Food tents at Mathews Market Days festival: All kinds of food
The food at the food court (a cluster of tents just off the main drag) sold things like oysters and crabs (locally caught, I'm sure) as opposed to fried chicken, Brunswick Stew, and barbecue served at the festivals in Southside.
Southwind Cafe: Great crab bisque
This cafe was once Lee Miles' General Store from 1924 to the 1970s. I guess Sibley's or the Dollar General Store put them out of business. The original store shelves are still intact and hold local arts, gifts, and gourmet foods. In true Southern tradition, you can dine on the front porch.
Favorite Dish: I was not really hungry on my way out of Mathews, but Gaynelle recommended the crab bisque.
Irish Cottage Pub & Eatery: Irish Pub in Mathews?
The Irish Cottage Pub & Eatery is Irish in atmosphere only. The green carpeting and decor, complete with dartboard, certainly suggest Ireland, but country music over the sound system brings you right back to Virginia. Although American country music has its roots in Scottish and Irish folk music, I doubt they had in mind "There Ain't Nothin' Wrong With the Radio" by Aaron Tippin. The service was slow that day, but I gave them a pass due to the larger crowd than the little town was accustomed.
Favorite Dish: I wasn't terribly hungry, so I had chicken tenders and fries. I had envisaged several slender chicken strips and a few fries on the side. However, the 3 pieces of chicken were practically big enough to have their own zip codes and the portion of fries was far bigger than I would get at the chain restaurants outlined on my USA page. The chicken and fries were very good and more than enough to tide me over to supper.