I am so thankful that my husband stumbled upon this neighborhood five years ago when we moved to Virginia. I was stuck in board meetings in Maine and couldn’t join him on the apartment search. My first week down here, I took a day off from job hunting in the city and took a walk through the neighborhood. I stopped into Kiskadee to browse and met Darby. I mentioned I had worked in retail before, and she was eager for me to come aboard as a part-timer!
After a very unenjoyable stint as a government contractor for the USDA, I came to Kiskadee full time and was embraced by all of our Del Ray neighbors. These businesses still remain some of my favorite and most frequent stops, in addition to some newer spots that have popped up! Here’s a list of my favorites, working our way down Mount Vernon Avenue.
This is two buildings away from my house, so popping in here for a breakfast toast (the Sicily is my favorite, with rapini and tomatoes) and a latte is always a surefire way to get the day started the right way. They have many indulgent pastry options and also healthy alternatives. Their Paleo muffin is excellent, and I almost always have to leave with a loaf of the focaccia bread for my husband, which I could eat almost all of before even getting home, it is that good.
These ladies have really made themselves and their studio a pillar of our community. They manage to stay involved in everything on the avenue and in Alexandria, keeping us on our toes and jumping for joy in their Pilates boot camp. Megan and Sara have both been valuable resources to me throughout my pregnancy, with many classes focused on pre- and post-baby, they kind of have it all, and you have fun while you’re doing it. Couldn’t ask for more.
From their delicious salads to the grits bowls and biscuits, I mean, you can’t go wrong. Also, they have this oatmeal cream pie that I can’t even think about right now (dang it… now I want one!); it melts in your mouth…delicious. Avoid trying that at all costs because the consequence equals major addiction, clearly.
They’ve just added crepes to their menu! They have one with chicken and mushrooms that is to die for. Of course, they are all gluten free at Happy Tart, so I feel a little bit better in indulging in a treat or two here! Their Chocolate Crackle Cookie is seriously made of crack, ha! It’s chewy and perfectly salty and sweet.
With all of these scrumptious places to eat and indulge, we need so many places to work it off! Ascend is new to Alexandria Stylebook — WELCOME!! — but so familiar to me. You can find me there on Tuesdays and Thursdays at the 5:30pm class with Kat at Ascend Underground. Cycling isn’t necessarily my thing, but Ascend Underground is totally my speed. With interval workouts that keep your body moving and clear your mind, this is my favorite kind of workout. It satisfies the inner ADD child inside of me! Give it a try, and all of the instructors are wonderful. Haven’t had a bad class yet! (Well, except for the one I ate a quesadilla before, but that one was on me…)
They have the most amazing small bagels — personal favorite is salt — and you get service with a smile. This new kid to the block is getting a lot of attention, and we personally are very excited about it! I hear they are in the process of opening their bar, too! SnackBar all day!
Cheesetique We all know this is amazing and obviously the place to buy pimento cheese.
Pork Barrel BBQ Talk about one of the best happy hours in town!
DRP We all know this is the best pizza in town and their happy hour specials aren’t too shabby, either!
The Sushi Bar The Del Ray Roll and After Rain Roll are amazing. This sushi is so fresh and delicious! Perfect for date night or dinner with the girls.
Looking for a killer cocktail number for the latest party? Shoes for running around town? Eye-catching separates for lunch at Cheesetique? Kiskadee has you covered. A favorite destination in the heart of Del Ray, shopping this boutique is akin to browsing your friend's lust-worthy closet. Kiskadee is fun, flirty and full of original designers,a ll presented to you with a focus on personal service. You will always be welcomed by a friendly face, eager to assist!
2205 Mount Vernon Avenue
Alexandria, VA 22301