girl eating oysters

Hungry for Oysters?

You’re sure to find a great oyster dish at one of these restaurants in Virginia Beach to suit your palette.

Article and images courtesy of Coastal Virginia Magazine.

Here is your guide to some of the best Virginia Beach restaurants where you’ll find delicious local oysters on the menu—from fine dining to dockside casual and everything in between!

Atlantic on Pacific: A gorgeous bar, classic raw bar, deep blue-toned furnishings and bright white counters and walls characterize The Atlantic (sister restaurant of Eurasia). Oysters also come baked, e.g. Oyster Chesapeake (with mushrooms, garlic, fontina) and Pacific (with chorizo, tomato, manchego). Daily happy hour includes buck-a-shuck.

The Back Deck Bar & Café: The smaller, more laidback waterfront neighbor to Bubba’s Seafood on Shore Drive, The Back Deck has become its very own locals’ hot spot with a view. Oysters on tap? You betcha. Order some “locally wild caught Bayside” or buy some to take home at the attached Shellfish Company seafood market.

Bay Local: This eclectic, bohemian-style brunch eatery has two locations (Shore Dr. and Laskin) serving classic, Southern-influenced breakfasts and sandwiches, plus mimosas (in jumbo-size!) and cocktails. Fried oysters and a house Rockefeller mix are featured on the Bay Local Bennie, Willis Wharf Omelet and Oyster Rock Burger.

Becca Restaurant & Garden: For a refined experience, indulge in breakfast, lunch or dinner in the elegant, light-filled dining room or lush garden setting at Becca in the Cavalier Hotel. The Oysters “Becca” are mesquite-grilled with crab, sherry and herb butter. Raw oysters are topped with AVA Vodka mignonette.

Blue Seafood & Spirits: An intimate chef-owned restaurant focusing on high quality, local seafood, this Red Mill spot will make an oyster lover out of anyone with their Eastern Shore Oysters, flash fried and served with Barrier Island Sauce. Or make it a dinner with seasonal veggies, a chef’s side and homemade sweet potato biscuits with apricot butter.

Blue Pete’s: Locals’ favorite Blue Pete’s is a laid-back, family-friendly restaurant with deck and lawn dining on Muddy Creek in Pungo. The seafood-focused dinner menu includes steamed, fried and Rockefeller oysters; fish, pasta and surf-n-turf. Weekend brunch features the Surf Scoter, a shrimp and lobster-garnished Bloody Mary.

Bubba's Seafood
From oysters to crab cakes and cocktails, waterfront dining is king at Bubba’s Seafood. (Photo courtesy of Bubba’s Seafood via Facebook)

Bubba’s Seafood Restaurant and Crabhouse: No need wear your waders to dinner. Bubba’s has been family-friendly and family-owned for more than 30 years, still specializing in fresh seafood sure to please a crowd. Oysters come hand-shucked raw or steamed. Or try their Eastern Shore Dinner of lightly battered fried oysters while taking in that Lynnhaven Inlet view.

Catch 31 Fishhouse and Raw Bar: Located in the middle of all the action, just steps from the Neptune statue on the boardwalk is Catch 31 in the Hilton Oceanfront; the perfect spot to sea-gaze, people-watch and even catch live, outdoor music while enjoying fresh Seasides, Big Island Pearls and Pocahantas’s Secrets.

Chick’s Oyster: Bar Since 1998, this casual indoor/outdoor bar on Long Creek near the Lesner Bridge has drawn crowds of locals, who come for the crushes, raw bar, tacos, burgers and party vibes. Start your meal off right with a round of oyster shooters. Weekday happy hour includes buck-a-shuck.

Coastal Grill: A date night destination in VB for three decades, Coastal Grill is known for simple but elegant, beautifully prepared classic dishes done right–especially seafood. And when they do oysters, that’s what you can expect. Look for Hungar Creek Raw oysters or Oysters Rockefeller on their blackboard specials.

CP Shuckers Café & Raw Bar: Come as you are to one of two Shuckers locations (Oceanfront or Shore Drive) for a cold beer, raw bar platter with James River oysters, wings, lumpia and peel-and-eat shrimp. The vibe here is sports bar, beach bar and dive bar in one.

Dockside Seafood: You know it’s fresh when you have to walk through the seafood market to get to the restaurant. Dockside keeps it simple because they can. Fresh Eastern Shore oysters are delish straight from the raw bar. Pick a fried oyster sandwich or go big with a fried oyster platter.

Heirloom Restaurant
An elevated farm-to-table experience awaits at Heirloom, where local ingredients like oysters are the stars. (Photo courtesy of Heirloom via Facebook)

Eurasia: This relaxed fine-dining bistro presents globally influenced, farm-to-table regional food and impressive wine and whiskey lists in a lively space with mid-century modern vibes. Try Oysters Eurasia, a take on Rockefeller with cream cheese and bacon, or raw oysters with cucumbers and honey mignonette.

Harpoon Larry’s Oyster Bar: Unaffiliated with the restaurant in Newport News of the same name, Harpoon Larry’s at the Oceanfront is a surf shack-style raw bar that also serves seafood-focused sandwiches and entrees, including an oyster po’boy and fried oyster dinner. Feeling frisky? Try the Crabby Oyster Shooter!

Hearth: Known for wood-fired cuisine and craft beer, Hearth is a warm, welcoming ViBE District favorite serving up hearty and innovative pizzas like the Big Braise (short rib, caramelized onion, Yukon gold potato, fontina and creme fraiche). Try the deviled oysters with bacon and tabasco hollandaise.

Heirloom: An elevated farm-to-table experience awaits at VB native Chef Brent Cowan’s authentic ode to our local culinary heritage, near the VB Courthouse. Oysters are a key part of that heritage. Try their oysters on the half shell with seasonal mignonette or their Oysters Rockefeller, and be sure to ask your server about the perfect wine pairing.

Hot Tuna: Another long-time VB fave at Shore Drive and Great Neck, the festive vibe comes with a full menu of fresh, local seafood, steaks, small plates and cocktails aplenty. Top your salad with fried oysters or hit their happy hour or “Shuckin’ Sundays” for $2 oysters raw, Rockefellar, chorizo or bourbon butter, and $2.50 oysters shooters.

Lucky Oyster: This seafood grill in Red Mill is memorable in part for its on-brand, quirky wall-to-wall nautical décor. But it’s also brimming with locals “Casting Off” with Oysters Rock, Chesapeake Bay oysters from the raw bar, or “Lucky’s Marina,” a heaping helping of steamed shellfish. Their fried oysters are on point, too.

Mahi’s: You don’t get much better beach views than at this seafood and sushi restaurant on the boardwalk at the Ramada Oceanfront, which has attracted tourists and locals since 1993. Try Oysters Mahi, which add watercress, arugula, bacon and sambuca cream to the typical Rockefeller mix.

Margie & Rays. Photo by Jacqui Renager Performance Foodservice
Fresh oysters and clams at Margie and Ray’s Seafood Restaurant and Crabshack (Photo by Jacqui Renager Performance Foodservice Virginia)

Margie and Ray’s Seafood Restaurant and Crabshack: In 1997, Thomas Blanton inherited the little Sandbridge country store and tackle shop his parents, Ray and Margie, opened in 1964 and turned it into a beloved, down-home roadside restaurant, which serves some of the best steamed and fried seafood platters in the region.

Murphy’s Irish Pub: Did you know the Oceanfront’s favorite Irish party pub and brunch spot (Giant Mason jar mimosas, anyone?) is also a great choice for fresh oysters? That’s because owner Tom Mooney started his own oyster farm off Tangier Sound, and his Back Creek Beauties are served raw, steamed, fried, topping burgers and more.

Orion’s Roof: Up on the 23rd floor of the Marriott Oceanfront is Orion’s Roof, an Asian restaurant and sushi bar open daily for lunch and dinner. Try local raw oysters with yuzu, foam, shiso oil and rice wine mignonette, and take in arguably the best view at the Oceanfront, high above the beach.

Rockafellers Restaurant: Recently renovated and loved by locals and tourists alike, this Rudee Inlet staple has a fresh look, but it’s still about as Virginia Beach as you can get. As the name suggests, their Oysters Rock is a classic must-have (keep an eye out for occasional .99 cent oyster specials) and, of course, they also serve them raw.

Rudee’s Restaurant and Cabana: An evening spent enjoying fresh local seafood in Rudee’s famed outdoor gliding chairs is always one for the memory book. Their Oysters Rockefeller was featured on The Food Network. Also try: Shooting Points (raw or steamed), the Fried Oyster Sandwich, Oyster Shooter, Fried Eastern Shore Oysters dinner or Inlet Station Broiled Platter.

Steinhilber’s: The grandmother of all modern fine dining establishments in Coastal Virginia since 1939, this Thalia neighborhood destination is known for its crispy, delicious and gargantuan “Steiny’s Shrimp.” But freshly shucked oysters on the half shell and Oysters Rockefeller also feature prominently.

The Swan Terrace: Another classic spot with an elegant, traditional atmosphere, located inside the Founders Inn next to Regent University, Swan Terrace is beloved in part for its epic all-you-can-eat brunches, which typically include fresh oysters on the half shell with accompaniments. Or try their fried oyster dinner.

Terrapin: Dinner at Chef-Owner Rodney Einhorn’s sleek, upscale restaurant on Holly Road is an occasion unto itself, showcasing wholesome ingredients, impressive techniques, and undeniably delicious flavors. Start with fried oyster lettuce wraps or Laughing King oysters with apple mignonette before diving into a decadent pasta and dessert.

Tautogs. Photo by David Uhrin.
Oysters and other seafood are staples at Tautog’s in Virginia Beach (Photo by David Uhrin)

Tautog’s: Set inside a small 1920s beach cottage with cozy porch seating on 23rd Street, Tautog’s is a unique restaurant and bar experience with a relaxed vibe and a mainly seafood menu. Besides raw and Rockefeller, there are the Benny’s Oysters—oven-roasted, topped with sun-dried tomato pesto and havarti.

The Tin Cup Kitchen + Oyster Bar: Opened in 2021, this restaurant inside the Delta hotel overlooking the bay on Shore Drive, quickly became a must-try for oyster lovers. Order a tower stacked with glistening raw oysters representing each of Virginia’s oyster regions, spicy bang bang-style crispy oysters or a Rockefeller riff with pimento cheese.

The Porch on Long Creek: Grab a group of friends and enjoy the summery vibes at this airy, beautiful seafood and sushi restaurant with panoramic water views and an open kitchen. Try baked Seaside oysters gratin or Cajun fried oysters with Thai chili aioli. Their awesome weekday happy hour includes buck-a-shuck.

Zoe’s Steaks and Seafood: Celebrated Chef Paul Benton and Sommelier Marc Sauter won’t do you wrong at this sophisticated dining establishment near the VB Convention Center. Preview your luscious Surf ‘n’ Turf or famous $50 Wagyu burger with their take on Oysters Rockefeller. Don’t be surprised to find raw oysters with a seasonal mignonette on special. And don’t skip the wine.

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