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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 ten eateries in the Northern Neck.
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.
Car Wash Café, 481 North Main Street, Kilmarnock, VA, USA. +1 804 4350405
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.
Chitterchats Ice-Cream, 846 Main Street, Reedville, VA, USA. +1 804 4533335
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.
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.
The Local, 4337 Irvington Road, Irvington, VA, USA. +1 804 4389356
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.