Bilbo Baggins

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BA SCORE
89
very good

24 Reviews
Bilbo BagginsBilbo Baggins
PLACE INFO

Type: Bar, Eatery

208 Queen St
Alexandria, Virginia, 22314-2613
United States

(703) 683-0300 | map
bilbobaggins.net

Notes:
No notes at this time.

Added by OldFrothingSlosh

PLACE STATS
Score:
89
Reviews:
24
Ratings:
32
Avg:
3.93
pDev:
13.23%
 
 
Taps:
10
Bottles/Cans:
80
Cask:
N
Beer-to-Go:
N
View: Place Reviews | Events
User Reviews
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Reviews: 24 | Ratings: 32
Reviews by Huhzubendah:
Photo of Huhzubendah
3.98/5  rDev +1.3%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 3.5 | food: 4.5

Located in wonderful Old Town, Alexandria. Next door to one of our favorite local sushi restaurants, we occasionally stop in Bilbo Baggins for a pint, and even had dinner there once or twice.

The bar has ten taps, including German and Belgian (often Chimay and Aventinus) offerings, as well as American craft brews (often Bell's and Rogue, among others). The bar area is quaint, and the vibe is very relaxed. The staff is friendly and service is prompt. The bar also has a fireplace, which is especially inviting during the winter months. The drafts don't rotate too much, as over the years I repeatedly see the same brews on draft.

My biggest complaint about Bilgo Baggins is the ridiculous price one has to pay to get a pint of beer. Considering that most, possibly all, of their beers are available at a store in the very same town for a fraction of the price, it's hard to justify spending that much money just so I can grab a beer and relax for a while.

Overall, a cozy place, and worth visiting if you're in the area. Just be prepared to shell out a few more dollars than you may be accustomed to.

 1,106 characters

More User Reviews:
Photo of DavidFussell
4.95/5  rDev +26%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5

Great beer selection, around 180+, well selected. Best beer spot in Alexandria, ambiance is great, from a cozy environment with fireplace, trivia cards at every dining table/bar space, excellent service, extremely knowledgeable bartenders, great food selection, and just overall fun place. Plus it's just off the beaten path that prevents it from being just another watering hole, its a beer advocates bar. :)

 409 characters

Photo of Barracudas
4/5  rDev +1.8%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4

Photo of hopphead31415
4.39/5  rDev +11.7%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.25 | food: 4.25

This place was very pleasant. The food was great and the beers were various. I remember the waitress being really friendly and the service was quick. They always have a good beer selection on tap and also a plethora of bottles.

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Photo of malboa
4.2/5  rDev +6.9%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4

Photo of djhowell
4.2/5  rDev +6.9%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 3.5

Photo of kristougher
3.86/5  rDev -1.8%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4

Photo of Uf0T0fU
4.25/5  rDev +8.1%

Photo of SteveBrew
4.5/5  rDev +14.5%

Photo of Hanselpb
4.25/5  rDev +8.1%

Photo of billab914
4.25/5  rDev +8.1%

Photo of Smeth
4.89/5  rDev +24.4%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.75 | selection: 5 | food: 5

Ok, so I'm a new guy. I found this place because of BA and found it to be just what I was looking for. The family was tired from touring DC so I went for a walk. I had speckled hen and PranOster Golden Ale from North Coast Brewing. The onion soup gratin was a great compliment.

 277 characters

Photo of delta490
4.54/5  rDev +15.5%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4 | selection: 4.75 | food: 4.75

One of my favorites, I especially like the brunch on Sunday.

The good: The draft selection, while small, is always quality and diverse and it is rarely the same stuff. While I usually go for the food, the one time I went to the bar, the bartender quickly offered tasters of beers I was interested in but not sure about committing to a full pint. The food has always been very good, both the brunch items and the regular menu. I've never been disappointed by any of the food I or anyone I've eaten with has been served. They also seem to pay attention to which menu items sell and are liked and tweak accordingly.

The bad: It is a bit expensive. I wouldn't mind this but sometimes the service is a bit slow, both in taking orders and delivery of ordered items. Never terribly absent, but more along the lines of beginning to wonder if they're coming back. At which point they do and all is well. And these are really minor quibbles in the overall feeling of enjoyment from the great food and beer.

 999 characters

Photo of TheFunGuy
3.56/5  rDev -9.4%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3.25 | service: 3.75 | selection: 4.5 | food: 1.25

The bar area is very cramped, but there are eating areas that are much bigger than it appears from the outside. The place looks ramshackle, but in a very classy way. Everything is new or nicely redone, from the bar to the tables. It feels like something that would be in the Lord of the Rings, but nice.

The staff is very knowledge and attentive.

The draft menu is small, but very high quality. They also have a nice sample option. The bottle menu is large and quality. The prices are on the higher end for both.

The bar drinks are expensive but high quality, and include invented LOTR themed drinks which are fun.

The food is high quality, even the burgers and fries are great.

You will end up spending $50 to 60 per person, but you will feel like you had great food and drink in a nice place with great service.

Updated August 2013. Alexandria had their week, $35 for a three course meal. Terrible food. Dried, ill spiced, nasty. Worst food I have had since moving to Northern Virgina. Yuck. Do not eat here. The burgers a year ago were good, this was terrible.

 1,071 characters

Photo of jayhawk73
4/5  rDev +1.8%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4

Bilbo Baggins is kind of aptly named. The bar that I sat in was tucked away a little bit from everything else. Nice quiet, fairly secluded vibe in this place. You almost forget you're in Washington DC until you step back outside. The quality of brews has been pretty good the couple of times I've been there. They usually have a decent selection- including a couple Belgian brews on draft. Service has been decent. The bartenders haven't really known much about craft beer, and any questions I've asked have been answered w/ blank stares. Still, the service has been good. The food is definitely better than the standard bar food you would run into. The times I've been there, it's been a cut above. The main complaint I have about Bilbo Baggins is that the beer is too expensive for what you get. Knock a couple bucks off, and it would be more in line with what I would expect in the DC metro area.

 899 characters

Photo of whrice
4.13/5  rDev +5.1%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4

I was born and raised in Alexandria. I had been to this place a few times growing up before I could drink and don't remember a whole lot about it other than the food was ok. A friend of mine used to work here so we went here a handful of times for drinks and it was a very good time. The bar is small but it fits the personality of the place well. The atmosphere is good and the bartenders are great. Incredibly friendly and great service. Honestly to me that's half the reason to go to this place, but that could also be because I went with people that knew them. The selection is fairly good and they keep some local stuff on tap regularly. Things are priced reasonable for the area. It's expensive but for Old Town it's pretty good, especially since you're getting craft beer not typical stuff. I went back here for dinner after being at the bar a few times and the food was good, nothing amazing but good. One of the better bars in my opinion in Old Town, especially if you're looking for a low key night.

 1,009 characters

Photo of Godot
4/5  rDev +1.8%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 3.5

I have recently moved to Alexandria and have been on the lookout for a local bar to call home. Bilbo Baggins is at the head of list so far. The bar has a great (if a bit ramshackle) feel to it and is well established in the neighborhood. While none of the staff seem to be craft beer experts they have certainly tried most of the beers on draft and can tell you what they think. Twice now they have kicked a keg while I was sitting at the bar, leading me to believe they are having good rotation. They also have been prompt about putting a new keg in (whether of the same beer or getting new selection together). They have about 10 lines with an interesting selection which should have something to appeal to anyone.

Food was not bad though not something I would seek them out for. Their thai beef salad was quite good. Service in the restaurant area on a fairly busy Saturday was a bit shaky but not bad. Service at the bar has been impeccable.

 946 characters

Photo of Wegomlegging
3.3/5  rDev -16%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 2 | selection: 4 | food: 2

Very nice looking little hobbit knob overlooking the park and Potomac. Everything inside was of a high quality from the tables to the bar and everything in between. The service is an anomaly however, as the bar area has great people who make the extra effort but the table service is absolutely awful. This is not a fluke, as I've been here many times over the years. Why? The beer selection is great. You can always get your Belgian on here, and some great German brews as well. Love the map of Middle Earth too. Avoid the overpriced, underflavored food, it's just too much money for nothing special (that's being kind). Bottom line is go straight to the bar!

 660 characters

Photo of Chaney
4.05/5  rDev +3.1%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4.5

My wife and I stopped in here for two beers and dinner after bumming around Old Town for 4-5 hours. I totally needed a drink after rummaging through countless overpriced shops....

"Bilbo Baggins" is a great name for this place. Literally, it has the feel of a hobbit hole, wood floors, walls, and all, with quite a bit of charming, garbage can-esque decor (ala. Joe's Crab Shack). The downstairs, while cool, is quite a bit cramped. The bar area is on the left-hand side, facing the restaurants, and has about 10-15 or so taps with some pretty good stuff. The rest of the place is very much a restaurant. I got up to take a look around at one point and went upstairs to discover a completely different vibe. Upstairs seemed much more spacious and better lit than its downstairs counterpart... much more cozy and romantic.

As far as the beer, on the night I went, I ordered a Stillwater selection and a Founders Porter. All were served at the appropriate temperature and in appropriate glassware.

The waitress, while not exactly a craft beer afficionado, seemed to have very firm opinions about the current line-up of drafts. I respect that!

The food was definitely a couple of cuts above the standard bar fare: The homemade bread they served before the meal was to die for and the brick oven pizza my wife ordered was fantastic. I ordered the gnocci with bolognese sauce which was quite tasty... if somewhat overly garlic-ized.

Overall, the value was decent, especially considering the upscale fare that the restaurant offered. However, I do wish they would shave a buck or two off the beer prices. A 12oz. bottle of KBS for over $12?... jeez...

I would definitely recommend this as a worthwhile destination to the craft beer enthusiast. It's cozy, quaint, and off the beaten path from the Old Town stampede to make it an easy, peaceful experience.

 1,854 characters

Photo of Applesauce1
3.7/5  rDev -5.9%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 2

I came here on a Friday night in February with my g/f and her friend that work right across the street in Old Town.

I came in about 6:30 pm. We had a table downstairs, off to the right of the bar at a table. I like the atmosphere here. Not too loud, a few smaller TVs throughout showing news and sports, and some unique paraphernalia on the walls.

I started out the night with a Victor Yakima Valley Brown IPA. It was very good. The beer selection was good, about 10 drafts I think of mostly good stuff. They also had a large selection of Belgian beers. The second beer I got was a Heavy Seas Winter Ale of some sort. It was good also.

For food, I got a blue corn quesadilla with chicken. It was OK, but pretty small for $9. It seems that the food portions here are small looking around at my friends' meals.

Overall, I'd say this is a solid place to drink on any evening of the week. I doubt that it ever gets too crowded here since it's a few block from King Street (the main drag in the area).

 1,000 characters

Photo of Daniellobo
4.5/5  rDev +14.5%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5

Very cozy pub and restaurant, with a very tasty food menu, full bar, good wines and most importantly a sturdy and dedicated beer selection both on tap and by the bottle.

This was our first visit after having heard of the place for a while. Group of four with a toddler. No particular children´s menu but the waiting staff was very accommodating, nice, and helpful.

The locale has a casual design and atmosphere, around the hobbit theme, with plenty of wood paneling, breweriana, and some retro decor. Large space on the lower level accommodating the bar and main pub space, with a good area for tables, and at least a couple of large spaces on the upper level.

All the food we had was rather tasty and memorable:
The lobster and shrimp bisque was very flavorful, the burgers felt very juicy and delicious, gnocchi pasta was reliable and pleasing, and the salads were rather well made and attractive. Some eccentric desserts also adorn the menu and offer sturdy closing opportunities.

About 11 beers were on draft, highlighting several regional, and seasonal offerings. The taps felt very fresh and worth it. The bottle selection was very well rounded with quite a few US craft highlights and regular suspects, likewise a good Belgium selection was present, and some German highlights, including some nice rarities from places like Canada.

Staff was tremendously friendly and pleasing, which made for a it of their shortcomings in offering the beers with a bit of more adept knowledge. For instance a snifter was requested for a World Wide Stout, and they waiter did not know what a snifter was. But other than that the service deserves high praise.

Prices are reasonable for the area, in fact not too pricey, and for the extreme beers the mark up is not too excessive compared to the pricing on stores, or other area craft pubs.

All in all, the place is very recommendable. I´m very glad to have found a very likable spot close to the heart of Old Town Alexandria, and I look forward to revisit it when I pass around.

 2,030 characters

Photo of SkinnyElvis
4.28/5  rDev +8.9%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5

I took a walk down to Bilbo Baggins while on family duty in the area after the wife/kids collapsed in bed at 8:30. Not far from the tourist strip. Small place which I dug the vibe except that currently you can smoke in a bar in VA but that will change soon as per the bartender. The bartender was spot on; saw me as a married guy sneaking out for a brew & to watch a game and chatted me up nicely. I ended up hanging with some servers off their shift which is a good sign since they did not bail as soon as they were done working. Website was up to date (always a plus) & I snagged an Arrogant Bastard and a Hop 3. Good bottle list to boot. Not a whole lot of options in Alexandria & this is worth a stop.

Cheers.

 714 characters

Photo of clayrock81
4.14/5  rDev +5.3%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4

This place's low-key vibe could double as a quiet dinner place with a date or if you and a buddy want to go out and simply enjoy a premium brew. I can't remember how many are on the menu, but it is a pretty good starter selection with some rare ones mixed in. The server was extremely friendly, and the manager came over and started showing my friend and I a couple of beers that just came in that were rare seasonals (I know a decent amount of beer, and I had no idea these breweries made these seasonals (I didn't write them down, sorry)). I was thinking if putting the value at very expensive, but to be honest you are paying for good beer and a nice vibe.

 659 characters

Photo of dedrinker
3.75/5  rDev -4.6%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 3 | selection: 4 | food: 4

A little hole in the wall - a Hobbit hole? Small, cozy, and a little gas fire for those chilly winter nights. The place can get smoky really quick if only two or three people light up - it's that small. The beers are usually well chosen - good variety, and you get the feeling that this is a place to show up with only one or two friends for intimate conversation. One T.V. that only dominates when baseball/ football freaks are screaming at it. Service is fair, but not knowledgeable in the way a beer geek would hope, but it's fine. Last call is early - this is no aggressive watering hole. Food is good. Rustic feel overall. Great neighborhood pub if you are living nearby.

 676 characters

Photo of Braudog
3.63/5  rDev -7.6%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4 | food: 3.5

I was invited to an early weekend lunch here with some friends and was pleasantly surprised. Bilbo had 11 good taps up and running including a couple of Belgians, other imports and (wow!) Arrogant Bastard. Their list of a few dozen bottles leaned heavily to the Belgians with a smattering of some better regional and/or moderately available micros. The food was OK, I thought, but not the best I’ve ever had. My non-beer-drinking friends frequent the place for the food, so I guess that’s a good review.

 505 characters

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Bilbo Baggins in Alexandria, VA
3.93 out of 5 based on 32 ratings.
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