100 Very Best Restaurant 2016: Johnny’s Half Shell


The bar at Johnny's Half Shell restaurant in Washington, DC. Photograph by Chris Campbell.

About Johnny’s Half Shell


1819 Columbia Rd NW
Washington, DC 20009

Ann Cashion and John Fulchino’s roomy, tile-floored dining room—beloved by both Hill staffers and Louisianans hankering for a taste of home—celebrates New Orleans and Chesapeake seafood. That means po’ boys on Leidenheimer French bread flown in from Crescent City at lunch—the brisket with debris (all the charred, crusty bits from the pan) is pretty fabulous—and Chesapeake bouillabaisse laden with a crabcake at dinner. Well-considered cocktails (try the citrusy, sparkling Hum Royale), superlative frying, and nicely done raw-bar plates make this a place to nibble and drink as well as dine.

Don’t miss: Charbroiled oysters; pork croquettes; gumbo; red beans and rice; crab imperial; grilled squid; crabcakes; oyster pan roast; chicken or shrimp étouffée; hot dogs; lemon chess pie.

See what other restaurants made our 100 Very Best Restaurants list. This article appears in our February 2016 issue of Washingtonian.

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.

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.