Mouthwatering cuisine can be found throughout all of Norfolk’s diverse neighborhoods. While Downtown and historic Ghent may be well known for great eats, the restaurants around Old Dominion University (ODU) stand out on their own as delicious options. Whether you’re a current student, alumni back for a football game or just passing through the area, check out these local eats and see why ODU students can’t get enough of these foodie options near ODU and the Larchmont neighborhood.
Bakehouse at Elation
Nothing goes together like pizza and beer. We suggest elevating these options at Norfolk’s own Elation Brewing. In addition to stellar brews in a welcoming atmosphere, you can enjoy a straight-from-the-wood-fired-oven pie courtesy of Bakehouse, located right on site. We suggest the Fungi Bianchi, where cremini and oyster mushrooms steal the show, paired with a Larchmont Lager.
Borjo is an ideal, locally-owned option located right on Monarch Way. Along with a fairly serious coffee selection, they offer breakfast sandwiches, wraps, salads and bagels.
Chorizo Mexican Eatery
Chorizo is a quaint Mexican spot with a modern twist. Their tortillas are made from scratch, they use fresh juice for their margaritas, and they cook al pastor authentically on a spit. Chorizo is famous for their “heartbreakingly good” tacos that are similar to traditional Mexican street tacos found on almost any intersection south of the border, bringing the true flavors of Mexico to Norfolk.
Coach House Bar and Grill
Coach House offers an inviting bar, spacious dining room and a covered outdoor patio. The menu features contemporary American cuisine with delectable dishes, from savory appetizers to sweet desserts. Start your meal with warm Gulf shrimp scampi dip or oysters Rockefeller. Then, enjoy a unique main dish such as Faroe Island salmon, Creole étouffée or bison meatloaf. Be sure to save room for dessert and indulge in either espresso or vanilla creme brulee.
Cogan’s Pizza North
Cogans North is a hometown favorite offering some of the best artisanal pizza in town, with seven different sauces and over 50 unique toppings to choose from, including specialities like shiitake mushrooms, prosciutto and even vegan faux meats. And, who doesn’t love to pair pizza with beer? Lucky for you, Cogans has 44 beers on tap. They offer an outdoor rooftop, two pool tables and a spacious bar with plenty of seating to accommodate all your friends. Hang out here to cheer on your favorite sports team or stop by for happy hour after classes!
This pizzeria prepares their pies with passion and then bakes them to perfection for your enjoyment. Del Vecchios’ menu has multiple pizza styles that range from a classic New York hand-tossed pizza with wide and easily foldable slices to a deep-dish Chicago style pie stuffed to the brim with toppings. Opt for a calzone or stromboli, but save room for dessert. Their chocolate dipped cannoli and cinnamon knots are a perfect end to any Italian meal. Check out their dollar slices offered every day between 2–5 p.m. It’s no wonder Del Vecchios is an ODU icon.
Be a part of the family at Fellini’s, a local favorite for 31 years and counting. This traditional Italian restaurant is family-owned and prides itself on creating a family-friendly atmosphere, making it the perfect place to go when your relatives or friends are in town. The kitchen at Fellini’s is open-concept so you can watch the skilled chefs prepare the delicious food right before your eyes. Fellini’s emphasizes fresh ingredients and lots of flavor and is never shy with the garlic. Try their classic chicken or eggplant parmesan with housemade marinara sauce topped with provolone cheese and served with a side of fresh linguine.
Hair of the Dog Eatery
We don’t judge what time you roll out of bed, but when you do, head to Hair of the Dog at ODU. They offer breakfast dishes all day long and dish out rotating flavors of mimosa flights depending on the season. Order their breakfast flatbread, topped with sausage gravy, scrambled eggs, mixed cheese, green onions and bacon, or devour an order of their Cookie Dough Pancakes.
Hank’s Filling Station
For anyone who enjoys cracking a cold one at noon, head to Hank’s. Create some fun memories through their daytime events like their Backyard BBQs, Sunday Fundays or Holiday Wine Fest. Hank’s is a great spot for friends to gather, as they have a fully equipped backyard with life-sized lawn games, fire pits, corn hole boards and a stage for their live music performances. While here, sip on a local brew or bourbon cocktail and munch on some of their delicious meats that are smoked or cured in-house.
La Herradura Mexican Restaurant & Cantina
La Herradura is located on Monarch Way in the heart of ODU. The locals come for the refreshing margaritas and stay for the locally sourced Mexican cuisine. The Texas fajitas are a hit, always sizzling hot and made with grilled chicken, beef or shrimp and mixed vegetables. Or, stop in for Margarita Mondays for discounted margs!
One of the greatest dinner options nearby is LeGrand Kitchen, located right on Colley Avenue North. The space is intimate, the menu is brief and ever-changing, and the food is impeccable. No matter what you decide on for a main course, we highly recommend starting with a pimento cheese appetizer. LeGrand is well known for their burgers, and their dessert selection is always on point.
Mack’s large outdoor deck, directly on the water, makes it one of the best spots for outdoor dining. Dig into one of their many juicy burgers, creamy crab dip or oysters Rockefeller (oysters topped with a creamy blend of bacon, spinach and parmesan), making it a true crowd pleaser. As for their nightlife, head next door or walk along the back deck to Mack’s Shack. Here you can play pool, catch a game on TV or just hang out with a few drinks in hand.
Located in the University Village on Monarch Way, Perfectly Frank (or PFranks, a nickname given by its regulars) has become a staple for Norfolk locals. Perfectly Frank keeps it fun and fresh, offering specials each day of the week including discounted sammies or unique chef suggestions that they add to their ‘Bored Board.’ From their delicious hot sandwiches like the chicken barbecue, to a variety of burgers and melts, this is not your average hamburger and hotdog joint. Perfectly Frank offers a hometown feel and a unique place to grab a quick, yet delicious bite to eat.
Sam’s Texas Sub Shop
Featured in Season One of City with Bite, Sam’s Texas Sub Shop is a beloved hole-in-the-wall, mom and pop restaurant serving up some of the best sub sandwiches in the city. Grab a sub in between classes, or have a couple pre-made for you to take along to a tailgate. If you order their Black & Blue, you won’t regret it! It’s made with Sam’s homemade BBQ sauce, brisket, mushrooms and onions, laid down onto delicious sub bread and topped with bleu cheese and Cajun seasoning, which is then baked at 500 degrees, melting that cheese perfectly. Its location is set back off the road and squeezed in between Cogans and Hanks Filling Station, so be careful not to miss it!
Starving Artist Café
Where palette meets palate, Starving Artist Café originally set out to be a gathering place for painters, photographers and visual artists of all kinds. It wasn’t long before patrons suggested that a café would be a great addition to this gallery. Now, you can dine among works of local art and occasional live music, while enjoying the café’s breakfast and lunch menu. Dig in to their delectable Monte Cristo sandwich or veggie wrap on their flower-filled front porch, and wash it down with a delicious latte or bloody Mary.
The Dirty Buffalo
The Dirty Buffalo is a family-owned restaurant operated by New York native and ODU alum Russell Gilbert. Here, you can enjoy authentic Buffalo NY-style chicken wings with a wide array of sauces to choose from, like mango habanero, spicy garlic parmesan or their sauce of the month, which can range from strawbanero BBQ to sweet sriracha. Dirty Buffalo is the perfect spot to hang out and grab a beer and a bite to eat with your favorite people.