HOME > Chowhound > Washington DC & Baltimore >


Restaurants for steamed mussels and clams

I love steamed mussels and clams. They're only offered on the menus as appetizers. Sometime the portions are acceptable, sometimes you only get a handful but for hefty charge. I can easily order 2 or 3 appetizer portions for myself, but that gets very expensive. Where can one go for plentiful of plain steamed mussels and clams, other than doing it at home?

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. I don't know where you are, but on Thursdays the bar at McGarvey's in Annapolis has $3 plates of mussels and it's a big pretty big plate of mussels. I will go with the Momma and we will get a couple plates and some bread and just have at it. And they go through so many that night that you don't have to worry as much about them being old.

    Brasserie Beck has some pretty good portions of mussels, as well, if you are in DC.

    1 Reply
    1. re: ktmoomau

      I forgot to mention that I'm in Northern Virginia. Occasionally I visit Annapolis, thanks for tip on McGarvey, it sounds like what I want! Also, Brasserie Beck is next block from my office!

    2. the new hip spot for this meal is Granville Moore's, 1238 H St NE. good-sized bowls of mussels in different sauces, I guess you could order plain. tasty frites too, order them with the garlic mayo. big selection of Belgian beer.
      It's a small dark bar with no TV, feels like you're in Fells Point. very cool.

      1 Reply
      1. re: Jamie D

        Granville Moore's is hard to find. Still looks like a deserted house (hand-lettered sign) but it's worth the effort. Terrific inside. I like the mussels better than Belga's and the double-cooked fries are great!. Try several of the sauces and pick your favorite. Excellent burger too.
        Really good selection of about 50 Belgian beers that changes constantly. The managing partner is a former brewer and knows his beers.

      2. Belga Cafe on Barraks Row. Jaleo does a nice serving for the price. Up in Olney, MD its Mannequin Pis.

        1. Bistrot du Coin in Dupont
          Mannequin Pis in Olney
          Either location of Jaleo (they sometimes have cockles, too)

          3 Replies
          1. re: debit

            I second Bistrot du Coin. I only order the mussels there. The rocquefort and the provencal are my favorites

            1. re: debit

              I recently ordered the mussels at Bistro Du Coin for the first time (I usually order the hanger steak or soup and the goat cheese salad) and I was very, very disappointed. The broth was seriously missing in flavor even though I ordered the white wine, parsley, and garlic broth which is usually filled with flavor elsewhere.

              There was an adequate amount of mussels but I came away very disappointed.

              They in no way, shape, or form compare to the incredible mussels at Brasserie Beck.

              1. re: Elyssa

                I agree Elyssa, I got mussels pistou for the first time yesterday and they were tasteless..no seafood flavor, no garlic flavor, nuthin! I think the mussels must be frozen. Would never go there again.

            2. I would definitely second the recommendation for Belga Cafe. Aside from a lovely atmosphere, and having quite a few delicious beverage offerings, they have an oven baked mussel dish which is amazing. The mussels are baked in a pot with a lovely butter garlic broth that steams them as they bake.

              1 Reply
              1. re: Spinning Ninny

                To follow up with a link:

                Belga Cafe
                514 8th Street, SE, Washington, DC 20003

              2. There's always Bertha's in Fells Point for mussels.

                6 Replies
                1. re: 4X4

                  Oh yes, Eat Bertha's Mussels!

                  1. re: ktmoomau

                    Come on now. Bertha's is only famous because they think they are famous. Food is sub-standard, including the mussels. Do yourself a favor and never go there. It's surely not worth a bumper sticker.

                      1. re: baltimorejim

                        I respectfully disagree...I've been all over for mussels, and Bertha's has good ones each time...haven't had anything else but the cream of crab soup and it too was good.

                        1. re: crosby_p

                          I also will repectfully disagree...I have always enjoyed the mussels
                          and also their paella is always very tasty...not to mention thee and sesame salad dressing

                        2. re: baltimorejim

                          I'll third. First trip: almost half of my mussels weren't opened after steaming. Bad sign. Second trip: slightly more were opened, but I spent the rest of the evening riding the porcelain bus.

                  2. Bistrot LaFayette in Alexandria on King Street (Old Town) has awesome mussels and fries, the best I think in the area. I recently tried some at Bistrot du Coin and agree they are tasty too.

                    1. ...brasserie beck...?

                      1. Hank's Oyster Bar... oh man are they great!

                        1. So many places! I guess I have many to try, since I've not been to any one of them. Thanks all!

                          1. Since you're in NoVa, you might try Harry's Tap Room in Clarendon. I can't vouch for them myself, but three types of mussels (white wine, Thai, Belgian) get a fair bit of real estate on their menu.

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: pomme de terre

                              I know where that is. I go by there many times. Thank you!