They set the scene nicely, their seating area is both shaded and colorfully decorated (check out those floor mermaid murals)… Want to take your food poolside? Serving breakfast, lunch and dinner, menu items like ceviche, pimento grilled cheese bites and pulled pork pretzel bread sandwiches pair perfectly with a dip in the pool.
Spiny lobster rolls and Royal Red shrimp combined with refreshing tamarind tea is a lunch that any Rawest native would be proud of. Nicaraguan fried tacos, care Masada sandwiches, and freshly made drinks like Peruvian Chichi and Puerto Rican Orchard are served with a smile at Leila’s.
The wildlife and natural beauty of Chicoteague makes it the perfect vacation spot for when you when to slow down from the stresses of everyday life. Since it’s an island popular for fishing, Chicoteague naturally offers a plethora of fresh seafood options.
For those who enjoy dining in style but not breaking the bank, try something new and head over to Channel Bass Inn Tea Room for some afternoon luxury and leisure. The afternoon tea is a substantial four courses, beginning with savory delights and followed a variety of scones, cakes, and biscuits.
In between exploring Chincoteague’s many attractions, visitors are bound to get hungry and want to grab a quick bite out. When lunchtime comes around, the Sea Star Café serves up a variety of sandwiches, soups, and salads, which can be followed up with some of their fresh baked desserts.
What makes the Sea Star Café above and beyond the average lunchtime stop is the freshness of the food and consistency; the two owners prepare every meal to order. The flavored fresh squeezed lemonades and iced sweet teas will keep you cool and hydrated after a long day outside.
No trip to Chincoteague is complete without taking in the stunning views of the Assateague Lighthouse and the wild ponies. At Etta’s Channel Side Restaurant, diners can enjoy the fresh seafood while taking in stunning waterside views.
With the casual setting comes reasonable prices and the perfect relaxing atmosphere that you can only find on the shore. When on Chincoteague Island, people struggle to find restaurants serving quality Asian food.
For those who are looking for a place to eat to break up the traditional seafood and American fare, they should look no further than Saigon Village Restaurant. Owned by a Vietnamese family, Saigon Village put freshness above all else, and the menu has plenty of healthy and vegetarian options.
At Sugar bakers, the cinnamon buns, donuts, croissants and scones are so popular that diners need to arrive early to get them before they run out. Luckily enough, you can call ahead and reserve your sweet treats, so you don’t have to worry about missing out on an amazing breakfast or snack.
Along with numerous baked goods that are freshly made, Sugar bakers serves sandwiches and salads for lunch. The family owned and operated PICO Taquería provides fresh meal options that will have you feeling full but not bloated as you head back to the beach.
The taco options include the Maddox with local cornmeal fried oysters and The Deep Hole with crispy cauliflower and caper pic ode Gallo, along with traditional offerings. One of the best parts about Chincoteague is the local charm of the community, and Captain Zack’s Seafood is the perfect family owned spot for a traditional coastal meal.
This spot is carryout only, so be prepared to bring it back home or on a nice day, you can sit in their outdoor seating area. The Island Creamery features a wide selection of freshly made ice cream flavors using dairy produced from local Lancaster County cows.
For special occasions, be sure to order an ice cream cake, and they will be custom make it with selected flavors. Just be careful you don’t get too addicted, because visitors report making multiple trips to the Island Creamery in the same day.
According to the US Census Bureau, almost 25,000 people call Rawest and the surrounding islands home, a fact that is lost on most visitors. But in order to shoulder up to someone who calls Rawest home year around, you have to avoid behaviors that send them running in the other direction.
Also, don’t ask Conchs ridiculous questions like “Does the sun always set on the same side of the island?” Because clearly, it does. INSIDER Tipster out of your comfort zone and seek out advice from a local.
Ask them about restaurants, what kind of activities to take part in, and what nightlife spots to avoid. Step onto a sidewalk in Old Town, and you’ll see a scooter zip by in under 60 seconds.
INSIDER Wintry renting a bicycle instead, and stick to the designated lanes on the streets. There are many opportunities while visiting Rawest that might make a visitor feel like their actions don’t have consequences.
Then, when their trip is over, they return to their jobs and families as if nothing veered left of rest and relaxation. INSIDER Upkeep your top on and your pants up if you don’t want to end up in a squad car.
If you’re visiting Rawest, you’re walking around in the land of delicious Cuban coffee and rich café con leches. If you’re opting for scorched espresso over Sandy’s, Dolphin Deli or the Cuban Coffee Queen, you’re doing it wrong.
There’s one Starbucks on the island, and it’s in a hotel and most of the time the line wraps around the store. Folks are more likely to purchase daily excursions out on the water with larger companies because they have representatives in the lobbies of the bigger hotels.
While these trips are easier to book because of the convenience, the experience usually falls flat. You’ll be competing with all those other tourists for the same photo ops and snorkel gear.
Locals cringe when they see tourists flocking to the docks and marching aboard those flashy boats. INSIDER Tied yourself a favor and book with smaller, local outfits like Venus Charters.
You’ll end up with a more personalized, enjoyable adventure that isn’t crowded or rushed. While KeyWest’s high season is between December and April, many tourists take advantage of the lower rates in the warmer, off-season.
INSIDER Miscarry a refillable water bottle filled with H2O, not alcohol. You’ll be surprised to find that a majority of Rawest restaurants frequented by tourists import some portion of their seafood from Asia.
That being said, there are many restaurants like Louie’s Backyard that have an amazing offering of locally sourced seafood, from rock shrimp to mahi-mahi to grouper. Stay away from the chain restaurants and stick to the places favored by locals.
INSIDER Tip you want to go the extra mile, find a restaurant that will cook your catch that you scored when you were out on the water. Restaurants like Blue Heaven and Louie’s Backyard will be more than happy to cook your bounty to perfection.
While Duval Street is the main drag and tourist attraction in Rawest, there is more to explore across the island. While Mallory Square is a tourist favorite at sunset, take the path less traveled and experience all those colors from a different angle.
There are two things that make Rawest a truly unique destination: wild chickens and iguanas. As far as the iguanas go, they have become quite the nuisance and the locals are trying to find ways to keep them from defecating all over their pool decks as they are protected by anti-cruelty laws.