Restaurant Report: Junction Bakery & Bistro

Something wonderful has arrived on Mount Vernon Avenue! The buzzed-about and highly anticipated Junction Bakery & Bistro has finally opened and added something very special to Del Ray’s already fantastic array of dining options.

IMG_2664 Junction Mount Vernon Avenue has a very wide variety of places to eat, but the one thing all of the restaurants have in common (besides a great location in a neighborhood that always feels up-and-coming and exciting) is that each has a well-defined and utterly unique concept and character.  As a result, each restaurant fills a sort of niche role in the Del Ray community. In this regard—and in all other regards, as far as I’m concerned—Junction does not disappoint.

Owner Noe Landini is no stranger to Alexandria restaurants, though this is his first project in Del Ray. You might recognize the name from his work at Landini Brothers, Fish Market, and Pop’s Old Fashioned Ice Cream and/or at Bar Deco in D.C. Head Chef and Baker Nathan Hatfield knows the Alexandria dining scene as well, with previous experience at Restaurant Eve and Society Fair. Their combination of experience lends itself to a niche role, indeed, but one that feels warmly familiar at the same time. The food, the operations, the atmosphere—all are unlike anything in Del Ray, but somehow they fit in perfectly.

The restaurant feels like an artfully revamped old train station, with exposed pipe and brick, elements of metal and wood, and a wall of windows offering natural light and views of the comings and goings in Del Ray. On the second day of its soft opening, the friendly workers behind the counter were kept plenty busy, but their smiles and efficiency did not show any signs of stress.

IMG_2653 Junction Behind the counter is a lovely wall of windows, through which you can catch glimpses of what’s going on in the kitchen and track pastries as they’re brought out fresh. The place has a bustling energy that, like its décor, resembles a train station, albeit a tastefully arranged train station with delicious food, where you have plenty of space, and can actually hear your friends as they debate whether to get scones, biscuits, croissants, cinnamon rolls, or cookies—or all of the above (the better option!).

For lunch, the Golden Quinoa is a great choice. Full of vegetables and fresh ingredients, it is hearty enough to satisfy but light enough that you won’t feel uncomfortably full. If you’re really hungry, try the Short Rib Grilled Cheese—it is amazing! Warm and melt-in-your-mouth good. We also tried a corn cookie enhanced with blueberry chai and would wholeheartedly recommend that to anyone with a sweet tooth.

This restaurant is great for all scenarios: If you’re short on time in the morning, grab a cinnamon roll, a breakfast sandwich, or the California toast to go. If you’re a coffee person, don’t miss the Nitro Cold Brew coffee from Commonwealth Joe Coffee Roasters. If you’re not, you’re still in the right place, as Junction is home to Grateful Juice Co., which offers handcrafted fresh pressed juices in seasonal flavors.

Starting today, Junction Bakery & Bistro is open from 7am-3pm for breakfast and lunch, with dinner service expected to begin within the next few weeks. With a private parking lot rarely found in Del Ray and a weekend brunch that is sure to be fabulous, it is the perfect addition to the neighborhood.

Junction Bakery & Bistro is located at 1508 Mount Vernon Avenue, Alexandria, VA.

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