Located to the west of Chesapeake Bay, the Northern Neck of Virginia is one of the state’s best areas for natural beauty. The peninsula features a number of national parks, historical sites, vineyards and a significant number of marinas and beaches. As a result, the Northern Neck boasts a wealth of seafood restaurants and wine bars alongside steakhouses and ice-cream parlours. We take a look at the top eateries in the Northern Neck.
Destinations Unlocked:Let our travel expert Stefano help you find your perfect Culture trip
Looking for an expert's perspective?Uncover my top 3 recommended places from each continent on the map.
1. GuatemalaAn express adventure for those with limited time off. Prepare yourself incredible experiences. You will hike a volcano, visit mayan temples and witness a ceremony and take in beautiful colonial Antigua.
2. BelizeA quick trip not too far away for those seeking a relaxing mini break. You will have plenty of free time to relax but also some awesome activities to experience the rainforest and the caribbean sea.
3. MexicoAn exciting mini trip exploring the lesser known colonial towns of central Mexico. This is hte perfect trip for someone with limited time off and still wants to turn on explorer mode and do something different.
1. EcuadorA remarkable 8 days adventure through the Andes and the Amazon rainforest. The best choice for adventure seekers wishing to visit the 2 most iconic areas of South America, in only 1 week and no flights.
2. PeruAn alternative itinerary to classic Peru, from Cusco to Arequipa. This itinerary is great combination of highlights Cusco and Machu Picchu with the lesser known Arequipa and Colca Canyon.
1. ItalyThe ultimate Italian experience from the vibrant streets of Naples to the breathtaking sceneries of the Amalfi Coast followed by Matera and down to Puglia with its golden beaches, intense flavours and fascinating destinations.
2. ScotlandEmbark on this great adventure starting from London all the way to Scotland with a true Scottish experience made of breathtaking sceneries, whisky tasting and ..lots of fun! Ideal for train lovers and explorers.
3. PortugalA wonderful train journey around Portugal, from the romantic city of Porto to the Douro Valley, to the beautiful Aveiro all the way to Lisbon and Sintra. The perfect trip to train, culinary and culture lovers.
1. South KoreaDiscover incredible temples, mountains and modern cities on this 10 day adventure. This trip is perfect for those seeking immersion in the cuisine, culture and natural wonders of South Korea.
2. ThailandFrom Bankgok to Angkor Wat to Ho Chi Minh City and everything in between - adventure through the heart of South-East Asia. Taste the delights, see history brought to life and unwind on a Mekong River cruise.
3. Sri LankaA fantastic adventure that showcases Sri Lanka's fantastic landscapes, wildlife and flavours. With 3 epic rail journeys, 3 UNESCO heritage sites and time to relax, this trip has loads to offer at a great price
1. MoroccoAn epic journey across Morocco: from Casablanca to Marrakech, through the blue city of Chefchaouen to the wonders of the desert and deep to the High Atlas Mountains - this trip has it all! Ideal for true explorers!
2. EgyptFrom Cairo to Aswan, this trip brings the land of the pharaohs to life. You'll visit the Pyramids, Valley of the Kings and Luxor Temple and cruise down the Nile in style. This is the perfect way to explore Egypt.
The Art of Coffee
Combining a bistro, art gallery and café is The Art of Coffee in Montross. The Art of Coffee offers diners a full range of freshly baked breakfast fare from pastries, scones and muffins, all accompanied by their award-winning coffee. Larger dishes on their breakfast and lunch menu have artistically themed names and are packed with flavor, such as their American Artist No. 2 – which consists of eggs made to order, maple link or pork sausage patties with home fries, toast or a biscuit. Another favorite is the Impressionist Breakfast of scrambled eggs with fresh spinach, roasted red peppers, ham and feta cheese. Whilst enjoying these delicious dishes, diners can admire the local artwork hanging on the walls, including Virginia native water-colorist Amanda Lee.
Car Wash Café
Formerly a Shell car wash, the Car Wash Café now has a new lease of life. With a chilled atmosphere and vintage diner style, this café has been voted Virginia Living Magazine’s “Best Breakfast, Brunch and Lunch” for 2014. It was the first time any restaurant had won in all three of those categories in the same year. Food is prepared to order and is made with quality and care. There are also vegetarian and gluten-free options available. Visitors can also witness their food being prepared as the kitchen opens out onto the dining area. Highlights from their breakfast choices include pancakes, steak and eggs, omelettes and their signature huevos rancheros. Dishes from the lunch menu include a wide variety of sandwiches, crab cakes, burgers, soups and salads. There is plenty to choose from at the Car Wash Café and dining here is certainly a memorable experience.
Carried Away Cuisine
Carried Away Cuisine is a charming catering café that has been on the Northern Neck culinary scene since 1980. The brainchild of Jackie Brown, Carried Away Cuisine started in her own small kitchen, with her and her partner’s homemade creations included in the Central Market in downtown Lancaster. Due to their burgeoning popularity, the pair opened a second market stand and promoted gourmet speciality foods. With her experience and customer base, Jackie established Carried Away Cuisine in 2001. While they offer catering, much of their delicious fare can be eaten in at their “shoppe.” The range of food available at the shoppe changes daily to reflect the seasonal availability of ingredients and to suit customer demand. There are salads, wrap sandwiches, homemade soups, quiches, entrées and dozens of desserts on offer. Carried Away Cuisine can also create dishes to suit any dietary request. Breakfast, brunch and lunch are complemented by the finest and freshest coffee from the Lexington Coffee Company, which is local to Virginia.
A recent addition to Reedville is Chitterchats Ice-Cream. Serving up scoops of ice cream made from real cream, Chitterchats offer a wide variety of over 60 flavors. From almond amaretto, to butter pecan, to chocolate decadence, to rum raisin – there is a flavor to suit everyone. The ice cream comes from Richmond and has been produced for over 30 years. Order your cool treat in a variety of forms, such as shakes, malts, sundaes and house made waffle cones. Within the vintage style parlour there is also a bookshelf of second hand books, allowing visitors to grab some culture alongside their flavorful scoops. Coupled with friendly and warm service, Chitterchats makes for a great after-dinner treat while overlooking the bay.
Cockrell’s Creek Seafood and Deli
Run by the Smith Point Seafood Inc., Cockrell’s Creek Seafood and Deli aims to bring diners the freshest and highest quality crabmeat and other seafood. Dedicated to sea cuisine for over 20 years, the Cockrell’s Creek Seafood and Deli was created to further confirm their status as the best of the best. The seafood deli has won a number of accolades and awards, including “The Best Seafood Dive” by Coastal Living Magazine in 2005 and “The Best Crab Cakes” by Coastal Living Magazine in 2009. The restaurant is family-run and the staff are welcoming, making diners feel truly at home. Popular dishes include their soft shell crab, flounder and oyster sandwiches. Diners can also enjoy their seafood fare outside on the picnic benches overlooking the creek.
The Crazy Crab
Hailed as the best seafood restaurant in Reedville by critics and visitors, The Crazy Crab brings diners the freshest seafood with flair. Situated on the harbour, diners can enjoy the sea views whilst enjoying their food. Service is friendly and attentive, and the restaurant has a warm and tranquil atmosphere. Favourites from the menu include the starter of hush puppies, mains such as the jumbo lump crab cake which is served over a bed of fried green tomatoes with a remoulade sauce, finished off with a relaxing glass of wine. With nearly 15 years in the business, the Crazy Crab is a firm favorite in Reedville and definitely worth a visit.
Making visitors to Irvington feel at home in the charming and welcoming The Local. Diners can enjoy their freshly made breakfasts of muffins and Fairtrade organic roasted coffee while perusing the local paper or tucking into a sumptuous lunch of sandwiches and wraps with friends. Other highlights on the menu include their signature salads and their generous scoops of locally made ice-cream. Dining areas can be found both indoors and outside on their beautifully landscaped patio. The Local also gives back to the community, giving a portion of their profits to the maintenance of the Chesapeake Bay Watershed.
Northern Neck Burger Company
Bringing the taste of wood grilled burgers to the Northern Neck is the Northern Neck Burger Company. Voted the “Best Burger in Virginia” in 2014 by Virginia Living Magazine’s 2014 Readers Poll, the Northern Neck Burger Company has a burger to suit every palette. Burger highlights include their “Born Here Burger,” which consists of a meat patty, classic American cheese, tomato and red onion and a rivah sauce. It can also come with natural Applewood smoked bacon and caramelised onions for an extra kick. Vegetarians are also catered for, with burgers made from fresh roasted corn, black beans, roasted peppers, white cheddar and more sauce. There is also a range of meat sandwiches, such as their aged skirt steak with caramelised onions and local herbed goats cheese, all served in a freshly baked sub roll. These sumptuous dishes can be accompanied by add-ons of addictive Tappahannock twister fries, which are smothered in a rich cheddar cheese sauce. For those with a sweet tooth, desserts include a warm chocolate molten lava cake topped off with vanilla bourbon sauce. With food this good, the Northern Neck Burger Company should be at the top of every visitor’s list.
Tommy’s Seafood and Steaks
Tommy’s Seafood and Steaks is a stable and icon in Reedville. With a menu that features the best of Northern Neck cuisine, their NY strip steaks, sautéed veal liver and grilled marinated chicken breast are firm favourites. Their seafood is also popular, such as their jumbo lump crab cakes and their seafood platter of jumbo shrimp, scallops, oysters and crab. They also have vegetarian options such as baked brie with mango chutney. These dishes are accompanied by an extensive wine list that brings out the flavor of their dishes. The restaurant is housed in a restored market used in the 1800s, adding to its charm and historical presence. Open Thursday through Sunday between 5pm and 9pm after Labor Day, an evening at Tommy’s is a memorable night.
Volcanic Iceland Epic Trip
meet our Local Insider
HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN A GUIDE?
WHAT DO YOU LOVE ABOUT YOUR JOB?
It's the personal contact, the personal experiences. I love meeting people from all over the world... I really like getting to know everyone and feeling like I'm traveling with a group of friends.
WHAT DESTINATION IS ON YOUR TRAVEL BUCKET-LIST?
I have so many places on my list, but I would really lobe to go to Africa. I consider myself an “adventure girl” and Africa feels like the ULTIMATE adventure!
Every CULTURE TRIP Small-group adventure is led by a Local Insider just like Hanna.
KEEN TO EXPLORE THE WORLD?
Connect with like-minded people on our premium trips curated by local insiders and with care for the world
Since you are here, we would like to share our vision for the future of travel - and the direction Culture Trip is moving in.
Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.
Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.
Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.
We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.