This is my second visit to the fish market. First a few logistics: it can be a challenge to locate. A google search for the address only he,ps if you know the actual NAME of the site. Street signage is also limited. I had seen several times driving into the city under the over pass and really wanted to go. There is water frontage on Waters Street and metered parking on the street and in an adjacent lot. Skip the $8 parking lot unless you are going to one of the restaurants in the area in the evening.
I would say it was my experience that the stalls with the best food, did not necessarily have the best location. Don't be afraid to venture in to the market. There is stall in the apex of the right corner that had exceptional home made Louisiana gumbo. (I am originally from the panhandle so I know the real stuff!) also, in this same corner I found the freshest steamed blue crabs, done while you wait in a pot with a wicker basket no less.
There will be hawkers trying to direct you to their catch, but don't let that bother you. This is a working market and you can tell it is where the locals come to get the seafood that they will take
home to cook for the evening. I think it was refreshing to see the less touristy side of DC for me and the family.
Steer clear of the over priced fried food options. I tried them too, and they were not exceptional. The crawfish I got were a bit of disappointment as well. (Who dumps Old Bay seasoning on crawfish and dry heat steams the?!) but if you I visiting family, get the fresh crab, fresh seafood options and the gumbo from the corner stall. You won't be disappointed.
P.S. There is a small stand as you enter that has wonderful fresh tea/lemonade (we call this an Arnold Palmer where I am from) and a strawberry lemonade with real strawberries that was wonderful.
It also the oldest working fish market in the US. I hope the do a collective to market and brand this locale. It has so much potential.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.