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Jul 31, 2009 12:42 PM

Virginia Beach Recommendations

I'm looking for several non-touristy restaurants in the Virginia Beach/Norfolk area-no restrictions as to cuisine or price.


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  1. My family and I were just there last week. One of our favorite places was Luna Maya in Norfolk. The food is mostly good quality Mexican, but the owners are Bolivian and have added some Bolivian dishes to the menu as well. They're a dinner-only restaurant with a great local vibe.

      1. I am also looking for recommendations for restaurants at the beach. We're staying on the beach around 21st Street. Are there any good seafood places with veggie options? Or Mexican? (Or just good seafood.....)

        3 Replies
        1. re: cackalackie

          Terrapin, Zoe's, One Fish Two Fish, The Lucky Star, Eat

          1. re: alsky

            We were there in June this year. Can heartily second Eat, Luna Maya (fish tacos), & Surf Rider.


          2. re: cackalackie

            Our favorite seafood place is called Surf Riders. It is low on ambience but the seafood is ultra fresh and priced right. There are several locations, but we always went to the one on Newtown Road. I"ve never had a bad meal there. Also if you are in Hampton, Harpoon Larry's is another bar that has fabulous seafood. It is billed as an oyster bar and we always had good meals there.

          3. Here are some places in Virginia Beach/Norfolk I think deserve some attention on this board
            South Hampton Roads is not foodie heaven, but there is some great food for those who look for it.
            I highly recommend The No Frills Grill both on Laskin Road in Virginia Beach and just of Colley in the Ghent area of Norfolk. The burgers and salads are great and both locations are always crowded with locals. Try a location, you will love it. I love Thai food and the most home style authentic Thai I have found in this area is at Tida Thai on Military Road in Chesapeake. Another branch is in Norfolk. A new find for real Mexican tacos etc is Jesse's on Ocean View Ave in Norfolk. Go and you will always find it filled with Mexicans enjoying food like from home, Several women are constantly making the tacos and sopas in an open kitchen in the back of the restaurant area. The first time we were there, we ordered some guac and it was made fresh right in front of us. A very large portion for a little cash. I love the chorizo taco. In the tourist area of Virginia Beach, we swear by Il Giardino down around 8th street. Locals keep coming back. You can eat there on family budget and get a great meal or you can spend some cash and get seriously great meal. I love the veal chop with wild mushrooms and the redhead loves the pounded veal parmigiana. It falls off the edges of the plate. I have not been there but the redhead swears by Steinhilbers (and so does everybody else) the service and ambience are supposed to be as good as the food. I would also like to sound off on local pizza. Mini Italia on Newtown Rd in Virginia Beachmakes real NY style pizza, just like when I was growing up in North Jersey. The sausage boiled and then sliced on an angle just like it should be, the pepperoni has a bite and the mushrooms are fresh. Great Pizza. The "Original Calzone" with ham, artichokes, black olives and mozzarella is fabulous. You walk in and just the smell tells you you are in the right place. You will love the owner, he is a classic. Dom at Di Fara's has nothing on him. Thats all for now, will add more later.
            Would love to hear your finds and opinions.

            1. Despite my VA Beach address, I find myself dining in Norfolk more so than down the road.

              2000 Colley Ave.
              Norfolk, VA
              There's a Virginia Beach location but it's smaller. Not a bad place, but I think if you're for more of an atmosphere, visit the Norfolk location. Great Mediterranean food, and I suggest trying the By George pizza and ordering an Awesome Lia for dessert. Their oat cookies are good too. For another similar alternative, try Baladi Cafe in Virginia Beach located in the Hilltop area. (


              Machismo's Burrito Bar
              (on College Pl. across from Chocollage--201 College Pl/Norfolk, VA)
              The original location is on York/Boush, but I think it might be closed now due to construction, which is sad, because that building is great. The downtown Norfolk location opened recently. Some people think it's hit or miss, but I personally think it's great. I think people are just too used to grilled veggies that lose flavor and end up tasting too much like charcoal with seasoning in burrito chains. The veggies here are fresh/raw and there are different varieties of tortilla to choose from.

              Granby St. Pizza
              233 Granby St
              Norfolk, VA
              This is my favorite place to go get pizza in downtown Norfolk. Do not go to Gusto's up the street. It's about as appealing as store bought pizza. Who wants to buy a slice of store bought pizza for the same price you could buy a whole box with? Ugh. Anyway, there's a lot of seating in Granby St., and it's usually quiet/slow in the afternoon, but it tends to pick up around 6pm.

              Rama Garden
              441 Granby St
              Norfolk, VA
              A lot of people like going to Bankok Garden which has locations everywhere in the Hampton Roads area. I definitely think this might be one of the best Thai restaurants in the area. Tida's Thai in Virginia Beach ( is second on my list. That's near town center.

              Tortilla West
              508 Orapax St.
              Norfolk, VA
              A very hip Mexican joint. I usually just order the nachos because they give you a lot. It seems like you definitely get your money's worth of food. Fifty cent taco nights are on Monday and Tuesday.