From the Chesapeake Bay to the Elizabeth River, Norfolk is surrounded by water; we have 144 miles of shoreline to be exact. This means an abundance of fresh seafood is available in our restaurants. You can find seafood in almost every form, including raw, grilled, baked, sautéed, boiled and fried to please everyone’s seafood flavor palate. Below are the best seafood restaurants in Norfolk.
456 Fish, located downtown on Norfolk’s “restaurant row,” is famous for its potato chip-crusted crab cake. The entrée is served with a huge scoop of garlic whipped potatoes, locally sourced vegetables and a special “Inner Beauty” remoulade.
Freemason Abbey encompasses three pillars of our city: astounding art, rich history and a thriving culinary scene. The building that Freemason is housed in was once a church and dates back to 1873, making it one of the oldest establishments in the city. The restaurant’s stained glass windows are stunning works of art and original to the building. The seafood here is celebrated and awarded. Most popular is their award-winning she crab soup. Another scrumptious dish is the seafood fantasia (shrimp and sea scallops sautéed with peppers and onions, tossed with linguini in a white wine Old Bay cream sauce and topped with lump crab meat).
Hilton Norfolk’s The Main hotel houses three restaurants including the popular seafood restaurant Saltine, located at street level. Saltine offers an airy, open environment, with garage door windows that open to the main streets of downtown Norfolk. We recommend their VA Blue Crab Cake appetizer served with a celeriac remoulade and their whole roasted stuffed trout served with scallop mousse line, succotash, pickled watermelon rind relish and watermelon molasses.
This downtown bistro has been open since 1992 and offers rotating seasonal menus. Chef Todd Jurich uses only the freshest ingredients from local vegetable gardens and Virginia produce farms. The Bistro holds the Triple AAA Four Diamond Award and serves hand-harvested oysters from Virginia’s Eastern Shore that are served on the half shell, fried or in his famous oyster stew.
A bi-level seafood restaurant that is tucked away off Granby Street is Big Easy, as locals call it. They have a speakeasy-style atmosphere in their downstairs dining room with a full mahogany bar and a more upscale scene on the upper level. No matter which floor you dine on, their menu offers seafood with a cajun creole twist.
With beautiful, sweeping views of the Elizabeth River, Stripers offers a variety of fresh catch seafood inside the Waterside District. Their outdoor patio makes for the best ambiance when slurping down an oyster or snacking on their bacon-wrapped scallops. Entrees range from light mahi tacos to more filling dishes like their seafood pasta (shrimp, scallops, mussels, tomatoes and spinach in a white wine butter sauce over penne pasta and served with toasted bread).
Located in the heart of Norfolk’s Ghent neighborhood, AW Shucks is an unpretentious, shanty seafood restaurant where locals can be found. Their laid-back atmosphere makes slurping down a fresh oyster most enjoyable. Their seafood selection is endless, and their raw bar is extensive with locally caught oysters, shrimp, crab, clams and mussels.
Take advantage of the stunningly spectacular prepared raw fish (crudo) available at this Ghent restaurant that specializes in Spanish tapas. Choose from raw salmon, tuna or bay scallop, each prepared in a special blend of oils and seasonings. Prefer cooked over crudo? They’re well known for their octopus with marinated white beans, mussels with chorizo and saffron broth, or sautéed shrimp or calamari.
Known for both seafood and barbecue, The Fishin’ Pig couples the finest from land and sea to offer a menu that’s pleasing to all. Their seafood appetizers include Better Than Bang Bang Shrimp and blacked ahi tuna. Entree favorites are creole baked salmon, Billy’s seafood platter, Caribbean jerk redfish, plus baskets with either fried Alaskan pollock or catfish. Finally, their delicious shrimp, catfish or blackened tuna can be found on tacos, salads and sandwiches.
Ocean View and East Beach
Longboards sits on the docks of East Beach Marina, where their Hawaiian tiki decor will make you want to relax and sip a Mai Tai all day long. Their seafood dishes range from fish tacos and seafood platters to their big fish sandwich (fried, wild-caught Atlantic cod, lettuce and tomato topped with sunset remoulade sauce). Or, go all in with their crab and bacon burger.
Looking for a water view with your seafood? Then head to Stony’s! They have a great screened-in outdoor space to keep the summertime buzzing of bugs away from you while you dive into their seafood mac and cheese (lobster, scallops, crab and shrimp tossed in cajun cream sauce). Also a hit with the locals is their fresh catch sandwich!
Dive down into the local culture to discover the buried treasure known as Captain Groovy’s, a haven for the hungry, thirsty and sandy. Their breezy atmosphere, friendly staff and appetizing morsels have earned a place in the hearts and taste buds of locals and visitors alike.