Over the past few months, my future has been a bit up in the air. My boyfriend recently finished his four years in the Navy. He has been job-hunting both locally and in locations along the East Coast, and I was on edge knowing that we might be moving at the drop of a hat. But we just found out that he got the job he wanted most right here in Norfolk, Virginia…so we’re staying!
I have to say, I’m relieved. I’m always up for traveling to new and interesting locations, but I have grown to love living in the Hampton Roads area. My favorite neighborhood, hands down, is Ocean View – which is why we live here. Beach? Check. Fun stuff to do? Check. Awesome restaurants? Check, check, check!
I know we usually stick to posting recipes, but today, I wanted to write a little love letter to West Ocean View, which I’m happy to call home. Specifically, I want to tell you about all of the awesome places to eat in this neighborhood. The more touristy areas of Virginia Beach might bring you to this area, but I hope that if you’re planning a trip to coastal Virginia, you’ll stop by West Ocean View for a bite to eat! Here are my three favorite spots:
1. Mojo Bones
This cool little dive bar and restaurant is one of the first places I ever ate in Norfolk, and it remains one of my favorite. They have truly awesome BBQ platters, along with a large selection of local brews, and some fun cocktails they’ve concocted. Try the pulled pork and cornbread; you won’t be disappointed. If you’ve been to the ODU Mojo Bones, you’ve probably experienced more of a college-catering, club atmosphere. Not so at the Ocean View joint! Here, they have live blues and indie rock music every weekend, and an open mic night for those of you who like to perform. Plus, no cover! It’s reasonably priced and delicious with great entertainment. What’s not to love?
If you’ve looking for a great spot to pick up lunch, look no further than Doug’s Hot Dogs. Now owned by Doug’s nephew, this little diner-themed spot is one of the friendliest, most welcoming places I’ve ever eat. Because Doug’s is tucked away instead of being on one of the main roads, people often miss it. Believe me, you don’t want that to happen! Their hot dogs are delicious (pick from Hormel or all-beef), and they have yummy homemade soups, which I especially love in the winter. Best of all, you can have lunch or a quick snack for under $5, which is not something you can do at most places.
3. Golden China
I know, it seems random to have a generic Chinese take-out place on the list, right? Well, despite its looks, Golden China is anything but generic! This restaurant is just a few doors down from Mojo Bones, so I walked past it for months when I first moved here. The Chinese food I had ordered there once was mediocre at best. So why does this restaurant gain a place in my top three? Because they have a sushi menu that is ah-maze-ing. There rolls are easily some of the best I’ve ever eaten, and if you don’t see anything you want on the menu, just tell the chef what you like and he’ll create a roll for you. The house-created “Sexy Beach Roll” is one of my favorites, and I also love the MacArthur Roll and Sea View Roll. Actually, I’ve never had a disappointing Japanese dish from Golden China. I can’t recommend their sushi enough if you’re hungry for something light and delicious.
We’re huge fans of trying new restaurants, especially those in our neighborhood, so I want to give a shout-out to some other West Ocean View restaurants. Even though they didn’t capture a spot on my top three list, they’re all yummy in their own ways! In no particular order, here are the places we’ve tried:
- Royal Garden (Chinese) – This is a great spot if you want to sit down for Chinese. It’s better than most take-out in the area.
- Franco’s (Italian) – A little pricey for what it is, but their desserts are to die for! Plus, the service is great.
- Greenie’s (Bar) – Great drink specials, including beer towers. The food is pricey and very hit-or-miss, but the view from their back deck is awesome.
Going to be visiting the Norfolk or Virginia Beach area and want to stay in West Ocean View? We’re on AirBnB and would love to have you! Here’s a $25 travel credit when you register, and if you want to stay with us, just search Ocean View, Norfolk, VA, and our listing is “Private Room, 3 Blocks from Beach.” We’d love to have you!
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