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Hank's Oyster Bar Old Town

COVID-19 Update: This restaurant is only available for takeout or delivery at this time.
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Wed, 12/1
8:00 PM

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Food and ambience

In October of 2007, chef and restaurateur Jamie Leeds opened her second Hank’s Oyster Bar in Alexandria, Virginia. Located in the heart of Old Town, patrons enjoy lightly fried items such as the popcorn shrimp and calamari, and our full belly Ipswich clams. Hank’s Oyster Bar in Old Town, Alexandria continues to be a favorite dining establishment for locals and travelers alike.
$10 - $35
Special Diets
Vegetarian Friendly, Gluten Free Options
Dinner, Brunch, Drinks
American, Seafood
Takeout, Reservations, Seating, Television, Serves Alcohol, Full Bar, Table Service, Street Parking, Free off-street parking, Highchairs Available, Wine and Beer, Non-smoking restaurants, Gift Cards Available
Reviews (579)
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All reviews lobster roll oysters fries salad happy hour old town half shell great seafood hanks horseradish filler entrees neighborhood
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Reviewed September 26, 2021 via mobile

We had a dozen Blue Point oysters as an appetizer. Excellent; not too briny. We shared a platter of fried oysters with coleslaw and hush puppies. Excellent oysters; just the right amount of breading. Good remoulade dipping sauce. The coleslaw was creamy, but the hush...puppies were the best we have had. Not too crispy, and not soggy. Oh, the Bloody Mary drinks were pretty good, but we are used to more loaded ones with olives, bigly celery, and even bacon. Yes, it was a destination lunch~More

Date of visit: September 2021
Reviewed August 1, 2021 via mobile

Stopped here with a friend from out of town who was looking for some oysters. We decided to try a dozen on the half shell since they were advertising 6 different varieties that night. The server was very nice and explained which were which on...the tray and had a paper print out of the names. My wife had the steamed shrimp special since she’s not an oyster fan. The oysters were presented nicely with crackers and the normal condiments. We had fun going from one oyster to the next discussing what we liked/disliked about each. I also sampled a couple of my wife’s shrimp and they were done very well.More

Date of visit: August 2021
Reviewed July 3, 2021

I've been to Hank's many times, Hill and Old Town locations. Was in Old Town for dinner tonight. Really mixed bag. Service is outstanding -- nothing to complain about there, actually praiseworthy. Wife and I started off with the fried popcorn shrimp and calamari appetizer....First, the shrimp are not popcorn (small) they are good size. And the impressive part is both they and the calamari are cooked to perfect tender, not hammered. The accompanying remoulade was pretty basic, IMO. But the seafood was battered and fried to perfection. That deserves high marks. Moving on to entree and here is where my rating goes south, and hard. Wife had a lobster roll that looked good. No complaints there, but we didn't talk about if it was good either. I ordered crab cake dinner, which is two crab cakes and fries. I should say that I am a native Marylander so I am very particular about crab cakes and won't order them most places because I know I will be disappointed. I thought Hank's would be an outlier and I was wrong. At $35 for two crab cakes, you expect quality, you expect lump, you expect local. At Hank's, you will get disappointment. I got a plate with two pucks of some kind of crab that I would guess were in the 3 oz neighborhood. There was no lump at all. To say it was shredded meat would be generous because it also tasted like there was some off bready component. These aren't bready filler crabcakes, they are almost worse to me because they are pretending to be quality crab cakes. Hanks: either you are better than this or you are just really good at battering and frying seafood and should stop selling crab cakes. Tonight's dinner ($180 with tip) has me not going back.More

Date of visit: July 2021
Reviewed June 19, 2021 via mobile

This place was a gem. The seafood was fresh and presentation of our lunch was amazing. Wait staff was attentive. We will be back.

Date of visit: June 2021
Reviewed June 11, 2021

They used to have the best fried oysters--plump, lightly breaded, served piping hot. Like the ones in the pics on their website. They claim to be using the same oysters, so my guess is that they are cutting the oysters in small pieces, adding extra...breading and frying them so that they now taste like briny fritos. If you don't like the taste and texture of oysters, these are for you. Very disappointing! If you do like the taste and texture of oysters, go to Mike's American Grill for their Fried Oyster Appetizer salad. Delicious!More

Date of visit: June 2021
Reviewed April 23, 2021 via mobile

4.2 really good sandwiches and fried shrimp- tender and crispy seafood with hand cut fresh fries. Good local beers

Date of visit: April 2021
Reviewed February 15, 2021

I went there recently because a friend wanted to and I was not impressed. I had a reservation for four people and they would not let me be seated until most everyone was there. I cannot stand when restaurants do that because I had a...reservation and was not lying in that they were coming. In today's world, this is annoying because I wanted to be sat so I could take my mask off. Instead they sent me outside where I still had to wear my mask in the snowstorm. I don't eat seafood and the chicken Caesar salad was ok. They also didn't accept cash. They seemed to have too many rules to make this a pleasant experience. I won't be going back. Out of all the seafood restaurants in Old Town, there are fancier and better options. The atmosphere is more of a diner than fancy.More

Date of visit: February 2021
Reviewed January 25, 2021

Raw oysters were so fresh and flavorful. We had a mixture of West Coast and East Coast oysters. If you have time to go Tues thru Friday, they have a happy hour and the oysters are half-price.

Date of visit: January 2021
Reviewed September 8, 2020

We found it to be very clean I had crab cake my wife had lobster sandwich We shared order of coconut shrimp every thing was good John

Date of visit: September 2020
Reviewed September 5, 2020

I returned from Afghanistan in march, just in time for the COVID lockdown. When asked "the question" before leaving, where is the first place you're going to eat at, I always responded Hanks. I finally did, and it didn't disappoint. The half shell oysters were...cleaned well, and served with a great mignonette and some horseradish (which I horded for fries). After a dozen, we proceeded to the mains, I got a salmon benedict, which was prepared very well, oozy egg yolks and all, while my wife got a avocado salad she greatly enjoyed. We also split a seafood ceviche which was packed with seafood but could have used just a little more acid. Service was witty, discreet, and fun, thanks Luis S. The bloody mary was as good as I remembered it. two mains, a dozen oysters on the half shell, a appetizer, and two drinks was $105, a bargain for such a blow-out brunch. Go, it's that good.More

Date of visit: August 2020
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Questions & Answers
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March 2, 2019|
AnswerShow all 4 answers
Response from DannyN73 | Reviewed this property |
We took an Uber to a nearby hotel to meet our group and walked the two blocks to the Old Town Location. There appeared to be plenty of parking on the street for the two blocks we walked. On Google Maps there appears to be... More
July 12, 2018|
AnswerShow all 10 answers
Response from Betsy A | Reviewed this property |
No but it's small and can get crowded at peak to es
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Frequently Asked Questions about Hank's Oyster Bar Old Town

Yes, Hank's Oyster Bar Old Town offers takeout services.

Hank's Oyster Bar Old Town is rated accordingly in the following categories by Tripadvisor travelers:
  • Food: 4.5
  • Service: 4.5
  • Value: 4
  • Atmosphere: 4