When the sun is shining, there’s nothing better than heading outdoors – especially when it comes time to eat. All across Coastal Virginia, local restaurants have opened up their gardens, expanded into the street, and transformed terraces into venues that are perfect for lingering over a cold drink and delicious eats.
Al fresco eateries exist the world over, but our favorite places are right here in Coastal Virginia. Bring your appetite to these five best local restaurants for outdoor dining:
With abundant people-watching opportunities and dishes worth lingering over, it’s no surprise that Suffolk locals have fallen in love with Decoys. Waterfront dining doesn’t get more scenic than this! Live entertainment and a rotating menu of local dishes help keep things fresh. We’re big fans of the crab cake sandwich – pair it with a delicious orange crush for a true local’s meal. The ambiance, service, and delicious seafood inspire Coastal Virginia locals to return again and again.
Craving a more cosmopolitan vibe? Head to Leone’s in Norfolk, where the rooftop ambiance is second to none. Located just a short distance from hot spots like MacArthur Mall, the Chrysler Museum, and the Harrison Opera House, Leone’s has quickly become a local favorite. The gorgeous rooftop views pair perfectly with their veal chop saltimbocca, linguine primavera, and impressive wine list. A shared slice of cannoli cheesecake is the ideal way to end date night at Leone’s.
When the hot, sultry summer weather sets in, Virginia Beach locals flock to The Porch. The casual waterfront deck provides stunning sunset views you’ve got to witness for yourself. Feast on pan seared wild caught sea scallops, a flounder BLT, or mini poke taco – or all of the above! Sunshine, seafood, and family dining never looked – or tasted – so good.
Head to Historic High Street for some of the best German food in town. The Bier Garden has a way of transporting local diners from Coastal Virginia all the way to Bavaria. Their patio feels distinctly European, with umbrellas and flags galore. Owned and operated by the same family since 1997, the restaurant is well-known for its schnitzel sandwich – which is as tasty as it is fun to say!
Downtown Hampton’s favorite watering hole is also home to one of the very best patios in all of Coastal Virginia. Featuring regular Sunday brunches, sassy servers, and a truly legendary plate of fish and chips, Marker 20 is a real local’s joint. Whether you’re hungry for seafood, bar food, or cocktails, you’ll definitely leave satisfied. Check their calendar for regular live music events – it’s a great option for a night out on the town!
I'm Chelsea, a freelance writer and Norfolk native. While I'm currently based in North Carolina, I can never stay away from CoVA for long! I take a weekend warrior approach to my frequent visits, packing in as much beach time and restaurant hopping as I can.
Explore Coastal Virginia
About Explore CoVA
Explore CoVA is a travel and lifestyle blog designed to help you find new and local things to do in the region. Follow our journey as we explore, taste, sip, and play our way through Coastal Virginia.