The Wharf

4.3
2117 reviews
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$30 and under
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Seafood
History has been written inside the walls of the Wharf, with its 1790's style architecture featuring original wood columns and beams that are charred black from a Civil War fire. Since 1971, satisfied diners have been heading to The Wharf in Old Town for whole Maine lobster, local soft shell crabs and prime steaks. The restaurant has recently been renovated and remodeled and the menu updated to include many contemporary seafood items along with their traditional Chesapeake Bay creations.
Dining Style
Casual Elegant
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Cuisines
Seafood, Steak, American
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Hours of operation
Brunch: Sunday: 10:30am - 3:00pm; Lunch: Monday - Saturday: 11:00am - 4:00pm, Sunday: 11:00am - 3:00pm; Dinner: Monday - Thursday: 4:00pm - 10:30pm, Friday & Saturday: 4:00pm - 11:00pm, Sunday: 3:00pm - 10:00pm
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Phone number
(703) 836-2836
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Payment options
AMEX, Diners Club, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
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Dress code
Smart Casual
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Private party facilities
With our beautiful private dining room on the second floor, The Wharf is the perfect place for your next business meeting or special occasion. With our fresh seafood and excellent staff, The Wharf can make your next event one to remember.
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Private party contact
Pedro Rivas: (703) 836-2836
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Catering
We offer small-scale catering services in the direct Old Town area. For larger inquiries, please call to discuss with a manager.
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Neighborhood
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Cross street
N. Lee St.
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Parking details
On street parking available and public parking garage directly behind restaurant.
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Public transit
Free trolley from Metro stop to the Wharf and transit stop 1 block from restaurant.
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Entertainment
Multiple televisions for sports games, shows, etc.
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Special events & promotions
Weddings, rehearsal dinners, receptions, bridal showers, baby showers, holiday parties, bar/bat mitzvahs, business meetings/conferences.
Additional
Banquet, Bar Dining, Beer, Full Bar, Non-Smoking, Outdoor dining, Private Room, Weekend Brunch, Wheelchair Access, Wine
What 2117 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.3based on recent ratings
4.3
food
4.4
service
4.3
ambience
4.0
value
Noise · Moderate
89% of people would recommend it to a friend
5
4
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S
Washington DC
4 reviews
Dined 3 days ago
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 4

I enjoyed my crabcakes and my husband had the seafood platter and it was delicious. Nice atmosphere and the service was great!

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F
Washington DC
6 reviews
Dined 3 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

First time dining, food was prepared very well and served at the right temp. Waiter was excellent very friendly and very knowledgeable. Great experience

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S
Denver
2 reviews
Dined 4 days ago
Overall 3food 4service 3ambience 4

Sign out front said $5 valet. Jk it was $15. Maitre’d made no attempt to rectify. Annoying. Steak was advertised as “no worse than steakhouse.” Mediocre over all. Won’t be back.

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

The food preparation was very good and we were served in a reasonable time, but we were disappointed with aspects of the menu options. First, one of us was given the wrong menu, with selections unavailable that night. The server was unaware of his, so our orders were delayed when he returned with the bad news and one of us had to make new selections from a different list of specials. Second, the fish options were very limited, and most of the seafood dishes were shrimp, crabs and lobster. Since the Wharf is billed as a seafood restaurant, it should have had more local fish.

One of us ordered the broccoli side order, but it came steamed, not as described in the menu.

Overall, we had to give The Wharf a "good" rating because of these negatives.

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D
Los Angeles
22 reviews
Dined 6 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Very accomodating for our large group with a late reservation. Thanks very much. Food and service was great!

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JC
New York Area
4 reviews
Dined on November 11, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

WE have been to the Wharf on a number of occasions and have never had a bad meal. Their seafood selections are excellent, especially my favorite, the crabcakes. Also, the service is excellent.

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LM
Washington DC
26 reviews
Dined on November 11, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

I always like the food at this restaurant, especially the fried shrimp. The only disappointment was the overly done baked potato.

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T
Washington DC
8 reviews
Dined on November 11, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 3

Girlfriends get together...We were there for hours. Had a great time!

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

This was my first time at the Wharf. We had a large crew including 2 babies. The table was set up and ready to go when we arrived. We had a very mixed experience. There was broken glass on the floor under the table- but it was quickly cleaned up once we pointed it out! The waitress was helpful, friendly and all around wonderful. As for the food- each of us opted for the salad. They had obviously been prepared quite a bit earlier. Most of us didn’t eat it. As to the entrees- Most were good. Especially the crab cake Benedict. However- fish and chips- not much fish; undercooked and greasy batter. 4 of us said they couldn’t wait to go back. The rest won’t.

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SB
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on November 10, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 3

Just don't get the back table. It's under the upstairs bathroom plumbing and every flush can be heard!
The food and service was very good.

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w
Washington DC
15 reviews
Dined on November 5, 2018
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 5

Important business meeting—able to converse with no issues—will return

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CB
Philadelphia
7 reviews
Dined on November 3, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

Lovely old authentic setting for delicious seafood dinner. Pleasant server and great dessert.

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CV
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on October 29, 2018
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 3

Seated immediately and served shortly thereafter. Great crab cakes and oysters! Nice wine competitively priced. Perhaps Monday nights are slow, but little noise so conversation among four diners easily heard—a big plus! Afforded a fine intro to Old Town for out-of-town guests.

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D
Philadelphia
1 review
Dined on October 28, 2018
Overall 2food 1service 1ambience 1

Bad food, terrible service. First floor rather ugly and outdated.

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CN
Washington DC
6 reviews
Dined on October 27, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Outstanding experience. Wait staff very attentive but not intrusive. All entres were delicious. Highly recommend for romantic dinner with a loved one. We have family coming from NY for Thanksgiving and plan on making reservations.

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MB
St. Louis
5 reviews
Dined on October 26, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

EXCELLENT food!!!! We were in from St. Louis upon recommendation from a friend from the area. They did not disappoint! So happy they had valet on a rainy Friday night!

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a
1 review
Dined on October 26, 2018
Overall 2food 3service 4ambience 3

Fairly disappointing; felt much more like a tourist trap type of destination. Little things - paper napkins instead of cloth for the bread, my old fashion was a small pour, the steak I ordered was a poor quality of meat, food was brought out slightly too cool. Just clearly not an excellent restaurant - yet priced as one. Crab cakes were good though.

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Z
New England
9 reviews
Dined on October 20, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 5

The Wharf was great! The crabcakes were outstanding and seafood pasta very good. The only drawback was that there was no service within the restaurant which was difficult due to wanting to be reached for the sitter so we had to pop outside periodically, but otherwise we would highly recommend the wharf!

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MH
Atlanta
3 reviews
Dined on October 20, 2018
Overall 4food 5service 3ambience 5

The ambiance was great, the food was great, and the service was good. Our server was very nice but we waited through eating our appetizer before we had to ask for our drinks. The wait for the check at the end took longer than usual as well. Overall, we'd definitely re-visit The Wharf but hope the service is a little quicker next time.

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JR
1 review
Dined on October 20, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 3ambience 3

We enjoyed our dinner but it was a bit noisy due to a large group close by.

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SJ
1 review
Dined on October 20, 2018
Overall 1food 1service 1ambience 1

Waiter was a jerk so we left without ordering food and went to a different restaurant.

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F
1 review
Dined on October 14, 2018
Overall 3food 2service 4ambience 5

Went to The Wharf for a birthday dinner. Ordered crab cakes but was very disappointed to find out that it was mostly breadcrumbs/fillers and the few pieces of "crab" tasted like the artificial crab meat. I had excellent crab cakes at The Hamilton in DC the day before so my expectations were elevated, but The Wharf was a letdown. My dining companion had the salmon, which also left much to be desired, flavor-wise.

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JF
Washington DC
13 reviews
Dined on October 13, 2018
Overall 3food 3service 4ambience 2

Summary: promising seafood restaurant has decent food, but the furniture needs repairing.

The food was pretty good. I ordered the filet tip sandwich (which was good), and it came with fries. I prefer when fries come salted, but this restaurant apparently doesn't do that. My date ordered the New England clam chowder, which she said was delicious.

Our server was polite and friendly, and our food arrived quickly.

The restaurant was dead silent. It was lunchtime on a Sunday (maybe this isn't usually a busy time for the restaurant) and the restaurant was mostly empty. There was only one other table being served when we arrived.

(Going back to the service: the lack of customers meant that servers were always standing nearby, watching us eat. I appreciate the attentiveness! But it's kind of unsettling when someone watches you eat from across the room.)

Probably the most troubling thing about the experience was the furniture: we were seated in a booth, and the seat cushion on my side of the booth had become detached. If I were to sit on the front of my seat, the cushion would tip and dump me forward—not a fun dining experience.

The prices were quite reasonable and you get a good amount of food. Maybe being in a touristy part of town helps with this. I would go back there (but I hope they fix their chairs)!

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LW
1 review
Dined on October 12, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 3

We were celebrating our wedding anniversary. The food was excellent so was the service. The young waiter was attentive but not overbearing. We will be back next time we are in town.

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l
Kansas City
1 review
Dined on October 12, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

The service was quick and excellent. My waiter was attentive.

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FF
Washington DC
136 reviews
Dined on October 12, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The Wharf is one of our favorite restaurants in the area. The food is always very good, they have a good variety of options, and for this lunch visit, we were very pleased with the menu options available; smaller potions of the dinner entrees for a good price as well as some non-diner alternatives. My wife has enjoyed the Seafood Norfolk our last three visits and I really enjoyed the Chicken Picata. The wait staff was very courteous and attentive and window seating is always a nice scenic perk.

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KF
Naples
9 reviews
Dined on October 9, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

The crab cakes are fabulous. Outdoor dining was nice except for airplanes from Reagan National flying over.

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f
Charleston
4 reviews
Dined on October 7, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The best crabcakes I've ever had!! Excellent service!

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JR
Birmingham
2 reviews
Dined on October 6, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 3ambience 3

The seafood was good but not exceptional. The appetizer crab cakes were delightful. I tried a glass of a local winery called Mid Summer Nights dream. I would not recommend it. The seating was a little cramped and lacked comfort. It was busy and seemed to be a local favorite. It was not kid friendly however it was noisy and busy enough that if you got there early enough you might be okay.

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T
Miami
9 reviews
Dined on October 6, 2018
Overall 3food 3service 4ambience 4

First time in Old Town and was glad we had a chance to stop in and have a meal. The server was outstanding! The food was good. As in any historic area the meal was not inexpensive but to be expected.

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d
1 review
Dined on October 6, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 4

They accommodated a large group of 14. We enjoyed our dinner very much.

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RL
1 review
Dined on October 4, 2018
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 5

Very nice seafood.
We were on a group of 6 and had a great time thee.

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OT
Washington DC
107 reviews
Dined on September 30, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

I went for my birthday day. The waitress was a top of the line employee.

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N
Washington DC
24 reviews
Dined on September 23, 2018
Overall 3food 3service 5ambience 5

We went here today during brunch after seeing a movie. There were street closures because of the art event on King Street, so we had to walk quite a distance to get here.

For starters, we ordered the bacon wrapped scallops with onion straws. The scallops were pretty good, but the onion straws were absolutely delicious, which was a pleasant surprise.

My daughter ordered the eggs any style with sausage. She wasn’t happy with the eggs because they put cheese on top and it didn’t cover all of the eggs.

My husband ordered the fish and chips, but he wasn’t happy with the amount of oil in the fish.

I ordered the flounder Chesapeake with French fries. It was pretty bland, but tasty.

The service from the young woman, Amaris, was superb. Overall, it’s a decent spot I may return to for dinner.

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1
Cleveland
1 review
Dined on September 22, 2018
Overall 4food 3service 3ambience 3

Love the restaurant- two top was crammed in back corner- difficult to get in and out- water was not refilled for quite a long time.

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JG
1 review
Dined on September 22, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

It was a busy Saturday night but everything was good except the potatoes on my plate were cold. I told the waitress and she brought me out more and they were piping hot

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MS
Grand Rapids
4 reviews
Dined on September 21, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 4

Good food, very interesting historic building, and great service. Over all, we enjoyed the food very much as well as the atmosphere.

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M
Seattle
5 reviews
Dined on September 20, 2018
Overall 3food 2service 4ambience 3

Service/waiter was great.

Food: portions very large, potatoes were cold, and served by ice cream scoop... like we were at a buffet. Fish (silk snapper) was like mush... sent it back.

Everything like vegetables was oozing in oil and butter...

Bottom line if you are going to promote yourself as fine dining you have a long way to go...

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K
Chicago
10 reviews
Dined on September 19, 2018
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 4

Fresh seafood in a quiet, nice atmosphere with competent, capable servers. Perfect for a business dinner.

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DB
Birmingham
1 review
Dined on September 18, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Server was outstanding. She made the evening very enjoyable. Food was outstanding. Everyone had a great time.

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