The beach is boldly front-and-center in the lineup of restaurant standouts along the oceanfront in Virginia Beach. From open-air patios to rooftop gems and pier-side favorites, the views just don’t stop in the southern Virginia Atlantic Ocean community.
Virginia Beach certainly lives up to its name, and the restaurants that line the beach make the most of their fortuitous location. On my recent visit to Virginia Beach, I found the opportunities for stellar views to be virtually endless.
If you, like me, prefer your seaside dining with a good dose of the sea, here are nine places to check out in Virginia Beach.
Note that I was hosted by the Virginia Beach Convention and Visitors Bureau, but my opinions are my own.
1. Tulu Seaside Bar & Grill
From the breezy patio just feet from the beach to the charming Adirondack chairs facing the ocean, to the glimpse of the Atlantic Ocean itself, the scene couldn’t get much prettier than the one from Tulu Seaside Bar & Grill in the Marriott Oceanfront on the north end of the Virginia Beach Boardwalk.
Although Tulu has a beautiful dining room as well, my recommendation for breakfast is to request a table on the patio — especially if you arrive in time for the sunrise. With tables facing east, Tulu offers a perfect spot to take in the spectacle of the sun rising over the Atlantic. Even if you aren’t in time for the sunrise, though, the ocean views are great from the patio or the dining room.
And the menu choices complement the seaside scene with colorful breakfast choices like the avocado toast topped with microgreens and feta cheese, the healthy acai-granola bowls with strawberries, blueberries, and banana, or the hearty western omelet with chorizo, mixed peppers, onions, and cheddar cheese.
Tulu also offers lunch with beachy fare like shrimp and crab corn fritters, salmon salad sandwiches, or jerk chicken sandwiches, as well as dinner with signature entrees like jumbo lump crab cakes or pan-seared sea scallops and zoodles.
2. Ocean Eddies
Described as offering an “old-beach” atmosphere, Ocean Eddies features a covered deck and an indoor dining room — both with panoramic views of the ocean, the boardwalk, and the resorts that line the beach.
Ocean Eddies offers seafood classics like fried calamari with lemon aioli, crab cake sliders, and beer-boiled shrimp served with cocktail sauce.
Pro Tip: After dining at Ocean Eddies, be sure to continue down the wooden Fishing Pier to see the anglers reeling in their catches and to take in the cool view of the ocean from the end of the pier.
For a stylish brunch or dinner in a historic setting, Becca Restaurant & Garden in the Cavalier Hotel and Beach Club is a not-to-be-missed Virginia Beach experience. From its location on a hill overlooking the beach, the Cavalier Hotel offers an unparalleled vantage point. And with seating in either the light-filled dining room or the lush garden, Becca features views all around.
The recently reimagined restaurant is a centerpiece of the 1920s-era Cavalier Hotel that blends the essence of a bygone era with modern elegance.
If you happen to be visiting on a Sunday, consider the delicious brunch options, starting with a refreshing cocktail like the Seahill Sparkler made with sauvignon blanc, lime cordial, and grapefruit soda, and continuing with a main event like shrimp and grits with a poached egg, stone-ground grits, and sauteed shrimp; or the savory vegetable crepes filled with a combo of roasted corn, asparagus, bell peppers, scallions, and mushrooms all topped with a sunny-side-up egg.
For dinner, check out coastal-inspired choices like brown butter and garden herb-basted shrimp and scallops, or a wood-grilled whole fish, or farm favorites like honey glazed duck, or a rosemary-braised lamb shank.
4. Orion’s Roof
Walk into Orion’s Roof in the Marriott Oceanfront, and you will immediately be dazzled by the signature view of Virginia Beach stretching for miles to the north. It is a splendid backdrop for a restaurant that boasts elevated Asian-fusion cuisine and seafood classics.
Perched 183 feet above the Atlantic Ocean, Orion’s Roof features floor-to-ceiling windows that ensure views of the oceanfront from virtually any table.
And the menu lives up to the venue, offering sushi bar selections like a yellowtail hamachi jalapeño chili roll or a maki my radish roll, and creative entrees like yuzu miso black cod and shrimp udon with garlic shoyu, noodles, and shiitake.
5. Chix On The Beach
With a location right in the heart of the oceanfront, Chix on the Beach has been a favorite in Virginia Beach for more than four decades. The local mainstay features a fun outdoor patio that is located just a few feet from the Virginia Beach Boardwalk — all with sweeping views of the Atlantic Ocean.
For a Chesapeake Bay tradition, try Chix’s steamer bags with shrimp, snow crab legs, or clams, along with fresh corn-on-the-cob, spicy kielbasa, red potatoes, and sprinkled with Old Bay.
Or check out a starter like hush puppies served with butter, buffalo fish bites, or Chix crab dip, alongside a traditional Virginia Beach crush cocktail with coconut lime juice, or fresh-squeezed grapefruit, orange, or lemon juice.
6. Chicho’s 11th Street Taphouse
If pizza and beer is more your idea of beachy fare, Chicho’s 11th Street Pizza and Taphouse is the spot with the food and the views. Located along the boardwalk, the 11th Street location of the Virginia Beach regional chain is right in the middle of the oceanside action.
After its start more than 50 years ago as a small pizza place, Chicho’s has grown into a successful enterprise with a number of locations around Virginia Beach and neighboring Norfolk. The 11th Street location offers an outdoor patio that looks out onto the Atlantic Ocean.
Along with a large selection of pizzas such as the Cho’s special with pepperoni, mushrooms, and extra cheese and the white pizza with a garlic and herb base topped with spinach and tomatoes, Chicho’s offers starters like pub-fried pickles, garlic knots, and breaded butterfly shrimp. The location also has 32 taps featuring favorite beers and local brews.
7. Waterman’s Surfside Grille
Located on the south end of Virginia Beach’s famous boardwalk, Waterman’s Surfside Grille is a local gathering place that has been serving up seafood and orange-crush cocktails since 1981. The bustling restaurant offers plenty of indoor seating with great ocean views, as well as a large outdoor patio.
Part of the fun of Waterman’s is ordering its signature drink, the original Orange Crush — a refreshing cocktail made with fresh-squeezed orange juice, orange vodka, triple sec, and a splash of Sprite — sipping it as you look out into the rolling waves of the Atlantic Ocean.
There are multiple versions of the crush cocktails, including a “creamsicle crush,” a Caribbean crush, a lemon honey habanero crush, and a black cherry-lime crush. They all pair nicely with Waterman’s seafood-focused menu of favorites like she-crab soup (rich bisque with lump crab meat), flash-fried calamari, coconut shrimp wrap sandwich, and surfside fish tacos.
8. Ocean 27 Beach Bar And Beach Park
Beach-front games, porch-swing style tables with an ocean view, and live music all await at the lively venue at Ocean 27 Beach Bar and Beach Park.
Along with a bar and café, the site features The Yard, which has three separate areas of entertainment, including a kid-friendly grass/turf area for games and food, as well as the main entertainment area with nightly live music, dancing, and drinks. The Yard also offers a menu of wood-fired pizza, sandwiches, barbecue, salads, and ice cream.
The Ocean 27 Beach Bar and Beach Park is located along the Virginia Beach Boardwalk area on the 27th block next to the Hyatt House.
9. Catch 31
For a view of not just the ocean but Virginia Beach’s iconic 26-foot-tall King Neptune statue as well, head to the Catch 31 Fish House & Bar located virtually in the center of the 3-mile-long Virginia Beach Boardwalk.
One of the perks of dining on Catch 31’s patio is the close-up view of the Neptune statue that towers over the boardwalk. Another benefit: the fire-pit tables available on the patio for chilly afternoons or evenings.
Among the seafood offerings at Catch 31 is a raw bar with specialties such as the “Atlantic Tower” of fresh oysters, clams, mussels, and cocktail shrimp, as well as a tuna poke bowl with ahi tuna, cauliflower rice, seaweed salad, diced pineapple, shaved radish, sliced cucumber, and avocado. The menu also includes the tasty coconut shrimp appetizer or a crab cake sandwich served on a brioche bun.
For other ideas on things to do and places to dine in Virginia Beach, check out: