Pearl Dive Oyster Palace

1612 14th St., NW
Washington, DC 20005


Neighborhood: U Street/Shaw, Logan Circle

Cuisines: Seafood

Opening Hours:
Open Monday through Thursday for dinner, Friday and Saturday for lunch and dinner, Sunday for brunch and dinner.

Nearby Metro Stops: U Street/African-American Civil War Memorial/Cardozo

Price Range: Moderate

Noise Level: Chatty

Reservations: Not Needed


Best Dishes:
Oysters on the half shell; seafood-studded salsa with fresh-fried chips; grilled bacon-wrapped oysters; any of the gumbos; fried chicken; crawfish étouffée; BLT with fried catfish and a runny egg; Derby pie; Key-lime pie.

100 Very Best Restaurants 2013: Pearl Dive Oyster Palace

There are plenty of places around town where you can eat like a frat boy, counting “fried” and “butter-drenched” as the only food groups. Jeff and Barbara Black’s folksy Logan Circle fish house is one of the few worth the calories. That’s not to say it’s all about the fried chicken or fabulously messy barbecue shrimp with baguette.

There’s a terrific array of oysters—have them on the half shell or order a round wrapped in bacon and drizzled with vinegar reduction. Hour-plus waits are common—the restaurant doesn’t take reservations after 6:30—but if you can squeeze into the bar, you’ll be rewarded with strong cocktails and, from 4 to 7 on weekdays, two-for-the-price-of-one oysters and $5 glasses of wine. Don’t miss: Grilled oysters with chili butter and gremolata; a ceviche-like mix of seafood in salsa; seafood or duck-and-oyster gumbo; fried-oyster po’ boy; fried-shrimp dinner; pecan pie; apple pie; Bardstown Derby cocktail, with bourbon, grapefruit, and honey. Open: Monday through Thursday for dinner, Friday through Sunday for brunch and dinner. Moderate.

100 Very Best Restaurants 2013