Del Ray Alexandria VA

Does living in a neighborhood with local shops and delicious mom and pop restaurants, tons of walkability and a great sense of community sound like a dream? Today we are going to check out Del Ray, a highly sought-after, shining star of a neighborhood in the City of Alexandria.  Stay until the end because even though things here are mostly all positive, there is something we will talk about that you need to know about Del Ray.

Location & Transportation

The borders of Del Ray are roughly Russell Rd to the west, W Glebe on the north, Route 1 on the east and W Braddock on the south side.

If you need to commute for work or want to get around without a car to different spots in the DMV, you have the convenience of the Potomac Yard Metro stop, which is to the east of Del Ray and you also have the Braddock Road Metro stop, which is at the southern edge of Del Ray.

Do you travel for work or do you like to travel for fun? Del Ray’s very close proximity to DCA or Reagan Airport and the Amtrak train station in Old Town Alexandria make it the ideal location for both national and international travel.  They are both so close you could even bike to both locations.

Del Ray Real Estate

You can find row homes, townhomes, and duplexes sprinkled throughout the neighborhood in the $495,000 – $1.46M range.  If you want a single family home, prices range from the $600,000s up to $2.5M. These prices vary so greatly because of age, condition, square footage, and location. Most homes in the lower ranges require a lot of renovation but if you are up for a project, then you can get into the neighborhood for a good price!

You can find some condos in the $200,000’s to $300,000’s in some low-rise brick buildings around Del Ray, as well as in some homes which have been converted into separate units.  There are also a handful of condos, like the Del Ray Place Condominiums, which sell in the $400,000s or more.

Del Ray Food

You’re not going to go hungry here, and you won’t have to go far to find good food either. There are so many amazing restaurants within the neighborhood that you won’t know where to eat first.

Los Tios has Salvadorean and Tex-Mex, there’s Pork Barrel BBQ, Spice Kraft Indian Bistro and Thai Peppers, which are all on Michael’s favorites list.

Stracci Pizza (strachee) opened during the pandemic and not only survived, but thrived if that tells you anything.

Evening Star Cafe is a shining star of the neighborhood and has an amazing wine selection. Their brunch and dinner menus feature both small plates and main dishes, so you can go in for a happy hour or gorge yourself on one of their amazing entrees.

Cheesetique – Have you seen the new Geico commercial where the people are in the restaurant and they ask if the guy wants cheese and he say yes but doesn’t say “when.” That’s me, and I love me some Cheesetique. 

Indulge yourself at Holy Cow with a delicious burger, fries and a milkshake! Their service is excellent and Michael loves the fact that you can customize your burger or sandwich.

St Elmo’s Café is a weekend hub for grabbing breakfast and coffee. Also, Stomping Ground and Bagel Uprising are breakfast places to check out.

For dessert, you can hit up Dolce and Bean for some of their delectable chocolate or The Dairy Godmother which usually has a line for their delicious ice cream. 

Grocery Stores & Markets

There’s a butcher shop on Mount Vernon called “Lets Meat on the Avenue” – see what they did there?  The butchers curate their sausages with so many different flavors and they change the recipes frequently, so you never get bored!  They also announce specials on their Instagram account all of the time so I highly recommend following them. They have fantastic discounts.  It’s Michael’s favorite butcher shop in the area.

You have your pick of the litter in terms of bakeries. Junction and Gustave are two of my favorites and you have to check out Just Fine Donuts.  Their donuts are delicious and very allergen friendly. Their donuts are vegan, but you would never know that they are vegan.  They also sell other amazing baked goods as well.

In Del Ray there’s an Aldi, Food Star International Grocery Store, and a handful of great independent mercados.

In the adjacent neighborhoods you have pretty much everything else. You have a Harris Teeter, Whole Foods, Costco and an Amazon Fresh in Crystal City. Over in Potomac Yard off Route 1 there’s a Target and Giant. In North Old Town there is a Harris Teeter and a Trader Joes. South of Del Ray in the Carlyle Neighborhood there’s Whole Foods & Wegmans and also in Old Town there’s Safeway and Balducci’s.

Kids in Del Ray

While Alexandria City schools aren’t always viewed favorably, the marks are good for the public elementary school in Del Ray – the Mount Vernon Community School.

There’s Mount Jefferson Park and Greenway, which is a walking trail and playground for the kiddos.

And of course, the neighborhood is really walkable and stroller and kid-friendly and many of the restaurants are family friendly as well.

Del Ray Dogs!

It’s really dog friendly here and there are a lot of businesses focused on dogs as well. On the corner of East Del Ray Avenue and Mount Vernon is the Dog Store where you can pick up anything you need in this packed little gem of a shop. Over on Route 1, there’s Barkhaus – DC area’s first dog friendly bar and restaurant with an indoor off-leash and outdoor dog park. Just across the street there’s Your Dog’s Best Friends Daycare, and you also have Del Ray Animal Hospital. All these doggie businesses get really great ratings from their patrons.

How About That One Con About Del Ray

This place sounds like a dream? Well, as I said, I’ve had many clients who have chosen Del Ray as their new home. But what’s the con?

It’s water. Depending on the house, and the street, and the lot, the basements can sometimes flood in Del Ray. This isn’t tied to the water table or being in a flood zone, it’s due to inadequate storm drains. The city is working on this problem, but it’s something to consider when you look at homes in Del Ray.