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A pot of steamed mussels at the Sovereign.
Photo: Sovereign

11 Succulent Mussel Dishes to Try Right Now

With or without frites, these moules are a treat

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A pot of steamed mussels at the Sovereign.
| Photo: Sovereign

Mussels can easily be an afterthought next to more fanciful seafood options like oysters and crabs. But the plump, briny bivalves can make for just as tasty a meal — often at an affordable price.

The most traditional way to enjoy mussels is steamed in a broth of white wine, shallots, butter and herbs — a French preparation called “moules marinières.” Enjoy the dish with a stack of crispy Belgian-style “frites” or grilled bread for dipping. It’s a favorite at D.C. pubs such as Granville Moore’s or St. Arnold’s Mussel Bar.

From there, mussels can be adapted into many cuisines. Try them cold and smoked at Neopol Savory Smokery in Union Market, or spiced up with chorizo and chipotle at El Sol Restaurante. Curry is another popular accent for mussels, found at spots such as Georgetown’s beer-friendly Sovereign.

Whether as an entree or sharable appetizer, mussels are a fine and warming addition to any winter meal. Here are some of the best mussel dishes at bars and restaurants in and around D.C.

The featured restaurants are not ranked and are listed from north to south.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.
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Addie's

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When Addie’s reopened in August after a lengthy hiatus, it signaled the return of Jeff Black’s flagship restaurant’s addictive mussels, which swim in a fragrant broth seasoned with garlic, shallots, tomato, and red pepper flakes. Grilled bread for dipping is a must. In D.C., find them at Black Jack, above Pearl Dive Oyster Palace. Addie’s also offers smoked mussels as an option on its customizable seafood platters.

A plate of mussels at Addie’s.
Photo: Addie’s

Kyirisan

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Like much of the menu at this Shaw spot, the sweet Prince Edward Island mussels here draw on flavors from around the world. The bivalves are served with garlicky sofrito, saffron-coconut, pork belly, and a Thai basil salad on crispy foccacia.

A plate of mussels at Kyirisan.
Photo: Kyirisan

Convivial

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Warm up for winter with an order of restaurateur Cedric Maupillier’s bouillabaisse. The traditional French stew is chock full of mussels, octopus, prawns, sea bass, and more.

Seafood-filled bouillabaisse at Convivial.
Photo: Convivial

Neopol Savory Smokery

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Take home some of the smoked New Zealand mussels at this Union Market outpost. Or opt to eat them on the fly while browsing the food stalls’ other ready-to-go seafood and meat selections.

Smoked mussels at Neopol.
Photo: Neopol Savory Smokery

Dive into Belgian fare at this Logan Circle tavern, which serves its mussels in both appetizer and larger-sized portions. Those looking to indulge can try the Brussels Mussels, with its half lobster and bisque with tomato and Cognac.

Moules frites at B Too.
Photo: B Too

Mussels get a south-of-the-border twist at El Sol courtesy of spicy chorizo and chipotle sauce.

A plate of spicy mussels at El Sol.
Photo by Sean H. / Yelp

St. Arnold's Mussel Bar (Multiple locations)

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Belgian-style mussels and fries are the main attraction at this subterranean hangout. One of the best preparations is the house broth made with Ommegang Abbey Dubbel beer. From there, explore spicy Thai curry or chipotle cream variations, or stick with a classic white wine sauce.

An order of mussels at St. Arnold’s.
Photo: St. Arnold’s Mussel Bar

The Sovereign

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Browse the menu of Belgian-inspired ales at this Neighborhood Restaurant Group spot and slurp down a pile of mussels and frites. Choices include white wine with Madras curry, saffron with fennel and sausage, and more.

Mussels and beer at the Sovereign.
Photo: Sovereign

Rare Steak and Seafood

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Visit the tavern at this Midwestern import for a steam pot full of rope-raised mussels in smoked ham broth or a spicy shellfish curry. Or, try them off the raw bar on the tavern’s signature seafood towers.

Chilled seafood — including mussels — at Rare Steak.
Photo: Rare Steak and Seafood

Granville Moore's

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Granville Moore’s fragrant pots of steamed mussels, ranging classic “mariniere” to richer blue cheese- and pork belly-spiked preparations, are an Atlas District mainstay. They’re all offered at a discount during dinner service on Mondays.

An order of mussels at Granville Moore’s.
Photo: Granville Moore’s

José Andrés’ ode to all things seafood is one of the brightest dining destinations at the luxe MGM casino. Fans of mussels will find them here in near pure form, sauteed simply with garlic, celery, and butter sauce.

An order of mussels at Fish.
Photo: Fish

Addie's

A plate of mussels at Addie’s.
Photo: Addie’s

When Addie’s reopened in August after a lengthy hiatus, it signaled the return of Jeff Black’s flagship restaurant’s addictive mussels, which swim in a fragrant broth seasoned with garlic, shallots, tomato, and red pepper flakes. Grilled bread for dipping is a must. In D.C., find them at Black Jack, above Pearl Dive Oyster Palace. Addie’s also offers smoked mussels as an option on its customizable seafood platters.

A plate of mussels at Addie’s.
Photo: Addie’s

Kyirisan

A plate of mussels at Kyirisan.
Photo: Kyirisan

Like much of the menu at this Shaw spot, the sweet Prince Edward Island mussels here draw on flavors from around the world. The bivalves are served with garlicky sofrito, saffron-coconut, pork belly, and a Thai basil salad on crispy foccacia.

A plate of mussels at Kyirisan.
Photo: Kyirisan

Convivial

Seafood-filled bouillabaisse at Convivial.
Photo: Convivial

Warm up for winter with an order of restaurateur Cedric Maupillier’s bouillabaisse. The traditional French stew is chock full of mussels, octopus, prawns, sea bass, and more.

Seafood-filled bouillabaisse at Convivial.
Photo: Convivial

Neopol Savory Smokery

Smoked mussels at Neopol.
Photo: Neopol Savory Smokery

Take home some of the smoked New Zealand mussels at this Union Market outpost. Or opt to eat them on the fly while browsing the food stalls’ other ready-to-go seafood and meat selections.

Smoked mussels at Neopol.
Photo: Neopol Savory Smokery

B Too

Moules frites at B Too.
Photo: B Too

Dive into Belgian fare at this Logan Circle tavern, which serves its mussels in both appetizer and larger-sized portions. Those looking to indulge can try the Brussels Mussels, with its half lobster and bisque with tomato and Cognac.

Moules frites at B Too.
Photo: B Too

El Sol

A plate of spicy mussels at El Sol.
Photo by Sean H. / Yelp

Mussels get a south-of-the-border twist at El Sol courtesy of spicy chorizo and chipotle sauce.

A plate of spicy mussels at El Sol.
Photo by Sean H. / Yelp

St. Arnold's Mussel Bar (Multiple locations)

An order of mussels at St. Arnold’s.
Photo: St. Arnold’s Mussel Bar

Belgian-style mussels and fries are the main attraction at this subterranean hangout. One of the best preparations is the house broth made with Ommegang Abbey Dubbel beer. From there, explore spicy Thai curry or chipotle cream variations, or stick with a classic white wine sauce.

An order of mussels at St. Arnold’s.
Photo: St. Arnold’s Mussel Bar

The Sovereign

Mussels and beer at the Sovereign.
Photo: Sovereign

Browse the menu of Belgian-inspired ales at this Neighborhood Restaurant Group spot and slurp down a pile of mussels and frites. Choices include white wine with Madras curry, saffron with fennel and sausage, and more.

Mussels and beer at the Sovereign.
Photo: Sovereign

Rare Steak and Seafood

Chilled seafood — including mussels — at Rare Steak.
Photo: Rare Steak and Seafood

Visit the tavern at this Midwestern import for a steam pot full of rope-raised mussels in smoked ham broth or a spicy shellfish curry. Or, try them off the raw bar on the tavern’s signature seafood towers.

Chilled seafood — including mussels — at Rare Steak.
Photo: Rare Steak and Seafood

Granville Moore's

An order of mussels at Granville Moore’s.
Photo: Granville Moore’s

Granville Moore’s fragrant pots of steamed mussels, ranging classic “mariniere” to richer blue cheese- and pork belly-spiked preparations, are an Atlas District mainstay. They’re all offered at a discount during dinner service on Mondays.

An order of mussels at Granville Moore’s.
Photo: Granville Moore’s

Fish

An order of mussels at Fish.
Photo: Fish

José Andrés’ ode to all things seafood is one of the brightest dining destinations at the luxe MGM casino. Fans of mussels will find them here in near pure form, sauteed simply with garlic, celery, and butter sauce.

An order of mussels at Fish.
Photo: Fish

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