Delicious Destinations: Williamsburg, Virginia

Couple toasting with coffee in Yorktown near Williamsburg
(Photo: Visit Williamsburg)

In this month’s Delicious Destinations column, we’re traveling to Williamsburg, Virginia. While the area may be best known for tour groups and school field trips, you can also find some real restaurant gems if you know where to look. If you’re planning a trip to go back in time to the colonial era, then you’re going to want to check out these restaurants, breweries, cafes, and historic taverns that are perfect for adults and kids. Here’s where to eat in Williamsburg, Virginia.

Best Restaurant For Breakfast: Old Chickahominy House

About 10 minutes away from Colonial Williamsburg, you’ll find the Old Chickahominy House. The restored building was once an actual home and has been turned into a down-home comfort food restaurant. Breakfast is simple but delicious, with favorites like pancakes, eggs, and the Virginia staple creamed ham. Do not leave without popping into the adorable gift shop packed with everything from Christmas ornaments to full sets of dinnerware.

Old Chickahominey House Must-Have: Virginia Ham, Eggs, and Biscuit Breakfast

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Best Restaurant For Families: Josiah Chowning’s Tavern

Located in the heart of the colonial district of Williamsburg is Josiah Chowning’s Tavern. The historic tavern serves colonial-themed dishes along with modern standards including salads and BBQ pork. Kids will love eating in the historic tavern where the waitstaff is dressed in period garb, and adults can delight in beer flights that often include brews made in the same way as they were in the late 1700s.

Josiah Chowning’s Tavern Must-Have: Low Country Shrimp Boil

Best Restaurant For Adults: Electric Circus Taco Bar

Just steps away from Colonial Williamsburg in Merchant’s Square you’ll find Electric Circus Taco Bar. The small stand inside a brewery serves up both classic street tacos and creative street taco options. Each taco is ordered individually, making it easy to try different varieties in a single sitting. Some of my favorites are the caprese, pork barbacoa, and the Nashville hot chicken tacos. Head here after a day of exploring Colonial Williamsburg, or if you just need a break from the heat and people.

Electric Circus Taco Bar Must-Have: Caprese Taco

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Best Restaurant For Solo Travelers: Old City Barbecue

Barbecue is one of those foods that people will defend a certain type until their last breath. At Old City Barbecue you can count on a great mix of Southern-style barbecue and Texas-style brisket with big servings, delicious sides, and killer smoked chicken wings. The restaurant is known for its brisket, but don’t miss the smoked pork belly that’s been perfectly rendered to create a crispy outside crust while the inside is still super juicy. And do not leave here without trying the smoked pimento cheese, which comes with crackers, Virginia ham, hot sauce, and pickles.

Old City BBQ Must-Have: Brisket and Pork Belly

Best Splurge Restaurant: Gabriel Archer Tavern

When it’s time to settle down for a relaxing dinner with your parter, or to treat yourself there is no better place than Gabriel Archer Tavern. The restaurant is located at the Williamsburg Winery, and has large windows that offer a panoramic view over the vineyard. The menu is filled with scrumptious options like fresh oysters on the half shell, succulent crab cakes, and perfectly cooked risotto. With your meal try one of the wines that’s made with grapes that you can see right outside the restaurant.

Gabriel Archer Tavern Must-Have: Seasonal Risotto

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Best Snack: The Cheese Shop

Anytime there’s cheese involved, you know it’s going to be a good snack. The Cheese Shop is located inside Merchant’s Square at Colonial Williamsburg. Here you can order sandwiches to share, or picnic-ready pieces of cheese and charcuterie. After selecting your cheeses, the staff at the store can help you build out the rest of your plate with fruit, nuts, spreads, and breads.

The Cheese Shop Must-Have: Whatever cheese you like

Best Brewery In Williamsburg: Precarious Beer Project

One of the best breweries in Williamsburg is Precarious Beer Project, located in the same space as Electric Circus Taqueria. The brewery makes every single one of its beers onsite, and guests can sneak a peek at the process (get a good view on your way out the exit doors). There’s something for every palate on this beer list, from sours to dark lagers and stouts.

Precarious Beer Project Must-Have: A sampling selection of short pours while you let the bartender pick what you might like next.

More About Delicious Destinations

Some people plan their vacation with no thought of where they are going to eat, while others plan their entire trip around food. No matter which camp you’re in, FamilyVacationist’s Delicious Destinations has you covered. Each month, this food column covers local favorites including the best family dining spots, the best places for solo travelers, and irresistible snacks in cities around the U.S. Up this month: the best places to eat in Williamsburg, Virginia.

I’m Megan duBois. I’m a full-time food and drink writer, and when I don’t have a fork in my hand, there’s likely an ice cream cone there instead. In this Delicious Destinations column, you can come with me to a different city each month and we’ll explore great restaurants, bars, bakeries, and other eateries. I’ll offer recommendations for families, adults, and solo travelers in each city. I’ll also give you tips on finding great themed restaurants, mid-day snacks, and breweries.

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Megan duBois
Megan duBois is a freelance writer who covers theme parks, cruising, food and drink, and family travel. Her work has appeared on Buzzfeed, Popsugar, Insider, Orbitz, FamilyVacationist, The Daily Meal, Family Vacation Critic, TravelPulse, and more. Megan has been quoted as an expert and thought leader on theme parks for Forbes and other outlets.