Il Porto

4.4
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1374 reviews
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$30 and under
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Italian
Every dish at Il Porto Ristorante in Alexandria, VA is made from scratch, on premise, including our pasta, all fresh, every day! Il Porto Ristorante was established in Old Town Alexandria in 1973. While its roots are traditional Italian, in recent years, there has been a transition to modern cooking techniques led by Chef Miguel, as well as focus on offering a wide range of wines, many by the glass, at a very good value.
Il Porto uses lots of fresh herbs and creative spices and we believe how you butcher the meat, how you grill a vegetable or protein in a particular way, makes all the difference to a dish.
What 1374 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
4.4
service
4.4
ambience
4.1
value
Noise · Moderate
91% of people would recommend it to a friend
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LC
Washington DC
1 review
Dined 3 days ago
Overall4food4service4ambience4

Table too small for the 4 of us. We were holding menus on our laps. Food was terrific!

k
Washington DC
71 reviews
Dined 3 days ago
Overall5food4service3ambience5

We have not been there for years, but we are glad we came back. Cozy ambience and a tad boisterous. Fruite du Mare was the best as was the Shrimp and clams. The service was very slow but it was very crowded. Overall a great place for Italian food.

B
Washington DC
4 reviews
Dined 3 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The food was Excellent. Our waiter was very courteous and polite.
Only downfall is the loud noise. We should have gotten seats on the lower level of the restaurant. Otherwise, I highly recommend this restaurant.

TO
Washington DC
2 reviews
Dined 4 days ago
Overall2food2service3ambience3

I love the setting in Old Town and we sat near a window. We went for restaurant week, which was a three course meal. Neither my wife or I were impressed by the food, however.

Il Porto
Responded 15 hours ago

Hello Tyler, thank you for leaving us a review. If possible please feel free to go into further depth as to why you did not enjoy your food. We take feedback very seriously, so we would love to hear more about your visit. Using your feedback we can ensure that we continue to learn and improve in order to provide the best experience possible.

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OT
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on 19 January 2020
Overall4food4service4ambience4

Had a very nice meal with my wife. We liked the more traditional Italian restaurant ambiance and menu. Also reasonable noise levels that allow for conversations at normal volume.

OT
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on 18 January 2020
Overall4food5service4ambience4

Always solid service and good food!!

AD
1 review
Dined on 12 January 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

As always the food and service is excellent.
I think Sangria is the best in town until proven otherwise.

DM
Denver
1 review
Dined on 8 January 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great experience all the way around. Would highly recommend for any special occasion.

JJ
Washington DC
6 reviews
Dined on 4 January 2020
Overall5food4service5ambience3

Seated near a table that was very loud. Would have preferred to be seated away from them.

OT
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on 31 December 2019
Overall1food2service1ambience3

When we arrived and brought to our table, the table cloth was stained. It was promptly changed by the gentleman who sat us. We then sat 10 minutes before anyone brought out water or a menu. The server was rude and condescending throughout the dining experience. He did not offer refills for our drinks and we have to ask multiple times to have our empty water glasses filled with water. This was the first time dining here for two of the three quests and I was very embarrassed to have recommended this restaurant.

Il Porto
Responded on 2 January 2020

Thank you for leaving us a review! We apologize that your visit was not up to our usual standards, but please keep in mind you dined with us on New Years Eve. We had over 600 dinners served that night so our waiters were more overwhelmed than usual. While this is not an excuse, we hope that you understand the situation.

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OT
Washington DC
3 reviews
Dined on 31 December 2019
Overall1food1service1ambience1

Not worth it. Food shouldn’t be called Italian. No taste and service was substandard.

Il Porto
Responded on 2 January 2020

Hello, thank you for leaving us a review. We would appreciate it if you could share more details as to why you chose to leave us such a poor review. This information will be used for feedback to ensure that our mistakes are not repeated. Thank you!

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OT
Salt Lake City
1 review
Dined on 31 December 2019
Overall4food5service5ambience3

The food and service was great. I’d highly recommend trying out their pollo parmigiana. The only improve on this visit would have been the climate. It was very hot inside of the restaurant, more so on the first floor. We all had many jackets and sweaters as it was pretty cold outside. By the time we were ready for our check, we were all sweating. Other than that, I thought it was a great visit!

B
1 review
Dined on 31 December 2019
Overall2food2service4ambience4

For the price of their meals, you'd think they'd at least make fresh pasta. I had the linguine with shrimp and clams-flavor was okay. Sauce was watery and so so oily. My partner's dish also had watery sauce. Maybe it was an off night, but there are better Italian restaurants in Alexandria.

Il Porto
Responded on 2 January 2020

Thank you for leaving us a review! All of our pasta is homemade as it has been for over 40 years. Please keep in mind that you chose to dine with us on New Years Eve which is our busiest day of the year. While this is no excuse, we served over 600 clients that night. We apologize that this negatively effected your experience and we hope that in the future we can have the chance to host you again.

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OT
Nashville
3 reviews
Dined on 31 December 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Amazing feeling as soon as you walk in the front door! Staff are top notch and move with a purpose. The food was outstanding and perfect no mess up in our order.

OT
Washington DC
9 reviews
Dined on 31 December 2019
Overall4food5service5ambience4

Our meals were delicious. We sat at a lovely 2 top by a window upstairs. The restaurant was noisy, however, it was New Year’s. The only thing we both felt was it was a bit overpriced.

GP
Philadelphia
5 reviews
Dined on 28 December 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Food was amazing! Server, Isor was courteous and friendly and we would definitely go back. Very authentic Italian food

AB
Washington DC
7 reviews
Dined on 27 December 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

IL Porto never disappoints. Always a perfect go-to place for friends to gather.

OT
Richmond
1 review
Dined on 26 December 2019
Overall4food5service4ambience4

Very good food. Ambiance solid but appears a bit dated. Solid value.

LT
Richmond
2 reviews
Dined on 25 December 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We are Alexandria locals, and this restaurant ranks among our favorite restaurants in a city of amazing culinary experiences. The food is always delicious, and the service is great. The ambience and decor let you imagine that you are actually in Italy in a trattoria. We ate here on Christmas Day and will be back again on New Year's Eve!!

OT
Orlando
1 review
Dined on 25 December 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great time! The waiter was great, it was busy but that didn’t effect the timing on any of our food or drinks. Very pleasant dinner!

EB
Baltimore
5 reviews
Dined on 25 December 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Christmas Day - excellent service with what appeared to be their full menu. Comfortable setting, personable staff and a warm holiday greeting. We don’t normally go out for holiday meals, but were in DC area as our son had to work that week - and Il Porto was the perfect choice for a delicious, comfortable meal!

BD
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on 25 December 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Christmas Day. This is our favorite restaurant.
We absolutely love the food and the small quaintness of the restaurant.

DP
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on 25 December 2019
Overall3food3service3ambience3

We went to II Porto for Christmas dinner and I have to say, I was a bit disappointed after reading all the hype. While it had a charming atmosphere, the tables were very small and space between tables was cramped. The food and service was mediocre (and overpriced). I would't go back.

O
Los Angeles
2 reviews
Dined on 24 December 2019
Overall4food5service5ambience4

Tight seating in line with draft - special request seating not observed for 3rd visit - otherwise outstanding!

SH
New York Area
2 reviews
Dined on 24 December 2019
Overall5food4service5ambience4

A yearly tradition. A favorite of every member of our family. See you soon!

AC
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on 24 December 2019
Overall2food5service3ambience1

My family was seated directly in front of the front door on a 30 degree night. Every time the door opened we got a cold draft of air directly at us. We asked to move a few times but we’re not allowed to even though there were open tables further inside the restaurant that were open when we got there and still open by the time we left. Kind of ruined the experience which was great the previous time. The food is really great as always.

Il Porto
Responded on 29 December 2019

Thank you for leaving us a review! We are aware that tables near the door are susceptible to the cold air from outside. Unfortunately, Christmas Eve is one of the busiest day of the year. You are correct, there were open tables further inside, but many of these had been reserved. We understand that this is an inconvenience and we are truly sorry. We hope that in the future we have the opportunity to host you again so we can make up for this experience.

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TK
Washington DC
13 reviews
Dined on 22 December 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Always a great experience with great food

OT
Philadelphia
2 reviews
Dined on 21 December 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Our favorite restaurant! Consistently great! Friendly service! Cozy ambience! Highly recommend!

JF
Washington DC
3 reviews
Dined on 21 December 2019
Overall2food3service3ambience5

My family has always enjoyed having a special dinner at Il Porto. This evening was pretty disappointing. The size of the "famous" house salad that comes with an entree has shrunk down to next to nothing. We asked for extra dressing which we did not receive. We then assumed it must have been already added to the salads, but after eating could tell it was not. Then I ordered garlic bread to be served along with the entrees. The waiter returned and said, "Sorry, we are out of garlic bread." Uh..... the chef does not know how to make garlic bread using the free bread they serve at every table?? And then the entrees came, they all tasted wonderful, BUT the portion size of my spaghetti and meatballs seemed to be about the size of something off a children's menu. It was not the portion I am used to receiving at Il Porto. I did mention to the waiter when he brought the check that the food was great, but the portion size was incredibly small. He laughed it off. So, I left still still hungry after my $19 entree. Had to stop at Mc'D's for a burger on the way home. Hopefully it was just a bad night and not a sign of things heading south. Based on this evening, I would be hesitant to recommend to a friend, whereas during our last visit over the summer I would have given an enthusiastic two thumbs up. Come on, Il Porto. I know you are better than that.

Il Porto
Responded on 24 December 2019

We deeply apologize that your visit was not up to our usual standards. The waiter in question has been spoken to in order to ensure that this incident does not repeat itself. Thank you for bringing this to our attention as this type of service is unacceptable. We hold ourselves to a very high bar and we use reviews such as yours to continue to raise that bar. In the future we hope we can get the chance to redeem ourselves and show you the classic Il Porto experience.

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OT
Washington DC
4 reviews
Dined on 21 December 2019
Overall5food5service2ambience5

Excellent food and ambiance! Highly recommend any veal dish and fettuccine is to die for, very well done. Service could have been much better w all of the people working. Overall, I’d go every week if we lived closer.

L
Washington DC
12 reviews
Dined on 20 December 2019
Overall4food4service5ambience5

cozy, friendly staff and good food.

OT
1 review
Dined on 20 December 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

It was great food and environment.

FA
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on 19 December 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Food was excellent, as always. Il Porto is a little gem in Old Town Alexandria. My wife and I have been going to Il Porto for the past 32 years. I did give it 5 starts because the restaurant was cold inside.

OT
Richmond
3 reviews
Dined on 19 December 2019
Overall5food5service4ambience5

We had a party of 5 to celebrate my daughter graduating from George Mason University. Our table was right in front of the fireplace which was ideal since it was a very cold day. It also added to the ambiance. Our waiter (Fidel) was very attentive and did a fine job. There were a few empty glasses and dirty plates that were not cleared but it didn’t detract from our experience. The food was very good and everyone was extremely happy with the flavors, portions and presentation. The menu offers pasta, seafood, chicken and veal. We were surprised not to see any beef. We all ended up ordering seafood dishes which were uniformly excellent. Desserts were generous and delicious. Overall, we had a great experience and would recommend it for any occasion.

OT
New York Area
4 reviews
Dined on 14 December 2019
Overall3food3service4ambience4

we wait foods so long time.

OT
Raleigh
1 review
Dined on 14 December 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Do not miss an opportunity to try Il Porto! My husband and I split the Tomato and Mozzarella Salad and Chicken Parmagan with a side of Fettuccini. Everything was delicious.

DR
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on 13 December 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Haven't been there for many, many years, but it was as special as I remember: great food, terrific service, and you feel as though you're in a very comfortable, at home place.

OT
New York Area
1 review
Dined on 13 December 2019
Overall2food2service4ambience4

Food was average. Wine list pricey (nothing less than $12 a glass)

Il Porto
Responded on 19 December 2019

Hello! Thank you for leaving us a review. We apologize that your visit did not live up to our usual standards. If possible, please feel free to explain what you did not enjoy about your meal. We aim to use this information so we do not repeat these mistakes in the future. Also, it is important to keep in mind that for Old Town, $12 is the norm for a glass of wine. Once again, we apologize that you did not enjoy your Il Porto experience, but we hope to make it up to you in the future.

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MM
Columbus
14 reviews
Dined on 12 December 2019
Overall1food5service4ambience5

There are no handicap accessible bathrooms on the first floor. You have to walk up steep steps to get to a bathroom that is not handicap accessible

Il Porto
Responded on 19 December 2019

Hi Marina! Unfortunately, this problem is out of our hands. Since the building is considered a historical landsite, it is very difficult to get permission from the city to build a downstairs bathroom. We understand that this is frustrating and we are deeply sorry that we can not do more to address this problem.

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VC
1 review
Dined on 11 December 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

I have been coming to this restaurant since 1981 and it is the same family running this establish. The best food, well prepared and is easily the best Italian restaurant in the States. Always a consistent outstanding meal you will never be disappointed!