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Johnny's Half Shell

Johnny's Half Shell

Seafood Restaurant and American Restaurant · Downtown-Penn Quarter-Chinatown
400 N Capitol St NW (at E St NW), Washington, D.C. 20001, United States
Open until 10:00 PM (Show more)
  • Mon–Fri
    • 11:30 AM–10:00 PM
  • Sat
    • 5:00 PM–10:00 PM
Lunch, Dinner
Beer, Wine
Credit Cards:
Yes (incl. American Express & MasterCard)
Outdoor Seating:

Johnny's Half Shell uses organic produce, poultry, meat, and sustainable seafood to create memorable renditions of Chesapeake and Gulf Coast dishes.


Based on 84 votes

People like this place

  • What you need to know
    Alex Z.
    "Try the tuna sliders and grilled oysters!"(7 Tips)
    Hamed N.
    "The gumbo was excellent and the crab cake imperial one of the best."(7 Tips)
    Tammy G.
    "Always get the shrimp & grits!"(3 Tips)
    Tim N.
    "File Gumbo- awesome- better than NOLA."(2 Tips)
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  • Recent
  • Popular

33 tips and reviews.

  • Filter by taste:
  • all tips and reviews
  • oysters
  • crab cakes
  • grits
  • gumbo
  • happy hour
  • barbecue
  • wine
  • squid
  • catfish
  • good service
  • sandwiches
  • fish
  • deep fried pork
  • shrimp
  • cocktails
  • banana cream pie
  • mixed green salad
  • great value
  • outdoor seating
  • pork ribs
  • Josh Y.

    Always get this!

    Josh Young · February 13
  • Jonathan H.

    Classic DC haunt. Johnny's does not skimp on it's fried oyster po'boy.

    Jonathan Hanen · September 3, 2015
  • TAMMY G.

    Great oysters! Nice cold beer!

    TAMMY GIA · January 2, 2015
  • Chris F.

    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?

    Chris Fredericks · December 28, 2014
  • JoAnn B.

    Great Oyster Bar!

    JoAnn Brumbaugh · August 22, 2014
  • Chris S.

    Ask Johnny's Half Shell manager Mary Slattery for VIP treatment. Tell her her Dad, Chris insists!

    Chris Slattery · February 20, 2014
  • William H.

    Go during restaurant week. Everything here is delicious. Saturday is $25 for a bottle of wine!

    William Hart · January 19, 2014
  • Gabriela A.

    The celery soup is fantastic! Also try the banana cream pie, delicious.

    Gabriela Arraiz · January 15, 2014
  • Janet L.

    Not impressive

    Janet LaFleur · December 19, 2013
  • Kati R.

    Crab cakes and catfish are great. Skip the dessert.

    Kati Rutherford · August 25, 2013
  • Hamed N.

    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.

    Hamed Negron-Perez · August 22, 2013

    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 · July 1, 2013
  • Jacinta A.

    Had the seafood stew. Pretty good. Service is slow. Took almost an hour for our entree.

    Jacinta Atangan · June 23, 2013
  • Martin L.

    Get the Death in the Afternoon Cocktail

    Martin Lemelle · June 22, 2013
  • Walburga A M.

    fab small seafood plates during happy hour,

    Walburga A Marder · February 19, 2013
  • H I.

    Award-winning Chef Ann Cashion's mini burgers and mini Asian tuna sandwiches are just $2.50.

    H I · January 3, 2013
  • Sara Marie B.

    Crab cakes are amazing.

    Sara Marie Brenner · December 8, 2012
  • Lisa A.

    Try the Charbroiled Chesapeake Oysters. They are delicious!!

    Lisa Ann · August 21, 2012
  • Kevin M.

    Lobster was very tasty

    Kevin McKenna · July 7, 2012
  • Rob M.

    Have a drink at the cool bar

    Rob Mehta · May 16, 2012
  • myLoyalFamily

    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

    myLoyalFamily · April 4, 2012
  • Washingtonian Magazine

    In summer, don’t miss the barbecue crabs served on the patio, accompanied by live jazz.

    Washingtonian Magazine · January 9, 2012
  • BestOf

    First opened in 1999, Johnny's Half Shell Restaurant is a very popular seafood restaurant in the Dupont Circle area. Read more

    BestOf · December 28, 2011
  • Tim N.

    File Gumbo- awesome- better than NOLA.

    Tim Nanof · December 16, 2011
  • Sheri M.

    The shrimp etouffee was yummy

    Sheri McConville · December 1, 2011
  • Roberta S.

    Try the Salmon with mushrooms and spinache. A nice bottle of White wine is highly recommended.

    Roberta Silveira · October 16, 2011
  • Janet D.

    Great earthquake lunch

    Janet Donovan · August 23, 2011
  • M Squared Real Estate

    Beers, squid, oysters, grits, shrimp, deep fried pork ribs, and their mini tuni sandwiches. What else more could you ask for?

    M Squared Real Estate · August 20, 2011
  • Sunlight Foundation

    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

    Sunlight Foundation · June 24, 2011
  • Adam S.

    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!

    Adam Sharp · August 6, 2010
  • Tammy G.

    Get the BBQ crabs, soft shell crabs or squash salad in season. Always get the shrimp & grits!

    Tammy Gordon · August 5, 2010
  • Alex Z.

    Go for happy hour 4-7p. Awesome beer, apps. Try the tuna sliders and grilled oysters!

    Alex Zaltsman · May 12, 2010
  • David A.

    Highly recommend the salmon.

    David Almacy · May 12, 2010

Going through Yelp reviews about Johnny's Half Shell can be time consuming. Foursquare tips are short and right to the point.

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