Top 10 Dinner Spots in Williamsburg, VA

These top 10 restaurants are all locally owned in Williamsburg, VA. They’re listed here in alphabetical order.

  1. Berret’s Seafood Restaurant and Taphouse Grill—Also on our lunch list. Delicious seafood and salads, plus selections of beef, poultry, and pork. Romantic atmosphere and quiet enough for conversation. Things are livelier in the barroom with tv or outside at the Taphouse grill, which is open spring, summer, early autumn. On Merchants Square at the corner of Francis and Boundary Streets.
  2. Blue Talon Bistro—French themed with a good variety, including seafood and many fresh options. Finish off your meal with their homemade cookies or head next door for Baskin Robbins ice cream. On Prince George St. at the back of Merchants Square.
  3. Bray Bistro—Also on our Sunday brunch list. Fine dining overlooking the James River every evening, but we love the Friday night seafood buffet for quality and quantity. This is where I had the best, largest grilled scallops I’ve ever eaten. Lovely atmosphere with a piano player setting the mood with classical, show tunes, and oldies. In the Kingsmill Resort off of Route 60 east, near Busch Gardens.
  4. Food for Thought—This has become our favorite neighborhood restaurant, and we wish we hadn’t told so many people about it, because there’s usually a wait for a table. (Also good for lunch, but didn’t make our lunch list, because the lunch prices and portions are the same as dinner.) There’s something for every taste here, sure to please everyone in your family or group of friends. Decor features quotes from famous Americans, with word games on the tables to stimulate conversation. On Richmond Road in “the hotel and restaurant strip.”
  5. Francesco’s Ristorante Italiano—old style Italian family restaurant. Small dining room adds to the intimate family feeling. Large variety of authentic Italian dishes made with many imported ingredients. In the Williamsburg Pavillion Shops Shopping Center on Richmond Road, Lightfoot.
  6. King’s Arms Tavern—Traditional southern fare served with Colonial Williamsburg’s savoir fare. There’s no substitute for dining by candlelight in a colonial tavern on the most historic street in the nation. Baroque music, often in the form of a balladeer, completes the atmosphere. A stroll through the historic area afterward perfects a memorable evening.
  7. Le Yaca—Also on our lunch list. Authentic French cuisine in a relaxed and intimate atmosphere with excellent service. New location: 1430 High St. – Spring 2014.
  8. Opus 9—Our triple crown winner, appearing on our Brunch, Lunch, and Dinner lists. Steak, seafood, other fresh selections in a stunningly chic decor. In New Town near the intersection of Monticello Ave. and Ironbound Rd.
  9. Sal’s by Victor—Also on our lunch list. Family themed Italian food, with large portions and good variety of pasta dishes, pizza, subs, strombolis, and calzones. Always a steady flow of people getting pizza to go. In the Williamsburg Shopping Center on the Richmond Road side.
  10. Second Street — This American Bistro had a major makeover in 2007, turning a favorite burgers & sports bar  into a  favorite place for burgers, poultry, pasta, seafood, salad and more. They have a good wine and microbrew selection in a spacious, sophisticated, and comfortable setting. Their Portofino salad has become my favorite for those “I need some healthy greens” moments. Most salads in Williamsburg are 90% iceburg lettuce, so when I find a good one, I make it a point to tell about it. Enjoy!




  1. Mary Cottrill says

    What about Second St? Their soups are always tasty and happy hour specials are worth the price and Sunday brunch is great.

  2. Mary,

    Thanks for the reminder of another great locally owned restaurant. I got out of the habit of lunching at Second Street when I left my job at Colonial Williamsburg and found restaurants near New Town more convenient on a lunch hour. Jeff and I will have to give it a try for dinner sometime soon.


  3. Wow, what a strange list! The Whaling Company?

    Where’s Fat Canary? Granted, it might not be as good this year, but it’s definitely still one of the best in town. I agree with Mary that Second St should be on this list. I would take Blue Talon off, put the Bonefish on.

  4. Susan,

    Thanks for commenting. I appreciate the reminder to add Second Street to the Top 10 list. I recently had a wonderful dinner there, and was so pleased to see how elegant, yet comfortable the decor is. The menu has something for everyone, at reasonable prices.

    I regretfully removed The Whaling Company, because I still think they are a good locally-owned option for diners when on that side of town. But it’s a “Top 10” list, so somebody had to go when I added Second Street.

    As for Bonefish, I think they are a chain, not locally owned. Please correct me if I’m wrong.

    Regarding The Fat Canary, I’m sure “foodies” will agree with you. The Powers family has done an outstanding job with their restaurants over the years. However, I’m not sure my readership would respond favorably to $19.95 appetizers and $38.95 entrees, especially when there are more affordable gourmet menus within walking distance. For folks who think Niles and Frasier Crane would be fun dinner companions and would not be put off by terms such as “citrus ponzu” and “freekeh,” then The Fat Canary will be a great choice.


  5. My husband and I just spent a week in Williamsburg and discovered Second St. for the first time. Great food; would definately recommend it!

  6. King’s Arms isn’t really locally owned if you’re talking owned by a person, per se.

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