Where to Eat and Drink during Something in the Water

The Cravings Queen’s Guide to Virginia Beach Dining during Something in the Water

We’re just a few days away from the highly-anticipated Something in the Water festival. Working in tourism media, I’ve written too many articles about how big this music, art and cultural festival is going to be. The brainchild of producer, rapper, song writer and jack of all trades, Pharrell Williams, Something in the Water is a huge opportunity for Virginia Beach to show off its local charm.

The three-day festival, from April 26–28, sold out shortly after tickets went on sale last month. Organizers recently released the set times for the star-studded lineup of musical acts, allowing festival-goers to better plan how they spend their time around the festival.

With so many performances, events, activities, panels and more at Something in the Water, make sure you find some time to explore Virginia Beach’s thriving culinary scene. The area, from the Oceanfront to Town Center, is brimming with fantastic, locally owned restaurants and bars that can satisfy any craving you may have. Whether you’re looking for a quick bite between sets or a sit-down meal with a handcrafted cocktail, indulge in some of Virginia Beach’s restaurants and bars during the Something in the Water festival.

Chances are, you won’t want to stray too far from the action at the Oceanfront. I’ve picked three of my favorite restaurants in each category. All are just a short walk or drive from the Something in the Water festival.

Virginia Beach Bars

Personally, I can’t handle the crowds of a music festival unless I imbibe in one or two cocktails first. Located right at the Virginia Beach Oceanfront, and even right off the boardwalk, are a number of fantastic bars to wet your whistle. Here are a few of my favorites.

Waterman’s Surfside Grille

I can’t make a list of Virginia Beach bars without mentioning a local staple, Waterman’s Surfside Grille. Waterman’s is famous for serving the classic orange crush, made with fresh-squeezed orange juice, triple sec and sprite. Festival-goers will be able to stroll right from the 6th Street beach stage to Waterman’s from the boardwalk.

Waterman’s Surfside Grille is located at 415 Atlantic Ave., Virginia Beach.

The Shack


A summertime hotspot, The Shack is the place to go when the weather warms up. With two bars, lawn games, swings and more, this is a great spot for some outdoor drinking and socializing with friends. The Shack also serves the Orange Crush, both the original and a variety of different flavors.

The Shack is located at 712 Atlantic Ave., Virginia Beach.

Calypso Bar and Grill

Calypso-happy hour.jpg

Calypso Bar & Grill has a large covered patio with oceanfront and boardwalk views, perfect for a little people watching, along with ample seating inside. The highlight of Calypso is the bar’s fantastic happy hour specials. Indulge in 79 cent oysters, clams, mussels and wings, as well as drink specials to keep your buzz going.

Calypso Bar and Grill is located at 1101 Atlantic Ave., Virginia Beach.

Virginia Beach Brunch Spots

There’s nothing like a good brunch to cure your hangover blues and refuel for the next full day of events.

Bay Local Eatery

A local favorite, Bay Local Eatery is well worth the wait if you decide to brunch here. Both of the restaurant’s locations are busy on a normal weekend, but you can order drinks while you wait. Bay Local serves up large portions of all of their dishes, and even has a massive mimosa that’s perfect for sharing.

Bay Local is located at 927 Laskin Road, Virginia Beach and 2917 Shore Drive, Virginia Beach.


Another popular brunch hotspot is Citrus. Featured on “Diner’s Drive-Ins and Dives,” Citrus serves up all of your breakfast and lunch favorites, along with brunch cocktails that don’t skimp on the spirits. Their made-from-scratch dishes are simple and delicious, with many also offering a coastal flair.

Citrus is located at 357 N Great Neck Road, Virginia Beach and 2265 W Great Neck Road, Virginia Beach.


While you’re in Virginia Beach, be sure to check out our vibrant arts and culture district, the ViBe Creative District. Located within the ViBe District is Esoteric, serving innovative dishes with local ingredients. If you want to keep the party going on the last day of Something in the Water, head to Esoteric for Beats, Beers and Brunch. DJ Canrock will be spinning his upbeat mix while you enjoy some of Esoteric’s thoughtfully crafted cuisine.

Click here to read more about Beats, Beer and Brunch.

Esoteric is located at 501 Virginia Beach Blvd., Virginia Beach.

Virginia Beach Restaurants for Lunch and/or Dinner

Midday hunger cravings are the worst. Fortunately, there are ample restaurants in Virginia Beach to tame your hanger. Unwind over a delicious meal at one of my favorite lunch/dinner restaurants.

Bro’s Fish Tacos

If you’re willing to drive or take a short Uber, head down Virginia Beach Boulevard to Bro’s Fish Tacos. Bro’s serves up Baja-style fish tacos that will leave you yearning for more. The restaurant also has a large selection of beer and wine to wash down your delectable tacos.

Click here to read more about Bro’s Fish Tacos.

Bro’s Fish Tacos is located at 277 N Lynnhaven Road Suite 116, Virginia Beach.

Rudee’s Restaurant & Cabana Bar

A trip to the coast is not complete without a succulent seafood feast. Rudee’s menu consists of fresh, locally caught seafood, served in a casual setting. Next door to the main restaurant is the Cabana Bar. Order cold cocktail to go with your meal then take a seat around the fire pit table or at one of the glider tables overlooking the inlet.

Click here to read about my restaurant week experience at Rudee’s Restaurant & Cabana Bar.

Rudee’s Restaurant is located at 227 Mediterranean Ave., Virginia Beach.

The Atlantic on Pacific

A higher end option on this list is The Atlantic on Pacific. The Atlantic is another seafood restaurant, boasting a modern dining room and raw bar. Oyster lovers will enjoy indulging the options at the raw bar, with many oysters coming right from our local waterways. The Atlantic’s appealing menu is complemented by their carefully selected wines and handcrafted cocktails.

The Atlantic on Pacific is located at 3004 Pacific Ave., Virginia Beach.

Local Restaurants Participating in Something in the Water

A number of local restaurants and other businesses will have special offerings during Something in the Water.

Old Beach Markets

Browse local craftsmen and growers at the Old Beach Markets on Friday, April 27. This market features food, art, music and more all made by locals. The Old Beach Farmer’s Market is a weekly occurrence at the ViBe District. For Something in the Water, these markets will offer even more.

The Old Beach Markets will be located at ViBe Park, 18th and 19th Streets at Cypress Avenue and Croc’s 19th Street Bistro parking lot.

Croc’s 19th Street Bistro

After a full weekend of concerts and activities, Drag Yourself to Brunch at Croc’s 19th Street Bistro. Croc’s drag brunch is a favorite among locals. Something in the Water festival-goers can share in this experience by making reservations for the brunch on Sunday, April 28.

Smartmouth Brewing Co.

Local brewery Smartmouth Brewing Co. has created a custom can design for Something in the Water. The sleek silver can is filled with Smarthmouth’s hefeweizen-style beer and will be sold during the festival at the Pilot House location.

Smartmouth Brewing’s Pilot House is located at 313 32nd St., Virginia Beach.