The Columbia Firehouse

4.3
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2205 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 2205 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
4.2
food
4.3
service
4.4
ambience
4.0
value
Noise · Moderate
78% of people would recommend it to a friend
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OT
Washington DC
3 reviews
Dined 6 days ago
Overall4food4service4ambience4

Went out for date night with my husband, the food was very good. I had the boneless beef ribs and it was amazing.

FP
1 review
Dined 6 days ago
Overall4food5service3ambience5

The food was absolutely scrumptious, but one of our appetizers was initially delivered to the wrong table. Additionally, though our server was extremely knowledgeable and helpful regarding my Celiac disease, the service was a tic on the slow side. Still, we had a fantastic experience and would definitely recommend it to friends as well as dine there again ourselves.

CK
Charlotte
2 reviews
Dined 6 days ago
Overall1food1service1ambience2

Went to dinner early (have a little one), restaurant was empty. Took two hours from the time we sat down till the time we left. This was annoying for the adults and very difficult for the child. Service was spotty, waitress wasn’t present, and everything from drinks to food took incredibly long to arrive. The food was marginal and overpriced. Not a good experience, first time visiting and will be the last.

NB
1 review
Dined 6 days ago
Overall1food1service1ambience3

The waitress did not come around until 7 minutes of having been seated. Then, the drinks too forever to come. Then, the food was served by someone else who was very polite, but the waitress didn’t come back to check up. We ran out of water and drinks and she never came to ask or refill. On top of everything we got sooo sick from the food. Something didn’t seem right with the chicken and waffles, I regret eating here and spending my money on a meal that’s was not good and the service was terrible.

AI
Washington DC
1 review
Dined 6 days ago
Overall3food4service2ambience4

The food was fine, but nothing outstanding. They went verrrry light on seasonings/sauces. Especially on the tuna tacos. The service was awful. We often waited 30 minutes between visits. The restaurant is very beautiful, but dated.

KM
Charleston
2 reviews
Dined on February 15, 2020
Overall3food2service5ambience3

The food was good...but not hardly even warm. The fries, truly hand cut , had the potential to be amazing, but were almost cool. The eggs Benedict, perfectly cooked egg, tasty sauce, but luke warm. The wings...were just bad. Too much sauce, cold, tasted like somebody reheated some old cooked wings. Really good blue cheese. Normally I would ask to have the fries hot or one item fixed, but it was the whole meal. The Bloody Mary was good.

YU
Washington DC
7 reviews
Dined on February 15, 2020
Overall5food5service4ambience4

First time here. Have been passing it forever.
DeLicious food Had the corned beef hash and delectable.
My friends loved their food as well.
Will definitely return

FD
Washington DC
67 reviews
Dined on February 14, 2020
Overall2food2service1ambience3

It was late valentine’s evening 9 pm reservation. Service was overall poor, but for the order taker herself. From a less than welcoming host/hostess to completely inadequate table service - dirty dishes / glasses from one course left, second course provided while still finishing first course, soup spoons not provided with the soup, wine/beer served well into second course rather than when requested. We had to ask for some plates to finally be cleared - when asked, people were responsive and friendly. Our server went out of her way to see if she could accommodate a dish preference. But for her, it was a less than charming evening.

T
Philadelphia
3 reviews
Dined on February 14, 2020
Overall3food3service2ambience4

I was pretty disappointed in the experience overall. I felt the food was not worth the price. My husband and I had the three course Valentine’s Day. The tomato bisque I had would have been good as a pasta sauce, the chicken entree was a little over done and the sauce was a bit much. I wished the chicken came with some kind of starch to balance out the rich flavor. The desert was overly sour and the cake was hard. The service was poor. Our server was friendly, but there were multiple people bringing us food, and they brought us the wrong table’s food more then once. I gave this place 3 stars because my husband did enjoy his food, and we still had a nice time. I think if the food wasn’t priced so high, I would have lowered my standards.

T
Charleston
3 reviews
Dined on February 14, 2020
Overall4food4service3ambience4

Visited on Valentine's day, One ordered the set menu one alacarte. The service was a little sparse, servers with too many tables. Food was excellent. Music was slightly loud for a romantic dinner.

F
Cleveland
5 reviews
Dined on February 14, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Perfect venue for a romantic dinner. Service was bar none! Everyone from the front of the house manager to the wait staff were excellent. Great food and overall experience. Can’t wait to return. Highly recommended!

OT
Atlanta
1 review
Dined on February 14, 2020
Overall4food3service5ambience5

Went on Valentines Day and they had a limited menu. I ordered the Pork chop and it was great. My Husband ordered the surf and turf - the steak wasn’t seasoned and the crab cake wasn’t either. However, the customer service, drinks and ambiance were great!

OT
1 review
Dined on February 14, 2020
Overall2food2service3ambience3

Pretty atmosphere, food was less than medicore. We were very disappointed overall. With all the phenomenal restaurants in Old Town, there's no reason to go here other than grabbing drinks at the bar. Definitely do NOT do dinner. I can beat compare their entrees to a catering hall wedding.

OT
Los Angeles
1 review
Dined on February 14, 2020
Overall2food2service5ambience4

Highly disappointed with my Valentines Day meal. We were seated upstairs and told while being seated the heat was “spotty” and being worked on. It was a cold Friday night outside which means cold inside too. The complementary biscuits and honey were nice, but were cold upon delivery (probably because the top floor had yet to warm up).

Appetizers (wedge salad and beef tartare) were great as were the first round of drinks. Main course of surf and turf was overwhelmingly bland, lacking flavor in the sides (mashed potatoes and green beans). Second drink ordered had a bug floating around and had to be sent back. Was replaced promptly which I appreciated. Desserts were cool/cold upon delivery.

I’ve been here before and have only had great experiences so this was really disappointing. A manager did offer a $25 gift certificate for our experience but after we spent $200+ tip on a meal that was mediocre at best, not sure how quick we’ll be to come back and use it.

RB
Atlanta
1 review
Dined on February 10, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great new menu, delicious food and nice ambience. We’ll definitely be back!

JA
Richmond
21 reviews
Dined on February 9, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Great food and great service. Just wish they had fish and chips

MH
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on February 9, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Another amazing experience at Columbia Firehouse. The service and food are amazing. Our water glasses were never empty, the Chesapeake Benedict was amazing for brunch and the value for our money was great. Highly recommend once again.

T
Washington DC
10 reviews
Dined on February 8, 2020
Overall4food5service3ambience4

This was our first time, for both couples. Pre-theater dinner. Website indicated dinner served from 4pm... we had a 6pm reservation, but got there about 5:15pm; was told they "don't seat for dinner until 5:30pm"; strange since dinner starts at 4pm. OK, no biggie...we waited. When we were escorted to our table...it was for a party of 10...not 4. OK, again, no biggie, as this dinning room was empty. Brought to an appropriate table, but alas..with only 3 menus. Moving along... our server was very friendly, but probably should have popped a mint in his mouth after his smoke break.... All the food was delicious and all dinners came out hot! Our initial cups of coffee came out barely warm (advised our server who returned with two hot cups; and the tea...well, served without any hot water... Remedied once the server was made aware... A little comic relief...LOL We will go back for another visit in the future, as the food was really tasty; perhaps this was just a hiccup. Cheers!

TW
Washington DC
3 reviews
Dined on February 8, 2020
Overall4food4service3ambience3

The menu listed on Google is not accurate. The food was good. The front door crew didn't really seem to know what was going on.

DL
Washington DC
22 reviews
Dined on February 6, 2020
Overall2food2service2ambience2

Had a reservation but the host had a difficult time finding my name. Maybe the noise level was too high. Took us to a very dark table. I asked to be seated at a booth but was told the rain was leaking from the ceiling onto the table. I saw no evidence of that. The manager came by, knowing we were unhappy but there was no point in discussion. The food was just okay and the corn fritters a big disappointment. With all the options in Old Town I would try many others before I returned.

PF
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on February 2, 2020
Overall2food1service3ambience2

Seldom write reviews, but room was very cold despite moderate outside temp. (Many people kept their jackets on while eating). Waitress kept messing up beverage selections (available/then not available). Finally, my biscuits were raw, eggs overdone, salmon for another meal was over cooked- unlike reviews - this was not one of the best places for brunch in Old
Town.

EK
Washington DC
2 reviews
Dined on February 1, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience4

At first, it was way too loud, but we asked for a quieter table. Columbia Firehouse accommodated us and all was well. Very very cool building!!

BN
Washington DC
7 reviews
Dined on February 1, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Nice place with great character. Food is very tasty and service was excellent. Sitting downstairs was quieter and we could easily have a conversation with feeling the need to shout.
Highly recommend.

RD
Washington DC
20 reviews
Dined on February 1, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Chris is a superb server. We enjoy it every time he is able to take our table. Personable, attentive, and knowledgeable. He adds to the already great atmosphere and food quality.

AM
Washington DC
9 reviews
Dined on January 31, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

What a wonderful dinner. The decor was beautiful, the service fantastic, and the food great. All in all a great choice!

j
Washington DC
27 reviews
Dined on January 31, 2020
Overall4food4service4ambience4

Lunch was good. The Pastrami sandwich portion was big, but my colleague ordered the market salad and it was very small. Brussels sprouts are really good.

OT
1 review
Dined on January 27, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great time! Fabian was a great server and my boyfriend and I had a nice quiet table to enjoy our anniversary dinner.

OT
1 review
Dined on January 25, 2020
Overall4food4service5ambience5

Steak was thin calamari was great

OT
Los Angeles
2 reviews
Dined on January 25, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Parking can be difficult, but we were lucky with a spot in front of the restaurant. Great portions of the food. We went during restaurant week and it was yummy! Will definitely return for a date night.

FL
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on January 24, 2020
Overall4food3service4ambience3

Very good dinner...service was timely and accurate...as usual, enjoyed dining there!

f
Washington DC
2 reviews
Dined on January 24, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We were lucky enough to visit during restaurant week. We had a delicious meal at a great price!

JK
Washington DC
8 reviews
Dined on January 24, 2020
Overall5food5service4ambience4

Nice way to start an evening in Old Town.

NB
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on January 20, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Very pretty place. Talk wasn't too loud and the food was great and didn't take forever.

MM
Washington DC
8 reviews
Dined on January 18, 2020
Overall2food2service2ambience4

I said I would recommend only on previous dining experience. We will also try it again due to our initial experience, but this particular experience was less than desirable. I will preface this review that the harried manager did come to our table and apologized and comped our first round of drinks, which was acknowledged and appreciated. We did however have a hard time hearing exactly what he said. It was Alexandria Restaurant week so the pricing was as advertised, however the salmon portion for the 2 orders were small and smaller. My husband's piece was not even 2x3". Both the NY steak and Steak Frites were dry, like they sat under the heat lamp. The appetizer and desserts were really good. The service was disappointing. Initially started off ok, but after the appetizers were delivered, we ordered an 2nd round of drinks. We didn't not get until right before dinner came which was almost a half hour after we finished appetizers. They ran out of the beer my husband ordered and instead of asking him what he wanted, they brought him a beer from a local brewery that is one of his least favorites and it was not drinkable. He was going to ask for another but she never came back to check on our food, on whether the beer she brought out was ok or even give us a chance to order anything else.
No clue what was going on, but hopefully it was a fluke, as this is a beautiful restaurant with a nice menu.

C
Washington DC
14 reviews
Dined on January 17, 2020
Overall4food5service5ambience4

Excellent service and food! Our reservation was at 7 but they were able to seat us early. The bar area seemed very busy because of a private party but the restaurant section was very chill and nice. A pretty restaurant.

OT
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on January 12, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Our waiter was very accommodating with all of our birthday party requests.

W
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on January 9, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Thank you for making our Anniversary so enjoyable, the wait staff was amazing and so kind.

A
Washington DC
68 reviews
Dined on January 5, 2020
Overall3food3service3ambience3

This was a perfect spot for a very quiet after holidays meal on a Sunday evening. We enjoyed a well prepared straightforward steak dinner in a quiet atmosphere great for conversation! Thank you!

CF
Washington DC
34 reviews
Dined on January 3, 2020
Overall4food4service5ambience4

A wonderful place for a relaxed casual lunch, with good food not trying to be fancy, just tasty. The server was perfect and kept up with our needs yet left us alone for our desired long two hour talk. It just felt cozy, easy and enjoyable, while also offering us a perfectly prepared lunch. I will return!!

OT
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on December 31, 2019
Overall5food5service3ambience5

Beautiful NYE dinner! Our favorite restaurant!

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