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“Crabs and 'Tings” 4 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 #295 of 2,623 restaurants in Washington DC
Cuisines: Seafood
Restaurant details
Washington DC, District of Columbia
Top Contributor
116 reviews 116 reviews
84 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 35 cities Reviews in 35 cities
76 helpful votes 76 helpful votes
“Crabs and 'Tings”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 3, 2013

Being a native Washingtonian, I have been coming down to Maine Avenue as far back as memory allows. For the most part as a child, the trips were to eat in the sit-down restaurants with my parents. My germ-phobic mother would never consider actually buying the products in the fish market and taking it home to "smell up the house." But being more adventuresome than either parent, I started frequenting the Fish Market when I was on my own.
Once again on Saturday, the hot weather and the chance to visit with Best Friend, another child of the Potomac, thoughts of “hummmm, got crabs?” came to mind. Although a fixture in the Baltimore/Annapolis/Eastern Shore area, Washington has a surprising lack of crab joints in which to indulge. So off Hubby and I go to Maine Avenue. I tend to frequent Jess Taylor’s stand, as I remember that it is still owned by the actual family of watermen. (Pruitt’s has been sold, I have been told, to a Korean business man with no saltwater in his veins.)
The price of crabs this year in sit-down crab joints is high, so if you don’t want to pay $75 a dozen, go to Maine Avenue. On Saturday in the first of June, I paid $35 per dozen. Maine Avenue should always be attacked by no fewer than two people; one person to stand in line and procure the food, and another in the car circling the block. There is a decided lack of park spots and traffic control is aggressively enforced by DC Blue Finest. Do not abandon your car, or your crab order could be rather expensive when factoring in the parking fine. Have The Driver drop you off and then back off further down the street to await The Shopper’s mobile phone call. Other than a few picnic tables and the curb on which to sit, take your crabs somewhere else to enjoy.
I like Jesse Taylor’s – they have a two part system. Go to the stand to the right, pick out your victims, I mean your crabs, and a runner will then take them to the stand on the left. If you don’t want to wait for the crabs to steam, they have pre-cooked crabs available on at the left-hand stand. All other fish, shell fish, corn on the cob, lobsters and so on, are also available.
Be forewarned: It is organized chaos on the weekends. If the sharp smells of the fish trade bother you, then trade places with The Driver and let him stand in line. It is noisy, filled with people and yes, it smells like a dock. Which it is. But, you will be able to visit with people you have never met before, as everyone is happy to wait for crabs.
Jess Taylor’s folks box up your crabs and place the box in a plastic bag so your car is pretty safe from crab juice. Tip: bring a cooler to further minimize the smell of crabs in your car.
Remember to tip your hard working Crab Guy. These people work HARD and a cold beer at the end of the day is welcome.

  • Visited June 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 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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41 reviews from our community

85% Recommend
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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
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
5 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
“Great place if you like seafood.”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 28, 2013 via mobile

Found out about this place from reading food reviews online. It sounded great for someone who loves seafood and doesn't mind a little grunge. The place is a madhouse, tons of people, tons of options for fresh seafood. But the cooked food is just great. Oysters on half shell, crayfish, crabs. Simply steamed and seasoned with Old Bay. Just great. Unfortunately no real place to settle down and eat all this goodness so may have to be inventive. Since I don't mind eating on the hood of my car I had a blast. And don't forget to bring your own napkins.

  • Visited May 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 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.
London, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
107 reviews 107 reviews
52 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 31 cities Reviews in 31 cities
45 helpful votes 45 helpful votes
“A great experience”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 14, 2013

Lots of fish, crab, shrimps, oysters and more. Open until 21:00 I believe, just pick what you want and they cook it and prepare it for you. I took bag of freshly cooked shrimp & snow crab and headed off to the Mall to eat it. it cost me about $18 A really nice find, but prepare yourself for some queuing!

  • Visited May 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 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.
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
5 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
“good place to buy but not good place to eat”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed April 11, 2013

good place to buy raw blue crabs, very cheap
but feel a bit inconvenient to buy steamed ones and eat there.

Visited March 2013
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Washington DC, District of Columbia
Top Contributor
314 reviews 314 reviews
110 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 77 cities Reviews in 77 cities
194 helpful votes 194 helpful votes
“Exotic place in DC”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 9, 2013

It is an interesting place in DC. You do not expect to see an authentic fish market at that location. They sell all kind of fish and other seafood, and some you can buy prepared and eat it nearby looking for the river. It is a nice inexpensive thing to do in DC.

Visited February 2013
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