Vola's Dockside Grill

4.4
721 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 721 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
4.4
food
4.5
service
4.2
ambience
4.1
value
Noise · Moderate
91% of people would recommend it to a friend
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OT
Washington DC
1 review
Dined a day ago
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 3 days ago
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 7 days ago
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 7 days ago
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
104 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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F
Washington DC
3 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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OT
Washington DC
2 reviews
Dined on February 3, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 3

Great oysters and po boys!

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VD
Washington DC
17 reviews
Dined on February 3, 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
9 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
2 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
2 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
31 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
68 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
32 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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D
Washington DC
43 reviews
Dined on January 1, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

We went for brunch on New Year's Day. Service was attentive. I had the crab cake benedict, which wasn't the best one I've ever had, but it was still good. We enjoyed the deviled eggs, and the "Day at the Beach" cocktail was very good. Looking forward to returning for dinner next time and trying the oysters.

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

Excelent service, all waitress very nice and happy. Was a perfect selection for our family new year eve. The location for the sightseen of the fire works was great!

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AM
Washington DC
8 reviews
Dined on January 1, 2019
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 5

We made a last minute reservation for New Year's Eve and it worked out perfectly. We had a table right by the window and were able to enjoy the fireworks at midnight. It was busy, but the service was good and the food was tasty.

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MT
Washington DC
3 reviews
Dined on January 1, 2019
Overall 5food 4service 4ambience 3

Went for NYE, so the noise level was expected. Lots of fun; staff was great! I will definitely dine there again!

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GM
Washington DC
2 reviews
Dined on January 1, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 3ambience 2

Very noisy and service too quick: we didn’t finish our starter before main dish was already put on the table. We felt that they wanted a high turnover on NYE.

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OT
1 review
Dined on December 31, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Visited Alexandria for NY Eve

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OT
Jacksonville
4 reviews
Dined on December 30, 2018
Overall 4food 3service 4ambience 5

I guess we went to this place thinking of a different kind of food and place. The food was alright, to me this was high end bar food. The service was good too for the type of restaurant.

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w
Baltimore
6 reviews
Dined on December 30, 2018
Overall 3food 3service 4ambience 4

Went to Vola's on an evening date. And although I had made reservations and requested a quiet/private table, that was ignored. So I asked to be moved to another table and they allowed me to select the table that I wanted. Overall the food was good, but not great. And the restaurant was very loud which is why I had requested a quiet/private table in the first place, but I don't think the table location would have mattered much. The biggest positive was that our waiter was very attentive. He did a great job. The biggest negative was the serving size of a draft beer which came in smaller than usual glass at the same price for a larger glass at most establishments. But overall a positive experience.

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b
Washington DC
7 reviews
Dined on December 29, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Came with a group of 7 including 85-year-old parents. Noise level with the only issue for us, and it was manageable. Food and service were outstanding.

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OT
Washington DC
3 reviews
Dined on December 27, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Very good food, service was really great, good people. We will go back!

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

Took our parents for lunch. Our parents live in AZ so my dad really enjoyed his seafood fix- especially the chowder and fish and chips. My mom has a shellfish allergy so she stuck to a salad, which was delicious. Sadly, they don’t have a designated fryer for non-shellfish items. She really wanted the fish and chips.

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OT
Washington DC
2 reviews
Dined on December 25, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Christmas Dinner

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LR
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on December 25, 2018
Overall 3food 5service 3ambience 3

The food was good, service was slow but we didn't mind much. HATED, HATED how they sat us a such a small table. We were 6, were looking forward to the light and windows. Instead we were literally against a pillar, wall. Those tables with the fabric chairs do not fit 6 people. At the most 4 if you don't want to be looking and being pushed to a gray wall. Next time if I go back I have to specifically ask ....not against the wall

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PO
1 review
Dined on December 25, 2018
Overall 2food 2service 3ambience 2

We ate here on Christmas day after reading some of the reviews. We were very disappointed for several reasons. The food was substandard. Several times I bit on shells in the lobster roll and the cole slaw was obviously old. The crab dip was cold, and a very small serving, and my husband's shrimp was not as good as he's had in other places. The place had very loud music playing. Our server was friendly.

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g
Washington DC
21 reviews
Dined on December 24, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

What a find! This place is right on the waterfront, centrally located in a beautiful part of Old Town Alexandria next to the Torpedo Factory. Everyone we met - the host and hostess, the bussers, the wait staff and manager were warm and gracious. Our waiter, Anil, accommodated our every request with a great smile, the service was accurate and well timed. Topping it off, the food was fresh and creative and delicious. We had mulled cider, mahi mahi tacos, and coconut shrimp and a unique salad with Asian pears, candy pecans and other delights. It was all so wonderful, we wish them every success!

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OT
Richmond
2 reviews
Dined on December 24, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We loved it! From start to finish. We talked about it for days. We loved the location. The staff is very appreciative and enthusiastic. The food was perfect. I loved my Shrimp PoBoy. Go here! We will definitely return.

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

Family was in town so we enjoyed a nice evening at the restaurant.

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v
Washington DC
21 reviews
Dined on December 21, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great seafood. Perfect spot to take my friend who was visiting from overseas.

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W
New Orleans
15 reviews
Dined on December 21, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 5

It was cozy and very friendly. Food was excellent, Hush puppies were tasty, shrimp were great and Salads were fresh and crisp.

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S
Washington DC
38 reviews
Dined on December 15, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 4

Great brunch/lunch meeting place! My only criticism, which is not the fault of the restaurant, is the construction right outside on the water side. Otherwise, food and service was very good.

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G
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on December 13, 2018
Overall 2food 2service 3ambience 3

Disappointing. Several previous visits food had been much better and noise level not as annoying

Oysters were good. Blackened salmon was severely over cooked, dry and leathery. Green beans were old and tough

Hope the food improves as the location is terrific

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