14 Must-Try Lunch Spots in Downtown Norfolk, VA
Looking for where to go for lunch? Whether you need a quick meal or have time for a leisurely lunch, Downtown Norfolk has the best lunch spots around. Here are some of our favorites for every kind of lunch break.
If You Need Lunch To Go
1. Gourmet Gang – Local bistro serving up healthy food fast.
482 East Main Street
What to Order: Our favorite is the Baja Chicken Salad with black bean and corn salsa and an incredible cilantro lime vinaigrette. We're also big fans of the Turkey and Provolone sandwich and love seeing what the pasta salad of the week will be on the side. They also have delicious vegan options.
Pro Tip: Gourmet Gang offers delivery services downtown! You can order online here.
2. Uncle Al’s – An old greasy spoon classic close to Hampton Roads natives' hearts.
151 Granby Street
What to Order: Obviously we have to say a hotdog. The Granby Street Hot Dog celebrates exactly where you are and includes diced tomato, onion, bacon, cheddar, and spicy mustard. But we also love the Pastrami (or Turkey) Rueben.
Pro Tip: Once you've been going to Uncle Al's for a bit, you'll get familiar with their Daily Specials and can start to plan your week accordingly.
3. aLatte Cafe – More than just coffee (but also, really good coffee).
321 Granby Street
What to Order: If you are looking for a solid BLT, this is the place for you. Or if you want something with a little more meat, the Turkey Club on a bagel is delicious.
Pro Tip: If you've got a sweet tooth, aLatte Cafe also serves up delicious ice cream! Dessert, anyone?
4. California Burrito – Authentic California-Style Burritos right on Granby Street.
319 Granby Street
What to Order: Is everything an option? We love a good shredded pork chimichanga, or maybe a lighter burrito bowl filled with half veggies and half chicken. And don't forget the chips and salsa. All their ingredients are organic, too!
Pro Tip: For our vegan Downtowners, California Burrito offers a full vegan menu, including burritos, chimichangas, nachos, and quesadillas.
If You Have a 30 Minute Lunch Break
1. The Stockpot – Modern healthy comfort food restaurant.
215 East Plume Street
What to Order: Our favorite lunch is the Zucchini Noodle Salad – think a Greek salad with zucchini noodles and garbanzo beans. But we also love the Cypress Combo: a cup of soup (the chicken noodle is so, so good), a Virginia ham & honey biscuit, and a side salad.
Pro Tip: Check Stockpot's Instagram for Daily Specials, usually posted in their stories! They also have an in-house baker, and the dessert options are to die for.
2. Lizard Cafe at Prince Books – Soups, salads, and those sweet potato biscuits.
109 East Main Street
What to Order: Absolutely go for the Sweet Potato Biscuit. We like it as part of the Sweet Heaven special: a Handmade Sweet Potato biscuit loaded with Virginia Ham served with seasonal jam, choice of soup or salad, and a choice of side.
Pro Tip: Check the Lizard Cafe's Instagram for a head's up on that day's Soup of the Day, or any other specials they have going on!
3. Granby Waffle Shop at Slover – Dream Up Your Own Waffle Creations.
235 East Plume Street
What to Order: Anything you want! The beauty of Granby Waffle Shop, is that you can create your own waffle, topped with whatever your heart desires. Powdered sugar, Cinnamon Toast Crunch, Sour Patch Kids, sundried tomatoes, Doritos, jalapenos, barbecue sauce... the topping are endless!
Pro Tip: While you're waiting on your order, take a minute to browse the shops at Selden Market. We guarantee you'll find something you like, like a vintage top from Kor Vintage or something unique from one of Selden's pop-ups.
4. Jack Brown’s Beer & Burger Joint – No fuss burger place that tastes like it should cost way more.
131 Granby Street
What to Order: A plain cheeseburger with fries is going to be amazing, but we also love The Chiflet, with Applewood smoked bacon, egg, and an American-Cheddar blend cheese. You can also check out their daily specials to decide what you want to try and when to go.
Pro Tip: Don't ask for lettuce and tomato. They don't have it. Just trust the burgers as they were designed, and you won't be disappointed.
5. Lamia’s Crepes – Authentic French delights, featuring both sweat and savory crepes on Granby Street.
401 Granby Street B
What to Order: We love the Goat Cheese crepe with honey, spinach, and pecans; but if you want something a little heftier, you can't go wrong with the Rosbif (roast beef, spinach, tomatoes, red onions, swiss, and horseradish sauce). And don't forget dessert!
Pro Tip: You can also create your own crepe at Lamia's, just choose from their ingredient list posted inside. And don't forget to watch your crepe being beautifully made in front of your eyes.
If You Have a One Hour Lunch Break
1. Grace O’Malley's Irish Pub & Restaurant – A little bit of Ireland right here in Downtown Norfolk.
211 Granby Street
What to Order: The, and we cannot stress this enough, curried chips. Picture hand-cut steak fries covered in chip-shop curry sauce and why are you even still reading this? Go order some. Also, the Corned Beef Blarney Sub with Paddy Old Irish Whiskey sauce, Swiss, and coleslaw is a solid sandwich option.
Pro Tip: The dark wood interiors and beautifully sculpted bar were all imported from Ireland during construction of Grace O'Malley's, so a lunch break here really is (sort of) like a mini-vacation to the Emerald Isle. Feel free to brag about it to your friends.
2. Hair of the Dog – A fun spin on classic comfort & traditional breakfast.
250 Granby Street
What to Order: Hair of the Dog's Buffalo Chicken Sandwich is flat-out incredible. But if you are feeling more of the breakfast vibe, you can't go wrong with the Veggie Lover Omelette or the decadent Biscuits & Gravy.
Pro Tip: We have five words for you: Eight kinds of Bloody Marys.
3. The Grilled Cheese Bistro – Comfort food all grown up.
345 Granby Street
What to Order: You can't go wrong with the Gooey, a classic three cheese (cheddar, fontina, and mozzarella) grilled cheese on sourdough. And try the Don Quixote, with olive tapenade, roasted red pepper, sauteed onion, and mushroom with parmesan and fontina on sourdough — a sandwich with the distinction of winning best grilled cheese in Virginia!
Pro Tip: Get the Parmesan & Chimichurri fries with Chipotle Aioli. Just trust us.
4. Cafe Milo – Delightful dishes in the heart of the NEON District.
217 Grace Street
What to Order: The Bang Bang Banh Mi is a must try, with fried chicken, pickled veggies, cilantro, and chili honey mayo on a baguette.
Pro Tip: Cafe Milo is also a little off the regular path, in the NEON District. Take in some of the murals on your way to and from lunch.
5. Saffron – Authentic Indian cuisine using traditional methods and modern techniques.
420 Monticello Avenue, Suite 170
What to Order: We love the Executive Lunch at Saffron, starting with a Veg Samosa (filled with potatoes and green peas) or the Gobi Manchurian (Cauliflower florets) and then savor the chicken Korma, though you can never go wrong with Tikka Masala.
Pro Tip: Don't forget about dessert! We love the Mango Julfi, which is deliciously cool against the heat of your meal.