At Traditions, Executive Chef Anthony Frank serves Southern and Chesapeake food with a modern flare.For breakfast, opt for the buffet or dine á la carte. Who wouldn’t go for Fruited Flap Jacks or Virginian Poached Organic Eggs? Lunch is full or original twists. The Roasted Vidalia Onion Soup has croutons made from goat cheese, the Southern Caesar Salad is topped with fried okra and the BLT Burger features fried green tomatoes. Dinner makes it apparent that Traditions is all about new customs. Try the Grilled South Hampton Country Eggplant Burger, Nelson County Roasted Gala Apple Bisque or Surryano Ham Crusted Wild Caught Salmon. If you like what you taste, finish the night with the pecan tart, goat cheese cheesecake or chocolate peanut torte. a(children) 's menu offers many of the same delicious items in kid-size portions. If you enjoy a drink on your vacation, look into Wine Wit & Wisdom or Pints & Pairings for the adults in your party.
At Duck Donuts, your donuts are made to order. Watch as they are cooked and topped and handed to you warm. Add a gourmet coffee and you’ll be ready to start your day! Order one or an entire bucket. Coating options include cinnamon sugar, glaze, vanilla icing, chocolate icing, peanut butter icing, strawberry icing and maple icing. Top them with shredded coconut, chocolate or rainbow sprinkles, or chopped peanuts. Yum!
Locals and tourists alike flock to Le Yaca for delicious French cuisine for lunch and dinner. French-owned since 1980, this warm and inviting restaurant copied its sister in a small village in the French Alps. For lunch, begin with La Soupe à l’Oignon and order Le Veau à la Grenobloise as you tear off a piece of fresh baguette. This veal and potato dish is sautéed in a delicious lemon and caper sauce. Complete your meal with Le Pain perdu aux Poires, a warm brioche pudding with pears and Valrhona chocolate. Dinner options are equally delightful. Choose from a selection of beef, duck, seafood, snail and lamb dishes. Desserts range from sorbets and soufflés to cheese plates and crèmes brûlées.
R. Charleston's Coffeehouse
Buy a ticket to sample coffee the 18th-century way at R. Charlton’s Coffeehouse. Sip on a steamy brew of coffee, tea or chocolate and imagine the Williamsburg elite doing the same as they talked politics. Pause on the front porch. It was here that George Mercer, a stamp agent from England, took refuge as an angry mob chased him in protest of England’s Stamp Act. Governor Fauquier kept the mob from overrunning the coffeehouse.
The Williamsburg Winery is located on the 300 acre farm of Wessex Hundred. Passed over for the settlement of Jamestown just down the river, this was one of the first plots of land purchased in the New World. In 1985 a couple began planting grapes in its rich soil, and three years later the beloved Governor’s White was released. It is well worth a stop for wine tours and tastings, and two onsite restaurants serve classy, delicious dishes that live up to the farm’s rich heritage. At Café Provençal, Chef Ika Zaken elegantly plates meals of lean meats and fresh vegetables full of flavor. Take the path 100 yards farther for the Gabriel Archer Tavern. The tavern pairs incredible food with wine and a casual, homey setting. Sit in the Vineyard Room overlooking rows of Vidal grapes and order a French bread sandwich. You’ll taste gourmet countryside blossoming in every bite.
Sit down to a candlelit dinner of Southern proportions. Shields Tavern serves hearty 18-century dishes on reproduction plates atop long wooden tables. Throughout dinner, fiddlers set the mood. The bill of fare’s first courses are local delights. Try Peanut Soupe, salads decorated with chopped apples or the tasty Crayfish and Shrimp Stew made with sherry. From seared salmon to barnyard chicken, the main courses are memorable. A great ode to the past is Ale-potted Beef. Set on a bed of rosemary-garlic mashed potatoes, this dish simmers beef, carrots, celery, pearl onions and forest mushrooms in ale. The deserts are timeless finishes: Granny Smith Caramel Apple Pie, Fudge Torte and Whipped Chocolate Pudding. The drinks also embrace the colonial setting. Order a Rummer, a dark rum tossed with apricot and peach brandies, and a Primm’s cup, a gin and ginger ale spiced to perfection.
Huzza! BBQ Grill
Take the family to Huzzah! BBQ Grille, where Southern comfort and all-American food are printed on the same menu. Squeeze into a booth and order a regional favorite – slow-cooked barbecue – and add a side of southern-style collard greens or homemade macaroni and cheese. Kids love selecting their own toppings for a personal junior pizza, baked until crispy in the oven. With hot dogs, chicken tenders and cheeseburgers, too, it’s hard not to make your children smile here. Order a sampler of local beers and the adults will be chipper as well.
Christiana Campbell's Tavern
Christiana Campbell’s Tavern is the ultimate colonial experience. George Washington himself once praised its seafood. Maintaining an 18th-century vibe with pewter candlesticks, reproduction wooden chairs and framed prints, it’s easy to imagine the political discussions that once floated over the aroma of homemade cornbread. Many of the dishes came straight out of colonial cookbooks. Scallops, crab, shrimp and fish are paired with strange but traditional vegetable medleys that make the white and blue china pop with color.
Jamestown Pie Co.
The Jamestown Pie Co. specializes in all types of pies: pizza pies, pot pies, nutty pies, fruity pies and special pies. Its long list of pizza pies includes such creations as The River Crab Pie with white sauce and jumbo lump crabmeat and The Sicilian with marinara, pepperoni, Italian rope sausage and salami. Other savory options include the Turkey and Veggie Pot Pie and the Creole Pot Pie. In a sweet mood? Order a Virginia Peanut, raspberry peach, bumbleberry, strawberry, apple crumb, pumpkin, key lime or frozen peanut butter pie to go.
Florimonte's Fine Foods and Deli
A budget-friendly option for families is Florimonte’s Fine Foods & Deli. It brings home the flavor of NYC with New York Style pizza, but it doesn’t stop there. Order a stuffed pizza, calzone, Sicilian style, Hawaiian pizza, veggie pizza or margherita pizza. Not in a pizza mood? Try baked ziti, pepperoni bread, chicken cordon bleu or eggplant parmesan. A host of salads and deli sandwiches are a lighter option. The Portobello Burger, Grandma’s Meatball Hero and Applewood Bacon BLT jump off the menu. The kids menu includes grilled cheese, pizza and spaghetti. Don’t forget a round of cannolis before you leave!
Haunted Dinner Theater
The only thing that makes a 71-item, all-you-can-eat buffet dinner better is a mystery. Bring the family to Captain George’s Seafood Restaurant for the Haunted Dinner Theater presenting "Ding-Dong! The Witch is Dead." As you chow down on snow crab legs and BBQ ribs, Master Chase, Butler Chives and other suspicious characters will comically interact with you. Be the first to find the $1,000,000 stamp using your clues and bribe money. Be warned – ghostly special effects make for a terrifying evening!
Want to see a movie but haven’t eaten dinner yet? No worries! The Movie Tavern allows you to watch the latest movies at a reasonable price and order food and drinks – which are delivered to you! The menu features classic American dishes, beer and wine. Comfortable, movable chairs add to the experience. On weekends, the theater also offers Breakfast & A Flick, perfect for lazy Sunday mornings!
Alewerks Brewery Tour
Enough of American history, let’s talk beer history! Head to the AleWerks and have a casual discussion about beer, tour the brewhouse and learn what it takes to produce a tasty brew. In the store, you’ll get a full tasting of the brewery’s American hand-crafted ales. As a token of your experience, you’ll receive an imprinted AleWorks glass.
Whitley's Peanut Factory
Whitley’s Peanut Factory searches for the biggest Virginia peanuts it can find and then slowly roasts them to perfection. All of this is done the old-fashioned way by hand in individual batches, and you can taste it in each crisp nut. Salted or unsalted? Redskin or naked? Roasted or raw? In a tin or on a T-shirt? In the shell? Boiled? Yes, Whitley’s does make peanut butter, cover peanuts in chocolate and mix them into gorp. And if you feel an addiction coming on or simply can’t choose between them all, then monthly and quarterly peanut clubs are available for your convenience.
Williamsburg Pottery has three crafty marketplaces: Home Essentials, Outdoor Living and Gourmet Kitchen, as well as an Au Bon Pain for anyone shopping up an appetite. The collection of shops was inspired by Jimmy Maloney, who made 18th-century-type salt glazes using clay from the James River. Visit for custom framing, salt-glazed pottery and silk floral arrangements. As you browse the isles, you’ll be able to add china, glasses, cookware, gourmet foods, wines, lamps, home decorations, candles and bridal accessories to your cart. Take the kids by the sweetshop for a carefully frosted cupcake before you check out!
In New Town, take a break from history and mingle with people who now call Williamsburg home. It has 170 shops and restaurants, as well as a movie theater and a number of service-oriented businesses. Shop at popular stores such as Ann Taylor Loft, Barnes and Noble, Victoria’s Secret, Doncaster, Bath & Body Works, Chico’s and Jo-Ann Fabrics & Gifts. Also browse local favorites: The Mole Hole, Retro Daddio, Hi-Ho Silver, Williamsburg Cupcake, Authentic Guitars and New Town Art Gallery.
Spice & Tea Exchange
Is your spice cabinet looking bare? Then stock up at the Spice & Tea Exchange. With 170 spices, herbs and seasonings, you can imagine this place smells amazing. If you’re an experienced chef, then select a few ounces of gourmet spices. If not, then try a pre-mixed blend or rub such as Salmon Tea Rub or Herbs de Provence. If you prefer sticking to the basics, then try more varieties of salt and pepper than the average person has even heard of. Of course olive oil ties in a nice spice beautiful, so check that selection. Also try their sugars (Doesn’t blueberry sugar sound delicious!) and teas. Tired of Black English tea? Try Sweet Matcha, stone-ground with milled sugar cane to produce a fine green powder. If you’re searching for gifts, then a dehydrated mushroom blend, spice gift box and gourmet sampler won’t be forgotten!