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“Go for the experience, but we won't be back” 1 of 5 stars
Review of Maine Avenue Fish Market

Maine Avenue Fish Market
1100 Maine Ave SW, Washington DC, DC 20024
(202) 484-2722
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Ranked #452 of 2,700 Restaurants in Washington DC
Cuisines: Seafood
Restaurant details
Yerevan, Armenia
Top Contributor
274 reviews 274 reviews
156 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 73 cities Reviews in 73 cities
129 helpful votes 129 helpful votes
“Go for the experience, but we won't be back”
1 of 5 stars Reviewed July 29, 2012

It's kind of romantic, historic, going by the water where local fisherman sell they're day catch. Right. Half the stuff is trucked in from who knows where, the food items are MICROWAVED and probably the WORST crabcakes I've ever had (I couldn't even identify the crab meat). We've been at least five times for mostly the steamed crabs and the fresh oysters. We got the worst service on the planet today (staff kicking garbage cans around, drinking profits, clearly underpaid and no boss was around to complain to); the oyster guy seemed to think he had to do every job but his own. When I complained he told me to go somewhere else. Ok, I will. Dirty surroundings and poor service. I put up with it until today because the crabs were good, but not anymore. I can get crabcakes in many good restaurants and be sure that the oysters are from a reputable source. Worst of all, I brought friends from out of town and it was super embarrassing. Plus we got a traffic ticket for parking under the bridge!

  • Visited July 2012
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 1 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
    • 2 of 5 stars Food
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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48 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    18
    22
    4
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Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Sarasota, Florida
Top Contributor
135 reviews 135 reviews
40 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 71 cities Reviews in 71 cities
67 helpful votes 67 helpful votes
“Good Seafood !”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 26, 2012

This is not an easy place to find if you are not a veteran of DC driving, but the seafood there is always good and the views make it a great place to go ahead and picnic there ! We've been going there for nearly 20 years now, and even though a lot of people claim that some of the seafood came in frozen, we've never failed to purchase good quality seafood. Some of the stores offer seafood already cooked, and this is a great way to just drive there, buy a picnic lunch, and go sit on the water front and watch the boats go by.

  • Visited July 2012
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Orlando, Florida
Top Contributor
52 reviews 52 reviews
16 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 19 cities Reviews in 19 cities
28 helpful votes 28 helpful votes
“A mixed review, but so much potential.”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 11, 2012

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.

  • Visited July 2012
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Henderson, Nevada
Top Contributor
196 reviews 196 reviews
104 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 56 cities Reviews in 56 cities
131 helpful votes 131 helpful votes
“Waste of time!”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed June 8, 2012

After reading reviews on other sites, we thought this would be fun. Go down to the water, eat fresh food, etc. Not worth it all. I can't remember exactly which stand we purchased from, but they all looked pretty much the same. I love shrimp so we got some spicy shrimp and they were so gross. There was some cooked dishes as well. Our friends got a crab bisque and they said it was disgusting and that you could taste it was immitation crab. After we got our food, which wasn't cheap by the way, we found that there was only one place to eat - under an awning. So we head over there expecting to find picnic tables, etc. All that was there were high (bar like) tables with no seating. So it was impossible for my small daughter to put her food down and the rest of us stood. And the place was filthy. We didn't want to touch a thing.

We had high hopes and perhaps our expectations were too high after visiting other fun fish markets like ones in Seattle, etc. I won't return and I won't recommend to friends.

  • Visited May 2012
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
    • 2 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Washington DC, District of Columbia
Top Contributor
1,758 reviews 1,758 reviews
694 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 332 cities Reviews in 332 cities
913 helpful votes 913 helpful votes
“Fresh Seafood”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 28, 2011

The fish market is a cool place with lots of fresh crabs and oysters.
I bought some blue crabs and they steamed for us (poor guy he might have the worst job in the world... at least in the summer!!).
I loved this experience, but in my opinion the fish market has 2 big issues. One there is no place to seat. And the other is the pollution in the river with lots of plastic bottles in the water and the unpleasant smell.

  • Visited July 2011
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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