The Chesapeake Bay District of Virginia Beach, a community known affectionately to Va Beach residents as Chic's Beach, is a relaxing, decidedly local area that is the perfect place to spend a summer day. Shore Drive, the main stretch in this area, features some of our favorite restaurants and breweries in town, all of which maintain the laid-back vibes that make this a favorite district for locals. Here are a few of our favorites that have opened recently that you need to try.
Bobo’s is one of many new additions to Shore Drive in the Chesapeake Bay District, and you won’t want to miss this fried chicken and biscuit joint. Operating out of what used to be a beloved family-run local seafood spot for over 70 years, Bobo’s is keeping the familial tradition alive with a fried chicken recipe three generations in the making, a process which takes two days from start to finish, and made-from-scratch biscuits that will take you back to another time. The fried chicken and biscuits are a must, but they aren’t the only must-try on the menu. Bobo’s uses local and regional ingredients whenever possible. Don’t leave without trying one of their biscuit breakfast sandwiches with local country bacon or sausage, or salty Virginia Ham, or fresh, seasonal specialties like local Virginia asparagus salad, marinated cucumber and cherry tomato salad, and homemade strawberry ice cream, with Princess Anne County strawberries from our own Cullipher Farm.
Mermaid Winery is the first urban winery in the state of Virginia, with its grapes sourced from premier vineyards in Virginia and California. They also have over 800 wines from around the world that you can taste, too. While the wine might be what brings you in the door, the food here is a must. After your tasting, grab a table outside on their patio and dig into some local oysters with their seasonal mignonette for a starter.
Bay Local has been a local favorite since it first set up shop in the Chesapeake Bay District, and is now operating out of the Oceanfront District, as well. You can’t go wrong with any of their Bennies, but we are partial to the Crab Cake Bennie for its fresh local flavor. Of course, washing it down with a soft shell crab-topped Bloody Blue or a fresh-squeezed orange crush is an absolute must. And don’t miss out on the parmesan tots.
Step back in time to our country’s Golden Era with brunch and a morning cocktail at the vintage naval-themed Anchor Allie’s Bistro, with two locations, one on Shore Drive and one at Town Center. For a unique take on an omelet, we recommend their Bridge “Bomblette,” which combines seasonal local berries with creamy brie and a drizzle of honey, making for the perfect combination of sweet and savory. Their breakfast cocktails change regularly, but we have yet to try one we haven’t loved.
Simple on Shore, formally called Simple Eats, maintains a locally-sourced philosophy, with mouth-watering options for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. With delicious ingredients that are as fresh as they get, both of these farm-to-table eateries are as good for the body as they are for the belly. With bloody Mary and mimosa flights, this is one of our favorite spots for brunch drinks, too.