Bilbo Baggins

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Bilbo BagginsBilbo Baggins
33 Ratings
Bilbo BagginsBilbo Baggins

Type: Bar, Eatery

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

(703) 683-0300 | map

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Added by OldFrothingSlosh

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Ratings: 33 |  Reviews: 24
Photo of MsRogueRed
2.15/5  rDev -47%
vibe: 2 | quality: 2 | service: 1 | selection: 4 | food: 1

What a disappointment!!! We had been looking forward to going here since we started planning our trip in December and we went directly here when we got into town.

First off, when we arrived, the place was empty. We sat down at the bar and I got a bad vibe from the bartender immediately. He was watching a golf infomercial and seemed more interested in that than in serving beer.

I looked at the beer menu which was the back and front of a sheet of paper and ordered the Bilbo Baggins Avalanche because it was described as an amber and I thought I'd give their brew a chance. It was sorta flat and tasteless, so I passed it off the my husband and asked the bartender to recommend something. I told him I liked Stoudt Scarlet Lady and reds/ambers. He suggested Arrogant Bastard Ale. Not sure why he thought I would like that because I've had that and it is not the type of beer I like. I ordered a SCHNEIDER, BAVARIAN HEFE-WEISSE ALE and I enjoyed it.

We asked to see menus and I wasn't too keen on the selections plus we were deciding if we were staying since we didn't feel welcome. They had Cilantro Fries on the blackboard, so we ordered them. They came out looking fantastic and we were finally feeling better about the place. We bit into them and they were undercooked-way undercooked. They were steak fries size and you know what they taste like when they're planks of mush. We tried to eat them and probably ate about 3 fries each.

The bartender asked if we wanted another beer and we both decided to cut our losses and leave. He asked how the fries were and we told him they were undercooked and couldn't eat them.

He gave us our bill and those d*mn fries were $10. I was so ticked off that I was tempted to not leave a tip but begrudgingly did leave one and we left. Our bill was over $25 for two beers and fries.

Obviously, other people have had a good time here, so I can't say don't go here, so just take my review with a grain of salt and if you get a bad vibe when you go in, turn around and leave and save yourself the money.

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Photo of Wegomlegging
3.3/5  rDev -18.7%
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!

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Photo of John_M
3.48/5  rDev -14.3%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4 | food: 3

In a couple of weeks I'll be moving permanently to the Baltimore/Washington area, but at present I live in the Portland, Oregon area. A good friend recommended that I not compare beer bars in this area to Portland, as it will only make me unhappy and despondent. Sage advice I suppose, but still....

I thought this place OK.

BB had I believe 10 beers on tap, which included a German pilsner (the excellent Jever pilsner), the Corsendonk brown, and 8 micros. The micros included the Stone Arrogant Bastard, the SN celebration ale and the Smuttynose IPA, all of which were/are quite good. Prices were around $5 a pop (What is it with fake pint glasses out here? Is there some sort of ordinance that requires drinking establishments to use the 12 oz "pint-like" glasses every place seems to use?), except for the Corsendonk, which was a ridiculous $10 a glass. The atmosphere was laidback and easygoing, and it was a good place to sit back and watch Florida destroy the hapless buckeyes in the national title game. The bar was served competently by the young lady bar tender, who while not very talkative, was pleasant enough and very quick with a refill whenever one was needed. Apparently we got there during happy hour, which meant we could each order one item off the appetizer/tapas menu at half price. My friend ordered the quesadilla, while I got the crab dip. Both were fine, no complaints, though I can't say either dish was particularly memorable.

All and all we had a good time at BB's, though I have to say that the thought this may be one of the better beer establishments in the area is not exactly an encouraging one. Yes, the beer bottle list was fairly extensive, but I can't say I saw anything unusual on it, and the prices had me grimacing in pain. OK, I know this isn't Portland, and it's obvious real estate is more expesive here, so I won't say anything derogatory about the prices. They seemed high to me, but undoubtedly that's only because I'm just not used to prices out here. When we went to the Majestic the next night, their prices were pretty much identical to BB's.

Like I said, this was an OK place, one I will probably go to again (I did quite like the laid back feel of the place - and if this is the only game in town, then I'll absolutely make the best of it. I've been to far worse.).

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Photo of ghostmech007
3.5/5  rDev -13.8%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3 | service: 3 | selection: 4 | food: 4.5

Well let me begin. The location is great, two blocks off the waterfront and tuck in it's little corner. There are actually two sections to the place, one is the bar area with a whopping nine taps (with no Budwieser a huge plus for me), and the other is the actual restaurant.

The bar keep was friendly greeting me when I walked into the bar section. I sat down and the keep left to go do something in the back and I didn't even get to see the list for about ten minutes. The couple at the end of the bar kept looking at me too, which was wierd. When she came back and noticed I was just watching the football highlights on TV see asked if I wanted to see the list.

The list is vast but it only had about five different style of beer and about fifteen beers of each style, but only two Hefewiezens and four Witbiers. If you like Largers and Bocks this is the place to go! The selection can be a little overwhelming if you don't know what you want. So after some diliberation I decided on the Tappistes Rochefort 10. That was good but very expensive at ten bucks a pop.

The food was good and varied. It ranged from German to Asian cuisine but I ordered the Giardiniera Chicken Penne. A great pasta but it took a while to get to me. About twenty minutes I should say, I finished my Rochefort before my meal so the barkeep suggested that I get Alligash to pair with my pasta. Wrong. A good beer but it didn't go with this meal at all.

All in all a good place to go with friends and family. Not by yourself. The list is vast but confusing. I like it, but it doesn't hold a candle to Sweetwater Tavern.

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Photo of TheFunGuy
3.56/5  rDev -12.3%
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.

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Photo of Braudog
3.63/5  rDev -10.6%
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.

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Photo of Applesauce1
3.7/5  rDev -8.9%
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).

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Photo of dedrinker
3.75/5  rDev -7.6%
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.

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Photo of kristougher
3.86/5  rDev -4.9%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4

Photo of snarl
3.88/5  rDev -4.4%
vibe: 3 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 1

Bilbo's has been growing on me, because I quit going for food, just beer. They have a nice selection of interesting beers. The bar staff has always been very helpful with recommendations. The bar itself is small...or cozy depending on your perspective. It's probably not the type of place that would appeal to younger guys, the antithesis of a pickup joint.

As for the food, it's not so hot. Literally. I once had a cold entree there. The service in the dining area has treated me indifferently.

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Photo of Huhzubendah
3.98/5  rDev -2%
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.

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Photo of jayhawk73
4/5  rDev -1.5%
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.

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Photo of seanchai
4/5  rDev -1.5%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 3.75 | selection: 4.25

Photo of VABA
4/5  rDev -1.5%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4

Photo of Godot
4/5  rDev -1.5%
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.

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Photo of Chaney
4.05/5  rDev -0.2%
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.

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Photo of whrice
4.13/5  rDev +1.7%
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.

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Photo of clayrock81
4.14/5  rDev +2%
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.

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Photo of malboa
4.2/5  rDev +3.4%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4

Photo of djhowell
4.2/5  rDev +3.4%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 3.5

Photo of ChrisBowers
4.24/5  rDev +4.4%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5

This place is a gem as far as Northern Virginia goes. It is situated in the middle of beautiful Old Town Alexandria just off the well traveled path of King Street. Up until recently I had become convinced that there were no truely quality beer bars in NoVa until my girlfriend took me here for my Birthday. The bar part of the establishment is fairly small, with perhaps 10 stools and a few tables. The restaurant was adjacent but we didn't go in there (heard the food wasn't so good). The tap list consists of about 10-12 decent offerings including a few beers from North Coast and some decent imports. The bottle list is impressive, with high end offerings from many US craft brewers, trappist ales, and German specialty beers such as Eggenberger Eisbock and Celebrator Doppelbock. They had 3 selections from Rochefort (6, 8 and 10) as well as beers from Hyughe, Chimay, Carolous, and many others. World Wide Stout was also present. A very impressive list to say the least, comprised mainly of all high end beers. I'll definitely be coming back here.

On a side note, after about 10:00pm the place sorta clears out and the night we were there had some very strange "locals". Something to keep in mind but not necessarily keep you away.

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Photo of Uf0T0fU
4.25/5  rDev +4.7%

Photo of billab914
4.25/5  rDev +4.7%

Photo of Hanselpb
4.25/5  rDev +4.7%

Photo of SkinnyElvis
4.28/5  rDev +5.4%
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.


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Bilbo Baggins in Alexandria, VA
Place rating: 4.06 out of 5 with 33 ratings