30 Places to Dock & Dine in Virginia

by Casey Higgins | Posted: Jul 7, 2015 | Updated: Jul 7, 2017

Comments: 23 Comments

It’s prime boating season, and we’ve uncovered quite a few places to dock your craft and disembark for a cold beverage and a great meal.

Cheers to summer!



Dumfries on the Potomac River | Fairview Beach on the Potomac River | Mineral on Lake Anna

Home-cooked, fresh seafood is the claim to fame at any of Tim’s locations. The menus may vary ever so slightly, but you can expect the usual suspects of oysters, crabs, mussels, scallops, and fish, as well as steaks and sandwiches. Both Fairview Beach and Dumfries are situated along the Potomac River while the Lake Anna location is obviously on Lake Anna. Live music and fun events occur weekly.

Tim's Rivershore

Tim’s Rivershore




Rescue on Jones Creek

If Guy Fieri loved this place, you’re going to love it, too. Featured on “Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives,” Captain Chuck-a-Muck’s is where the locals go to chill out. Throttle down and pull on up to the dock. There will be cold drinks and fresh seafood waiting for you, not to mention homemade keylime pie. Stay for sunset; you won’t be disappointed.




Smithfield on the Pagan River

This Smithfield mainstay is the perfect place to take in the sunset. The view is great whether you’re dining inside or out. Try the specialty, a sweet potato encrusted rockfish, fresh from the sea and stuffed with genuine Smithfield ham.

Smithfield Station

Smithfield Station



Richmond on the James River

When you’re looking for a bit of spice or citrus, Conch has you covered. The menu is Cajun-meets-Key West with a menu that includes delights like alligator, gumbo, fried plantains, Gulf shrimp and grits, and beautiful Chesapeake Bay crab. Conch Republic overlooks the James River just downriver from downtown Richmond. Dock at Rocketts Landing Marina and come on up!

Conch Republic

Conch Republic



Richmond on the James River

Right next door to Conch Republic is The Boathouse. The views are equally awesome, regardless of which you choose. At The Boathouse, the menu is seafood heavy with signature Virginia options, like Chapel Creek Oysters, Byrd Mill grits, and Virginia-caught blue catfish.

The Boathouse

The Boathouse



Moneta on Smith Mountain Lake

Pull up to Crystal Shores Marina and walk on in to Waller’s, a Caribbean themed, summer fun hangout. Live music paired with beautiful quesadillas, paninis, salads, and more, will make this one of your favorite SML destinations.



Moneta on Smith Mountain Lake

Find this gem at Halesford Harbour with plenty of indoor and outdoor seating, plus docking for boats and jet skis. Sandwiches, burgers, and pizzas are plentiful, but you’ll also find salads and generous dinner entrees like ribs, rockfish, tuna, and pasta on the menu.



Moneta on Smith Mountain Lake

Slide on in to Bridgewater Plaza Marina and step on into a Key West vibe at Mango’s. From live music to the overall atmosphere, this place promises you’ll “find your tropical state of mind” in their family-friendly establishment. The menu is diverse. You’ll find everything from spring rolls t0 mahi mahi, and even meatloaf. There’s truly something for every taste.



Moneta on Smith Mountain Lake at Bernard’s Landing

If you’re looking for something upscale, this is it. Dine inside or out and enjoy the views of the cove. The menu at The Landing is French-American and has garnered awards from various local publications, as well as a Southern Living mention in 2009. Rappahannock River oysters, Heritage Farms pork, and Dark Hollow coffee are just a few of the Virginia-sourced delights you’ll have to choose from.



Virginia Beach on Wolfsnare Creek

Bubba’s does their own fishing and locally sources daily deliveries for whatever they don’t catch. Virginia craft beer is on tap and the sunsets are astounding. Kick back and watch the yachts idle by while you shoot oysters, gorge on steamed shrimp, or  nosh one of the best crab cake sandwiches around.





Virginia Beach on Wolfsnare Creek

Oyster lovers will love Chick’s, but so will those whose palate doesn’t yearn for seafood. Burgers, sandwiches, seafood platters, big salads, soups, … it’s all here. The seating is abundant. Hang indoors or out. The sunsets are stupendous.



Virginia Beach on Rudee Inlet

Boat watching is as plentiful at Rudee’s as the serving sizes are. Fantastic fresh seafood (Shooting Point oysters or Little Neck clams, anyone?), huge sandwiches and burgers, and a kids menu to please any finicky eater will make this a family favorite. Watch the catch of the day make its way off the boat, a cool experience for the kiddos. Seeking gluten-free options? Rudee’s will hook you up.

Rudee's on the Inlet

Rudee’s on the Inlet



Virginia Beach on Rudee Inlet

Breakfast, lunch and dinner are waiting for you at Big Sam’s. It’s a local hangout and friendly to families. In fact, you may feel like family by the time you leave. Get comfortable outside or in and select from the raw bar, soups, salads, sandwiches, burgers, signature dishes, or the classic seafood platters.



Virginia Beach on Rudee Inlet

What’s a local favorite on the Rockafeller’s menu? The seafood sampler (all fresh, of course), the BBQ shrimp and crabcake combo, and fish and chips with local flounder. Add a homemade Blueberry soda topped with blueberries, and you have yourself a great meal with an awesome view.





Virginia Beach on Tabernacle Creek

Tucked into a sweet spot on Tabernacle Creek, Blue Pete’s welcomes kayakers and canoers with plenty of room for you to paddle in and tie up. Largely a “locals” establishment, this Back Bay treasure is growing in popularity, receiving boaters on guided tours from Surf and Adventure Company. The menu includes signature “Twins” dishes (the restaurant is owned by twins), plenty of seafood and sandwiches, and a hearty, diverse kids menu.

Blue Pete's

Blue Pete’s



Topping on the Rappahannock River

This gourmet tasting house features freshly harvested oysters from the guys of Rappahannock Oyster Company paired with Virginia craft beer and wine, and other tapas-style offerings. Don’t be deterred by the oysters if you don’t love them. Merroir also features the good food of other farmers like Prospect Farms beef and Sharondale Farms mushrooms.





Irvington on Carter’s Creek

You don’t have to be a guest at The Tides Inn to dock at their marina and enjoy a meal at one of their restaurants. Try Commodore’s Waterfront Restaurant just along the creek and overlooking the beach. This light-fare café offers signature drinks along with selections like a seafood salad sandwich or chicken salad BLT wrap.



Colonial Beach on the Potomac River at Monroe Bay

Sitting right alongside the Colonial Beach Yacht Center, Dockside pulls you in with live music and outdoor bar. Stay for the cornhole and hand-patted, huge burgers. Feeling more like a po’boy? Got that. How about shrimp & grits (my favorite!)? Yes, they have that, too. The fish, oysters, shrimp, scallops, and crab runneth over. They have a kids menu, too.



Cape Charles on the Cape Charles Harbor

Fresh and local is the way things are at The Shanty. From the seafood to the beverages, you’ll see the promise to quality and “eat local” fulfilled. Try the signature Tuna Poke or Shanty Wings for an appetizer, but save room for Hungars Creek clams, the signature OMG burger, or maybe the Cubano, featuring Virginia ham.  Have kids in tow? Get them going on a game of cornhole while you enjoy the bay breeze.

The Shanty. Photo by CameronDavidson@CameronDavidson.com.

The Shanty. Photo by CameronDavidson@CameronDavidson.com.



Onancock on Onancock Creek

Great food, great patio, and a pretty great musically-inclined chef, too. Yep, Johnny Mo may serenade you in between crafting his beautiful dishes. Be sure to try his signature all crab crab cakes (“held together with LOVE”) or the jalepeño mussels. Gluten-free options are available.

Mallards at the Wharf

Mallards at the Wharf



Wachapreague on the Wachapreague Harbor

Pull into Wachapreague Town Marina and come on in to the Island House. Certified Angus Beef is on the menu as is fresh local seafood. For starters, order up Sewansecott oysters on the half shell, or maybe try the Willis Wharf middleneck clams. For the main meal, you have to try the flounder. Why? Wachapreague is the Flounder Capital of the World, that’s why.



Tangier Island

Let’s be frank. You can’t get anymore “dock and dine” than arriving to Tangier Island. Sure, you can fly in, but what’s the fun in that? The Fisherman’s Corner is just one of the places to which you can easily walk from the docks. Tangier is called the “Soft Shell Crab Capital,” and you’ll definitely find plenty of it on various menus. At The Fisherman’s Corner, you can enjoy them as a sandwich or have a couple as an entree with sides. What’s famous here, however, is the crab bisque. Oh, and Southern Living liked this place, too.



Tangier Island

Also garnering attention from Southern Living (2012), Lorraine’s is known for homemade delights. Soups, salads, seafood, and sandwiches – take your pick and your pick won’t be wrong. Everything is good. Try the homemade potato chips, the crab cake platter, or the soft shell crab sandwich.



Charles City on the Chickahominy River

When you dock at River’s Rest Marina, The Blue Heron is just steps away. Great steaks and seafood are at hand. Come in for lunch or dinner. Stuffed scallops, surf and turf, shrimp, oysters, clams … you have plenty of options at The Blue Heron, including options for kids. Leave room for dessert; the chocolate confusion cake is divine.





So where do you like to dock and dine? Kindly leave a comment to share your favorite spot.



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Avatar Jen Test says:

The Deadrise @ Ft. Monroes’s Old Point Comfort Marina
Now offering 10% off annual slip contracts.
Come check us out!

I’ve always wanted to try seafood, but never have. Every time I say I’ll do it I end up backing out after seeing the food. I think it’s just the way my husband cooks it. Maybe if I went to a seafood bar I’d finally be able to try it out. Out of all these places which is your favorite?

Avatar Deborah Holloway says:

The Deadrise in Hampton is really good too!! It is by Fort Monroe. Yummmm…