A Guide to Williamsburg Area Dining
WOW! Where do I begin? For those of us that love to eat out there is no end to the culinary delights (and just good old meat and potatoes meals) here in historic Williamsburg. Most of my favorite dining spots are only a few blocks away from the Fife & Drum Inn – a Williamsburg Bed and Breakfast.
I would be remiss if I did not mention the best first (of course I should also mention the fact that Sharon and I own the business). Our specialties are Frozen custard, Limeades, and fresh cut French fries. We also have the best hot dog in town. Our business is based on quality food, fast courteous service, all at an affordable price. It really is a cool place, even if I do say so myself. The walls of Retro’s tell a story of a time long before Williamsburg’s recent growth. On the walls is a wealth of one-of-a-kind photos portraying downtown Williamsburg in the 1950’s. Open 11am to 8pm, just a couple of doors down from our historic Williamsburg Bed and Breakfast.
A Chef’s Kitchen
Across Boundary Street to the west is Chef John Gonzales “A Chef’s Kitchen” . I am pleased to say that John is an old friend. He and I grew up in Williamsburg at about the same time. When Sharon and I built our Williamsburg bed and breakfast, John was most helpful in putting our breakfast menu together. He and his wife Wanda have done a great job of maintaining a fine restaurant together but they also know how to entertain. Each night guests are treated to champagne and hors d’oeuvres, a meal of five courses, three glasses of wine/beverage and recipes. The seats are arraigned so that as John prepares the meal everyone gets to ask questions and participate. The classes begin at 6:30 and last 2 1/2 to 3 hours. Not only is the food really good, but it is a fun dining experience….ala Emeril. He usually books up pretty far in advance (2-3 months), so if you want to go call ahead.
The “Leafe” as it has come to be known by locals is by far my favorite Williamsburg restaurant. Just 3 blocks to the west of our Williamsburg Bed and Breakfast, it is an easy walk. For those into beer, they boast over 150 different types in the bottle and 30+ on tap. Every night they have pretty good specials, from appetizers to entrees. For a bar, the food about average. It can get noisy, especially as the evening rolls on. As the restaurant is right across from the College of William and Mary Campus, it attracts a fair number of students. I either sit at the bar or at the tables directly across from the bar. Food and drinks are reasonably priced. The crab cakes have always been some of the best in Williamsburg. Open for lunch and close about 2am.Twelve miles from the Inn on the Colonial Parkway, depending on which way you head, you can find some great food options at Jamestown or Yorktown.
Over the past five years, the selection of eateries near Historic Yorktown has improved greatly. It used to be just a few little places on the river, but now with the addition of Riverwalk Landing, visitors can have their dining pick. Here are a few recommendations:
Abuts and overlooks the York river. Lunch or dinner includes steak, seafood, salads, and other American cuisine options to choose from. Great full service bar if you just want to have a drink as you watch the sunset on the York river.
For a unique experience, try this pub, which has quite a history in that location. Rumor has it that Hurricane Isabel washed in more than six inches of sand from the beach…and you may still hear the sand underfoot to this day. That’s just the kind of place it is – well-loved by bikers and locals alike – it serves casual food like burgers and sandwiches and many types of drinks. There’s also a wide selection of seafood – steamers as well as platters. If you are in the mood to sit in the cool shade with a sandwich and a frosty beverage, this is the place for you. You can also enjoy the wonderful Carrot Tree desserts without the hike – the Pub brings them in daily. For desert you can drop by the Ben & Jerry’s.
JAMESTOWN [Read Details…]
On the island itself is a neat little place to have a bite to eat at lunch. After you walk past the church ruins and the archeological digs you will come upon the Dale House. This building sits right on the edge of the river and contains a café. Good sandwiches made to order and fabulous deserts from the Carrot Tree Kitchen. You can sit outside and take in the sites of boats and ships plying the James River.
A couple of miles to the north on Jamestown Road you will find Jamestown Pie Company, a most unique dining opportunity. This little hole in the wall is a gourmet carry-out restaurant specializing in gourmet pizza, pot pies, dessert pies as well as soups and sandwiches for lunch and dinner. The pecan pie is the best I have ever tasted. We cannot let a holiday go by without at least one or two in the Scruggs house.