When you’re this close to the coast, grabbing a plate or two of seafood is a must. With a mix of Southern charm and metropolitan swagger, Chesapeake seafood will delight your taste buds while leaving you with the satisfaction of a home-cooked meal. Whether you’ve worked up an appetite kayaking along the waterways, or you’re ready to relax after a day of birdwatching, our list of top-notch, fish-forward Chesapeake eateries has got you covered.
Celebrate with Seafood
In the mid-Atlantic celebrating a special occasion like a graduation or anniversary? Searching for somewhere to treat yourself—and perhaps a few guests—to an upscale night on the town? Look no further than Off the Hook Seafood & Chophouse. Start things off with the award-winning crab dip, before moving on to main courses like fried shrimp and seared scallops. Famished? Order one of the generous portions of their signature OTH Smoked Crab Mac n’ Cheese topped with crispy bacon crumbles.
Hoping to start your Sunday with seafood? Partake in a beautiful brunch filled with scallop omelets and house-cured salmon at Passion The Restaurant, where exquisitely plated gourmet food is the norm. Open for dinner only Monday through Saturday, come in for a romantic dinner or a celebratory feast, and experience the shrimp cocktail along with some fresh local catch.
Those hunting for outdoor eating can make their way to Lockside Bar and Grill. Stop by for lunch and try a too-big-for-the-bun fried flounder sandwich while you dine on the waterfront, covered patio facing the Elizabeth River. Or, dip in for dinner, and try the mussels, shrimp and grits, or a hearty bowl of seafood étouffée.
Crazy for Crab? You’re in the Right Place!
At Wicker’s Crab Pot Seafood, waitstaff will serve you a selection of crab delicacies including the Crab Trio, which comes with crab au gratin, lump crabmeat with garlic sauce, and a devil crab. The family-owned restaurant also has seafood-free kids meals for little ones that might not be ready to crack into crab just yet.
You can sit down to a bowl of she-crab soup at Court House Cafe, where they’ve been delighting visitors and locals for over 30 years. The menu also boasts rockfish, flounder, and tuna. Trouble deciding? Check out the Fried Seafood Sampler, a plate loaded with favorites, so you don’t have to miss out on anything.
In search of soft-shell crab or housemade crab cakes? Head to Black Pelican Seafood Company Greenbrier. Guests can also enjoy baskets of fresh steamers—oysters, shrimp, clams, muscles—and bacon-wrapped scallops in a casual atmosphere featuring nautical decor.
Fried Fish with Friends and Family
Serving up specials almost every night of the week, Pirate’s Cove is the perfect place to kick back with calamari before selecting something from the Seafarer Entrees. With fish tacos and fried hush puppies available, everyone in your party is sure to leave satisfied. Make sure to snap a pic with the life-size pirate statue on your way out!
Primarily known for Italian food, Zino’s Cafe will still fix your seafood craving with grilled salmon, fried shrimp, and even tuna steak. The restaurant also gives you the option to build your own pizza and top it with shrimp or crab meat. Plus, the attached tavern is ready to serve up frozen drinks, cocktails, and beers.
With two locations in Chesapeake and a third just up the road in Virginia Beach, Big Woody’s is a local staple. After perusing the drink specials, order a basket of Rang-Tang Shrimp, a Crazy Big Fish Sandwich, or choose from an impressive selection of burgers and salads. Love live music? Check out their event calendar to see the tunes you can plan to jam out to while you feast.