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Waterfront Dining Guide: Don't Just Pay for the View

These places are a cut above.

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Mi Vida
| Rey Lopez/Eater DC

Just a few years ago, waterfront dining options in DC were underwhelming, serving overpriced, mediocre food. But with new developments the Wharf, the Yards at the SE Waterfront in Navy Yard and newer arrivals at the Georgetown Waterfront, the district is looking more like a place where there are plenty of choices to wine and dine with a view. Many establishments offer floor-to-ceiling windows, expansive patios or terraces to capitalize on their locations.

While several serve seafood, the types of cuisine run the gamut from Southern at Due South to Mexican at La Vida and Spanish at Fabio Trabocchi’s newest restaurant, Del Mar. The newest of the bunch, splashy Mediterranean restaurant La Vie, debuted earlier this month from the team behind Pamplona and Provision No. 14. Meanwhile old-timer Sequoia reopened last year after extensive renovations. Dive in to these 13 DC waterfront restaurants.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.
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Due South

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The Navy Yard restaurant delivers Southern staples like shrimp and grits and Texas-style brisket along with unique twists on familiar foods like squash puppies and lima bean hummus. For quicker fare and frosé, check out its snack shop Due South Dockside. 

Ana at District Winery

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Billing itself as DC’s first urban winery, District Winery offers a rotating selection of wines at its tasting bar and tours of the blending and bottling process. Afterwards, enjoy the contemporary restaurant Ana, where you can choose from 15 wines by the glass to go with beet falafel and Pacific halibut. 

Photo by Rey Lopez for Eater DC

Whaley's

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The raw bar and seafood restaurant serves a selection of crudo, shellfish and oysters, which can be had for $1 during its daily happy hour. Head to outdoor bar Rosé Garden for frozen drinks and high balls. 

The Salt Line

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Serving lobster rolls, oysters and coddies (salt cod, yukon gold potato, yellow mustard, and crackers), New England meets the Chesapeake Bay at this restaurant next to Nationals Park. 

Salt Line DC bar

Mi Vida Restaurante

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Corn cakes, tacos and churros are on the menu of this Wharf restaurant that offers plenty of seats with a water view. Sit on the ground floor patio or balcony overlooking District Pier.  

Hank's Oyster Bar

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The newest Hank’s serves the usual oysters, lobster rolls and fried clams, but this location of the New England-style seafood houses pairs the food with harbor views.

Sequoia

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One of DC’s earliest entries to the waterfront dining scene, the massive restaurant reopened last year after a multimillion-dollar renovation that added more art to the surroundings. 

Photo: Sequoia

The recently opened luxurious Mediterranean restaurant at the Wharf offers a selection of spaces — a marble-laden formal dining room and bar, garden room and a terrace bar that overlooks the Potomac. 

Del Mar de Fabio Trabocchi

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The newest restaurant from the Trabocchis, D.C. dining’s power couple, tackles Spanish cuisine with paella, tortilla Espanola and pan con tomate in a posh setting at the Wharf.

Fiola Mare

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Fabio Trabocchi’s prime Georgetown waterfront location and sweeping river views help accent the sophisticated food. Fiola Mare is the seafood-centric sister restaurant to Chef Trabocchi’s much-lauded Fiola. The impressively wide range of raw and nearly-raw options includes everything from oysters on the half-shell to a Chesapeake Bay eel crudo. Entrees span from pastas (including Trabocchi’s famous lobster ravioli) to elaborate seafood preparations. 

Osteria Morini

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The first upscale establishment to open at The Yards, this Northern Italian restaurant is brought to us by Chef Michael White of NYC. If the selection of meats, cheeses and pastas aren’t as appealing, try a hunk of meat either grilled or spit-roasted over their impressive wood-burning grill. The spacious patio that wraps around the front of the restaurant looks over the Yards Park lawn to the Anacostia. Desserts are worth seeking out as well.

Agua 301

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Modern Mexican munchies, margaritas and a marine view? Yes, please. Located next to Osteria Morini in The Yards, the menu involves many different types of guacamoles, ceviches, empanadas, tacos, and other “bocaditos” (small bites), but also offers plenty of full-sized entrees if “shared plates” aren’t in the cards. Happy hour does not disappoint with over 50 tequilas and mezcals, signature cocktails, and of course, house-made margaritas. 

Farmers Fishers Bakers

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The sister restaurant to the ever-popular Founding Farmers, this place does a great job of offering something for everyone. The menu jumps from pizzas to jambalayas to sushi and just about everything in between, with an emphasis on cocktails as well. The dessert shop churns out American classic treats like ice cream sandwiches and Hummingbird layer cake. And on weekday mornings, it doubles as First Bake, a gourmet coffee shop that helped bring the artisan toast movement to DC. From a seat on their huge patio, enjoy the dancing fountain show, or look right past it to the sparkling Potomac. It’s also a good stop for brunch, as long as buffets are appealing.

Due South

The Navy Yard restaurant delivers Southern staples like shrimp and grits and Texas-style brisket along with unique twists on familiar foods like squash puppies and lima bean hummus. For quicker fare and frosé, check out its snack shop Due South Dockside. 

Ana at District Winery

Photo by Rey Lopez for Eater DC

Billing itself as DC’s first urban winery, District Winery offers a rotating selection of wines at its tasting bar and tours of the blending and bottling process. Afterwards, enjoy the contemporary restaurant Ana, where you can choose from 15 wines by the glass to go with beet falafel and Pacific halibut. 

Photo by Rey Lopez for Eater DC

Whaley's

The raw bar and seafood restaurant serves a selection of crudo, shellfish and oysters, which can be had for $1 during its daily happy hour. Head to outdoor bar Rosé Garden for frozen drinks and high balls. 

The Salt Line

Salt Line DC bar

Serving lobster rolls, oysters and coddies (salt cod, yukon gold potato, yellow mustard, and crackers), New England meets the Chesapeake Bay at this restaurant next to Nationals Park. 

Salt Line DC bar

Mi Vida Restaurante

Corn cakes, tacos and churros are on the menu of this Wharf restaurant that offers plenty of seats with a water view. Sit on the ground floor patio or balcony overlooking District Pier.  

Hank's Oyster Bar

The newest Hank’s serves the usual oysters, lobster rolls and fried clams, but this location of the New England-style seafood houses pairs the food with harbor views.

Sequoia

Photo: Sequoia

One of DC’s earliest entries to the waterfront dining scene, the massive restaurant reopened last year after a multimillion-dollar renovation that added more art to the surroundings. 

Photo: Sequoia

La Vie

The recently opened luxurious Mediterranean restaurant at the Wharf offers a selection of spaces — a marble-laden formal dining room and bar, garden room and a terrace bar that overlooks the Potomac. 

Del Mar de Fabio Trabocchi

The newest restaurant from the Trabocchis, D.C. dining’s power couple, tackles Spanish cuisine with paella, tortilla Espanola and pan con tomate in a posh setting at the Wharf.

Fiola Mare

Fabio Trabocchi’s prime Georgetown waterfront location and sweeping river views help accent the sophisticated food. Fiola Mare is the seafood-centric sister restaurant to Chef Trabocchi’s much-lauded Fiola. The impressively wide range of raw and nearly-raw options includes everything from oysters on the half-shell to a Chesapeake Bay eel crudo. Entrees span from pastas (including Trabocchi’s famous lobster ravioli) to elaborate seafood preparations. 

Osteria Morini

The first upscale establishment to open at The Yards, this Northern Italian restaurant is brought to us by Chef Michael White of NYC. If the selection of meats, cheeses and pastas aren’t as appealing, try a hunk of meat either grilled or spit-roasted over their impressive wood-burning grill. The spacious patio that wraps around the front of the restaurant looks over the Yards Park lawn to the Anacostia. Desserts are worth seeking out as well.

Agua 301

Modern Mexican munchies, margaritas and a marine view? Yes, please. Located next to Osteria Morini in The Yards, the menu involves many different types of guacamoles, ceviches, empanadas, tacos, and other “bocaditos” (small bites), but also offers plenty of full-sized entrees if “shared plates” aren’t in the cards. Happy hour does not disappoint with over 50 tequilas and mezcals, signature cocktails, and of course, house-made margaritas. 

Farmers Fishers Bakers

The sister restaurant to the ever-popular Founding Farmers, this place does a great job of offering something for everyone. The menu jumps from pizzas to jambalayas to sushi and just about everything in between, with an emphasis on cocktails as well. The dessert shop churns out American classic treats like ice cream sandwiches and Hummingbird layer cake. And on weekday mornings, it doubles as First Bake, a gourmet coffee shop that helped bring the artisan toast movement to DC. From a seat on their huge patio, enjoy the dancing fountain show, or look right past it to the sparkling Potomac. It’s also a good stop for brunch, as long as buffets are appealing.

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