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!



Top 10 Lunch Spots in Williamsburg, VA

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

  1. Berret’s Seafood Restaurant and Taphouse Grill—Delicious seafood and salads, plus selections of beef, poultry, and pork. The menu varies, but I’ve always been pleased with the seafood. It’s a cozy interior that’s especially nice on a cold winter’s day with the fireplace glowing. The outdoor taphouse is open spring, summer, and early autumn. On Merchants Square at the corner of Francis and Boundary Streets.


  1. The Cheese Shop—it’s a Williamsburg tradition. They really are the best sandwiches in town, due not only to the highest quality meats and cheeses, but also to the house dressing and freshly baked bread. Some folks get a bag of bread ends and extra house dressing for dipping. Limited barstool seating inside; take your picnic outside to the umbrella tables or find a bench on Merchant Square. It’s a popular place, so consider calling ahead and picking up your order at the window outside: 757-220-0298. On Merchants Square.

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Top 5 Breakfast or Brunch Spots in Williamsburg, VA

If you’re just looking for a quick bite of eggs or pancakes before heading out for a day of touring or shopping, there’s no shortage of “Pancake Houses” in Williamsburg. As a matter of fact, it’s sort of a joke amongst locals. We have dozens of them and it seems as though new ones sprout up almost monthly.

If you’re looking for something good, leisurely, and stylish, check out these restaurants. They’re all locally owned, listed in no particular order:

  1. The Trellis—I enjoyed brunch so much that I recently wrote a review on this site. With reasonable prices, great decor, fabulous location, and options for vegetarians, it’s my favorite. Daily, 8 am-10:30 am, Merchants Square
  2. Old Chickahominy House—Fond memories of dining here with my mother and sister. Reasonable prices, very Southern. Gift shop has items ranging from earrings to antique furniture. The resident cat is very friendly, but usually sleeping—what a life. Daily, 8:30 am-10:30 am, Jamestown Rd. near Rt. 199.
  3. Opus 9 Steakhouse—Also one of my favorite lunch spots. You can’t beat the quality of the food combined with stunning decor and sophisticated music. At $21.95 for adults, it’s pricier than my first two picks, but it’s a buffet, so you can pace yourself and make it your big meal of the day. Sunday, 11:00 am – 2:30 pm. New Town, near intersection of Monticello Ave. and Ironbound Rd.
  4. Bray Bistro, Kingsmill Resort—Also a buffet, and a bit more expensive at $25 (the last time I went—check when you make your reservation for current price.) The view of the James River and the drive through the manicured resort make it an outing to remember. Sunday, 11:00 am – 2:00 pm. Route 60, east of Williamsburg, near Busch Gardens.
  5. Williamsburg Inn Regency Dining Room—The food, decor, and service are the epitome of fine dining. If you don’t mind paying $45 for brunch, you’ll have no problem with the dress code: “Appropriate dress required: Jackets required for dinner. No sleeveless tee-shirts. No denim permitted, except at Breakfast.” I remember being very impressed as a teenager that my glass of freshly-squeezed orange juice was served in a little ice bucket of its own. The setting, overlooking a Robert Trent Jones golf course, in the heart of Colonial Williamsburg on Francis Street, is tough to beat. Sunday, 10:30 – 2:00 pm. Price includes the buffet and an á la carte entrée selection. Reservations recommended: 1-800-447-8679.


Map of the top 5 breakfast or brunch spots in Williamsburg, VA


Top 10 Places to Shop for Gifts

  1. G. Bates Studio, Merchant Square
  2. Paisley, New Town
  3. Master Craftsman, N. Boundary St.
  4. Williamsburg Antique Mall, Lightfoot
  5. Williamsburg Craft House, Merchant Square
  6. Savvy Home and Garden, Village Shops at Kingsmill
  7. Old Chickahominy House, Jamestown Rd. near Rt. 199
  8. Prime Outlets, Richmond Road, between Wmsbg. and Lightfoot
  9. Blink, New Town
  10. Books-a-Million, Williamsburg Shopping Center

Top 10 Reasons I Love Williamsburg

  1. It’s a university town
  2. The history
  3. Silly fun at Busch Gardens and Water Country USA
  4. Serious fun at oodles of cultural events
  5. We have all four seasons
  6. Lots of green spaces and public parks
  7. Smart citizens who care, volunteer their time, and give generously
  8. Life-long learning opportunities
  9. Shopping, shopping, shopping!
  10. Christmas in Williamsburg

Did I leave out any of your top 10? Leave a comment!