Set inside the buzzing Union Market, Rappahannock Oyster Bar is 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