Virginia Beach is one-third of the Hampton Roads metropolitan area, but by all accounts, it’s the most popular with travelers. Beautiful beaches, a rich naval history, and surfing are just a handful of the most intriguing aspects of the city, but it’s the seafood that takes center stage. Freshly caught from the Atlantic Ocean and Chesapeake Bay, these marine delicacies are as fresh as it gets. Here are some of the top picks for seafood in Virginia Beach.

Waterman’s Surfside Grille

Located at the southern tip of Virginia Beach’s famed Atlantic Avenue, Waterman’s Surfside Grille almost seems hidden, and if that’s the case, you’ve certainly found a treasure. Consistently ranked as one of the top seafood establishments in the city, this family-owned establishment has been serving up the freshest seafood in the area since 1981.

While Waterman’s looks somewhat unsuspecting from the outside, when you get inside, you’re hit with the aroma of delicious seafood in this family-friendly establishment. Start with their famous crab dip as the appetizer and move on to the “Just Seafood” entree, featuring lump crab meat, sea scallops, and jumbo shrimp.

When you’re done gorging, don’t worry. Waterman’s proximity to Virginia Beach’s top hotels and resorts makes for an easy walk back to your room.

Tautog’s

Nestled into a converted 1920s beach cottage, Tautog’s is where the locals go to savor delicious seafood. With an emphasis on fresh, daily catches, this casual seafood restaurant has plenty of appetizers and entrees to get your taste buds moving. Crab dip and crab nachos are two of the most popular starters here, but if you’re an oyster fan, choose one of three types of oysters on the half shell.

Tautog’s also has some interesting entrees that mix inspirations from across the world. The tuna Martinique features fresh tuna marinated in lime, red onions, olive oil, and black pepper for a taste of the Caribbean. For a taste of the South, opt for their take on the shrimp and grits. This Southern classic has shrimp sauteed in peach barbecue sauce served over jalapeno cheese grits. Sweet and savory, this dish is certainly unique.

Blue Seafood and Spirits

Strip mall restaurants are always a bit of a gamble, but Blue Seafood and Spirits is looking to break the mold. This quaint little hole in the wall has room for just 60 diners, giving you the feel like you’re in an exclusive club. However, reservations aren’t available, so plan ahead when you want to eat here. Inside, the casual restaurant features coastal decor and a fully stocked bar that allude to the dining and drinking experience you’ll receive.

Local craft beers and signature cocktails are the highlights of the drink menu, and either pairs nice with traditional fare such as salmon, crab, oysters, scallops, mussels, and more.

If you asked four locals where to get the best seafood, you’d probably get four different answers. With rampant subjectivity and different flavor palates, you should probably just hit each one of these spots before you leave town just to see which one resonates with you.