Best Sea-To-Table Dining Williamsburg, VA

Crabs, oysters, shrimp, clams, mussels and a variety of fish — all pulled from local waters — make Greater Williamsburg a seafood hot spot.

Waypoint Seafood Grill iced shellfish platter
Williamsburg Winery Café Provençal
Riverwalk Softshell Crab

When Capt. John Smith led settlers to the Greater Williamsburg area 400 years ago, he wrote that fish were so numerous they attempted to catch them with a frying pan.  That didn't work out so well, but the settlers soon found ways to catch more fish in an hour than they could eat in a day.     

You'll find more great seafood at the area's sea-to-table restaurants than you can eat in a weekend. But it's good to have a challenge, isn't it?

Here are top places to moor your boat, er, car, for a sumptuous supper.

Waypoint Seafood & Grill

One glance at the menu tells you that Waypoint celebrates the Chesapeake Bay. It features Tommy Leggett's York River Oysters, local jumbo lump crabmeat, a fried oyster salad, and a market fish of the day from the creative mind of Chef Hans J. Schadler. Sit among the cozy array of well-lit tables, the captivating bar or the romantic booths in the back and savor the sea's bounty.

Café Provençal

Take a short drive along a country road out of town to this special spot on the grounds of The Williamsburg Winery for upscale French-inspired cooking featuring local ingredients in an elegant yet relaxed setting. Check for signature dishes like a raw plate with marinated amberjack, seared scallops, soft shell crabs in season and roasted black bass. Wednesdays are oyster days featuring Tommy Leggett’s York River Oysters and sustainably grown Big Island Aquaculture’s oysters from beds in Monday Creek, where the York River and Mobjack Bay meet the Chesapeake Bay. Their high salinity levels mean they tend to be salty with a nice hint of sweetness.  

Craft 31 

Yes, this is first a burger bar. But it merits a stop by seafood lovers for its incredible raw bar that features three kinds of Virginia oysters steamed or on the half shell as well as middleneck clams, fried oysters and mignonettes. Wash them down with one of the 31 beers on tap.

Berret’s Seafood Restaurant and Taphouse Grill

Smack dab in the middle of Greater Williamsburg, Berret's has been chosen by locals as the "Best Seafood Restaurant" for more than 10 years. You'll find Tommy Leggett oysters as well as James River oysters. There's a creamy pesto crab dip. And then there's The Original Blue Plate, a signature dish of blue crab in she-crab soup, a lump crab cake, baked crab imperial and crispy fried oysters and shrimp. What could exemplify the Chesapeake Bay more?

Need more dining options? Check out the best cheap eats and most romantic restaurants. 

Riverwalk Restaurant

This is a Yorktown room with a view of the bridge and the York River and with the seafood to match. Try the she-crab soup, the local oysters and clams or the lobster tacos. For your entree, check out the Signature Fish Fry with rockfish, oysters and panko-crusted shrimp or the peanut-encrusted rockfish.

Yorktown Pub

Here's a locals' spot with the freshest York River oysters, middleneck clams, sea scallops from Sanford, Va., and crab in every incarnation from crab bites to crab dip to crab cakes. Browse the rotating taps with local favorites, microbrews and the big boys like Guinness, Sam Adams or Yuengling.

Fat Canary

Open Table listed the Fat Canary as one of the 100 best restaurants for foodies in the land and you will find seafood choices here like the lobster, fettuccini, peas, pistachios, and chives appetizer as well as the pan-seared sea scallops, cous cous, smoked tomatoes, peas, and pork belly main course.

Fat Tuna Grill

Chef Ken Brown grew up fishing both fresh and salt waters as well as crabbing, so fish and shellfish come naturally to him. Oysters, blue crab, mussels, crab ravioli, Parmesan crab-crusted flounder and a grouper Reuben are just a few of his inspirations on the menu. Throw out a line and see what you catch. 

Discover the unexpected pleasures including the tasting tours. And plan your visit to Greater Williamsburg today.