Comfort Foods We Love

You don’t have to wait for the holidays to indulge in cozy and satisfying foods. Though we may love the summer months here, our fresh local seafood and produce shine brightly all year round. Below are a few of our favorite warm and satisfying dishes. They are creative and down-right decadent. Come and eat the River Realm way.

Sake Steamed Clams from Dredge

Bryan Byrd knows how to keep our imaginations alive with his seafood creations. The Sake Steamed Clams are a prime example. The clams are swimming in a bath of Japanese sake, shallots, garlic and more. Explore the rest of the Dredge menu with creative cocktails, housemade pasta, egg rolls, and tacos. They’ll all help you warm up from the inside out.

Burgers from Portside Grill

Sometimes nothing else will do except a big juicy burger. Portside Grill has you covered with a list of both straight-forward burgers and refreshing culinary combos like the Trophy Burger. This bad boy is topped with fresh crab cakes inspired by the chef’s own grandmother’s recipe. The Rappahannock Burger features fried oysters and the Farmhouse Burger is covered in caramelized onions and gooey goat cheese. Save room for some fresh warm pie, too!

Souper G’s Soups

Winter means soup. Soup means winter. Souper G’s knows soups. So, we get our soups from Souper G! We’re talking heart-warming flavors like Rockefeller Stew, Seafood Gumbo, Mushroom and Brie, and Roasted Butternut Squash and Banana Bisque. They’re all made from fresh, local ingredients. Pick them up before your next lunch or dinner at Tri Star Supermarket (Kilmarnock), or The Local (Irvington).

Barbecue Oysters from Merrior

The menu here at Merrior always has fresh takes on the tasting room classics. This season, they’ve added a bit of southern flavor to the baked oysters. The BBQ Bourbon Chipotle Grilled Oysters are smokey, spicy and a little sweet. Pair them with a local comfort food staple, the Merroir Stuffin Muffin. This cozy take on a classic features local oysters and a warm sauce to top it off.  The founding eatery of Rappahannock Oyster Company overlooks the waters where their fresh oysters are grown. Enjoy your comfort foods knowing just how fresh they are.

Oyster Bahn Mi from Adrift

Here’s another take on oysters inspired by lands far away. Adrift’s Vietnamese twist results in the satisfying Banh Mi sandwich. Warm, freshly fried oysters are tucked between a foie gras spread, pickled vegetables, and a savory sambal mayo. On the side, enjoy fresh bay chips. Take this one slow and enjoy to the end.

Huevos Rancheros from Car Wash Cafe


One of our favorite brunch spots is sure to comfort your winter time cravings. Visit Car Wash Cafe to try locally sourced menu creations including Huevos Rancheros. It’s a classic served with warm tortillas, spicy black beans, homemade salsa, fresh avocado and more. Don’t forget to visit the car wash next door while you brunch!

Fried Seafood Basket from Bubba’s Shrimp Shack

Fried oysters, shrimp and fish, oh my! Urbanna’s got a little nook waiting to welcome you and your family’s seafood cravings. Bubba’s carries classic baskets with hush puppies and your favorite seafood fried up fresh–everything from scallops to crabcakes to catfish. Add clam chowder or crab bisque for an extra comforting meal.

Brisket And Pimento Sandwich from Something Different

There’s something about the classic combo of meat and cheese. It’s the perfect cure for any bad day. At Something Different, this combo gets the royal treatment with smoked brisket, country ham, pimento cheese and pickles grilled golden brown. The sandwich is officially named “Southern Comfort.” You can also create combos that blend different meat entrees and savory sides like mac ‘n’ cheese and hoe cakes.

Mrs. Payne’s Fried Chicken at The Table

We love Chef Helen Elizabeth Ward’s fresh takes on southern classics. Case and point: her fried chicken dinner. The dish features all-natural house-butchered chicken, which is breaded and fried. The flavor comes alive with house lemon seasoning salt. It’s paired with sautéed spinach and boursin cheese mashed potatoes. Drooling yet? We understand. If you think you can handle more, order up savory sides like hand cut fries served with chipotle aioli.

Warm Up Our Feed!

Discovered a dish that warmed you from the inside out? Take a photo of the creation and where you enjoyed it! Tag us at @virginiasriverrealm.

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