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Johnny's Half Shell

Johnny's Half Shell

Seafood Restaurant and American Restaurant$$$$
Downtown-Penn Quarter-Chinatown, Washington
34 Tips and reviews
  • oysters
  • crab cakes
  • grits
  • gumbo
  • happy hour
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  • Recent
  • Popular
  •  ℋumorous
    Christopher Hitchens would stop here before and after his appearances on C-SPAN, Fox and NBC News for a Johnnie Walker Black and Perrier — his regular drink of choice.
  • Josh Y.
    Josh YoungFebruary 13
    Been here 5+ times
    Always get this!
  • Jonathan H.
    Jonathan HanenSeptember 3, 2015
    Been here 5+ times
    Classic DC haunt. Johnny's does not skimp on it's fried oyster po'boy.
  • TAMMY G.
    TAMMY GIAJanuary 2, 2015
    Great oysters! Nice cold beer!
  • Chris F.
    Chris FredericksDecember 28, 2014
    They need to step it up and get with the times. This is an old-school (in a bad way) DC restaurant. There are so many new, inventive places in DC. Why go here?
  • JoAnn B.
    JoAnn BrumbaughAugust 22, 2014
    Great Oyster Bar!
  • Chris S.
    Chris SlatteryFebruary 20, 2014
    Been here 10+ times
    Ask Johnny's Half Shell manager Mary Slattery for VIP treatment. Tell her her Dad, Chris insists!
  • William H.
    William HartJanuary 19, 2014
    Go during restaurant week. Everything here is delicious. Saturday is $25 for a bottle of wine!
  • Gabriela A.
    Gabriela ArraizJanuary 15, 2014
    The celery soup is fantastic! Also try the banana cream pie, delicious.
  • Janet L.
    Janet LaFleurDecember 19, 2013
    Not impressive
  • Kati R.
    Kati RutherfordAugust 25, 2013
    Crab cakes and catfish are great. Skip the dessert.
  • Hamed N.
    Hamed Negron-PerezAugust 22, 2013
    Very New Orleans in flavor. Everything was seasoned nice and tasted awesome. The gumbo was excellent and the crab cake imperial one of the best.
    Cool jazz in the background, a lively bar, and the smell of buttery seafood, all within a clamshell’s throw of the U.S. Capitol—that sums up Johnny’s Half Shell on a typical night. Read more
  • Jacinta A.
    Jacinta AtanganJune 23, 2013
    Had the seafood stew. Pretty good. Service is slow. Took almost an hour for our entree.
  • Martin L.
    Martin LemelleJune 22, 2013
    Get the Death in the Afternoon Cocktail
  • Walburga A M.
    Walburga A MarderFebruary 19, 2013
    fab small seafood plates during happy hour,
  • H I.
    H IJanuary 3, 2013
    Award-winning Chef Ann Cashion's mini burgers and mini Asian tuna sandwiches are just $2.50.
  • Sara Marie B.
    Sara Marie BrennerDecember 8, 2012
    Crab cakes are amazing.
  • Lisa A.
    Lisa AnnAugust 21, 2012
    Try the Charbroiled Chesapeake Oysters. They are delicious!!
  • Kevin M.
    Kevin McKennaJuly 7, 2012
    Lobster was very tasty
  • Rob M.
    Rob MehtaMay 16, 2012
    Have a drink at the cool bar
  • myLoyalFamily
    myLoyalFamilyApril 4, 2012
    Join Johnny's Half Shell & My Loyal Family to get 10% off on Fridays and Saturdays, private oyster shucking parties, dinner on the house and more- just for visiting as usual! Be Treated Like Loyalty. Read more
  • Washingtonian Magazine
    Washingtonian MagazineJanuary 9, 2012
    In summer, don’t miss the barbecue crabs served on the patio, accompanied by live jazz.
  • BestOf
    BestOfDecember 28, 2011
    First opened in 1999, Johnny's Half Shell Restaurant is a very popular seafood restaurant in the Dupont Circle area. Read more
  • Tim N.
    Tim NanofDecember 16, 2011
    File Gumbo- awesome- better than NOLA.
  • Sheri M.
    Sheri McConvilleDecember 1, 2011
    The shrimp etouffee was yummy
  • Roberta S.
    Roberta SilveiraOctober 16, 2011
    Try the Salmon with mushrooms and spinache. A nice bottle of White wine is highly recommended.
  • Janet D.
    Janet DonovanAugust 23, 2011
    Been here 5+ times
    Great earthquake lunch
  • M Squared Real Estate
    M Squared Real EstateAugust 20, 2011
    Beers, squid, oysters, grits, shrimp, deep fried pork ribs, and their mini tuni sandwiches. What else more could you ask for?
  • Sunlight Foundation
    Sunlight FoundationJune 24, 2011
    Based on data from the Sunlight Foundation's Party Time project, Johnny's Half Shell is the 2nd most popular venue for political fundraisers in Washington. Sunlight's full Scandal Tour App coming soon
  • Adam S.
    Adam SharpAugust 6, 2010
    Been here 10+ times
    Eat at the bar -- great bartenders. Lunch manager Denny is the model of charming service. Lobster Rolls and Shrimp & Grits are my standards, but never pass up the She Crab Soup when on the menu!
  • Tammy G.
    Tammy GordonAugust 5, 2010
    Get the BBQ crabs, soft shell crabs or squash salad in season. Always get the shrimp & grits!
  • Alex Z.
    Alex ZaltsmanMay 12, 2010
    Go for happy hour 4-7p. Awesome beer, apps. Try the tuna sliders and grilled oysters!
  • David A.
    David AlmacyMay 12, 2010
    Highly recommend the salmon.
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