New to Hampton Roads
Not sure exactly where you are but in Williamsburg, Ichiban for sushi has been recommended by many but I have not tried it, In Norfolk, burgers at Kelly's Tavern in the Ghent section. I love the Mexican food in Williamsburg at La Tolteca (either location). The #17 with a cheese enchilada and chicken burrito - can't go wrong - been ordering that forever. Upscale in Williamsburg is Fat Canary, great entrees and appetizers and desserts. White tablecloth with an open kitchen and friendly wait staff. Call early for reservations. Hope someone posts a good seafood restaurant, lived here awhile and can't recommend one. Need to try the BBQ at Pierce's off the exit for 199 from 64. An institution.
Not sure where you are located but for fresh out of the water seafood it is worth the drive to Mathews County to Sandpiper Reef Restaurant www.sandpiperreef.net Amazing crabcakes and great oysters. Real homemade desserts which change weekly.
For comfort food I think Debbie's in Middlesex is very good country cooking. Best bbqd meats is hands down County Grill in Yorktown.
The county grill was amazing. i had the burnt end sandwich with baked beans and warm potato salad. moist, tender, mildly smoky, well balanced sauce(sweet tangy tart) classic well prepared baked beans and the warm potato salad...where have I been this stuff is amazing. I'm defiantly bringing more people back here!!!
Burger: AW Shucks (Norfolk)
Sushi: Zushi (VB)
wine: Vintage Tavern (Suffolk)
up scale (lots; see other posts on hampton rds)
french: Le Yaca (Williamsburg)
comfort: Comfort (Portsmouth)
Fresh out'd water seafood: Surfrider (various locations)--and others
oysters: AW Shucks (Norfolk)
Burger - Kelly's Tavern. It's good but not the best burger I've had..haven't found it down here yet.
Chinese - Kin's Wok, Ghent. Reminds me of Chinese food from NYC.
Mexican - Guadalajara (Shore Drive VB) is consistently good but can't be categorized as "real" Mexican
Seafood (including oysters) - Surf Rider on Shore Drive in Norfolk. Always fresh, always good.
Upscale - Bobbywood (Norfolk), Lynnhaven Fish House (Virginia Beach), Lucky Star (Virginia Beach)
Burger... 5 guys in chesapeake and on independence in va beach....love this place and their fries are out of this world! Also love surfrider's bay burger (burger topped w. their crabcake mixture)
Sushi....Nara and Kyushu...both are small, comfy and delish. Nara even has an omagaze (sp?) where you pay $45 and the chef serves you what he feels inspired to give you :)
Chinese Jade Villa (authentic and they even have Dim Sum on the weekends but get there early if you dont want to wait for 30+ minutes
mexican...my fav is taqueria el rey on chesapeake blvd in Norfolk...they make their own corn tortillas...need I say more?
wine The wine house in norfolk they have great specials from 5-6 check out the website http://www.mywinehouse.com
up scale for me, Bobbywood is the best but have heard rave reviews for the French Canary (never eaten there though :(
french See above post
comfort believe it or not, the K&W cafeteria in Norfolk...their food reminds me of what my gma used to make...I know but I like it ok!
Fresh out'd water seafood I love surfrider on shore drive's crabcakes and you cant go wrong with the lynhaven fish house
oysters Aw shucks...stay away from the Lynnhaven inlets though (I know its local, but is still scarry to me!)
Sushi - Daikichi (http://www.welovesushi.net/menu.html) in Chesapeake is our absolute favorite. I lived in Japan for over a year, so I know good sushi! Always fresh and well prepared. Lots of other options on the menu, too. Service is usually excellent.
Chinese - I'm going to try out Jade Villa later this week
Mexican - 3 Amigos (http://www.3amigosrestaurant.com/). I've been to the one in Chesapeake several times. Excellent food and a lot of variety on the menu.
wine - my favorite is Sonoma Bistro (http://www.sonomatowncenter.com) Great selection of wine, knowledgeable staff and flights available so you can sample lots of different wines!
up scale - Sonoma is pretty upscale, Byrd & Baldwin Bros Steakhouse (http://www.byrdbaldwin.com/) in Norfolk is yummy
Indian - Spice of Indian (Volvo Pkwy in Chesapeake) has excellent food. Service can be spotty, but I keep going back!
Vintage Kitchen in Norfolk - lovely setting, service and food. Chef uses local food & wine.
The Boot in Norfolk - very similar to Vintage Kitchen in philosophy. Some reviews of this restaurant from a few years ago were not favorable. I've been there twice in the last 6 months or so and had a wonderful meal both times.
Todd Jurich's Bistro in Norfolk was tasty, but it's been quite a while since I've been there.
Not sure if you're still interested but....
Burgers especially but food in general: Phil's grill VA Beach
Sushi: Kanpai Va Beach (FRESH FRESH FRESH)
AUTHENTIC El Salvadorean/Mexican: El Gavilan Norfolk
Beer selection/Atmospher/Food: Taphouse or Bier Garden
Seafood and Oysters: A.W. Shucks
Comfort: Jewish Mother GREAT Pastrami sandwiches BIG desert selection