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Williamsburg, VA Area

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My family and I will be traveling to Williamsburg, VA in September. Any recommendations on where to eat or places to visit in the area? My husband and I have a 1 1/2 year old child so places that are child friendly are important to us. However we will be traveling with my parents and so my husband and I will have some time to go out to dinner together (just the two of us). We especially appreciate local/chef owned places and we are somewhat adventurous. Thanks!

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  1. If you like barbecue, Pierce's is a good, casual family-friendly spot.

    2 Replies
    1. re: princsoreo

      Respectfully disagree on Pierce's recommendation. We loved that place for years, but last time, the BBQ sandwiches tasted like there had been a grease fire and the meat suffered terribly. We'll never go back there. If you go down I-64 to Mercury Blvd exit in Hampton, find the Target store. Across the parking lot from Target is "Q," a truly great bbq joint and is run by one of the winningest BBQers on the competition BBQ circuit.

      1. re: princsoreo

        Actually I think Pierces is possibly the worst barbeque I have ever eaten. I'd actually prefer fast food, and I don't eat fast food.

      2. The Corner Pocket is casual and fun with outdoor dining and music. Cities Grill is casual and nice for dinner. Black Angus is very nice for fine dining at dinner.

        The Corner Pocket @ 4805 Courthouse St., Williamsburg, Virginia, VA 757 - 220 - 0808.
        Cities Grill @ 4511 John Tyler Highway, Williamsburg, VA 757 - 564 - 3955.
        Black Angus Grill @ 1433 Richmond Road, Williamsburg, VA 757 - 229 - 6823.

        1. You should eat at one of the restored colonial taverns in colonial Williamsburg while you are there.

          My family always liked the College Deli across from the William and Mary campus only about three blocks down Richmond Rd. from colonial Williamsburg. Good subs / sandwiches for lunch. There is a place across the diagonal street from the College Deli that is also good. I don't remember the exact name of the place, but it does have green in the name. Maybe Green Leaf Inn, or something like that. We like their large pitchers of beer to share on a hot day.

          1. Thank you so much everyone! These places all sound wonderful. I am making a list to take with us on our trip. Any other recommendations are welcome of course.

            1. We had a very good meal in December at Food for Thought on Richmond Rd. It's kid friendly, popular with locals, and has a very interesting menu.


              1. i highly suggest Rivers Inn in Gloucester Point. its run by the widely known chef Hans Schadler and his daughter. they've got a lovely crab deck outside looking over the York River. dinner there is highly recommended.

                and since i'm throwing names out there, i work for The Regency Dining Room located within the 4-star small hotel, Williamsburg Inn. the cuisine here borders on French/American.

                1. I'd be careful with the taverns--I've eaten at the King's Arms and Christiana Campbell's and wasn't particularly impressed with the meals (yes, I gave them a couple of chances). They're also on the expensive side. One eats at the taverns more for the experience than the food, I've found.

                  Pierce's Pitt (which is a few miles outside Williamburg in Lightfoot) is borderline fast food but the BBQ sandwiches are really good, no problems with kids. Another place that hasn't been mentioned is the Old Chickahominy House--very family friendly and the food is very Virginian. They're only open for breakfast and lunch; try to go during the week because the crowds can be nuts on the weekends. The Cheese Shop on Duke of Gloucester Street is a great place to grab a sandwich, and if you're having date night the restaurant upstairs, the Fat Canary, is great.

                  Fat Canary
                  410 Duke of Gloucester St, Williamsburg, VA 23185

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: MandalayVA

                    +1 on the Chikahominy House. Country Ham, Eggs, Hot Biscuits, and Grits. Just a little VA!

                    1. re: MandalayVA

                      "I'd be careful with the taverns..." I have to balance out the opinions here. We go back to Wmsburg every couple of years from Florida, and love the atmosphere of the taverns, yes, but also, have never had a bad meal. You go in knowing its a few more dollars than the Olive Garden back home, and its painless. We thought the light fare at the cafeteria under the museum/gallery was a well kept secret when we discovered it in 2006 or so, and we went back there for lunch twice in our 2008 trip. Funny that we part ways again as MandalayVA's post goes on. The Cheese Shop was always crowded on our visits to Williamsburg, and I thought that would mean really good food. Found it average and not worth the wait, the crowd, or the price. I guess the moral of the story of our 2 posts is that you can't please everybody. Overall, when we go to Williamsburg, we eat well.
                      Florida Hound

                    2. the cheese shop has great sandwiches.
                      had a fun meal at a chef's kitchen. (night out alone)

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: AMFM

                        I was at the cheese shop last Monday night. We had two kids, we were hungry and it was late. The sandwiches were excellent and fairly priced. Such nice service,they wrote Mom,Dad big sis and brother on the outside of the appropriate sandwich wrapper for easy identification. We sat at one of the tables outside in front and enjoyed the great weather. It doesn't get much better.

                      2. My favorite place to eat in Williamsburg (lunch or dinner) is Second Street Bistro. For dinner I love their Shrimp and Grits, Lobster Mac and Cheese and their Bison Meatloaf..the Kobe burger is also good.

                        Second Street Bistro
                        140 Second St, Williamsburg, VA 23185

                        1. Thank you so much everyone! These are all wonderful suggestions.

                          2 Replies
                          1. re: zkrg3

                            Late reply but we were in Williamsburg for a night in late June and I just saw this post. Our new favourite restaurant in the area is the Carrot Tree Kitchens. There's 2 locations, one in Williamsburg the other in York, we obviously went to the Williamsburg one. Its a funky little joint in a converted motel, small but kid friendly. They are primarily a lunch spot and serve soup, sandwiches, salads and really good fresh-baked goods. Hubby and I were blown away by the Pimiento Cheese sandwiches on house-made bread and tomato basil soup lunch special. And I loved their key lime pie. Apparently the Yorktown location doesn't do breakfast, is a bit fancier and has a slightly different menu, and also offers dinner sometimes. We found the Williamsburg location perfect for grabbing a great meal before getting back on the road.

                            Carrot Tree Kitchens
                            1782 Jamestown Rd, Williamsburg, VA 23185

                            1. re: Ariadanz

                              I have to agree with purely on the fact that they have Key Lime Pie. Not many places here have it and if they do the food isn't worth sitting through to get to dessert. Besides I hate going to a restaurant just for dessert.

                          2. Allow me to update what I've previously commented.

                            River's Inn has since closed down, however there will be a new restaurant opening along Route 199 in the Harris Teeter shopping centre. Not 100% sure on what they will name the place, I've heard through passing that it will be called WayPoint. They will opening within the next month. I expect many of the locals flocking there.

                            10 Replies
                            1. re: nattybumppo

                              Rivers Inn at Gloucester Point has just re-opened as has the crab deck. Haven't been, so can't comment on the food. But the menu looks approachable by in selection and price.

                              1. re: marshmaven

                                Its been many years since we were in Williamsburg but we appreciate the opportunity to have local southern food , and we really liked (back then) the cooking, from biscuits and soup to pies, at the Chickahominy House. Hope they still have those good pie bakers. Also, we appreciated taking the ferry across the River to the lovely unspoiled countryside around Surry - Surrey House also served very good local food. http://maps.google.com/maps/place?rlz...

                                these are both the types of comfortable family restaurants that offer high chairs along with tasty local dishes.There is a very nice plantation preserved in a state park on that side of the river that is well worth visiting and would be a great place for achild to run freely.

                                Surrey House Restaurant
                                11865 Rolfe Hwy, Surry, VA 23883

                                1. re: jen kalb

                                  The Surrey House has always been a favorite of my mom's, so we took her there a few weekends ago just for a fun meal out. I hope we were just there on a bad night, but the food was not what it had been in the past. Pork chops overcooked so badly that they were like chewing on leather, side dishes that were far overdressed, and mom even complained that the crabcakes were practically inedible (and she's a "you'll eat what they put in front of you!" kind of lady!).

                                  1. re: ForFoodsSake

                                    I have to agree with ForFoodsSake. Our last visit to the Surrey House was not so great. Fried chicken pretty good, but the Salisbury steak was over-cooked and dry and the fried fish sandwich was fried to death. The lemon chess pie was pretty good.

                                    Surrey House Restaurant
                                    11865 Rolfe Hwy, Surry, VA 23883

                                    Surrey House
                                    62 Shae Ave, Chapmanville, WV 25508

                                    1. re: marshmaven

                                      thanks for the update on Surrey House, at least the pies are still good.

                              2. re: nattybumppo

                                Here's the info on Hans Schadler's new place which opened in December, 2011. Haven't tried it, but will soon.

                                Waypoint Seafood & Grill. 1480 Quarterpath Road, Williamsburg. Hours: 5 to 9 p.m. Tuesdays-Sundays. 757-220-2228. www.waypointgrill.com.

                                1. re: 1Buckeye

                                  Reservations at Waypoint on weekends are a must. The place has been packed which is great for the middle of January in Williamsburg. I haven't tried it but reports are good.

                                  1. re: birdie

                                    Tried it for dinner last Friday. Superb. It is already among Williamsburg's best restaurants and fills a void - excellent seafood, although the menu includes many other selections. Had mussels appetizer and rockfish. Friend had calamari & jalapeno appetizer and special - lobster clambake. Beautiful place, exceeding expectations for a mall restaurant - 3 stone fireplaces, beautiful bar, well furnished. Wine list is quite nice with many good selections by the glass. I'll be back often.

                                    1. re: 1Buckeye

                                      Curious as to how much they charged for the clambake and what was included.

                                      1. re: krisrishere

                                        Difficult to say now, since my friend ordered it. @ $30, it was a special and the most expensive item on the menu. It wasn't a traditional clambake, but a dish of lobster and other shellfish in a nice sauce. Can't recall the sides. Most entrees seemed to be in the $20-$25 range, and the ambiance, service, and food make it well worth it. They are also open for lunch from 11-2 Tue-Sun now including Sunday brunch.

                              3. Linking the Old Chickahominy House

                                Old Chickahominy House
                                1211 Jamestown Rd, Williamsburg, VA 23185