January is here and Restaurant Week events will be happening all across Virginia! We’ve got all the details on where to go and what to expect. Restaurant week will be happening in Virginia Beach, Portsmouth, Charlottesville, the River Realm, and Smithfield. If you ever dreamed about fine dining without breaking the bank, you’re in for a treat as you navigate the menus from the finest Virginia restaurants crafted by passionate chefs and create a dining experience like no other!
What is Restaurant Week?
Restaurant week events originated as a way to promote local businesses and give diners an opportunity to explore new culinary experiences. The event typically lasts about a week, during which participating restaurants offer special fixed-price menus, often featuring a selection of their most popular or unique dishes. Many of these restaurant week events are also tied to a charity, giving diners a little extra motivation to get out of the house and try a new food spot!
Here’s how Restaurant Week generally works:
- Fixed-Price Menus: Participating restaurants create special prix fixe menus for dinner. These menus often include multiple courses (appetizer, entree, dessert) and are offered at a set price, which is often lower than the regular menu prices.
- Diverse Cuisine: Restaurants participating in Restaurant Week can range from fine dining establishments to more casual spots. The goal is to showcase the diversity and quality of the local dining scene.
- Community Engagement: Restaurant Week is a way for diners to enjoy slightly discounted meals and an opportunity for the community to come together and support local businesses. It encourages people to explore new culinary offerings and fosters a sense of community.
- Charitable Component: In many cases, a portion of the proceeds from Restaurant Week may go to charity. This adds a philanthropic element to the event, making it even more appealing to diners.
January Restaurant Week Events
Williamsburg Restaurant Week (January 9-31)
Restaurant week in Williamsburg is a bit different as specials run for much of the month. So keep an eye on the specific dates for each restaurant and enjoy some delicious specials that run from January 9 to 31. Offering a Prix Fixe dinner menu at $54, the Terrace Room combines modern sophistication with timeless culinary excellence, offering a prix fixe dinner for $54. Kings Arms Tavern offers a Restaurant Week Lunch Special at $24 (Jan. 13-31) and a Dinner Special at $49 with period-inspired ambiance and 18th-century culinary experiences. Raleigh Tavern Bakery provides sweet treats inspired by Colonial America, including Brunswick Stew and pasties available for on-location or take-home purchase during Restaurant Week.
Virginia Beach Restaurant Week (January 15-21)
Celebrate the 19th year of Virginia Beach Restaurant Week with exclusive menus, pre-fixe pricing, and even local hotel discounts. Nautilus boasts the best Alaskan snow crab legs and offers three-course combinations that will satisfy any seafood lover. Try selections from the massive gluten-free menu at Abbey Road Pub & Restaurant. Inspired by the Beatles, the pub is renowned for its ‘Around the World in 80 Beers’ challenge and famous Abbey Burger. Feel the good times vibe and enjoy delicious traditional American and seaside fare at Arbuckle’s Bar & Grill or explore the art of fondue at The Melting Pot. Whether you enjoy Asian-fusion cuisine and eclectic cocktails at Orion’s Roof or looking over the exquisite garden-to-table menus at Becca, Restaurant Week is a great time to try something new!
Virginia River Realm Restaurant Week (January 18-28)
Don’t miss out on the tasty spots included in Virginia’s River Realm Restaurant Week! They’re celebrating the diverse culinary scene of the 8 Great Small Towns, featuring everything from fancy dining to laid-back spots and the freshest seafood in town. If you’re lucky enough to score a reservation at Adrift, you won’t be disappointed. This spot has incredible seafood, but is also a great option for other farm-to-table dishes. Dredge is a fun spot for oysters, but they also have a menu that includes an array of farm-to-table items with Caribbean, Cajun, and Asian influences. Merrior is a popular spot on the banks of the Rappahannock River, overlooking where the oysters are grown. While the seafood scene is what the River Realm is known for, there are plenty of food options from vegetarian-friendly meals and farm-to-table dinners.
Portsmouth Restaurant Week 2024 (January 19-27)
Portsmouth Restaurant Week runs from January 19-27. You can try diverse flavors from Portsmouth’s top restaurant with prix fixe menus, unique dishes, and signature creations. Start your adventure at The Bier Garden, where authentic Bavarian cuisine meets a stellar beer selection — or try a unique global dining experience at Still Worldly Eclectic Tapas. Explore New Orleans coastal-inspired cuisines from stone-fired pizza to crab cakes and filet mignon at Olde Towne Public House — or enjoy your southern favorites at Roger Brown’s Restaurant & Sports Bar. From the authentic dishes at Thai Basil to expertly crafted BBQ flavors at Twisted Pig Ale and Smokehouse, there is something tasty for every palate in Portsmouth.
Charlotteville Restaurant Week (January 29 – February 4)
Charlottesville is known as a city for foodies, so Charlottesville Restaurant Week from January 29 to February 4 is a must-visit. This week-long celebration will let you eat like a king with three-course meals for $25, $35, or $45. Looking for the right spot for you and your friends? Bang! is the go-to destination for vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free options. The Whiskey Jar is perfect for classic southern plates complemented by a fine whiskey collection. And Pineapples Thai Kitchen and Maru Korean Cuisine & Sushi is great for for authentic Thai and Korean dishes. Charlottesville offers a diverse culinary experience, catering to a wide range of dietary preferences. Their Restaurant Week is packed with top-rated restaurants like the Fig restaurant, which has been a favorite destination for locals and tourists since opening its doors in 2012. We recommend making a reservation early as these places will fill-up quickly!
Smithfield Restaurant Week (January 26 – February 3)
Restaurant Week in Smithfield is from January 26 to February 3. Participating restaurants and eateries will not only feature their famous and beloved dishes, but also introduce new items through special Restaurant Week menus. For a true taste of Smithfield, indulge in an impressive array of delicious restaurants and handcrafted local wine, brew, and spirits. While Smithfield is renowned for its salty southern hams, why not explore beyond and savor the delectable seafood offerings at Captain Chuck a Mucks — or the small-town brewpub fare at Wharf Hill Brewing Company. For those looking for the traditional southern experience, Smithfield is known for its pork and BBQ offerings. There’s a reason why it’s on the salty southern route!
It’s important to note that the specifics of Restaurant Week vary from city to city and from year to year. In Virginia, there are Restaurant Week events happening all across the region at different times. If you’re interested in participating, you should check the official event website — or contact local restaurants for details on menus and pricing during the designated Restaurant Week period in your area.