what are some favorite places to eat when visiting williamsburg

Most people visiting Williamsburg, Virginia are undoubtedly going to see all the sites that reflect the area’s history. That’s what the area is known for. But, they’d be remiss not to sample some of the amazing restaurants. They feature local cuisine utilizing the areas fresh produce and seafood. At some of the nicer restaurants, we would suggest making reservations.


Café Provencal – Located at Williamsburg Winery just outside of town, this restaurant serves locally sourced fish and vegetables from their own garden. They are known for their slowly smoked meats cooked in a southern French style. Dinner only. Gabriel Archer Tavern is also located on the premises and serves lunch. They have a lovely patio across from the winery. I have eaten at both and they were wonderful.

Plus, if you are looking for a place to stay, be sure to check out the hotel on premises, Wedmore Place. It is absolutely lovely, located away from the crowds yet close to everything, and the staff could not have been nicer.

places to eat in Williamsburg cafe provencal

Cafe Provencal. Photo credit Williamsburg Winery.

Waypoint Seafood and Grill – With a contemporary decor featuring regional artists, Waypoint focuses on regional American cuisine. They use Chesapeake ingredients from local farms and seafood caught in the local waters.

Christiana Campbell’s Tavern – Hey, Washington used to dine in the original version of this recreated historic tavern. Serving southern fare for dinner, with items familiar to 18th century Virginians. Balladeers dressed in Colonial costume entertain.

King’s Arms Tavern – This is another period dining option, with servers dressed in 18th century fashion. They serve traditional southern fare by candlelight with appropriate music. Take a stroll through the historic district after dinner.

Fat Canary – Sophisticated, yet relaxed atmosphere serving fresh local ingredients and contemporary American cuisine. They are noted for great service and food, their open kitchen, and a great bar! Dinner only. This is certainly one of my personal favorites. The chef made me one of the best vegetarian plates I have ever had. Great ambience and service.

Fat Canary one of the places to eat in williamsburg, virginia

Photo credit Fat Canary.

Le Yaca French Restaurant – Open for lunch and dinner, Le Yaca (which means Let’s Do It) is a small, “hidden treasure” serving classic French cuisine. It is not a casual place I would go to in shorts and a t-shirt. We had a wonderful dinner with a waitress who steered me towards the less expensive appetizer for my entree instead of the regular vegetarian entree. Always a plus in my book, plus she was so right! My husband loved his Steak Au Poivre.

The Cheese Shop – Said to have the best sandwiches in town, with in-house baked bread. They also have a gourmet market with specialty food products and as you can guess, great cheese and great home made bottled dressing.

Trellis Bar and Grill one of the good places to eat in williamsburg, virginia

Photo credit Trellis Bar and Grill.

Trellis Restaurant – Sit outside on the patio and enjoy modern American cuisine that is locally sourced. If you love chocolate, this is for you. Try the “Death by Chocolate” cake for dessert. Open for lunch or dinner.

Opus 9 Steakhouse – Open for brunch, lunch, and dinner, Opus 9 is for a special occasion. Its focus is steak (of course) and seafood with fresh ingredients. The atmosphere is described as “stunningly chic”. It’s located in New Town, which is about 10 minutes from the historic district.

Food for Thought – The menu has a bit of something for everyone from classic American to ethnic to vegetarian to gluten free. If you are looking for comfort food like pot roast, meat loaf, and grilled cheese you will be in heaven. Open for lunch and dinner, the décor features quotes from famous Americans and word games on the tables, if you need to be entertained while you dine. Great place for a casual meal. They do not take reservations, but if you call an hour in advance of when you are coming, they will put you on a list that moves you to the front of the line!

places to eat in Williamsburg, Virginia

Blue Talon Bistro – This restaurant is a combination of French and Southern comfort food, with a focus on casual comfort and quality. It’s open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner and located at the back of Merchants Square.

Sal’s by Victor – An eat-in or carry out Italian, with large portions and good variety. Great for pizza. In the Williamsburg Shopping Center.

Second Street – This is an American bistro that features a good variety of American classics and Asian fusion. They have 2 locations – one in Williamsburg and one in Newport News.

Second Street is one of the good places to eat in williamsburg, virginia

Second Street is one of the good places to eat in Williamsburg, Virginia

Extraordinary Cupcakes has just that, but you may want to pop in to see the store. The cupcakes are baked fresh daily using seasonal ingredients.

Berret’s Seafood Restaurant and Taphouse Grill – Noted for their seafood and salads, you can eat more formally in the dining room or outside on the patio at the Grill. Open for lunch or dinner on Merchants Square.

Francesco’s Ristorante Italiano – An old style Italian family restaurant, Francesco’s is noted for fresh food with great service. Located in the Williamsburg Pavilion Shops Shopping Center.

A Chef’s Kitchen – If you want a unique dining experience while you’re in town, try this place. You will be served a 5-course meal paired with wine, that is prepared right in front of you as the chef explains about the ingredients and preparation. They take one booking a night and reservations are made far in advance.

These are just our favorite places to eat in Williamsburg. There are plenty of other dining options to choose from and at all price points. For more details, be sure to check out Visit Williamsburg. Have a great time!