100 Very Best Restaurants: #44 – Rappahannock Oyster Bar

One of our favorite Union Market spots: the Rappahannock Oyster Bar. Photograph by Scott Suchman

Where can you find food critics on their off days? At this U-shaped seafood bar in Union Market, brought to you by the oyster-harvesting folks who have put Chesapeake bivalves on menus around the country. It’s as suited for daytime raw-bar grazing and Bloody Marys as it is for sherry cocktails followed by a proper dinner. Although it always feels easy and casual, the food—insanely tender octopus with green papaya; an artful cobia crudo—bears the mark of a seriously talented chef. Moderate.
Also great: Oysters and clams on the half shell; oyster chowder; oyster po’ boy; baked clams with Thai sausage; steamed mussels with French onion broth; 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.

Jessica Sidman
Food Editor

Jessica Sidman covers the people and trends behind D.C.’s food and drink scene. Before joining Washingtonian in July 2016, she was Food Editor and Young & Hungry columnist at Washington City Paper. She is a Colorado native and University of Pennsylvania grad.