Regardless of whether you live in Virginia or you are simply visiting the state, you will find many outstanding restaurants in which to dine. No matter what your culinary preferences, you will find an establishment to meet your needs as there is everything from steakhouses to restaurants serving an array of international cuisine. A popular option in this state is seafood restaurants as Virginia’s coast with the Atlantic Ocean is a fantastic source of fresh fish and seafood. There is a vast array of different seafood establishment, from budget-friendly, casual eateries to sophisticated, fine-dining venues. Therefore, there is something to suit all budgets, tastes, and occasions. If you are a seafood enthusiast, here are the 20 best seafood restaurants in Virginia.
20. Denson’s Grocery and R&B Oyster Bar
The approach taken by the owners of this restaurant is to source their seafood from local companies from Northern Neck and Virginia Grown, says Virginia.org. Although the food is prepared using only fresh ingredients, and typical ingredients include blue crab, rockfish, clams, and oysters. They also have some more unusual offerings, such as croaker and sugar toads. The menu changes daily according to what is available. This restaurant also serves only local wines and Virginia craft beers.
19. Seafare of Williamsburg
When this restaurant was established in Williamsburg in 1976, the owners had two main aims. The first was to serve only the best food, and the second was to deliver the best service possible. Throughout more than 40 years of business, this restaurant has stood up to the ever-changing culinary scene in Williamsburg. This is because their menu has been designed to stand the test of time and it continues to impress even the most discerning diners. They take pride in the selection of ingredients they use to create their beautiful dishes. The staff at this restaurant continues to strive to offer the best service in town.
18. Surf Rider Restaurant
As you walk along the Hampton River in the Bluewater Marina in Virginia Beach you will see Surf Rider Restaurant, says The Culture Trip. There are two further locations of this restaurant in Virginia Beach due to the popularity of the first restaurant that was opened by a mother and son team back in 1980. The menu at these restaurants consists of a combination of fresh, steamed options and a selection of Southern favorites. They have become synonymous with home-style cooking. Some of the top options on the menu include tuna bites, hot crab dip, fried scallops, and crab cakes.
17. Shoemaker’s American Grille
Despite Shoemaker’s Grille serving top quality food in upscale surroundings, it still has a welcoming and unpretentious vibe. Although the highlight of the menu is seafood, this restaurant also serves some meat options that are cooked on the grill. From the seafood section of the menu, a popular option is a hot shrimp and crab dip served with flatbread. It is also known for its calorie-laden desserts, such as the hot chocolate chip cookie topped with ice cream. You will find this restaurant on Commerce Street in Lynchburg, Virginia.
16. La Petite Auberge
La Petite Auberge is a Fredericksburg restaurant that serves French cuisine. It is a family-owned restaurant with an upscale ambiance. Although there are also meat dishes on the menu, it predominantly consists of seafood options. Two of the most popular options include herb-crusted salmon with wild mushroom risotto and the crab sampler, which consists of crab cake, lump crab meat, and soft shell crab. The décor of this restaurant is best described as kitsch, with checked tablecloths and paraphernalia adorning the room. One aspect of the dishes at this restaurant that has been praised is the generous size of the portions.
15. Pirate’s Cove Restaurant
A family-owned restaurant, Pirate’s Cove Restaurant has earned a reputation for its generous portions and the attentive service. Diners can choose how they want their fresh fish of the day cooked, either broiled, fried, blackened or grilled. They then choose whether they want to add a topping, such as basil cream sauce or Cajun butter. There is also a range of traditional seafood dishes on the menu, and an interesting selection of sides.
In Arlington, VA, one of the best seafood restaurants is Quarterdeck. Many of the dishes served in this establishment focus on the flavors of crab. Whole crabs are available in various sizes, and diners can gorge on plates filled with snow crab legs. However, there is plenty more to choose from on the menu, including the catch of the day, meat dishes, and pasta options. This restaurant has a great vibe that means you can dine with friends in a relaxed atmosphere. The service has received praise as the staff is friendly and attentive. In good weather, it is recommended that you eat outside on the patio with a refreshing beer.
13. Bookbinder’s Seafood and Steakhouse
You will find Bookbinders Seafood and Steakhouse on East Carey Street in Richmond, Virginia. This restaurant serves the best local ingredients from both the land and the sea. One of the best seafood options is the lump crab cake. There are also plenty of options for meat-eaters. Therefore, there is something to suit everyone in your party. If you have a gluten intolerance, this restaurant is a good option because they offer a gluten-free menu.
12. Island House Restaurant
From the exterior, this restaurant looks homely and casual due to the weathered shingles. However, the image is completely different once you step inside this upscale restaurant on Atlantic Avenue in the quaint town of Wachapreague. The menu consists of traditional dishes with a modern twist, such as the mouthwatering soft shell crab sandwich. Although most of the options are seafood-based dishes, they also serve steaks, in-house smoked ribs, and pasta dishes. The decking area outside is right on the water’s edge, so you can enjoy your meal with the bonus of excellent views across to the Barrier Islands.
11. Fin Seafood
Only seasonal and locally sourced food is served in Fin Seafood, which is located on William Styron Square North in Newport News. The seasonal seafood is transformed into visually appealing dishes that tantalize the tastebuds and that have been prepared with the utmost care. They use organic and sustainable products whenever possible. The diversity of the menu, which also includes some eat options, is something that former diners have praised. This is one of the more expensive seafood restaurants in Newport News, so it is one to save for a special occasion.
10. Lucky Restaurant
A top-notch place to sample several different types of cuisine is Lucky Restaurant. The diverse menu offers everything from New American fare to sophisticated French cuisine. There are also fusion dishes and unusual flavor combinations. Each dish is prepared using the finest ingredients and all the food is exquisitely presented. The staff are very attentive and strive to ensure all diners have the best dining experience possible. There is an extensive wine list and an interesting selection of cocktails. To sample the delights of this upscale restaurant, head to Kirk Avenue in Roanoke.
9. Greene’s Fresh Seafood
Although Greene’s Fresh Seafood is in the landlocked city of Bristol, they remain true to the name by serving only fresh seafood in this restaurant. There are many delicious options on the menu, but the lobster, scallops, and oysters are highly recommended by those who have dined there. It has also been praised for the generous portions and excellent customer service. You will find this establishment along West State Street.
8. Croaker’s Spot
There are two Croaker’s spot locations in Virginia, one in Petersburg and one in Richmond. Not only is it famous in Virginia for the quality of the seafood, but they are also known for their soul food dishes. One of the most popular options on this menu is the shrimp skewers with sautéed collard greens, although there are plenty more options that feature some of the best seafood the area has to offer. Other than the food, diners have said they enjoy eating in these restaurants because of the welcoming ambiance and the friendly staff.
7. Blue Ridge Seafood
This Gainesville Restaurant is located on Lee Highway, and it has been open since 1979. This means that it is a well-established restaurant in the area that has built a good reputation and is popular amongst the locals. There is a large selection of dishes on the menu, with 16 options on the appetizer section alone. Crab features strongly on the menu at Blue Ridge Seafood, and it is served in many ways.
6. Public Fish & Oyster
Oysters are the best option on the menu at Public Fish & Oyster, which is located on West Main Street in Charlottesville, as there is a wide selection of this seafood available served in a variety of ways. Although it is a small restaurant, it has a lively vibe. Due to the limited space within this restaurant, it is best to book a table in advance. The drinks at this restaurant have also contributed to its excellent reputation, as there is an extensive wine list, a good selection of craft beers, and some fun signature cocktails.
5. Clam Diggers Seafood
A great place to enjoy a night out with friends is Clam Diggers Seafood on South Bridge Street in Bedford. This is a lively venue that hosts live music every night for diners to enjoy while they eat. The seafood served at this venue is excellent and includes tasty morsels such as scallops wrapped in bacon. Former diners have said that the customer service is fantastic at this restaurant. This is a reasonably priced establishment, so it is a good option for those with a limited budget.
4. Rappahannock Restaurant
If you are in Richmond, then an excellent seafood restaurant to visit is Rappahannock Restaurant. Originally, Rappahannock was an oyster harvesting company. However, they decided to expand into the restaurant business in 2011. Due to the company’s history, the oysters are the highlight of a trip to this restaurant as they still source these ingredients themselves. In fact, all aspects of this restaurant follow the farm-to-table principal. Several times throughout the year, they host oyster nights for $1. This is the perfect opportunity for oyster novices to sample them for the first time.
3. Mahi Mah’s
Regardless of whether you prefer the flavors of traditional American cuisine or you love international flavors, you will find something on this menu to suit your tastes. They specialize in chowders and bisques, which are prepared daily. However, the extensive menu also features everything from blackened tuna to spicy seafood and slaw tacos. There is also sushi available, which is ideal for those who enjoy Japanese cuisine. This is a waterfront restaurant on Atlantic Drive in Virginia Beach.
2. Captain Groovy’s Grill and Raw Bar
As the name of this restaurant suggests, it is a pretty groovy place to eat and it has a laid-back ambiance. Diners can eat from the raw bar or order from the extensive menu, which features a wide selection of freshly prepared seafood dishes. This is an affordable option, which is particularly cheap during lunch service. You will find this restaurant on Shore Drive in Norfolk, VA.
1. Laporta’s Restaurant
According to Only in Your State, the best seafood restaurant in Virginia is Laporta’s Restaurant, which is located on Duke Street in Alexandria. It boasts a contemporary dining room that has a comfortable atmosphere. Most of the items on the menu are seafood-based, although there are a couple of options for meat-eaters and vegetarians. The seafood used to create the dishes is top-quality, and the presentation is outstanding.
Written by Dana Hanson
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