100 Very Best Restaurants 2015: No. 84 Rappahannock Oyster Bar

Oysters at Rappahannock Oyster Bar. Photograph by Scott Suchman.

Picture it: a late afternoon, too early for dinner, too late for most lunches. You snag a stool, settling in for a tray of oysters on the half shell from Virginia, briny and tender. You chase each bracing bite with a crisp, cool Sauvignon Blanc or a nutty sherry. Perfect, no?

Then again, sitting down at this glorified stall in Union Market for oysters and wine makes any time pretty perfect. And it’s more than just a raw bar. Lambs and clams is a brilliant, Spanish-inspired riff on surf and turf, worth coming for all by itself, and the lump-filled crabcake shames those put out by larger, more well-appointed operations.

Don’t miss:

  • Barcat-oyster chowder
  • Steamed clams with blood sausage
  • Peel-and-eat shrimp

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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 Logan Circle.

Anna Spiegel
Food Editor

Anna Spiegel covers the dining and drinking scene in her native DC. Prior to joining Washingtonian in 2010, she attended the French Culinary Institute and Columbia University’s MFA program in New York, and held various cooking and writing positions in NYC and in St. John, US Virgin Islands.