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100 Best Restaurants 2008: Hank's Oyster Bar
No. 98: Hank's Oyster Bar
Reviewed By Todd Kliman, Ann Limpert, Cynthia Hacinli, Dave McIntyre
Comments () | Published January 1, 2008

Hank's Oyster Bar - Dupont Circle
Address: 1624 Q Street, NW, Washington, DC 20009
Phone: 202-462-4265
Neighborhood: Dupont Circle, Downtown
Cuisines: Seafood, Modern, American
Opening Hours: Open Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday 5:30 to 10; Wednesday and Thursday 5:30 to 11; Friday and Saturday 5:30 to midnight. Open for brunch Saturday and Sunday from 11 to 3.
Nearby Metro Stops: Dupont Circle
Price Range: Moderate
Dress: Informal
Noise Level: Chatty
Reservations: Not Accepted
Best Dishes Oyster shooters; peel-and-eat shrimp; fried popcorn shrimp and calamari; broiled oysters; fried oyster po’boy; fried clams; lobster roll; sablefish with soy-balsamic glaze; mac and cheese; onion rings.
Price Details: Appetizers, $6 to $36; entrees, $11 to $18.

Cuisine: Shore classics including lobster rolls and fried clams, seafood specials, and oysters every which way rule at these citified fish shacks—the Dupont Circle original and its recently opened Old Town twin.

Mood: Turned-up speakers blare peppy Motown and Michael Jackson tunes, but they rarely drown out the happy din from the crowded tables. And although winking touches abound—gratis snacks are Pepperidge Farm Goldfish—Hank’s is serious when it comes to the kitchen and the smartly chosen wine and beer lists.

Best for: Quick weeknight dinners, low-key dates, brunch (the pint-glass bloody Mary is a perfect foil for fried seafood).

Best dishes: Oyster shooters; peel-and-eat shrimp; fried popcorn shrimp and calamari with tangy rémoulade; Hog Island–style broiled oysters dripping with spicy butter; fried oyster po’boy with slaw; fried clams; lobster roll with shoestring fries; sablefish with soy-balsamic glaze; crusty Gouda-and-white-cheddar mac and cheese.

Insider tips: Both no-reservations dining rooms fill up fast, especially in winter when there’s no patio seating. Go early or call and put your name on the waiting list. And leave your sweet tooth at the door—there’s no dessert menu, just a glass of Sauternes or the hunk or two of chocolate that comes with the check.

Service: ••

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Posted at 12:00 AM/ET, 01/01/2008 RSS | Print | Permalink | Washingtonian.com Restaurant Reviews