The Virginia city of Portsmouth has a wealth of cultural and culinary options to enjoy. Take a walk along the seawall or through three centuries of historic neighborhoods, all in the name of whetting your appetite. We list the dining spots to look out for as you go.
The Bier Garden is a family-run restaurant, in this case, run by a family who are passionate about their food, their beer, and making sure that their customers have the best of times. The beer menu is quite overwhelming, but the well-verse staff will point you in the right direction and open a whole new world of sudsy delight for you. On the menu, don’t miss out on the sausage offerings.
Cafe Europa does have a way of transporting you back to the Old World with its elegant, classic décor and cuisine. It is refined without being stuffy, and its interior is spacious and tastefully decorated, something that may come as somewhat of a surprise from its unassuming façade. Both lunch and dinner have a varied selection of Mediterranean dishes, with seafood being somewhat of a specialty.
Cancun Fiesta offers a high-quality menu with a fun, party vibe. This restaurant and sports bar is becoming one of the city’s favorite hang outs. Cancun Fiesta has an ethos of making sure the customer is king, both in terms of service and ambience and, of course, in ensuring that the food is of the highest quality and made with the freshest ingredients. All food is made from scratch, and the expansive menu offers the staples of any good Mexican restaurant.
Dock of the Bay is Portsmouth’s seafood haven, so much so that you can even come to the restaurant by boat if you’re that much of a proud seafarer. The restaurant is a fine representation of what is so great about the town, as it straddles both the sea and the old town. Though a relative newbie to the scene, it has quickly established itself as the go-to destination for friendly seafood dining, with great variety and stunning views being added selling points.
The steadfast Gosport Tavern is a local favorite for brunch, lunch and late-night eats. Weekends and evenings in particular can get particularly busy, with the restaurant having an enviable selection of dishes and, as with any worthwhile brunch or evening place, a cocktail and mixed drinks menu. The drinks menu features classics such as bellinis and bloody marys, as well as the more adventurous, hipster cocktails.
JoJack’s Cafe positions itself as a place that you can go for breakfast, lunch and dinner and know that you will be treated to top quality service and tasty, fresh food. Don’t let the shopping center location fool you, people come from all around to have a taste of JoJack’s vast menu, which takes inspiration from old world Italy right through to New American trends.
Lobscouser continues to create an accessible, inviting fine-dining experience that makes it a continued draw to locals and visitors alike in Portsmouth. Two siblings and their spouses started this restaurant with the aim of creating the best of both worlds, from the usual seafood eateries with a mixture of the fresh, enticing food to the fine-dining restaurant with the casual approach of the New England chowder house.
Pork Medallions | Courtesy of Still Worldly Eclectic Tapas
Mannino’s Italian Bistro
A fine-dining experience that is casual, comfortable and moderately priced, Mannino’s Italian Bistro, again with the ambience of the Old World being brought into the Olde Town, offers a range of exciting dishes. The family-run team has 80 years of experience, and you can really feel this in the atmosphere of the restaurant and the love that is poured onto the plate.
Still Worldly Eclectic Tapas is quickly becoming the foodie haven of Portsmouth. The restaurant is tastefully decorated with nods to both its historic location and the contemporary dining scene. The menu is split into ‘foreshots,’ ‘middle cut’ and ‘feints,’ which may give you an indication of how likely you are to dig the vibe. From jambalaya to duck tacos to curry, this menu showcases the eclectic nature of the restaurant’s name.
Stove has been going from strength to strength, developing a unique identity and menu in Portsmouth’s Port Norfolk district. The restaurant has been described as serving Neo Southern American cuisine, with a dashing of mid-Atlantic influence thrown in there for good measure, along with French, German, Swedish and Californian flavors. Fresh food is the order of the day, with the fish and meat being sourced locally.