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Fresh seafood at Blacksalt.
Blacksalt/Facebook

D.C.’s Essential Seafood Restaurants

Feast on crabcakes, clams, oysters, and more

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Fresh seafood at Blacksalt.
| Blacksalt/Facebook

Rockfish, crabcakes, oysters. D.C. really knows how to deliver when it comes to seafood.

While seafood restaurants with expense account prices dominate downtown, an increasing number of casual eateries and seafood shacks have popped up in recent years. Here are the best seafood restaurants the city has to offer.

For those specifically honing in on sushi, check out this map.

The featured bars and restaurants are not ranked. They are arranged geographically from north to south.

Don’t see a personal favorite on the list? Sound off in the comments or shoot us an email (dc@eater.com).

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. Fishnet

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5010 Berwyn Rd
College Park, MD 20740
(301) 220-1070
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Chef Ferhat Yalçin’s Shaw restaurant sadly is no more. But fans of the chef’s approach to fresh seafood can still get it in a casual atmosphere at this College Park fish shack. Fishnet serves simple dishes here like fish tacos and fish and chips, plus daily catch specials.

Fish tacos at Fishnet.
Fishnet/Facebook

2. Crisfield

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8012 Georgia Ave
Silver Spring, MD 20910
(301) 589-1306
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Sliding behind the counter at this 70-year-old, family-run restaurant is like stepping into a time machine. While others have come and gone this local fixture continues to provide seafood lovers with all manner of marine life including raw oysters, tangy shrimp salad, Norfolk-style selections baptized in butter, fried softshell crabs sandwiches (in season), and more. Like it spicy? Ask a server for some of the hot sauce bar staff mixes up from time to time.

A seafood platter at Crisfield.
Crystal J./Yelp

3. Pop's Seabar

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1817 Columbia Rd NW
Washington, DC 20009
(202) 534-3933
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Memories of the Jersey Shore convinced chef John Manolato to open this Adams Morgan restaurant. Here, the chef serves peel-and-eat shrimp, crab cakes, and oysters, alongside a few non-fish items — including Jersey staple Taylor pork roll. Diners wash down the Old Bay-spiked dishes with grapefruit and orange crushes.

Shrimp at Pop’s Seabar.
Pop’s Seabar/Facebook

4. Johnny's Half Shell

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2005, 1819 Columbia Rd NW
Washington, DC 20009
(202) 506-5257
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This cherished D.C. restaurant has a storied history, relocating to its current home in Adams Morgan after years on Capitol Hill. It’s now the place to find James Beard Foundation Award-winning chef Ann Cashion’s refined seafood dishes such as broiled fluke, salmon two ways with caviar, grilled rockfish, and a fine gumbo.

Seafood stew at Johnny’s Half Shell.
Johnny’s Half Shell/Facebook

5. Blacksalt

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4883 MacArthur Blvd NW
Washington, DC 20007
(202) 342-9101
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This longtime Palisades restaurant serves as both a restaurant and a fish market for the neighborhood. Entrees from chef Rob Campbell typically capitalize on what’s freshest that day. Dishes like fried clams and clam chowder appear alongside grilled baby octopus and a selection of caviar.

A salmon dish at Blacksalt.
Blacksalt/Facebook

6. Ivy City Smokehouse

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1356 Okie St NE
Washington, DC 20002
(202) 529-3300
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This neighborhood tavern is an extension of the smokehouse and production facility of local seafood company Profish, which means products here are never frozen. The smoked fish platter has already become an iconic appetizer around town, but Ivy City also offers one of the city’s best crabcakes. Crab feasts and a nice patio make this place even more appealing in the warmer months.

Shrimp from Ivy City Smokehouse.
Ivy City Smokehouse/Facebook

7. Hank's Oyster Bar (Multiple locations)

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1624 Q St NW
Washington, DC 20009
(202) 462-4265
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Homegrown chain Hank’s Oyster Bar from chef Jamie Leeds dishes out lobster rolls, mussels, and fried clams in a festive, casual atmosphere. They even have their own variety of oyster cultivated for them.

A lobster roll at Hank’s Oyster Bar
Hank’s Oyster Bar/Facebook

8. Rappahannock Oyster Bar

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1309 5th St NE
Washington, DC 20002
(202) 544-4702
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This Virginia-based restaurant company first came on the D.C. scene with this bar inside Union Market, which is a fun and relaxing place to order some oysters and a glass of wine, and people-watch. Next up: opening a waterfront oyster bar at the emerging Wharf complex in 2018.

Oysters from Rappahannock Oyster Bar
Rappahannock Oyster Bar/Facebook

9. Siren

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1515 Rhode Island Ave NW
Washington, DC 20005
(202) 521-7171
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This relatively new addition to the D.C. seafood scene is from award-winning restaurateur Robert Wiedmaier (Brasserie Beck, Marcel’s), with former Brine chef John Critchley in the kitchen. The chef offers a full caviar menu, a selection of raw and slightly cooked dishes, plus full seafood plates like grilled swordfish and caramelized black cod.

Yellowfin tuna and yellowtail from Siren.
Siren/Facebook

10. Fiola Mare

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3050 K St NW
Washington, DC 20007
(202) 628-0065
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Chef Fabio Trabocchi now has two seafood-focused places to choose from. While Wharf newcomer Del Mar offers shellfish-studded, Spanish paella along the southwest waterfront, Fiola Mare has been serving a stylish crowd at another waterfront (this one in Georgetown) since 2014. Both are splurge spots: here, consider a variety of crudo dishes, seafood brodetto, or the simply grilled seafood selection.

Bucatini with seafood at Fiola Mare.
Fiola Mare/Facebook

11. Horace & Dickie's

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809 12th St NE
Washington, DC 20002
(202) 397-6040
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This Atlas District mainstay has been feeding locals fried seafood — with a particular emphasis on crispy whiting — for nearly three decades. It’s primarily a carry-out, and stays open lat.

Fried fish at Horace & Dickie’s.
Rey Lopez/Eater DC

12. Joe's Seafood, Prime Steak & Stone Crab

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750 15th St NW
Washington, DC 20005
(202) 489-0140
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This Miami favorite made its way to D.C. where it cemented itself as a power restaurant near the White House. It serves stone crab claws and high-end fish and shellfish options to the downtown Washington crowd. Snacks are discounted at cocktail hour, but those deals aren’t as seafood-focused as the regular menu.

Stone crab at Joe’s in D.C.
Joe's Seafood, Prime Steak & Stone Crab/Facebook

13. Maine Avenue Fish Market

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1100 Maine Ave SW
Washington, DC 20024
(202) 484-2722
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This historic hub for fresh seafood (both cooked and raw) is changing due to the construction at the neighboring Wharf development, but vendors such as Jessie Taylor Seafood, the Virgo Fish House, and Captain White’s Seafood City continue bringing the best of the sea to D.C. Find blue crabs, scallops, catch of the day deals, and terrific fried chicken at the various stalls.

Maine Avene Fish Market at night
Jenny H./Yelp

14. Whaley's

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301 Water St SE ste 115
Washington, DC 20003
(202) 484-8800
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This bright and airy restaurant along the waterfront in Navy Yard boasts a charming patio during the warmer months (not to mention an outdoor “rose garden”). Inside, find epic seafood towers, pristine crudos, and seasonal preparations of cod and scallops year-round.

A seafood tower at Whaley’s.
Mer R./Yelp

15. Salt Line

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79 Potomac Ave SE
Washington, DC 20003
(202) 506-2368
Visit Website

Chef Kyle Bailey oversees this Navy Yard eatery, which draws in large crowds on game days at Nationals Park (a spacious outdoor bar that spins out raw oysters, summery drinks, and fried clams helps). The restaurant draws its influences from New England, with a menu of crispy rockfish, oysters, and monkfish saltimbocca.

Rockfish from the Salt Line.
Salt Line [Official photo]

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1. Fishnet

5010 Berwyn Rd, College Park, MD 20740
Fish tacos at Fishnet.
Fishnet/Facebook

Chef Ferhat Yalçin’s Shaw restaurant sadly is no more. But fans of the chef’s approach to fresh seafood can still get it in a casual atmosphere at this College Park fish shack. Fishnet serves simple dishes here like fish tacos and fish and chips, plus daily catch specials.

5010 Berwyn Rd
College Park, MD 20740

2. Crisfield

8012 Georgia Ave, Silver Spring, MD 20910
A seafood platter at Crisfield.
Crystal J./Yelp

Sliding behind the counter at this 70-year-old, family-run restaurant is like stepping into a time machine. While others have come and gone this local fixture continues to provide seafood lovers with all manner of marine life including raw oysters, tangy shrimp salad, Norfolk-style selections baptized in butter, fried softshell crabs sandwiches (in season), and more. Like it spicy? Ask a server for some of the hot sauce bar staff mixes up from time to time.

8012 Georgia Ave
Silver Spring, MD 20910

3. Pop's Seabar

1817 Columbia Rd NW, Washington, DC 20009
Shrimp at Pop’s Seabar.
Pop’s Seabar/Facebook

Memories of the Jersey Shore convinced chef John Manolato to open this Adams Morgan restaurant. Here, the chef serves peel-and-eat shrimp, crab cakes, and oysters, alongside a few non-fish items — including Jersey staple Taylor pork roll. Diners wash down the Old Bay-spiked dishes with grapefruit and orange crushes.

1817 Columbia Rd NW
Washington, DC 20009

4. Johnny's Half Shell

2005, 1819 Columbia Rd NW, Washington, DC 20009
Seafood stew at Johnny’s Half Shell.
Johnny’s Half Shell/Facebook

This cherished D.C. restaurant has a storied history, relocating to its current home in Adams Morgan after years on Capitol Hill. It’s now the place to find James Beard Foundation Award-winning chef Ann Cashion’s refined seafood dishes such as broiled fluke, salmon two ways with caviar, grilled rockfish, and a fine gumbo.

2005, 1819 Columbia Rd NW
Washington, DC 20009

5. Blacksalt

4883 MacArthur Blvd NW, Washington, DC 20007
A salmon dish at Blacksalt.
Blacksalt/Facebook

This longtime Palisades restaurant serves as both a restaurant and a fish market for the neighborhood. Entrees from chef Rob Campbell typically capitalize on what’s freshest that day. Dishes like fried clams and clam chowder appear alongside grilled baby octopus and a selection of caviar.

4883 MacArthur Blvd NW
Washington, DC 20007

6. Ivy City Smokehouse

1356 Okie St NE, Washington, DC 20002
Shrimp from Ivy City Smokehouse.
Ivy City Smokehouse/Facebook

This neighborhood tavern is an extension of the smokehouse and production facility of local seafood company Profish, which means products here are never frozen. The smoked fish platter has already become an iconic appetizer around town, but Ivy City also offers one of the city’s best crabcakes. Crab feasts and a nice patio make this place even more appealing in the warmer months.

1356 Okie St NE
Washington, DC 20002

7. Hank's Oyster Bar (Multiple locations)

1624 Q St NW, Washington, DC 20009
A lobster roll at Hank’s Oyster Bar
Hank’s Oyster Bar/Facebook

Homegrown chain Hank’s Oyster Bar from chef Jamie Leeds dishes out lobster rolls, mussels, and fried clams in a festive, casual atmosphere. They even have their own variety of oyster cultivated for them.

1624 Q St NW
Washington, DC 20009

8. Rappahannock Oyster Bar

1309 5th St NE, Washington, DC 20002
Oysters from Rappahannock Oyster Bar
Rappahannock Oyster Bar/Facebook

This Virginia-based restaurant company first came on the D.C. scene with this bar inside Union Market, which is a fun and relaxing place to order some oysters and a glass of wine, and people-watch. Next up: opening a waterfront oyster bar at the emerging Wharf complex in 2018.

1309 5th St NE
Washington, DC 20002

9. Siren

1515 Rhode Island Ave NW, Washington, DC 20005
Yellowfin tuna and yellowtail from Siren.
Siren/Facebook

This relatively new addition to the D.C. seafood scene is from award-winning restaurateur Robert Wiedmaier (Brasserie Beck, Marcel’s), with former Brine chef John Critchley in the kitchen. The chef offers a full caviar menu, a selection of raw and slightly cooked dishes, plus full seafood plates like grilled swordfish and caramelized black cod.

1515 Rhode Island Ave NW
Washington, DC 20005

10. Fiola Mare

3050 K St NW, Washington, DC 20007
Bucatini with seafood at Fiola Mare.
Fiola Mare/Facebook

Chef Fabio Trabocchi now has two seafood-focused places to choose from. While Wharf newcomer Del Mar offers shellfish-studded, Spanish paella along the southwest waterfront, Fiola Mare has been serving a stylish crowd at another waterfront (this one in Georgetown) since 2014. Both are splurge spots: here, consider a variety of crudo dishes, seafood brodetto, or the simply grilled seafood selection.

3050 K St NW
Washington, DC 20007

11. Horace & Dickie's

809 12th St NE, Washington, DC 20002
Fried fish at Horace & Dickie’s.
Rey Lopez/Eater DC

This Atlas District mainstay has been feeding locals fried seafood — with a particular emphasis on crispy whiting — for nearly three decades. It’s primarily a carry-out, and stays open lat.

809 12th St NE
Washington, DC 20002

12. Joe's Seafood, Prime Steak & Stone Crab

750 15th St NW, Washington, DC 20005
Stone crab at Joe’s in D.C.
Joe's Seafood, Prime Steak & Stone Crab/Facebook

This Miami favorite made its way to D.C. where it cemented itself as a power restaurant near the White House. It serves stone crab claws and high-end fish and shellfish options to the downtown Washington crowd. Snacks are discounted at cocktail hour, but those deals aren’t as seafood-focused as the regular menu.

750 15th St NW
Washington, DC 20005

13. Maine Avenue Fish Market

1100 Maine Ave SW, Washington, DC 20024
Maine Avene Fish Market at night
Jenny H./Yelp

This historic hub for fresh seafood (both cooked and raw) is changing due to the construction at the neighboring Wharf development, but vendors such as Jessie Taylor Seafood, the Virgo Fish House, and Captain White’s Seafood City continue bringing the best of the sea to D.C. Find blue crabs, scallops, catch of the day deals, and terrific fried chicken at the various stalls.

1100 Maine Ave SW
Washington, DC 20024

14. Whaley's

301 Water St SE ste 115, Washington, DC 20003
A seafood tower at Whaley’s.
Mer R./Yelp

This bright and airy restaurant along the waterfront in Navy Yard boasts a charming patio during the warmer months (not to mention an outdoor “rose garden”). Inside, find epic seafood towers, pristine crudos, and seasonal preparations of cod and scallops year-round.

301 Water St SE ste 115
Washington, DC 20003

15. Salt Line

79 Potomac Ave SE, Washington, DC 20003
Rockfish from the Salt Line.
Salt Line [Official photo]

Chef Kyle Bailey oversees this Navy Yard eatery, which draws in large crowds on game days at Nationals Park (a spacious outdoor bar that spins out raw oysters, summery drinks, and fried clams helps). The restaurant draws its influences from New England, with a menu of crispy rockfish, oysters, and monkfish saltimbocca.

79 Potomac Ave SE
Washington, DC 20003

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