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With its ribbons of white sand and year-round holiday atmosphere, Virginia Beach is one the best kept secrets in the state of Virginia. As locals well know, the city is also a foodie haven, with restaurants and cafes specialising in seafood so fresh it’s (almost) still flipping, home style American eats, crisp wines and, of course, wonderful sea views. Here are our top ten choices of cultural restaurants in Virginia Beach.
Located on 23rd Street, Doc Taylor’s is the perfect place to enjoy breakfast and lunch with a great view of Virginia Beach. Doctor Taylor set up a doctor’s practice in the same building that now serves breakfast and lunches, hence the restaurants name. The venue aims to provide a comfortable setting, serving traditional breakfasts and lunches in a relaxed atmosphere. The walls are covered in memorabilia telling the story of Virginia Beach and the building of Doc Taylor’s itself, which used to be a pink hotel. Head chef Ray serves a selection of fresh salads, sandwiches and burgers, as well as some traditional breakfasts.
Doc Taylor’s, 207, 23rd Street, Virginia Beach, VA, USA +1 75 7425 1960
The Route 58 Delicatessen is well known in Virginia Beach for providing the best cheesecake in the state. It is owned by a radio DJ who made the switch to owning the 58 Deli in 2004. Whether guests are after some corned beef or half-sour pickles, the 58 Deli provides a range of American lunchtime dishes from char-grilled burgers to the New York Chef salad. The restaurant also serves a large range of desserts from the world famous Carnegie Deli in New York as well as their renowned cheesecakes.
Located at the north end of Virginia Beach with beautiful views of the famous boardwalk is Terrapin. Chef Rodney Einhorn is the head chef at Terrapin and is known for winning the contemporary American Cuisine award, as well as the best creative use of seasonal farm-fresh ingredients award. Terrapin restaurant was recently renovated into a warm, elegant dining room with a striking zebra wood bar and floating lanterns overhead. There is also outdoor seating available and an open-plan kitchen so guests can see their food being freshly prepared.
Terrapin Restaurant, 3102 Holly Road, Virginia Beach, VA, USA +1 75 7321 6688
Ruth’s Chris Steak House has been voted the best steakhouse in Virginia Beach by many locals. The restaurant serves only USDA approved prime steak that will have your mouth watering. The restaurant also has an award-winning wine list and beautiful setting with a spacious bar and many dining rooms for private parties and business meals. The menu includes locally sourced produce to accompany the selection of steaks such as asparagus, sautéed mushrooms, and spinach au gratin.
Since 1974, Pocahontas Pancake House has been the go-to place for stacks of fluffy pancakes and bacon, syrup-drenched waffles, traditional American breakfasts and healthy fruit plates, with a side of fill-me-up coffee and fries. The restaurant has been under many refurbishments in 30 years, with local artist Jim Johnson designing the wall murals, and building a Native American Tee Pee inside the restaurant. Pocahontas Pancake House has won many awards such as Best Pancake House in Virginia Beach, from the Food Network. The menu includes pecan waffles, banana pancakes and plenty of coffee.
Founded by Tony Gargiulo in 1983, Il Giardino is a favourite spot for Italian food in Virginia Beach. On a trip to Florence in Italy, after seeing a wood-burning stove being used for baking, Tony decided to use the same oven in Virginia. Since then, Il Giardino has taken guests on their own trip to Italy with portions of pasta, pizza, veal, and seafood, with all dishes made from scratch and with the freshest ingredients. The restaurant also provides an excellent dessert menu with tiramisu, chocolate cake and New York cheesecake.
Il Giardino, 910 Atlantic Avenue, Virginia Beach, VA, USA +1 75 7422 6464
Located on Virginia Beach’s 28th street, Mojito Café serves Puerto Rican and Cuban food. The Café provides daily specials, which always include Latin flavours and favourites such as fish tacos, ropa vieja, and pollo en chimichurri. The Café also serves an excellent cocktail menu that includes mojitos made completely from scratch, with no pre-prepared mixers. There is seating indoors and outdoors depending on the seasons.
Mojito Café, 300 28th Street, Virginia Beach, VA, USA +1 75 7233 6855
TAPPED is unique to Virginia Beach in that it is a gastro-pub that serves high quality food and also provides an extensive drinks menu. The menu at TAPPED includes many traditional American recipes such as boursin-stuffed sirloin steak, or Parmesan encrusted chicken breast. The executive chef Bill Rurak provides a menu that suits those looking for a hearty meal or just a snack. TAPPED also offers a do-it-yourself draught table, where guests are invited to choose from a selection of micro-brews or local wines.
TAPPED, Hilltop East, 1550 Laskin Road, Virginia Beach, VA, USA +1 75 7965 5585
Waterman’s Surfside Grille is known in Virginia Beach as the place for guaranteed fun. This family owned restaurant serves a range of seafood, steak, pasta or rib dishes, as well as offering access directly onto Virginia Boardwalk. The restaurant is mainly known for it’s large parties and entertainment evenings, which are held most days and evenings. These evenings provide DJ sets as well as an extensive wine list and plenty of dancing.
Tautog’s Restaurant is fairly new to the Virginia Beach scene and provides customers with the finest seafood, service and surroundings. The menu includes oysters, mid-Atlantic pasta, and the crab cake sandwich. Whether guests are looking for a light lunch or dinner, Tautog’s serves exceptional quality food with a timely delivery. Tautog’s is also in partnership with Doc Taylor’s and the two restaurants provide an entertainment evening every Thursday.
Tautog’s Restaurant, 205 23rd Street, Virginia Beach, VA, USA +1 75 7422 0081