News & Politics

Great Food in Washington: Seafood

Where to find the freshest fish, lobsters, crabs, and oysters.

Annapolis Seafood Markets
1300 Forest Dr., Annapolis, 410-269-5380; 552-L Ritchie Hwy., Severna Park, 410-544-4900; 3105 Solomons Island Rd., Edgewater, 410-956-2023
More than 30 years old, these outlets carry local fish (perch, rockfish) as well as imports (New England clams, Alaskan halibut). Prepared foods include clams casino and good peel-and-eat shrimp.

4883 MacArthur Blvd., NW; 202-342-9101
Some of the area’s freshest finds come from chef/owner Jeff Black’s L-shaped case, and he’s a follower of sustainability watch lists. Because he’s buying seafood for his sleek restaurant—behind the market—customers can call 24 hours ahead and special-order anything in season, from Nantucket bay scallops to ruby-red shrimp.

Buster’s Seafood
Saturday at Arlington Farmers Market (N. Courthouse Rd. and N. 14th St.), Sunday at Dupont Circle FreshFarm market (20th St. and Massachusetts Ave., NW); 804-370-4210
Commercial fisherman Jimmy Hoggeruns this roving market stall holding Rappahannock River oysters and, in summer, Chesapeake crabs.

Cannon’s Fish Market
1065 31st St., NW; 202-337-8366
With its swimming-pool-blue concrete floor and bare walls, this family-run store calls to mind a commercial packing plant. The cases at this Georgetown institution hold mostly East Coast fish—flounder, gray sole—in addition to crabcakes and oysters. Bonuses include a 20-mile delivery radius.

Crosby’s Crab Company
14718 Bristow Rd., Manassas; 703-791-5804
In 1980, a gas station was converted into a low-slung carryout that has since expanded to become a source for Chesapeake oysters, East Coast lobsters, and domestic and imported fish. Shrimp and crabs can be steamed and eaten at picnic tables out front.

River Falls Seafood
10124 River Rd., Potomac; 301-765-8001
Company Jeff Grolig’s small shop carries a pristine selection of seasonal, mostly East Coast basics from Maine cod to Florida stone crabs. It’s also home to one of the area’s best takeout crabcakes.

4845 Massachusetts Ave., NW; 202-363-0777
A small but very fresh seafood selection makes this family-run market a good stop for staples such as yellowfin tuna, spicy crabcakes, and sea scallops. The makings of shrimp cocktail—including house-made sauce—are top-notch.

Lanham, 240-487-5400; Fairfax, 703-653-1600; Sterling, 703-421-2400; Leesburg, 703-669-2044; Woodbridge, 703-763-5500
The impeccable fish counters at these warehouse-size groceries constitute a primer on all things ocean-sourced: Each fish is labeled with notes on flavor and texture. Preseasoned options range from lemon-pepper salmon to tasty Buffalo-sauce-covered shrimp.

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This article appears in the June 2011 issue of The Washingtonian.

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