The Coastal Virginia region loves its oysters. The region, encompassing southeastern Virginia and the Eastern Shore, is a destination for oyster lovers. This beloved bivalve is celebrated on local menus and at a number of festivals and events throughout the year.
Each of the region’s oysters offer varying tastes and flavors, from salty and briny to sweet. Indulge in the offerings from Virginia’s bays and rivers when you visit Coastal Virginia. Here are my five favorite places for oysters in Coastal Virginia.
1. The Atlantic on Pacific
A posh place along the Virginia Beach Oceanfront, The Atlantic on Pacific has an array of freshly shucked oysters at its sleek raw bar. The Atlantic employs a professional oyster shucker to prepare these oysters that originate from waterways as close as the Lynnhaven River along with more sourced from the Atlantic coast. The restaurant also serves up several baked oyster dishes with tantalizing toppings.
2. Norfolk Seafood Company & Big Easy Oyster Bar
Image from Norfolk Seafood Company/Big Easy Oyster Bar
Whether you’re looking for an upscale eating experience or a casual night of cocktails and fresh seafood, Norfolk Seafood Company & Big Easy Oyster Bar in Norfolk has you covered. The dual-experience restaurant has one menu with plenty of options from oyster lovers, especially during happy hour. Indulge in 59 cents–99 cents raw oysters and discounted Oysters Rockefeller.
3. Casa Pearl
Image from the Casa Pearl Website
The newest restaurant on this list, Casa Pearl quickly dazzled locals and visitors in Williamsburg. The casual eatery sources their seafood locally for a true mid-Atlantic feel. Oyster purists will love the East Coast raw oysters served with a red wine mignonette and cocktail sauce, while those looking for a bit more should try the buttery Char-Grilled Oysters with lemon-parsley butter and parmesan cheese.
Casa Pearl also known for serving up flavorful tacos. Try the Oyster Po-Boy Taco made with crispy fried oysters and served with a zesty tomatillo salsa verde and remoulade sauce.
4. Off the Hook Seafood Restaurant
Image from Off the Hook Seafood Restaurant
Off the Hook Seafood Restaurant stays true to its name by working with local watermen to serve diners fresh, local seafood. The raw bars at both the Chesapeake and Norfolk locations offer the freshest selection of fresh-caught raw oysters. The OTH Oysters Rock!, the restaurant’s Oysters Rockefeller appetizer, come sizzling with melted cheese and bacon.
5. Rudee’s Restaurant & Cabana Bar
Experience Virginia Beach’s laidback vibe paired with fresh seafood at Rudee’s Restaurant and Cabana Bar. The restaurant, situated right on the Rudee Inlet, prepares fresh oysters from the Atlantic Ocean and Chesapeake Bay each day as part of the raw bar. Try one of the Eastern Shore’s Shooting Point oysters or have your oyster served in a beer or vodka shooter.
Rudee’s signature Oysters Rockefeller, made with a special spinach, parmesan and cream cheese mixture, have even been featured on Food Network’s show Beach Eats USA.
Learn why Virginia is the Oyster Capital of the East Coast by following along the official Virginia Oyster Trail. Or, visit Coastal Virginia’s local restaurants for yourself and get to shucking!
A huge thanks to Arielle Patterson, otherwise known as The Cravings Queen, for her fabulous guest post.