Alexandria, Virginia, a few miles south of Washington, D.C. is a charming southern town, with a distinctive French accent. On a recent visit, I found that there are plenty of shops and restaurants to delight the heart of any Francophile.
I love Le Pain Quotidien, a Belgian-based communal table restaurant with great, often organic, food and wonderful bread, as pictured above. The location at 701 King Street was no exception. The service is warm and the food is delicious. Today’s expression, le pain quotidian (luh pah ko-ti-dee-n) means “the daily bread.”
A relatively inexpensive option is La Madeleine French Bakery and Café, 500 King Street. It features a country French interior, café seating outside, and cafeteria-style service for a quick meal.
While not actually French, Misha’s Coffeehouse and Roaster, 102 South Patrick Street, deserves honorary citizenship. The coffee is delicious and the ambiance is fun and funky.
Tradition de France, 1113 King Street, is a bit of a mixed bag. There are some lovely pieces of furniture but some of the tackiest framed artwork I have ever seen, so caveat emptor.
There were many more French-inspired shops and restaurants in Alexandria, and I’m looking forward to a return trip to explore them all.