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Williamsburg Restaurants

Am heading to Williamsburg for a week and looking for recommendations. Thanks. Already plan on Trellis for Death by Chocolate Cake and Chickahominy House for breakfast.

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  1. You've got a good start. I'd add:

    Blue Talon Bistro (behind the Trellis, for homemade croissants and coffee for breakfast, weekend brunch, lunch or dinner. Delicious french comfort food)

    Fat Canary (across from the Trellis, excellent but much more expensive and formal)

    Outside Merchants' Square:
    Le Yaca ($25 for 3 courses Mon - Wed. nights, but go whenever you can)

    Pancho Villa (relatively new non-chain, good solid mexican)

    Francesco's (down Richmond Road, away from W'burg, in a non-descript strip mall. A native Sicilian making a go at it, and doing a fantastic job)

    Dudley's Farmhouse Grill (even further down Richmond Road from Francesco's. A renovated farmhouse and very creative and friendly chef)

    And you must seek out my favorite new coffee shop (anywhere) called Harbor Coffee in New Town (a cool area of shops and restaurants to while away an afternoon). New Town is off of Rt. 199. Wonderful strong but non-acidic coffee, and the owner makes delicious homemade quiches and baked goods. They also serve quiche and salads for lunch. I spent several a morning there on my last visit. In addition to the food and coffee I really like the aviance.

    And the piece de resistance....Pierce's BBQ. Also off Rt. 199. It's an institution. A must for lunch or dinner, at least twice if you're there for a week ; )

    1. This thread will be (and should be) moved to the South board. Williamsburg is 3 hours from DC.

      1. I've been living and eating in DC for 2 years now. I'm being completely honest when I say that the best meal I've had in those 2 years was at the Fat Canary in Williamsburg. The food's great, the atmosphere is relaxed, the desserts are to die for, and the wine list is ridiculously reasonable. All in all, it's a great restaurant.

        1. Whatever you do, AVOID the Williamsburg Inn. It's horrible, and it acts like it's a 3* Michelin restaurant. I have truly had better meals at Applebee's or TGI Fridays.....(not that I frequent either of those places, but you get the idea).

          5 Replies
          1. re: BigEats

            Also avoid the W'burg Winery's new restaurant and Inn. Pretentious and subpar.

            1. re: Meg

              Tell me more was thinking about a getaway at the Wedmore but has not heard anything about it yet...

              1. re: wellfedred

                I don't want to dissuade you since I can't speak for it firsthand, but can relay what my parents who live in W'burg thought. They tried the restaurant a few months ago (and are serious foodies) and were very unimpressed with the food and the service, as were their friends. The owner gave them a tour of the Inn, and while I can't remember what they said about the accomodations, their overall impression of the entire place was that it was overly pretentious and not worth the money. I think their impression was primarily a result of the staff's attitudes, including the owner. Though if you're considering a weekend there, check out the specials on LuxuryLink.com for a great deal. I remember seeing a weekend package there.

                1. re: Meg

                  thanks...i'll let you know if we try it out

                  1. re: wellfedred

                    I think the Williamsburg Winery's hotel and its restaurant must just be a little uneven, or maybe they have improved a lot in the last four months (I think they've only been open a year now). I went there with my boyfriend last week and it was wonderful - the staff was courteous and accomodating and the rooms were gorgeous! I agree that the food at the restaurant was slightly overpriced, but worth it for the convenience and the atmosphere. We also enjoyed the free tasting at the winery that was included with our room. We went to Dudley's the second night and it was great and highly recommended (assuming you like game meat, which I do).

          2. I recommend Gus's Famous Hot Dogs for lunch one day.

            1. Lived here 15 years and still crave Pierce's BBQ. Fat Canary is a little expensive and hard to get reservations if not calling ahead. A fun experience can be had at the bar (for a party of 1-3) have an appetizer and an apple martini. Can't remember the bartenders name but he always recalls a face and is super friendly, but lets you eat. Profiteroles for dessert! Saw one post about New Town. There is the Thaipot Restaurant there. Really good food and quiet experience with good service. Can't really recomend Trellis anymore. Spotty service the past few times and the waiter couldn't tell what the breads were that he brought to the table. For the money and location, Fat Canary or Blue Talon.

              1. Back from W'burg. Thanks for the Blue Talon Bistro and Pancho Villa tips. PV has fine margaritas and the fajitas for 2 are really enough for 4. Pierce's was great - had to bring home ribs and more pulled pork.

                I would now recommend Cities Grille - imaginative menu and you can buy wine (lots of choices in the $10-25 range) and they only have a $10 corkage fee. I can also say that the Smithfield Gourmet Cafe and Bakery is worth a road trip for lunch - huge sandwiches and great pastries - the icing on the lemon cake was a little melted by the time we got back but the flavor was still there. Also dinner at The Trellis was superb as always.

                Thanks for all the advice.

                3 Replies
                1. re: ray3546

                  Thanks for reporting back!

                  I forgot to mention Cities. It's a stong neighborhood restaurant that unfortunately gets overlooked because of its location. So glad you discovered it. LOVE their pecan encrusted catfish with baked peaches.

                  1. re: Meg

                    I personally think Cities Grille is a little overrated. The couple of times I've eaten there, I've found the food to be really up and down. One time my dining companion's steak was perfectly done, well prepared, another time everything just seemed off (limp salad, swimming in dressing, undercooked salmon) It's actually a local chain, with a location in Newport News as well.
                    A better bet is the Japanese restaurant Soya right next door to Cities grill. They have the usual hibachi grill (which I've never eaten at) but their yakisoba is great and they have the best sushi in town--lots of inventive choices, in addition to standards.

                  2. re: ray3546

                    We just ate at Smithfield Gourmet Cafe and Bakery and had a mixed experience. We had Tomato and Basil soup and Peanut soup, which were both excellent. Then we had sandwiches and were very disappointed. The main problem was that the bread was lousy. We had sourdough from a plastic bag and on top of that it was stale! The ham they use, Red Eye I think was so salty, that the three of us did not even finish our sandwiches!

                  3. Every time I go to Billy-burg I go to 2nd Street Bistro. Good seasonal menus with some traditional southern twists. Never had a bad meal there.

                    1. Try Dudley's Farmhouse Grille. The food is well prepared, menu changes frequently, and the wine list is impressive.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: toano

                        Was back at Dudley's Easter weekend and it just keeps getting better and better. My NY strip au poivre was one of the best cuts of meat I've ever had. I could practically cut it with my fork. Jim (the owner) also has a fabulous wine list, and even more fabulous selections off-list. All you have to do is ask. A visit to the Farmhouse is well worth the drive out of downtown.