Worldwide icon-chevron-right North America icon-chevron-right United States icon-chevron-right Washington DC icon-chevron-right The best seafood restaurants in DC to devour fish and oysters in
Pearl Dive
Photograph: Scott Suchman Pearl Dive

The best seafood restaurants in DC to devour fish and oysters in

Looking for seafood restaurants in DC? Try these top catches, from raw bars to crab shacks to die for (and get messy in).

By Time Out editors and Holley Simmons
Advertising

There are plenty of fish in the sea, and just as many at the best seafood restaurants in D.C., specializing in oysters, crabs, lobster rolls and fish from splurge-worthy spots to your next cheap date idea. The District offers diners just-caught delicacies along the East Coast. And since cocktails and oysters are a natural match, many of these top establishments double as the most standout bars in DC. Still feeling fishy? Let the city’s best sushi restaurants lure you in for a visit.

Best seafood restaurants in DC

11
Old Ebbitt Grill, Bars, Washington DC
© Worn Creative, worncreative.com

Old Ebbitt Grill

3 out of 5 stars
Bars Downtown

Old Ebbitt Grill first opened in 1856 as a boarding house and, over the years, its more illustrious guests have included Presidents Grant, Johnson, Cleveland and Teddy Roosevelt. Just a block from the White House, it’s a popular place for the power lunch (in the main dining room, that is, not in the atrium). The two bars—one at the back, one at the front—are always packed, usually with men who ensure that no nubile young thing has to pay for her own drinks.

12
Oceanaire Seafood Room
Photograph: Courtesy Creative Commons/Flickr/inazakira

Oceanaire Seafood Room

3 out of 5 stars
Restaurants Seafood Penn Quarter

Much like the bad boy with a checkered past, we don’t recommend you fall in love with any one item at Oceanaire: The menu changes so frequently according to what’s freshest that you’re unlikely to see many repeats. One exception is the near-legendary New England clam chowder packed with cream and plump clams. Though there are a dozen locations of this restaurant sprinkled throughout the United States, Oceanaire stays sleek with an interior reminiscent of a cruise ship. Think paneled wood walls, swanky leather booths and marlins hung on the walls.

Advertising
13
Catch 15
Photograph: Courtesy Yelp/Catch 15

Catch 15

3 out of 5 stars
Restaurants Contemporary American Downtown

Grilled salmon, rockfish and tuna swim alongside oysters and Sicilian classics at Catch 15, an impressive newcomer downtown. Pasta is the clear star and dishes like spaghetti al frutti di mare (made with jumbo shrimp, scallops, calms, mussels in a spicy tomato sauce) and the fettuccine oceano (roasted lobster mean, shrimp and scallops in a lemon cream sauce) are worth smelling like garlic for the evening.

Photograph: Courtesy Yelp/Catch 15

14
Pop's SeaBar
Photograph: Courtesy Yelp/Kimberly L.

Pop's SeaBar

3 out of 5 stars
Restaurants

If you put your ear up to an orange crush at Pop’s, we swear you can hear waves crashing on the Jersey Shore. That’s a bit of an exaggeration, but we get strong ocean vibes every time we step into this this beachy Adams Morgan restaurant. Menu standouts include peel ’n’ eat shrimp, a fried oyster sandwich and fried smelts (tiny fish that go down as easily as boardwalk fries do). To kick things up a notch, order an oyster shooter, made with vodka, cocktail sauce, a squeeze of lemon and a fresh raw oyster.

Photograph: Courtesy Yelp/Kimberly L.

Advertising
15
Captain White Seafood City

Captain White Seafood City

3 out of 5 stars
Restaurants Seafood Main Avenue Waterfront

Captain White is located within the Maine Avenue Fish Market, a bustling DC institution teeming with seafood just-plucked from the ocean and bay. The market is the longest continually running market in the United States and Captain White is a major player. This stalwart hums with energy as fishmongers fling the day’s catch onto a bed of ice or corral anxious lobsters that can sense their fate. Captain White’s lets you pick your fish and cooks it to your liking on the spot. A tip: You’ll find some of the best prices for fresh crab in town here, so think twice before settling for that imitation stuff.

16
Luke's Lobster
Photograph: Courtesy Yelp/Luke's Lobster Penn Quarter

Luke's Lobster

3 out of 5 stars
Restaurants

The Penn Quarter outpost of this seafood shack marks the first location outside of New York. We’re honored to get our hands on the plump, juicy lobster meat that this Maine-style spot has become known for. Founded by a former lobsterman, Luke’s is fresh-obsessed and makes sure all of its fish are traceable back to the harbor from which they came. There’s also a second spot in Georgetown, where you can find the same buttery rolls overflowing with filler-free lobster, shrimp and crab.

Photograph: Courtesy Yelp/Luke's Lobster Penn Quarter

See the best seafood restaurants in America

Recommended

    You may also like

      Advertising