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Mar 18, 2012 07:52 PM

Williamsburg, Va. - Looking to fill in a few gaps

I'm planning a stay in Williamsburg - exploring the town and using it as a home base for Richmond and Norfolk daytrips.

I'll probably picnic for lunches. Fat Canary and their cheese shop seem like a good provisioning source. Any other places for picking up nice salads (bean, grain, etc.) and such? Nice housemade charcuterie is always of interest!

I anticipate a few evenings where I may be looking for a late night nibble. A comfy bar with a nice selection of appetizers/small plates would be welcome. I'm at the mid point in life and not looking for a lively spot - just good food and drink in an atmosphere where a solo sort will fit in without a pickup assumed.

I do have a lifelong quest for the perfect cheese danish. If it resides here, please point me towards it!

Most of my dinners are planned and I'll probably do breakfast at the lodging. Although a killer Benedict might make me reevaluate!

Random suggestions of things worth experiencing are welcome.


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  1. One place I have gone when staying several days in Williamsburg is Fresh Market. They are a chain but they have very tasty salads and sides, not to mention a full service meat counter and very decent rotisserie cooked chickens as well.

    Also you should try one or more of the pancake houses for breakfast - others may have more opinions on which ones to go to but there are so many in Williamsburg. We have had good luck at Capitol Pancake House.

    Likewise I would be remiss if I didn't suggest you find a place for the Five Forks Diner as well as the old Chickahominy House.

    We never got out much for cocktails so I can't help with any recommendation there, though the bar at Opus 9 seems nice if a bit quiet; I go there more for steaks than apps though I have always enjoyed their fried oysters.

    2 Replies
    1. re: PenskeFan

      Ah, Fresh Market! I love their jalapeno pimento cheese! The bulk snack items are nice for nibbling while driving.

      What do you like about/at Five Forks Diner? Their new restaurant looks interesting too.

      1. re: meatn3

        I liked the atmosphere, I don't recall what stuck out the most from the food as this was several years ago and I eat in a lot of diners. Between me the wife and the kids orders I got to try pancakes, eggs, two types of ham, bacon, sausage, and french toast and I liked it all

    2. A few favorites:

      The Baker's Crust:; great breads, I have really enjoyed breakfast and lunch here -- just have not had a chance for dinner! I'd hazard a guess that they have a cheese danish, and I'd bet it would be worth a try!

      Fat Canary -- already on your list

      Blue Talon Bistro:; nice French-style bistro, good breakfast and lunch.

      Green Leafe:; tavern with good beers and food. They have two locations, I believe (one is close to the William and Mary campus).

      I do like Opus 9, but it's a high-ish end steakhouse for the area, so I'm not sure if that's what you're looking for in a place to head out for a late night dinner.

      5 Replies
      1. re: ForFoodsSake

        For the late night option:

        I'll probably have eaten an earlier dinner in Richmond or Norfolk. So around 10ish I anticipate wanting a little something to nosh on with a drink before going back to the hotel. An app. or small plate type option...I'm not a big desert person and sugar that late gets my body to wound up to sleep!

        Actually, it's a shame Blue Talon Bistro isn't open a little later - their charcuterie options would be perfect!

        Would Green Leafe fit?

        Bakers Crust looks nice!

        1. re: meatn3

          I bet Green Leafe would do the trick for you -- the appetizers would probably work. Their selection of food is typical bar type stuff, but pretty good for what it is.

          Another option might be the Black Angus Grille. I haven't eaten there but my parents like it, and it's open until 10:00 PM with a good set of options for apps/small plates.

          Enjoy your visit! Lots of good food to be had in the Richmond/Norfolk/VA Beach areas too.

          1. re: ForFoodsSake


            Dinners away will be (hopefully) Peter Changs new place in Richmond area and the meatloaf I've been craving for 2 years at No Frill Grill in Norfolk. Also hope to try the oyster place mentioned several weeks on the peninsula N. of made a puzzle of the name.

            Hoping I have an extra night for Blue Talon - menu really appeals to me!

            1. re: meatn3

              We really loved the pimento cheese spread sold by the Carrot Tree Kitchens restaurant in Williamburg. They have a couple of locations. While you can eat meals there, they also have a bakery section where they sell various baked goods and pastries (perhaps danishes, not sure) and pimento cheese by the container. We liked all of the baked goods well enough. But the standout was definately the pimento cheese. If you lunch there you can try it with a nice bowl of soup (tomato the day we stopped) on homemade bread. Its on hubby's "must do" list for any trip within 30 miles of the place.

            2. re: ForFoodsSake

              Nix on the Black Angus Grille. i cannot stress that highly enough. It is extremely inconsistent and the food is of moderate quality on a good night.

              I had the bad fortune of eating there a few times partly because it changed names and I didn't know it but made plans to meet someone there. Id rather go to an Outback (and I hate chains with a passion)

        2. Thanks for all the suggestions!

          I had so many leftovers from Peter Chang's in Richmond that my dining out plans changed. I ended up having late lunches out and leftovers for dinner.

          Drove an hour North for oysters at Merrior. Really, really good! So glad to have learned of this spot.

          Had a very nice meal at Blue Talon. They get a huge plus for having pillows at the banquette. I would like to return to try more of the menu.

          I have never seen so many pancake houses! I did try for a cheese danish at The Bakers Crust, but they were sold out...

          1 Reply
          1. re: meatn3

            Glad it went well! Thanks for reporting back!