Sonoma Cellar - Old Town Alexandria

4.4
251 reviews
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$30 and under
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American
Top tags:
  • Good for a Date
  • Neighbourhood Gem
  • Outdoor Eating
Sonoma Cellar is a new California-inspired wine tasting room and bistro in the heart of historic Old Town Alexandria, Virginia. Offering an authentic California wine tasting experience, Sonoma Cellar will feature hand-selected wines from 180+ Sonoma County boutique wineries and 20+ Virginia-based wineries where guests have the opportunity to taste a number of varietals from these robust growing regions. Sonoma Cellar’s bistro menu will feature freshly prepared craft foods, designed to pair with the wines, and the gift shop will also carry a variety of distinctive wine-related merchandise.
Dining Style
Casual Dining
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Cuisines
American, Californian, Bistro
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Hours of Operation
Mon 4:00 pm–10:00 pm
Tue–Fri 4:00 pm–11:00 pm
Sat 10:00 am–11:00 pm
Sun 10:00 am–10:00 pm
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Phone number
(703) 566-9867
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Payment Options:
AMEX, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
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Dress Code
Casual Dress
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Neighbourhood
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Cross street
Union Street
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Parking Details
You can pay for street parking or there are multiple public parking lots very close to the restaurant. Even better? You can ride the Old Town Trolley for free from the King Street Metro Station!
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Entertainment
On most Tuesday and Thursday evenings we have live acoustic music in the wine garden.
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Special Events & Promotions
We have a variety of weekly special events including single winery tasting, wine classes, wine throwdowns and all kinds of wine fun. Including pinot and pups!
Additional
Banquet, Bar Dining, Beer, Counter Seating, Entertainment, Farm to Table, Fireplace, Gluten-free Menu, Happy Hour, Non-Smoking, Outdoor dining , Private Room, Weekend Brunch, Wine
What 251 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.4based on recent ratings
4.4
Food
4.1
Service
4.3
Ambience
4.0
Value
Noise · Quiet
83% of people would recommend it to a friend
5
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DR
3 reviews
Dined on 9 September 2018
Overall 2Food 2Service 2Ambience 4

We'd had a good dinner here about a year ago, but were disappointed this time around. On a Sunday evening, service was neglectful and pretty clueless (described a fruity albarino as very dry), wine choices not very interesting, and the food okay, but not great. The pulled pork quesadilla about as flavorless as pulled pork can be and the salmon pretty lame. We'd really, really wanted to like this place and are sort of sad it didn't work out.

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TB
1 review
Dined on 8 September 2018
Overall 2Food 2Service 2Ambience 3

We were very disappointed in our experience. The menu list two types of tastings and the server that we had didn't know anything about the wines or which one he gave us. We had to ask several times which one he was serving and he would have to go back to the bar to look at the bottle. So for people who are going there for a tasting that is not the experience to expect.

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AN
1 review
Dined on 2 September 2018
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

Wonderful company, delicious food, and a pitcher of Bellinis in a secluded outdoor patio, perfect!

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TF
1 review
Dined on 31 August 2018
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

My wife and I celebrated her birthday with a wine tasting before dinner elsewhere. We were not disappointed with the wines, the service or the appetizers.

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SJ
3 reviews
Dined on 26 August 2018
Overall 4Food 5Service 3Ambience 4

I went here for brunch during restaurant week. The food was great, good value, and outdoor seating was nice. Service wasn’t great, but that was the only negative.

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N
20 reviews
Dined on 25 August 2018
Overall 5Food 4Service 5Ambience 4

Cute spot with an excellent wine list and even better staff. Only drawback is the limited outdoor seating, but it's better than nothing. :)

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t
8 reviews
Dined on 24 August 2018
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

We went for restaurant week. Delicious! I had the pork chop and cassoulet - so tasty! My partner and our friend had the ribeye and both agreed it was cooked perfectly. Service was awesome and because we were able to sit outside, that made it even better. And of course, the wine selection was outstanding! All around a great time.

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OT
1 review
Dined on 18 August 2018
Overall 3Food 3Service 5Ambience 5

We came for restaurant week, my steak was overdone and under seasoned, but service was good and it was a nice atmosphere. I’d probably try it one more time.

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CS
169 reviews
Dined on 18 August 2018
Overall 4Food 5Service 2Ambience 2

Excellent food. But, poor service. How come in a wine bar you can't find anyone to bring you a second glass of wine?

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E
1 review
Dined on 12 August 2018
Overall 4Food 4Service 3Ambience 3

Brie and fig spread appetizer is a must! Wines are great, but unfortunately, they do not offer outdoor tastings as advertised on the website.

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JW
8 reviews
Dined on 8 August 2018
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

My date and I had a great experience. The food and wine was on point. Our server, Wes, paid the right amount of attention to us and gave good suggestions.

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DD
13 reviews
Dined on 7 August 2018
Overall 3Food 4Service 4Ambience 3

I wanted to give Sonoma Cellar Outstanding marks but I just couldn't. The food was fabulous, but it was a Tuesday night and cigar smoking was supposed to start in the garden area at 8p. Our reservation was for 7p, so I figured that would be plenty of time for us to enjoy some wine and dinner and then head out by 8p (I don't care for cigar smoke). The smoking started at 7:30 and no one stopped them from doing so. By 7:45, more people had started smoking and we had to go inside to finish our last glass of wine. Not a pleasant ending to our evening. At any rate, I would definitely return on a non-cigar-smoking evening.

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OT
38 reviews
Dined on 5 August 2018
Overall 2Food 4Service 2Ambience 3

I was hoping the third time would be better. A family brunch was sadly similar to two other occasions with friends. The food and wine here are very good indeed.
But the place is chaotic and poorly managed. We had a reservation for 6 but even after pressing to be seated, we had to wait 15 minutes for a table. No apology was offered.
None offered for the uncoordinated slow service either. Our appetizers were forgotten and came with the entrees.
No follow up on our beverages, though this is a wine bar. No recognition of the problems, either verbally by manager or by offering to comp the late apps. Very disappointing!!

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F
30 reviews
Dined on 22 July 2018
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

We arrived with no preconceptions and left several hours later completely delighted. The food was uniformly superb, the service friendly and efficient, and the wine selection was outstanding. The occasion was a family birthday, and our honored guests could not have been more pleased. Vegetarians and non-vegetarians alike found a wide range of choices and we emerged onto King Street feeling that while we'd enjoyed exceptional and healthy food, we'd feasted. Would we go back - yes, in a flash!

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OT
3 reviews
Dined on 15 July 2018
Overall 3Food 5Service 2Ambience 4

Understaffed the manager forgot we were seated upstairs. We were alone on the 2nd floor.

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MD
2 reviews
Dined on 7 July 2018
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

Lovely atmosphere and helpful waitstaff! Loved the energy and variety of this place- will be coming back!

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JH
1 review
Dined on 6 July 2018
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

This place was great. Definitely sit outside if you can. Food was delicious.

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OT
1 review
Dined on 29 June 2018
Overall 4Food 3Service 5Ambience 4

Server was attentive and the wine was VERY good.

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JV
4 reviews
Dined on 23 June 2018
Overall 4Food 4Service 4Ambience 5

The outside was very nice for a casual lunch. We had the proscuitto eggs benedict and veggie omelette- both very good.

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OT
2 reviews
Dined on 17 June 2018
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

Had Fathers Day brunch. Very nice staff. Great food. I had huevos rancheros and hubs had avocado tacos. Everybody’s food was enjoyed. Not crazy busy and had a great spot on the patio out back. Super cute.

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W
1 review
Dined on 16 June 2018
Overall 5Food 5Service 4Ambience 5

Wonderful time and experience! Thank you again for the wine and food.

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p
1 review
Dined on 13 June 2018
Overall 3Food 3Service 4Ambience 4

The food was good but not exceptional and the portions were small.

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H
1 review
Dined on 8 June 2018
Overall 2Food 3Service 2Ambience 3

We had visited Sonoma Cellars once before when it opened, and came back with a couple friends to give it another go. While the food and wine were decent, the experience and interaction with staff was quite weird and left us with a negative opinion. Our welcoming involved an exchange where the host asked if we wanted to sit outside, to which we said yes but received a response of "it's full." There was not further information given about wait time, possibility of alternate places to sit...just "it's full." While that was strange, halfway through our dinner, the owner/manager knocked a few chairs over - seemingly on purpose - and left them there to make the same staff member (the host) pick them up. It seems like a place where staff interaction and management do not see eye to eye, and left us feeling awkward and uncomfortable.

That being said, the wine selection was good and prices were fair. We hope management can better work with staff to create a more welcoming ambiance. As a result of our experience we are unlikely to return.

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A
16 reviews
Dined on 30 May 2018
Overall 2Food 1Service 2Ambience 4

This used to be my favorite restaurant. I have taken many people here. The food is usually wonderful. This time it was a disaster. I was embarrassed that I brought my friends there. We asked for bread for the table to nibble on with the pre dinner wine. Took six tries. It came with the meal. We had to ask for butter. When the bill came was were charged for the bread and separate charge for the butter. One person ordered the salad. He said it was dry and the greens looked passed their prime. My gazpacho was bland. I ordered the short ribs. The meat which was about four bites was dumped into a unappetizing, over salted pile of mushy polenta. The two spears of grilled asparagus were dried out. My friends said their meal was just okay. The waiter cleared plates while we were eating, but left some of the dinner service on the table when dessert was served. The crust on the apple tart was tough and difficult to cut. We ordered the press coffee for 4 (there were three of us.) It was sludge. And there was not enough coffee to fill the three cups much less four. We asked the waiter to split the bill. It was not done correctly. We should have complained but we had not seen each other in awhile and we did not want to make the evening about a conversation with the kitchen. None of us would be returning.

In fairness to the waiter, I think he was overwhelmed. The restaurant is on two floors and with the patio opened the waiter has to cover a lot of ground. It seemed like he was the only waiter on duty that night.

I would go back to have wine, but I would not eat there again.

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RG
3 reviews
Dined on 26 May 2018
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

We really enjoyed our dinner at Sonoma Cellar. The three wines we tasted were really good. The food was fresh and tasty - we would particularly recommend the fish tacos, which were exceptional!! And the service was perfect.
We will definitely be back for more!!

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m
22 reviews
Dined on 23 May 2018
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

Can't beat the wine! Knowledgable staff helps you discover new wines and the fit-for-foodie menu is a added bonus. Sit outside for quiet evening or inside if you want a lively bar scene.
We started wth a glass of superb Brut and enjoyed Rose with our delicious dinner.
Definitely a gem in Old Town Alexandria!

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JD
5 reviews
Dined on 20 May 2018
Overall 2Food 3Service 1Ambience 3

We were excited to try this place and were warmly greeted by the owner, but things went downhill from there. They put us upstairs which was a very nice room but with poor acoustics. It took forever to get our drinks and when food finally came they only had 5 of our 6 meals correct. It took almost 30 min to get the 6th meal. It was such a shame because the food was tasty. The waiter was nice, but had too many people to take care of and therefore slow.

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OT
1 review
Dined on 13 May 2018
Overall 2Food 3Service 1Ambience 2

This place is great. Good food, fun atmosphere. Sit on the outside patio if the weather permits.

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b
1 review
Dined on 6 May 2018
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

This restaurant had a great wine sections m, service was excellent and the ambiance was just right , overall wonderful experiences

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OT
1 review
Dined on 27 April 2018
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 4

A bit noisy and moderate high prices typical of old town but food and service were both great!! We love coming to this place

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LL
2 reviews
Dined on 22 April 2018
Overall 5Food 5Service 4Ambience 5

Went here for the first time for a triple date night. The food was delicious and the portions were well done. Still room for some dessert. The wine list was vast, but they also have a select menu off to the side with their specials and tasting menu. We had a very good time and even found out that they have a "speakeasy" starting at 10:30pm where they have live music and games. We continued our night then came back for the speakeasy where we came back and ended up hanging around their fire pit out in the back. Will definitely come back again. I will also mention that they do not split bills for tables of 6 or more so just be ready for that.

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CH
1 review
Dined on 21 April 2018
Overall 4Food 5Service 3Ambience 4

The food was amazing. The wine was great. The service could improve.

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JM
1 review
Dined on 14 April 2018
Overall 5Food 5Service 4Ambience 5

Always good food with a rotating, seasonal menu and great brunch. Service is usually very good and the bartenders are really wonderful.

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h
8 reviews
Dined on 13 April 2018
Overall 3Food 5Service 5Ambience 2

The food was amazing. The table was wobbly and the chairs are uncomfortable. Decor upstairs could use some attention.

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LC
9 reviews
Dined on 13 April 2018
Overall 1Food 3Service 1Ambience 2

Eating at SC was a really mixed experience. The environment feels a bit sterile. Our wine was delicious as were 2 of the 4 appetizers we ordered. The service was poor. After taking our order we only saw our server one other time and that was when he came to check that someone had brought us our food. He never came back to give us water, didn't ask if we'd like another glass of wine, didn't ask if we liked the food until I asked for the check. At one point we were parched from the spicy app and I actually got up and served us water. He was in the same room and didn't even notice. Lastly, we had asked for a side of guac knowing it was a $2 surcharge. We were served about a tablespoon and a half of guac. What?? That was ridiculous amount for $2. We live in Alexandria and eat out frequently, but we will not be going back to SC.

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OT
1 review
Dined on 13 April 2018
Overall 3Food 3Service 3Ambience 3

The overall experience was fine but I’m not sure why the restaurant requires credit card holds for the reservation. The restaurant was not busy and the dining area wasn’t full. The food was good but priced a little high.

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OT
21 reviews
Dined on 6 April 2018
Overall 5Food 5Service 4Ambience 4

Several friends and I met for dinner and enjoyed a meal on the outdoor patio. Sonoma Cellar has genuinely friendly hosts/servers and a great menu. Reasonable prices and good value overall and creative dishes pair perfectly with a well-curated wine list. To us it felt like a tiny slice of Northern California in a relaxed and charming setting!

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B
17 reviews
Dined on 31 March 2018
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

We were pleasantly impressed with our evening at Sonoma Cellars. We met old friends there . We sat at the tasting bar while we waited for our friends and tasted some great wonderful wines. We went upstairs and loved the menu as it had a great selection if you are hungry and wanted a full meal or were not hungry and wanted something smaller. We ordered the taco selections and a great bottle of wine and it was a great dinner. I highly recommend Sonoma Cellars as a wine lover and a foodie.

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OT
1 review
Dined on 27 March 2018
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

Always great.

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AP
1 review
Dined on 17 March 2018
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

I came here while wedding dress shopping with my family. It was a wonderful experience. Staff was incredibly friendly and made us feel so welcome. I had to move my reservation and add people and change tables and it was never a problem at all. I will definitely be back this spring and summer to sit on their awesome patio!

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