Virginia’s coast is a major part of our identity as a state. From the bustling Virginia Beach to the remote Tangier Island, lifestyle along the Eastern Shore is as diverse as it is unique. And its food is no exception.
If you thought dining along Virginia’s coast was all about seafood, then you’re exactly right. But it’s also much more, as you’ll see from the following restaurants that you absolutely must try:
1. Waterman's Surfside Grill (Virginia Beach)
Virginia Beach residents, chances are you've tried this wildly popular beachfront spot. Located right on the shore, this restaurant is a must-try for residents and visitors alike. Tuna is the name of the game at Waterman’s; be sure to try either the tuna buffalo bites or the tuna tacos (both are photographed above). Address: 415 Atlantic Ave
Virginia Beach, VA 23451.
2. The Ten Top (Norfolk)
A tiny, hidden gem of a place, the Ten Top is consistently rated among the best restaurants in the Norfolk area. While the advertised food (sandwiches, soups, and pastas) are incredible, the chicken flat bread pizza is real star. Photographed above, it’s every bit as mouthwatering as it looks. Address: 748 Shirley Ave
Norfolk, VA 23517.
3. Viking Burger (Newport News)
In the case of this new burger joint in Newport News, the messier the better. Viking Burger has plenty of personality and flavor to go around, despite being in a quieter part of town. Burgers are cooked to perfection and come with all your favorite accoutrements: fries, chili fries, or onion rings. Address: 13650 Warwick Blvd., Newport News, VA 23602.
4. The Point (Hampton)
For an upscale dining experience, The Point in Hampton is not to be missed. Two of the most popular menu items are the Hog Island clams and lobster mac & cheese. These savory meals can be enjoyed with an aptly-named Coastal Cocktail or a Point Pear Lemonade. Location: 30 E Mellen St
Hampton, VA 23663.
5. Riverwalk Landing (Yorktown)
The only thing that beats the food offered at Riverwalk Landing is the view. Located right on the water, this restaurant allows diners to enjoy out-out-of-this-world crab cakes, delicious salads, chargrilled oysters, and more. Address: 323 Water St. Ste A-1, Yorktown, VA 23690.
6. Southwind Cafe (Mathews)
Mathews may be a small coastal town, but you certainly won’t find yourself hungry in a place like this. Southwind Cafe is a prime example. This charming spot offers fresh seafood in addition to fantastic pizza. Photographed above is the Whalebone Island pizza topped with pineapple. Address: 44 Church St., Mathews, VA 23109.
7. Cobbs Creek Diner (Cobbs Creek)
Barbecue belongs on just about every food list, especially those concerning Virginia. Tucked away in Cobbs Creek, you can find some of the best barbecue around. Complete with an outdoor smoker, this restaurant is sure to hit the spot. If you can, try to save room for the homemade blueberry cobbler dessert. Address: 12 Linden Ave
Cobbs Creek, VA 23035.
8. The Local (Irvington)
Located near the Tides Inn, this lovely little bakery is the perfect pick-me-up. The Local is mostly known for its homemade breakfast items, although lunch won't disappoint either. It's hard to beat a classic like a grilled ham and cheese sandwich. Address: 4337 Irvington Rd., Irvington, VA 22480.
9. Fisherman's Corner (Tangier)
It seems fitting that a town accessible only by boat would have some pretty impressive seafood. Visit Fisherman's Corner in Tangier and you'll have your selection of steamed shrimp, flounder, clam chowder and more. Address: 4419 Long Bridge Rd., Tangier, VA 23440.
10. Machipongo Trading Company (Machipongo)
This local trading post has gourmet, healthy menu options in addition to its selection of local arts and crafts. One of the most popular entrees is the falafel wrap, as photographed above. If you're in need of a little pick-me-up, the coffee here is also fantastic. Address: 13037 Lankford Hwy., Machipongo, VA 23405.
11. Pico Taqueria (Chincoteague)
Pico Taqueria has become something of a legend on Chincoteague Island. Not much bigger than a food truck, this taco stand makes some of the best and most creative concoctions you could ask for. Photographed above are the popular shrimp and fried oyster tacos. Address: 382 Maddox Blvd
Chincoteague Island, VA 23336.
12. The Shanty (Cape Charles)
This beloved spot is located right on the Cape Charles Harbor. Beautiful all year round, this restaurant is especially jaw-dropping in the summer when you can sit outdoors. For a real treat, be sure to stop by for brunch on the weekend, when you can enjoy their unbeatable eggs Benedict. Address: 33 Marina Rd
Cape Charles, VA 23310.
With so many incredible eateries to choose from, it’s true that this list only begins to scratch the surface. So please help us out and share some of your favorite spots — we may even be able to write up a part 2 of this list!