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May 12, 2011 12:38 PM

Chow-worthy Virginia Beach?

I'm not finding too much on the Tidewater area on the boards. I'm going to be in VB soon with an organized event so I don't know how much free time I'll have, but if I've got time on my hands is there anyplace I shouldn't miss?

I may hit Doumar's in Norfolk (been there many times) but I'll be spending nearly all my time at the beach. Snacks, meals, informal, seafood, or not - if it's worth the trip, I'd like to hear about it.


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  1. Unfortunately VB is not known for its food. There are some places there with a lot of personality, but I wouldn't rate the food more than "good," with the possible exception of The Street Cook, which is actually in a strip mall ( If you are interested in 'funky,' then I can name a few places for you :)

    4 Replies
    1. re: romansperson

      Thanks. Funky could suit the bill very well (it was suggested I put a bottle of bourbon in my bag). In the absence of great food I will happily accept memorable time.

      1. re: rockycat

        Sadly, the original location of the Jewish Mother is gone - that put the F in funky, for sure :)

        Chick's, as already suggested, has been around forever and is also a good place to soak up some local (as opposed to tourist) vibe. It's a picnic-table casual kind of place.

        Rudee's on the Inlet has also been around forever and is more upscale (with prices to match):

        I feel weird suggesting an Italian place in a beach town, but I will anyway because it's on the 6th floor of a hotel and the views are terrific, and the food is not bad either. So here's Isle of Capri (again, more upscale) :

        There's also The Raven, but you go there for the free parking and the people watching, not for the food (though the burger and the chili is pretty good).

        Since the Oceanfront itself is really geared toward tourists and getting them in and out quickly, there really just isn't a lot to recommend there. If you don't mind going farther afield, here's a few more:

        Steinhilbers ( . This place has been in business since the late '30s and is *seriously* old school. It's at the end of a road in a neighborhood (I used to live about a mile away). Again, upscale and you'll blow through some cash (yes, it is overpriced for what you get foodwise), but there really isn't anything like it around these days.

        Lynnhaven Fish House ( Also been around a long time, and has great views of the Chesapeake Bay.

        1. re: romansperson

          I "think" I may remember the Lynnhaven Fish House, but I'm not too sure. I'm originally from Norfolk but haven't lived there in decades. I'm sure very little is the same as I remember it.
          Those are some great suggestions and I hope I'll have the time to check some of them out.

          1. re: rockycat

            Virginia Beach has changed hugely just in the 10 years I've been gone. Have been back to visit friends since and the commercial area I used to live near is completely different. Unfortunately it's not necessarily for the better - just tons of chain stores, it seems. It's sad The Duck Inn by the Lesner Bridge is gone - it was an institution and truly did have good seafood, along with a million-dollar view of the Bay (which was a major part of the reason for its demise).

            I was also bummed to hear that Uncle Louie's in Wards Corner in Norfolk had closed.

    2. Pacifica has an interesting selection of small plates; Catch 31 on the boardwalk is expensive but has the highest quality, and my last recommendation is Chick's Oyster Bar, a casual seafood joint. I'm not from there, just happened to have visited for a week last year. We ate out every day and those were the top picks.

      1. I've had terrific food at the Norfolk location of the No Frill Bar and Grill. They have another spot in Va. Beach.

          1. My in-laws are in VA Beach. Chick's is very good, as is Isle of Capri (my father-in-law knows the owner of IoC, Pasquale, pretty well). You may hear about Coastal Grill as well. Doc Taylor's for breakfast too.