Norfolk's Restaurant Scene Continues To Percolate
NORFOLK, VA – Norfolk, Virginia continues to add to its eclectic mix of dining experiences and is now home to nearly 80 unique, chef-owned restaurants with more restaurants joining the scene. In fact, the number of restaurants in this exceptional dining destination by the sea has jumped significantly increasing ten-fold over the last decade.
Due to the city’s continued restaurant and culinary success, the first ever Downtown Norfolk Restaurant Week kicked off in 2006 to much fanfare and the annual event continues to be a huge success.
“Norfolk has really grown up, and a big part of the cultural scene here is happening in our restaurants,” said Todd Jurich, award-winning chef and owner of the popular downtown restaurant, Todd Jurich’s Bistro. “I anticipate Norfolk’s Restaurant Week to be an ongoing successful tradition for our restaurants.”
"I grew up here, but learned my craft at Cordon Bleu in Paris and under Wolfgang Puck and Jeremiah Tower,” adds Chef Philip Thomason, owner of Vintage Kitchen at Mile Marker Zero, Norfolk’s fine-dining restaurant overlooking the Elizabeth River. “Of all the places in the world, it was Norfolk where I wanted create my own dining vision." Vintage Kitchen opened in the fall of 2005 and is known for its use of Virginia-based products from staples and ingredients in Thomason's delectable dishes to textiles and designs employed in the restaurant's decor.
And Norfolk enjoys a temperate mid-Atlantic climate moderated by its proximity to the Gulf Stream with an average yearly high temperature is about 68 degrees, it's no wonder many restaurants in Norfolk offer al fresco dining available many months of the year.
For information about special tours just for foodies, CLICK HERE.
Meanwhile, here is just a taste of some of the unique offerings from Norfolk’s culinary community:
GRANBY STREET – Norfolk’s “restaurant row” is downtown in the heart of the action.
- Trilogy Bistro moved into the first floor of the private Virginia Club, a historic former bank building on Main and Granby streets in the heart of Downtown Norfolk. Trilogy Bistro offers an a la carte menu of steak, seafood and side dishes to appeal to an after work business crowd.
- Baxter's is a vast sports lounge offering a bank of television screens for various sporting events and seven pool tables. Baxter Simmons is one of many innovative restaurateurs with more than one flourishing operation in the Norfolk area.
- Rama Garden Thai Cuisine is the second option from successful Thai restaurateur, Boonrit "Jack" Ngamsaard, who opened Tida Thai in Chesapeake, and is a more formal experience than its sister restaurant.
- 456 Fish: Where Curley’s Billiard Parlor resided in the 1920s – is now best known for its fish and crustacean dishes, especially their award- winning crab cakes.
- Doumar’s, located at the north end of Granby Street, is a family-run shop that began as a circa-1907 ice cream stand; which oozes nostalgia and was the birthplace of the ice cream cone in 1934. The same delectable waffle cones are still baked here daily and visitors can anticipate a throw-back Happy Days-like experience complete with drive-in service - save the roller skates. Visitors with a pre-ice cream fix can enjoy anything barbecued, especially their North Carolina-style barbeque pork on a bun.
COLLEY AVENUE – A popular, charming neighborhood in the historic Ghent district.
- No Frill Bar and Grill: Fresh, affordable and family-friendly, No Frill offers up tasty summer salads, barbecue ribs and generous grill choices as well as seafood specialties like tempura fried soft-shell crab.
- Press 626 Wine Café & Wine Bar: Press 626 is dedicated to local foods and regional economies. The menu reflects the farms and artisans who provide them with ingredients.
- The Ten Top: The restaurant offers fresh original and healthy food in a very quaint and rustic environment. Ten Top is a locals favorite that serves up delicious vegetarian and seafood sandwiches, hearty meat wraps like the chicken, apple chutney and walnut wrap, the hot turkey Rueben or the Greek lamb hoagie. Dinner favorites are the beef meatloaf, Mediterranean tortellini or the pan roasted salmon.
Visitors can find a list of restaurants in the Norfolk Visitors’ Guide, distributed at convenient locations throughout the destination and at the Ocean View Visitors Center or online. Visit>>