Updated May 21, 2015
Warm Virginia evenings are perfect for a number of things, but patio dining is one of the best. Find a place that has just what you want to eat along with a good view, and you’ve got a pretty nice thing going. Check out these hot spots, then comment below with a few recommendations of your own.
A favorite of my colleagues and myself is Bubba’s Marina and Seafood Restaurant on Shore Drive in Virginia Beach. It’s a 20-something-year mainstay that promises and delivers the freshest seafood in Virginia Beach. Besides that, you’ll love their double-decker on-the-water patios, and the sunsets are unreal.
Bubba’s. Courtesy Photo.
If you’ve never been to Clyde’s Willow Creek Farm in Ashburn, you’re not only missing out on great dining, but a very interesting attraction, too. Clyde’s is an amazing collection of Americana housed in four 1700s-1800s buildings from Vermont and Virginia. After you’ve glanced around, head to the garden where your seat will be just as amazing. The pond and waterfall are super relaxing.
The pastoral countryside of Neersville in Loudoun County is your scenic beauty for outdoor dining at Grandale Farm Restaurant. Twice this special place has been mentioned in Travel + Leisure, so there’s pretty much all you need to know. Just go.
Dine outside 365 days a year at Tysons Corner’s hottest new restaurant, Härth, which features cozy fireside dining. Traditional American comfort foods are prepared with the farm-to-table philosophy top-of-mind.
You’ll find Cafe Deluxe in McLean to be a charming neighborhood tavern atmosphere that bustles with the energy of a European bistro. Check out the eclectic menu that includes items like Grilled Meatloaf with Creole sauce.
The Local Chop & Grill House in Harrisonburg is a farm-to-table restaurant situated in the old City Produce Exchange building. You’ll find the covered patio a delightful place to dine on locally sourced foods.
Also in Harrisonburg is the Joshua Wilton House, an upscale experience in a beautiful Victorian. Dinner on the patio is quite fitting, given the in-season menu.
Hank’s Oyster Bar consistently receives rave reviews and press. Try the Old Town Alexandria location to enjoy $1.25 oysters from 5 to 7 p.m. weeknights on the patio.
Hanks Oyster Bar
Waterfront view? Try oceanfront. Waterman’s Surfside Grille in Virginia Beach is a family owned restaurant with oceanfront patio dining and a boardwalk bar. Choose a nice lunch or dinner of seafood, salads, steak, ribs, chicken, burgers or pasta.
The Boathouse in Midlothian overlooks a 1,700-acre lake in a quiet residential community. Terraced decks provide ample seating and the sunset on the lake is something to see. The menu includes raw bar items, flame-kissed meats, Wood Stone fired pizzas and fresh seafood.
Graze on Main is a new addition to Wytheville, as is the Bolling Wilson Hotel in which it resides. Ask for the patio and settle in with chef’s daily menu of seasonal specialties. You won’t be disappointed in the view or the dinner.
If you’re dining with kids and those kids happen to love railroads, head to Depot Grille in Lynchburg. The large patio overlooks the train track and the James River is just beyond that. The American menu will suit any eater and Amazement Square is just a block away – perfect for a family day out.
In Downtown Richmond’s Shockoe Slip sitting perfectly on one-half block is Sine Irish Pub & Restaurant. The outdoor seating area is every bit as big as the first floor inside. Descend from the deck to market umbrella seating for some sunshine.
An incredibly extensive list of Richmond area patio dining can be found at Richmond.com.
The Shanty sits waterside in Cape Charles and prides itself on locally sourced food and drink. You’re welcome to arrive by car, bike, golf cart, or boat, of course. Live entertainment goes perfectly with an evening on the deck.
A few seats are available in front of Cranberry’s Grocery & Eatery in Staunton. Enjoy a world-class espresso or fresh-squeezed juice with your choice of entree off their very accommodating menu (vegan, vegetarian, gluten-free and meats served here!).
The gang’s all here at The Luna in Callao! The covered veranda overlooking golf course vistas seats 70, so come one, come all. Enjoy the menu of steak and seafood served with an Italian flare.
Charlottesville’s downtown mall is one grand strip of patio spaces just waiting for you to saunter up and sit down. The people watching is great! Try Commonwealth Restaurant and Skybar (a view from on high) or Bashir’s Taverna.
Tell us your favorite patio dining location in the comments below or find more fantastic dining options at Virginia.org.