The hubby and I are road tripping from baltimore to va beach in a couple of weeks and are looking for good/fun/delicious/notable etc places to stop on the ride there and back, as well as can't-miss places while were are in virginia beach. So please help :) Happy new year!
Just to clarify, I do live in VB currently. :)
Norfolk is so close - 15- 20 minutes on 264, it would be a shame to stay at oceanfront only.
W'burg in 45 min- I am a speed demon as charged (there's a reason I survived beltway traffic all those years!).... but no way it takes 75 minutes as the speed limit ups to 65 on I-64. I would split the difference and say an hour.
Well, as someone who really lives in VB :), let me offer a few suggestions:
Terrapin -- Holly Road, just west of the Oceanfront at 31st St. #1 in the new HR Magazine restaurant awards. Chef owned, inventive, with a heavy emphasis on local ingredients. Open kitchen for entertainment value. Front of the house is as good as the back. Reservations a must, especially on the weekends. Might try sitting at the bar and enjoying the bar tasting menu if you don't get reservations. I have never had less than a fantastic meal here. http://www.terrapinvirginiabeach.com/
Eat, an American Bistro -- 40th and Atlantic, at the north end of the Oceanfront. Small, but full of energy. Also big emphasis on local ingredients, so much that the chalkboard is a better source than the menu. Another place where I have never had less than outstanding. http://www.eatbistro.com
Sonoma -- away from the oceanfront at Town Center. Formerly more focused on the wine. But staff changes have the food now a co-equal, and it is excellent. http://www.sonomatowncenter.com/
Breakfast recs -- Doc Taylor's, right next door to Tautog's, with common ownership. All of the breakfast faves, in an old house that was once a doctor's office. Cheap, but possibility of long waits.
Citrus, north VB, near Shore Drive. More creative menu than Doc's, just as excellent, with usually little to no wait.
The rest of the recs here? First, it is at least thirty minutes from the oceanfront to Ghent/ Colley Ave. And anyone who can get from the oceanfront to W'burg in 45, is doing it in a helicopter. 75 minutes, at a minimum, at that is with no tunnel backups, which never happens. As far as the restaurants, well, you asked for opinions, and that is what you got. Everybody has their likes - but, not trying to start a fight here, for heaven's sake, stay away from Lynnhaven Fish House. It may have been great in the past, but is abysmal now. If you want tradition and seafood, I have always had good meals at Steinhilber's Thalia Acres Inn http://www.steinys.com/
Enjoy your stay!
If you're driving down the Eastern Shore, then The Great Machipongo Clam Shack (near Nassawadox) on Rt 13 is a great place to stop. Awesome clam chowder!
A.W. Shucks on 22nd St in Norfolk is also a favorite.
Gringo's on Norfolk Ave in Virginia Beach for Mexican food. Fish tacos are great.
Baltimore (Owings Mills area) to Va Beach used to take us 5 hours in car... all depends on where you want to stop.
Just South of DC on 95South~ Potomac Mills Ikea- I am serious! I love those little Swedish meatballs and the blueplate specials are tasty. (Warning- eat and leave - avoid looking around the store or you could spend a couple of hours like we do. Besides, you can always take a ride out to the White Marsh Ikea to shop another day....)
Fredricksburg~ I do not know this area, sorry... I will be reading the thread to see what others recommend :) We never stopped there on a road trip.
Richmond~ Instead of the 295 loop around Richmond, stay on 95 through Richmond and go to Carytown or the fan to eat. Try Joe's Inn or Strawberry Street Cafe in the fan section of Richmond.
Williamsburg~ C'mon, you have to do a day trip!! (45 mins away from VB)
My lunch stop would be The Cheese Shop. Bring a little knife from home, buy an amazing round of cheese, a loaf of good crusty bread and some apples... heaven! They also have great deli sandwiches in the back of the shop. It's on DOG street (Duke of Gloucester - the main street of W'burg - but you don't have to buy a Colonial W'burg ticket to stroll around Merchant's square). Even if you don't eat lunch this way, you have got to buy cheese here!
Dinner either at the Trellis, also in Merchant's Square, for contemporary American or Cristina Campbell's tavern (rustic food with historic entertainment - fun! ). Make RESERVATIONS at both.
Hands down, Colley Avenue/Ghent is the place to go eat and catch a movie. Only problem with Colley Avenue is the parking stinks - pretty much all on-street , but go back one block in the neighborhood and you're fine.
No Frill Grill is my top choice. Casual dining with excellent food & service. Love the coconut cake especially for dessert -yum! This is very close to Naro Movie Theatre, an old fashioned place where they draw the curtains back before the show and Tench, the owner, frequently greets people. Make it a date night!
Magnolia Steak, also on Colley Ave, is a little fancier but still casual. If steak is your thing, this is your place. I could eat off the appetizer menu alone... good stuff.
If you are in town for a weekend, I would suggest Sunday brunch at Omar's Carriage House followed by a trip to the Chrysler Museum of Art - right now they have a visiting exhibit of Norman Rockwell (till March 2009) in addition to extensive collection of ancient, contemporary, and glass. Great photographs on display too. ( I miss the Walters Art Gallery in B'more...sigh...)
Norfolk fun places~
Doumar's Drive in. (20th Street and Monticello) This is a historic place where Mr Doumar invented waffle cones. Pull in, turn on your headlights and carhop brings you a menu. Tray is attached to your car window and you can eat listening to your favorite tunes. Comfort food - fries and burgers are a little greasy, but in that oh-so-good way. Barbeque is delish; definitely get a limeade drink and a cone to finish! Why eat at Johhny Rocket's ( a 50's style diner chain at MacArthur Mall) when you have the real deal only 5 minutes away! You can also eat inside Doumars - seating is limited but those burnt orange booths are classic.
Lots of bars and restaurants on Granby street too - I'll let someone else detail them. If you love sushi, Domo is the best!
Tautog's - 23rd street - Love this place- great for a quiet, romantic dinner at reasonable prices.
Abbey Road (22nd street) Beatlemania!- fun collector stuff & fab mural. Love the breakfast food here. Great eggs!
The Jewish Mother (31st street)- funky little place with live music many nights, quiet in day. Chicken with Matzo ball soup will not disappoint on chilly day. Love the pita sandwiches too.
the Heritage Store- (31st street) Organic food market and bookstore with a nice cafe tucked in middle. Everything tastes so fresh. Smoothies are sooooooooo good.
Sushi- Sakura at 36th street. Perfect nigiri here!
Also for sushi, try Blue Fin on Laskin Road in Hilltop. Blue fin has Korean food too- bulgogi and authentic kimchi. Owners are super friendly and treat you like family. No rush, you can linger here with friends.
Noticed your user name is "I grow veggies" - don't worry there are a lot of veggie friendly places in town. PETA left B'more several years ago and moved here to Norfolk/Va Beach!!
Hope this helps- enjoy your time here!