Trust a Meenful-Mallu to find out the best Fish market in any place he or she resides! My Bihari friend spent sometime with her Mallu pal in DC, and came back singing praises of The Wharf: fresh fish!After going for years to the Smithsonian Institutions, this was a pleasant surprise; it is barely 5 blocks away from the National Mall.
One's own (in)abilities and spelling mistakes in handling fish, did not deter us from the opportunity of seeing fresh seafood without the super-market look and feel! So we drove down Maine Avenue SW to The Wharf! It is right along the way, after the huge overpass, past the various memorials, the boating pier and fairly near to the Jefferson Memorial.
The market has the feel of the markets and vendors we see in the sub-continent. The shops are floating barges, selling fesh produce, clam chowder, crab soup, steamed male and female crabs, steamed cajun-seasoned crawfish, oysters shucked for you... fresh scallops, varieties of shrimp, lobster, squid, perch, butter-fish, mackeral, trout, red snapper, black snapper, salmon....
One can try a sample of the Maryland Crab soup and the Clam Chowder before ordering it and they will even offer steamed samples!
Parking is available all around and also be prepared to park right on the road, in one lane. It is surprisingly clean for a fish market... and one can walk around comfortably.