The Columbia Firehouse

4.3
1999 reviews
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$31 to $50
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American
In 1871, the City of Alexandria introduced the Columbia Steam Engine Fire Company. The outfit initially occupied Star Firehouse on the east side of the 100 block of South St. Asaph Street until 1883, when a new station was built for Columbia just across the street at 109 South St. Asaph.

126 years later, Alexandria’s Neighborhood Restaurant Group relaunched this historic and beautifully preserved property as Columbia Firehouse, a sumptuous modern American brasserie and bar located in the heart of Alexandria’s Old Town.

Columbia Firehouse stands as a historic, beautifully preserved piece of Old Town’s heritage. From the street, the building has changed little while the interior has given way to sumptuous dining rooms on four levels, an atrium an outdoor patio and an exquisitely detailed barroom.
What 1999 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.3based on recent ratings
4.1
food
4.4
service
4.4
ambience
4.0
value
Noise · Moderate
85% of people would recommend it to a friend
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H
1 review
Dined 5 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Very good food, server was very attentive. Would definitely go again!

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M
1 review
Dined 5 days ago
Overall 2food 1service 3ambience 3

Everyone loves to dine out. Columbia Firehouse had awesome reviews, so I decided to give them a try. First off, I was asked to sit at a tiny table against a wall in the back and I asked to move to a bigger table. The waitress was very polite but forgot a lot of stuff throughout the night. I ordered the prime rib special and my date ordered the roasted salmon. The food came out very quickly. The prime rib came with mashed potatoes and green beans and au jus gravy on the side. There was no flavor whatsoever with my meal. I used more salt than ever before to try and eat my meal. The Roasted salmon came with brussel sprouts and parmesan cous cous. Which included a vingarette dressing. That meal as well was plain, the salmon was mushy, no flavor anywmehee to be found. So that meal wasn’t even finished. We were in and out of the restaurant within 45 minutes. Anyone should expect more from your meal given the price.

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A
Washington DC
3 reviews
Dined 5 days ago
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 5

Columbia fire house has excellent service, good food, and is broken up into several inviting dining rooms. A good place for date night.

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GM
1 review
Dined 6 days ago
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

Great atmosphere , great for a date night overall one of the best in Old town

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RS
New England
3 reviews
Dined 6 days ago
Overall 3food 2service 5ambience 5

Ambiance and Service both excellent but the majority of the food was rather flavorless. "Hot chicken" hardly spicy at all, and everything underseasoned.

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r
Washington DC
2 reviews
Dined on February 15, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 3ambience 3

Food is decent but overpriced small portions. Bring a scarf and mittens in the winter because it’s poorly heated in the main dining room.

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EN
1 review
Dined on February 10, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Excellent service and wine recommendation from our server. I will definitely recommend it.

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D
Washington DC
9 reviews
Dined on February 7, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Fabulous special event: wine dinner!

The selections were perfectly paired—both red and white, and from three continents. One did not need to be a wine connoisseur to enjoy. Whether novice or expert, all could learn and enjoy the tastes.
Wine pourings we’re generous as well.
The food was delicious and do plentiful. Beautiful fois gras starter, savory scallops second, the two following entrees to enjoy—wonderful pork tenderloin and then strip steak, both with lovely vegetables—locally sourced ingredients —all so plentiful. Milk chocolate mousses with strawberry compote. Can’t wait for the next winedinner!

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LM
Washington DC
2 reviews
Dined on February 3, 2019
Overall 4food 3service 5ambience 5

We had such a great waiter! He was exceptionally kind and helpful.

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OT
Washington DC
6 reviews
Dined on February 3, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great chicken and waffles!

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OT
1 review
Dined on February 2, 2019
Overall 2food 1service 2ambience 3

I had to send back both the prime rib and bbq rib entree. The dishes were overcooked and not edible. They took the meal off the bill which was expected.

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OT
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on February 2, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great food, service, and wine! Love them mussels! I’m

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JR
Baltimore
1 review
Dined on February 1, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Wonderful, amazing experience. The waitress had excellent table side manner. The ambiance was terrific. The food was first class.

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B
Richmond
5 reviews
Dined on January 27, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We were deciding where to eat for Alexandria Restaurant Week and upon the recommendation of a friend, we chose the Columbia Firehouse. NO REGRETS. First of all, the location is absolutely beautiful. You can see the remnants of it being a firehouse in the past. Gorgeous vintage-like decor with brass and wood. We were seated in the dimly lit left bay.

Our waiter took very good care of us. The biscuits were heavenly - literally melt in your mouth. I loved how they were a bit savory and paired well with the honey that it came with. We actually asked for another order because they were that good.

We ordered the Restaurant Week special: BBQ duck grits, smoked fried chicken and winter creme brulee. The grits were blue corn and white cheddar grits topped with pieces of duck smothered in bbq sauce. They were okay - not much flavor, too saucy for my liking. The smoked fried chicken was delicious and crispy; paired very well with the jalapeno honey that it came with and the succulent collard greens! The creme brulee was a miss; burnt sugar top, the custard was overcooked to an eggy texture and flavor with little citrus flavor.

We also ordered the Prime Rib Special since it was the weekend - THIS IS A MUST HAVE. Best thick flavorful prime rib we've ever had. It came with mashed potatoes and green beans. Amazing! Definitely the highlight of our meal.

We also had the house made lemonade and a passionfruit juice cocktail, Passion of the Crush. So good.

Overall, we had an amazing date night and really enjoyed this restaurant. We plan to come back in the summer to sit outside :)

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OT
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on January 26, 2019
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 5

Went to brunch to celebrate my birthday and had the Southern Eggs Benedict. While the sausage gravy wasn’t exactly what I was expecting, everything was delicious and the service was excellent. If you’ve got room for dessert, definitely try the Crème Brûlée.

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g
Washington DC
5 reviews
Dined on January 26, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

The food is really good and Brian the chef is a master on the smoker! I look forward to returning, this time for dinner.
Side note: Happy Hour is 7 days a week!

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OT
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on January 26, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Amazing service and delicious menu items.

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NB
New York Area
1 review
Dined on January 25, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We love this place! The menu is simple, yet well played with a few surprises. A great farm-to-table dining experience in an historical local setting. Inventive cocktails, too.

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OT
Washington DC
12 reviews
Dined on January 25, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 4ambience 5

The wedge salad has too much dressing, the calamari was greasy, nearly soggy. The French fries were good, the steak was cooked correctly. Actually, the food was better the last time we were there a few years ago.

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OT
Washington DC
10 reviews
Dined on January 20, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Exceptional brunch food! We really enjoyed the eggs Benedict and home fries.

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OT
New Orleans
1 review
Dined on January 20, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

It was our first time at Columbia Firehouse and we will be going again soon! The brunch menu was fantastic as were the bacon infused vodka bloody Mary’s. The converted historic firehouse is a gorgeous venue and perfect place to enjoy a meal.

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RL
Washington DC
2 reviews
Dined on January 19, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 5

Went for Alexandria Restaurant Week. Found the food to be a little to pre-prepared and the service rushed. This is normally a fabulous restaurant, so I will attribute this slight disappointment to restaurant week. The desert was the best part of the meal, really excellent!

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OT
1 review
Dined on January 18, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Extremely friendly service. Came during Restaurant Week and got an incredible 3 course meal for a really reasonable price. The interior is just gorgeous, especially the glass-enclosed alleyway. Love this place.

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PR
Houston
5 reviews
Dined on January 15, 2019
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 5

Everything we had was very good and service was excellent!

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CR
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on January 13, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 5

We loved visiting the Columbia Firehouse! The ambiance was phenomenal, and the food was delicious. I had the mussels; my boyfriend had the steak frites. We were blown away! The brussel sprouts and oysters rockefeller were excellent apps and easy to share. It was a great meal and good company.

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SM
Cleveland
2 reviews
Dined on January 13, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 5

The atmosphere was great and the servers very attentive. The tuna tacos and calamari were terrific. In general the food was good. One in our group complained that the hamburger was dry. And a vegetable substitution due to a personal diet restriction was unnecessarily costly, in my opinion. In general the laid-back atmosphere,great service, interesting menu and wonderful locale will bring me back. Great spot.

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CK
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on January 12, 2019
Overall 3food 2service 3ambience 3

Pricey for brunch in this area; food was not great and some of the seafood seemed as though it had gone bad and should not have been served.

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ND
Washington DC
36 reviews
Dined on January 12, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

I was so excited to try this place because of the history behind the space! But the amazing service, food, drinks, and ambience made it one of the best restaurants we’ve been to in recent history. I highly recommend coming for dinner and/or drinks, and in the summer, using the patio! We will definitely be coming back often!

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PM
Washington DC
6 reviews
Dined on January 11, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 4ambience 4

Food greasy, change oil

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F
Washington DC
11 reviews
Dined on January 11, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 4

Good and service were excellent. It was borderline unomfortably chilly in the restaurant though. Take a jacket, great unique place.

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SP
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on January 9, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

This was the first time we visited the Columbia Firehouse. We were seated quickly- the location was quiet and comfortable. The service and food was excellent. Definitely recommend this restaurant.

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OT
1 review
Dined on January 6, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 3

Waiter was nice, food was very good though expensive.

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D
1 review
Dined on January 5, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 3ambience 5

Great food and enjoyable atmosphere. The biscuits and honey were amazing, and the cast iron shrimp and brussels sprouts were fantastic. We ordered the steak frites, seared scallops, and seasonal risotto with scallops and it was all incredibly delicious! The cocktails and wine selection were also great!

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JM
Washington DC
5 reviews
Dined on January 5, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 4ambience 5

This was one of my favorite restaurants in old town for many years. The food does not seem to be as good as it used to be. It seems like there may be a new chef.

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OT
Las Vegas
1 review
Dined on January 3, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 5

Amazing service. Ok food. Outstanding drinks. Adorable ambiance.

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OT
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on January 2, 2019
Overall 4food 3service 4ambience 4

Attentive service. Food was OK. Wine selection and recommendations were nice.

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b
Washington DC
5 reviews
Dined on January 1, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Nye—We received exceptional service and the food was outstanding. Excellent experience.

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OT
Washington DC
3 reviews
Dined on December 31, 2018
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 4

NYE dinner with friends

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JH
1 review
Dined on December 31, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Great place. Awesome food. Timely service. Waiter was a little nervous because he was new. Other than that, pleasant experience.

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JA
Washington DC
27 reviews
Dined on December 30, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 5

Have now been to CF a few times. The ambiance of the space is truly fantastic both in the bar and dining room. For omnivores, the large menu is sure to please. Beer and wine selections were also diverse and tasty.

One wish - my wife is vegan, and there is hardly anything for her (other than the soup of the day, which she loved). There was only one vegetarian entree (the risotto) which, according to the chef, could not be made without butter. We would be here more frequently if there was a reliable, interesting entree for her.

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