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Fiola Mare's Under the Sea spread
Fiola Mare's Under the Sea spread
Official

Where to Go for Seafood in Washington, D.C.

D.C. is packed to the gills with both casual and fancy raw bars and seafood restaurants

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Fiola Mare's Under the Sea spread
| Official

D.C. is bordered by the Potomac River, a quick drive from the Chesapeake Bay and less than four hours from the coast. The city has no shortage of local aquatic fare or gorgeous waterfront views. From oysters harvested out of Virginia's Rappahannock River, to Maryland blue crabs and rockfish, eaters can catch an abundance of fresh seafood at every turn.

Restaurants shelling out some of the best options cover a wide spectrum of D.C. dining experiences. Some are longtime downtown institutions that top steak with fresh Maine lobster for power lunch politicos. Others are more laid-back, welcoming patrons in for a quick seafood sandwich or shrimp to peel and eat alongside a cold brew.

A raw bar craze has also swept the area, with new spots like Whaley's taking the fresh seafood scene by storm (this map largely focuses on more established restaurants, though). The seafood frenzy continues, with the glitzy Ocean Prime chain set to land near Metro Center this fall. Also coming soon: a relocated Johnny's Half-Shell; the D.C. classic is moving from Capitol Hill to Adams Morgan.

Indulge in the top seafood Washington has to offer by pulling up and anchoring at one of these essential spots. This map focuses on restaurants, but for those looking for a seafood carryout destination, don't forget about the Maine Avenue Fish Market. Like it raw? Check out Eater's Sushi Heat Map.

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BlackSalt

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This Palisades restaurant and fish market is one of the flagship locations of seafood-focused Black Restaurant Group. Blue shell mussels, assorted caviars, Virginia oysters and Maryland rockfish are just a few of the many options. The restaurant group's Pearl Dive Oyster Palace, though more of a general Southern destination, also serves solid seafood.

Docked in Fairfax’s Mosaic District, Brine is known for its wood-fired meats, rustic decor, and raw bar. Co-owner Travis Croxton’s company exclusively provides fresh local oysters, while Olde Salt clams and Carolina shrimp also make appearances on the menu. Other interesting offerings include “Lambs & Clams” and plankton pasta. There are always simply-grilled fish offerings, too.

Fiola Mare

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Fiola Mare’s fresh seafood and prime Georgetown waterfront view attracts eaters from far and wide (and nearby, like President Barack Obama for his recent birthday dinner). Its Italian flair means the menu includes lobster ravioli, spaghetti with little neck clams, and Adriatic seafood brodetto. Fiola Mare is considered a premium seafood spot, so prepare for prices that reflect its upscale atmosphere and high quality (like the $50 lobster ravioli, pictured).

Fish In The Hood

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This Petworth fish market brings an array of fresh seafood a bit inland, with a menu of broiled and fried dishes. Loyal customers swear by the broiled salmon and cornmeal-crusted fried shrimp. Entrees are served alongside soulful, Southern sides like collard greens, candied yams, and seasoned mac and cheese.

Hank's Oyster Bar (Multiple Locations)

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When it comes to neighborhood seafood spots, Hank’s is a D.C. classic. The menu here focuses on New England fare like lobster rolls but also capitalizes off local oysters and crabs. Popular dishes include seafood-packed po’boys and Old Bay peel and eat shrimp. Hank’s outpost on the Hill is also widely considered a top brunch spot.

Horace & Dickie's Seafood Carryout

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This D.C. institution for fried fish has been on H Street since 1990. Get a sense of the scene with this photo essay. Head here for fried fish, in addition to some other soul food dishes. Lines can stretch out the door during peak hours.

Joe's Seafood, Prime Steak & Stone Crab

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The original Joe’s Stone Crab opened in Miami a century ago, and the upscale steak and seafood chain opened a D.C. outpost much later in 2014. In this short time, however, Joe’s has solidified itself as a power dining experience, regularly catering to downtown lobbyists with a superb selection of Florida stone crab and mustard sauce or Alaskan king crab and butter.

Old Ebbitt Grill

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This iconic spot located just one block from the White House has not only gained fame by serving powerful politicos for more than 160 years, but also for its raw bar specials. Old Ebbitt offers oyster happy hours seven days a week where oysters are half off from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. and 11 p.m. to 1 a.m.

PassionFish Bethesda

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This nautical-themed restaurant not only offers classic seafood dishes but also has an Asian flair by selling sushi. The Bethesda outpost boasts a full sushi bar with options such as the “Passionfish” California roll topped with assorted sashimi and the “Bar Harbor” roll filled with lobster, romaine lettuce, avocado, and honey lime aioli. But neither location skimps on more traditional seafood fare.

Pop's SeaBar

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Inspired by boardwalks found in St. Petersburg, Fla. and the Jersey Shore, Pop’s brings a beach dive vibe to Adams Morgan. Popular offerings include Jersey Dogs, the “Pops Patty” burger with oysters and Jersey sauce, and peel and eat shrimp. Eaters also head here for refreshing seaside drinks like orange and grapefruit crush cocktails.

Rappahanock Oyster Bar

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Rappahannock Oyster Company raises its own oysters in Chesapeake Bay farms and serves them at its popular bar in Union Market. Eaters head here not only for the namesake oysters, stingrays, and Olde Salts, but also for popular dishes like oyster chowder served alongside wine, craft beer, and specialty cocktails. The Union Market bar has a festive casual vibe, too.

The District Fishwife

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Run by a husband-and-wife team, this Union Market shop gained quick popularity with its fresh, regionally sourced seafood and made-to-order menu. Shoppers can purchase a variety of tunas, swordfish, mackerels and more, and diners can opt for the crispy fried fish and potato wedge chips with Aussie ketchup and homemade tartar sauce. Rotating offerings include deep fried squid and spicy Thai fish curry with rice. Find poke here, too.

Whaley's

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While newer to the D.C. seafood scene, Whaley’s has quickly made a name for itself. The team behind DGS Delicatessen named this Navy Yard raw bar after a commodore in the Maryland Navy and likewise focuses on locally and sustainably sourced seafood. Chincoteague little neck clams and Chesapeake war shore oysters are available at the raw bar, while entrees include tempura fried soft shell crabs and spicy seafood risotto.

BlackSalt

This Palisades restaurant and fish market is one of the flagship locations of seafood-focused Black Restaurant Group. Blue shell mussels, assorted caviars, Virginia oysters and Maryland rockfish are just a few of the many options. The restaurant group's Pearl Dive Oyster Palace, though more of a general Southern destination, also serves solid seafood.

Brine

Docked in Fairfax’s Mosaic District, Brine is known for its wood-fired meats, rustic decor, and raw bar. Co-owner Travis Croxton’s company exclusively provides fresh local oysters, while Olde Salt clams and Carolina shrimp also make appearances on the menu. Other interesting offerings include “Lambs & Clams” and plankton pasta. There are always simply-grilled fish offerings, too.

Fiola Mare

Fiola Mare’s fresh seafood and prime Georgetown waterfront view attracts eaters from far and wide (and nearby, like President Barack Obama for his recent birthday dinner). Its Italian flair means the menu includes lobster ravioli, spaghetti with little neck clams, and Adriatic seafood brodetto. Fiola Mare is considered a premium seafood spot, so prepare for prices that reflect its upscale atmosphere and high quality (like the $50 lobster ravioli, pictured).

Fish In The Hood

This Petworth fish market brings an array of fresh seafood a bit inland, with a menu of broiled and fried dishes. Loyal customers swear by the broiled salmon and cornmeal-crusted fried shrimp. Entrees are served alongside soulful, Southern sides like collard greens, candied yams, and seasoned mac and cheese.

Hank's Oyster Bar (Multiple Locations)

When it comes to neighborhood seafood spots, Hank’s is a D.C. classic. The menu here focuses on New England fare like lobster rolls but also capitalizes off local oysters and crabs. Popular dishes include seafood-packed po’boys and Old Bay peel and eat shrimp. Hank’s outpost on the Hill is also widely considered a top brunch spot.

Horace & Dickie's Seafood Carryout

This D.C. institution for fried fish has been on H Street since 1990. Get a sense of the scene with this photo essay. Head here for fried fish, in addition to some other soul food dishes. Lines can stretch out the door during peak hours.

Joe's Seafood, Prime Steak & Stone Crab

The original Joe’s Stone Crab opened in Miami a century ago, and the upscale steak and seafood chain opened a D.C. outpost much later in 2014. In this short time, however, Joe’s has solidified itself as a power dining experience, regularly catering to downtown lobbyists with a superb selection of Florida stone crab and mustard sauce or Alaskan king crab and butter.

Old Ebbitt Grill

This iconic spot located just one block from the White House has not only gained fame by serving powerful politicos for more than 160 years, but also for its raw bar specials. Old Ebbitt offers oyster happy hours seven days a week where oysters are half off from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. and 11 p.m. to 1 a.m.

PassionFish Bethesda

This nautical-themed restaurant not only offers classic seafood dishes but also has an Asian flair by selling sushi. The Bethesda outpost boasts a full sushi bar with options such as the “Passionfish” California roll topped with assorted sashimi and the “Bar Harbor” roll filled with lobster, romaine lettuce, avocado, and honey lime aioli. But neither location skimps on more traditional seafood fare.

Pop's SeaBar

Inspired by boardwalks found in St. Petersburg, Fla. and the Jersey Shore, Pop’s brings a beach dive vibe to Adams Morgan. Popular offerings include Jersey Dogs, the “Pops Patty” burger with oysters and Jersey sauce, and peel and eat shrimp. Eaters also head here for refreshing seaside drinks like orange and grapefruit crush cocktails.

Rappahanock Oyster Bar

Rappahannock Oyster Company raises its own oysters in Chesapeake Bay farms and serves them at its popular bar in Union Market. Eaters head here not only for the namesake oysters, stingrays, and Olde Salts, but also for popular dishes like oyster chowder served alongside wine, craft beer, and specialty cocktails. The Union Market bar has a festive casual vibe, too.

The District Fishwife

Run by a husband-and-wife team, this Union Market shop gained quick popularity with its fresh, regionally sourced seafood and made-to-order menu. Shoppers can purchase a variety of tunas, swordfish, mackerels and more, and diners can opt for the crispy fried fish and potato wedge chips with Aussie ketchup and homemade tartar sauce. Rotating offerings include deep fried squid and spicy Thai fish curry with rice. Find poke here, too.

Whaley's

While newer to the D.C. seafood scene, Whaley’s has quickly made a name for itself. The team behind DGS Delicatessen named this Navy Yard raw bar after a commodore in the Maryland Navy and likewise focuses on locally and sustainably sourced seafood. Chincoteague little neck clams and Chesapeake war shore oysters are available at the raw bar, while entrees include tempura fried soft shell crabs and spicy seafood risotto.

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