20 Incredible Restaurants in Portsmouth, VA

This article was written by local contributor Adam Robinson & edited by the Travel Lens team.

Best Restaurants in Portsmouth, VA

Ah, Portsmouth, Virginia - a city bustling with history, culture, and of course, mouthwatering food.

I must admit, one of the best parts of living here is the diverse selection of incredible restaurants.

From decadent seafood dishes to comforting soul food, there's always something to satisfy any craving.

As someone who's dined at nearly every eatery in town, I can't wait to share with you the best of the best restaurants in Portsmouth, Virginia.

The Coffee Shoppe

One of my favorite places in historic Portsmouth to start my day is The Coffee Shoppe.

This family-owned gem offers more than just coffee, with a menu full of delicious and healthy options for breakfast and lunch.

I love to sit outside at their sidewalk seating area, soaking in the classic cobblestone atmosphere while savoring my meal.

Whenever I visit, I can't resist trying one of their specialty drinks.

They easily rival any big-name coffee chain.

The Coffee Shoppe is also pet-friendly, which makes it even more enjoyable for me as I can bring my dog along.

On my last visit, I couldn't help but indulge in a chicken pesto sandwich and a creamy caramel ice espresso.

I absolutely loved it, and as a frequent visitor, I can confidently say that I'll be coming back for more.

The Coffee Shoppe · 300 High St, Portsmouth, VA 23704, United States
★★★★★ · Coffee shop

Ellen's Homestyle & BBQ Express

As a local, I can't get enough of Ellen's Homestyle & BBQ Express, LLC.

It's hands down the best place to go when you're craving soul food.

Everything on the menu is freshly prepared and cooked daily.

My personal favorites are rice with gravy, turkey wings, macaroni and cheese, and green beans.

The portion sizes are huge, so make sure you come hungry or bring a friend to share the meal with.

The first time I visited Ellen's, I tried the ribs, and they were absolutely finger-licking, fall-off-the-bone good.

The place is small, so only three people are allowed in at a time, but it's worth the wait for the delicious, home-cooked meal.

Ellen’s Homestyle & BBQ Express, LLC · 4206 Portsmouth Blvd, Portsmouth, VA 23701, Verenigde Staten
★★★★★ · Soul Food-restaurant (Afrikaans-Amerikaans)

Southern Flair Seafood & More

I can't believe it took me so long to discover Southern Flair Seafood & More!

It's hands down one of the best seafood places in town.

The first time I went there, I was blown away by the traditional family recipe flavors in every bite.

I still remember how the food was so good that my body refused to put the spoon down while my mind was struggling to understand the magic behind those amazing dishes.

One of my all-time favorites is the stuffed potato with crab, shrimp, corn, egg, and a bunch of other incredible ingredients.

The flavors are insanely delicious, and just thinking about it makes my mouth water.

Not to mention, the banana pudding is an absolute must-try – it's simply heavenly!

You should definitely check out Southern Flair Seafood & More if you haven't already.

Trust me, it's worth the visit.

Here's the Google Maps link to help you find it easily.

Can't wait to go back there again soon!

Southern Flair Seafood & More · 3933 unit B, 3933 Turnpike Rd, Portsmouth, VA 23701, United States
★★★★★ · Restaurant

Bangkok Garden

I stumbled upon Bangkok Garden one day and decided to give it a try, and I must say, it was one of the most exquisite dining experiences I've ever had.

The menu boasts a wide selection of authentic Thai dishes, and the price range is surprisingly reasonable, considering the quality and taste of the food.

I've been a frequent visitor ever since that first visit.

The delectable curries and stir-fries never fail to impress me, and the traditional decor adds a lovely touch to the overall dining experience.

I've tried the red curry, chicken pad Thai, veggie spring rolls, and chicken masman curry, and all of them were incredibly scrumptious, leaving me craving for more.

Aside from the mouth-watering food, the customer service is truly excellent.

Even during the busiest evenings, the place never feels overly crowded, making it a perfect spot to savor delicious Thai food in a comfortable and cozy environment.

Bangkok Garden · 5774 Churchland Blvd, Portsmouth, VA 23703, United States
★★★★★ · Thai restaurant

Gardner Willz Cafe

I recently had the pleasure of dining at Gardner Willz Cafe, and I must say that it exceeded all of my expectations.

As soon as I walked in, I was greeted with a warm and inviting atmosphere.

My meal was nothing short of amazing.

The portions were generous, and the taste was simply on point.

One of the highlights of my meal was the grits – they tasted as if a family elder had prepared them with love and care.

In addition to the incredible food, the restaurant also had a clean restroom and played soothing jazz music, adding to the cozy ambiance.

Gardner Willz Cafe · 5811 W Norfolk Rd, Portsmouth, VA 23703, United States
★★★★★ · American restaurant

Gourmet Burger Bistro

I recently visited Gourmet Burger Bistro in search of a unique burger experience, and I was not disappointed!

This casual family restaurant, tucked away in a shopping center off Western Branch Blvd, offers a selection of gourmet burgers and sticky wings that are truly delightful.

The menu boasts a range of burger options, from the basics to more unique offerings like the Bacon Shrimp Burger.

I decided to give it a try, and I was pleasantly surprised by the combination of freshly grilled shrimp, bacon, and a hand-pressed burger patty.

The flavors worked together beautifully, creating a truly unique sandwich that I'll definitely be coming back for.

I also tried the Smokie Jo, which comes topped with an onion ring, BBQ sauce, and bacon.

Though it was a little messy, the kick from the BBQ sauce and the crunch of the onion ring made for a delicious and satisfying meal.

The atmosphere of the bistro is cozy and welcoming, with small touches like dish chargers and even a purse holder at the table adding to the overall experience.

Gourmet Burger Bistro · 6083 High St W, Portsmouth, VA 23703, United States
★★★★★ · Hamburger restaurant

Still Worldly Eclectic Tapas

I had the opportunity to visit Still Worldly Eclectic Tapas the other day, and it was quite an interesting experience.

The subterranean cafe and bar had an amazing speakeasy feel that I absolutely adored.

The menu offered a wide variety of global small plates, whiskeys, and cocktails, which made it even more appealing.

As a gluten-free diner, I was thrilled to find that most of the dishes were gluten-free or could be made that way.

Still Worldly Eclectic Tapas · 450 Court St, Portsmouth, VA 23704, United States
★★★★★ · Tapas restaurant

Pizza Box Gem

I recently stumbled upon this charming little pizza place called Pizza Box.

When I dined in, I shared a pepperoni pie with a friend.

The crust was thin but not stiff, and the pizza was super tasty.

What I loved about Pizza Box was the neighborhood setting, the cleanliness, and the casual atmosphere.

I could easily hear and have a conversation with my friend while enjoying our meal.

My partner and kids also loved the food when we went there together, and my son even gave it a 100 out of 10 rating

Pizza Box · 2616 Detroit St, Portsmouth, VA 23707, United States
★★★★★ · Pizza restaurant

Subs Sandwiches & More

Ever since I discovered Subs Sandwiches & More in our neighborhood, I've been in love with their delicious sandwiches and friendly service.

I remember the first time I went there, I was surprised at how reasonable the prices were for such incredible food.

I've been a loyal customer ever since and can't get enough of their tasty menu options.

One time, they were out of chicken salad, and I was so disappointed that I knew I had to come back.

When I finally got to try it, I was blown away by how delicious it was.

I've been back multiple times in just one week because I couldn't get enough of it!

Their lemonade is also a must-try, and don't get me started on the sweet banana peppers.

I'm not the only one who feels this way - many others in the neighborhood share my sentiments, making this place a true neighborhood staple.

Subs Sandwiches & More · 3932 George Washington Hwy, Portsmouth, VA 23702, United States
★★★★★ · Sandwich shop

Beyond Vegan Cell Food

Last week, I decided to give Beyond Vegan Cell Food a try, and I must say I was not disappointed.

The moment I walked in, I could feel the positive and friendly atmosphere.

I ordered the vegan cheesesteak egg rolls, Royal Flush fresh juice, fries, and a side salad.

The salad dressing was delectable, and those egg rolls were absolutely divine.

I couldn't resist getting some takeaways for my family, so I got mushroom soup and vegan gumbo, which they loved!

The next day, I went back with some of my girlfriends for lunch.

We shared the Philly Steak and Cheese Egg Rolls and Truffle French fries as appetizers.

For the main course, two of us got the Steak and Rice bowls, while another friend opted for the Chicken and waffles.

We were all really impressed by how delicious and filling everything was!

I was blown away by the Vegan Sausage Gumbo, Vegan Tuna Salad, Vegan Chicken Salad, and Mushroom Soup.

It's hard to believe that these dishes were made without any meat!

Beyond Vegan Cell Food · 615 High St, Portsmouth, VA 23704, United States
★★★★★ · Vegan restaurant

M Rae's Chicken & Seafood

M Rae's Chicken & Seafood has become one of my favorite go-to spots for indulging in mouth-watering takeout.

Their menu is a delightful mix of flavors, serving up some of the best wings, seafood, and desserts I've ever tasted.

Some of my personal favorites include the "Gold Dust" and "Bang Bang" wings, as well as the luscious "Animal Cracker Cheesecake" for dessert.

If you're a fan of Mac & Cheese, you definitely need to try theirs – it's heavenly!

Not only is the food delicious, but the customer service is top-notch as well.

Give M Rae's Chicken & Seafood a try for your next takeout date night – you won't be disappointed, and you'll be supporting a fantastic local Black-owned business!

M Rae’s Chicken & Seafood · 4113 George Washington Hwy, Portsmouth, VA 23702, United States
★★★★★ · Chicken wings restaurant

Vietnam 81 Restaurant

I have been a regular at Vietnam 81 Restaurant for quite some time now, and I must say, their delicious pho and other Vietnamese classics never disappoint.

This no-frills joint is perfect for a quick and satisfying meal.

The prices are fair, and I find the quality of the food to be top-notch.

One of my favorite dishes to order is their traditional Vietnamese Pho, which is always rich in flavor and freshness.

I also love their spring rolls and vermicelli bowls.

Whenever I need a pick-me-up, I order their iced Vietnamese coffee – it's perfect for getting over that midday slump!

I also appreciate the concealed carry sign posted on the door, as it gives me a sense of safety while enjoying a meal.

Vietnam 81 Restaurant · 4411 George Washington Hwy, Portsmouth, VA 23702, United States
★★★★★ · Vietnamese restaurant

Bangkok Garden Thai and Sushi Bar

One of my favorite spots in town for a delicious meal is the Bangkok Garden Thai and Sushi Bar.

Whenever I feel like having some Thai cuisine, I make my way to this amazing restaurant that never disappoints.

You can check out their website here.

The moment you step in, you're greeted warmly and seated promptly.

I usually start with their wings as an appetizer, and they always come out hot and flavorful.

The sauce on the wings is just perfect, and it's quite filling too.

On my last visit, I tried their noodle soup with cabbage and added some beef.

The soup was hot, had a fantastic flavor, and came in a generous portion.

The ambiance at Bangkok Garden is modern and clean, with plenty of space between tables, making for a comfortable dining experience.

Bangkok Garden · 5774 Churchland Blvd, Portsmouth, VA 23703, United States
★★★★★ · Thai restaurant

Other Restaurants Nearby

Glass Light Restaurant (Norfolk)

What a night!

As a local, I cannot recommend Glass Light Restaurant enough.

My partner and I decided to give it a try and let me tell you, it did not disappoint.

Not only is the restaurant located within the lovely Glass Light Hotel, but the service and the food were all top-notch.

The whole experience was phenomenal!

The atmosphere of the restaurant was elegant yet cozy, making it the perfect spot for a special evening or even a casual night out.

I must say, the five-course meal (plus a bonus dish!) we enjoyed at Glass Light was hands down the best food I've had in the area.

And I'm not alone in this sentiment - many of my fellow residents have also become fans of this fantastic dining experience.

Glass Light Restaurant · 201 Granby St, Norfolk, VA 23510, United States
★★★★★ · Restaurant

The Restaurant at Four Eleven York (Norfolk)

I recently had the pleasure of dining at The Restaurant at Four Eleven York for brunch, and I must say, the experience was nothing short of exceptional.

The moment I walked in, I could tell the place was popular among locals and visitors alike, as the restaurant was bustling with activity.

Upon being seated, I was greeted by our friendly bartender, Sean, who whipped up some fantastic cocktails for us.

He was knowledgeable about the drinks, and I appreciated his recommendations.

As for the food, it truly exceeded my expectations.

I ordered the zucchini waffle and a side salad with fried oysters, while my partner opted for the Nashville hot chicken bao appetizer.

It was a simple yet memorable gesture that made our visit even more special.

The Restaurant at Four Eleven York · 409 W York St, Norfolk, VA 23510, United States
★★★★★ · Fine dining restaurant

Pokey (Norfolk)

I can confidently say that Pokey in Norfolk is one of my go-to spots for a quick and satisfying meal.

Whenever I'm in the mood for a poke bowl or ramen, I always think of Pokey Norfolk.

The create-your-own bowl option with various toppings, meats, and sauces really allows me to customize my meal to my liking.

They're always fast and friendly, making it a perfect spot for lunch breaks.

Pokey · 215 Granby St, Norfolk, VA 23510, United States
★★★★★ · Restaurant

Chartreuse Bistro (Norfolk)

I remember celebrating my anniversary with my spouse at Chartreuse Bistro, and it was truly an unforgettable experience.

The exceptional service started with the call for reservations and didn't end until we left that evening.

Upon arrival, we were pleasantly surprised to find personalized menus with "Happy Anniversary" printed on them.

The food was out of this world - flavorsome, fresh, and European-inspired farm-to-table fare made for a delightful meal.

The atmosphere was perfect for our special evening, as the restaurant was quiet and had a modern, open design.

Chartreuse Bistro has definitely become one of our favorite spots in Norfolk, not only for its incredible food and drinks (their DC Gin and Tonic is a must-try for G&T fans!) but also for their attentive and personable service.

Chartreuse Bistro · 205 E City Hall Ave, Norfolk, VA 23510, United States
★★★★★ · Bistro

The Grilled Cheese Bistro (Norfolk)

Just the other day, I found myself craving a warm, gooey grilled cheese sandwich.

Lucky for me, I discovered the most amazing spot for elevated grilled cheese in the area – The Grilled Cheese Bistro.

It's a quaint little cafe located in downtown Norfolk with a sophisticated ambiance.

The seating is quite limited, but they make up for it with outdoor seating and a cozy bar area.

As soon as I walked in, the wonderful service started.

Though it may seem hard to believe that a high-end spot like this could focus only on grilled cheese sandwiches, the Bistro has truly mastered the art of taking this classic comfort food to the next level.

Every sandwich I've tried there has been simply divine.

When I went there last time, I tried their creative sandwich options, and I was pleasantly surprised to find out that I could add or remove any toppings to customize my sandwich.

The service was quick, which is always a bonus in a place with limited seating.

Though they don't have a full cocktail menu, they do offer craft beer on tap and a decent selection of wine.

It's a small detail that doesn't take away from the overall exceptional experience.

The Grilled Cheese Bistro · 345 Granby St Suite A, Norfolk, VA 23510, United States
★★★★★ · American restaurant

Freemason Abbey Restaurant (Norfolk)

I have to tell you about one of my favorite spots in town, the Freemason Abbey Restaurant.

It's located in a beautifully-preserved circa-1873 church, and the stained glass and tavern ambiance make it a truly unique dining experience.

Every time I go, I can't resist ordering their famous she-crab soup - it never disappoints!

The giant chunks of crab and rich, creamy consistency make it the best in town.

I recently tried their Cuban, which was a pleasant surprise since they use flat bread instead of a hoagie roll, making it a lighter and more enjoyable sandwich.

My partner loves their club sandwich that uses their own delicious, “hot and smokey” mayonnaise.

One of the things that make Freemason Abbey stand out is its kid-friendly atmosphere.

Another reason I keep coming back is their fantastic dessert options.

We've had their bread pudding and key lime pie, both of which are absolutely delicious.

Freemason Abbey Restaurant · 209 W Freemason St, Norfolk, VA 23510, United States
★★★★★ · American restaurant

Final Thoughts

I must say that Portsmouth is truly a culinary gem that never ceases to amaze me.

From the elegant ambiance of Glass Light Restaurant to the mouthwatering sushi at Bangkok Garden Thai and Sushi Bar, there's always a new and exciting dining experience to be had.

The diverse blend of cuisines, flavors, and atmospheres make it nearly impossible to choose a favorite, but I can assure you that each of these establishments offers a unique and satisfying experience.

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