The Allure Blog

Dining and Entertainment in Virginia

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Virginia is one of the top destinations in the US if you’re looking for an all-around experience. It has history, culture, fantastic natural attractions, and world-class cities.

When it comes to dining and entertainment, the Commonwealth offers variety, with dining options ranging from unique eateries to upscale restaurants.

The music scene takes you from traditional theaters where you can sit back and immerse yourself in opera performances like La Traviata to lively band venues.

Let’s explore some great dining and entertainment destinations in Virginia that you shouldn’t miss.

Outdoor Dining in Alexandria

One of the places to go in VA for its historic attractions is Alexandria, a city to the north along the Potomac River. It’s also a great place to experience amazing dining options. Like the rest of the Commonwealth, cuisines vary from Scottish-inspired to Italian and Southern fare.

You’ll love the outdoor patios offering open-air dining with breathtaking views of the Potomac. Many of these restaurants are headed by professional chefs, and expectations are high.

If you particularly enjoy outdoor dining, with magnificent views of Alexandria, you have plenty of options in Old Town and Del Rey.

Some of the best outdoor dining nooks in Alexandria include:

King & Rye

Located at 480 King Street, King & Rye is one of the best in Old Town. Sitting near the waterfront, the restaurant offers a street dining experience as you enjoy excellent Southern cuisines made with locally-sourced ingredients.

Ada’s on the River

The quaint restaurant has 260 indoor and outdoor seats, with the patio seating offering a panoramic view of the Potomac. The menu features delicious vegetarian dishes, fresh seafood, and wood-fired steaks.

Barca Pier

Barca Pier is an upscale restaurant sitting on a pier. The restaurant is purely al fresco with great food and features a bar and lounge.

O’Connell’s Restaurant

Stop for Irish dishes at O’Connell’s on 112 King Street. You’ll love the old Irish setting while enjoying a meal and a drink on the street.

Tasty Virginia Beach Cuisine

Most people have Virginia Beach on their itinerary. The coastal city is famous for the sandy shores of the Atlantic and Chesapeake Bay, but it’s also a hidden gem when it comes to dining in VA.

You won’t help noticing good restaurants featuring various cuisines, from Mexican and Italian to Scottish and Mediterranean.

The city offers some of the most delicious seafood in the Commonwealth. You want to try places like:

  • Ruth’s Chris Steak House
  • California Pizza Kitchen
  • Lamia’s Crepes
  • Tupelo Honey
  • Orion’s Roof
  • Bravo Italian Kitchen

Other Foodie Cities

The Commonwealth is vast, so you’ll have unique dining experiences wherever you go. Other cities with rich culinary scenes to visit include:


You’ll appreciate the city’s historic and upscale restaurants offering Southern staples. Don’t miss:

  • Mediterranean classics at Stella’s
  • Steak sandwich at Can Can Brasserie
  • Seafood at Julep’s New Southern Cuisine


The scenic, mountainous city in central Virginia is the place to go for delectable American and global cuisines. The city is known for its Farm-to-table eateries. Places not to miss include:

  • The Local for classic Appalachian fares
  • Vivace for Italian cuisine
  • Orzo for Mediterranean cuisine

The Entertainment Scene

Virginia’s entertainment scene is vibrant with theater performances, live music, art, and comedy shows.

Aside from established music venues, the Commonwealth offers a vibrant nightlife with no shortage of arcade bars, bowling alleys, casinos, and speakeasies.

Regardless of the form of entertainment you’re looking for, you’ll find options up your alley.

Some of the formal entertainment venues include:

Vienna’s Wolf Trap National Park

This outdoor center offers a unique and captivating environment for concerts, theatrical productions, and other performances.

Richmond’s The National

As one of the most iconic historic theaters in the country, The National is worth a visit for its major theatrical performances and concerts from local and world-renowned artists.

Norfolk’s The NorVa

If you’re a live music fan, visit The Norva. It’s not a grand venue, but it offers a memorable experience as you sit back and watch local and national acts.

Final Thoughts

Virginia’s diverse, lively, and progressive culture is reflected in the dining and entertainment scene. It’s also reflected in hot subjects like marijuana, which is now accessible to adults as recreational marijuana and to qualified patients as medical marijuana.

Whether you seek entertainment or culinary experiences, the Commonwealth’s rich culture ensures an unforgettable journey.