Summer in Virginia is a magical time. The days are longer, the evenings are more special, and there’s no better place to be than outside. So why not enjoy your meals outside, too? You might argue that food actually tastes better when the atmosphere is beautiful. So when the weather calls for it, you’ll definitely want to opt for the outdoor dining option in these restaurants. From oversized umbrellas, to tea lights and waterfront views, you’ll have no trouble spending a few hours at these local outdoor dining spots.
1. Clyde's Willow Creek Farm (Ashburn)
Clyde's Willow Creek Farm is a New American Restaurant with an absolutely charming outdoor patio. Aside from being a great spot to enjoy a well-prepared meal, Clyde's happens to be an attraction too. The building itself is actually a composite of four buildings dating back from the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries that were brought to the property, restored, and connected together. Visitors will enjoy browsing all kinds of Americana antiques. Photographed above is one of the tasty entree options, a bison burger complete with the works: fried onions, pico de gallo, and white cheddar cheese.
2. Petit Pois (Charlottesville)
Petit Pois Restaurant is the perfect spot to sit back and enjoy the charming downtown mall in Charlottesville. The patio seating provides a comfortable and elegant atmosphere that pairs beautifully with the carefully selected food and drink menus. The restaurants supports local famers by using local meat and produce and creating mouthwatering French fare. Photographed above is a fresh salad frisee topped with a poached egg.
3. Postbellum (Richmond)
Postbellum is a fantastic dining spot in Richmond's historic Fan district for many reasons, but perhaps mostly for its incredible rooftop dining. The menu uses postbellum cooking methods and recipes to create a new spin on classic southern favorites. The dishes here are fabulous and flavorful, whether you opt for a full entree such as the potato gnocchi (above), or lighter bar fare such as the truffle fries. You won't be disappointed.
4. Steinhilber’s Restaurant (Virginia Beach)
Since 1939, Steinhilber's has been a Virginia Beach favorite for the local catch. The restaurant pairs fine dining with family-style, and you can bet that the seafood here is the real deal. The outdoor seating arrangements are simply beautiful. You can choose to sit around a fire pit table, which will make for an especially cozy choice when the sun goes down and the temperature starts to drop. Looking out over the Lyhnaven River, this restaurant will provide an unforgettable dining experience, especially if you decide to order the calamari appetizer.
5. Demolition Coffee (Petersburg)
Aside from having absolutely fantastic coffee, Petersburg's Demolition Coffee is also well-known for tasty breakfasts and fresh lunch fares. The outdoor seating provides the perfect view of charming downtown Petersburg. Pictured above is the Sunshine Salad, which features seasonal fruit, swiss cheese, and housemade vinaigrette. If you're in need of the perfect mid-morning or early-afternoon pick-me-up, this is the place to go.
6. Sweet Fire Donna's (Alexandria)
Sweet Donna's is a little neighborhood treasure in Northern Virginia. You can enjoy some of the best barbecue in the area from their charming outdoor seating area. This sidewalk patio is the perfect spot to enjoy a barbecue platter and a little people watching too. The atmosphere at Sweet Fire Donna's is relaxed and comfortable, the perfect set up for comfort food. The pulled pork platter features delicious homemade cornbread, mac and cheese, and cole slaw.
7. Fat Canary (Williamsburg)
Way back in the day, sailors coming to the New World would refer to wine as "canary." This was considered an important provision to bring on board, and the Fat Canary of Williamsburg treats their wine and gourmet food with the same priority. Since its opening 11 years ago, this downtown spot has received the AAA Four Diamond award 10 times. During the warmer months, there's no better place to enjoy their impressive menu than the lovely outside patio. Photographed above is entree special of halibut and fresh vegetables.
8. The Deadrise (Hampton)
Steamed shrimp and a sunset view? It's hard to imagine anything more heavenly. The Deadrise Seafood Restaurant is located on the Old Point Comfort Marina. This full-service seafood restaurant has traditional options as well as a little contemporary flair. This makes for a delicious menu that's sure to have a little something for everyone. The Deadrise is named for a kind of traditional fishing boat commonly used along the Chesapeake Bay. It's definitely a place to visit soon if you're looking for a nautical night out.
9. Waterstone Pizza (Lynchburg)
Brick-oven baked pizza? Check. Great selection of beer? Check. Outdoor patio dining? Check. Waterstone pizza covers all the wonderful bases for a fabulous pizza joint. When the weather's nice, there's just something about eating outside that will make these pizzas taste even better. And if you're in the mood for something else, the menu has a nice variety of other starters and entrees. One of the most popular appetizers is the fresh mozzarella and friend green tomato stack.
10. The By&By (Staunton)
The By&By has been a been a staple in Staunton since 2002. A fantastic little coffee shop and beer garden, this spot is also known for its bagels, sandwiches, and other treats. What's even better is these things can be enjoyed out in their cozy, tucked away patio seating outback. This outdoor beer garden also hosts lots of fun events throughout the year, such as Monday Movie Nights and their own Octoberfest.
Have you been to any of these incredible outdoor dining spots in Virginia? Where are some of your favorite places to go that might have missed the list? We’d love to hear your thoughts!