I am going to assume that after lots of walking, museums and cherry blossoms that you are looking for something low-key and easy. I adore being by the water (any water) and people watching - and the SW DC Wharf is the perfect spot for this! It is also my favorite part of DC because you are so close to the Mall and all of the museums, yet you feel like you are so far away. If you are from out of town, there are a few great hotels, too!
I am going to share some of the best quick bites with you! There are plenty of benches along the water and even some fun swings on the pier. It is the perfect low-key spot to just relax and enjoy some people watching!
1 - The Fish Market
You can order something straight from one of the seafood barges - whether you want steamed seafood or fried seafood. Get the freshest seafood at a reasonable price to eat right away! The steamed crab legs with seasoning are my favorite! Fun fact - this is the oldest continuously operating open-air fish market in the United States! It is fun to visit even if you aren’t planning to buy seafood!
2 - Union Pie
Union Pie offers a thin-crust, bar style pizza. You can never go wrong with this crispy, cheesy deliciousness! My personal favorite is the white pizza but a close second is the hot and sweet. Grab a pie and listen to some free live music nearby (depending on the day).
3 - Grazie Grazie
Thank me later :) They have a menu focused on build your own sandwiches, but the salads are incredible and the risotto balls are gooey deliciousness! I also highly recommend the Runningbyrd mint tea and my family loves the Pucks soda fountain. This is a great spot to grab a quick bite!
4 - Hummus & Falafel
This is probably the best deal you will find in DC. They offer the unheard of $3 falafel sandwich! Zaatar fries on the side and you have an inexpensive yet mouth-watering meal. Your order is made hot and fresh! The shop is a bit hidden behind the Rappahannock Oyster Bar, near the Fish Market. It is a must try in my opinion!
5 - Chopsmith
Chopsmith is new to the Wharf but so far my experiences have been excellent! They offer hand-crafted gourmet salads, bowls and sandwiches. I have only had salads but they have been perfectly made, plentiful and delicious! It’s a great addition to the Wharf!
These are just a few of my favorites, but there are more quick options, lots of sit-down restaurants and even more places opening soon.
If you have a sweet tooth, there is a good variety to choose from; ice cream (Ben and Jerry’s and Milk Bar), gelato (Dolcezza), homemade Italian desserts (Officina Market), donuts (District Donut) or fresh baked sweets (Praline Bakery).
Throughout the year, the DC Wharf hosts so many fun festivals and events. If you want to see what is happening, check out the events calendar at https://www.wharfdc.com/upcoming-events/.
Special tip - There is an awesome bar called Whiskey Charlie’s at the very end of the Wharf (7th Street), perched at the top of the Hilton Canopy Hotel. They offer the most unbelievable views of the Washington Channel Waterway with indoor and outdoor seating! You get there through the Canopy hotel entrance (between Hank’s Oyster Bar and the Praline Bakery).
Getting to the Wharf
The Wharf is just a few blocks from the Mall but there is also a convenient and FREE DC Wharf shuttle that you can take from L’Enfant Plaza, the Spy Museum or the Mall. See this site for details and look for the purple sign! https://www.wharfdc.com/getting-here/southwest-shuttle/
I hope you visit the wharf, enjoy a beautiful day and fall in love with it as much as I have!