Vola's Dockside Grill

4.4
681 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 try and do our best to accommodate all seating requests, all reservations are for Vola's Inside-Dining only.
Dining Style
Casual Dining
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Cuisines
Seafood, American, Comfort Food
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Hours of Operation
Vola’s Dockside Grill:
Monday-Thursday 11:00am - 12am
Friday 11:00am - 1am
Saturday 10am -1am
Sunday 10am - 12am
Happy Hour: Monday-Friday 3pm - 7pm
Brunch: Saturday-Sunday 10am - 3pm
Hi-Tide Lounge: Monday-Friday 3pm - 1am
Saturday 12pm - 1am
Sunday 12pm - 12am
Happy Hour:
Monday-Friday: 3pm - 7pm
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Phone number
(703) 935-8890
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Payment Options
AMEX, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
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Dress Code
Casual Dress
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Executive Chef
Santiago Lopez
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Cross Street
King Street
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Parking Details
There are several public hourly parking garages within two blocks of the restaurant, and hourly street parking is also available on adjacent streets.
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Public Transit
The free Old Town Trolley stops in front of the Hi-Tide Lounge at the corner of King and Union Streets, just steps from our entrance. It carries passengers from that point to the King Street Metro station. The Trolley runs every 10 minutes from 10am-10:15pm Sunday-Wednesday, and from 10am-12am Thursday-Saturday.
Additional
Bar/Lounge, Beer, Corkage Fee, Counter Seating, Full Bar, Happy Hour, Late Night, Non-Smoking, Outdoor dining , View, Weekend Brunch, Wheelchair Access, Wine
What 681 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
4.3
service
4.1
ambience
4.0
value
Noise · Moderate
90% of people would recommend it to a friend
5
4
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1
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H
Washington DC
8 reviews
Dined on 2 December 2018
Overall 4food 5service 3ambience 3

Made reservations but was told no tables were available and told to wait at a high table. Ten minutes later told us our table was ready and moved five feet away to another high table by the door. Hostesses appeared lost. Waiter was nice but also was confused and even said he would have to do everything himself because other people were not following thru on service. Last time here I was impressed by their service... not this time. Has the manager changed?

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LF
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on 1 December 2018
Overall 3food 3service 4ambience 2

Celebrating our 40th wedding anniversary which was listed on the reservation. Not even a happy Anniversary. Asked for a different empty table for two, was told it was part of a large party. Definitely was not. Would have been the view we were requesting. Our view was of a construction fence. Felt like they were herding cattle. Sit down to out the door was 50 min. I understand the noise level from people, don’t understand why the Music was so LOUD. Could not even talk over it. Waitress needs instructions on the teas. I asked for Earl Grey decaf And received a chamomile. My husband received a peach tea. Seriously? My first time did not leave me impressed. Certainly not the place to celebrate an anniversary.

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AC
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on 1 December 2018
Overall 3food 3service 5ambience 5

The views are nice, the waterfront park is still under construction, so the waterfront views are a bit obstructed right now. The deviled eggs and hush puppies were not that good, everyone at the table did not like them. The coconut shrimp was a hit. Food not that impressive, but the service was impeccable.

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AC
London
7 reviews
Dined on 30 November 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We always enjoy our ladies' lunch get-togethers at Vola's. The oysters are always great and the rest of the menu never disappoints either. Great service and a great view.

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OT
Baltimore
3 reviews
Dined on 29 November 2018
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 4

Met two friends here and it was a great choice for an informal setting to meet and eat. The food was very good and service was excellent...she let us linger and wasn't at all hovering while still managing to be attentive. My only negative comment is that the music was very loud, making conversation difficult. Food was super tasty and innovative, but a bit rich and salty. Next time, I will definitely request celery/carrot sticks instead of the salty crackers to go with the very salty crab dip and chowder. But it was very good--just needed some balance.

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m
Washington DC
4 reviews
Dined on 25 November 2018
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 4

Oysters were best I've ever had. Would go back just for that. The mimosa flavors were devine. $4 refills didn't hurt ;) Husband had a delicious blackened grouper sandwich. Very good as well. Will return.

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OT
Tampa
1 review
Dined on 25 November 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Went for Sunday brunch and it was delish! There was no wait, the service was awesome, and the food was delish! Try the Bloody Mary for sure. Will be going back!

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NY
New York Area
1 review
Dined on 22 November 2018
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 4

consistently awesome. love volas and will definitely be a loyal customer

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OT
Washington DC
2 reviews
Dined on 18 November 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Fantastic brunch. Great service

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R
Washington DC
4 reviews
Dined on 17 November 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Food was great. Everything came out fairly quickly. Staff and host were great. All depending on your seating you can also see views of the water looking over towards national harbor.

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ES
Phoenix
1 review
Dined on 11 November 2018
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 3

Good balance of casual and quality seafood, doesn't have you paying extra for the decor. Great view of the Potomac, but keep in mind they're doing construction along the waterfront right now.

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S
Washington DC
9 reviews
Dined on 11 November 2018
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 3

Very nice. Server was great. Interesting cocktails. Food was very good

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S
Los Angeles
14 reviews
Dined on 11 November 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We had an Amazing customer service and the food was delicious!

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SY
Miami
8 reviews
Dined on 10 November 2018
Overall 1food 1service 2ambience 1

We were there Saturday brunch time. I wanted to have biscuit with gravy. I asket to replace fried chicken with scrambled egg in the fried ckiken & biscuit. Biscuit was so small and gravy was also very small with no taste. Hash brown was something like reheated version after being refrigerated. Worst part, my friend ordered Ceaser salad with shrimp. She got serious stomach problem after an hour. Horrible!

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TH
Washington DC
7 reviews
Dined on 10 November 2018
Overall 1food 4service 5ambience 5

My husband and I have enjoyed date night at Vola’s previously and had a great time. We were excited to return. I like the laid back environment and the service was excellent. The fish taco was too spicy for my taste, but my crab cakes were great. Our experience was disrupted when I noticed my husband face look confused. He quickly and calmly explained to our server who was wonderful that he just saw a mouse run down the wall and was running across the floor near customers feet and at the front of the restaurant near the front door. Luckily, we were finishing up but that was not a good look for the restaurant. The manager and other staff who also saw the mouse were as calm about the situation, but I won’t be dining at Vola’s anymore as it would have been a great courtesy by the management to provide a form of courtesy for my husband’s unexpected disgust but calm demeanor of seeing Stewart Little while he was finishing his dinner.

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G
San Francisco
60 reviews
Dined on 6 November 2018
Overall 4food 3service 4ambience 3

Food was ok. Nothing spectacular. Went here 6 months ago and though it was great, but his Ike just ok. Service was very good

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OT
Washington DC
6 reviews
Dined on 4 November 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Vola's is my go-to spot in Old Town when I have friends visit, because I know they are so consistently good and delicious! As always, they did not disappoint.

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G
New York Area
10 reviews
Dined on 4 November 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Very nice!

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LL
Philadelphia
3 reviews
Dined on 3 November 2018
Overall 2food 2service 2ambience 2

We had never been and it had good reviews so we decided to give it a try. Out of 5 of our meals - 4 were not correct - their food seemed very spicy - the music was very loud. We were very disappointed.

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MM
1 review
Dined on 27 October 2018
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 4

Consistent food quality. Great service. Lively atmosphere. Family friendly.

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R
Washington DC
10 reviews
Dined on 26 October 2018
Overall 4food 3service 5ambience 4

Everything was good except for the crab cakes. The place has a fun vibe and we enjoyed our date.

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OT
New England
8 reviews
Dined on 26 October 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 3

Excellent service :) We had a table of 6 and they went out of their way to make sure everyone's needs were met. Oysters, conch fritters and hush puppies amazing!

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JJ
Washington DC
5 reviews
Dined on 25 October 2018
Overall 3food 3service 4ambience 3

Great potential. Unfortunately it was very noisy. Food was perfectly adequate but not for the price. We had mentioned a birthday in our reservation which went ignored. Had asked for a water view. Which I guess we had except it was of construction. I’m not in the area where we actually would have seen the water. Not bad for people watching, as many people walked their dogs past us. But not any sense of ambience.It was very, very, noisy. An adequate evening for what should’ve been a celebration.

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J
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on 23 October 2018
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 4

I’ve been a few times now and each time has been great. Great food and service!

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d
1 review
Dined on 20 October 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Excellent service and food variety was good as well as bang for the buck. Great craft brew selection.

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SG
Washington DC
10 reviews
Dined on 20 October 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great place for a celebration. Good food and drinks.

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RH
Washington DC
2 reviews
Dined on 14 October 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Server Lauren 2 was spot on for our friend's birthday, and get together. Excellent service and provided us time to socialize and not feel rushed for the meal. Food was fresh, filling, and excellent as expected. No pressure dining and enjoying our meal. Recommend for next gathering and will be visiting soon.

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AP
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on 13 October 2018
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

Great location, although dock construction obstructed the water view. Food was good, price reasonable. Kid friendly too. (Wobbly table, I'd think staff would have noticed when cleaning/setting the table). Waiter was friendly but had gone missing for periods of time (it was a very busy evening though). The only thing I didn't like are the unisex restrooms, which were large, nicely decorated and clean. I just prefer a good ol' fashioned ladies' room.

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SC
1 review
Dined on 12 October 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Restaurant did not have our reservation because of an internet outage but accomodated us right away. Food and drinks were great. Service (especially from Connor) was outstanding.

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LB
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on 12 October 2018
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 3

Met a friend for dinner who I hadn't seen in many years. The wait staff was excellent and we didn't feel rushed to leave. We both enjoyed our meal.

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LF
Palm Springs
49 reviews
Dined on 11 October 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Being from the west coast we always enjoy seafood restaurants on the east coast! We were delayed two days due to airline issues - the airline paid for a hotel just down the street in Alexandria.

Do go to this oh-so-much-fun and delicious restaurant! Our food (steamed clams and crab cakes) were delicious, the adult beverages excellent, the view of the harbor a treat. Budget friendly and family oriented, it’s still a happening spot during happy hour!

We’ll return next trip to the DC area!

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AR
Atlanta
4 reviews
Dined on 7 October 2018
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 4

What a great find! Enjoyed a post-race meal (Sunday brunch) with my cheering squad here after the army 10-miler and we had the best time! I wish I remembered our server’s name, he was beyond accommodating to our rather large group. He had a trainee with him that was equally friendly. The food was delish. Burgers, lobster role, crab dip, monkey bread, blueberry waffles, chicken sandwich - would recommend any and all of those! ...did I mention we were a big group, I didn’t eat all this myself ;)

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OT
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on 7 October 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Responsive staff, delicious food.

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s
1 review
Dined on 7 October 2018
Overall 4food 4service 3ambience 4

The ambiance was great on the patio, could use a touch more elbow room around tables though. little cramped.

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JM
Washington DC
4 reviews
Dined on 7 October 2018
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 4

I have been wanting to try this place and finally had the opportunity at a Sunday brunch. My daughter had the French toast which was thick and sweet. I had the egg scramble and loved it. The price is right, our server was pleasant and helpful with all of our questions. I would have like more options for breakfast but I will definitely be returning.

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KH
1 review
Dined on 6 October 2018
Overall 3food 5service 4ambience 2

Their Shrimp & Grits are to die for, as is the kids menu Grouper, but that’s the only reason we bother anymore. They replaced a favorite Alexandria ceviche w/ a dulled down seafood cocktail version (boo), the crowdedness & noise level inside is way uncomfortable for conversation, and waiting for outside seating (even w/ prior int reservation) will kill your night. Not a good place to go for dinner for more than 4 people.

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JZ
Washington DC
3 reviews
Dined on 6 October 2018
Overall 4food 4service 3ambience 4

Food was as good as usual. Waiter was very good almost annoyingly attentive in the beginning then when the rest of our party arrived we order an app but it took 30 min to arrive. He seemed to get distracted but apologize and I believe comped the app.

The only other comment is the electronic pay system. It kind of puts pressure on you to tip well in front of the waiter, an litte awkward even if you generally tip 20%. Not sure I like the system.

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JN
1 review
Dined on 4 October 2018
Overall 3food 2service 4ambience 4

This place was fine except that the food was very average at best. The Fried Chicken was way too salty. It must have been brined, because it was still too salty even with the breading peeled off. If you really like salt, this is the place for you.

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A
Washington DC
54 reviews
Dined on 30 September 2018
Overall 2food 2service 2ambience 1

This was a first visit, and I found Vola's underwhelming. The food was ordinary, not exceptional. Perhaps it was because my visit was on a Sunday evening, which is not restaurant chef prime-time, I don't know.

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JB
Washington DC
42 reviews
Dined on 30 September 2018
Overall 3food 3service 3ambience 4

It’s really pleasant to sit outside at Vola’s. Food is serviceable if not terrific, but overall the ambience is great for a big noisy group at brunch.

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