With access to New England clams and Maryland crabs, Richmond, Va., is a great place to chow down on fresh seafood, as it’s only 50 miles from the waters of the Chesapeake Bay. In addition to the annual River City Beer and Seafood Festival on nearby Brown’s Island, where you can enjoy imported and craft-brewed beer, seafood and live music, you can get your fix year-round in Richmond by visiting one of the best local spots to sample seafood, listed below.
Croakers Spot Restaurant
What: For mouth-watering seafood in soul food form, Croakers Spot doesn’t disappoint. Fish, crab and shrimp appetizers are largely fried here, but Croakers’ raw/steamed bar features oysters on the half whell, crab legs, lobster tail, steamed shrimp in a spicy Bay seasoning and steamed mussels in garlic butter and white wine reduction. The menu is quite extensive and includes breakfast offerings all day, such as salmon cakes served with cheddar grits, and a local favorite is the Croakers Spot Seafood Bowl, with sautéed shrimp, scallops, mussels and crab claws indulgingly simmered in Creole butter and served over rice.
Where: 1020 Hull St., Richmond, VA 23224
Pescados China Street
What: The ingredients are from the East Coast, but the menu is decidedly Caribbean-Latin fusion at Pescados. Inventive dishes include the Ceviche of the day, which could be baby octopus with mango or Mahi-Mahi with watermelon, and any of the Chef’s Specialties is a must-try. Familiar favorites include the fish tacos with a cilantro-lime aioli and coconut black beans, conch fritters and crab cakes. Don’t forget to wash everything down with a guava jalapeno margarita or pineapple mojito.
Where: 626 China St., Richmond, VA 23220
Stuart’s Fresh Catch
What: For true Virginian, bare bones, hole-in-the-wall fresh fish, stop by Stuart’s Fresh Catch, a seafood stand that also serves delicious spoonbread. In addition to seafood, fried lake trout sandwiches and dinners are stand-outs here, though you can always get your fill of whiting, spot croaker, shrimp, oysters, scallops and salmon from Stuart’s dinner menu, which comes with two sides and a choice of that wonderful spoonbread, hush puppies or a roll.
Where: 2400 Mechanicsville Pike, Richmond, VA 23223
Photo Credit: iStockphoto/julichka