Vola's Dockside Grill

4.5
786 reviews
icon/ic_price_rangeCreated with Sketch.
$30 and under
icon/ic_cuisineCreated with Sketch.
Seafood
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.
What 786 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.5based on recent ratings
4.4
food
4.5
service
4.3
ambience
4.2
value
Noise · Moderate
95% of people would recommend it to a friend
5
4
3
2
1
Sort by
Newest
Filters
MP
1 review
Dined 2 days ago
Overall 3food 4service 2ambience 4

Service staff was largely friendly, and try to accommodate. The only issue I had was that I asked for a new beer when my sandwich and main course showed up, and I didn't receive the new beer until after I was completely done with my dinner. I think that they can probably do better than that.

Report
Helpful
S
Washington DC
215 reviews
Dined 2 days ago
Overall 3food 3service 3ambience 3

This lively neighborhood joint also draws a lot of tourists. The menu is not as varied as I might hope. Not a dieters venue.

Report
Helpful
AL
Washington DC
64 reviews
Dined 3 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Lovely dinner sitting outside at the riverfront.

Report
Helpful
T
Philadelphia
13 reviews
Dined 3 days ago
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 4

Great service and wait staff! The oysters were great,you get a lot of choices and can mix and match.

For the rest of the meal- the crab Benedict arrived cold, but our server had them replaced immediately. They were good, not great.

The burger was tasty but for my taste, it could have been cooked through a little more.

The setting on the waterfront was nice, if it was warmer would be nice to sit outside.

Overall a good experience and would visit again.

Report
Helpful
U
Washington DC
1 review
Dined 3 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Easter Brunch by the water was the best way to spend the day!!

Report
Helpful
LG
San Antonio
2 reviews
Dined 4 days ago
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

Food and service were very good. Would prefer segregated bathrooms.

Report
Helpful
OT
Philadelphia
1 review
Dined 4 days ago
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 4

Fun place and location...right on the water. Relaxed environment. Good for kids. Our server was friendly and very attentive. Food came out pretty quickly

Report
Helpful
VL
Washington DC
9 reviews
Dined 4 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We had the pleasure of eating here for brunch while sitting outside by the water on a gorgeous spring day. The food and beverages were delicious and the oyster selection was particularly tasty. You can't beat the view!

Report
Helpful
S
New York Area
1 review
Dined 5 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Visiting from out of town. It was Good Friday and was looking for easy atmosphere and tasty seafood ... Volas fit the bill!

Report
Helpful
VA
Washington DC
3 reviews
Dined 6 days ago
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 4

Food was very good. Great Location next to the water. The waitress was new but very good. It was a bit loud and the Happy Hour is a little deceptive since you only get the Happy Hour price at the bar not sitting in a table next to the bar. I had a fish and chips which was very good.

Report
Helpful
SA
New York Area
1 review
Dined 6 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The food was fresh and delicious! Our waiter was very knowledgeable about the menu and gave us wonderful recommendations. Great atmosphere and phenomenal food!

Report
Helpful
A
1 review
Dined on April 12, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Amazing food all the way around. Went with a party of 6 and everyone loved the food and the waiter was fantastically fun. I had crab cakes that were amazing, the mussles were great too. This is my new go-to for seafood.

Report
Helpful
OT
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on April 12, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 3ambience 5

Love the atmosphere and servers are super nice and friendly. Sometimes a bit slow to loop back around when they get busy but not a big issue. Oysters are fabulous. Everyone who works there is so friendly. Keep it up!

Report
Helpful
L
Denver
8 reviews
Dined on April 9, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 3ambience 4

The clam chowder was very good. Nice dockside location

Report
Helpful
NJ
New York Area
1 review
Dined on April 7, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Food and service were very good. Right on the water with open windows, so it was noisy.

Report
Helpful
AD
Washington DC
2 reviews
Dined on April 7, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 3ambience 3

Great place to have a quick bite by the water. Nothing fancy, food is fried mainly but one could find fresh oysters as well, which is a plus. Wired reservation system , they don’t tell you at booking time that they book only for inside / which is really not pretty. The deck is on the Potomac and has a chic vibe. Location is their strong point.

Report
Helpful
SB
1 review
Dined on April 7, 2019
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 5

Enjoyed everything about the experience. I will definitely be returning with friends and recommending this lovely spot.

Report
Helpful
OT
1 review
Dined on April 6, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 3

I had a great time here! The food and service was spectacular. Our waiter was on top of everything. The lighting was really dim and it was kind of loud but it wasn’t so bad that it made my experience bad.

Report
Helpful
D
Orange County
1 review
Dined on April 6, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Make a reservation for dinner or any weekend that you plan on going, the main reason is it gets full and it's very close to the pier. I walked past many people who had reservations and were patiently waiting for their time slot to get called and I could hear the wait times from an hour to 90 minutes.

For the price you pay for the food, I would say it's very fair regarding the quantity of food you get. This isn't the kind of restaurant where what you order is on a mountain of fries. I left the establishment full but not feeling oily and gross.

The raw bar was also rather pleasant as well. It wasn't oyster hour (play on terms with happy hour) when I went but it was about 2 dollars an oyster which is what I've encountered in the past. The server was knowledgeable in the oysters and was very helpful in recommending a selection.

The drinks, the margarita especially, was on point and hit the spot after a long day of walking around Old Town Alexandria.

The lobster roll was creamy and you can taste the sweet lobster meat. The roll wasn't overly greased or fried and there was enough fries to make me pat my belly with happiness versus groaning and making a burp noise in the restaurant.

Overall, a great place to eat with plenty of value in the menu, great ambiance, and very helpful staff

Report
Helpful
OT
Philadelphia
1 review
Dined on April 6, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

Good food at a decent price! I definitely prefer the ambiance and noise level of the outside better when the weather allows it. Drinks are a bit pricy. Overall good experience. Get the fish tacos!

Report
Helpful
S
Washington DC
65 reviews
Dined on April 5, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Of the many good restaurants in Old Town, this is one o our favorites. Had the usual great oysters on the half shell. My wife had wonderful scallops with excellent polenta (I sampled), and I had the special chopped salad with the calamari appetizer, plenty for a nice meal. We split two scoops of slated caramel gelato upon requesting since wasn't on the menu except as part of another dessert. Patrick was efficient and friendly. Crowded from happy hour on a Friday night, but it was another fine evening.

Report
Helpful
KC
New York Area
1 review
Dined on April 3, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Francine is the best server! She's also been a host, and does a great job there, too. Overall, really great serving staff.

Report
Helpful
LK
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on April 2, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 5ambience 2

First, the service was excellent. Our waiter was very attentive. However, the place is really noisy, which hindered our ability to talk to each other. Probably a great place for people who like a very lively place. The food was good, but not great, although the fries were outstanding.

Report
Helpful
OT
Washington DC
2 reviews
Dined on March 31, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Highly recommend the biscuits, chicken, and gravy.

Report
Helpful
P
1 review
Dined on March 31, 2019
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 5

We had a great experience at Vola's. We were there celebrating a friend's birthday. The waitress, Aniyah, was wonderful and the food and ambiance were great as well. We will definitely be back.

Report
Helpful
OT
1 review
Dined on March 31, 2019
Overall 1food 1service 1ambience 1

Management and host staff, as well as friend of management (other patrons) were INCREDIBLY RUDE.

Report
Helpful
OT
Richmond
1 review
Dined on March 30, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great drinks, good food, great service!

Report
Helpful
JM
1 review
Dined on March 30, 2019
Overall 3food 4service 2ambience 3

Food was good, service was ridiculously slow. Had to wait 30+ minutes after reservation time before being seated at table for two. Near the end of the meal the server seemed to be more interested in socializing with her co-workers and it took at least 15 minutes to get our to-go dessert and the check.

Report
Helpful
OT
Philadelphia
6 reviews
Dined on March 30, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 4

Wonderful food with a great location and sites. Very busy so a reservation was the smart way to get a seat

Report
Helpful
CW
Washington DC
4 reviews
Dined on March 30, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 3

The food here is delicious -- fresh, inventive, very tasty. We had the mussels appetizer - fantastic! The broth was excellent and they give you some good bread to use to soak it all up. We like the burger here, and the beet salad, and the grits, and the bbq sandwich, and the fish tacos. The wait staff aims to please, too. This place was hopping, and as a result, quite noisy, more so than usual, so if a busy place with happy noise is something you love, try this out. You will love it. They have a nice array of seafood dishes - we have yet to try them all.

Report
Helpful
FD
Washington DC
2 reviews
Dined on March 30, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great energy with amazing service - thanks Jocelyn. The food was delicious and ambiance was fun and upbeat.

Report
Helpful
OT
1 review
Dined on March 29, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Conch fritters were the draw. They didn’t disappoint. Great menu and perfect proportions. Not too much or too little

Report
Helpful
t
New England
2 reviews
Dined on March 29, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 4

Our waitress was very accommodating with our requests and very prompt in service. We were given a table that we wanted even though it wasn't quite cleaned yet. Very good food. Prompt service. Great view.

Report
Helpful
OT
Washington DC
2 reviews
Dined on March 29, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

AMAZING!
Did the peel and eat shrimp- they peeled so easy cause they were steamed. The taste was amazing. Also did the mussels too which were heaven. Added the corn as a side since it was an appetizer meal sampling kind of night. You must get the oysters during happy hour- locally sourced and stunning. Service was wonderful and the vibe of the place is so cool. Highly recommended.

Report
Helpful
OT
Cleveland
2 reviews
Dined on March 28, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Awesome meal! The vibe and ambiance is great, a bit loud but that was fine. The food was excellent, we ordered the calamari for appetizer, lobster roll, peel and eat shrimp, chowder, but the real star was were the clam..they were fantastic! What a great find!

Report
Helpful
FS
Washington DC
30 reviews
Dined on March 28, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Tasty half-price oysters at happy hour, terrific meal, attentive service equals a great meal.

Report
Helpful
OT
Baltimore
5 reviews
Dined on March 26, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 1ambience 3

Received subpar service and lots of miscommunication... not sure if I'll return.

Report
Helpful
OT
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on March 24, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

One of my favorite brunch spots!!

Report
Helpful
CF
Washington DC
7 reviews
Dined on March 23, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 3

Fun place. Food was delicious. Waitstaff was incredible. Just wish it wasn't so loud.

Report
Helpful
MO
Miami
5 reviews
Dined on March 23, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Good food. Imani was excellent

Report
Helpful
1
2
3
20

Tweets by Vola's Dockside Grill