Alexandria's Best Seafood Restaurants

Certain restaurants are known for their expertise at turning out signature dishes really well. They've pinned down the ingredients, mastered the process, and gained a strong following as a result. Alexandria has had much success cultivating great restaurants and creating a substantial market for Seafood. Locals can't get enough of the city's excellent food, and you'll often find them, along with eager tourists, at popular Laporta's Restaurant or at RT's, a major player in the field. Make sure you see what all the fuss is about!

"Thanks be to cod" reads the sign on the entrance to this casual, Dublin-inspired, fish and chip joint. They offer a variety of fresh fish options, including prawns, grouper, and, of course, cod. The fried fish of your choice is served in one of their special mayo-based sauces with a side of hand-cut fries. But try not to fill up on the main course -- they also have a selection of "fried sweets" for dessert! Fried Snickers, anyone? (703-299-8384)

Union Street Public House
It's no wonder that this old Colonial warehouse is a classic neighborhood institution in Old Town. The warm lighting and nautical flags create an old world escape that is unmatched by your typical neighborhood pub. From shrimp and grits to smoked cherry chicken, Union Street has just the grub to fill you up. Union Street supplies an impressive 15 beers on tap, with top brews including Guinness and Blue Moon. (703-548-1785)

The Fish Market Restaurant
The Fish Market Restaurant is the place to go for prime seafood in a lovely historic setting. The building that houses the restaurant dates back to the 19th century, and the warm woods and exposed brick walls inside recreate the era. Here, settle into the cozy booths and dine on a menu that features fresh fish dishes, including oysters, crab imperial, and even lobster pasta. There are a few non-seafood options, such as the rib-eye and the grilled chicken platter. After a satisfying meal of fresh fish and hearty classics, make your way to the restaurant's "Anchor Bar" for a post-dinner cocktail or two. (703-836-5676)

Seafood gets New Orleans style at this unpretentious restaurant. Try crawfish étoufée, famous crabcakes, and rave-inducing soft-shell crabs. The most popular appetizer is a crawfish and shrimp beignet, topped with garlic mayonnaise. Although seafood — from fried catfish po' boys to Shrimp Diane — is the house specialty, guests also love Tennessee Sour Mash pork barbecue, made with a touch of Jack Daniels. Don't leave the neighborhood tavern without indulging in lemon chess pie or Bananas Foster cake. (703-684-6010)

The Wharf
Special occasions become even more elegant when celebrated at this posh restaurant, which has offered fine seafood for 30 years. The historic building dates to 1790, and much of its brick-and-beam interior has been preserved. Maine lobster, served whole, is a specialty, as are local soft-shell crabs and perfectly cooked steaks. Other creative dishes include shrimp and scallop au gratin in garlic butter. Only a block from the river, the sophisticated bar is a great place to meet friends. (703-836-2836)

Fish Market
Fish Market, located in an historic building that once housed ship's cargo from around the world, is an exceptional seafood restaurant and bar. Inside, you'll find low ceilings, wooden floors and paneling, and blue-and-red-checked tablecloths. The menu includes broiled or fried seafood platters, salads, pastas, and sandwiches. Regulars come frequently for live entertainment and to gather around the bar and swap stories and political tales. A small wine list is available by the bottle or glass, and a quaint upper floor provides limited outdoor dining. METRO: King Street, then DASH bus (703-836-5676, 703-683 1135)

Warehouse Bar and Grill
Caricatures of historic and political figures line the walls of this steak and seafood restaurant, and some famous folks have been known to show up in person. Popular with both tourists and locals, Warehouse covers everything from salads and soups to seafood and beef. Try Maryland Select oysters, grilled shrimp with andouille sausage, filet mignon, or pasta jambalaya. Desserts include Creole bread pudding with toasted pecans and butterscotch-drenched coffee ice cream. (703-683-6868)

Laporta's Restaurant
Enjoy live jazz as you feast on fantastic seafood at this elegant, candlelit restaurant. Douglas Laporta, chef and owner, has earned a reputation for Continental-style seafood and pasta dishes. Look for the fresh catch of the day or favorites like salmon, mahi mahi, and snapper. Salads and chicken and beef dishes are available too. Margaret Laporta ensures that desserts are made fresh on the premises and are always show-stoppers. After dinner, relax in the jazz lounge, which features live bands most nights of the week. (703-683-6313)

Finn & Porter
This beef and seafood restaurant is a perfect stop for a business lunch or dinner. Stop in for a drink and a visit to the seafood bar, which features sushi, shrimp, crab legs, oysters, and crayfish. Or, order a hearty steak from the menu. The full bar has some 25 types of beer and more than 200 bottled wines, some available by the glass. Soft brown and beige hues, an oval bar, and soft lighting define the interior, while the outdoor patio boasts plants and a fountain. (703-379-2346)

Maps and Directions

Eamonn's 10Best List Arrow
Cuisine: European, Irish
Neighborhood: Alexandria
Cost: $
Union Street Public House 10Best List Arrow
Cuisine: American
Neighborhood: Alexandria
Cost: $$
The Fish Market Restaurant 10Best List Arrow
Cuisine: American, Seafood
Neighborhood: Alexandria
Cost: $$
RT's 10Best List Arrow
Cuisine: American, Cajun, Seafood
Neighborhood: Alexandria
Cost: $$
The Wharf 10Best List Arrow
Cuisine: American, Regional, Seafood
Neighborhood: Alexandria
Cost: $$
Fish Market 10Best List Arrow
Cuisine: American, Seafood
Neighborhood: Alexandria
Cost: $$
Warehouse Bar and Grill 10Best List Arrow
Cuisine: American, Continental, Seafood, Steakhouse
Neighborhood: Alexandria
Cost: $$
Laporta's Restaurant 10Best List Arrow
Cuisine: American, European, Italian, Seafood, Steakhouse
Neighborhood: Alexandria
Cost: $$
Finn & Porter 10Best List Arrow
Cuisine: American, Seafood, Steakhouse
Neighborhood: Alexandria
Cost: $$
comments powered by Disqus