Legal Sea Foods - 7th Street

4.4
2854 reviews
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$31 to $50
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Seafood
The signature dish at Legal Sea Foods – really fresh fish.
Legal Sea Foods has long proven that a consistent, high quality dining experience never goes out of style. With over 40 varieties of fresh fish and shellfish available throughout the year as well as an award-winning wine list, there’s no doubt why legions of fans have fallen hook, line and sinker. A bipartisan favorite, we have occupied the nation’s capital since 1995, anchored across from the Verizon Center and around the corner from the International Spy Museum, National Portrait Gallery and Chinatown.

Make waves at our racetrack-shaped bar or sup on seafood underneath the hull-like ceiling in our restaurant’s main dining room. Either way, be presidential and order a cup of our New England Clam Chowder; it’s been served at every Inauguration since 1981. Other accolades include being named “#1 Best Seafood Restaurant” in a nationwide poll by USA Today (2013).

Specials

Valentine's Day Special Menus & More

Eat your heart out with us on Valentine's Day. We'll be offering our regular menus along with festive features. Reservations are highly recommended.

Thursday, February 14, 2019

What 2854 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
4.5
food
4.5
service
4.2
ambience
4.1
value
Noise · Moderate
92% of people would recommend it to a friend
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OT
Washington DC
23 reviews
Dined 2 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We liked the clam chowder, Annie’s baked cod, and the sweet potatoes.

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NA
1 review
Dined 7 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Food was great and our waiter William was awesome!

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RD
Washington DC
37 reviews
Dined on January 12, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 5ambience 3

My son and I had dinner at Legal's recently and were a bit disappointed. We've been customers of Legal's for decades, starting with the original Legal's in Inman Square. Given that history we were disappointed that the fried clams were not as good as they used to be - lots of tiny clams, but not big bellies on the clams. We started with the popcorn shrimp as an appetizer and the shrimp were very well prepared, not overcooked and tough. The buffalo sauce with them was too vinegary for my taste, but the shrimp were excellent. I had the crab cake appetizer as my main course, together with a tomato and burrata salad. The salad that came with the crab cake was generous, but had too much dressing on it, and the dressing was not well balanced in flavor. The tomato burrata salad was good overall, but the tomatoes were underripe and flavorless. Of course one shouldn't expect perfect tomatoes in the winter, but they should have been better. One of the wine offerings was a flight of 3 white wines (pinot grigio and two sauvignon blancs), and that was very enjoyable.

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j
Philadelphia
16 reviews
Dined on January 9, 2019
Overall 5food 4service 4ambience 3

Great gluten free options and awareness!

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F
Washington DC
27 reviews
Dined on January 9, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Our waitress was very knowledgeable about the food. I think every manager on deck that night stopped by the table to say "welcome and thanks for coming." The New England Clam Chowder was outstanding. It was packed with lots of clams and vegetables.

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F
Washington DC
6 reviews
Dined on January 8, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great gluten free place. ALways a great meal. My family and I eat there pretty much once a week during hockey season and staff is attentive and always prompt.

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SM
1 review
Dined on January 7, 2019
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 4

I have to again thank everyone starting with our waitress, the manager, concierge, chef, & servers, because each one personally wished my Mom Happy (97th)Birthday! She felt very special and it made for a warm and wonderful dining experience. God bless you guys!

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M
Baltimore
1 review
Dined on January 5, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

This is one of my favorite restaurants. The seafood is always very fresh and everything is well prepared. They have several healthy options and the price point is reasonable.

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S
Washington DC
2 reviews
Dined on January 5, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 5ambience 3

Legal Seafood is a decent chain with high-quality seafood. It's good for a family meal, easy atmosphere, before or after a show/movie if you happen to be in the neighborhood. One can find something on the menu that will accommodate a variety of tastes and appetite level. It's not a place I would go out of my way to get to, but is very convenient if you are going to an event nearby.

The mixed grill was the best of the dishes we had. The fish and chips was mediocre with a huge pile of mostly cold french fries topped with hot fish that had a dry and floury, not flakey, coating. Portions are huge and a bit sauce-heavy: ask for sauces on the side if you prefer subtlety.

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BJ
1 review
Dined on January 4, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

I had a table away from a party on the other side of the restaurant so I could talk with my friend. The wait staff was very attentive and helpful.

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HM
Charleston
1 review
Dined on January 4, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 3

The service was wonderful. The food was great. I had raw oysters which were wonderful.

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OT
Richmond
1 review
Dined on January 1, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

New Year’s Eve dinner

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OT
1 review
Dined on January 1, 2019
Overall 2food 4service 2ambience 5

Service was subpar...we were seated promptly, but we were only offered water...no other drinks until we asked. We didn’t get any silverware or napkins until we asked, and even then it took about 10 minutes to get. We got the raw bar sampler for an appetizer...it was good, but when we asked what kind of clams and oysters they were, our waiter didn’t know. One of us got the “assortment”, which was 3 different kind of fish, scallops and shrimp. It was good, but we were never told what kind of fish it was. Once our entrees came, no one came back to check on us, even though we tried to get their attention because we wanted another round of drinks. I’d try a different legal seafoods, but I wouldn’t go back to this one.

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OT
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on January 1, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 3ambience 3

Food came before the wine... other than that enjoyable.

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OT
Washington DC
4 reviews
Dined on January 1, 2019
Overall 3food 4service 3ambience 3

Greeted with inexperienced hostess upon arrival with no communication skills...not a welcome, smile, etc.... more experienced hostess had to come over to assist. Nice ambiance & restaurant was less than half full.

Service started off well, but no drinks offered outside of wine/cocktails to family. All kids stuck with water (which is better for them anyway!). & adults. Waiter became far slower after initial order. Almost no checkins for drink refills, cleaning table of plates, providing new silverware.

Runners from kitchen brought food but timing was way off. 2 appetizers came out and the 3rd appx 5 min later. Sides ordered with meal brought out prior to meal. Oddly off for Legal.

The wait time in between requests was beyond frustrating, particularly with the small number of occupied tables. I can’t imaging what it would have been like if more people came to dine.

Not the best experience but food was very good.

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M
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on January 1, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 2ambience 5

Food was great, seated early for our reservation, which was nice. Only compliant was our waiter, who was cold, unfriendly and made us feel unwanted as customers. I was dining with my daughter and her boyfriend for the New Year's celebration, who also noticed his behavior towards us when compared to his other tables located in the same section we were seated. Drinks took forever to come. We were eating our appetizers and still no drinks. We had to stop him while he waited on other tables to request anything we needed, like our drinks, a straw, bread(which he provided to other tables automatically after seating them), etc. Until the very end of our meal, he didn't even stop by to check and see if we needed anything until we were leaving. We were out of water, plates from appetizers were still on our table when the entree's arrived. Those serving the actual meals to our table provided excellent service, like clearing our plates away, getting us straws, refilling our water glasses, etc. Our waiter provided poor service the entire time we were there.

Worst service I have ever received. Food was really good but we couldn't wait to leave. Left a $20 tip on a $170 bill, but didn't want to leave that to be honest. I will eat at your establishment again but won't be seated in any section he is servicing.

Monica

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h
Phoenix
13 reviews
Dined on December 31, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

It was great. We had the Maryland crab soup and it was awesome! Highly recommend.

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DC
Washington DC
10 reviews
Dined on December 31, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Excellent drinks, food and service!! What could be better?

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AF
1 review
Dined on December 31, 2018
Overall 3food 2service 4ambience 3

Waiter, Andrew, was nice and attentive but food was mediocre and my crab cake was inedible and the salad was wilted. Nothing special for the price. Will not be returning.

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DH
1 review
Dined on December 31, 2018
Overall 3food 2service 4ambience 3

Shrimp and scallops was over cooked. Steak wasn’t anything spectacular.

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GS
Cincinnati
53 reviews
Dined on December 30, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 5

Food was very good. Our party of six enjoyed the food and sitting at bar prior to dinner. Our server was competent and pleasant but not cordial. His work around the table was competent but not friendly. And how can a seafood restaurant only have a few ounces of malt vinegar left in the entire restaurant???

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EF
Washington DC
11 reviews
Dined on December 30, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great food and excellent service.

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OT
1 review
Dined on December 28, 2018
Overall 3food 3service 3ambience 5

My husband’s snapper was tough. The service was very slow. However, the chowder was as great as always!

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JF
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on December 27, 2018
Overall 3food 3service 2ambience 3

Poor front desk service. Food over priced and undersized.

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GD
Washington DC
56 reviews
Dined on December 27, 2018
Overall 3food 4service 4ambience 3

I like Legal Seafood. Tonight they were not able to seat us in our requested table. Therefore, we had to sit out in the regular dining room. The food was good, our server was very good. The only problem was that the wait staff just could not seem to walk down the isle without bumping into my chair. It got annoying. The wait staff did not appear to be grossly overweight so I will assume they just didn't care. I think in the future if I can't get the window table, which we request when we make reservations, we'll just go across the street to Clyde's. There are many good to great restaurants in the Chinatown, Penn Quarter area.

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p
Washington DC
11 reviews
Dined on December 26, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Great service and food cooked perfectly

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L
1 review
Dined on December 26, 2018
Overall 3food 3service 3ambience 2

The food was average at best. It was noisy, as are too many restaurants. The wine was good.

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z
Milwaukee
118 reviews
Dined on December 24, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Thank goodness they were open Christmas Eve. Really enjoyed ourselves and our meals.

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OT
Philadelphia
1 review
Dined on December 24, 2018
Overall 3food 4service 5ambience 5

Christmas Eve

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D
1 review
Dined on December 23, 2018
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 4

With Opentable we got in after a show. They was a 30 to 45 minute wait if you did not have these reservations. Ours were for 630pm we got there just before 6pm checked in and sat within 5 mins. Ordered our drinks before 610pm so we beat our own reservation time.

Legal Seafood...
The server was wonderful, the food was delicious. I had Blackened Swordfish my wife had Seafood Casserole. The fish was perfectly seasoned and cooked, the Seafood Casserole was full of seafood and very tasty. The sides were complimentary to each dish. Fresh Ice Tea and we shared a drink (Lemon Drop) made perfect.

Considering it was in NW Washington D.C. right across from Capital One Area where we saw the Trans Siberian Orchestra (Christmas Concert) the price was kinda high but understandably so.

The Opentable Reservation was a great idea and we will be using it more often. Been to D.C. before and decided to get dinner and had to wait 45 minutes for a table for two. Opentable will be my new best friend.

Had a wonderful 24th anniversary night on the town, thank you.

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RB
New York Area
7 reviews
Dined on December 23, 2018
Overall 3food 3service 4ambience 3

Special to Order--Appetizer to Skip...We visited Sunday @6pm and seated right away. The regular listed Pecan Crusted salmon is delicious; I ordered the Swordfish special @ market price ($34) which was excellent. The rose wine was sweet enough while the not-sweet Reisling was...well, sweet. The service was very good given the crowd had emptied from the Concert across the street. The only thing really disappointing was the popcorn shrimp appetizer, The coating had no texture, like it had been stored in a humid location, plus the dip served on the side lacked any substance or appealing flavors. We will try again next time we're in DC.

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DC
1 review
Dined on December 23, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 5

Always a nice treat.
Love the food. The Crab soup is my favorite.

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OT
Dallas
13 reviews
Dined on December 23, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Super meal great service

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L
Washington DC
15 reviews
Dined on December 22, 2018
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 4

Everything at Legal Seafoods was delicious, appetizers to dessert! Early lunchtime on Saturday was quiet & easy for conversation. The calamari was light & crispy. For something new, try the Super Sea Roll! Full & tender with lobster, crab, & shrimp. And the seasonal Pumpkin Cheesecake was a delight! The service was attentive, prompt & courteous. It's an easy 1/2 block from Metro. Would definitely recommend. Enjoy!

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J
Atlanta
1 review
Dined on December 21, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Awesome experience!! Will definitely return!

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OT
Baltimore
5 reviews
Dined on December 20, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Legal Seafood is always great to get in and out quickly for lunch. Food is always spot on.

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MO
1 review
Dined on December 19, 2018
Overall 2food 3service 2ambience 2

The restaurant is right across from the Verizon center on the night of a Caps game. It was a zoo!... Although our server tried valiantly to get our food quickly to us it was slow. We waited over 40 minutes for soups! It was so crowded, our server dropped food or utensils on the floor several times, spilling beer on one patron. The place was too crowded! .. In the end, we had two bowls of soup, one beer, two wines and fried clams appetizer ..total bill out the door -$85 with tip!

Be advised ...

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NL
Washington DC
5 reviews
Dined on December 19, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Caps game!

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BB
Washington DC
15 reviews
Dined on December 19, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

My wife needs to eat gluten-free and our visits to Legal Sea Foods are always special. There is no better fried GF seafood anywhere. And the care taken with all of the dishes is superb. The seafood itself is always fresh. And they have a fantastic wine list.

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LN
Vancouver
110 reviews
Dined on December 18, 2018
Overall 3food 3service 3ambience 3

We learned about the delicious clam chowder and baked cod on a trip to Boston many years ago and were excited to find this restaurant was so close to our Kimpton Monaco Hotel. They are also right by the Capital arena! The creamy chowder and fresh cod with a crumb topping were as good as I had remembered!

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