Washington, D.C. is home to some of the best seafood restaurants thanks to its location on the East Coast, surrounded by waters that are the source of fresh fish and seafood. These restaurants serve delicious fresh fish in various locations all over the DC metro area, and here are our picks on some of the very best seafood restaurants in DC.
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1. Pop’s Sea Bar
1817 Columbia Rd NW, Washington, DC 20009
This laid-back restaurant is a neighborhood seafood bar that serves fresh seafood prepared deliciously. The tasty oysters are fresh, and the peel and shrimp are flavored with a simple butter and spicy combination. Other memorable dishes are fried calamari and fried smelts prepared with pickled hot peppers to spice them up perfectly.
The sandwiches are filling, and crab cakes are fresh and tasty. The perfectly fried catfish comes with two vegetable sides, making it a delicious and filling platter. There is a sports bar which serves a wide range of drinks which is the perfect way to end the evening.
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2. Joe’s Seafood
750 15th St NW, Washington, DC 20005
Joe’s Seafood, Prime Steak and Stone Crab has been a staple in the DC seafood scene serving great fish-based meals. The star of the menu is the stone crab served with a complimenting house sauce that is perfect. The aged bone-in ribeye is tender while bursting with flavor and the crab-stuffed shrimps were fresh and seasoned perfectly.
The fish and chips are another great choice, and the lobster mac and cheese is a delicious surprise. The atmosphere in the eatery is relaxed, and the food is fresh, hot and perfectly seasoned, which makes it one of the Best Seafood Restaurants in DC.
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3. Fiola Mare
3050 K St NW, Washington, DC 20007
(202) 525 1402
Fiola Mare is an elegant seafood restaurant that is at the waterfront. The award-winning restaurant of the 2021 Michelin award is dedicated to sourcing sustainable seafood for its freshly prepared fish dishes. Some of the restaurant’s stand-out dishes include whole John Dory fish, smoked potato gnocchi with fresh Carolina shrimp, carved tableside, and the exceptionally prepared Miyazaki Wagyu beef, which comes with winter black truffle jus.
Other dishes served are crudos, seafood towers which cater to a range of tastes, fresh salads and tasty handmade pasta. The drinks menu is equally impressive, with great selections from different regions. This eatery is one of the Best Seafood Restaurants in DC.
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4. Tavern at Ivy City Smokehouse
1356 Okie St NE, Washington, DC 20002
The Tavern at Ivy City Smokehouse serves smoked seafood with the perfect balance of rich smokiness and delicate fresh fish flavor. This unique way of serving their meals has won them, loyal customers. The must-try smoked dishes include the Smoked-fish board, smoked salmon, shrimps, and lobsters. The other tasty dishes include the crab cake sandwich, cheeseburger, and fried shrimp.
The accompanying sauces are house-made, which makes them the perfect accompaniment to the fish dishes. There are also salads with the po boy shrimp cobb salad, a delightful pick. The drinks menu is pretty expansive, with a wine list, cocktails and beers on offer.
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5. Black Salt
4883 MacArthur Blvd., Washington, District of Columbia 20007
Black salt is a high-end restaurant that serves delectable seafood in an elegant setting. It is also a fish market, and after dining, you can buy some fish to carry home. The dishes served are fresh, and some of the entrees we had include Addie’s mussels that came in a perfectly seasoned broth.
Other fresh seafood is tender shrimp, baby octopus, swordfish, fried clams, and clam chowder served with caviar. The Fried Ipswich clams are a good choice, while the Provençal market stew is made with the fish of the day and flavored with saffron. Desserts include the lime pie, sesame seed tuille, blueberry compote and freshly whipped cream, all of which end the meal perfectly.
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950 New York Ave NW, Washington, DC 20001
Estuary is a seafood delight with dishes such as fried calamari which comes with chorizo mayonnaise, octopus which is flavorful, scallops, steak tartare and shrimp cocktail. Brussels sprouts. Other well-cooked dishes were the Salmon Tartare which came with breadsticks and served with old bay pimiento were exceptional.
The entrees such as cod, shishito peppers with burrata, the aged ribeye and blackened monkfish are delicious and served in generous portions. The desserts are delectable, and the drinks menu is impressive. The restaurant is located in Conrad and is an elegant eatery with excellent wait staff, and the whole experience is gratifying.
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7. Rappahannock Oyster Bar
1150 Maine Ave SW, Washington, DC 20024
Rappahannock Oyster Bar is a wonderful waterfront restaurant that serves signature fresh seafood dishes. Some of the favorites from their menu include their range of differently prepared oysters which are incredibly fresh, the catfish and chips, which were pretty good and other specialty meals that were enjoyable. The lobster rolls and the hamachi are other stellar seafood options.
The cocktails and wines are perfect accompaniments to the meal. There are also local and different beers available, and these are served with fresh seafood making it the ideal combination. The waterfront views are a perfect complement to the delicious food and relaxed atmosphere.
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8. Farmers Fishers Bakers
3000 K Street NW, Washington, DC
Farmers Fishers Bakers is a relaxed farmhouse-style restaurant that serves different kinds of seafood and other meat dishes such as chicken and steak. Their signature all-you-can-eat buffet has various foods such as eggs Benedict, house-cured ham, honey fried chicken, tacos, cinnamon rolls and sushi. This interesting combination is a wonderful blending of flavors and perfectly prepared meals.
Its Tiki cocktails are an attraction, with Signature tiki cocktails such as Tiki Enlightenment and 1703 Cocktail being favorites. The drinks menu includes a variety of local and international beers. The perfect seafood and tiki cocktails make this one of the best Seafood Restaurants in DC.
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9. The Imperial
2001 18th St NW, Washington, DC 20009
The Imperial is an elegant eatery and bar with beautiful decor, which makes eating here a pleasure. It has a comprehensive whiskey collection, some saying it is the largest in the west. For light meals, simple greens salad, a chicken sandwich with a salad, crab deviled eggs and escargot are great tasty options.
The seafood tower is exceptional, with the oysters being large and fresh, and the shrimp was perfectly seasoned. In addition, the smoked mussels completed this dish perfectly. In addition to the impressive whiskey menu, there are delicious cocktails, wines, and soft drinks that you can choose to accompany your meal.
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10. Bourbon Steak DC
2800 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20007
This Michelin star restaurant is one of the Best Seafood Restaurants in DC. It does not just serve fresh seafood, but also steak and other dishes. The seafood is fresh and delicately flavored, with great options being the Bounty tower, a mix of ceviche, Mussels, shrimps, scallops, tuna tartare, oysters, lobsters and house-made sauces, which compliments the dish perfectly. The ambiance and views are breathtaking, taking the dining experience a notch higher.
The A5 Kagoshima striploin deserves mention as it is perfectly prepared with all its juices still sealed in and tender and seasoned with herbs. There is an impressive drinks menu to choose the appropriate accompaniment to your meal.
11. Truluck’s Ocean’s Finest Seafood and Crab
700 K St NW, Washington, DC 20001
If you’re interested in great food and a top notch dining experience to match, Truluck’s is the place to be. The ambiance here is incredible, and their live music really sets the stage for a relaxing, meaningful night out. Start your four-course meal with your choice of a hot or cold appetizer; both the jumbo lump crab cake and the Hawaiian tuna crudo are so damn good. For your second course, the lobster bisque is a wonderful choice with a creamy base and lobster in every bite. For your main course you could go with a fish option like the Dutch yellowtail or a steak option like the prime rib. Truluck’s even has delicious vegan and vegetarian options. Finally, cure your sweet tooth with a slice of carrot cake before heading home for the evening!
12. Crab World Seafood
6450 Georgia Ave NW, Washington, DC 20012
Crab World Seafood is the perfect place to go to if you’re feeding a small army, aka your family. They have several different combo options that will let you try a little bit of everything and everyone will be completely satisfied. The family deluxe combo includes corn, potatoes, snow crab, clam, crawfish, shrimp, and black mussels. They also have specials every day of the week for that fresh seafood craving. Make sure to order the World Special sauce, it is delicious!
Another wonderful option in DC if you are craving some fresh seafood. It is lovely and spacious inside and they also have a comfortable patio outside. There are so many wonderful dishes on Grillfish’s menu from mussels and clams to pasta dishes, surf and turf and they even have vegan options. Come in early for happy hour and enjoy the delicious handcrafted cocktails from the bar as well as food options like shrimp tacos, blackened mahi fajitas, risotto balls and more.
14. Pearl Dive Oyster Palace
1612 14th St NW, Washington, DC 20009
If you’re a big fan of oysters you’re sure to love this spot, and even if you don’t care for them, you’ll still find something to love on this menu. For starters, they have half off oysters on Monday’s, and on Friday’s and Saturday’s they have a cool lounge upstairs you can dine in. As for the menu, they have so many delicious options like creole gumbo, burgers, blackened gulf swordfish, hanger steak, and more. There is no doubt that once you eat here, you’ll want to come back for more.
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15. The Salt Line
79 Potomac Ave SE, Washington, DC 20003
The Salt Line is one of the trendiest restaurants in Navy Yard. It’s an oyster and ale house with a New England influence. Their oysters are as fresh as can be, and they’re renowned for their lobster rolls, though when it’s not in season, you can count on suitable replacements like the Chesapeake Shrimp Roll.
Other delicious options include: the Baked Pimento Crab Dip, containing lump crab, Tillamook cheddar, and green Tabasco, and served with a side of Old Bay crab chips; the North Shore Roast Beef Sandwich, with BBQ sauce, horseradish cream, and American cheese on an onion roll; and their famous New England Smash Burger, with two thin patties, American cheese, lettuce, tomato, pickle, and mayo on a sesame bun.
Editor’s Note: This article was originally published on September 17, 2021 and last updated on April 20, 2022. Please refer to restaurant websites and social media pages for the most up-to-date information.