1100 Maine Ave. SW
HOURS: Mon.-Sun. 8 a.m.-9 p.m.
COST: Most entrées between $10–20
There’s something decidedly un-Washington about the Maine Avenue Fish Market. Take a look around DC: It’s practically spotless, with little grime and litter. Even its market—Eastern Market —is spotless, lacking the feel or grittiness of Philadelphia’s Reading Terminal Market  or 9th Street Italian Market .
Enter the fish market, the closest thing the city has to a midway, with its pungent odors, carnivalesque awnings, hawkers promoting their wares, and live critters waiting to be cooked and eaten.
At the fish market, customers can grab crab-cake sandwiches, raw and fried oysters, fried fish, and even dessert at Jimmy’s, which serves pies and cakes. There are no seats, although there is a new covered area; most patrons grab their meals and stand at wooden tables that look out over the river.
Even if you don’t like seafood, the fish market is an experience, a chance to hang out by the river with locals in a relatively safe neighborhood and enjoy a vibe that seems to be disappearing with the slow gentrification of each section of the city.