The Burgers & Brews City Trail includes historic diners, innovative burger bars, Norfolk’s region's finest breweries, and American birthplace of the waffle cone. You can even plan your trip around one of Norfolk’s beer festival during the spring or summer, which pairs nicely with any type of burger! Come hungry! Come thirsty! Don’t come on a diet!

Day One

Dog –n- BurgerEnjoy a local classic at Norfolk’s Dog -n- Burger serving locals since 1969. Ask any local, this is the place for a small town famous burger. Order the “Classic Dog-n-Burger “, which consists of double meat, double cheese, bacon, lettuce, tomato, onion, pickle, ketchup and mustard. Craving both a hot dog and a burger? Try Combo #1 which includes a hot dog, cheeseburger, soda and fries. This is not a menu for the light eater!

Most of Norfolk's breweries started out as home brewers. Now it is your chance to create your own creation at HomeBrew USA. A full service beer making and wine making supply store, offering a complete line of brewing equipment, kits and ingredients along with classes and technical presentations. It is time you became a master brewer!

You will have a tough time deciding what to beer to choice at Norfolk’s Tap House Grille, with a large selection of draft and bottles. Selection includes hard to find beers, local favorites and old standards. Tap House Grille also has outdoor seating patio and a full menu if you feel like snack before dinner.

O’Conner Tap HandlesTime for your first brewery. O’Connor’s Brewing Company began, like many small breweries, as a dream to bring another option to a local crowd. It all started in 1995 when the owner caught the bug for home brewing in his college dorm room, and here starts the journey. O'Connor Brewing Company brews all handcrafted ales on a 10 barrel brew house. Stop in for many events, taste the beer, tour the brewery and take home a pint glass or keg! Right down the street is Rip Rap Brewing Company, which was started by two sailors who met at the Coast Guard Academy. After departing the ship they took their hobby of home brewing to new heights by opening their own craft brewery. 

Time for the fancy side of burgers at the 80/20 Burger Bar. 80/20 Burger Bar provides grass-fed beef choices supplied from Black Diamond Ranch north of Blacksburg, Virginia. Live like an adventurer and try “Miss Thing” burger which consists of pimento cheese spread, braised pork belly and buttermilk fried onion rings. Or share and spilt a few different burgers with friends, with over 18 choices.

DoumarsStop at a 50's style drive up diner for a world famous snack with a waffle cone from Doumar’s Restaurant. This is where Abe Doumar invented the cone by taking a waffle and rolling it into a cone, to which he added ice cream. Doumar’s still bakes cones on the original cone machines.

Day Two

D’egg Start your day off right at the D’Egg Diner, where you can order breakfast or lunch any time of day. Have a classic diner hamburger in a downtown diner setting.

Their hot dogs may have made Uncle Al’s famous, but they have something on the menu for everyone! From kielbasa, brats, and hamburgers, to chicken fingers, deli sandwiches, salads, and much more! Famous Uncle Al’s is more than just hot dogs, but is a favorite of locals since 1978 for a great hot dogs, brats or hamburgers.

Be Bold at Bold Mariner Brewing Company, with a full calendar of events, food trucks, and great craft beer on tap. Enjoy outdoor seating on their nation or challenge your friends to a game a pool. 

Beer time again! Smartmouth Brewing Company is located on the banks of the Elizabeth River in Norfolk, Virginia. This 20-barrel brew house typically churns out around 100 barrels a month – that’s 33,067 cans, around 200 kegs, and 9,920 forty-ounces. From the bite of Smartmouth’s India Pale Ale to one of the few Saisons brewed in Virginia, get a handle on what you can expect with a behind the scenes tour of the brewery and the tasting room. 

Snack time. You will taste the finest cheese and craft drafts at the Birch Bar. This bar that specializes in craft artisanal European cheese and craft beers from around the world. Indulge in one of the city's largest selections craft beers. Settle into a comfortable booth and enjoy over 20 selections of draft and eclectic cheese pairing.

Then head over to Benchtop Brewing, the newest Norfolk brewery on the scene. This craft brewery uses Virginia ocean water in resurrected beer style to produce a light, tart beer with some richness and a slight slat finish. 

Vintage KitchenExperience dining at it’s finest at Vintage Kitchen, with views of the Norfolk, Virginia waterfront. This restaurant only uses the freshest local and regional produces, with a focus on artisan-crafted Virginia wines, cheeses, and micro-brewed beers. Start off with Cheeseburger Slider with Whipped Foie Gras and a short stack of hand-cut french fries. Do not forget to order their famous Black and White Mac” and Cheese.

Day Three

Ocean View PierBefore you head home make one last time at the Ocean View Pier for their famous Hamburger with crab meat. Enjoy great views of the Chesapeake Bay on the top sun deck. Or try a little crabbing and caught your own fresh crab for your burger!

Optional Festivals:

  • Virginia Beer Festival –May
  • Guided Pub Tour Crawl – Taste of Tidewater Tours – By reservations only
  • AT&T Summer Brewfest - July

 

Long before chocolate bars, even before Columbus found the New World, people began their own love affair with the cacao bean. Learn to appreciate chocolate's sophisticated subtleties with its unique flavor notes that will surely captivate your palate….discover The Art of Chocolate.

Day One

Afternoon Start your chocolate walk with dessert at the Chocollage Bakery in downtown Norfolk. A family owned bakery offers everything chocolate from cakes, brownies to “skor” bars.

Mid day Journey through Norfolk and experience a transformation of the palate on a Norfolk Food Tour. Listen to the staff discuss the culinary creations and history of the establishment.  In between locations, gather an insight into the history of Norfolk by visiting multiple landmarks, uncover the city’s secrets, and discover the local favorites. 

Day Two

NFK ARTS - Elliot Addesso MuralA.M. 

Discover over 20 local artists and their studios with a guided tour of d'ART Center in Norfolk's NEON arts district. The d'ART Center is an environment where working artists are a part of an interactive arts community that engages the public through the experience of art and the creative process

CupcakeMid Day

Stroll down Colley Avenue in Historic Ghent for some great chocolate finds. Stop in Le Marche, a French store offering the finest French items from antiques, gifts and French chocolate. Experience the sweetest spot in Norfolk, The Bonbonnier, an old-fashioned candy and bake shop. Take home a few handmade confections, everything from bourbon balls to cherry bombs, chocolate goodies, and chocolate goodies sure to please every palate.

Then it is time to put your feet up and relax after all this walking in one of Norfolk’s many spa’s enjoying a chocolate massage or facial. It takes a lot to look so good while eating chocolate!

P.M. Stop for ice cream with a famous waffle cone from Doumar's. This drive-in is where Abe Doumar invented the cone by taking a waffle and rolling it into a cone, to which he added ice cream. You can delight in fresh made cones from the original machine with advanced notice. Don’t forget to order the homemade chocolate ice cream to top off your cone!

Stop for dinner in one of the many locally owned restaurants on Colley Avenue. Luna Maya is a South American restaurant that offers an authentic Mexican menu with a dessert to die for... try the Torta De Chocolate—a rich, flourless Belgian dark chocolate. Top it off by sipping chocolate craft beer at Norfolk’s Tap House and Grill.

For the aspiring chef, try a cooking class at the Culinary Arts Institute with Casual Gourmet. Classes include summer wine pairings, pies, French cuisine, and so many more classes! You will cook enough for a complete dinner! You will cook enough for a complete dinner. Chef instructors will design a custom culinary experience from groups of 10-60 guests. So whether you want to create memories with friends, or build camaraderie amongst colleagues, Casual Gourmet offers a unique and memorable experience. 

Day Three

Brunch Sleep off all that chocolate and enjoy a leisurely morning in bed. Then it is time for a chocolate inspired brunch menu aboard the Spirit of Norfolk with chocolate pancakes and other fabulous items. Cruise along the Elizabeth River with great food, live entertainment, and chocolate!! Do not miss out on their famous chocolate martinis, it is 5 o’clock somewhere!

Afternoon Shopping, Lunch and a Chocolate Tour!  Stroll through over 150 shops and restaurants in MacArthur Center. This downtown mall offers a self-guided chocolate tour through many of their retailers including Dillard’s spa and William-Sonoma.

Food TruckDo not forget along your chocolate journey to be on the lookout for one of Norfolk’s food trucks. Twisted Sisters Cupcakes is a pink food truck offering cupcakes of all flavors.  

P.M.Norfolk Botanical Garden Take the class “Cooking with Herbs” at Norfolk Botanical Garden. Learn how you can grow herbs right in your own garden that add the perfect touch to any chocolate desert. End your day with a boat or tram tour through over 30 themed gardens. Or, if you need to burn off a few of those calories added on by chocolate, enjoy a walk through 12 miles of hiking path.

End the night with dinner at Todd Jurich’s Bistro, where you will discover a unique dining experience in upscale dining — casual elegance. Todd Zurich’s Bistro is known for the sensational Valhrona Dark Chocolate Molten Cake. Or Vintage Kitchen, an elegant setting with award-winning modern cuisine, using the freshest local and regional produce in season. Owner and Chef Phillip Craig Thomason studied in France at the revered Le Cordon Bleu and worked at the Hotel de Crillon in Paris. One of the chocolate stars on his dessert menu is Mocha Crème Brulee.

Before you head home pick up some coffee at Cure Coffeehouse and Brasserie. Located in the heart of the historic Freemason District, this coffeehouse is famous for their homemade desserts and latte art that is almost to pretty too drink! Enjoy a tasty treat as you take a stroll along the cobblestone streets.

Day One Welcome to the Savory Side of Norfolk 

Battleship Wisconsin9:00 a.m. – 10:45 a.m. | Nauticus & Battleship Wisconsin

Visit the city’s vibrant waterfront featuring a world-class maritime museum and decommissioned battleship. 

• Hands on maritime history exhibits

• Interactive theaters with films on octopi and sharks

• Walk through one of the largest battleships ever built

Ghent Culinary Adventure11:00 a.m. – 12:45 p.m. | Ghent Culinary Adventure

Eat and drink your way through historic Ghent, a foodies’ paradise!

• Meet the owner of Doumar’s, the original creator of the waffle cone

• Enjoy ice cream on Doumar’s freshly made waffle cones

• Taste savory Virginia BBQ

• Experience a VIP tour and beer tasting at of one of Norfolk’s best breweries

Hermitage Museum and Gardens1:30 p.m. – 2:30 p.m. | Hermitage Museum and Gardens

Bordered on three sides by the Lafayette River, this early 20th century historic home and museum boasts wetlands, art studios, formal gardens, and fantastic architecture.

• World-class art collection

• 12 acres of picturesque gardens

Granby Street Food Appreciation3:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. | Granby Street Food Appreciation

Walk through downtown Norfolk and experience the area’s culinary scene with two delicious experiences. First, guests will visit a neighborhood restaurant and partake in a cooking demo hosted by a local chef.

• Learn local cooking techniques & interact with the chef

• Enjoy several specialty dishes

Next, partake in a culinary exploration of coffee and smoked meats at a local restaurant. Owners of this critically acclaimed coffee shop have developed a rotating tasting menu that brings together the essences of coffee with house smoked meats, enhancing the flavor of both.

• Learn about the process of smoking meats

• Explore the intricacies of coffee varietals 

 

Day Two: Discover the Roots of Virginia

NFK ARTS - Elliot Addesso Mural9:00 a.m. – 10:00 a.m. | d'ART Center

Discover over 20 local artists and their studios with a guided tour of d'ART Center in Norfolk's NEON arts district. The d'ART Center is an environment where working artists are a part of an interactive arts community that engages the public through the experience of art and the creative process

Historic St. Luke’s Church10:30 a.m. – 11:15 a.m. | Historic St. Luke’s Church

St Luke’s Church is one of the oldest churches in the United States as well as the nation’s only surviving Gothic brick church.

• Visit the church, the grounds, and hear its many stories from one of the facility’s seasoned guides

Smithfield Food Tour11:45 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. | Smithfield Food Tour

Discover the authentic flavor of this charming town and the food that put Virginia on the culinary map.

• Enjoy ham biscuits, peanuts, and a hearty helping of country snacks

• Learn about the historic buildings dating back several hundred years in this charming, preserved town

2:30 p.m. – 3:30 p.m. | Darden’s Country Store

Experience Darden’s, one of the last traditional Virginia ham producers in the country with the quintessential Virginia ham event.

• Learn about the curing process

• See how hams are preserved

• Sample the specialty paired hams and sausages with locally grown fruits

4:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. | Free Time

Crab Feast5:30 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. | Crab Feast/Ocean View Pier

Situated in a scenic location on the Bay, the Pier features the freshest local seafood caught daily.

• Experience a "Crab Class" to learn about the intricacies of crab season and different kinds of crabs

• Learn the history of crabs in the Hampton Roads area

• Seasoned “Crab Pickers” will show how to break through crabs to enjoy the flavorful meat

 

Day Three: Farewell and Exploration of Portsmouth

Pagoda and Tea Room9:00 a.m. – 9:45 a.m. | Pagoda and Tea Room

Given to Norfolk by Taiwan, the Pagoda is a serene oasis inside the bustling downtown business district.

• Enjoy a variety of Asian Teas

• Walk the tranquil grounds with Koi ponds and Asian foliage

Ferry to Portsmouth10:15 a.m. – 10:45 a.m. | Ferry to Portsmouth

Take the ferry across the Elizabeth River to historic Portsmouth.

11:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. | Tour and Dining in Old Towne

Your Norfolk Experience comes to a close with a historic downtown walk through Old Towne Portsmouth and a Southern culinary experience.

• Walk through one of the nation’s largest collection of historic homes, comparable to Charlestown, SC

• See all the culinary techniques and traditions come together with lunch at a contemporary Southern Bistro