Vola's Dockside Grill

4.4
857 reviews
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$30 and under
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Seafood
Top tags:
  • Waterfront
  • Casual
  • Scenic View
Vola’s Dockside Grill and the adjacent Hi-Tide Lounge provides a relaxed and casual style seafood restaurant, and a retro-cool, hideaway bar for tourists and locals alike. Named after Vola Lawson, a much-loved and iconic citizen of Old Town, Vola’s Dockside Grill embraces the simpler times and has been designed as a spot that feels as if it is as integral to Old Town as the cobblestone streets. Vola’s is a friendly, familiar place with a raw bar and the largest outdoor riverside patio in Old Town, where the food, atmosphere, service, and experience are always fantastic.
Join us for lunch, happy hour, dinner, or weekend brunch! Vola’s ‘All Day’ menu is based on chef-grade simple, classic seafood and waterfront-inspired foods made with peak season ingredients all while enjoying our expansive patio.*
*Although we do our best to accommodate all seating requests, all reservations are for Vola's inside dining only; we do not take advance reservations on our patio.
What 857 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.4based on recent ratings
4.3
food
4.4
service
4.3
ambience
4.1
value
Noise · Moderate
96% of people would recommend it to a friend
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OT
Washington DC
1 review
Dined a day ago
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 3

Nice view of water but front doors were propped open which was letting a lot of flies and other flying creatures in the restaurant so we continually had to swat them away.

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P
Washington DC
15 reviews
Dined a day ago
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

Overall very good dining experience. Our waiter was great at n handling our requests.

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EH
1 review
Dined 2 days ago
Overall 4food 3service 3ambience 4

Everything was enjoyable - they were busy and service was somewhat slow but enjoyed cocktails and food!

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M
Detroit
52 reviews
Dined 2 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Beautiful views on the Potomac. Also, dog friendly on deck even with their own Doggie Menu and water bowls. Brunch was exquisite with reasonable priced drinks. A must!!!

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SB
Washington DC
6 reviews
Dined 3 days ago
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 3

The speaker was over our table making it difficult for general conversation and for the waiter to hear us.
The food was satisfactory and the service was so- not many visits from the waiter.

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OT
1 review
Dined 3 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Amazing service, great vibes, yummy food, and patio is the way to go! Also Russia is our fave server and management is the sweetest! Can't wait to go back!

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OT
Washington DC
1 review
Dined 5 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Fantastic food. Attentive staff. Wine is half price bottles on Wednesday. Would recommend the patio in the spring/ summer. Gorgeous views of the Potomac.

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OT
Washington DC
2 reviews
Dined 6 days ago
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 5

Food and view were fantastic! We ordered crab dip, haddock fried fish, crab cakes and a burger, everything was delicious. The only things I didn’t care for were the noise level (very loud) and outside dining doesn’t take reservations (makes no sense). Otherwise great spot, I’d definitely come back.

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MM
Washington DC
5 reviews
Dined 6 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

One of the few locations on the water in a town that should have a line of them. I still recommend we close off King street the last two blocks at least during the spring - Fall and really pump up the enjoyment.

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HK
1 review
Dined on 9 June 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 3

Good food and service but very noisy. Had a water view by the window which was nice

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DH
1 review
Dined on 9 June 2019
Overall 3food 4service 5ambience 1

I'd probably recommend it for a nice day when someone could sit outside. Othewise not. We were inside and our view to the outside was blocked -- our table was between two windows but we didn't have a window, which really spoiled it. I asked if we could switch but was told we couldn't even though there seemed to be lots of other open tables when we arrived at 5:30pm. We chose the restaurant thinking we'd be able to look out over the water, so it was quite disappointing and really spoiled it that we were not.

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OT
1 review
Dined on 9 June 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Food was amazing. Our server was amazing. Would absolutely go back.

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AM
Pittsburgh
5 reviews
Dined on 8 June 2019
Overall 3food 3service 2ambience 3

It is in a great location but the food is not great and the drinks aren't really that special. We also had two waiters covering our table who were not talking to one another, often asking us the same questions one after the other.

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MI
Washington DC
9 reviews
Dined on 8 June 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The staff is super friendly and the service there is great! Very energetic and fun environment located by the Potomac River. I ordered the crab cakes and they were delicious. Also, the food was not prepared with a lot of salt.

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OT
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on 8 June 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great food, excellent service and fun atmosphere. Third time eating here and plan on continuing to do so.

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OT
Philadelphia
1 review
Dined on 8 June 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Reservations are for inside only. If you want to sit outside, your reservation does not count

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JR
1 review
Dined on 8 June 2019
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 5

Vola’s is definitely going into our regular brunch rotation. We took the water taxi from the Wharf and had a very short walk to get to the restaurant. The menu selection was very well balanced and unique. And who can beat those $4 refills on bloody marys and mimosas?! We could have spent all day sitting there on the patio enjoying the view.

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W
Washington DC
119 reviews
Dined on 3 June 2019
Overall 3food 3service 3ambience 5

Food was good, not great...same for service...outside view is excellent

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OT
Washington DC
2 reviews
Dined on 2 June 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Good food, fast and hot. Aden exemplified great service. View of the water was a bonus

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KM
Washington DC
3 reviews
Dined on 1 June 2019
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 5

Nice spot on the Old Town waterfront with a lovely ambiance and attentive staff.

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1
Washington DC
7 reviews
Dined on 1 June 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We were here for a birthday celebration that included drinks apps and lobster rolls. All were delish!We had to wait a bit foe our table but it all worked out just fine with a fun dinner on the deck with great service!

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TD
Washington DC
6 reviews
Dined on 1 June 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

The food was great and Mark was an awesome waitperson. We were able to sit outside which helped a lot because it is quite noisy inside. I do enjoy Vola’s!

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OT
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on 31 May 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Fun atmosphere, yummy foot.

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j
Washington DC
13 reviews
Dined on 30 May 2019
Overall 3food 2service 1ambience 3

Really wanted to like this place especially for the oysters (they were great) unfortunately it took about an hour to get them. Sat for about 20 minutes before getting to order. The food was ok and if your looking for a craft cocktail this isn’t the place. Who puts ice in a Manhattan? They may have been under staffed but still it was a mediocre experience. :0(

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A
1 review
Dined on 27 May 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great staff, friendly atmosphere. Walter was our server and he provided excellent service.

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PG
1 review
Dined on 27 May 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Incredible food and atmosphere. I'll be going back ALL Summer.

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D
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on 26 May 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

In the hectic world of a touristy area, we received outstanding service from our server, John.

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OT
Washington DC
2 reviews
Dined on 26 May 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

My wife and I had a great experience for our first visit and we will be going back soon.

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M
New York Area
48 reviews
Dined on 26 May 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 3

Terrific spot for sunset or people watching. The food is plentiful and reliably good. Servers were all friendly and helpful. We were happy to see an Albariño on the wine list and were surprised at how good a low-gluten IPA was. (Who knew the gluten free forces now encompass beer?) Cheddar jalapeño hushpuppies were somewhat bland, but the mussels did not disappoint and the grouper sandwich and shrimp tacos were both terrific.

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DM
Washington DC
9 reviews
Dined on 26 May 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great place to eat and enjoy the scenery, it's as if you're at the beach

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l
Washington DC
7 reviews
Dined on 25 May 2019
Overall 1food 1service 5ambience 5

The lunch time food was horrible. Dinner menu is a lot better.

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F
Washington DC
3 reviews
Dined on 25 May 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 5

Enjoyed our lunch, however we did wait a bit for our lunch (which wasn’t really a big deal) however we ordered a dozen oysters and when our sandwiches arrived about 25 mins after we ordered, we still hadn’t received our oysters. Waiter seemed a little surprised when I asked to cancel them (didn’t really want to eat them after having a whole sandwich and fries). It was a busy Saturday on holiday weekend, ultimately everything else was great, so I won’t ding them too much for this mistake. Would likely still go back.

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KS
New York Area
1 review
Dined on 25 May 2019
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 4

Food's good. Need to be able to make reservations outside.

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OT
New York Area
5 reviews
Dined on 25 May 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 5

Brunch. Poached eggs were one minute over cooked. Other than that the food was good. But it did upset my stomach.

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KW
Washington DC
7 reviews
Dined on 24 May 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 3

Great service, great oysters, great food. Very noisy and hard to have a conversation. Fun place and great views of the water

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K
Charleston
8 reviews
Dined on 22 May 2019
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 5

Some girl friends and I met for drinks and dinner. This place was cute and cozy. Our waitress was super attentive but gave us space so we could enjoy our time. The food tasted amazing and the drinks were good!

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EG
Washington DC
8 reviews
Dined on 20 May 2019
Overall 1food 2service 2ambience 1

Inside.
Way too loud. Going you want a bar, stay away if you want to have conversation.
Server did not bring correct vegetable and food was served with added salt that we asked to hold.
Had to wait a very long time for a drink refill

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L
1 review
Dined on 20 May 2019
Overall 4food 2service 3ambience 4

The restaurant is a good place to go for a drink and has a light fun atmosphere. The menu is limited and the food is average. So if you’re looking for a drink and lively atmosphere Vola’s is the place

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CH
1 review
Dined on 19 May 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Good food, fast and friendly service. Would return if in area again

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BC
Washington DC
9 reviews
Dined on 19 May 2019
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 3

Great food and very good service. However, there seems to be nothing to absorb the sound inside -- lots of windows and hard surfaces -- making it a very noisy venue. It was difficult to have a conversation at our table without having to lean in to hear. Just be prepared for that... unless you are lucky enough to snag an outside table overlooking the Potomac River. :-)

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