Food Not to Miss in Williamsburg

Feb 16th, 2009, 05:06 PM
Original Poster
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Food Not to Miss in Williamsburg

I'm traveling with a group to Williamsburg for a week in mid-June. I've agreed to preview the food scene.

A mix of couples with kids and without (we mostly dine seperately).

What restaurants should we not miss? Any regional or local foods that we should be sure to sample? Best pizza?
sferguso is offline  
Feb 16th, 2009, 07:10 PM
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I'll weigh in first but usually misplace the name. The best Italian restaurant is Sal's by Victor (or vice versa). It's in a small strip mall a mile from CW. Easy to find and great food and portions!
cheapbutnice2 is offline  
Feb 18th, 2009, 04:20 AM
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The Fat Canary is good for a fancy dining option. The Cheese Shop attached has sandwiches and salads - good for lunch and a casual dinner and you can eat on a patio in front. The Blue Talon Bistro is also an excellent choice. We were there for a conference and ate some meals at the Lodge and one at the King's Arms - I didn't really care for any of those. High prices and just okay food. We did find a waffle-shop type of place for breakfast just outside of the colonial area which was good and cheap but I don't remember the name.
Thomas6 is offline  
Feb 18th, 2009, 07:23 AM
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It is Sal's by Victor...if the OP doesn't know, CW is how locals refer to Colonial Williamsburg. Sal's is on Richmond Rd. great pizza and favored by W&M students.
A good breakfast place is the Gazebo on Bypass Rd. There are lots of breakfast options, and they can be quite busy as families prepare to head out for a day at CW or Busch Gardens.
The Old Chickahominy House (Jamestown Rd) is kinda' cute for local flavor in an old plantation house - breakfast and lunch only.
If you're going to be in CW, it is kinda' interesting to eat in one of their taverns - I'd do lunch there, dinner seems overpriced.
If you like BBQ, Pierce's Pitt BBQ was always recomended to us, but we never got there - its a bit off the beaten path and we could never find it! I did enjoy Red, Hot and Blue BBQ on Richmond Rd - but that may be a chain and not what you're looking for.
You will not go hungry in Williamsburg - there are so many restaurants!
debCT is offline  
Feb 18th, 2009, 07:39 AM
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I also really like the Blue Talon Bistro - small place, so make sure to get reservations early.
SavTrav is offline  
Feb 18th, 2009, 08:44 AM
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The restaurant at Williamsburg Winery is supposed to be good (think it's called Gabriel Archer Tavern), but it was closed the day we were there due to plumbing issues. We had a very nice, if terrifyingly chi-chi, lunch at the restaurant in their country inn (Wedmore Place, I believe). It was not cheap, but not as pricey as I had expected when we walked into the place (abt $60 for 3 people-2 sandwiches, 1 entree, soft drinks, 2 or 3 glasses of wine, and 2 desserts). The taverns are fun, since you really do feel like you are eating in history, but it is expensive, and the food can be uneven and the service a little iffy. The Gambols at Chownings are a really nice experience though, if you only want drinks and something light. It is tavern seating and you will share a table, so if you are not comfortable sitting with strangers it might not be the best option.
persimmondeb is offline  
Feb 19th, 2009, 04:50 PM
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You've had some good suggestions already. Re: the taverns, go to, the CW web site and look at menus. You will get the tavern experience at all of them but they each have their own specialties. I think they are worth going to once for the experience.

Higher end restaurants are: Fat Canary, and Blue Tavern (bistro) in Merchants Square, Le Yaca (French) near Busch Gardens, White Hall (continental) on Jamestown, Cities Grill (steaks) on Rt. 5.

Some might recommend the Trellis or the Williamsburg Inn. Neither is a favorite of mine.

Family type: Sal's by Victor (Italian)on Richmond Rd in the Books a Million center, Pancho Villa (Mexican)at Rt 5 & 199, Victoria's (American) near Pancho Villa, Food for Thought on Richmond Rd., Emerald (Thai) across the street from Le Yaca.

Chickahominy House and Pierces are two places you should try if you enjoy local specialties. CH is the only place I know that serves Chess Pie. (now you have to figure out what that is!!) To get to Pierces turn onto Airport Rd off Richmond Rd near Carolina Furniture. Cross the railroad tracks and go past the park to the T. Turn left. Pierces will be on your left on Rochambeau.

You could also spend an evening wandering around New Town at Ironbound and Monticello. There is a good variety of restaurants and shopping there. We like Center St. Grill. Buonamici is supposed to have good pizza.

Let us know if you have more questions.

Hey, perssimondeb!! You need to come back to Wmsbg!
Birdie is offline  
Feb 19th, 2009, 06:13 PM
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Maybe later in the year! Right now we are up to our ears in Disney, but we did enjoy our Christmas visit in '07. I've been sorely disappointed with the Trellis, but I did enjoy the Williamsburg Inn (we ate there about 4 years ago). It was, however, a little uneven, and not a place to take young children, to put it mildly. We felt we were pushing it with a well-behaved, jacket and tied nine-year-old. Next time, I swear we'll try the Fat Canary since I keep hearing such good things.
persimmondeb is offline  
Feb 19th, 2009, 06:17 PM
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I would do the Trellis ONLY if you love chocolate. The regular lunch was OK but the Death By Chocolate cake was excellent. I would also try either the tea or the breakfast at Christina Campbells or Kings Tavern. The food is OK but the colonial characters make it a real treat. I particularly liked the breakfast at Kings Tavern. We made reservations for both. If you need to get out of the tourist part, go to the newer mall (New Town?) on Rt. 5. They have a ton of name brand and other restaurants. Sometimes people like the familiar. We did eat at a fun hamburger joint. It may have been called Route 66 or something like that.
Plan2GoSoon is offline  
Feb 19th, 2009, 09:21 PM
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I always go to the seafood place in Merchant Square, Berret's Seafood. I don't think the food at the taverns is that great but there is nice atmosphere with people coming around with period instruments to entertain you while you eat at dinner.
LaurenKahn1 is offline  
Feb 20th, 2009, 07:05 AM
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This report is from a couple years ago, but I thought it could be of some help.

I just wanted to thank you all for the recommendations that certainly helped make our one week Williamsburg trip a joyful eating experience as well.

The group decided it was perhaps the continuously best food we had had as a group on vacation together for a long time.

The prices were all very reasonable, and our group of 10-13 were accomodated in these eateries with no problem.

We enjoyed the trendy TRELLIS.
Pierce's BBQ
The Marina at Kingsmill (went twice more for view than food)

Soya ( japanese (in strip mall but..) fabulous sushi

Cities Grill
(in same strip mall next to Soya)

You can't go wrong with these two last places.

lincasanova is offline  
Feb 20th, 2009, 07:38 AM
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Berret's Seafood is one of my favorites as is Blue Talon Bistro. I love the atmosphere at Christina Campbell's, especially when "she" pays a visit to your table.
I had a great meal at the Fat Canary a couple of years ago.
charsuzan is offline  
Feb 20th, 2009, 08:27 AM
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The Surrey House is a southern family style restaurant across the James River in Surrey. It's been around since the 50s although it was closed for a couple of years recently. Take the ferry at Jamestown. The ferry ride, about 20 minutes, is fun for kids (feed the seagulls) and the view at sunset is gorgeous. Free too.

Birdie, I'm pretty sure they have chess pie on their menu (or they used to). Gotta say tho, not a fan. But add the pecans and I'm ready to go.
obxgirl is offline  
Feb 20th, 2009, 04:39 PM
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I certainly will keep these additions in mind should we return. Thanks!
lincasanova is offline  
Feb 20th, 2009, 06:32 PM
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Hey, put pecans on just about anything and I'll eat it. I have to say that the peanut soup I had at the Surrey House didn't come close to Kings Arms' but the peanut butter board is fun.
Birdie is offline  
Feb 20th, 2009, 11:42 PM
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We've been to Pierce's BBQ a few times and really enjoyed it. We were underwhelmed by the Chickahominy House (or however it's spelled). King's Arms Tavern for dinner was touristy and food just okay, but fun to try once for the atmosphere. Haven't been in a couple of years, but I'd like to go back and try some more area restaurants.
travelgirl2 is offline  
Feb 21st, 2009, 06:09 PM
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Thanks for all of the great suggestions - I'll report back after the trip to let you know our favorites!
sferguso is offline  

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