100 Best Restaurants 2009: Hank’s Oyster Bar

No. 86: Hank's Oyster Bar

Cuisine: Old Salts, Malpeques, Kumamotos—there are always at least five kinds of oysters on the blackboards at these boisterous fishhouses. The rest of the menu draws liberally from New England (fried clams, lobster rolls) but also ranges below the Mason-Dixon Line (nightly meat-and-two specials, nicely spiced collards).

Mood: A festive din rises above the narrow dining rooms.

Best for: A relaxed date; dinner with the kids (but call ahead to put your name on the waiting list); a group oyster feast.

Best dishes: Oysters on the half shell; broiled oysters with butter; peppery sake/oyster shooters; peel-and-eat shrimp; fried shrimp and calamari; overstuffed oyster po’ boy with slaw.

Insider tips: Sunday through Friday from 5:30 to 6:30, selected oysters on the half shell are a dollar each. And keep in mind there’s no dessert—just a chunk of dark chocolate with the check.

Service: ••

Open Monday through Friday for dinner, Saturday and Sunday for brunch and dinner. Moderate.

>> See all 100 Best Restaurants 

Ann Limpert
Executive Food Editor/Critic

Ann Limpert joined Washingtonian in late 2003. She was previously an editorial assistant at Entertainment Weekly and a cook in New York restaurant kitchens, and she is a graduate of the Institute of Culinary Education. She lives in Petworth.