A year and a half ago, I wrote a blog about great places to eat when you’re in Williamsburg for a college visit or future move in/family weekend/etc if you want to try something other than a standard chain-restaurant meal. Since then, and largely due to the fact that I spend way more money eating out than I should, I’ve discovered quite a few more gems around town. Therefore, I thought it was high time that this blog received a Part Two! For those of you that are curious, check out Part One.
Located right in the heart of New Town next to the movie theater, Ichiban has absolutely fantastic Chinese food. Don’t let the fancy interior scare you off, I go in all the time in a t-shirt and jeans. They have a huge range of foods and prices on their menu and some killer lunch deals, especially for sushi. Perfect match for a nice lunch on the way to campus or a delicious dinner followed by a movie next door afterwards! My fave dish: Shrimp and Salmon Teriyaki with fried rice and the best wonton soup I’ve ever had!
Okay, so technically this one is kind of a chain. But I’d never heard of it before it moved to New Town recently [coincidentally, right down the street from Ichiban], so I’m going to count it anyway. Blaze is sort of upscale fast food [in the same category I classify Panera Bread or Chipotle]. For $7.95 you can choose from what seems like it must be close to 100 different toppings [including like 8 different kinds of cheese !!!, white or red sauce, and a drizzle of something [BBQ? Pesto?] at the end. You go through the line sort of like at a Moe’s or Chipotle and tell them to put as much or little of the toppings on as you want [again, all for one price, no add on fees!], then they fast fire it in 180 seconds in a brick oven and voila! Delicious, cheap & fast pizza!
One of the fancier restaurants in town, Second Street is a great choice when you want a great splurge or your parents are in town to take you out to eat ;). It’s tucked back a bit in the area on the way to Busch Gardens but it has some of the freshest, most delicious food in town. You can get everything from steak to lobster lasagna to shepard’s pie or lamb. Their steak is one of my favorite in town as well as the crab dip appetizer, mmm mmm good!
I know, I know. I recommended a Mexican restaurant already on the Part One blog. While Plaza might not be quite as authentic as South of the Border, they still have some fantastic food! Located next to Movie Tavern right down the street from W&M on Richmond Road, they’re in a great location to stop by during your campus visit. The two things that really sell Plaza for me are the table side guacamole [they wheel over a fancy cart and make a huge, and I mean HUGE, bowl of guac fresh right in front of you], and that a lot of the dishes are smothered in an amazingly tasty cheese sauce that comes just about as close to perfection as it gets!
Rick’s Cheese Steak Shop
If you’re looking for something within walking distance from campus, Rick’s is a great choice! Located just right up the street from Aromas and the Campus Shop, Rick’s is modeled as a traditional 50’s diner with some of the friendliest staff around. Not to mention that they’ve also got what I think is the tastiest made-to-order cheese steaks in town! However, they serve a whole host of sandwich, hoagie, and side options available in case cheese steaks aren’t your thing.
No matter which way you go, I encourage you to explore some of our local restaurant options during your visit instead of falling into the Olive Garden/Outback/TGIFridays trap. Williamsburg has a great food scene for such a small town and it’s worth checking out!
– Audrey Savage