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Element is a foodie favorite for quality bistro fare...
The Whiskey Jar does neo-Southern comfort food in a rustic setting of wooden furniture, where waitstaff wear plaid and drinks are served out of Mason jars...
Lucky's has excellent cocktails (try 'The Cube') and a seasonally inspired menu of small plates (hickory-smoked porchetta, roasted oysters) and heartier mains (buttermilk fried chicken, morel and asparagus gnocchi).
This friendly cafe whips up excellent lattes, pastries, waffles and thick baguette-style sandwiches...
Inside the Main Street Market, Feast! is a fine spot to load up on picnic fare, with wines, cheeses, fruits and other temptations, plus fresh sandwiches (made to order from 11am to 3pm), soups and salads.
In the Market Station complex (where the tourist office is), Tuscarora Mill serves market-fresh fare, including rack of lamb, ahi tuna steak with roasted portobello mushrooms and a delectable seafood stew.
When the weather is perfect, this is one of the better outdoor dining spots in the Downtown Mall. The spicy grilled chicken sandwiches are amazing. At night, this place transforms into a hit-and-miss nightclub.
The Cure is a picture-perfect neighborhood cafe on the edge of the historic district, with tasty and creative sandwiches, great coffee (from Counter Culture) and microbrews and charcuterie later in the day.
One block north of Merchants Sq, Aromas is an inviting coffeehouse serving a wide range of fare, plus wine and beer. There's outdoor seating and live music (jazz on Tuesdays; wide-ranging sounds on weekends).
Serving breakfast all day, the Blue Moon is a festive retro-style diner that also has Virginia beers on tap and live music (Wednesday through Friday nights). Pancakes come decorated with unusual portraits.
Soul Mountain Cafe , with its Bob Marley posters and African sculptures, is kinda incongruous, but when you're serving andouille (a spiced pork sausage) over penne and crabmeat-stuffed salmon, that's fine by us.
A Virginia culinary landmark, the Trellis caters to burger-seeking tourists for lunch and nirvana-seeking foodies for dinner. Regional specialties, such as salmon fillet with country ham, shine.
This casual welcoming spot serves Latin American food, including satisfying enchiladas, tacos and pupusas (maize flatbreads), although its rotisserie chicken is famous. Outside seating in back.
This beautifully set restaurant serves delicious contemporary American fare. There’s outdoor seating overlooking the canal, and a cozy dining room complete with fireplace. Reservations recommended.
Burger buffs swoon over the juicy cheese-loaded patties, sweet-potato fries and thick milkshakes. Try the Soul Burger Number One, with bacon, swiss cheese, sauteed mushrooms and grilled onions.
One of the top seafood restaurants on the boardwalk has a sleek interior and a popular deck that's great for people-watching and catching a bit of an ocean breeze. Find it in the Hilton.
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