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Jul 21, 2008 02:23 AM

Williamsburg - Norfolk Vacation

We will be doing a familiy trip to Williamsburg - Norfolk in a couple weeks for 10 days. We have two kids, 5 and 6, and we eat everything and we can do any price. I have combed the board and found these restaurant references and opinions. Anything else?


Pierce's - (off Rt. 199 on your way into or out of town.). A "must go." Great, cheap BBQ.

Kings Arms - Not chowhound worthy but a special experience if you're "doing" W'burg. The best of the colonial taverns.

Christiana Cambells -S imilar to King's Arms.Good if you're interested in a real colonial dining experience, and fun if you've never done it.

Fat Canary - About the best for high-end dining. More formal/pricier then Trellis.. Expensive. Make sure you have a reservation and ask for the table in the window if you have four or more.

The Trellis - Great for brunch also. Fist rate. For the best food I'd stick with the Trellis.

Blue Talon Bistro. - Great and fine for kids. Fantastic brunch and great atmoshpere and is in Merchant's Square, the heart of Colonial W'burg.

Surry House Restaurant in Jamestown - Take the Ferry over to Scotland/Surry. is right there, and is famous for its country ham, peanut soup, and several other traditional southern dishes you are unlikely to encounter elsewhere. The Ferry is free, and the ride is fun.

A Good Place To Eat. - On Duke Of Glouster Street (DOG Street) - Not a good place to eat.

Carmine's - For the absolute BEST sandwiches in Williamsburg,

The Cheese Shop - Not bad for cheese, bread, and wine. The sandwiches are overrated.

Le Yaca - excellent for French cuisine. There are also some nice ethnic places, Chez Trinh (Vietnamese), Emerald and Thai Pot (both Thai), and Taco Mexicali (authentic Mexican, but no atmosphere). I would also suggest Food for Thought on Richmond Road.

Hog Wild Smokehouse - A bit of a drive from the Colonial area. Good and less expensive, I'd suggest (although it's).

Berret's Seafood Restaurant - Excellent all around! She-crab soup is a favorite. Their crabcakes are rumored to be the best in Williamsburg. And save room for dessert as their pastry chef is fabulous! A lot of locals like it better than The Trellis...Good for a casual lunch outside.

Bardo – One posters favorite. Really good, talented chef and amazing, relaxing atmosphere. Interesting, creative, Asian and Indian inspired small plates menu and a great bar menu.

Food for Thought - American Child-friendly. Very good


Cora - 723 W 21st St, Norfolk . For brunch. Loved it. Don’t they serve booze anymore.

AW Shucks - Great comfort food. Wonderful pan-fried oysters with some amazing side dishes!! The raw bar menu looks fabulous also!

Jade Villa - Best chinese food in the area. Red menu for traditional chinese fare which includes octopus, frog, etc. The pan fried noodles with vegetables and gravy is exceptional! Dim sum menu Open late (1-2am?).

Terrapin – Expensive. Similar to Fat Canary in Williamsburg with great food

Charlie's - Best divey diner ever

Pho 79: - Poor atmosphere but the food is great. Love their spring rolls. Love it. Dirt Cheap.

Pasha Ottoman Bakery & Café. In Chesapeake - Terrific. Turkish.

Kotobuki - In Norfolk's Ghent – Sushi is really fresh and the service is great.

Kyushu - Newtown Rd. – Better sushi. Almost offer a complimentary appetizer.

Luna Maya – For mexican is very good, Serve the best martinis I've ever had in my life, specifically The Margatini, rimmed with chipole chili salt.

Empire Little Bar and Bistro. - Tapas. Interesting twists on classic things and lots of fun stuff. A tapas restaurant affiliated with Crackers in Ghent. Personally, I like Crackers much better. But I'm a bit biased, as I live in Ghent and eat more often in Ghent.

Minnie Lumpia - Minnie was ridiculously nice, the Lumpia were excellent.

Bobbywood - New American/Seafood plus some regional flavor. Great and a fun place to go. Very good and cool scene.

Todd Jurich's Bistro - . American, French, Seafood, Contemporary. The finest restaurant in Hampton Roads.

The 219 - Dessert, Pizza, Eclectic. Reservations recommended. I love the Potstickers for an appetizer and the Asian Tuna for an entree. This is probably my favorite appetizer-entree combo in all of Norfolk.

No Frill Grill - I usually order the fresh fish chalkboard special, and it is usually delicious

Crackers - Tapas. In my opinion, Crackers is better than its sister restaurant, Empire, located in downtown Norfolk.

Restaurants To Avoid: The New Belmont, Szechuan In Ghent. The Max, Club Soda, San Antonio Sam's

Cogan's - A great cool friendly neighborhood restaurant/pub. The pizza is VERY good and you can get a whole pie or a huge slice the way you like it.

Carriage House (now Omar's?). French, Eclectic, International. Fantastic, a great setting too.

Bardo - Asian, Tapas, Vegetarian Great Experience. You have to tell them you want to chill there and order. the tapas plates in shifts so your table is not over run with stuff.

Winehouse - Sunday night 1/2 price entrees. Love it, although you need to stick to simple dishes because sometimes they can get a little crazy.

Cora - Creative take on Southern and Vegan foods. Casual but sophisticated. Can eat outside in warm weather.

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  1. One personal opinion, Todd Jurich's is a little over-rated but the food quality is top notch. I will also agree with your restaurants to avoid but San Antonio Sam's is a good spot to grab a beer and people watch, every second and last Friday of the month is Rocky Horror Picture Show night at the movie theatre next door, really good fun there. I have had some really bad experiences lately with the winehouse and really not that kid friendly. Cora's is closed and is now a Peruvian Steakhouse, Imperio Inca I believe. Hope this helps and have a safe trip.

    1. Yes, Cora is closed...Imperio Inca in its place is great.

      Pasha Ottoman is now also in Ghent in Norfolk....have not been yet.

      I would do a tavern at lunch, instead of dinner...Kings Arms maybe, food not great but i guess it is interesting to try.

      1. Our family enjoyed The Surrey House. Nice atmosphere, very friendly, amazing prices for great food. Plus, the ferry ride is great fun for the kids as well! While you're over there, if you interested there are some great historical places to take the kids where they can run and enjoy themselves as well. Chippokes Plantation is a beautiful place to visit and the children can go the the James River from the plantation and collect shells and search for the elusive shark's teeth as well. The website for the Surrey House is, and for the beautiful Chippokes Plantation it's We had a lovely relaxing day over in Surry and a great meal! Enjoy your vacation!

        1. OK, let's run down the Norfolk list (really should be Norfolk/VB)


          Charlie's - filthy. Better breakfast choices include Citrus and Doc Taylor's at the beach. Nothing special. If you are into dives for b'fast, Donut Dinette on Colley!

          Pasha Ottoman Bakery & Café. New location in Norfolk (350 W. 22nd, in Ghent) means no more drives to Shopping Mall USA

          Luna Maya – Not only Mexican, but many Central American dishes as well. In a land
          of plated Taco Bell, probably the best.

          Cogan's - OK pizza, above average tap beer selection.

          Winehouse - moving soon to the former location of Zio's (1517 Colley)

          Bobbywood - Inventive. Chef owned (well, kinda -- sold his soul to a local entrepreneur who collect restaurants like some rich people collect antique warbirds). No apparent drop off, so still highly recommended.

          Todd Jurich's Bistro - . Second the idea that it is "The finest restaurant in Hampton Roads" Best service lifts it to the top.

          Vintage Kitchen -- nationally noted. Advocate of local ingredients. Inventive, high attention to detail. Dining room on water has some of the best views in the area.

          No Frill Grill - Reliable -- our favorite spot for midweek dinner. Sandwiches, salads, and entree specials keep you coming back. VB and Norfolk


          Pho 79: - fantastic -- probably the best Vietnamese in the area, but not the equal of NoVa

          Terrapin – Top five in Hampton Roads. Chef owned. Top notch decor, food, and service. Creative use of local ingredients where it makes sense. You WILL not be disappointed.

          Zoe's -- best steaks in VB (best Norfolk steaks are at Byrd & Baldwin). Top notch service, knowledgeable staff, Menu has creative choices other than steaks, with a Pan Asian/Hawaiian bent

          Surf Rider (two VB locations -- open air at Marina Shores, also Laskin Road). No peer for fried seafood. Nothing in the place comes out of a bag or a box. Crab cakes and fried shrimp are the best in the area. CASUAL!, but great food and service.

          Restaurants To Avoid: San Antonio Sam's -- heavens YES! I am a Texan, and have no idea what they are trying to do there. Must be a New Yorker's fantasy of what Texans eat. I wouldn't visit a deli in SA looking for a pastrami sandwich. You should avoid SA Sam's. There just isn't a reason to go there.

          Boot -- no clue what they want to be. Supposed to be Italian, but clueless as to what that means. Menu wanders all over the place, no Italian wines on the winelist.