A Taste of Virginia Beach’s Best She Crab Soup Restaurants
By Elizabeth Rose Engle of Wandering Rose Travels. Updated by Chris Murphy
Seafood fans delight here in blue crab country. This crustacean’s habitat stretches from Canada to South America, but she crab soup is unique to the American southeast.
2022 She Crab Soup Classic Winner, Capt’n Crabby
There’s nothing like a cook-off to crown the best, and the East Coast She Crab Soup Classic, in Virginia Beach, boasts 10 years of tasting history.
Voted best by the critics, Capt’n Crabby’s reigns as the she crab 2022 winner. Capt’N Crabbys serves up fresh seafood via catering & food trucks specializing in MD crabcakes & other unique fare.
2022 Critics’ Choice Award:
1st Place – Capt’n Crabby
2nd Place – Lendy’s Cafe
3rd Place – Yiannis Wine & Food
2022 Sean Brickell Peoples’ Choice Award:
1st Place – Rockafellers Restaurant
2nd Place – Tempt Restaurant & Lounge
3rd Place – Lendy’s Cafe
Best She Crab Soup Restaurants
Then there are the restaurants that locals love and visitors venture to for a tasty, memorable experience.
Freemason Abbey Restaurant
This gem entered the East Coast She Crab Soup Classic Hall of Fame in 2017 after five first-place finishes. Located in a 144-year-old church, Freemason Abbey Restaurant has served downtown Norfolk for 28 years.
Margie and Ray’s
Head south to Sandbridge for seafood specials and all you can eat abundance. Family-run since its 1964 country store beginnings, Margie and Ray’s is a longtime local favorite.
What is She Crab Soup?
Similar to a bisque, creamy she crab soup is a beloved regional delicacy. Famed from Virginia to Georgia, it hails from Charleston, South Carolina.
She crab soup stars the blue crab, an Atlantic seafood staple. It traditionally features female (or “she”) crabs, with their eggs (known as “roe”) enhancing flavor and color.
Sherry and everyone’s take on herbs and spices make this soup special.
More Tide-to-Table Cuisine
The Atlantic, Chesapeake and other waterways provide a wealth of freshly caught and served seafood. Look for local crab, oysters, clams and fish. There are restaurants for all ages, tastes and budgets – from fine dining to delicious dives.
Virginia Beach Seafood
While tasty fish and shellfish are served all over Hampton Roads, you don’t have to go far from the Boardwalk to get it.
Restaurants on the Virginia Beach Boardwalk
- Tautog’s Restaurant: Historic cottage spot for daily dinner and late night eats
- Waterman’s Surfside Grille: Oceanfront home of the famous Orange Crush cocktail
- Rudee’s Restaurant & Cabana Bar: Marina and sunset views with outdoor glider tables
- Blue Seafood & Spirits: Chef-driven 2017 She Crab Soup Classic winner
Don’t Miss The Upcoming Classic She Crab Soup Contest
The Annual East Coast She-Crab Soup Classic cookoff dishes out 2023 honors on April 22, 2023 from 12 to 2:30 p.m. at Virginia Beach’s 24th Street Park. The event showcases 20 regional restaurants competing for People’s and Critic’s Choice Awards. Tickets are limited and typically sell out in advance.