Iconic Downtown Restaurants: The OG's of Downtown's Dining Scene

Downtown Norfolk is always on the cutting edge of innovative restaurant trends and adventurous culinary fusion with new restaurant concepts popping up all over our district. But our Downtown restaurant scene is also anchored by iconic dining spots that helped to revitalize the Downtown dining scene. Whether you are celebrating a special occasion or enjoying the casual comfort of a spot that has been a family favorite for generations, here are some restaurants that have been dishing up deliciousness for decades.

Famous Uncle Al's

151 Granby Street
757-625-8319

Over 35 years Downtown

Downtowners love Famous Uncle Al's as a one-stop shop for all their quick breakfast and lunch needs, serving up Boar's Head premium specialty hot dogs, juicy cheeseburgers, quick egg breakfasts, soups, and daily specials. Come for the reliably good food, stay for the friendly, casual atmosphere.

 

 

Monastery

443 Granby Street
757-625-8193

Over 30 years Downtown

Monastery owners Anna and Adolf Jerabek escaped from the formerly communist Czechoslovakia in 1967 and immigrated to the United States, bringing with them their restaurant concept The Monastery Restaurant, which first opened in New York City on the West side. Shortly after arriving in Virginia in the early 80s, they opened The Monastery Restaurant on Granby Street. They have been in business at this location for over 30 years and pride themselves in having one of the oldest restaurants in Downtown Norfolk. Everything about the restaurant, from the delectable old-school European dishes to the ornate decor, is a true dining experience. 

 

 

Freemason Abbey

209 West Freemason Street
757-622-3966

Over 30 years Downtown

The building that houses Freemason Abbey has been a part of Norfolk's history since the 19th century, serving as a gathering place since its inception in 1873 as a Second Presbyterian Church. In the late 80s, the old church building was renovated, a second floor was added, and Freemason Abbey became the elegant yet casual restaurant we all know and love today, serving beloved She Crab Soup, and nightly specials like Friday's "Wild Game Night" specials.

 

 

Todd Jurich's

150 West Main Street, Suite 100
757-622-3210

Over 29 years Downtown

Chef Todd Jurich has been cooking professionally since 1976 and opened Todd Jurich's Bistro in Downtown Norfolk in 1992. The restaurant features a seasonal menu with the best of the Chesapeake Bay region, an intimate atmosphere, and is a wonderful place to see and be seen Downtown while enjoying a high quality meal.

 

 

Omar's Carriage House

313 West Bute Street
757-622-4990

Over 23 years Downtown

Omar's Carriage House's building is a Norfolk historic site, as the original (literal) carriage house was built in the early 1840s, housing carriages, horses, and riding equipment, before being converted to a tea room in the 1940s. Owner Omar Boukhriss opened the Omar's Carriage House that we love today over 23 years ago, with it's mix of European, American, and Moroccan food, eclectic decor, and beautiful outdoor patio.

 

 

d'Egg Diner 

204 East Main Street
757-626-EGGS (3447)

Over 17 years Downtown

d'Egg Diner has been a locals' favorite since first bursting onto the Downtown scene. Anchoring Selden Market on the Main Street side, d'Egg scrambles up breakfast and lunch classics for its loyal fans. It's "how Norfolk starts d'morning."

 

 

456 Fish

456 Granby Street
757-625-4444

Over 17 years Downtown

The current site of 456 Fish was built in 1923 and was originally occupied by Curley's Billiard Parlor and the Navy Store. 456 Fish celebrates Norfolk's history with black and white images on the walls of their dining room. The restaurant is a part of the ever-changing historic landscape in Norfolk and is both comfortable and inviting, with refined seafood and cocktails. 

 

 

Hell's Kitchen

124 Granby Street
757-624-1906

Over 16 years Downtown

Hell's Kitchen is a staple in the Downtown Norfolk music scene, showcasing over 500 groups and artists, and a place national acts stop to eat after their performances. They are also a local favorite for great grub and an electric atmosphere. 

 

 

Byrd & Baldwin Bros. Steakhouse

116 Brooke Avenue
757-222-9191

Over 15 years Downtown

The Byrd & Baldwin Bros. building was built in 1906 and restored in early 2006, preserving architectural integrity and original façade. It is now a stellar traditional Steak and Chophouse serving quality beef with exceptional marbling and flavor. Be sure to also request a tour of the private wine cellar while you are there.