Set inside the buzzing Union Market, Rappahannock Oyster Bar is oh-so-much more than a popular bivalve joint. The feel-good revival story behind it will make you feel more philanthropist than hungry diner, and the ambience is everything you’d expect and then some: counter space, communal seating, a sprinkling of outdoor tables, and an open-air vibe. While the spotlight here is on the raw bar (order the sampler, a veritable love letter to the Virginia waters), the cooked dishes give those half-shells a run for their money. Clam chowder is thick, creamy, and full of briny meat, and though the steamed shrimp dish sounds simple, these spicy shell-on specimens, served with a hunk of bread, sautéed onions, and peppers are a messy but delicious affair.
- MICHELIN guide inspectors