Williamsburg, Virginia is best known for its impractical woolen wear, horse carriage rides, ghost stories and wooden swords. What you might not know is that Williamsburg, VA restaurants have come a long way since you visited with your class back in elementary or middle school.
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Changes in the Williamsburg Restaurant Scene
Chefs are scooping up Virginia farm produce for their seasonal menu, hitting the coast for fresh locally-sourced seafood, and importing jamon direct from Spain.
Restaurants in Williamsburg, VA are pushing beyond the classic American crab cakes you will find in the area, elevating shrimp and grits and creating unique dining experiences to enjoy throughout the year.
The locals have figured this out. Now it’s your turn.
Finding the Best Restaurants in Williamsburg
My family and I went down to Williamsburg to pop into the usual spots– Colonial Williamsburg, Busch Gardens Williamsburg, and a new event, the Williamsburg Taste Festival.
I honestly wasn’t expecting much from the food. Everyone has a “culinary scene” and “beer trail,” but the Williamsburg restaurants have stepped up their game.
You need to know where to look, but once you do, you may be surprised that there is more to this colonial icon than turkey legs, burgers and your typical blasé tourist food.
Thanks to the spring Taste Festival, we were able to sample a lot of area restaurants all at once. We still managed to hit a few brick and mortars for a little quality control too.
- Address: 5248 Rockingham Dr, Williamsburg, VA 23188
Get the strawberry cupcake. If you don’t, we can’t be friends anymore.
- Address: 1220 Richmond Rd, Williamsburg, VA 23185
My new friend Bob in Williamsburg says that they have the best carrot cake cupcake ever. He is not a man to dismiss when it comes to cupcakes.
- Address: 407 W Duke of Gloucester St, Williamsburg, VA 23185
Amazing key lime tarts. Pro tip: Pastries and bread are half price after 5pm.
Williamsburg Ice Cream Shops
- Address: 421 Prince George St, Williamsburg, VA 23185
Kilwins is worth every calorie, especially if you love homemade waffle cones and waffle cups. Get a hot fudge sundae, ask for extra hot fudge, and ride the sugar high while you walk around Williamsburg.
There are a number of dairy-free sorbets if you can’t have icee cream, and plenty of other treats like fudge, chocolate truffles and chocolate-dipped rice crispy treats. Are you noticing a theme yet?
Bruster’s Ice Cream
- Address: 5289 John Tyler Hwy, Williamsburg, VA 23185 (in Washington Crossing)
Bruster’s Ice Cream is a local favorite for families who don’t want to head into Colonial Williamsburg. Milkshakes, sundaes, cones and cups with loads of flavor options are available. My favorite? A hot fudge sundae with mint Oreo ice cream. Yum!
- Address: 110 S Henry St, Williamsburg, VA 23185
Step into Sweet Garden for a break from the Virginia heat to indulge in ice cream, waffles and a variety of teas. You can get milk tea, milk foam, fruit teas and frozen milk tea to keep you cool as you continue to explore Colonial Williamsburg.
Breakfast in Williamsburg VA
Aromas Coffeehouse and Café
- Address: 431 Prince George St, Williamsburg, VA 23185
Locals will point you here if you ask around and for good reason. The coffee is on point, breakfast is amazing and the biscotti is some of the best I’ve ever had.
The Bake Shop
- Address: 204 Armistead Ave, Williamsburg, VA 23185
While the coffee isn’t as good as Aromas, the bagels are phenomenal. Grab a few to take home, or have them toast it and add a smear of cream cheese to eat at one of their patio tables.
- Address: 747 Scotland St, Williamsburg, VA 23185
You must try the blackberry lavender mocha. It’s an intriguing treat.
Food for Thought
- Address:1647 Richmond Rd, Williamsburg, VA 23185
Allergies are taken very seriously at this comfort food joint.
Honey Butters Kitchen
- Address: 4680-17 Monticello Ave, Williamsburg, VA 2318
Order up giant pancakes, eggs and French toast for a filling breakfast that will keep you fueled up for exploring Williamsburg, Yorktown and Jamestown, VA. Their signature mimosas are perfect for brunch, while the coffee is decent enough to grab a second cup.
- Address: 445 Prince George St, Williamsburg, VA 23185
If you need vegan, LOKAL Café has you covered. From fresh smoothies to protein bowls, sandwiches, salads, soup, lasagna and avocado toast, LOKAL in Williamsburg has your dietary needs well in hand.
- Address: 627 Merrimac Trl, Williamsburg, VA 23185
A local staple if you like a good, old-fashion greasy spoon diner.
- Address: 136 Francis St E, Williamsburg, VA 23185
Good for a special Sunday Brunch. Make sure you order a smoothie and the donut holes. Definitely our favorites on the menu.
Lunch in Williamsburg VA
The Cheese Shop
- Address: 410 W Duke of Gloucester St, Williamsburg, VA 23185.
A very popular grocery style shop with a deli counter, and for good reason. Be prepared to wait a bit for your sandwich. It will be worth it though.
- Address: 761 Scotland St, Williamsburg, VA 23185.
Green Leafe Cafe
- Address: 765 Scotland St, Williamsburg, VA 23185.
Dinner in Williamsburg VA
Amber Ox Public House
- Address: 521 Prince George St, Williamsburg, VA 23185
Make a reservations on the weekend. This place gets packed! But you never need a reservation to sit in the massive bar area, where kids are actually welcome.
Electric Circus Taqueria
Address: Inside Precarious Beer Hall, 110 S Henry St, Williamsburg, VA 23185
Sister to Amber Ox Public House and The Bake Shop, and located in the Precarious Brew Hall, you will find the Electric Circus taco truck. Daily specials include three tacos and a beer for $11, so check the date and order accordingly.
We loved the ropa vieja tacos so much we had to order more. The kids were able to play arcade games while my husband and I could sit back and enjoy our beer (or in my case cider).
La Tienda- Tapas Bar and Market
- Address: 1325 Jamestown Rd, Williamsburg, VA 23185
They are importing jamon (cured meat!) direct from Spain, as well as other meat products and wine. Check hours for dining, or just pop into the shop to bring items home.
The Hound’s Tale
Address: 515-200 Prince George St, Williamsburg, VA 23185
A family-friendly gastropub with great cocktails, a nice beer list and plenty for parents to enjoy. The kids options are limited, but they do make a scallop-topped mac n’ cheese that they can doctor for kids. My youngest had bacon added to his and nixed the seafood.
Definitely get the giant pretzel with both dips. The cheese sauce and beer mustard are delicious.
Giuseppe’s Italian Restaurant
- Address: 5525 Olde Towne Rd, Williamsburg, VA 23188
Want to go where the locals go? Head to Giuseppe’s Italian Restaurant. They are whipping up delicious pasta, pizza your kids will love, salads and a charcuterie board that starts every meal off right. Order a glass, half carafe or full carafe of the house wine, or one of the many bottles they have in stock.
Berrets Seafood Restaurant and Taphouse Grill
- Address: Colonial Williamsburg’s Merchants Square, 199 S Boundary St, Williamsburg, VA 23185
Dig into local wine, beer, fish, meat and produce at the Taphouse Grill, located right in Colonial Williamsburg’s Merchants Square. There are a number of vegetarian opens for those who don’t eat meat or fish. Outdoor seating is available… and everyone will tell you to get the clam chowder.
Blue Talon Bistro
- Address: 420 Prince George St, Williamsburg, VA 23185
Blue Talon Bistro is constantly packed, but honestly, the food was OK and the service was almost non-existent. At least the interior was cute and there was plenty of outdoor seating. For a French establishment, I expected more from my cheese plate though, and their cocktails had way too many ingredients in them, so stick to the wine list.
The bread was decent and so were our entrees, so dig in, but don’t expect French-cuisine perfect; more of an American attempt at French food.
- Address: 5800 Wessex Hundred, Williamsburg, VA 23185
Go for a tasting, but stay for lunch and dinner when time allows.
Le Yaca French Restaurant
- Address: 1430 High St, Williamsburg, VA 23188
Opus 9 Steakhouse
- Address: 5143 Main St, Williamsburg, VA 23188
- Address: 410 W Duke of Gloucester St, Williamsburg, VA 23185
This post is part of a paid partnership with Visit Williamsburg. As always, my opinions are my own. When they aren’t you will be the first to know.
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