Best Seafood Restaurants in Washington, D.C.

March 12, 2014 9:00 AM


The District has so many great restaurants that it is hard to know where to go for the best dishes. Here is a compilation of the best seafood restaurants so you know where to go when craving a fresh seafood dish. These restaurants all offer a wide variety of seafood options, as well as different seafood preparations including raw, grilled, baked, steamed and so on. Even more notable is that all of them are committed to sustainable sourcing for seafood products, so that the seafood you enjoy will be fresher and have less of a detriment on the environment than seafood obtained from commercial sources.

BlackSalt Fish Market & Restaurant 
4883 MacArthur Blvd.
Washington, DC 20007
(202) 342-9101

BlackSalt Fish Market & Restaurant is known for having some of the best seafood in town. This friendly restaurant features an extensive fillet and shellfish selection for purchase, as well as a market menu that has everything from shrimp cocktail and stuffed clams to caviar. BlackSalt offers a Toscano Kale ‘Caesar’ Salad, Wood Roasted North Atlantic Swordfish, as well as many other hot and cold seafood dishes. So undoubtedly, any seafood desire you have will be satisfied.

Bistro Vivant
1394 Chain Bridge Road
McLean, VA 22101
(703) 356-1700

This charming Virginia restaurant focuses on traditional French cuisine, so you know it cooks its seafood with precision and technique. Enjoy items such as barley risotto, which is an earthy, woody risotto with crunchy almonds and fresh prawns, or diver sea scallops tossed with silky house made pappardelle in a classic Provencal sauce. Other seafood dishes on the menu include steamed mussels, lobster, wild salmon and even fresh octopus. Remember to order a bottle of French wine to complement your meal.

Farmers Fishers Bakers
3000 K St. N.W.
Washington, DC 20007
(202) 398-8783

This waterfront restaurant is the perfect setting for enjoying a great seafood lunch or dinner. The chefs and owners follows a strict farm-to-fork concept, so you can be sure that the seafood served is sustainably caught and delivered daily to the restaurant. The restaurant’s seafood menu “from their fishers” is as varied as the rest of the cuisine, with options ranging from fried shrimp, spaghetti and clams and diver scallops to fish tacos, seven different kinds of mussel pots and crab cake sandwiches. Farmers Fishers Bakers also has seafood jambalaya, seafood sandwiches and a daily seafood catch. Enjoy the dishes with one of its delicious craft cocktails, and save room for dessert.

Related: Best Hearty Soups In Washington DC

Tackle Box
3245 M St. N.W.
Washington, DC 20007
(202) 337-8269

This delightful self-proclaimed “lobster shack” is one of DC’s most endearing restaurants, with picnic benches, exposed brick walls and an exciting seafood menu. You can sample lobster rolls, fish tacos and clam chowder, all of which will make you feel like you are eating right on the beach with seafood that just came from the ocean. Sides include hush puppies, French fries, grilled corn and mac n cheese, and are just as plentiful as the tasty cocktails. See the website for more information about happy hour, private parties and its famous oyster challenge.

Related: Best Tacos In Washington DC

1789 Restaurant
1226 36th St. N.W.
Washington, DC 20007
(202) 965-1789

For a truly upscale seafood dining experience, 1789 is your place. All of the ingredients are sustainably raised and sourced “from their native regions,” so you can rest assured that your food is of the highest caliber. The menu at 1789 changes often, but recent items have included rockfish from Maryland, scallops from Cape May and sea bass from Florida. 1789 is perfect for a romantic date, but be sure to make a reservation because it gets booked up far in advance.

Priya Konings is a freelance writer and restaurant critic in Washington D.C. Her work can be found at

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