Williamsburg Dining

Original open uri20160815 3469 1at07jk?1471304201?ixlib=rails 0.3
Williamsburg Dining
Discover the culinary roots of Williamsburg in the historical taverns, enjoy fine food with a view at one of the high-end restaurants, or simply settle down with some seafood. Just don't forget to try the wine!
By Kerry McGee, AFAR Local Expert
Photo by Barbara Talbott/age fotostock
  • 1 / 10
    Original open uri20160815 3469 1at07jk?1471304201?ixlib=rails 0.3
    Local Restaurants
    Williamsburg has a number of great restaurants. For a true local flavor, stop by Fat Canary for its seasonal menu and to toast the forefathers with a glass of sherry or Virginia wine. The modern menu at The Trellis Bar & Grill includes only local and sustainable ingredients. Both restaurants are conveniently located in Merchants Square. At A Chef's Kitchen, you can sit down for a delicious American bistro–style dinner and learn how to prepare it yourself.
    Photo by Barbara Talbott/age fotostock
  • 2 / 10
    Original open uri20160815 3469 152w4jp?1471304204?ixlib=rails 0.3
    Period Dining
    A day of living history can make a person very hungry, but you don't have to leave the 1700s to eat. For colonial-inspired food and drinks—complete with kids menus—Shields Tavern, Raleigh Tavern Bakery, King’s Arms Tavern, Chowning’s Tavern, and Christiana Campbell’s Tavern re-create the original Southern comfort dining experience. Enjoy your meal in a historic tavern while servers in 18th-century costume bring your food and musicians serenade you with signature songs from the era. You don’t even have to leave the park, as the taverns are located in the midst of Colonial Williamsburg.
    Photo by age fotostock
  • 3 / 10
    Original open uri20160815 3469 1pi1g4c?1471304209?ixlib=rails 0.3
    Pubs and Bars
    With both the colonial park and a first-rate college in Williamsburg, there are plenty of bars to choose from. DoG Street Pub is located adjacent to Colonial Williamsburg in Merchants Square, and is good for a quick pint or bite to eat in a comfortable yet upscale pub atmosphere. The Corner Pocket is known for a large selection of microbrews in addition to a popular billiard room, live music venue and restaurant-like bar menu. Paul’s Deli Restaurant has sub sandwiches, Italian (including pizza), and Greek specialties on the menu, and has a family-friendly atmosphere.
    Photo courtesy of DoG Street Pub
  • 4 / 10
    Original open uri20160815 3469 1nuyndn?1471304213?ixlib=rails 0.3
    Wineries and Breweries
    Virginia is known for its wine, and you can see and taste why on a winery tour. Williamsburg Winery offers daily tours of their facility along with tastings of their reds, whites, and dessert wines. You can also stock your wine cellar with bottles of all of their varieties in the adjoining gift shop. Stop by New Kent Winery for another tasting and tour and to compare their products. Pick up a Virginia wine map at either location if you’re inspired to make a drive to a few spots. If wine is not your thing, check out the AleWerks Brewing Company for local craft beers.
    Photo courtesy of The Williamsburg Winery
  • 5 / 10
    Original open uri20160815 3469 1wjkb6l?1471304218?ixlib=rails 0.3
    Romantic Dinners
    Williamsburg may be best known for its family-friendly parks, but there are plenty of restaurants that encourage you to leave the kids at home and enjoy a romantic night out. Blue Talon Bistro offers French comfort food and an innovative wine list. If you don't fancy a table for two you can sit at the bar to watch old episodes of Julia Child's cooking show. Try the asparagus, bacon, and poached egg salad if you want something light but still devilishly delicious. Take a turn on the dance floor at the Regency Room at Williamsburg Inn, one of the Colonial Williamsburg resort area’s fine-dining restaurants, or share a bottle of wine and some tiramisu at Giuseppe’s Al Porto Italian Restaurant in Merchants Square.
    Photo by Kerry McGee
  • 6 / 10
    Original open uri20160815 3469 15eoujl?1471304225?ixlib=rails 0.3
    Café Culture
    With all that’s happening in Williamsburg, you’ll need to keep your energy up. Grab a cup of joe and maybe some homemade pastries near Colonial Williamsburg at AromasWorld café and bakeshop. You can also find AromasWorld coffee, sandwiches, and desserts at Mew’s Café in the Swem Library of William & Mary. While on campus, stop by student-run Meridian Coffee House to reminisce about all your late-night study sessions. Alternatively, if you like your coffee sweet, head to Emily's Donuts and Café for seasonally flavored doughnuts and equally sweet coffee, including flavored brews such as chocolate-caramel sea salt and pumpkin spice.
    Photo by Georgijus Pavlovas/age fotostock
  • 7 / 10
    Original open uri20160815 3469 1dyjg7a?1471304231?ixlib=rails 0.3
    Farmers' Markets
    Make the most of a fine-weather day by shopping at a seasonal market. Sample berries, apples, seasonal veggies, homemade breads and cookies, local wines, raw honey, peanuts, and fresh-cut flowers in Merchants Square at the Williamsburg Farmers Market, or hit up the James River waterfront for the Yorktown Market Days. Both markets feature live bands, guest chef demonstrations, and a changing roster of vendors, all of which makes return trips extra-appetizing. For your daily fresh food needs, stop by Heidi's Homegrown & Organics co-op in Colonial Plaza.
    Photo by Doug Schneider/age fotostock
  • 8 / 10
    Original open uri20160815 3469 1ggxpmz?1471304237?ixlib=rails 0.3
    Fine Dining
    Treat yourself to a night of culinary excellence at one of Williamsburg’s many fine-dining restaurants. Traditions at Williamsburg Lodge offers Southern-inspired dishes with an emphasis on seafood. Check out the regular themed dining events, such as live music nights and the weekly Seafood Buffet. The Regency Room at Williamsburg Inn, also located in the Colonial resort area, features European-influenced dishes, Sunday brunches, and high tea. Elements 1010 at the Kingsmill Resort has a seasonal menu and spectacular views of the James River. Reservations are recommended at all three locations.
    Photo courtesy of The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation
  • 9 / 10
    Original open uri20160815 3469 1j93cue?1471304244?ixlib=rails 0.3
    Culinary Souvenirs
    Take home a sampling of your Williamsburg culinary experiences from a local gourmet shop. The Cheese Shop offers shelves of local foodstuffs and a sizable wine cellar, in addition to custom deli sandwiches made with their famous house dressing. While the ingredients are top secret, you can buy a bottle to satisfy your cravings at home. The Peanut Shop of Williamsburg and Wythe Candy & Gourmet Shop also offer delicious locally produced foods and sweets. Stop by the Williamsburg Winery Shop for more local jams and spreads, as well as bottles of their world-class wine.
    Photo courtesy of The Williamsburg Winery
  • 10 / 10
    Original open uri20160815 3469 5ksnyl?1471304248?ixlib=rails 0.3
    Seafood Specialists
    Williamsburg is situated between the York and James Rivers, and just a stone’s throw from the Atlantic Ocean. This means that seafood is plentiful and of good quality. Many of the local restaurants offer seafood dishes on their menus but a few, like Waypoint Seafood and Grill, specialize in it. They use fish from regional waters as the centerpiece of their Chesapeake-style dishes. While Waypoint is located by Kingsmill Resort, a little further from the parks than some of the other dining establishments, it is well worth the drive. Traditions, at the Williamsburg Lodge and Colonial Houses, features local seafood dishes in a fine-dining ambience, and Fat Canary switches its menu seasonally.
    Photo by Kerry McGee