Vola's Dockside Grill in Old Town Alexandria combines great seafood classics with a family-friendly atmosphere and a spectacular view.

The menu at Vola's is exactly what you'd crave when you think of having a nice seafood meal: crab cakes, shrimp and grits, oysters on the half shell, blackened fish, and much, much more. Add in the creative cocktails from the adjacent Hi-Tide Lounge and you've got the makings of a great night out.

ADDRESS: 101 North Union Street | Alexandria, VA

PARKING: Metered street parking, hourly pay garage across Union Street

WEEKLY SPECIALS: $5 Margarita and 2 for $5 Mahi Taco Mondays | Trivia Tuesdays in the Hi-Tide Lounge | Wine Down Wednesdays for 1/2 off bottles of wine | Buck-a-Shuck Oysters Monday-Friday from 4-7 p.m.

outdoor seating

Courtesy of Vola's Dockside Grill

What makes Vola's so great?

We sat down with the General Manager, Freddy Lopez, to talk about what makes Vola's a must-try Old Town destination.

"People rave about our crabcakes," he said proudly. "Oysters are also one of our best specialties. We focus on bringing in local and regional fresh oysters and sorting them to give only the best. We serve them with our own mignonette sauce and our housemade cocktail sauce with fresh horseradish."

Here's what we got to try:

Brunch favorites French Toast and Monkey Bread were rich and sweet, the perfect start to a decadent weekend meal. The spiced syrup is something you'll want to recreate at home!

French ToastMonkey Bread

We then had some of the local oysters with the housemade mignonette and all the trimmings. Delicious! A simple everything bagel is sublime, draped with a blanket of cream cheese and house-smoked salmon with onion and caper relish.

smoked salmon, bagel, oysters

Eggs Benedict are treated royally with their signature crabcakes and a velvety hollandaise. They're served up on warm, fluffy buttermilk biscuits. The hash browns were nice and crispy -- the perfect sidekick!

crab cakes, eggs benedict

My favorite dish was the Shrimp and Grits. Creamy, rich grits were layered with low country gravy and topped with plump shrimp, roasted tomatoes, and andouille sausage for the perfect bite every time.

shrimp and grits

For first-time visitors, Freddy recommends the King Street Seafood Stew in a rich tomato broth ("it warms the soul") or the Shrimp and Grits. Fresh oysters are always good, especially knocked back with one of their specialty cocktails. Don't you just love a loaded Bloody Mary?

Who would like this restaurant?

Everyone! The main dining room is set up perfectly for people-watching along the Old Town Marina, so I could even imagine coming here on my own. The Hi-Tide Lounge is a great place for a date or a trivia night outing for friends. Families will love the outdoor seating once the weather gets nicer, and the menu has something for every taste.

flourless chocolate cake

Courtesy of Vola's Dockside Grill

For more information, including details on special upcoming events like their April 6 Oyster Fest, visit the Vola's Dockside Grill website.

*All photos in this article are by Sarina Petrocelly unless credited otherwise.

Have you been to Vola's Dockside? What are some of your favorite dishes? Let us know in the comments below.

Want more NoVA Eats? Head to Hank's Pasta Bar for Italian food that's exquisite and divine!