Living in Del Ray
Does living in a neighborhood with local shops and 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 a con about life in Del Ray. Yes, just one.
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. Del Ray is part of the City of Alexandria here, so the mailing address is Alexandria. Reagan National Airport is just to the east, and the Braddock Road Metro stop is at the southern edge of Del Ray.
The hustle and bustle of the neighborhood is found along Mount Vernon Avenue, which is almost a mile of locally owned shops and restaurants where this neighborhood shines.
In 1888, the government wanted a road to connect the Capital with George Washington’s Mount Vernon Estate. Originally the road named Mount Vernon stretched from Rosslyn to Alexandria but the need for this road died out when trains could travel the same route. In the 1920’s Mount Vernon Avenue was comprised of just a few shops and residences. The area was called the Town of Potomac at this time
Del Ray Real Estate
You can find rowhomes/townhomes on the fringes of the neighborhood in the $700,000’s. If you want to be closer to the strip on Mount Vernon Avenue, prices are over $1M, and can go to $2M. I have had several clients buy and sell here, all in the $1M to $1.3M range.
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.
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 well rated 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.
Stracci Pizza (strachee) opened during the pandemic and not only survived, but thrived if that tells you anything.
Piece Out Del Ray has awesome Italian food with owners who hail from upstate New York and missed the pizza from “home.”
Cheesetique – File this in places I never need to go to. First of all, my entire family to include my brothers and now my children, make fun of me because there’s literally NEVER enough cheese on what I’m eating. Second, the last time I was here, my wooden platform shoes failed me and I fell on my butt. I’m not sure they’ve forgotten my face.
St Elmo’s Café is a weekend hub for grabbing breakfast and coffee and it’s where I tend to meet clients. 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.
There’s a butcher shop on Mount Vernon called “Lets Meat on the Avenue” – see what they did there?
In Del Ray there’s an Aldi.
In the adjacent neighborhoods you have pretty much everything else. Over in Potomac Yard off Route 1 there’s an Amazon Grocery Store coming and Giant, and then just north in Crystal City there’s a Costco.
In North Old Town there is a Harris Teeter and a Trader Joes. South of Del Ray in Carlyle Neighborhood there’s Whole Foods & Wegmans Finally, 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, my friends. 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.