Best Eats in Virginia Beach

If you’re heading to the Tidewater area for some surf and sand, find out where the locals go to enjoy the best beach eats. 

By: Jacquelyn McGilvray
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Photo By: DenisTangneyJr

Margie & Ray's

No doubt the oldest restaurant on our list, Margie & Ray’s has been in business since in 1964. This mom-and-pop establishment was passed down to the next generation and they are keeping up the tradition of serving fresh seafood platters, surf-and-turf specialties and the best she-crab soup in the Tidewater area. Their new breakfast menu includes crab cake benedict, crabmeat omelets and steak with eggs. Weekday lunch specials start at $6.99. Have a cocktail before dinner (or after the beach), happy hour is from 2pm to 6pm. If you’re staying on Sandbridge Beach, you can't miss this family-friendly landmark, it is located at 1240 Sandbridge Road.  

Taste

Why leave the beach to eat lunch, Taste delivers right to your umbrella.  Their oceanfront location offers "dune delivery" service which includes specialty sandwiches, built-to-order wraps or seasonal summer dishes. When you do get off the beach, you’ll want to visit one of Taste’s 10 locations. Part gourmet store and part upscale cafe, you’ll find epicurean gifts, specialty foods, wines and craft beers, as well as dinner-to-go options. Their Shore Drive location has live music every Friday night in the summer out on their lawn and serves up grilled burgers, hot dogs and cold beers.

Catch 31

Located on the boardwalk with an oceanfront view, Catch 31 prides itself on serving locally sourced, "dock to table" seafood. The raw bar offers a selection of seasonal oysters. If you’re with a big group, try the iced shellfish tower which includes a large assortment of seafood from littleneck clams to lobster tails. Weekday happy hour is from 3pm to 6pm and includes drink specials and $5 appetizers. If the afternoon turns chilly, enjoy your cocktail by one of the large outdoor fire pits. Catch 31 is located at 3001 Atlantic Avenue, at 31st Street.

Pungo Pizza

Family-owned and operated for nearly 20 years, Pungo Pizza has been a neighborhood favorite in southeastern end of Virginia Beach. There’s a large game room in the back, so while you wait for your meal, give the kids a bunch of quarters while you enjoy a cold beer and an appetizer (the garlic knots are to-die-for). Besides specialty pizzas (try the seafood one), Pungo also offers a large selection of burgers, sandwiches, pasta entrees and desserts (the cinnamon knots are also to-die-for). Pungo Pizza is located at 1824 Princess Anne Rd. 

FireBrew Bar & Grill

Fire is not just part of their name, it’s how they cook at FireBrew Bar & Grill.  An open-deck fire oven — that you can see from anywhere in restaurant — is used to cook some tasty seafood, meats, pizzas and flatbreads. Try the bacon-wrapped shrimp or asparagus that is broiled to perfection in the 600-degree oven. There are no microwaves or deep fryers at FireBrew. If it’s not cooked in the open-flame oven, it is prepared on a grill/oven range. The bar offers a self-service wine station and over 40 beers to choose from (try the locally brewed Young Veterans wheat beer). FireBrew is located in the Red Mill Shopping Center at 1253 Nimmo Parkway.

Ynot Italian

Save room for dessert! You’ll want to try the custom-made chopped salads, hand-tossed pizzas, pasta creations and classic Italian entrees, but we’re warning you, save room for dessert. Even if you have to walk around the block after your meal, come back to try the homemade gelato, spumoni, eclairs, cannolis and classic Italian cookies. You'll be glad you did. Ynot Italian (Ynot is Tony backwards, the owner’s nickname) has seven locations in the Virginia Beach area. 

Lager Heads

If you enjoy your burgers and beer with an ocean view, head over to Lager Heads. They're known for their large beer selection and specialty burgers. Try the monthly seasonal burger.  In July it’s BBQ burger, October’s is served a pumpkin brioche, in December get the doughnut-bun Kris Kringle burger, and in March it’s an Irish stew burger. Weekday happy hour runs from 3pm to 6pm with $3 craft beers, $4 wines and well drinks, and $5 appetizers. Lager Heads is located at the boardwalk at 34th Street, 3315 Atlantic Avenue.

Angleo’s

Virginia Beach has great offering when it comes to New York style pizza, and Angelo’s is one of the top choices.  With strombolis bigger than the tray it’s cooked on, you won’t walk away hungry. If a massive stromboli or calzone is too much, try the calamari, one of the delicious subs like the sausage and pepper combo or be decadent, and start with your meal with a cannoli and cappuccino. Angelo’s is located in a small shopping center at 1485 General Booth Blvd.  

Other Honorable Mentions

Here are a few more Virginia Beach eats to Try:

Kelly’s Tavern: This casual pub has a great budget happy hour deal. From 4pm to 7pm domestic drafts and bottles are just $2.38. To go with your beer, get a sharable, ginormous plate of beef or chicken nachos for just $7. Their burgers and rice and beans are also worth writing home about. Kelly’s has eight area locations.

Eat: An American Bistro: This place has been a staple at the north end of boardwalk since 2006. Try one of Chef Erick’s unique creations: "ants on a log" garlic flavored escargot on a baguette, pork chop served with blackeyed pea and gold-rice hash or scallops with Old Bay popcorn. Eat is located at 4005 Atlantic Avenue.

Blue Pete’s: Located on the Back Bay, this long-time establishment offers indoor and outdoor creek-side dining. The twins who run the place (neither one is named Pete) offer a large selection of fresh seafood, surf and turf platters and several gluten-free options. Blue Pete’s is located at 1400 N. Muddy Creek Road.