

RedBarn

And I’m not just saying that because the owner, Amy, let me speak at her workshop.  It’s honestly one of the best shops in Old Town for home goods and unique finds.  RBM carries an awesome line of custom furniture (Cisco Brothers), Dash and Albert Rugs, beautiful lamps and bed linens and it’s all very lovingly displayed.  The store just makes my heart sigh.  All the employees are very knowledgeable and helpful with their interior design expertise.

Favorite (Discount) Store:  Crate and Barrel Outlet

CrateNBarrel

Enough said, right?  It’s pretty amazing that we have a Crate and Barrel Outlet right here in Old Town.  I discovered it within the first few days of moving here and the pot rack I scored there has probably single-handedly saved our kitchen.  There have been numerous pieces of furniture I’ve had to pass on due to our lack of space.  I hear they get shipments on Tuesdays.  We also have a Gap Outlet and Nine West Outlet, but those aren’t as exciting to me as Crate and Barrel.

Favorite Cupcake Shop:  Lavender Moon Cupcakes

lavender moon

I know the cupcake craze may be on its way out, but for me this place will always be a huge hit.  And conveniently, it’s very close to Fontaine.  Try the flourless chocolate with sea salt and wonder why flour was every put in a cupcake to begin with. 

Favorite Place to get Caffeinated:  Buzz Bakery

buzz

When we lived in Austin, there was an amazing coffee shop just a few short blocks away (Caffe Medici- how I miss you!) where I spent many a Sunday afternoon studying for my architecture exams.  Buzz is nothing like Medici, but it’s still a great place to get a mean latte and iced coffee.  It’s super cute inside (light and cheery- the opposite of Medici, which is sophisticated and masculine) and Mark and I love walking there with Rudy.  We’d love it if they installed a drive-thru.

Favorite Place to Swoon over Stationery:  Paper Source

va_alexandria

I’m addicted to paper and crafts, so Paper Source is where I go to get my fix.  And see my friends.

Favorite Place to Run and Walk the Dog:  Mount Vernon Trail

Mount_Vernon_Trail_near_Belle_View

I was literally out running on this trail the day we moved in.  I can’t get enough of it.  I’ve run all the way to Georgetown on this trail (back in my marathon-training days) and our proximity to the trail and the Potomac is one of the things that drew us to this place.

Favorite Place for Pancakes:  Extra Perks Coffee Shop and Cafe

pancakes

[confession: the above photo is not from Perks, but these pancakes are very similar]

They make incredible pancakes here- really cakey, just like I like them.  And they carry all sorts of British goods because the owner is British.  So if S and W got really addicted to HP Sauce living in London, now they know where to find it.

Favorite Place for Salads and Sandwiches:  Bittersweet

Bittersweet

Did I mention I love sandwiches?  I could probably eat here every day and not get bored.  I’d weigh 350 pounds, but I would not be bored.

Favorite Store:  Old Town ACE Hardware

ACE

Hardware stores are some of the best places to spend a morning.  The folks here are ridiculously nice and helpful.  When I was pregnant they wouldn’t even let me walk down the paint aisle until they heard it wasn’t me doing the painting, I was just picking up something for my husband.  They’ve given me lots of great suggestions, like to store spray paint upside down.  Did you know that one?

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There you have it, my top ten favorites of Old Town.  We’re excited for our new neighbors.  S & W & G, we’re glad you’re here.  Can we go out for cupcakes now?

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