Vola's Dockside Grill

4.5
775 reviews
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$30 and under
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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.

Specials

Easter Restaurant Specials & Reservations

Hop on in to Vola's for Easter for all your favorites, plus holiday specials like Vola's Chopped Salad, Dockside Surf & Turf, Seared Scallops, or a New England Steamer Pail. The kids can run around in the new Waterfront Park while the adults enjoy a delicious Easter meal on the water!

Sunday, April 21, 2019

What 775 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
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A
1 review
Dined 6 days ago
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.

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OT
Washington DC
1 review
Dined 6 days ago
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!

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

The clam chowder was very good. Nice dockside location

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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

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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!

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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.

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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.

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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.

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OT
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on March 31, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Highly recommend the biscuits, chicken, and gravy.

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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.

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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.

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

Great drinks, good food, great service!

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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.

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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

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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.

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FD
Washington DC
1 review
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.

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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

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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.

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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.

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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!

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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.

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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.

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

One of my favorite brunch spots!!

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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.

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

Good food. Imani was excellent

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JV
Washington DC
8 reviews
Dined on March 22, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

Great place for a seafood dinner in Old Town - we were glad we made reservations for a Friday night. It was quite full but the food came quickly and it was piping hot. The $1 oysters are a great deal. We had the sailor mussels and seafood stew, both were good.

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JM
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on March 22, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 5

Fast, courteous service with great food. Great location right on the water. We had a very pleasant casual
dinner. We will go back.

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MA
New England
1 review
Dined on March 20, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Vola's is a fairly new restaurant (they said open for two years), but I think it has a bright future. Situated close to the water, and the Torpedo Art Factory, it is VERY well located. The service was attentive, and accommodating. The seafood was fresh and tasty. We strongly recommend coming here to eat!

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L
Washington DC
21 reviews
Dined on March 20, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 3

Great location. Good food. Good service.
I had the blackened grouper sandwich that was delicious!

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OT
Las Vegas
8 reviews
Dined on March 19, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 5

Very good food. I had the crab cakes, and my date had the mussels. Good selection of drinks. My one complaint was that our waiter was hard to find when we wanted a refill on wine. I would come back again.

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a
Washington DC
32 reviews
Dined on March 17, 2019
Overall 3food 2service 3ambience 4

Yes and no! Location is great! Food was really bad yesterday! (Fish tacos). They massed up my reservation, instead of checking, host cancelled it. Waited for the manager later to get it fixed. Best view at Old town right on the water!

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E
Washington DC
5 reviews
Dined on March 17, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 3ambience 4

We arrived at noon on a Sunday. After that they were crushed with people. We sat outside. It was cool but with heaters it was fine. Much quieter sitting outside. We ordered coffee and juice and it took over 15 minutes to get served. The food came not too long after that. The food was very good. My granddaughter got a fried chicken sandwich which she devoured. The rest of us got Vola's breakfast: 3 eggs, bacon or sausage and hash browns. Eggs cooked perfectly the way each of us wanted. It was hot. I will say after it took so long to initially get our coffee our waitress was right on top of refills. We will return and tell others.

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L
Washington DC
33 reviews
Dined on March 17, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Best breakfast you can have in Alexandria. Servers are friendly and efficient. Reasonably priced and a great view thatbis getting better.

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J
Washington DC
38 reviews
Dined on March 16, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 3

Food was good and service was incredibly fast. The outdoor patio was closed because it was too cold. Inside was packed, with tables practically on top of each and the music was blaring. Nothing much to the decor - very plain and industrial. I would come back to sit on patio, otherwise I’d eat elsewhere.

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OC
Washington DC
6 reviews
Dined on March 15, 2019
Overall 4food 3service 5ambience 4

This was good bar fare. The waiter was outstanding. He made the experience delightful. My husband and the couple we were with agreed. Walter was a good part of the experience realizing the mood at the table, we weren’t rushed and he was attentive and did not disappear.

We ordered the crab dip and he quickly replenished the crackers when we ran out. We ordered the conch fritters and shrimp and grita and both types of tacos. I had the shrimp tacos and they had a nice bite.

We had originally hoped to eat outside but heard that was first come, first serve basis. Luckily our seating was inside because it was extremely windy.

We will be returning on a sunny day for light fare.

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OL
Washington DC
4 reviews
Dined on March 15, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Vola's is one of our favorite restaurants, we go 2 or more times a month. One of the best things about Vola's is the staff is very friendly, what we call "California kind of service". The hostess is always so nice and our waiter on this visit was very cool too:-) The food is always excellent! Their lobster roll is my husband's favorite.

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