Vola's Dockside Grill

4.4
822 reviews
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$30 and under
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Seafood
Top tags:
  • Waterfront
  • Casual
  • Scenic View
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 822 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
4.4
Service
4.3
Ambience
4.1
Value
Noise · Moderate
95% of people would recommend it to a friend
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K
Charleston
8 reviews
Dined 3 days ago
Overall 5Food 4Service 5Ambience 5

Some girl friends and I met for drinks and dinner. This place was cute and cozy. Our waitress was super attentive but gave us space so we could enjoy our time. The food tasted amazing and the drinks were good!

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EG
Washington DC
8 reviews
Dined 5 days ago
Overall 1Food 2Service 2Ambience 1

Inside.
Way too loud. Going you want a bar, stay away if you want to have conversation.
Server did not bring correct vegetable and food was served with added salt that we asked to hold.
Had to wait a very long time for a drink refill

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L
1 review
Dined 5 days ago
Overall 4Food 2Service 3Ambience 4

The restaurant is a good place to go for a drink and has a light fun atmosphere. The menu is limited and the food is average. So if you’re looking for a drink and lively atmosphere Vola’s is the place

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CH
1 review
Dined 6 days ago
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

Good food, fast and friendly service. Would return if in area again

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BC
Washington DC
9 reviews
Dined 6 days ago
Overall 4Food 5Service 4Ambience 3

Great food and very good service. However, there seems to be nothing to absorb the sound inside -- lots of windows and hard surfaces -- making it a very noisy venue. It was difficult to have a conversation at our table without having to lean in to hear. Just be prepared for that... unless you are lucky enough to snag an outside table overlooking the Potomac River. :-)

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AS
Washington DC
3 reviews
Dined 6 days ago
Overall 3Food 4Service 1Ambience 2

The service was slow and the restaurant is very loud but the food was good quality for the price. Will give another try -next time we may try their outdoor seating area. Also not the best place for kids. It is right on the waterfront so lots of families with baby/kid gear but they don't allow strollers inside - so beware you may have to park outside the restaurant. Also tables are packed tightly - we were able to bring our umbrella stroller inside after promising to stow under our table but it was cramped. I would say the tables are similar to how they set them up at Paris cafes - like you could easily chat with adjacent tables.

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GB
Washington DC
14 reviews
Dined 7 days ago
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

Always fresh and tasty. Perfect for views of the water in old town.

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A
Washington DC
4 reviews
Dined on 18 May 2019
Overall 5Food 4Service 5Ambience 5

Love sitting on their outdoor dock. Great way to spend a Saturday afternoon or evening having a casual lunch or dinner. Atmosphere is great.

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R
1 review
Dined on 18 May 2019
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

Great food and excellent service with both inside and outside seating available. I ordered the crab cake benedict and French toast and both were delicious.

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OT
1 review
Dined on 16 May 2019
Overall 1Food 5Service 1Ambience 2

The waiter SUCKED, had three tables outside and was so bad. The table next to us was comped their drinks and brought a free dessert to make up for the crappy service. The food was good though.

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OT
Denver
8 reviews
Dined on 16 May 2019
Overall 1Food 2Service 2Ambience 1

Take note of the last line of their open table ad, you can not reserve outside seating which means you get to sit inside at the waterfront restaurant, with tables directly adjacent to a bar full of half drunk patrons trying to scream over the obnoxiously loud music. If you are lucky you will be seated at one of the four tops so you have the bar chaos on one side, and the a two top about 18" to your opposite side, and since the tables are not staggered, you not only get to sit in on the other party's conversation, but get the added bonus of a servers butt in your face about five times throughout your dinner!

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AS
1 review
Dined on 12 May 2019
Overall 4Food 4Service 5Ambience 4

Dinner was good. Table was wobbly. Service staff and mgt were GREAT!! We will return!

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BB
Washington DC
4 reviews
Dined on 12 May 2019
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

Wonderful wait staff and great food! I came with my mom for Mother's Day dinner and we thoroughly enjoyed ourselves.

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OT
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on 12 May 2019
Overall 5Food 4Service 5Ambience 4

The server was awesome. We had no problems. However, the seating was tad tight on the harbor side and our view was blocked by a wall. Overall the food was great especially the crab cake which was very filling.

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R
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on 12 May 2019
Overall 4Food 5Service 5Ambience 4

Great service, i forgot the name of my server, but she was superb, sometimes when i seat outside it could be a bit slow but I really liked this place

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W
Chicago
27 reviews
Dined on 12 May 2019
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 3

Great food and even better location. Love the lobster roll and brunch.

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JD
Washington DC
3 reviews
Dined on 12 May 2019
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 3

Great Mother’s Day brunch. Our first time there. Everyone enjoyed the food, which was reasonably priced. It was rainy otherwise the ambiance of the waterfront would have been lovely. The space is long and narrow. So it can get a little loud.

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CC
1 review
Dined on 12 May 2019
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

We went here on Mother's day to celebrate
Mothers day and my birthday. We had great service and were very impressed by our visit here.

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TM
1 review
Dined on 11 May 2019
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

Great food and atmosphere and service. Will definitely put on my list of return locations

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SR
Washington DC
2 reviews
Dined on 11 May 2019
Overall 4Food 4Service 5Ambience 4

The four of us all enjoyed our dinners, and our waiter, Francine, made our meal all the more enjoyable!!

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D
Washington DC
6 reviews
Dined on 11 May 2019
Overall 2Food 1Service 3Ambience 4

The chicken and biscuit dish was an odd flavor profile and lacked salt. The vibe of the restaurant is nice, but the food...not so much.

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PS
Nashville
5 reviews
Dined on 11 May 2019
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

We had Lorena as a server on a Saturday morning for brunch. Her service was outstanding and the food/drinks were the best in old town. Look forward to visiting again as soon as possible.

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SH
1 review
Dined on 10 May 2019
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

We enjoyed our ladies night out. Food was great, our waiter took great care of us and we will definitely be back. Also the noise level inside is very loud it was hard to hear each other. But this didnt stop us from having a great time.

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OT
1 review
Dined on 8 May 2019
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

Awesome food and super friendly service!

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LW
Washington DC
22 reviews
Dined on 8 May 2019
Overall 4Food 3Service 3Ambience 5

Because of location and ambiance, I would try again. My beet salad with (small) blackened fish was mediocre. Ordered several items off happy hour menu. Would have been nice to know the $5 burger was pretty much a slider, not 5 ounces as described... Servers so nice but too chatty every time he came by

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M
Raleigh
30 reviews
Dined on 5 May 2019
Overall 3Food 3Service 3Ambience 3

The dinner was mediocre. The salad was better than the entree. The restaurant was very noisy. Not ideal for a dinner date. The server was friendly but somewhat slow especially when it came to providing the check. There are better options in the area.

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KA
1 review
Dined on 5 May 2019
Overall 4Food 5Service 4Ambience 4

I have been here several times since moving to Alexandria from Bowie two years ago and the food has been great each time. I love the crab cake egg Benedict!

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OT
New York Area
1 review
Dined on 4 May 2019
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 4

Celebrated my birthday here and it was great!

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IW
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on 4 May 2019
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

We had a wonderful experience here, the food was excellent, and the location is wonderful.

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JR
1 review
Dined on 30 April 2019
Overall 4Food 4Service 5Ambience 4

You should allow reservations for the dockside area. I placed a note in my reservation I wanted dockside and nobody cared to call me and tell me I could not do that? Then I had to wait when we arrived? You should place a disclaimer in the system stating inside dining reservations only.

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AF
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on 27 April 2019
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

We dined at Vola's for my birthday party. The food and beverages were excellent. We highly recommend the hush puppy and macaroni and cheese small plates to start. The food not only has great flavor, but are served as healthy portions.

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OT
1 review
Dined on 27 April 2019
Overall 4Food 5Service 3Ambience 5

Great location right next to the water, which was really enjoyed by some family visiting from out of town. Food was tasty but the service was a little slow and the restaurant was quite noisy. Very limited on bathroom space made it about a 5-10 minute wait each time you had to use the facilities. Overall good experience and would definitely go back, maybe for lunch or during a time when they weren’t so busy.

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JG
Washington DC
8 reviews
Dined on 26 April 2019
Overall 4Food 4Service 4Ambience 3

First time at this casual restaurant. All the food we ordered - coconut shrimp, raw oysters, gumbo, and lobster roll- were very good. We’ll be back! :-)

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JM
Washington DC
2 reviews
Dined on 25 April 2019
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

Vola's is a great place to go if you want a beautiful view and casual ambiance. Our waiter was great and the food is really good. We had the steamed clam appetizer and they were plentiful and very tasty (especially the sauce to dip your bread)! Our entrees were excellent (jerk chicken and shrimp tacos). The cilantro lime sauce is amazing. It's a bit noisy in there but it still creates a fun atmosphere. There was two of us so we wanted to talk, but it was okay. It's great for large parties. I specified to sit outside on Open Table but when we got there it was a bit of a wait so we sat inside. Got accommodated right away. The young man who was hosting was very pleasant too:) We will be back for sure.

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OT
Dallas
9 reviews
Dined on 23 April 2019
Overall 5Food 5Service 4Ambience 5

They don't take reservations for a table outside, but get on the waiting list and have a drink at the bar while you wait. Its worth it! Beautiful view, great food, creative drinks. Dog friendly. Dessert was awesome! Great place, not the fastest service at the bar. Would recommend!

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MP
1 review
Dined on 22 April 2019
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.

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S
Washington DC
215 reviews
Dined on 22 April 2019
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.

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AL
Washington DC
64 reviews
Dined on 21 April 2019
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

Lovely dinner sitting outside at the riverfront.

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T
Philadelphia
13 reviews
Dined on 21 April 2019
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.

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U
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on 21 April 2019
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

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

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