It’s so nice to meet other bloggers from other places and do some awesome collaborations. I may only have met them virtually but I feel like I know them because we share a common passion for blogging and in many cases I’m in groups with them online. When I decided to start my Eat, Shop, Do series I thought what better way than to collaborate with some of my blogger friends and in the process learn more about them, where they live, and share with all of you their go-to’s in their city.
Meet Hoang-Kim Cung of Color & Chic!! She loves being a storyteller. She works as a reporter and anchor at a local TV news station in Norfolk while also writing Color & Chic. She loves eating, traveling and FaceTiming with her family, who lives in Texas. She’s a former Miss Nebraska USA and competitive figure skater, who loves tech, filling out her planner and relaxing at the beach during summer. Vietnamese was her first language and thanks to Hoang-Kim’s Mom, she’s still fluent in it today. She loves being able to share her point of view and what she loves to wear, eat and do with others.
Coastal Virginia is a fun, vibrant and resilient community. It’s a beautiful destination year round, but because of its location, the spring and summer months are what Coastal Virginia is most known for. Being a TV Journalist and actively covering this community, I know increasing tourism is something the area is always trying to do. We get hit with hurricanes and horrible storms, but the people always bounce back. In the two years I’ve called Coastal Virginia home, new restaurants have popped up and landscapes have changed but the people and southern charm remains a constant. Now, let’s get to the good stuff!
1. COMMUNE: If I had to pick one restaurant to be my favorite out of the whole area, it would be Commune. Boasting two locations, one by the oceanfront in Virginia Beach and one nestled on the edge of Downtown Norfolk, Commune cooks up real good food, as they call it. I’d have to agree. I love going for brunch and coffee, their main thoroughfare. I highly recommend any of their breakfast sandwiches and burgers. Their lattes, particularly honey and lavender, are delicious and my go-to. Their menu changes a bit since they grow their own food and locally source it, but I guarantee you, whatever you order you’ll love. Also, their drinks are just as good as they look!
2. THE MAIN: The Main Hotel really put downtown Norfolk on the map. There are three main restaurants inside. Saltine, which is on the first floor has delicious seafood. My recommendation is to skip the sandwiches and go straight for the oysters or entrees. The crab cake is out of this world. Upstairs, Varia features the most delicious Italian food in Coastal Virginia. There’s secret dining room, too. The most popular spot is Grain, a rooftop terrace with a lovely view of Norfolk and the river. This spot is quite popular and can be crowded on weekends, but definitely worth it! For more on The Main, check out my blog post here.
3. FRUITIVE: If you need a little health kick, I highly recommend Fruitive, the only certified organic fast-casual restaurant in North America. Don’t let the green vibes turn you off. The food is absolutely incredible. The wraps made with collard greens are my favorite because of the crunch. They also have tacos where they use greens as the shell and while I was reluctant at first, these changed my mind. Of course, the more known items include their liquid meals (smoothies) and smoothie bowls, but they also feature a beet latte, which is so pretty.
4. THREE SHIPS: One of my favorite spots for coffee if I’m in the resort city. This cute shop pays homage to the three ships that made landfall in modern day Virginia Beach. I highly recommend their Pungo latte, which is sweetened with locally picked strawberries from down the street. Also, their biscuits with jam and ham are the best!
Other favorites for food include: Benny Damato’s for pizza (this is great after getting drinks at The Main), Pho 79 for Vietnamese, Kotobuki for sushi, Hummingbird Treats and the Waterside District.
1. TOWN CENTER: I consider this the premiere shopping of Coastal Virginia. Featuring Anthropologie, Free people, LOFT, Bevello and some smaller boutiques this is a hot shopping destination for tourists and locals. There’s plenty to eat and you can always hop across the street to check out Nordstrom Rack.
2. MACARTHUR CENTER: My favorite mall in the area, MacArthur has Nordstrom, J.Crew, Sephora, Express and more. This is located in downtown Norfolk so it’s walking distance for me. I may or may not find myself here too often.
This sounds like a no brainer, but GO TO THE BEACH! Steer clear of the resort area near 30th Street and do what the locals do by driving a few streets up to the North End. Here, you won’t be packed in like Sardines and you can walk or bike through the beautiful beach-front homes. Plus, one of my favorite sandwich shops, Taste, does sand delivery! There are other beaches including East Beach, Chic’s Beach and Sandbridge, which has gorgeous sunrises.
1. DOLPHIN WATCHING: There are dolphin watching tours you can take, but the sunset one is my favorite. I got incredibly lucky when I went because we saw at least a dozen of them! The boat takes you out just off the coast of the Atlantic and it’s always nice to see the the view from another perspective.
2. WATERSIDE DISTRICT: Completely redone after violence and crime closed down the waterfront retail space, the new Waterside District is fun, hip and sure to provide a great time. There are restaurants, wine bars and more. You can eat outside and take in the view of the river, there’s sure to be boats docked or maybe a cruise ship or two.
I hope you enjoyed this weeks Eat, Shop, Do post! As always, thank you so much for stopping by the blog today!!