Southwest Quadrant – Alexandria, VA

The Southwest Quadrant neighborhood lies along the southern border of Alexandria and just slightly inland from the Potomac River. This small neighborhood's most recognizable landmark, the Alexandria National Cemetery, brings tourists into an otherwise residential neighborhood. With the ever-popular Old Town as its immediate neighbor to the north, Southwest Quadrant takes a backseat in terms of commercial activities. Just a few blocks away from the hustle and bustle of King Street, Southwest Quadrant residents enjoy the quiet streets with unbeatable access to all the Old Town amenities.

Schools in Southwest Quadrant

School data provided by GreatSchools

Restaurants & Nightlife

Restaurants and nightlife are few and far between in this neighborhood. Those that do exist lie along Duke Street to the north and South Washington Street to the east. The latter plays home to Southside 815, the most popular neighborhood eatery. Come here for down home Southern comfort food and you won't leave disappointed. The ribs and fried green tomatoes in particular keep bringing people back for more. They also have a wide selection of draft beer that, combined with the patio seating during the warmer months, make for a wonderful dining experience. Head one door over from Southside 815, and you'll find yourself at Faccia Luna, where they serve Italian style pasta and pizza. The brick oven pizzas steal the show at this little trattoria. Try the Roma pizza and finish it off with one of the great selection of microbrews and Italian wines. For a big night out, most neighborhood residents will walk a few blocks to King Street where the number of bars seems endless. Within Southwest Quadrant, Laporta's Restaurant remains the place to be for the nightly live jazz music. Starting around 7 p.m. every night, enjoy a happy hour beer while listening to great music and munching on favorites like fried calamari and Maryland crab cakes.

History & Culture

Alexandria first became populated by Europeans in 1695. For the next century, the area served as an important port to the New World. At one point in history, Alexandria was one of the largest slave trading ports in the world. The African American Heritage Memorial Park on the western border of Southwest Quadrant serves as a reminder of these dark events. Walking paths through memorial sculptures and a cemetery help to commemorate those who endured awful atrocities. Today, in much more peaceful times, Alexandria serves as an integral part of Northern Virginia's success and growth. Residents of this neighborhood benefit from a lively arts scene in Alexandria. The Little Theatre of Alexandria, a community theater just across the street from South Washington, puts on seven full stage productions annually. They also welcome local adults and youths to take theater classes.


The minuscule area of the neighborhood makes walking very easy. Foot transportation to major commercial areas like Old Town proves equally as simple. Bikers also have an easy time getting around town as the flat terrain and light traffic make up for the few bike lanes. Public transportation options abound as well, primarily in the form of Alexandria-based DASH buses and D.C.-based Metrobuses. Bus lines AT7, AT8, 9A, 10A, 10B and 10R all serve the neighborhood. One-way rides on DASH buses cost $1.60, but monthly passes can be bought for $40. Metro bus rides charge slightly more, at $1.75 per ride. The Metro system is also available in the form of the Metro rail which connects Alexandria to Arlington, Washington, D.C. and Maryland. The King Street Metro Station sits a short 5 to 10-minute walk from the Southwest Quadrant neighborhood. Metro rail rides also start at $1.75 but range up to $5.90 depending on how far you go and at what time of the day. Cabs are easy to find all throughout Old Town, but much less so in this neighborhood. Uber cabs make for the perfect alternative for door-to-door transportation. Drivers also enjoy ideal conditions in this neighborhood. Free public parking is widely available, and access to major roadways such as Highway 1, which runs through the neighborhood, and I-95, which serves as the de facto southern boundary of the neighborhood, cannot be beat.


The average monthly rent for a one-bedroom apartment in this neighborhood is $1,588 - about 10 percent higher than the Alexandria average of $1,440. Transportation costs help cut down on these higher rental prices as gas sits at 5 percent less than the national average, and the city center lies a short 5- to 10-minute walk to the north. A meal at a decent restaurant will start around $12 and a regular-priced beer goes for $5.


Local boutiques highlight the shopping opportunities in this neighborhood. A couple of bridal shops on South Washington make this an ideal neighborhood for brides-to-be. Global Bridal Gallery is prepared to handle all of your wedding needs. Larger commercial shopping opportunities are endless on King Street, less than a five-minute walk away. High-end home furnishing stores such as Ten Thousand Villages, Crate & Barrel and Chinoiserie mingle with high-value stores like the Twig Thrift Shop, the Gap Outlet and Ross Dress For Less. Whole Foods Market serves the neighborhood's grocery needs, resting just on the northwest corner. There's also a Safeway three blocks east of South Washington. The Alexandria Farmers' Market on King Street provides another shopping option every Saturday morning just a 10-minute walk away.


There are no parks within Southwest Quadrant, but the nearby Potomac Waterfront offers ample parks and green space. Alexandria's waterfront is a huge attraction, no matter what time of year. Every December, the city hosts the Annual Alexandria Holiday Boat Parade of Lights at the Alexandria Marina, just a mile northeast of the neighborhood. Closer to the neighborhood limits, directly to the east, Shipyard Park, Windmill Hill Park and Jones Point Park all provide great outdoor fun a short 5-minute walk away. Jones Point is the biggest, with sports fields and two playgrounds. Kids love the jungle gym, adults make great use of the bike trails and locals of all ages admire the 1800s lighthouse that still rests in the park. All of these parks welcome dogs and you will find many neighborhood residents bringing them on walks here.
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820 S Columbus St, Alexandria, VA 22314
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431 S Columbus St, Alexandria, VA 22314
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