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A Culinary Journey in Virginia Beach

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One of the greatest joys of travel is discovering a destination through savoring its local cuisine. From regional specialties to favorite dining spots, dig in to what makes Virginia Beach the perfect place to whet your appetite as you explore this popular beach getaway.

Local Seafood Specialties

With Virginia Beach’s prime location where the Atlantic Ocean meets the rich waters of the Chesapeake Bay, there’s no shortage of freshly caught seafood. Dozens of restaurants – from fine dining establishments to beachside raw bars and everything in between – serve the freshest of seafood in all of its delicious forms from broiled to grilled to deep fried. During the peak fall and winter season, look for rockfish (striped bass), striper, black sea bass, flounder, speckled trout and blueline tilefish on the menu. Choices run the gamut from upscale experiences, such as Terrapin Restaurant, to beachside casual like the landmark Ocean Eddie’s Seafood Restaurant or Margie & Ray’s in Sandbridge for its famed crabs of all kinds. For a unique seafood experience, spend the day fishing and then bring your catch to one of the select restaurants that will prepare it for you. Talk about the fresh catch of the day!

Margie & Ray’s in Sandbridge

Outdoor Dining

From the Oceanfront’s Boardwalk to views of Chesapeake Bay and its inlets to a host of neighborhood restaurants with lively outdoor patios, Virginia Beach features a long list of al fresco options to take in the fresh sea air. Choose from restaurants with stunning waterfront views of the Atlantic Ocean such as the popular Chix on the Beach or Catch 31 on the Boardwalk; a dockside dive bar like The Back Deck; or grab a seat at Rockafeller’s or Rudee’s on the Inlet and watch boats come and go at the picturesque marina. Seek out favorite local spots in Virginia Beach’s other distinct neighborhoods as well to enjoy live music and good times in the heart of this charming coastal community. No matter what you order to eat, wash it down with an Orange Crush, a signature Virginia Beach drink made with vodka, orange liqueur, lemon-lime soda and freshly squeezed orange juice. You can also find them in various flavor varieties, but they’re all perfect for enjoying as you toast to the great outdoors.

The Back Deck


If you want to truly get a lay of the land, get a taste of what comes from the area’s thousands of acres of farmland known as Pungo, which yields a variety of produce from berries to kale to pumpkins, depending on the time of year. Stroll farmer’s markets with vendors selling straight-from-the-farm seasonal harvests. Or spend the day at one of many local farms where you can pick your own produce, plants or wildflowers for a memorable activity. Also, be sure to check restaurant menus, as many feature locally sourced products, just one of many ways to take part in Virginia Beach’s sustainable efforts. For a different type of tour, take an oyster farm tour, or look for the area’s legendary Lynnhaven oysters on restaurant menus.

Henley Farms Pungo Strawberries

International Flavors

The cuisine in Virginia Beach doesn’t end where the land meets the sea, and culinary options go well beyond regional fare. Throughout its neighborhoods, you’ll find restaurants serving food from around the world, from family-owned establishments that feature old-time recipes to some of the most innovative culinary combos you can imagine. From Mexican, Caribbean and Latin American flavors to creative Asian fusion and authentic Italian to some of the country’s best barbecue, don’t miss your chance to sample a variety of ethnic dining spots in Virginia Beach and you may discover a new favorite.