Vola's Dockside Grill

4.3
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963 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 do our best to accommodate all seating requests, all reservations are for Vola's inside dining only; we do not take advance reservations on our patio.
What 963 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.3based on recent ratings
4.2
food
4.4
service
4.2
ambience
4.0
value
Noise · Moderate
87% of people would recommend it to a friend
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KV
Philadelphia
1 review
Dined a day ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

beautiful location and food is fantastic. Definitely will come back

DC
Washington DC
5 reviews
Dined 4 days ago
Overall 1food 1service 5ambience 5

I had booked the reservation for lunch. It was too hot to sit outside and we went inside to dine
The restaurant had a very strong odor like a dirty sponge. We had to leave and go next door to dine.

N
Washington DC
30 reviews
Dined 5 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 4

Taylor the waitress was very nice!

QS
Richmond
6 reviews
Dined 5 days ago
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 3

Waitress very friendly pleasant. Area was a bit dirty. Could have been cleaned better.

D
1 review
Dined on September 11, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 5

We had a very enjoyable night here. The location and atmosphere are great. The restaurant is casual to fine and it's right on the river, so it has a wonderful view.

K
Washington DC
4 reviews
Dined on September 7, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 3ambience 3

This experience would have been much better outside. We were a little cramped at our table that was near the bar. The service was a little slow. The food was just okay (shrimp tacos were too salty). Most importantly, the dishes kept piling up on the table. We had to ask for them to be cleared. The waiter had a wonderful attitude, however.

JS
Washington DC
6 reviews
Dined on September 7, 2019
Overall 1food 2service 1ambience 4

Several of the items that we ordered never arrived. The manager on duty did stop by to offer free dessert, but the food quality was such that we elected to go down the street for ice cream. Amazingly, after it became clear to both our server and management that our service was below standard, we experienced even slower service that we had prior to the mishap. The food was average, noise level tolerable if everything else was right. But it wasn't, so we won't be going back here again.

LN
Washington DC
3 reviews
Dined on September 7, 2019
Overall 2food 2service 4ambience 2

It was very loud on a Saturday night. Food was so-so. Service and views are great. If I go again, I would sit outdoors, though my understanding is you can't make a reservation for outside seating.

M
Washington DC
13 reviews
Dined on September 6, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great food and gorgeous views of the water at a fraction of the price of other waterfront dining options in the area, but the service was the best part- our waitress was so kind and patient with my hard-of-hearing grandparents. Excellent experience, will be back!

TM
Philadelphia
12 reviews
Dined on September 6, 2019
Overall 2food 2service 5ambience 3

So.. the fish and chips was great the shrimp tacos were horrible completely over seasoned and the cucumber slaw it was served with was so salty I couldn't finish it.
The jalapeno margarita was delicious!

EH
San Francisco
3 reviews
Dined on September 6, 2019
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 4

Really enjoyed a lovely evening outside at Vola. Nice service, great drinks and wine and yummy seafood. My blackened grouper was fresh and spicy and my friends had shrimp and fish tacos and enjoyed both. Street corn was amazing. Only disappointment was the hush puppies which weren’t cooked all the way through, but they were totally eaten anyway! Will definitely visit again and recommend to friends.

DT
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on September 5, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

My first time at Vola’s, and I was very pleased. Previously, I’ve eaten at several other restaurants in Old Towne, which are also good, but now I will place Vola’s on the lust of places to return to

J
New York Area
18 reviews
Dined on September 2, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Our waitress was very helpful with getting us a table inside once the thunderstorm hit.
Food was very good, as always

OT
Atlanta
1 review
Dined on September 2, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 3ambience 3

Food was ok and service was slow

m
Washington DC
16 reviews
Dined on September 2, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

Blackened grouper sandwich - screaming hot and a little spicy with dynamite old bay fries on the side was perfect with a glass of the sparking rose! Service was terrific!

D
Washington DC
3 reviews
Dined on September 1, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 5ambience 3

The location is prime in the Old Town area. Great celebration for my husbands birthday. The service was excellent! Our waitress was kind, prompt, and very professional. We had a group of 9 pp they were very kind with assisting us seating for 4 add'l people. The food was average. Calamari & fish/chips were wet and wasn't cooked all the way through. The coconut shrimp was amazing, chicken and blacken cod were average. Key lime pie was good.

OT
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on September 1, 2019
Overall 2food 2service 2ambience 5

The staff were friendly and the views from the outdoor patio were amazing. The service was inconsistent: we had to ask twice for coffee after requesting it with other beverages; appetizers arrived without plates; and our waiter didn’t check the table after the entrees were delivered, so refills were short. The food was lack luster compared to prior visits: the monkey bread had barely any dulce de leche, and the biscuits were dry and without condiments. The eggs and hash browns were cooked well. The views and outdoor atmosphere were great, but the inattentive service brought the overall experience down.

JB
Austin
3 reviews
Dined on September 1, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 3ambience 5

Shrimp & grits were excellent as well as the crab cake Benedict. Loved using biscuit instead of English muffin for the Benedict. Service was a little slow but all in all a good experience!!

OT
1 review
Dined on August 31, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 4

Love Vola’s food but we had a drink ahead of time at the HiTide Lounge (bar area) and the entire place smelled like it was wiped down with a stinky dish rag. We ate outside. Not sure I would have stayed if we had to eat inside

KL
New York Area
3 reviews
Dined on August 31, 2019
Overall 3food 5service 5ambience 1

It was SO hot in the restaurant tonight!! Even though the food was good, we couldn’t wait to get out of there because we were sweating the whole time, my friend was there for the first time and I could tell she was miserable. Not sure I’ll go back ☹️

KH
1 review
Dined on August 31, 2019
Overall 3food 4service 3ambience 4

The food was overpriced but okay, But the restaurant had absolutely zero air circulation where we were-you were grateful for the big of breeze a waiter created as he tried to get through the tables. It was also extremely loud inside—it was hard to have a conversation. It as very uncomfortable and, I doubt we’ll be back.

J
Baltimore
5 reviews
Dined on August 31, 2019
Overall 4food 3service 5ambience 5

Great outdoor brunch option! Excellent service. I would recommend it for whenever the weather is nicel

JM
1 review
Dined on August 29, 2019
Overall 3food 1service 2ambience 5

I ordered a spinach salad with grouper on top. The fish must have been very wet when they put it on the salad bc it was covered in white fish juice. Absolutely vile dish.

CL
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on August 26, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

One of my favorite hangouts. I just wish they brought back the King St Seafood Stew.

CS
1 review
Dined on August 25, 2019
Overall 5food 3service 5ambience 5

Tasteless hollandaise sauce, but nicely presented.

MY
Indiana
3 reviews
Dined on August 25, 2019
Overall 3food 2service 4ambience 4

Do yourself a favor and get the hush puppies. They were the only good thing we had. Everything else was extremely dry and meh. But the hush puppies.... I'll go back any day for the hush puppies.

M
Washington DC
5 reviews
Dined on August 25, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We arrived about 30 minutes before our reservation because you cannot make a reservation for outside seating and we wanted to sit outside. The two host were very nice and accommodating with our requests. We waiting about 10 minutes for a table outside and was sent a text when our table was ready. Our drink orders were taken about 3 minutes after we sat down (it's very busy for Sunday brunch sitting outside). Then our appetizer and entree orders were taken after about five minutes. We waited about 10 minutes for our food. The mahi mahi tacos are so delicious, the fries are well seasoned . I really enjoyed my food so did my friend. I am definitely going back with my husband. I highly recommend Vola's for the food and outdoor seating.

LL
Richmond
8 reviews
Dined on August 25, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Loved everything! Good food and service and you can’t beat the outside view, the Bloody Mary was too thick for my liking but just a preference, the refill drink pricing at brunch was pretty awesome!

p
Washington DC
6 reviews
Dined on August 24, 2019
Overall 2food 3service 1ambience 3

We went on a Beautiful Saturday evening because of the great atmosphere but service was nonexistent. The manager had to wait on our table. We ordered clams and oysters and they were served really cold and were great. The main entree was only fair and they even brought us the wrong beer order. We have been in the past and the service was OK but I would go for raw bar and drinks only. It's in such a good location that it's fun to visit but needs to improve on service and bring back the previous way you made shrimp and grits instead of shrimp and rice.

ZW
Atlanta
5 reviews
Dined on August 22, 2019
Overall 2food 3service 2ambience 5

Our server got our order wrong. The appetizers came out after the entree. Our server was more interested in hanging with the hosts at the front than making sure we were okay. The food was okay. Don’t think we will visit again when in the area.

WI
1 review
Dined on August 21, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The food was DELICIOUS and plentiful, there aren’t many places that I’ve dined at whereby I need to take some of the meal home because of portions, yet Vola’s Is rated up there with the Blue Dolphin and the CheeseCake Factory. The waitress was very attentive, she came and filled our water glasses consistently, she made sure that everything was satisfactory. I give Vola’s 5Stars.

OT
1 review
Dined on August 21, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 3

My mother-in-law was visiting and we decided to try something new. The portions were very good for the price and the shrimp and fish were delicious. Our server was great and attentive and the quality of our food was great! The music was a bit too loud as we had to talk very loudly to each other but that is more of a preference thing I guess. We will be back, though!

t
Washington DC
24 reviews
Dined on August 21, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Always busy and for good reason. Great location on the waterfront and really great food

JU
1 review
Dined on August 19, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Excellent food. Great atmosphere. Superb service. Oh and fabulous cocktails. Will be back!

t
Washington DC
25 reviews
Dined on August 18, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Excellent at great food

D
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on August 17, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 4ambience 3

Had a reservation and was seated on a wobbly high top. Had to wait at the bar for 20-30 min to get a table

K
Richmond
5 reviews
Dined on August 17, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 2ambience 2

A friend recommended Vola’s, so we drove an hour to get there. We were very disappointed, as it was restaurant week in Alexandria and were excited to try this particular restaurant.
It was very noisy, the waitress did not seem interested in giving us any help with the menu. We both decided to order off of the pri fix menu, seemed reasonably priced and included appetizer, entree and dessert.
The soup was good but the entree’s were a big failure. I had crab stuffed trout, which was dry and had no real flavor. My husband had a clam dish that was very salty and he could not finish it.
The key lime pie for dessert was good but the shortcake was not.
Overall, we left very disappointed with our experience and will not go back. May be a good place for locals to enjoy a drink and bar food but for nice dinner, not so much.

L
Washington DC
11 reviews
Dined on August 17, 2019
Overall 4food 3service 4ambience 4

Food is good, service was great and we sat outside and you could not beat that.

OT
Washington DC
9 reviews
Dined on August 17, 2019
Overall 3food 4service 4ambience 2

This was a good place for brunch. Shrimp and grits and carb dip was great. The restaurant was very hot, so that is why I gave it a 2 stars for ambiance. Also if you want to sit outside you cannot make a reservation on open table for the outside dock seating.

M
Washington DC
17 reviews
Dined on August 16, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

My first meal at Vila's was a grouper sandwich from the lunch menu. It was very delicious! When I returned this past weekend, we happily discovered that it was Restaurant Week. We each took advantage of that menu and enjoyed every course. We were at first concerned that it might be too noisy (Friday night) but our reserved table by the window near the front was just fine.

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