Great Seafood Restaurants in Washington, D.C.
Photo: travelbook/Fotolia

The nation’s capital may very well have one of the best assortments of seafood restaurants along the East Coast. Icons like Occidental Grill & Seafood and Old Ebbitt Grill have been serving the political and social elite for decades. Fiola Mare offers the ultimate in sophisticated fine dining, while Acadiana delivers seductive Louisiana seafood with distinction. Horace & Dickie’s, Whaley’s, and Pop’s SeaBar are longtime neighborhood favorites. Kellari Taverna (Greek) and Pesce (Parisian) present seafood with global flair. Most great seafood restaurants in D.C. serve sustainably sourced fish and seafood, and no matter how you like your fresh catch, you’ll find something spectacular in Washington, D.C.

»Fiola Mare

Fiola Mare


Georgetown epicurean restaurant Fiola Mare is one of three Fabio Trabocchi restaurants in Washington, D.C. This impeccably tasteful waterfront seafood restaurant is the place to rub shoulders with Washington’s political and social elite. It’s been featured in national publications like O Magazine, Travel + Leisure, and Hollywood Reporter as well as in countless notable D.C. outlets.

Fiola Mare is committed to sourcing sustainable seafood for its high-end menus. Diners can expect exquisitely prepared dishes like smoked potato gnocchi with fresh Carolina shrimp, whole John Dory fish carved tableside, and Japanese A5 Miyazaki Wagyu beef with winter black truffle jus.

3100 K Street NW, Washington, DC, website, Phone: 202-628-0065 Photo: Fiola Mare

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»Old Ebbitt Grill

Old Ebbitt Grill


The Old Ebbitt Grill has a long history in the nation’s capital dating back to 1856, when it was a local favorite for Presidents Cleveland, Harding, Grant, and Theodore Roosevelt. It’s stunning interior features a Beaux-Arts façade, brass and chamfered glass, with mahogany and velvet booths still providing allure to the celebrities, political insiders, theater-goers, and journalists of today.

When you add the close-proximity of museums and the White House to the delights of their upscale menu, you have all the makings of a local hot-spot. Visitors will enjoy dining on extravagant tavern-style American food such as braised short rib pappardelle paired with a glass of wine from their extensive selection. Read more

675 15th Street, NW Washington, DC, Phone: 202-347-4800 Photo: Old Ebbitt Grill

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»Whaley’s Raw Bar & Restaurant

Whaley’s Raw Bar & Restaurant

Whaley’s Raw Bar & Restaurant is right at home in the bustling waterfront development known as The Yards. It’s a brief walk from both the historic Lumber Shed Building and Nationals Park. Fourth-generation Washingtonians and cousins, Nick and David Wiseman, opened their restaurant to provide the public with a little piece of their childhoods – afternoons with family and friends at a local raw bar.

They take pride in what they serve by only working with purveyors who adhere to strict sustainable seafood guidelines. This guarantees their customers will only get the freshest chilled towers of clams, oysters, and other shellfish, all while enjoying breathtaking views of the river.

301 Water St SE Suite 115, Washington, DC, website, Phone: 202-484-8800 Photo: Whaley’s Raw Bar & Restaurant

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»Farmers Fishers Bakers

Farmers Fishers Bakers


Farmers Fishers Bakers has the unusual distinction of being majority-owned by a national group of family farmers. Their Farmers Market Brunch, an all-you-can-eat buffet featuring everything from warm cinnamon rolls, eggs Benedict, and house-cured ham to sushi, tacos, and honey pot fried chicken, has earned it a spot among America’s 100 best brunches.

The restaurant’s Fishers Tiki bar has landed on numerous “Best of” tiki bar lists in D.C. Signature tiki cocktails include Tiki Enlightenment, Silencio Nights, and 1703 Cocktail. They also have 24 beers on tap and an array of farm-to-still proprietary drinks. First Bake is all about the baked goods served early weekday mornings.

3000 K Street NW, Washington, DC, website, Phone: 202-298-8783 Photo: Farmers Fishers Bakers

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»The Grilled Oyster Co.

The Grilled Oyster Co.

The Grilled Oyster Co. is located in Washington D.C.’s Cathedral Commons. The restaurant ambiance presents an air of simple elegance with large windows that provide stunning natural light and distinctively ornate wood tables set with classic white china and wine glassware as well as sparkling water.

They take pride in providing ethically sourced seafood, meats, produce, and regional brews that are made possible by partnerships with local fisheries, farmers, and breweries. Guests benefit from these painstaking efforts at achieving top-quality fresh ingredients in each expertly prepared dish, from the pan-roasted Chesapeake rockfish to the grilled Rosemary chicken and every sumptuous dish in-between.

3701 Newark Street, NW Washington, DC, website, Phone: 202-362-1719 Photo: The Grilled Oyster Co.

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»Luke's Lobster

Luke's Lobster


Luke’s Lobster has been an East Village standard since 2009, and has racked up print and digital accolades ever since, even winning the Today Show’s “Best Lobster Roll” contest. Founder Luke Holden is building a veritable lobster shack dynasty, and Washington, D.C., is the beneficiary of a Penn Quarter location.

What makes this restaurant unique is their ability to partner with fishermen they know sans middlemen, and therefore trace sustainable catches to their source. Diners at Luke’s can expect top-of-the-line bisques and chowders; their famous lobster, crab, and shrimp rolls; chilled crab claws and lobster tail; and seasonal favorites like lobster grilled cheese and Wild Blue lobster tail salad.

624 E Street NW, Washington, DC, website, Phone: 202-347-3355 Photo: Luke's Lobster

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»Acadiana

Acadiana


Acadiana is the place to go if you’re longing for crawfish étouffée, lump crab cakes in a seductive rèmoulade, duck jambalaya, or other distinctive flavors of the Louisiana bayou. Guests are treated to these and other favorites in this contemporary D.C. fine dining experience.

Like its New Orleans counterparts, Acadiana also has a top-tier bourbon menu. Diners will appreciate the raw bar, Sunday brunches with live jazz, mezzanine and patio lounge happy hours, and an ambiance steeped in southern Louisiana hospitality and flavor. Acadiana has been named on the “Best of” lists by Esquire and Washington magazines, among other accolades.

901 New York Avenue NW, Washington, DC, website, Phone: 202-408-8848 Photo: Acadiana

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»BlackSalt Restaurant

BlackSalt Restaurant


BlackSalt Restaurant has been making regular appearances on Washington Magazine’s annual “100 Best Restaurants” list since shortly after opening in 2004. Diners can expect the freshest seafood from sustainable sources prepared with an array of global influences, like their Thai or Belgian blue shell mussels. Menu favorites include salmon tartare, butter-poached lobster, assorted caviar, and fried Ipswich clams.

BlackSalt is one of the few restaurants where diners can delight in their favorite dishes and visit the fish market on the way out to take home the ingredients. The best dining advice is always to eat where the locals eat, and in Palisades, it’s BlackSalt.

4883 MacArthur Boulevard, Washington, DC, website, Phone: 202-342-9101 Photo: BlackSalt Restaurant

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»Grillfish

Grillfish


Grillfish is an Eatwell DC neighborhood restaurant in the West End. Eatwell DC restaurants thrive on sustainably sourced ingredients, including naturally raised produce from their own farm. The casual restaurant serves upscale fish, seafood, pasta, and meat dishes, and offers separate lunch, brunch, dessert, and children’s menus.

For dinner, guests can indulge in delectable entrées like pecan-crusted striped bass; seafood fra diavlo, a seafood pasta dish with spicy marinara; mahi mahi; and NY steak. Weekend brunches feature lobster, caviar, oysters, crab, shrimp, and steak. Their signature three-course brunch selection includes champagne, their original Bloody Mary, or another cocktail.

1200 New Hampshire Ave NW, Washington, DC 20036, website, Phone: 202-331-7310 Photo: Grillfish

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»Joe's Seafood, Prime Steak and Stone Crab

Joe's Seafood, Prime Steak and Stone Crab


Located up the block from the White House in the nation’s capital, Joe’s Seafood, Prime Steak and Stone Crab restaurant is where Washington’s wheeler-dealers and power brokers make things happen over plates of Gulf stone crab, hand-carved porterhouse steak, and jumbo lobster tail. Diners will enjoy the people-watching almost as much as sharing The Whale – Alaskan king crab, lobster tail, jumbo shrimp cocktail, and shrimp & scallop ceviche – that’s priced per person.

Weekend brunch favorites include Colossal Lump Crab Cake Benedict and strawberry waffles. Daily extended cocktail hours feature oysters on the half shell, wine, tap beer, and signature cocktails at half price. Gluten-free, vegetarian, and kids’ menus are available.

750 15th Street NW, Washington, DC, website, Phone: 202-489-0140 Photo: Joe's Seafood, Prime Steak and Stone Crab

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»Occidental Grill & Seafood

Occidental Grill & Seafood


Located across the street from the White House, Occidental Grill & Seafood has been serving the famous and the powerful for over 110 years. Patrons over the years are a who’s who of American political and social celebrity, with names like Winston Churchill, Sandra Day O’Connor, Steven Spielberg, and Katie Couric.

This is the place to come for culinary classics like grilled filet mignon with glazed baby carrots and pan-roasted yellowfin tuna with black trumpet mushrooms. The midday menu ranges from an impressive charcuterie platter to a Black Angus burger with smoked bacon on a sweet potato bun. Come for the food; stay to see and be seen.

1475 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Washington, DC, website, Phone: 202-783-1475 Photo: Occidental Grill & Seafood

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»Pearl Dive Oyster Palace

Pearl Dive Oyster Palace


When diners dive into the eats at Pearl Dive Oyster Palace, they do a double-take to be sure they’re still in Washington, D.C., and not New Orleans. Guests can get grilled bacon-wrapped oysters, wood-grilled oysters with red chili butter, signature Old Black Salt Oysters on the half shell, fried oyster po’ boys, oysters confit, oysters Rockefeller, or almost any other conceivable way there is to serve them.

Besides oysters, menu favorites include Pearl Dive’s gumbos, crawfish étouffée, wood-grilled Gulf redfish, and catfish BLT po’ boy. Guests will absolutely want to save room for one of their extraordinary Southern-inspired desserts.

1612 14th Street NW, Washington, DC, website, Phone: 202-319-1612 Photo: Pearl Dive Oyster Palace

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»Pesce

Pesce

Pesce is a Parisian bistro-style restaurant in the Dupont neighborhood that has been pleasing seafood lovers for over 20 years. The light-filled, contemporary bistro is the perfect ambiance for a lunch of pan-roasted branzino, walnut-crusted walleye, or pan-seared butterfish.

A romantic evening dinner for two could include butter-poached Maine lobster, linguini with clams in a white wine sauce, or pan-roasted rockfish. The popular Tuesday Lobster Nights at Pesce include a three-course prix fixe dinner that begins with lobster bisque, followed by lobster and beet salad, and finishes with a one-pound whole Maine lobster.

2002 P Street NW, Washington, DC, website, Phone: 202-466-3474 Photo: Pesce

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»Sea Catch Restaurant & Raw Bar

Sea Catch Restaurant & Raw Bar

Sea Catch Restaurant & Raw Bar is situated in a 150-year-old building on trendy M Street in Georgetown. The restaurant’s historic ambiance and outdoor seating overlooking the C & O canal provide a relaxing setting to experience their delectable menus.

Guests can have a light lunch, such as steamed mussels, oysters, and clams, or beer-battered fish & chips; or they can drop in for happy hour and take advantage of the superb raw bar deals and half-price cocktails. For dinner, Sea Catch serves up classics like fresh Maine lobster or fresh catch-of-the-day. The restaurant provides complimentary valet parking for up to three hours, so diners can also enjoy the neighborhood.

1054 31st Street NW, Washington, DC, website, Phone: 202-337-8855 Photo: Sea Catch Restaurant & Raw Bar

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»Tadich Grill

Tadich Grill

The Tadich Grill has the unique distinction of being the third oldest restaurant in the United States, and the newest restaurant in our nations’ capital. This iconic restaurant was first established over 160 years ago in the golden city of San Francisco. It is known for its legendary preparation of outstanding meats and seafood barbequed over mesquite.

Guests will enjoy a fine dining experience that transports them back in time with an ambiance of rich dark wood, white linen, and sultry reds. Exceptionally dressed white-jacket servers will provide delicious eats such as mesquite-broiled mignon and Dungeness crab legs and seared rare tuna.

1001 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Washington, DC, website, Phone: 202-638-1849 Photo: Tadich Grill

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»Tony & Joe’s Seafood

Tony & Joe’s Seafood

Visitors looking to dine on delectable seafood and meat dishes while enjoying phenomenal views should look no further than Tony & Joe’s Seafood Place. This family-run business is headed by native Washingtonian and patriarch of the Oceanside Management family of restaurants Tony Cibel, who also owns Nick’s Riverside Grill.

He, along with his two sons and two nephews, lead daily operations to provide exceptional dishes like their Chesapeake steampot and Maryland crab cakes. Arresting views of the Potomac River, Washington Monument, Roosevelt Island, Kennedy Center, and Key Bridge perfectly complement the world-class menu, providing patrons with a delightful dining experience.

K St. NW Washington, DC, Georgetown’s Washington Harbour, website, Phone: 202-944-4545 Photo: Tony & Joe’s Seafood

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»Hot N’ Juicy Crawfish

Hot N’ Juicy Crawfish


Regular travelers to Las Vegas, Tim and Laina, found that something was missing among the bright lights and lively streets: a good place to get crawfish. They decided they would be the ones to fill this need, and so Hot N’ Juicy Crawfish was established.

It’s grown into an empire over the years, with more than ten locations, including one in the nations’ capital, for hot n’ spicy enthusiasts everywhere. Owners encourage their patrons to “dine on the kind of crawfish that doesn’t need pretense, special occasions, or utensils” in a casual atmosphere of brick and dark wood with high-definition televisions.

2651 Connecticut Ave, NW Washington, DC, website, Phone: 202-299-9448 Photo: Hot N’ Juicy Crawfish

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»Kellari Taverna

Kellari Taverna

The Kellari Taverna restaurant in Washington, D.C., showcases its Greek heritage from the spacious dining room with close-set tables to the waters from which they get their seafood. Guests will enjoy dining on white linens in a room decorated with warm colors offering an inviting Grecian fine-dining experience.

The restaurant maintains their authentic heritage by importing their fish, cheese, oil, and balsamic vinegar straight from Greece and the Mediterranean. Guests will enjoy everything from their marinated assorted saganaki to main dishes like their signature Greek barbouni, perfectly complemented by one of their more than 300 Greek and international wines.

1700 K Street N.W, Washington, DC, website, Phone: 202-535-5274 Photo: Kellari Taverna

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»Hank's Oyster Bar

Hank's Oyster Bar


Hank’s Oyster Bar is the wildly successful casual restaurant of owner/chef Jamie Leeds. Since opening in 2005, it’s received accolades from the likes of Bon Appetit, The Washington Post, Gourmet, and Southern Living. The award-winning chef describes her menu as urban New England beach food.

Diners come back again and again for popular items like lobster rolls, chowder bowls, crab cakes, and of course, oysters served up in imaginative and delicious ways. Diners will want to try grilled Hog Island-style oysters when they’re on the menu. Oysters are dipped in a lemon-Tabasco garlicky butter sauce, and sprinkled with cheese and breadcrumbs before being broiled to perfection.

1624 Q Street NW, Washington, DC, website, Phone: 202-462-4265 Photo: Hank's Oyster Bar

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»Eat the Rich

Eat the Rich

Named after a Motörhead song, Eat the Rich was conceptualized and created by a culinary rock star duo – award-winning oysterman Travis Croxton and Derek Brown, a James Beard Award nominee.

Their restaurant pays homage to the celebrated oyster houses of the mid-Atlantic, and especially Washington, D.C., by featuring a Chesapeake Bay-focused menu as well as local oysters. Guests will enjoy the laidback atmosphere of rustic meets industrial while slinging back oyster shooters and pitcher cocktails and bobbing their heads to classic rock tunes. Get everything from 1 Dozen Clams at the raw bar to delectable personal plates like the Fried Fluke Sandwich.

1839 7th St NW, Washington, DC, website, Phone: 202-316-9396 Photo: Eat the Rich

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»Pier 2934

Pier 2934


Pier 2934 is a family-owned restaurant dedicated to sharing some of their values with the public of Washington, D.C. Their driving principle is “having fun, eating good food, and bringing people together,” and they do it through their laidback, casual seafood restaurant.

Visitors will enjoy hanging out on their quaint patio for a Cajun boil with family or meeting up with their friends for a happy hour filled with potent cocktails, oysters, and delectable finger foods. Guests can leave all pretension behind by digging into their piping hot bags of buttery, Cajun-style boils, and ending their meals with savory beignets.

2934 M Street N.W., Washington, D.C., website, Phone: 202-337-4536 Photo: Pier 2934

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»Horace & Dickie’s Seafood

Horace & Dickie’s Seafood


Horace & Dickie’s Seafood offers visitors home-style eats in a high-energy, fast food-style, casual ambiance. The friendly staff offer hilarious banter as guests move down the line selecting their favorites. This is the place to be to get the soul in seafood. Starters include seafood salads and soup of the day.

Most entrées, like the crab cakes, chicken wings, and whiting fish fillets, are fried. Entrées include a choice of two mouth-watering sides such as baked macaroni and cheese, collard greens, candied yams, or hush puppies. There are also sandwiches and steamed seafood boxes, plus the sweet deliciousness of homemade banana pudding or sweet potato pie for dessert.

6912 4th Street NW, Washington, DC, website, Phone: 202-248-4265 Photo: Horace & Dickie’s Seafood

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»Moruss Seafood Crab House

Moruss Seafood Crab House


Moruss Seafood Crab House is one of D.C.’s hidden gems. Located on Minnesota Avenue, the mom-and-pop restaurant provides quality seafood and meat dishes with excellent customer service.

The extensive menu is awe-inspiring with boundless seafood options – snow crab legs, fried fish, oysters, clams, spiced shrimp, and blue crabs, to name a few. Non-seafood eaters shouldn’t be worried though, as there are several options for them as well with various sandwiches, cheeseburgers, fried chicken, chicken wings, and even pizza. If you are looking for endless options accompanied by staff who are always smiling, this is that place.

2902 Minnesota Ave, SE Washington, DC, website, Phone: 202-583-0111 Photo: Moruss Seafood Crab House

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»Captain White’s Seafood City

Captain White’s Seafood City


Captain White’s Seafood City is a fourth-generation family-owned local seafood market. Located in the Fisherman’s Wharf of Washington, D.C., it began with Captain Pete White. Visitors can choose from a daily live seafood menu featuring crawfish, lobster, and crab, to name a few.

There is also a selection on ice, including salmon fillets, clams, shrimp, and oysters. All of their seafood arrives fresh daily, and they will even steam your selections free of charge. As an added bonus, they sell heavy blue crabs all year round straight from the waters of Chesapeake Bay. For those who want to try before they buy, enjoy their raw bar.

1100 Maine Ave, SW, Washington SC, website, Phone: 202-554-5520 Photo: Captain White’s Seafood City

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»Pop’s SeaBar

Pop’s SeaBar

Pop’s SeaBar in Washington, D.C., is a self-described “mom & pop boardwalk-inspired” restaurant created by owners John and Justin who were influenced by family shore trips taken with their parents when they were young. This friendly, laidback eatery is meant for visitors who enjoy spending time with family and friends while dining on seriously scrumptious Eastern shore eats, and sipping their signature “Crush” cocktails.

Guests will enjoy flavorful dishes, like the Fried Oyster Sandwich created by Chef John Manolatos, while watching TV and drinking cold brews. For seafood lovers and raw enthusiasts, enjoy an afternoon slurping oysters at their raw bar.

1817 Columbia Road, NW, Washington DC, website, Phone: 202-534-3933 Photo: Pop’s SeaBar

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25 Best Seafood Restaurants in Washington, D.C.