From Lobster Bibs to White Tablecloths, D.C.'s Seafood Spots Run the Gamut
As with its politicians, monuments and museums, Washington, D.C., has too many excellent seafood places to count. There are lots of glittery, upscale eateries — places like BlackSalt, DC Coast and The Oceanaire Seafood Room -- offering high-end dishes in a setting to match. There's the seafood-focused bistro fare at casual (but not too casual) places like Pesce. And (mercifully for anyone on a budget or with little kids) there are several of the delightfully low-key, relaxed-atmosphere places that would inspire Jimmy Buffet to wax poetic. Think Hank's Oyster Bar, Tackle Box and the rollicking Chasin' Tails (whose "dump it out... Read more »
What are treated as afterthoughts at many seafood places -- raw oysters, calamari, etc. -- are elevated to the sublime at BlackSalt.
Local Expert Tip: "Need a ride to the theater, your hotel or just back home after dinner? Take advantage of BlackSalt's in-house car service."
Approaching the two-decade mark, Chef Jeff Tunks' signature establishment continues its commitment to serving the ocean's freshest offerings.
Local Expert Tip: "The tasting menu at DC Coast changes monthly, so if your favorite dish isn't available right now, it likely will be soon."
Committed to sustainability, Tackle Box adapts its menu to reflect what its suppliers can ethically catch.... Read more »
Local Expert Tip: "The first oyster shot (hot cherry-pepper vodka, bloody Mary mix and an oyster) may seem like a bad idea, but the second one won't."
Launched in 1805, the Maine Avenue Fish Market is the country's oldest such market. Its secret to a long life? Good, fresh seafood at fair prices.
Local Expert Tip: "The Maine Avenue Fish Market offers fresh seafood every day, but you'll find the widest selection on Friday, Saturday and Sunday."
A two-time winner of a Distinguished Restaurants of North America Award, Oceanaire offers its diners the... Read more »
Local Expert Tip: "At just a few bucks a pop, go ahead and order several nibbles off the weekday happy-hour menu."
Nominated in 2012 as "Best Casual Restaurant" by the Restaurant Association of Washington, Hank's has long... Read more »
Local Expert Tip: "Specials can change so quickly that it's wise to call ahead -- rather than look online -- to find out what's available on a particular day."
Helmed by James Beard Award-winning chef Ann Cashion, Johnny's Half Shell understands that fine dining doesn't need to be stuffy.
Local Expert Tip: "After 5 p.m., if you leave your car in the nearby Hall of States lot, Johnny's will validate your parking."
- Cuisine: American, Continental, European, French, Seafood
- Average Main Course Price: $30
- Neighborhood: Dupont Circle
Pesce offers a relaxed bistro vibe and stellar seafood. Sip a Bordeaux at the bar and you'll feel positively Parisian.
Local Expert Tip: "For dessert, order a slice of pecan pie with cappuccino ice cream. Repeat as needed."
- Cuisine: American, Cajun, Comfort Food, Crawfish, Creole, Seafood
- Average Main Course Price: $12
- Neighborhood: Arlington
Messy, affordable and delicious, Chasin' Tails takes its seafood -- but not itself -- seriously.
Local Expert Tip: "Neat freaks, beware: This is an eat-with-your-hands kind of place. So if you'd like a fork, bring one."
PassionFish proves that "fresh, high-quality seafood in the suburbs" doesn't have to be an oxymoron.
Local Expert Tip: "PassionFish offers a special children's menu designed to get kids excited about seafood, so be sure to bring them along."
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