Hidden Treasures Series: Off the Radar Restaurants to Eat Virginia Oysters
Come by boat, by car or by bike to eat your way through Lancaster County in Virginia’s River Realm. We’ve got enough fresh seafood to keep you full during any season. Here, restaurants and diners offer up classic recipes alongside unexpected takes on the local oyster. These eateries will take you back to an era of comfort food and homemade pie while also exciting your inner foodie.
During your culinary adventure through Virginia’s River Realm, you can visit Lancaster a number of ways. Sail in by boat at Windmill Point Marina or Chesapeake Boat Basin Marina. Drive in with your family to camp at Belle Isle State Park. Opt for a luxury stay at the Tides Inn where you can borrow bikes for your daily foodie trips. Enjoy a slow, laid back nostalgic stay at the Back Inn Time Bed & Breakfast. However you decide to stay in the Realm, make sure you leave room to pull up a seat at one of these hidden gems.
5360 Mary Ball Road, Lively, VA
This small white building won’t look like much when you pull up for a bite to eat. The Corner Bar and Grill is a local hang out spot serving up well-crafted traditional American foods like burgers and French fries alongside items like fried oysters and soft shell crab bites. Enjoy the pinball machines while you wait for your dinner. Pull up a seat inside or outside on the dog friendly porch.
5434 Mary Ball Rd, Lively, VA
The Oaks is proof that you don’t need a waterfront restaurant to get fresh seafood. The restaurant always has fresh seafood specials that change each week. The family style restaurant serves up recipes from seasonal seafood items. Enjoy comfort food favorites like green beans, rib eye and homemade desserts. Visit during the fall at the peak of oyster season to try The Oaks’ fresh, fried oysters.
851 Rappahannock Drive, White Stone, VA
You might feel like you’re at a carnival when you walk up to Rocket Billy’s. Rocket Billy’s was the first food truck in the area. Now, the permanent food stand serves up great food in a nostalgic, walk up atmosphere. It’s one of Virginia’s River Realm’s best kept secrets. If you visit at lunch time, then you’ll know just how good the food is. There is always a line. Order up oyster po’boy and crab cakes for a satisfying meal. If you’re craving something sweet after you eat, Rocket Billy’s is located right next to Country Cottage, a local ice cream, fudge and flower shop.
30 N. Main Street, Kilmarnock, VA
There aren’t many Kilmarnock locals who don’t know Lee’s Restaurant well. The country style restaurant serves up an atmosphere that feels like another era. Think classic 1950 diner, pies and all. You might even see guests ordering pie first. After your pie, dig in to crab cakes, scallops and fried oysters.
850 Rappahannock, Drive, White Stone, VA
For more of a fine dining experience, take a quick drive to The Sandpiper. The servers will make you feel at home while they serve up local seafood and oysters. Open since the 1980s, the Sandpiper is the spot to go to enjoy daily specials like seared scallops served with jalapeno pico de gallo. Enjoy the fried oysters year round, but visit during oyster season to try the restaurant’s unique oyster recipes.
364 Clubhouse Road Irvington, VA
Located in the upper level of the clubhouse at the Golden Eagle Golf Club at the Tides Inn, the recently renovated Golden Eagle Grill is a must see. The Grill features a hammered tin ceiling, belt-driven ceiling fans and an antique oak and marble bar from Irvington’s historical original steamboat landing. The local spot is popular for light and easy meals. Pull up a seat and order an Oyster Po’Boy. Enjoy it on the veranda overlooking the golf course for a relaxing and indulgent lunch break before or after a round of golf on the Golden Eagle Golf Course.
Just two hours from Richmond or Hampton Roads and 3 hours from Washington DC, Virginia’s River Realm is a travel destination along the western shore of the Chesapeake Bay and its tributary, the Rappahannock River. We invite visitors to explore delightful surprises, hidden gems and our friendly, small town spirit. The 465 miles of shoreline, eight great small towns, and hundreds of unique attractions mesmerizes you to enjoy the wonder of a perfect oyster, the promise of a secret cove or back road and the pleasure of sharing a table with friends, a place where you can catch your breath, calm your mind & live your dreams.