Looking for an authentic food experience while visiting the South? Look no further than The Skrimp Shack in Williamsburg, Virginia.
One of my best and fail-safe tips of finding solid places to eat while traveling is to ask the locals where THEY eat, NOT where they send tourists. We’ve used this successfully while in Nashville, Wilmington, Canada, Massachusetts, and countless other places and it’s the best way to find good local food at reasonable prices without the bonus of tourist crowds.
And that’s exactly how we discovered The Skrimp Shack. I was talking with a hotel front desk clerk (and, surprisingly, not from the hotel where we were actually staying), and she gave me several excellent restaurant recommendations during our Spring trip to Virginia. She introduced us to Craft 31, and also The Skrimp Shack.
Before we left the area, I wanted to make sure we had a chance to chow down on some authentic Southern food, namely hush puppies and collard greens, and this place fit the bill.
Located in a non-descript strip mall (don’t let that deter you!), we found it easily, along with plenty of parking. When we walked up to the front counter, I was a bit overwhelmed by the menu, mostly because I wanted it all. Beyond getting my Southern fix, I also wanted seafood because my kids don’t eat any seafood of any kind, so eating out is a good opportunity for me to enjoy it.
My kids, especially my youngest, tend to be less adventurous than I am, and they ordered chicken fingers and a grilled chicken sandwich. No matter, they’re happy, I’m happy.
I went with a Shrimp Po’Boy, collard greens, and hush puppies, the latter of which I ordered to share with my kids so they could try them for the first time. Everything was reasonably priced – it was around $25 including drinks.
The staff is very friendly and patient, and gave recommendations as I hemmed and hawed. Our order came out fairly quickly, and we dug in as soon as it hit the table. The fish was fresh with a nice crispy coating and the secret sauce was just right. In fact, my mouth is watering all over again just looking at the picture. I’m a sucker for any greens on the menu, and the collard greens were hot and tasty (I did add a bit of salt). I’m not always a fan of hush puppies, but loved these and really had to pull myself away from them. Fried food doesn’t always agree with my stomach, since I don’t eat it that often, and because we were hitting the road after lunch, I didn’t want to push my luck. The kids, as expected, weren’t fans, but at least now it’s an educated answer as opposed to saying they don’t like something without even trying it, and that’s perfect.
I didn’t realize it at the time, but The Skrimp Shack is a small franchise, so if you’re not in the Williamsburg area, check out their list of locations – there might be one closer to you, and besides many locations in Virginia, they also have restaurants in North Carolina and Florida. They’re shooting for 20 locations by the end of this year. If you are in the area, or passing through, do stop in. Your taste buds will thank you for it.
The Skrimp Shack
6588 Richmond Road
Williamsburg, VA 23188
Hungry for more in Virginia?
My kids’ first visit to Busch Gardens is documented right here.
And another delicious restaurant we were introduced to is Craft 31, so good!