The famous Lynnhaven oyster, which was once coveted by English aristocracy for its size and salinity, is a local legend that we can't get enough of, no matter the season. Although it has long been popular for its summer drinks and beach snacks, Virginia Beach's culinary scene goes far beyond what was expected. Layers of geographical, cultural and lifestyle influences make eating here surprisingly rich and varied. Start with the influence of an ocean (Atlantic) and a bay (Chesapeake), which offer a constant and ample abundance of fresh seafood, from blue crabs and oysters to deep-sea catches.
Add in the southern food customs of Virginia and that means there's always a demand for shrimp with grits, chicken with waffles, and smoked meats. With an immigrant population growing nearly twice as fast as the native population, these international culinary influences diversify and enrich the city's menus. The taste impact of the Indian and Filipino communities (which alone represent more than 20% of all immigrants in the area) is particularly felt. Our Virginia Beach dining adventure started off on the right foot at Terrapin.
This day our appetite had been whetted going on adventures around Virginia Beach, so when we arrived at Esoteric and ordered the biggest charcuterie board we've ever tasted, we knew we were in for a treat. Located in a 1920s building, Esoteric is a newer restaurant in Virginia Beach's ViBe Creative District. When you visit First Landing State Park, a good place to have breakfast is the locals' favorite restaurant, Bay Local Eatery. Everyone in Virginia Beach loves the Commune.
It seemed that all the locals asked us if we had ever eaten there. Commune is a family-style shared restaurant where you can sit next to a large table or at the bar and order fresh food straight from the farm. The Chesapeake Bay Distillery is just a few buildings away from Commune and Esoteric. When it comes to Virginia cuisine, our food is as intertwined with history as it is with flavor.
Virginia is known for its Southern-style food, including oysters, peanuts, barbecue, country ham, blue crabs, trout, apples, and Brunswick stew. Many recognize these Virginia foods, but don't know the origin or how they became a tradition on our tables. That's why, while it's always good to end a day at the beach with peeled shrimp and eat them, an Orange Crush cocktail and a view of the water, Virginia Beach's culinary routes lead to many other interesting and delicious results. The purpose of this restaurant guide is to help visitors find the best seafood, steakhouses, Italian food and more in Virginia Beach.
Virginia is the sixth-largest apple-producing state in the country, with production in the Shenandoah Valley, the Southwest, and Central Virginia. What impressed us about Virginia Beach was the amount of attention and care that goes into conservation and preservation. I think this is the restaurant that started the gastronomic movement in Virginia Beach, and many of its employees have opened their own restaurants in the city. With a population close to half a million, Virginia Beach is a melting pot of cultures created by military bases in the area.
Like many other places in Virginia Beach, The Leaping Lizard uses local produce and fresh vegetables from the garden. Located in the heart of the ViBe creative district, Three Ships Coffee is a local favorite just a short drive from the beach. With the movement of fresh produce from farm to table and the constant appearance of crafts and craft beers, Virginia Beach will soon become one of America's great gastronomic cities. Hanging out at oversized picnic tables provides a pleasant sense of meeting while enjoying drinks or pints of their Atlantic Avenue IPA or Beach Cruiser Pale Ale.
Beginning in the 17th century, when colonists learned the art of smoking meats from the natives, Virginia country hams began to gain an international reputation...