Waterfront Dining in the DC Area
What’s better than dinner or drinks on the water? We are fortunate to live a stone’s throw from the Potomac River, which provides countless options for waterfront dining in the DC area. Here is a round-up of our team’s favorites!
IN THE DISTRICT – SW WATERFRONT
After going under some renovations and remodeling, the Southwest Waterfront has become “the” place to go! This part of D.C. is for all ages. There’s everything from an awesome splash pool for little kids, Nats games for the family, and even a rosé garden at Whaley’s for adults. The Southwest Waterfront also has some great new construction options if you’re looking to live on the water; learn more about our Director of Sales, Sara Melander‘s, visit to The Wharf. The developers have done a phenomenal job with making the SW Waterfront a great place to go for waterfront dining in the DC area.
600 Water Street, SW
Looking for a lively place to catch a drink on the DC waterfront? Cantina Marina is the perfect spot for you! With its energetic atmosphere, it is a great place to catch up with friends while enjoying drinks or dinner. Cantina Marina’s menu specialties include fried seafood baskets and fish tacos. Make sure you try the Corona-rita or one of their many different varieties of margaritas. With daily drink specials, each day offers a deal that can’t be beat! The Cantina Marina also offers private events on its 30’ by 80’ dock that can hold up to 250 people.
The Salt Line
79 Potomac Avenue, SE
The new Salt Line restaurant and bar “brings New England and the Chesapeake together.” The Salt Line, or where fresh and salt water meet, is also the ideal place for harvesting oysters. So be sure to try The Sale Line’s fabulous Raw Bar menu with plentiful oyster options or its “Seafood Charcuterie,” with swordfish mortadella, shrimp linguica, cold smoked arctic lobster, smoked trout salad, and mojama. The Salt Line restaurant’s outdoor patio seats 100 and includes its own bar. The Salt Line opens 90 minutes before every Nationals home day game; check it out the next time you’re headed to Nats Park.
301 Water Street SE #109
Osteria Morini is a casual restaurant with an authentic Italian vibe. Try its terrific “Lunch at the Bar” special: house-made pasta plus house wine or tap beer for only $15. Its gnocchi is delicious, made with ricotta, pomodoro sauce, and basil. Save room for the albricocche, an apricot mousse cake. for dessert. Enjoy a breathtaking view of the Potomac while feasting on some fine Italian cuisine!
301 Water Street SE #115
Seafood-centric Whaley’s features a large bar and a 44-seat dining room. Whaley’s outdoor patio seating faces the riverfront and nearby Yards Park. Be sure to visit Whaley’s Rosé Garden, with an outdoor bar river views. The Rosé Garden features 10 different rosé wines, plus frozen drinks and cocktails, including the #1, made with Sparkling Rose, St. Germaine, Cana Brava Rum & grapefruit. Be sure to try the Old Bay Chips or Hush Puppies on the Happy Hour menu…yum!
IN OLD TOWN
5 Cameron Street
Waterfront dining doesn’t get any better than Blackwall Hitch! With its coastal inspired interior and fabulous waterfront location, you will feel like you’re on vacation here. Its expansive patio with Potomac views offers welcoming, comfy chairs and sofas and fire pit coffee tables. It’s one of Susan’s favorites!
With locally sourced food and drink, you will enjoy amazingly fresh seafood, sandwiches, salads, and flatbreads. Be sure to try its signature dessert, the Smith Island Cake, a rich 8-10 layer yellow cake slathered in frosting! Just want a drink? Stop by for one of Blackwall Hitch’s specialty cocktails, like the Blackberry Bourbonade or Grapefruit Wine Crush. Blackwall Hitch also offers a fabulous lineup of great local music.
101 N. Union Street
With 60 seats on its outdoor patio, Vola’s Dockside is the perfect spot for outdoor dining and people watching along the Old Town waterfront. Try Vola’s retro Hi Tide Lounge for its line up of classic cocktails and frozen drinks. Seafood lovers will be in heaven at Vola’s, with its menu offerings from fish tacos to mahi mahi, from shrimp burgers to conch fritters. Be sure to try the key lime pie for that true island experience! They also serve brunch at Vola’s which is fabulous as well!
220 South Union Street
The Chart House
1 Cameron Street
There’s no better seat for waterfront dining in the DC area than at The Chart House! Known nationally for its amazing seafood, The Chart House will delight seafood lovers and wine connoisseurs alike – check out its extensive wine list here. Stop by on a Wednesday for The Chart House’s $10 “Pour and Explore” special – an exotic drink and appetizer pairing such as the Lobster Spring Roll and Mango Mojito — you’ll be instantly transported to the Caribbean!
Virtue Feed & Grain
106 S. Union Street
Enjoy Virtue Feed & Grain’s lovely outdoor patio steps from the Old Town waterfront. If you prefer to be indoors, ask for a seat in the 2nd floor screened in area. Virtue, housed in a historic 1800s feed house, offers a modern menu (think Duck Meatloaf) that will delight any foodie. Be sure to start off with the divine mezze platter, with avocado hummus, muhammara, marinated olives, and pickled vegetables. Wash it down with the “Virtue Martini” made with Stolichnaya vodka, St. Germain, strawberry coulis, sparkling wine, and basil.
IN THE DISTRICT – GEORGETOWN
2650 Virginia Avenue, NW
Located in the legendary Watergate Hotel, the new Kingbird restaurant offers fine American cuisine, with a French take. Chef Michael Santoro uses only the freshest ingredients from local artisans. Visit Kingbird Monday – Friday from 4 – 6:30pm for happy hour. Try one of its signature summery cocktails like the Basil Daiquiri, with coconut rum, pineapple, black pepper honey, and lime.
3050 K Street NW
Its stunning water views make Fiola Mare the perfect place to take that special someone. You’ll feel like you are dining along the coast of Italy! At Fiola Mare, you’ll enjoy the freshest and finest seafood (try the Frutti di Mare or Tutto Crudo options) and wines pairings, in addition to superior service. Save room for a classic Italian dessert such as bomboloni or panna cotta.
3000 K Street, NW
Whether you dine inside or out on the terrace at Sequoia DC, you will enjoy magnificent views of the Potomac River and many local landmarks including as Kennedy Center, Roosevelt Bridge, Roosevelt Island, Key Bridge, and Rosslyn skyline. The restaurant offers fine American cuisine, with a focus on seafood, and an extensive wine list. Try its “Saturday Sparkling Rosé Brunch” from 10am – 2pm every Saturday or book it for your next special event.
Tony and Joe’s Seafood Place
3000 K Street, NW
Tony and Joe’s slogan is “Come for the view, stay for the food!” Also located at Washington Harbor, Tony and Joe’s is a Washington, DC institution, known for its fabulous views and amazingly fresh seafood, such as Maryland crab cakes and the Chesapeake Steampot. Round up some friends for Tony & Joe’s “Iced Seafood Tower,” which includes a 1 lb. Lobster, six oysters, six clams, smoked salmon, four jumbo shrimp, and jumbo lump crab. Every Monday – Friday is happy hour at Tony & Joe’s, with half-price, fresh shucked oysters.
Nick’s Riverside Grill
3050 K Street, NW
Family restaurants don’t get any better than Nick’s Riverside Grill. Owned and operated by Nick Cibel his brother, father, and cousin, their restaurant has become a staple in the DC area. Try Nick’s three course prix fixe menu – $40 for a mixed green salad, NY strip, and a slice of key lime pie. Bring your whole clan and enjoy a nice dinner by the waterfront at Nick’s.
Farmers Fishers Bakers
3000 K Street, NW
Located in a “modern, urban, riverfront farmhouse,” Farmers Fishers Bakers is part of the Farmers Restaurant Group. Enjoy its comprehensive menu — with everything from sushi to pizza — on the year round patio. For a trip back in time, try one of the “Farmacy’s” speciality drinks like a New York Egg Cream or scratch-made soda made with grapefruit, orange, lemon-lime, ginger, and hibiscus vanilla. Best of all, Farmers Fishers Bakers is a proud, sustainable, environmentally friendly restaurant.
1065 31st Street, NW
Take a trip Southern Italy at Il Canale. Sit outside and soak in the view of Georgetown. With the claim of “Where Italians Go to Eat Italian,” you know you’ll eat well here! Try the gourmet thin-crust pizzas cooked in a wood-fired oven imported from Naples and its extensive list of Italian wines. Gluten free? Don’t worry – gluten free pizza and pastas are available at Il Canale.
1063 Wisconsin Avenue, NW
This cute and classy Italian restaurant is very popular for waterfront dining in the DC area, so be sure you make a reservation. The attentive, friendly staff and generous portions make your dining experience at Filomena Ristorante phenomenal. Try the signature “Misto Di Mare Alla Filomena,” with shrimp, sea scallops, sweet clams, mussels, and calamari sautéed with shallots and white wine in a marinara sauce over linguine – divine!
149 Waterfront Street
Bond 45 offers that old New York style steakhouse feel, right here in the DC area. Known for its steaks, dry-aged 28 days, homemade pastas, and generous family style servings, you won’t leave Bond 45 hungry! Of course, you’ll have to sample its signature drink, the Bond 45 Bellini, made with prosecco, lime juice, and passion fruit liqueur. Bond 45 can host private events for up to 250 people.
188 Waterfront Street
Located in the heart of National Harbor across from the Gaylord National Hotel and Convention Center, Grace’s Mandarin offers truly spectacular waterfront views. Grace’s menu focuses on modern Asian cuisine. Try the sushi or pineapple chicken, served in a hollowed-out pineapple. The kids will love its three-story waterfall, reflecting pond with Japanese carp, and 33-foot golden Buddha right in the restaurant! If you’re a tea lover, you’ll appreciate Grace’s extensive loose-leaf tea menu.
186 Waterfront Street
James Beard nominee and head chef Edward Lee has created a fabulous menu of Southern classics at SUCCOTASH. Try the delectable shrimp and grits, cast iron trout filet, or pimento cheeseburger. Check out SUCCOTASH’s brunch on Saturdays and Sundays as well. If you’re a fan of bourbon, you will LOVE its 80+ varieties of bourbon on its libations menu. Waterfront dining in the DC area doesn’t get any better than this!
108 Waterfront Street
Our summer intern, Emily, absolutely loves Elevation Burger! Their juicy burgers and crispy fries are so delicious. Elevation Burger also offers vegetarian and vegan options plus chicken, sandwiches, and salads. All of their burgers are made from organically grass-fed beef. If you’re feeling ambitious, try the Vertigo Burger – 3 to 10 stacked patties under two buns. Extra hungry? Wash your burger down with one of Elevation’s custom milkshakes, with mix-ins including mango, key lime pie, and Oreo cookies.
The Walrus Oyster & Ale House
152 Waterfront Street
If you find yourself at The Walrus Oyster & Ale House, get ready for a treat! The view of the Capital Wheel and the Potomac River and its Chesapeake Bay-inspired seafood offerings cannot be beat. Shellfish Bucatini, Blue Crab Stuffed Gulf Shrimp, and Lobster & Crab Roll are just a few of the tempting seafood options. The Monday through Friday Happy Hour boasts $1.50 oysters, $8 “share” plates and $2 off all tap wines. Cool off with its seasonal cocktail, the Strawberry-Sage Cooler or the frozen Blood Orange Margarita…yes, please!
THE BOTTOM LINE
What a perk to live near the Potomac River, with its many fabulous restaurants with spectacular views! The options for waterfront dining in the DC area are endless. Summer is the perfect time to get out there and enjoy a meal or drinks on the water with friends or family.
Looking for more of our favorite places around town? Check out our Best of Alexandria series.
Did we miss one of your favorite waterfront restaurants? Let us know!
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