Warm temperatures and longer days provide the perfect opportunity to test out these restaurants, which offer outdoor waterfront views while dining. These restaurants invite patrons to soak up local scenery while enjoying a tasty meal.
The Barking Dog
Hours: 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday-Thursday; 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday; 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday.
The Barking Dog advertises itself as a “rustic gathering spot for all walks of life,” according to its website. At first glance, it is a small, unassuming restaurant tucked into the corner of the marina at Sunset Creek.
The restaurant has outdoor seating only and offers its customers a view of the marina.
More than 50,000 dogs have been served since The Barking Dog opened, according to the restaurant. Its award-winning menu offers specialty dogs, such as the Carolina Drive-In Dog, which is topped with barbecue and coleslaw, and other cased meats in addition to burgers and seafood. It has an extensive beer list and some wine specials.
Since the restaurant is so close to the marina, patrons can arrive by boat as long as there is a slip available to dock.
Crab Shack Seafood Restaurant
Where: 7601 River Road, Newport News. Info: 757-245-2722 or crabshackonthejames.com.
Hours: 11 a.m. to 11:30 p.m. Sunday-Thursday; 11 a.m. to 12:30 a.m. Friday-Saturday.
Crab Shack diners are treated to a unique visual experience by the restaurant’s proximity to the James River Bridge and Huntington Beach. An outdoor deck that sits above the James River wraps the back of the restaurant.
Inside, large windows provide views of the river and pier.
“I always enjoy having a waterfront view,” said Richmond native John Vernon, who recently visited the restaurant. “I think it is peaceful in a way and adds a beautiful touch to the dinner experience.”
The Crab Shack offers a simple, fresh menu that includes steamed shrimp, clams, crab cake sandwiches and burgers. The location attracts beachgoers and locals alike.
Where: 100 McNair Drive, Hampton. Info: 757-788-7190 or facebook.com/thedeadriseva. Old Point Comfort Marina: 757-788-4308.
Hours: 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday-Thursday; 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday-Sunday; 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Sunday.
The Deadrise, located on the marina at Fort Monroe, offers a two-tier outdoor deck where patrons can see Old Point Comfort Marina, the Hampton Roads-Bridge Tunnel and Phoebus.
Being so close to the marina, diners can make their way to the restaurant by water, but should call in advance to make sure a slip is available. While the view itself is worth checking out, The Deadrise also offers local favorites such as chicken and waffles at brunch and sea scallops and a seafood burrito for dinner.
Owens Marina Restaurant
Where: 259 Mingee St., Poquoson. Info: 757-868-8407 or facebook.com/OwensMarina.
Hours: 6:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday-Thursday, 6:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. Friday-Saturday.
Why wait for dinner to get a stunning waterside dining experience? Owens offers traditional breakfast items as well as seafood dinners that can be fried, grilled or steamed.
Anytime you go, be prepared for a great view of the inlet.
While local residents have many restaurants to choose from in Poquoson, Owens seems to go a step beyond, according to resident Mark Famiglietti. “The things that make Owens my choice is the relaxed atmosphere and the choice of fresh, in-season seafood,” he said. “Most of all is the outstanding service and a tranquil view on the Poquoson River.”
Where: 700 Settlers Landing Road, Hampton. Info: 757-727-9700 or facebook.com/Oyster.Alley.
When: Open seasonally, April to October, from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday-Thursday; 11 a.m. to midnight Friday-Saturday; 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday.
Oyster Alley is located at the water’s edge of the Crowne Plaza Hampton Marina Hotel and diners are treated to the wide view of the Hampton waterfront.
The restaurant offers a large outdoor covered seating area, as well as indoor seating with large windows for customers to get the waterfront dining experience in the air conditioning.
Oyster Alley has several signature entrees. including its “Infamous Taste of Hampton,” which includes shrimp, fish and a crab cake. There are weekly specials as well.
Oyster Alley also hosts live music on weekends.
Paradise Ocean Club
Where: 490 Fenwick Road, Hampton. Info: 757-317-1234, paradiseoceanclub.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Hours: 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday-Thursday and Sunday; 11 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. Friday; 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday.
The award-winning Paradise Ocean Club, formally Fort Monroe’s Officers’ Club, is the spot for an all-day affair steeped in history and summer fun. Visitors can purchase day passes for $10 for adults and $5 for children for access to the club’s pool and beach access point. The club also offers a tiki bar, which overlooks the south end of the Chesapeake Bay. An outdoor dining area also overlooks the bay.
The snack bar offers hearty sandwiches, finger foods and salads. There is an outdoor raw bar and the menu includes pineapple salsa and coconut shrimp. There are designated gluten free items, as well as daily specials throughout the week. It often hosts live local music.
Where: 323 Water St., Yorktown. Info: 757-875-1522 or riverwalkrestaurant.net.
Hours: Open daily. Lunch 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.; dinner 3-9 p.m.; bar 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.; happy hour 4-7 p.m.
The Riverwalk Restaurant overlooks the York River, and diners have a clear view from the restaurant’s outdoor seating area.
The menu offers eclectic items including goat cheese stuffed meatballs and grilled elk chops, while also providing traditional fares such as burgers and locally caught seafood entrees. The menu has designated gluten free and vegan options, but are limited. Reservations are encouraged.
Where: 415 South Church St., Smithfield. Info: 877-703-7701 or smithfieldstation.com.
Hours: 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. for lunch daily; 4-9 p.m. Monday-Thursday for dinner; 4 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday for dinner; 4-8 p.m. Sunday dinner. Open 8 a.m. to noon for breakfast buffet.
Smithfield Station’s menu features fresh local seafood, Smithfield ham and a Sunday breakfast buffet.
It offers a variety of specialty dishes for dinner, such as sweet potato encrusted rockfish stuffed with Smithfield ham and oysters.
For those with a more traditional palate, there are crab cake sandwiches, pulled pork barbecue, fried seafood and burgers. There are also a few lighter-fare items such as the seared tuna lettuce wrap and salads.
Most seats offer views of the marshes and the marina near the Smithfield Station. Reservations are encouraged.
For those interested in a more relaxed atmosphere, Smithfield Station also houses the award-winning IBX Bar and Grille, which offers snacks and a special bar menu with drinks less than $10.
Surf Rider Poquoson
Where: 105 Rens Road, Poquoson. Info: 757-868-0080 or surfriderrestaurant.com.
Hours: 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday-Thursday; 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Friday-Saturday.
The Surf Rider restaurant branch in Poquoson is the newest out of seven in the Tidewater area. The menu at Surf Rider includes hefty burgers, platters, house specialties, pasta and a raw bar. It also has an extensive menu that includes sandwiches, wraps, burgers, soups, salads, pasta, seafood and a raw bar.
The restaurant has a large outdoor patio that offers views of the Poquoson River, as does the indoor dining room and bar area.
The Train Station Restaurant
Where: 2295 Harbor Road, Newport News. Info: 757-247-7512 and thetrainstation757.com.
Hours: Noon to 4 p.m. Sunday; 8-11 p.m. Tuesday; 6-10 p.m. Thursday; 6-11 p.m. Friday.
Boasting “the best crab cakes on the Virginia Peninsula” might be reason enough to visit the Train Station Restaurant, but the restaurant also offers a spacious deck that provides an unencumbered view of the James River.
The Train Station also offers a historical trip down memory lane with Friday performances by jazz musicians from the Hampton Roads area and a Southern-style buffet after church on Sundays.
“I love the Train Station,” said Sonya Ball-Williams, a Richmond native. “I love the family vibe you get there. Each time I go I'm always treated like family and the view… need I say more? Live jazz on the water with great food. It’s a perfect 2017 summer.”
The menu includes seafood appetizers, soups and entrees with traditional southern sides such as collard greens and mac and cheese. Expect to take dinner slow here and enjoy the jazz music, baskets of corn bread and libations while you wait.
York River Oyster Company
Where: 8109 Yacht Haven Road, Gloucester Point. Info: 804-993-7174 or yorkriveroysterco.com.
Hours: 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday-Thursday; 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Friday-Saturday; 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Sunday.
With its motto of “a shell of a good time,” customers can enjoy the view of the York River from the outdoor deck while indulging in locally caught seafood. The restaurant has an extensive menu that features their signatures dishes like fish tacos with mahi-mahi, fried local oysters and brick oven mac-and-cheese. It also serves more traditional seafood and pizza as well as brunch. The menu also has designated gluten free items. Customers can arrive by boat, but must call 804-642-2156 in advance to make sure a slip is available.