Vola's Dockside Grill

4.5
742 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.
What 742 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
4.6
service
4.3
ambience
4.2
value
Noise · Moderate
93% of people would recommend it to a friend
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New England
1 review
Dined 2 days ago
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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OT
Las Vegas
7 reviews
Dined 3 days ago
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 5 days ago
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 6 days ago
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
32 reviews
Dined 6 days ago
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
36 reviews
Dined 6 days ago
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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HD
Las Vegas
76 reviews
Dined on March 15, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

Seated promptly. Food was delicious. Sat by window & enjoyed watching people go by, entertaining. Will go back.

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s
Palm Springs
9 reviews
Dined on March 10, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

Our server , Don, was excellent and made our dinner even more enjoyable.

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OT
Washington DC
5 reviews
Dined on March 9, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 4

The food was delicious! The seating was a little cramped, but it is minuscule to the service and the food. We will be dining here again soon.

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S
1 review
Dined on March 8, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great food and service. Couldn’t ask for a better dining experience.

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KG
Washington DC
5 reviews
Dined on March 2, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great service and ceviche.

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

The food was incredible! We enjoyed the hushpuppies and crab cake sandwiches. Thanks for a wonderful visit!

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n
1 review
Dined on March 2, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Staff is awesome and food is great! We came in the winter so it was a little quieter but the patio still had heaters if you wanted to sit outside.

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OT
San Francisco
5 reviews
Dined on March 1, 2019
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 4

Imani was outstanding

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SJ
Baltimore
2 reviews
Dined on February 26, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 4

Loved the view and going during the week, we had a nice table by the window. The tables are close together and our neighboring table was too close. We moved to the bar area. That we disappointing but we still had a great time.

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KP
Washington DC
22 reviews
Dined on February 23, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 3

They do a nice job every time. Spouse has many food allergies and they are able work around the challenge.

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OT
1 review
Dined on February 17, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

We are frequent diners for dinner on water. This was our first experience for brunch to celebrate my wife’s birthday. Outstanding breakfast. I didn’t think it was possible, but I found a new favorite at Vola’s. Love those crab cake eggs Benedict. One favorite we never skip are the Hush Puppies. We keep trying but never find a hush puppy that comes close to Vola’s.

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C
1 review
Dined on February 16, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 5

I would definitely recommend Vola's and plan on going back. Our server was great, we just would've liked to see her a little more often. In her defense, it was a busy Saturday night. The food was very tasty and I plan on going back for more in the future!

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F
Washington DC
8 reviews
Dined on February 15, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 3ambience 4

Food was excellent. I had fish tacos, homemade salt and vinegar chips, and hush puppies. I would order them all again.

Good cocktails, too.

Service was very slow especially with our drink order, which took forever.

I also appreciate that the owners are big supporters of the Animal Welfare League of Alexandria and it makes me happy to patronize businesses that support good local causes.

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OT
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on February 14, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

This was our second Valentines Day here establishing our tradition. The Service from the front door to the table was excellent. The special menu was delicious with the flourless chocolate cake being outstanding! I joined the oyster club and look forward to more frequent visits at the restaurant and the bar especially once the flourless chocolate cake becomes a regular offering. We will return soon for the buck-a-shuck while in season as well.

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KP
1 review
Dined on February 12, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Loved Vola’s. Food awesome! Service awesome! Great choice of foods!

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S
Los Angeles
2 reviews
Dined on February 9, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 4ambience 4

Food was average. We had a great table and great service.

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j
Washington DC
8 reviews
Dined on February 9, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

If you’re there for brunch the Bloody Mary is great, just spicy enough! My friend had the Triple P, was so good (and sweet) she had another. The Elderberry and Prosecco got good reviews too, my other friend said wasn’t to sweet, so just right for her. We had the chicken and biscuits, was fabulous! Shared an order of the French toast, also fabulous!! Service was perfect, great view. A hidden gem in old town. We will be back!

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OT
Hawaii
1 review
Dined on February 7, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Always a great dinner. We ordered the deviled eggs and jalapeno mac n cheese. All wonderfully seasoned...drinks were yum. The fried chicken is humongous and tasty. Shrimp n grits were great as well. It's a bit pricey but exactly what you'd pay anywhere in Alexandria...Vola's however is absolutely worth it!

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L
Washington DC
105 reviews
Dined on February 3, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 5ambience 2

Oysters were delicious, but sides weren't. Fish tacos were better last time. Paper towel napkins are awful. French fries are covered with spicy seasoning and are ruined by it. Over-priced. Waiter was the nicest guy, but not enough for us to return.

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OT
Washington DC
2 reviews
Dined on February 3, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 3

Great oysters and po boys!

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F
Washington DC
4 reviews
Dined on February 3, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Very pleasant SUnday afternoon spot. Service by Angelina was terriffic. Food -- ample nd tasty.

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NO
Washington DC
18 reviews
Dined on February 2, 2019
Overall 5food 4service 4ambience 5

LOVED the mac and cheese. BF had the grits and loved them. Very considerate waiter -though he may have been a little more responsive to get our dinner order in, but we were happy to slow roll it. I had the fish tacos, which were okay - they came fried instead of broiled/grilled/blackened, so I would have preferred that. I loved that I was able to get some brocolini instead of fries. Overall, a good night, and I am satisfied with the cost. Enjoyed our seat by the window, even if the construction outside isn't quite nice to look at.

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AC
London
10 reviews
Dined on February 1, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

My friends and I go to Vola's for regular Friday lunches. We love the food, the service and the outlook to the river. Great oysters and always a good, and changing selection.

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OL
Washington DC
4 reviews
Dined on January 25, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We met up with 2 other couples for Friday night Happy Hour. We had happy hour apps and drinks. All of the apps were good, especially the carb dip, and calamari. I really liked my mix drink- it was the Jasmine because I like flowers flavors. The waiter was great- he was very attentive and in good spirits. He didn't act annoyed by our Happy Houring like I've gotten from other restaurants. The restaurant and staff accommodated us very well and we had a great time. After our friends left we went back because my husband loves the lobster roll and he didn't want to order a meal when our friends just ordered apps. We'll be going back soon🙂

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PA
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on January 19, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Tried Vola's during winter restaurant week and it may be my new "go to" neighborhood restaurant. The oysters were incredibly fresh and flavorful. I ordered the shrimp and grits and they were other worldly, so creamy and loaded with shrimp. My dining partner had the salmon and it tasted as fresh as seafood can. It was served with very healthy servings of broccolini and rice, both delicious. My only criticism is the noise level. Background music is fine, but it was almost at club level volume which along with diners chatting, kitchen and wait staff noise, made enjoyable dinner conversation a challenge. I am not sure I would go on a weekend again unless I knew an adult was in charge of the volume.

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CW
Washington DC
4 reviews
Dined on January 11, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We love this restaurant. Outstanding in every way. Inside in winter and outside in summer. We come often!

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S
Wilmington
1 review
Dined on January 8, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great location. Great food.

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M
Washington DC
16 reviews
Dined on January 7, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Much on the menu is tempting, and what I ordered (grouper sandwich with grilled broccolini) was delicious! I can't wait to return!

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PW
Denver
33 reviews
Dined on January 5, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

Great place for brunch with a nice view of the Potomac River from Alexandria. The waitress was very attentive and friendly. Food was delicious especially the Seafood Chowder soup I had. Look forward to going back for other meals in the future.

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ML
Raleigh
71 reviews
Dined on January 3, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Always yummy! Great service

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OT
Washington DC
13 reviews
Dined on January 2, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

I sat at the bar and Mike the bartender waited on me. He was so prompt, courteous and together that he was reading my mind before I could say what I wanted or needed. I had the $3 shrimp and crab fritters on the Happy Hour menu, along with their version of a Moscow Mule. Delicious! It was Wined Out Wednesday so Mike suggested that I order a bottle to save half on it. Excellent suggestion! I had a glass and took the rest with me. For my main course I had the Sailor Style Mussels with garlic bread. Mike made sure to let me know that I would need more bread to sop up the delicious broth. Mmmmm. I also ordered Conch Fritters and Deviled Eggs to go. Can’t wait to try those tomorrow. Thanks for another great meal, Vola’s! I can’t wait to come back!

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OT
Washington DC
33 reviews
Dined on January 1, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Consistently good food quality and service. Comfortable bar too. I’m short and have trouble with many high tops except here. Nice waterfront location. Great for eating outside.

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