Find Good Vegetarian Options in Williamsburg’s Restaurants

Finding Good Vegetarian Food in Williamsburg, VA

One search category that Yelp hasn’t developed yet is “vegetarian,” so here are my recommendations. These restaurants are not solely vegetarian, but they offer some good options. Enjoy!

11 Reasons Every Parent Should Add Williamsburg, VA, To Their Summer Plans

boy zipline williamsburg vaWilliamsburg is in the “buzz.” Buzzfeed.com, that is. I couldn’t agree more with this popular site’s advice for parents: Bring your kids to Williamsburg for a great vacation!

Check out 11 Reasons Every Parent Should Add Williamsburg, VA, To Their Summer Plans for your self and see what all the buzz is about.

Healthy, Fresh Ingredients at Zoes Kitchen

Williamsburg has a  new option for healthy dining: Zoës Kitchen at 5025 Settlers Market Blvd. As one who eats a mostly “mediterranean” diet, I was predisposed to like the new restaurant and I was not disappointed. My friend and I both thought our entrees were delicious and look forward  to trying more items on the menu.

Zoes Kitchen, Williamsburg, VA

Shrimp kabobs, Zoes Kitchen, Williamsburg, VAThe restaurant offers “simple, tasty, fresh” food, just like their tagline says. Nothing arrives frozen – they prepare the meats, veggies, and desserts daily. Even their desserts are made in-house. They also have a selection of wine and beer to accompany your meal.

You place your order at the counter and take a seat in the modern, colorful dining room. Staff brought us our meals in about 5 minutes.

I ordered the shrimp kebabs ($10.09): two charbroiled kabobs, zucchini, rice pilaf, cucumber raita, side Greek salad, and pita bread. I’d give the shrimp a “mild spice” rating, which is perfect for me, but maybe not spicy enough for cajun food lovers. The veggies were well seasoned and the salad was very fresh with just the right amount of dressing.

My friend ordered the steak kabobs ($11.79) and ate every bite, even though the portion was more than she typically eats – it was that good. She especially liked the flavor of the grilled potatoes.

steak kabobs, Zoes Kitchen, Williamsburg, VA

Be sure to download the restaurant’s mobile app. It makes ordering takeout easy and you can also use it to take a photo of your receipt to give them feedback about your meal and their service. I especially appreciate the question “Did the team share Southern Hospitality?” We can always use more of that! Plus, when you give feedback this way, you get free stuff! I already have a free sports cup to collect next time I visit the restaurant.

I’m looking forward to my next visit.


UPDATE 8/9/2014:
I stopped in to Zoe’s Kitchen for a quick lunch and tried their tuna salad sandwich with a side Greek salad. I’m always cautious about restaurants’ tuna salad, because I don’t like mayonnaise very much. I was pleasantly surprised! Zoe’s version uses very little mayo. The staff told me they use a little olive oil and chopped egg whites to make it moist. It was a delicious sandwich.

Creative Cuisines Catering

This may seem like a shameless promotion for my web development company, but I can’t help writing about the wonderful food that Chef Steve Munday of Creative Cuisines prepared for my last business meeting with him. I haven’t tried all of the caterers in Williamsburg, but he is surely one of the finest, if not the best. My company, Brown Mouse Productions, produced Creative Cuisine’s web site and our last meeting took place at dinner time. He graciously made not just one, but four dishes for me to try:

  • Pan-seared Scottish Salmon
  • Salad of Roasted Corn, Avocado, and Tomato
  • Farro with Grilled Asparagus, Red Onion, Mushrooms, and Kalamata Olives
  • Spaghetti Squash with Vidalia Onions, Roasted Peppers, and Asagio Cheese

Creative Cuisines dinner, Williamsburg, VA

The combination of ingredients was creative, just like the name says. But the real test of a good chef is the way the flavors blend and accentuate each other. I loved every bite.  Hire Chef Steve for your next event–he’ll work with you to develop the perfect menu for you and your guests and will present the food in a way you’ll never forget.

Blackbird Bakery, Merchant Square, Williamsburg, VA

The addition of a bakery in the arcade at Merchant Square helps soften the blow of recent business changes downtown1. Blackbird Bakery sells breads, pastries, cookies, and sweets made in Chef Everett’s restaurants: Blue Talon Bistro, The Trellis, and DoG Street Pub. My sister and I enjoyed a couple of their dark chocolate turtles with gooey caramel and sea salt. Check out the menu.

Blackbird Bakery, Merchant Square, Williamsburg, VA

1The closure of the Toymaker of Williamsburg marked the end of an era for Williamsburg Native. They have an online store, but Merchants Square will never be the same without them. Farther down the street, the misguided modernization of the Raleigh Bakery in Colonial Williamsburg also doused memories of “homemade” gingerbread cookies laid out in baskets, accompanied by quality apple cider. Sadly, visitors are now greeted with bland cookies wrapped in cellophane and modern refrigerated cases filled with bottled soda.

Thanksgiving in Williamsburg 2013

If you’d like to dine out on Thanksgiving Day, here’s a list of restaurants that are open and likely to please. Several of these options are on Williamsburg Native’s Top 10 Dining lists, but we haven’t tried Thanksgiving dinner at all of them, so please consider these “informed opinions.”

  • Colonial Williamsburg – with elegant hotels and historic taverns to choose from, it’s wise to call their reservation line to be sure of what you’re getting:  800-838-3767.  A quick check of their web site showed several options for Thanksgiving, but not necessarily in the spaces you might expect, due to the number of guests they’ll be serving. Prices are in the $50-60 range for adults.
  • Merchants Square – several restaurants have Thanksgiving Day service, but the one I most recently enjoyed was Blue Talon Bistro – those folks make a day of it, starting with sponsorship of the famous 5K Turkey Trot.
  • Le Yaca French Restaurant is always delightful and I’m sure that their Thanksgiving menu will meet their regular high standards.
  • Opus 9 in New Town has posted their Thanksgiving menu. Given their chic decor and elegant service, I’m pleasantly surprised by the price point and the extended hours they’re advertising.
  • A little off the beaten path, but sure to have delicious food, is the Williamsburg Hellenic Center on Mooretown Road. Since many of our local restaurants are owned and managed by the Greek-American community, the Hellenic Center definitely puts on a good feast. As of this post date, the Thanksgiving menu is on their home page.
  • The James Landing Grille is Kingsmill Resort’s newest restaurant and has posted their Thanksgiving menu. The view from the landing will surely put the song “Over the River and through the Woods” in your head!

Wherever you end up eating your feast, may it be a blessed gathering with friends and family.

Register to Eat Free at Noodles & Company Sept. 27 & 28, 2013

When I ate at Noodles & Company in Richmond, VA, I thought, “Wow, we need one of these in Williamsburg!”  And now, we have one – at 4640 Casey Boulevard (in the Settlers Marketplace). Their grand opening is Sept. 30, but up to 500 of us are invited to dine for free at their “soft” opening this Friday and Saturday, Sept. 27th and 28th.

All you need to do is go to noodlesevents.com and enter this event code:  Williamsburg2013.  Pick your time slot, then print your confirmation to take to the restaurant and you’re all set.

They have great noodle dishes for every taste – meat lovers, vegetarian and gluten-free diners all have good options here. Their salads are a notch above most restaurants, too, with fresh field greens and ripe tomatoes.

Check out their menu at www.noodles.com to start thinking about what sounds good. See you there!

Excellent Reviews for the Williamsburg Inn

I’m glad to see the Williamsburg Inn receiving enthusiastic reviews over the holidays: http://www.tripadvisor.com/ShowUserReviews-g58313-d122939-r149025852-Williamsburg_Inn-Williamsburg_Virginia.html

 

Best Bets for Dining Out on Thanksgiving

Tired of cooking and cleaning this year? Williamsburg has oodles of options for feasting with the family on Thanksgiving. Many of my Top 10 Restaurants are open on Thanksgiving, so give them a call. If you can’t get reservations, there are a couple of large venues offering Thanksgiving buffets that are worth a try.

In years past, the Williamsburg Hospitality House has done a wonderful job with their holiday buffets in a pleasant hotel-conference-room setting. It’s not the same as a view of Duke of Gloucester Street from one of the taverns, but it’s elegant enough. Besides, if you eat there, you’re close enough to go for a walk afterwards on the college campus or in the historic area to work off some of the feast. Their spread this year costs $32.95 for adults and $13.95 for kids 6-12 (5 and under eat free). Call (757) 229-4020 for reservations.

A venue I’ve not tried, but I bet offers excellent food is the Williamsburg Hellenic Center at 4900 Mooretown Road. Since many of our local restaurants are owned and managed by the Greek-American community, you can bet they’ll offer some fabulous food for Thanksgiving. Their buffet costs $24.95 for adults and $14.95 for kids 12 and under. Call (757) 220-4284 for reservations.

Many thanks to Jimmy’s Oven & Grill at 7201 Richmond Road in Norge for offering a free Thanksgiving feast to anyone in need. Call Mo at (757) 565-1465 to reserve your spot.

Special evening at Historic Jamestowne

Enjoy beautiful scenery and learn more about Jamestown and the Civil War at a special dinner on Thursday, Oct. 6, 2011. The program begins at 5:00 p.m. and includes a picnic dinner. Historic Jamestowne’s web site says you’ll “explore the story of Fort Pocahontas, one of five Civil War-era forts constructed on Jamestown Island … hear first-person accounts of Confederate soldiers stationed at the fort … and enjoy an update with Jamestown Rediscovery Senior Archaeologist Dave Givens on the most recent findings from the fort’s excavated bomb shelter.”