photo credit: Tabia S. Lisenbee-Parker

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$$$$Perfect For:Casual Weeknight DinnerWalk-InsQuick Eats

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If you’re a transplant from a city with a waterfront, then you know the magic of ordering a speedy, prepared lunch while picking up a couple filets or a whole fish to take home. The Fishmonger in Virginia Highland brings that experience to the A, delivering the freshness and quality of an expensive seafood restaurant with the casual quickness of a Captain D’s. 

After you order at the counter, go on the hunt for a seat, which is reminiscent of musical chairs during primetime lunch and dinner hours. The small space only has a few seats indoors along with a few small patio tables on the sidewalk outside, so don’t get too comfortable because there’s going to be other diners waiting for a seat. But if you’re craving a no-fuss seafood meal, you’re in the right spot and you’re here for a good time, not a long time.

While the chefs are busy, slicing up some crudo behind the counter, you’ll get the chance to peek at the daily specials and all the fresh herbs and other ingredients that will come with them. 

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The menu may change a bit based upon the day’s catch, but anytime ceviche and seafood chowder are on the menu, consider them must-orders. There’s a whole ’nother ceviche-based place right across the street, which makes things awkward when Fishmonger has their version on the daily specials board. But if you’ve got a tight window, Fishmonger is our hands-down winner in the (imaginary) street battle, in part because when you order, you’ll see ingredients like rock shrimp, mango, avocado, and chili prepared right in front of you.

And if you love a good old fashioned tuna melt, this one comes correct with fresh (not canned) tuna. It doesn’t give the melty, cheese pull we’re used to, but it’s a fantastic compromise. It’s light on the mayo, which we actually prefer. And the sprouts mixed with fresh mint leaves add a light zing to the palate.

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