The River neighborhood carries an exciting dining scene that pays homage to its waterfront heritage with a spread of cozy seafood shacks, diners and jazz houses
where you can feast on king crab legs or fresh trout. While some places provide stunning waterfront views, the restaurants further inland have a touch of industrial flavor for a unique dining experience. Although you may need to head into nearby Hampton for a diverse nightlife scene, residents enjoy a few local establishments that venture far from the standard dive bars that fill most neighborhoods.
Perched on stilts at the foot of the largest fishing pier on the East Coast, Crab Shack overlooks the James River and serves up some of the best seafood in town. This is the kind of place you can go for nice night out or a casual lunch wearing shorts and sandals, and locals flock in for favorites like the crab-stuffed flounder, the clam platter and whole blue crabs on ice. Come for the nautical ambiance, and stay for the fresh calamari.
Eddie's Restaurant has earned a reputation for its unique character, standing as a top lunch spot for sailors on break. Here you find your standard burger and sandwich fare, but a fun crowd and charismatic staff keep you coming back. Start your day right with a loaded omelette or breakfast plate, or have a tuna sub or Philly cheese steak for a satisfying lunch.
For a taste of the local nightlife, hop on board at The Train Station, one of the community's best-kept secrets. This historic train depot turned seafood restaurant hosts live jazz musicians and has a spacious patio for sipping on a Long Island iced tea while gazing at the river. Don't miss the Friday all-you-can-eat fish fry, or splurge on other aquatic favorites like the crab cakes, oysters and catfish. This place keeps odd hours, so call ahead to make sure it's open for your visit.