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Every area has their own unique flavors, tastes and experiences, and none more special than here in Virginia’s River Realm. Here’s 10 experiences to bring out the foodie in you.

1. Merroir


Location, location, location-on a cove off of the Rappahannock River, this is where world renowned Rappahannock River Oyster Company began and still ships from today. Dine at Merroir for those bivalves plus a variety of tasting plates. So good and a beautiful location-inside or out.

2. Rhythm, Brews and BBQ

rhytm brews bbq jadeens smokin 6

The newest Q and music event on the scene arrives in June in Kilmarnock. 3 bands, craft brews and lots of bbq variety make this a reason to come to the River Realm by itself. Music from Pretty Heavy, The Trongone Band and The Big Payback-a Tribute to James Brown. Time to get on down!

3. Willaby’s on the Rappahannock

sunset over rappahannock

Location, location, location x 2 at this restaurant on the banks of the Rappahannock, it’s just the place to watch a sunset-either inside or outside on the riverside picnic tables.

4. Urbanna Seafood Company & Raw Bar

Urbanna Seafood compressed
Not for the geographically challenged because just getting here is an adventure, but once you arrive at this authentic working seafood house, there’s a lunch spot right on the dock! Grab a cold one, a burger or fish sandwich and you are set. Oh yeah, they sell fresh seafood at their retail store too. Doesn’t get any more real than this!

5. Pair Your Wine with Oysters


Wines pair beautifully with many foods and especially seafood. On Fridays and Saturdays, why not do some wine sampling at our award winning vineyards along with fresh-from-the-docks seafood? At Good Luck Cellars, try Byrd Seafood’s Oyster tacos or softshell crab bites or for the meat lover, grilled sausage and pepper sandwiches. Bryan Byrd will tell you all about where his seafood comes from and how long since it was in the water. Nothing like noshing among the vines. Stop in at Sip and Slurp at The Dog and Oyster Vineyard for tasty morsels paired with their award winning wines.

6. Something Different

Soemthing Different chalkboard

“Specializing in Fine Neanderthal Cuisine” is their claim to fame and it’s spot on. Ribs, bbq, specialty sandwiches, craft beer and an in house bakery. Trip Advisor reviews say it’s where history meets the present. #1 on Trip Advisor in Urbanna.

7. Irvington Crab Festival

irvington craab fest dad_hires

Crack, pick and eat your way to crab heaven. This annual fundraiser for the Irvington Steamboat Museum always brings a crowd (and sells out-so get your tickets early).

8. Car Wash Café


#1 Trip Advisor spot for breakfast and lunch in Kilmarnock. Huevos rancheros (seen here) or the crab cake sandwich plus the cole slaw recipe from the owner’s grandmother. Ask what Julia Louis Dreyfus had when she was here.

9. Any Fall Oyster Roast

oyster pits at Chesapeake Academy

Watch it done old school style, bring your own oyster knife ‘cuz nobody’s shucking for ya! Go to the Events page to find them all.

10. Urbanna Oyster Festival


For 2 days in November, you can find oysters prepared any way imaginable at Virginia’s Official Oyster Festival. Join 50,000 of your closest friends in sampling the East Coast’s best oysters.  For more information on how to Explore Virginia’s River Realm, click here and Find Your Shoreline!

Discover Your Perfect River Realm Adventure!

Are you the type that loves an outdoor adventure? Or are you looking to spend quality time with your loved ones splashing along our shorelines?

Discover your perfect path for exploring the wonders of Virginia’s River Realm.