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  • The Hard Shell - Downtown

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The Hard Shell - Downtown
The Hard Shell - Downtown

The Hard Shell - Downtown Details

  • Dining Style: Casual Elegant
  • Website: http://TheHardShell.com
  • Phone: (804) 643-2333
  • Hours of Operation: Brunch: Saturday & Sunday: 10:00am - 3:00pm; Lunch: Monday - Friday: 11:00am - 3:00pm; Dinner: Sunday - Thursday: 5:00pm -10:00pm, Friday & Saturday: 5:00pm - 10:00pm
  • Payment Options: AMEX, Diners Club, Discover, JCB, MasterCard, Visa
  • Cuisine: Seafood, Steak
  • Executive Chef: Chris Chaisson
  • Dress Code: Casual Dress
  • Accepts Walk-Ins: Yes
  • Additional Details: Banquet/Private Rooms, Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Beer, Full Bar, Non-Smoking Area, Non-Smoking Restaurant, Patio/Outdoor Dining, Private Room, Takeout, Weekend Brunch, Wheelchair Access, Wine, Wine Bar
  • Private Party Facilities: The private dining room accommodates parties up to 55 guests. The Hard Shell offers custom menus and bar packages to suit every event. The private dining room is the perfect place for dinner programs, wedding functions or celebrations.
  • Private Party Contact: Leandra Dunlevy (804) 643-2333

Getting there

  • Cross Street: 14th St
  • Parking: Private Lot
  • Parking Details: The Hard Shell validates parking after 5pm daily in the garage at the corner of 14th St. and Cary St. directly across from the restaurant.
A word from The Hard Shell - Downtown
Located in downtown Richmond"s historic Shockoe Slip, The Hard Shell Restaurant is known to locals as one of the best seafood restaurants in town.

The Hard Shell has Richmond's widest variety of fresh and local seafood as well as an extensive raw menu featuring oysters, clams, shrimp, mussels, crab legs, lobster, and much more.

The Hard Shell also features such items as filet mignon, baby back ribs, and many vegetarian dishes.

The Hard Shell is open for lunch and dinner daily as well as Sunday brunch. Every Sunday is all you can eat crab legs and Monday is lobster night. Private dining reservations are available. Dress is casual.
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Diner Reviews
  • "Celebrated our anniversary with Lobster dinners! Just enough food and great service. Will come back again."
    Dined on 6/30/2014
  • "As always the food and service was idea and excellent, Richmond take note on service from here"
    Dined on 6/28/2014
  • "the general manager was extremely accommodating and even sent over complimentary champagne for our special anniversary."
    Dined on 6/27/2014
  • "Second time there, oysters and apps were good. Disappointed with the rest of the meal. With so many other choices in Richmond will probably not go back."
    Dined on 6/21/2014
  • "The Hard Shell provides a great brunch selection for a reasonable price in a casual atmosphere. Our table for 7 was ready when we arrived and no pressure regarding time. Service was fast and friendly. Everyone had a great time."
    Dined on 6/15/2014
  • "This was our third visit to the Hard Shell and the food was excellent as always. I thought both entries were well prepared and to our order. My concern was the service was very slow. I know the Restaurant had several groups in but you know those in advance and you staff for them. I think the slow service hurts the Restaurant and this was the only time we experienced this. We will go back, the food is just too good."
    Dined on 6/14/2014
  • "Went with friends was first time there..everyone was so pleasant and food was terrific"
    Dined on 6/9/2014
  • "In celebrating our 35th anniversary we wanted to try a new place and had never eaten at the Hard Shell. It was a Monday night so the restaurant was quiet but not lonely (at 6:30). We had an excellent meal with very good service; attentive without being intrusive. All in all a good experience. We'll go back."
    Dined on 6/2/2014
  • "This was our first dinner at The Hard Shell. Good raw oyster appetizer. Perfectly cooked tuna main. Great experience overall."
    Dined on 6/7/2014
  • "Food was very good for the most part, but the crab leg special was not the best choice. Ribs and Rockfish were very good. "
    Dined on 5/25/2014
  • "My favorite place to go for seafood in Richmond VA. They especially do well with oysters on the half shell, bringing all the right "go-withs," like horseradish, cocktail sauce, Tobasco, melted butter and crackers. Service is excellent as well."
    Dined on 5/25/2014
  • "I enjoyed my time at The Hard Shell. This is a wonderful place for a date night. Also, the food was excellent."
    Dined on 5/24/2014
  • "I had a nice lunch here with my mom as a pre-birthday celebration. We ate outside on the patio; which is a nice area to enjoy your food and a few beers. The umbrellas give good shade and our allergies didn't act up while we were outside. The oysters were very fresh and nicely prepared. The bread and creamy butter were delicious (I'm thinking about it right now, lol). I had the blackened Mahi Mahi with jasmine rice and sauteed spinach. It was tasty, the rice was butter and light, spinach was fresh; but I wish I had more of the Mahi Mahi...it was a small portion. My mom had the filet minion and it was absolutely melt in your mouth delish (I tried her's). It was served with asparagus; which were cooked perfectly with a nice crispness."
    Dined on 4/25/2014
  • "Excellent meal. Great staff. Our server, Brian S, was outstanding. I dine out qiut often and he is one of the best waiters I have had. I would highly recommend this restaurant."
    Dined on 5/24/2014
  • "Walking around shockhoe bottom with wife and family to find a good place to eat while in town for weekend- used Opentable the entire time for the reviews after reading outside menus- we all agreed HardShell offered us the best options for us who are foodies. The food was mostly wonderful soft-shell crabs, bread, salads and the seafood pasta. Lobster chowder was a bit funky and my daughter ended up eating off her sisters pasta plate. Love the wine selection and prices but had to pour my own wine after the opening pour- unusual for a nicer restaurant. Waiter was average at best- seemed better suited for a chain. "
    Dined on 5/24/2014
  • "Service: There was a spider on the table, so my friend squished it with a napkin. We informed our server and he PINCHED IT with his index finger & thumb and proceeded to grab our BREAD basket and set it on the table. When he came back he made a smart comment, "I'm sorry you guys had to go through that, Spiders are serious business". Also, he never introduced himself, which is a common polite thing to do when greeting your table. Food: I had the pan seared salmon, and boy. It was overcooked. I never complain about Salmon being overcooked, but it was DRY. My friend's lobster tail was UNDERCOOKED. I am simply just never coming back. For the price we pay, I expected better. Way better. "
    Dined on 4/25/2014
  • "Went there with my wife for dinner. Appetizers (crab cakes and shrimp potstickers) were really good. Overall, I can say that the seafood was great. The server was quick and friendly. However, one of the main dishes we ordered included a side dish that was unavailable. Normally running out of a side would not be a problem at all. In this case, however, the side was the factor that led to choosing this dish over others. Rather than informing us that the dish was unavailable, the server brought us the order with a substitution that was quite disappointing. When asked about it, the server stated that they didnt have what we ordered but made no offer to remedy the situation. There was no apology either. In the end, I wouldn't return."
    Dined on 5/18/2014
  • "We celebrated my son and daughter-in-law's 3rd anniversary at the Hard Shell. The food and atmosphere were outstanding. "
    Dined on 5/17/2014
  • "Wonderful Sunday Brunch at a reasonable price. Great Service"
    Dined on 5/11/2014
  • "Delicious food and drink helped us celebrate my son's college graduation. Wish I could remember our servers name because she was outstanding. Sadly our visits to Richmond are over but will surely recommend to others :-) "
    Dined on 5/11/2014
  • "Food was well-prepared and presented. Service was OK but waitress seemed rushed without even a "Happy Mother's Day." Next time I would ask for a table in the back dining room as the bar room is loud."
    Dined on 5/11/2014
  • "The food was flavorful. However, the preparation left a lot to be desired. My wife could not cut her eggs benedict with a steak knife. To their credit they did not charge us for the meal. "
    Dined on 5/11/2014
  • "The food was outstanding! Had a combo of scallops, shrimp and oysters as an appetizer. All were cooked to perfection and had a great flavor. The Mahi Mahi as an entree was very good also. Was our 1st visit there. Definitely worth a 2nd visit. "
    Dined on 5/10/2014
  • "Took my wife there for our anniversary dinner...we had a great time. Staff was friendly and knowledgeable about other businesses in the area. We will be back. "
    Dined on 5/9/2014
  • "The food was excellent! We went on a Sunday during the bike races in Richmond, VA. Nevertheless, we had an awesome experience! The service was professional. Our waiter was very attentive and knew the menu well. I will visit here again. "
    Dined on 5/4/2014
  • "My date and I both enjoyed the food, ambiance, and location! "
    Dined on 5/2/2014
  • "The food was excellent and covered everyone from seafood lovers to seafood adverse! The room was quiet enough for a conversation even when relatively full. The service was excellent. You should eat here!"
    Dined on 4/27/2014
  • "We checked out the Hard Shell to make sure it will be okay for a large party, celebrating an upcoming graduation. We were quite pleased and look forward to our next visit."
    Dined on 4/26/2014
  • "The food was absolutely delicious and the service was very good. We had a reservation and we were seated immediately upon arrival. The only thing we were not crazy about was that we were seated at a very small table but it was certainly not a deal breaker. We will definitely dine here again. "
    Dined on 4/26/2014
  • " Good reviews made us look forward to trying the Hard Shell. Ambiance was not ok,as we were seated near the kitchen and watched all the food come out. Cold, breezy table from the fans and vents. Too crowded to change. Tried restaurant week menu: she crab soup, shrimp and scallops, & key lime pie & bread pudding (the Creme brûlée ran out early) Rarely saw our overwhelmed server, who never checked to see how our food was. We watched our food sit for a long period before being served thus the mediocre temperature of the food. Great she crab soup but barely warm. Shrimp and scallops were cooked perfectly but food turned ice cold quickly. Stir fried veggies were mostly cabbage. Most of evening spent waiting for our server. Sadly Unimpressed! "
    Dined on 4/26/2014
  • "The She Crab Soup was outstanding, the lobster was good and the bread pudding as well. The service could have been better. And the air condition in the separate room smelled like old wet towels. "
    Dined on 4/25/2014
  • "I think perhaps this place is overrated, Food was ok not great and pricey for what you get. The service not bad but not exceptional. We ate outside."
    Dined on 4/26/2014
  • "I would highly recommend Hardshell for dinner. We went for restaurant week and the meal was delicious and staff was courteous, knowledgeable of menu and very attentive to our table. The atmosphere was low light and very romantic. "
    Dined on 4/25/2014
  • "If your looking for real Seafood! This is the spot to go too! Where you can get good food and great service! It's a nice little place."
    Dined on 4/25/2014
  • "Restaurant was quite busy. server was excellent. food came out promptly, well prepared, very tasty and hot. portions more than adequate but not huge. quite a large number of tables jammed into the relatively small space. not intimate by any stretch. someone crashing cleared dishes into a pile repeatedly and very loudly, so loud it hurt my ears, even above the din of all the conversations from all the tables. Will consider coming back but will be definitely selective about seating and time of day. There were quite a number of items on the menu that I'd like to try. our server was awesome."
    Dined on 4/25/2014
  • "Did the pre-fixed menu for Restaurant week. No substitutions were accepted by the kitchen which I don't understand completely as the entres were not that complicated. Dessert portion could be a little bit larger. Server was excellent. Had after dinner drinks - highly recommend the Root Beer Martini. "
    Dined on 4/25/2014
  • "Brian was my waiter and he was amazing! The food was soooo good too! "
    Dined on 4/25/2014
  • "My wife and I went to The Hard Shell with some friends while we were on a day trip to Richmond. The service staff was very attentive but not intrusive. The food was great, and the portions were good-sized. The creme brulee was awesome, by the way."
    Dined on 4/23/2014
  • "The food was delicious. Just wished they had more of a variety for lunch."
    Dined on 4/19/2014
  • "VERY GOOD. THE ONLY ISSUE WAS THE DRINK. THE TONIC WAS FLAT. I HAD A VODKA/TONIC. I WILL BE BACK."
    Dined on 4/19/2014