100 Very Best Restaurants 2014: The Majestic

The dining room at The Majestic in Alexandria, Virginia. Photograph by Chris Campbell.

There’s a special place in our hearts for well-done, upscale diner food, and Cathal Armstrong’s handsome Old Town cafe delivers every time. Creamy seasonal soups—yellow tomato in summer, roasted shallot in fall—are a consistently satisfying way to begin a meal here. This is also the spot to splurge on deep-fried dishes such as crispy onion rings or flaky brandade fritters. Signature tableside offerings—guacamole and an old-school Caesar salad—never disappoint, but save room for an enormous slice of coconut cake or a bread pudding doused in bourbon sauce. We like to round out a meal at the bar, which, under the auspices of Todd Thrasher, puts out some seriously terrific cocktails, including excellent tiki drinks in the summer.

Open: Daily for lunch and dinner.

Don’t Miss: Fried green tomatoes with potato croquettes and a fried egg; mussels with saffron and leeks; roasted Amish chicken with potato-turnip gratin; meatloaf with green beans and whipped potatoes.

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Ann Limpert
Executive Food Editor/Critic

Ann Limpert joined Washingtonian in late 2003. She was previously an editorial assistant at Entertainment Weekly and a cook in New York restaurant kitchens, and she is a graduate of the Institute of Culinary Education. She lives in Logan Circle.

Anna Spiegel
Food Editor

Anna Spiegel covers the dining and drinking scene in her native DC. Prior to joining Washingtonian in 2010, she attended the French Culinary Institute and Columbia University’s MFA program in New York, and held various cooking and writing positions in NYC and in St. John, US Virgin Islands.