Catch a Great Meal at One of DC’s 10 Best Seafood Restaurants

Fish up something good

June 4, 2024 8:00 am
Estuary's dining room, including an open kitchen.
Estuary's dining room, including an open kitchen.
Courtesy of Conrad Washington, DC

Being so close to so many different bodies of water puts the District in a unique position to reap the benefits. Seafood restaurants in D.C. are among some of the city’s finest dining in terms of cost and overall experience. Few things feel more luxurious or extravagant than sitting down to fresh oysters or fish, resulting in memorable flavors and tastes. We’re also lucky that a bountiful harvest allows local chefs to go in a number of different ways, resulting in restaurants that are uniquely their own and all worth trying. So the next time you desire a fresh catch, make sure you’re visiting one of D.C.’s 10 best seafood restaurants.

Cucina Morini

Mount Vernon

The coastal touches of Southern Italy inspire Chef Matt Adler’s newest concept, which focuses on the pasta he’s made his name off of at Osteria Morini but with a fishy flare. With an extensive crudi selection alongside bigger dishes like baked black bass, Sicilian seafood soup, pan-seared scallops and more, Morini marks an exciting new chapter for Alder’s long-running D.C. tenure.

901 4th St NW

Estuary's dining room, including an open kitchen.
Estuary’s dining room, including an open kitchen.
Courtesy of Conrad Washington, DC



Nestled inside the Hilton’s Conrad hotel is Estuary, which is focused on providing a bountiful assortment of river-based dishes fitting of its namesake. Helmed by chef Rita Montes (formerly of the Line’s A Rake’s Progress), the seafood space includes a rotating selection of whole fish, lobsters, salmon and more. Fun selections include natural nautical accompaniments like Old Bay fries, roasted oysters and seared tuna. 

950 New York Ave NW

Fiole Mare's "Seafood Tower."
Fiole Mare’s “Seafood Tower.”
Greg Powers

Fiola Mare


I think I’ve lost track of the number of times I’ve recommended Fiola Mare in various roundups over the last few months, but it’s for a good reason: it is one of the best restaurants in the city — seafood or otherwise. Inspired by chef Fabio Trbocchi’s love of the Italian coastlines, the seasonal menu always brings bold new interpretations of seafood classics, whether it’s an extensive selection of caviar, swanky seafood towers or even exciting pasta dishes. Pair those excellent dishes with scenic views of the Potomac at Georgetown’s waterfront and you’ve got a must-see food experience (get it?)

3100 K St NW

Reverie's main dining room, including an open kitchen.
Reverie’s main dining room, including an open kitchen.
Rey Lopez



Reverie is officially back after a devastating fire in 2022 and arguably better than ever. The Michelin star-winning restaurant returned to quiet Georgetown Alley a few months ago, once again under the guidance of wunderkind chef Johnny Spero. It brought with it all kinds of new ideas and inspiration in a smaller, more intimate space that’s not to be missed. The tasting menu includes an impressive 10-14 courses that are decidedly seafood-forward. 

3201 Cherry Hill Ln

Hank’s Oyster Bar

Dupont Circle / The Wharf

Hank’s Oyster Bar is such a beloved D.C. institution that both locations are well worth visiting for decidedly different reasons. The Wharf location features gorgeous views alongside the bustling atmosphere of the area, while the Dupont Circle location makes for a great post-work pit stop. Either way, it’s the little details — like the pre-dinner Goldfish or the post-dinner chocolates — that set Hank’s apart and make it such a great space to return to over and over again. A personal favorite? You can’t go wrong with the oyster po’boy.

1624 Q St NW STE 100 // 701 Wharf St SW

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While BlackSalt has a rather extensive market area to it, there’s an adjacent restaurant that stands up alongside the other best seafood spots in town. The market isn’t the only interesting part about it, as the restaurant itself specializes in a wide variety of seafood dishes, from oysters, caviar and seafood towers to stunningly tasty mussel preparations. You might be so inspired by what you eat that you’ll want to take something home with you from the market to give it a go on your own. 

4883 MacArthur Blvd NW

Joe's "Prime Steak and Stone Crab Dinner Spread."
Joe’s “Prime Steak and Stone Crab Dinner Spread.”
Courtesy of Lettuce Entertain You

Joe’s Seafood, Prime Steak & Stone Crab


Sure, Joe’s is a bit of a national chain, but just because you’re from out of town doesn’t mean you can’t make a strong impression — especially with a stunning space just a few steps away from the White House. Known for its stone crab, Joe’s has plenty of other seafood dishes alongside plenty of turf options, too.

750 15th St NW

The Salt Line

Navy Yard

New England-style eatery The Salt Line feels like someone took an old seafood shack, spruced it up and then dropped it an opening pitch away from Nationals Park. The Navy Yard joint is not only great to keep the party going post-Nats game, but a wonderful gathering spot writ large. I’ve spent plenty a fall night sitting on the outdoor patio bar having a zesty drink alongside delicious oysters. But the interior is nothing to scoff at either — particularly the interior bar, which serves as a welcoming gathering spot. 

79 Potomac Ave SE

Del Mar

The Wharf

If you love Fiola Mare and haven’t had the chance to visit Del Mar yet, you’re doing yourself a disservice. Drawing inspiration from Spanish takes on seafood, the entire concept and space reflect that ideology, down to the seasonal tapas and signature paellas. While the seafood is great, there are also bold cocktails like red bell pepper-infused mezcal — and even a stunning selection of fine jamon-related dishes.

791 Wharf St SW

Ivy City Smokehouse

Ivy City

Don’t let its name fool you; Ivy City Smokehouse is decidedly a seafood joint with a slightly different approach. A number of smoked seafood dishes populate the menu, offering flavorful approaches to salmon, trout and more. The result offers a richness of flavor that’s expected and continually engaging. 

1356 Okie St NE


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