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The Imperial tower ($144) comes with 18 oysters, eight clams, six shrimp, smoked mussels, oysters rockefeller, whole lobster. and blue crab “Imperial”
The Imperial tower ($144) comes with 18 oysters, eight clams, six shrimp, smoked mussels, oysters rockefeller, whole lobster. and blue crab “Imperial”
Rey Lopez/Eater D.C.

Where to Splurge on Seafood Towers Around D.C.

D.C. loves to shell out for fancy shellfish

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The Imperial tower ($144) comes with 18 oysters, eight clams, six shrimp, smoked mussels, oysters rockefeller, whole lobster. and blue crab “Imperial”
| Rey Lopez/Eater D.C.

D.C. diners love to indulge, whether it be to impress a client, celebrate a special occasion, or just to flex. Shelling out big bucks for towering, multi-plate seafood platters from a raw bar is one of the best ways to splurge, especially considering local riches of oysters, clams, and other seafood. One of D.C.’s signature towers sank late in 2019, when Whaley’s closed in Navy Yard.

Here are 16 picks for some of the top towers around town:

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.
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PassionFish (Multiple Locations)

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At Jeff Tunks’s seafood-obsessed restaurant, choose between the "Big Daddy," with eight oysters, eight clams, eight prawns, crab cocktail, and a whole lobster, for $79, or the "Mini Me" version for $42.

Invite #BigDaddy over to the table tonight. #seafoodtower

Posted by PassionFish Bethesda on Friday, November 8, 2019

A Rake's Progress

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The menu changes frequently at this Chesapeake-focused, wood-burning restaurant at the top level of the converted church that house the Line hotel. But a board of Tidewater hams and a local seafood tower are signature components. A winter listing ($68) includes a dozen oysters, tuna crudo, smoked rockfish dip, and raw rockfish in the raw.

The Imperial

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This huge, super chic offshoot of Jack Rose in Adams Morgan has a raw bar to pair with vintage spirits and a cocktail menu full of low-proof and “cobblered” drinks. An Imperial tower ($144) comes with 18 oysters, eight clams, six shrimp, smoked mussels, oysters Rockefeller, a whole lobster, and blue crab Imperial.

The Imperial tower ($144) comes with 18 oysters, eight clams, six shrimp, smoked mussels, oysters rockefeller, whole lobster. and blue crab “Imperial”
The $144 Imperial tower
Rey Lopez/Eater D.C.

Randy's Prime Seafood & Steaks

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The namesake steakhouse for Great American Restaurants patriarch Randy Norton emphasizes the finer things: wagyu steaks, highly rated wines, and seafood on ice. Iced presentations range from a $37 platter to a $79 tower and a $128 “triple decker. The latter comes with 18 oysters, nine local Chincoteague, Virginia, clams, nine shrimp, mussels, tuna tartare, a 1-pound Maine lobster, blood orange mignonette and Grand Marnier aioli.

The bar at Randy’s Prime Seafood & Steaks has a bigger selection of spirits than most GAR restaurants.
The bar at Randy’s Prime
Rey Lopez/Eater D.C.

Le Diplomate

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For $160, get a stunning selection of East Coast oysters, West Coast oysters, Belon oysters, steamed BlueBay mussels, whole lobster cocktail, Domestic Snow crab, Alaskan king crab, Razor clams with curry vinaigrette and apple, Old bay dusted prawns, Jumbo lump crab, Hamachi crudo with cider reduction, Salmon tartare, littleneck clams, and top neck clams. It’s all served with red wine mignonette, cocktail sauce, and French cocktail sauce. Customers can also buy the petit plateau, aimed at serving up to three people, for $85.

A $140 seafood tower from Le Diplomate
A $140 seafood tower from Le Diplomate
Le Diplomate [official]

Hank's Oyster Bar (Multiple locations)

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The plateaus at Hank’s vary by location, but the always-hopping location right off 17th Street NW offers one with oysters, shrimp cocktail, ceviche, mussels escabeche, and chilled, steamed lobster in small ($49) and large ($89) sizes. Visitors with large appetites should proceed to order the lobster roll.

Hank’s [official]

King Street Oyster Bar

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NoMa’s new raw bar serves a “Mermaid Tower” ($74) with enough shellfish for two to four people. It piles on lobster cocktail, jumbo shrimp, raw oysters, middleneck clams, king crab legs, and jumbo lump crab.

Bourbon Steak DC

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Bourbon Steak's tower is a bounty of local and American seafood that changes depending on the season and the market. A typical tower might include tuna tartare, scallop ceviche, mussels, shrimp, lobster, oysters, and clams. Sauces include Champagne mignonette and a gin-spiked cocktail sauce. There’s a tasting option for $68 and a signature option for $162.

Bourbon Steak/official photo

Claudia's

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The Latin-leaning, scene-y downtown destination adorns “the Tower” with oysters, shrimp, lobster, jumbo lump crab, and ceviche. Dates can split a $110 medium tower (for two to three). There’s also a large option ($180) for four to six.

First Bite - Claudia’s Washington Post via Getty Images

BLT Steak

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Seal a business deal at lunch or dinner over a platter of oysters, littleneck clams, crab claws, shrimp, mussels, and a half-lobster ($69 for two, $103 for three).

Fiola Mare

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The glamorous Georgetown waterfront mainstay presents a plateau (ideal for one or two people) overflowing with East and West Coast oysters, clams, mussels, head-on prawns, langoustines, tuna tartare, and ceviche for $95. A bigger option for three to four diners ($150) brings lobster, sea urchin, and Alaskan king crab to the plate. Spanish-themed sister spot Del Mar on the Wharf also has an “Ibiza Seafood Tower” for $75.

Joe's Seafood, Prime Steak & Stone Crab

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"The Whale" at this packed power spot includes Alaskan king crab, lobster tail, jumbo shrimp cocktail, and shrimp and scallop ceviche. It’s a steal, at just $26.95.

Lettuce Entertain You Enterprises/Joe’s Seafood

Old Ebbitt Grill

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This big-ticket Orca Platter comes stocked with one 1-pound lobster, six Jonah crab claws, six clams, 24 oysters, and 12 shrimp for $164.99.. Pro tip: the two-tiered platter drops in price during Old Ebbit's Oyster Hour. It's half off between 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. and from 11 p.m. to 1 a.m. On Fridays and Saturdays, the deal extends to 2 a.m.

Old Ebbitt Grill [official]

Mastro's Steakhouse

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Options on this dramatically presented platter include chilled king crab legs, oysters, crab claws, and shrimp, all basking in a cloud of nitrogen smoke. The price varies depending on selected seafood.

Rappahannock Oyster Bar

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This recent addition to the Southwest Waterfront, located in a restored oyster shed steps away from the Maine Avenue fish market, has two seafood tower options. The Maine Ave ($50) comes with six oysters, four middleneck clams, tuna tartare, a seasonal crudo, smoked blue catfish, and shrimp cocktail. The Cadillac ($95) doubles up on portions.

The Salt Line

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Navy Yard’s acclaimed seafood spot loads up towers with oysters, clams, lobster, crab, shrimp, chef Kyle Bailey’s seafood charcuterie, and other “daily goodies” and accoutrements. “The Kraken” serves two to three ($100), and “the Leviathan” ($155) serves four to six. The brand, backed by longtime Nationals star Ryan Zimmerman, expands to Ballston this year.

Salt Line [official]

PassionFish (Multiple Locations)

At Jeff Tunks’s seafood-obsessed restaurant, choose between the "Big Daddy," with eight oysters, eight clams, eight prawns, crab cocktail, and a whole lobster, for $79, or the "Mini Me" version for $42.

Invite #BigDaddy over to the table tonight. #seafoodtower

Posted by PassionFish Bethesda on Friday, November 8, 2019

A Rake's Progress

The menu changes frequently at this Chesapeake-focused, wood-burning restaurant at the top level of the converted church that house the Line hotel. But a board of Tidewater hams and a local seafood tower are signature components. A winter listing ($68) includes a dozen oysters, tuna crudo, smoked rockfish dip, and raw rockfish in the raw.

The Imperial

The Imperial tower ($144) comes with 18 oysters, eight clams, six shrimp, smoked mussels, oysters rockefeller, whole lobster. and blue crab “Imperial”
The $144 Imperial tower
Rey Lopez/Eater D.C.

This huge, super chic offshoot of Jack Rose in Adams Morgan has a raw bar to pair with vintage spirits and a cocktail menu full of low-proof and “cobblered” drinks. An Imperial tower ($144) comes with 18 oysters, eight clams, six shrimp, smoked mussels, oysters Rockefeller, a whole lobster, and blue crab Imperial.

The Imperial tower ($144) comes with 18 oysters, eight clams, six shrimp, smoked mussels, oysters rockefeller, whole lobster. and blue crab “Imperial”
The $144 Imperial tower
Rey Lopez/Eater D.C.

Randy's Prime Seafood & Steaks

The bar at Randy’s Prime Seafood & Steaks has a bigger selection of spirits than most GAR restaurants.
The bar at Randy’s Prime
Rey Lopez/Eater D.C.

The namesake steakhouse for Great American Restaurants patriarch Randy Norton emphasizes the finer things: wagyu steaks, highly rated wines, and seafood on ice. Iced presentations range from a $37 platter to a $79 tower and a $128 “triple decker. The latter comes with 18 oysters, nine local Chincoteague, Virginia, clams, nine shrimp, mussels, tuna tartare, a 1-pound Maine lobster, blood orange mignonette and Grand Marnier aioli.

The bar at Randy’s Prime Seafood & Steaks has a bigger selection of spirits than most GAR restaurants.
The bar at Randy’s Prime
Rey Lopez/Eater D.C.

Le Diplomate

A $140 seafood tower from Le Diplomate
A $140 seafood tower from Le Diplomate
Le Diplomate [official]

For $160, get a stunning selection of East Coast oysters, West Coast oysters, Belon oysters, steamed BlueBay mussels, whole lobster cocktail, Domestic Snow crab, Alaskan king crab, Razor clams with curry vinaigrette and apple, Old bay dusted prawns, Jumbo lump crab, Hamachi crudo with cider reduction, Salmon tartare, littleneck clams, and top neck clams. It’s all served with red wine mignonette, cocktail sauce, and French cocktail sauce. Customers can also buy the petit plateau, aimed at serving up to three people, for $85.

A $140 seafood tower from Le Diplomate
A $140 seafood tower from Le Diplomate
Le Diplomate [official]

Hank's Oyster Bar (Multiple locations)

Hank’s [official]

The plateaus at Hank’s vary by location, but the always-hopping location right off 17th Street NW offers one with oysters, shrimp cocktail, ceviche, mussels escabeche, and chilled, steamed lobster in small ($49) and large ($89) sizes. Visitors with large appetites should proceed to order the lobster roll.

Hank’s [official]

King Street Oyster Bar

NoMa’s new raw bar serves a “Mermaid Tower” ($74) with enough shellfish for two to four people. It piles on lobster cocktail, jumbo shrimp, raw oysters, middleneck clams, king crab legs, and jumbo lump crab.

Bourbon Steak DC

Bourbon Steak/official photo

Bourbon Steak's tower is a bounty of local and American seafood that changes depending on the season and the market. A typical tower might include tuna tartare, scallop ceviche, mussels, shrimp, lobster, oysters, and clams. Sauces include Champagne mignonette and a gin-spiked cocktail sauce. There’s a tasting option for $68 and a signature option for $162.

Bourbon Steak/official photo

Claudia's

First Bite - Claudia’s Washington Post via Getty Images

The Latin-leaning, scene-y downtown destination adorns “the Tower” with oysters, shrimp, lobster, jumbo lump crab, and ceviche. Dates can split a $110 medium tower (for two to three). There’s also a large option ($180) for four to six.

First Bite - Claudia’s Washington Post via Getty Images

BLT Steak

Seal a business deal at lunch or dinner over a platter of oysters, littleneck clams, crab claws, shrimp, mussels, and a half-lobster ($69 for two, $103 for three).

Fiola Mare

The glamorous Georgetown waterfront mainstay presents a plateau (ideal for one or two people) overflowing with East and West Coast oysters, clams, mussels, head-on prawns, langoustines, tuna tartare, and ceviche for $95. A bigger option for three to four diners ($150) brings lobster, sea urchin, and Alaskan king crab to the plate. Spanish-themed sister spot Del Mar on the Wharf also has an “Ibiza Seafood Tower” for $75.

Joe's Seafood, Prime Steak & Stone Crab

Lettuce Entertain You Enterprises/Joe’s Seafood

"The Whale" at this packed power spot includes Alaskan king crab, lobster tail, jumbo shrimp cocktail, and shrimp and scallop ceviche. It’s a steal, at just $26.95.

Lettuce Entertain You Enterprises/Joe’s Seafood

Old Ebbitt Grill

Old Ebbitt Grill [official]

This big-ticket Orca Platter comes stocked with one 1-pound lobster, six Jonah crab claws, six clams, 24 oysters, and 12 shrimp for $164.99.. Pro tip: the two-tiered platter drops in price during Old Ebbit's Oyster Hour. It's half off between 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. and from 11 p.m. to 1 a.m. On Fridays and Saturdays, the deal extends to 2 a.m.

Old Ebbitt Grill [official]

Mastro's Steakhouse

Options on this dramatically presented platter include chilled king crab legs, oysters, crab claws, and shrimp, all basking in a cloud of nitrogen smoke. The price varies depending on selected seafood.

Rappahannock Oyster Bar

This recent addition to the Southwest Waterfront, located in a restored oyster shed steps away from the Maine Avenue fish market, has two seafood tower options. The Maine Ave ($50) comes with six oysters, four middleneck clams, tuna tartare, a seasonal crudo, smoked blue catfish, and shrimp cocktail. The Cadillac ($95) doubles up on portions.

Related Maps

The Salt Line

Salt Line [official]

Navy Yard’s acclaimed seafood spot loads up towers with oysters, clams, lobster, crab, shrimp, chef Kyle Bailey’s seafood charcuterie, and other “daily goodies” and accoutrements. “The Kraken” serves two to three ($100), and “the Leviathan” ($155) serves four to six. The brand, backed by longtime Nationals star Ryan Zimmerman, expands to Ballston this year.

Salt Line [official]

Related Maps