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Seems as though we ate in restaurants that are labeled as "Taverns"; however, they did not seem to be typical taverns.l
King's Arms Tavern A select group used to patronize King's Arms Tavern. George Washington was one who ate/drank here.
Today, they serve traditional southern dishes such as Virginia Ham, fried chicken, peanut soup and game pie.We were quite pleased with our meal.
Shield's Tavern On the other hand, the lower and middle class frequented Shield's Tavern during the mid 1800s. It's located on Duke of Glocester Street.
Today, they serve crayfish soup, spit-roasted meats, and a sampler of 1740s food. We also enjoyed this Tavern very much.
Christiana Campbell's Tavern specializes in seafood from Chesapeak Bay plus Southern fried chicken, Virginia ham, and spoon bread. Allan loves seafood, so he was "in heaven" here. I certainly enjoyed the meal also.
Located on Waller & Francis Back Streets
Favorite Dish: We enjoyed Virginia Ham, Crayfish soup, spoon bread, and the seafood. Probably we had the most interest in and fun with the 1740s sampler.
Updated May 28, 2005
Chowning's Tavern is located east of the Courthouse. It was completed in 1766 and Josiah Chowning advertised, when he opened his tavern, "where all who please to favour me with their custom may depend on the best of entertainment for themselves, servants, and horses, and good pasturage."
Today Chowning's Tavern has been rebuilt, and it resembles an 18th-century alehouse. This tavern serves such specialties as Brunswick stew, Welsh rabbit, oysters, clams, hearty sandwiches, and "Chowning's good Bread".
It's furniture is sturdy, country-made chairs and tables, but it is still comfortable and cozy.
It's really neat that colonial games (Gambols), music, entertainment, and light food and drink occur every evening. Also, during nice weather, guests can request being served in the garden behind the tavern with its grape arbor.
Favorite Dish: Allan really enjoyed the oysters and clams. I loved the "Chowning's good Bread".
The atmosphere is delightfully comforting.
Updated May 28, 2005
This is a wonderful little restaurant and with some really good food. I was happy to find it right outside getting back from walking so much I was really tired and hungry. I asked the folks inside the visitor center where I could find a nice sit down place close by. They were so happy to point me to this place, which was right outside to the left down the walkway from the center. Yay, it was appreciated to have it right close by.
Fri.: 5–9:30 p.m.
Sat.: 5–9:30 p.m.
Favorite Dish: Had a very nice garden salad and hamburger. Very good eating indeed!
Updated Jul 25, 2012
Address: 113 Visitor Center Drive Wiliamsburg, VA 23185
Phone: (757) 229-2141
This is one of our favorite colonial era restaurants in historic Williamsburg. It is an 18th century tavern specializing in seafood. The staff is costumed and ready to please! Musicians stroll by your table playing tunes from the 1700's. The meals are wonderful! Be sure to make a reservation because all of the historic restaurants will fill up quickly.
Hours are 11:30 am-2:30 pm for lunch and 5 pm-9 pm for dinner. The restaurant is closed after the summer season. We always dine here in the evenings by candlelight.
Favorite Dish: The breads are made by scratch--the sweet potato muffins are out of this world!
Updated Feb 27, 2006
Address: 120 E. Waller Street
Most people from out of town visit Williamsburg via Interstate 64, but they often miss the treasures on the back roads. Hog Wild in nearby Toano is one of them. It is not an old established favourite- it opened in 2005. Many of the previous occupants of this location were bars or roadhouses. One of Hog Wild's predecessors boldly admitted to serving moonshine. Locals were relieved when the owner took out the bar and put in a family-style restaurant. Outside, Hog Wild has the feel of a roadhouse and you can smell the smoked meat from the parking lot. Never call it a "barbecue joint". Hog Wild offers a lot of seafood and Creole items. The owners consider it more of a smokehouse. Everything there is homemade including five barbecue sauces served in boxes intended for beer bottles. They offer a North Carolina style vinegar based sauce, a South Carolina style mustard based sauce, a St. Louis style sweet and spicy sauce, a New Orleans style tomato based sauce, and a Tabasco based extremely hot sauce called Cajun voodoo. The decor on the inside is a little mundane and drab, but the smoky aromas outside the restaurant and in provide all the atmosphere I need.
Favorite Dish: I had the chicken dinner which consists of a half chicken with a mildly spicy dry rub. All entrees come with cheesy cornbread and either a salad and one side dish or two side dishes. I had the barbecue beans and the collard greens. The chicken was outstanding, the cornbread was better than most, the beans were a little too sweet (a bit more dry mustard would balance it out), and the collard greens were served as whole leaves, but were great just the same.
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Updated Sep 18, 2007
Address: 8864 Richmond Road West, Toano, VA 23168
Phone: (757) 741-2515
When we travel to Williamsburg this is always one of the historic taverns we visit. We just love the 18th century feel! Costumed waiters attend to your table while you are entertained period style by candlelight . Family entertainment and games (gambols) are featured from 5-8 pm and "quick fare" offered. Delicious meals and ambience await you. Try eating under the grape arbor for lunch!
Be sure to make a reservation because the historic restaurants fill up quickly! The shuttle will drop you off close by.
Hours are 11:00 am-9:00 pm. and may be opened much later in the winter.
Updated Oct 28, 2005
Address: 109 E. Duke of Gloucester
The Trellis features inside and outside dining in their restaurant at Merchant Square. We prefer the cafe menu ( $8-$13) for patio dining. If it's a nice day, you can people watch while waiting for your meal since it's centrally located in the shopping area. Go for lunch--it's less expensive. Save the dinners for the historic restaurants in Colonial Williamsburg.
There is a great toy store next door to the restaurant--go there afterwards just for fun. The toy soldier collections always catch our eye!
The Trellis is open seven days a week for lunch and dinner.
Updated Nov 1, 2005
Address: 403 Duke of Gloucester St. at Merchant Square
We had dinner in this lovely old tavern on Waller Street (near the Capitol). It specialises in local seafood. I had a tasty clam chowder to start with, followed though by chicken (writing this over six years after our visit I can’t imagine why I chose that when I love seafood so much, but according to my diary I enjoyed it!) A similar meal at today’s prices will cost about $30+.
Christiana Campbell ran the tavern here in the 1770s. When George Washington and other leading gentlemen of the colony came to town for business, politics, or pleasure, they would often meet with local residents here. Today the tavern is decorated and furnished as it would have been in Christiana’s day. Artefacts found during excavation of the site and a sketch of the tavern drawn on a late 18th-century insurance policy aided in reconstructing the tavern. The dinnerware is based on fragments of an 18th-century squirrel pattern excavated in Williamsburg. Other items, such as the pewter and brass candlesticks and framed prints and maps are typical of those that would have been used in an establishment like Mrs. Campbell’s, which was neither the most elegant nor the most common tavern in town.
The menu is presented as if from the 18th century as at all the Colonial Williamsburg taverns:
A well-seasoned Hen, Skillet-fried and put forth with
a Rasher of Ham, Pecan-Apple Relish
and Maple-whipped Sweet Potatoes”
Updated Mar 16, 2007
Address: Waller Street
The original King's Arms Tavern was built in 1772. The King's Arms of today was reconstructed on the site. We considered this restaurant more for adult-dining because of the meal choices, but perhaps others would disagree. The costumed waiters add to the atmosphere of the tavern and musicians accent your meal with appropriate 18th century tunes. The food was hardy and well prepared. Make reservations because all of the colonial restaurants are busy!
Hours are 11:30 am-2:30 pm and 5 pm-9:30 pm varying with the season.
Updated Nov 1, 2005
Address: 416 E. Duke of Gloucester St.
Candles and gas lamps to light your way and room during dinner. You are escorted to your reserved table by a lady in colonial dress and cap. During our seafood dinner of crab and lobster a walking mandolin player entertains with Christmas music. Dinner takes about two hours and reservations were made in October for this special day.
Favorite Dish: The seafood was very good. There were also some beef selections available but we wanted a different meal for Christmas. Seafood is the speciality at this Tavern. Each of the four taverns have a special meal, typical of them on Christmas Day.
Updated Oct 24, 2006
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