Leaping Lizard Cafe

4.7
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492 Reviews
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$30 and under
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American
Situated under a canopy of old growth trees on Lake Joyce, this natural gem serves seasonal fare from tidal Virginia. The menu reflects freshness with a distinct emphasis on showcasing the inherent colors and flavors of the ingredients. The cafe's bakery provides all its breads and deserts and is open for retail on the weekends. This fresh approach to food done in a natural and unpretentious setting has been a local favorite for twelve years. If you don't see your desired time slot available give us a call.
What 492 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.7based on recent ratings
4.7
food
4.7
service
4.6
ambience
4.5
value
Noise · Moderate
98% of people would recommend it to a friend
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J
Richmond
5 reviews
Dined 4 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Awesome food and service. Best restaurant in Virginia Beach

B
New York Area
9 reviews
Dined on September 7, 2019
Overall 2food 2service 1ambience 4

We have had nice meals here before. This wasn’t one of them. The table was sticky when we were seated; it was never cleaned. They were out of two seafood items, possibly due to the recent tropical storm; that’s a problem when your menu only has about twenty items to begin with. They ran out of wine glasses, so my wine was served in a juice cup. Even though we had told the server that we wanted wine with dinner, she disappeared. Our entrees were delivered lukewarm at best, and were cold by the time we were able to track the server down to order our wine. No need to go on; we won’t be back.

L
Richmond
12 reviews
Dined on August 31, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

One of my favorite restauarants. Great food everytime.

OT
New Orleans
2 reviews
Dined on August 30, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Excellent !! Will be back

CC
Richmond
3 reviews
Dined on August 30, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great food. Cioppino was fantastic.

PG
1 review
Dined on August 30, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 1ambience 4

Our previous meal was good, but can’t say that for our last visit. We had reservations but we’re seated in between the two bathrooms. We had a constant trail of people going to the bathroom. We placed our order and had to wait an extremely long time to be served. People that came after us were served before us, which was pointed out to our server. By the time we received our food our spirits had been dampened. It was a birthday celebration.

DJ
1 review
Dined on August 29, 2019
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 5

Leaping Lizard is the best dining in the area. I've been going since it opened with just a small dining room. The food and service have always been consistently wonderful.

JB
Richmond
2 reviews
Dined on August 28, 2019
Overall 4food 3service 4ambience 4

I've been to Leaping Lizard several times for lunch and very much enjoy their "clean" food options. This was our first time for dinner and was disappointed with the dinner entree selection, I couldn't find as many clean options as we do at lunch. All of the food was very fresh, however, the number of different ingredients in the chicken caprese overpowered the dish. I will still go back for lunch!

OT
Richmond
1 review
Dined on August 25, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great food!

NE
1 review
Dined on August 23, 2019
Overall 4food 3service 4ambience 4

This was a first time visit for my friends and the third or fourth for me. With the excess heat outside there were some annoying flies buzzing about - hard to do anything about that. The food was delicious although the salads were a bit limp and not cold. My crab cake on spinach with corn was great. My friend's sandwich was huge and we all shared the bread pudding which was outstanding with a delicious caramel sauce. Another friend had tuna tacos that she said were wonderful. We would go back again.

DC
Detroit
3 reviews
Dined on August 23, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Both the atmosphere and food are very unique. A real gem in the area, so much that we visited twice on a weekend visit to the area. Brunch and Dinner menus are totally different so lots and lots of choices!

LR
1 review
Dined on August 22, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

While vacationing in Virginia Beach my family knew that the one place we had to stop for a bite to eat was the Leaping Luzard Cafe. It did not disappoint. From the eclectic atmosphere to the delectable menu, the Leaping Lizard was a culinary delight. The service staff was so friendly and accommodating. Whatever you do, don't pass on dessert...the bread pudding with bourbon caramel sauce was to die for. Makes me wish I didn't live in NJ because I know I probably won't get another chance to eat there in the future.

AW
Richmond
1 review
Dined on August 21, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great, as always!

OT
Columbus
6 reviews
Dined on August 18, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Favorite Brunch spot.

OT
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on August 15, 2019
Overall 2food 3service 3ambience 2

Disappointed in some of the portions. My son ordered the Three Cheese Raviolis and literally it was 3 small raviolis. My husband gave him half his burger. We ended up stopping elsewhere after for the two if them to have another dinner. Made reservations in hope of receiving a good table, instead we sat by the one person at a time restroom, so I ended up having folks stand behind (Not to mention smell every time the door was opened) me waiting to use it while I tried to eat my meal.. Up until this trip we loved this place.

OT
Washington DC
3 reviews
Dined on August 15, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Awesome afternoon, our waitress/bartender was fabulous and attentive. The salmon and peaches were deelish !!! We had sangria in ball jars. After lunch we walked around the back to enjoy the chickens and outdoor seating. Great find- thank you trip advisor for the recommendation.

BB
Richmond
3 reviews
Dined on August 14, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Delightful waitress. Good food. Fresh ingredients. Good prices. Balanced .

RL
1 review
Dined on August 13, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We try to stop here whenever we come thru Norfolk. It is always great.

OT
Richmond
1 review
Dined on August 13, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 5ambience 5

Love Leeping Lizard. Ordered the Mussel Bowl and had half the mussels served to me that didn’t pop. Staff was great, they immediately took the dish off my tab. I would think chef would check when plating. I’ll be back for sure, just food wasn’t top notch this time.

VH
1 review
Dined on August 11, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

I took my wife and son for brunch on Sunday 8/11/19. It was their first time at Leaping Lizard and her birthday. I knew I had made the right choice when she started taking pictures of the lizard at the entrance on Shore Drive. We had reservations and were quickly seated. We started off with the recommended blueberry biscuits, great start. Our 9 year old was thrilled with his quesadilla and my wife said the crab cake and grits were the best she could remember. Thanks to the staff for great recommendations and service. All in all a fabulous start to a special day!

SP
1 review
Dined on August 11, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Fantastic! Food and service were wonderful. Will definitely be back!

GH
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on August 10, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Easily one of the top 5 restaurants in Virginia Beach. I don’t know how this place escaped our radar for the last few years. Ambiance, food, and service almost perfect. Now that we know, plan on being back regularly.

OT
Richmond
1 review
Dined on August 10, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Amazing food and great service

TA
Orlando
3 reviews
Dined on August 4, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

First time visit and we loved it! We sat on the screened porch out back, so adorable. Food was fresh and delicious . Homemade blueberry biscuits and sweet potato biscuits...amazing! We'll be back!

OT
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on August 4, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great place for any meal. Will come back again.

DD
1 review
Dined on August 3, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Amazing food, great atmosphere, great service, relaxing and again the food just fits and taste so well together. So good!

P
Pittsburgh
2 reviews
Dined on August 3, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 5ambience 5

This was our second time to eat there in a week while on vacation. Unfortunately, everything on the menu was identical. Not even the fresh fish changed. Preparation was identical and we did like what we had the first time, a wonderful Snapper preparation, so we ordered it again. While the first time the sauce was citrusy as described, this time it tasted like pure soy sauce. We did not like it at all this time due to that. The service is great. We love sitting on the back porch and the atmosphere at Leaping Lizard. Very Key West like. Beautiful Woods out back with chickens in a coop and we love eating on the screened in porch. But they really need to have a varied Seafood item on their menu daily. This Gem of a restaurant has really gone downhill from where it was years ago when they had a much more varied menu day to day.

CK
New York Area
7 reviews
Dined on August 3, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Every time I visit Virginia Beach , I make sure I dine here. The fish is wonderful. They always put such wonderful flavors together. I always make sure I have their blueberry mojito . One of my top reasons to visit Virginia Beach . I wish they would open a branch in Amherst, NY so I wouldn’t have to travel so far for dinner - lol.

DH
New York Area
2 reviews
Dined on August 2, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Amazing place and it never disappoints. Service was friendly and attentive. The tequila mule is a great cocktail and it was made to perfection. The crab cakes are always a hit. We all loved our meal and the atmosphere is perfect for a relaxing fun summer night out.

LL
Raleigh
6 reviews
Dined on July 31, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

The food at "The Lizard" is truly outstanding! I try to stop there whenever I visit the area. I don't think you can go wrong with anything on their menu, which changes frequently.

AA
Richmond
2 reviews
Dined on July 29, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Love the place and recommend to everyone I can. The food id always fresh and such a good variety appealing to all. Service great

MB
Richmond
1 review
Dined on July 28, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 3

When we arrived on time one with reservations...we were sitter in the front by the window (no problem). It was really full that day and the noise level was off the charts. A few tables yelled their conversations and we couldn't even talk to each other. I asked the waitress to relocate us and she did graciously. It was much more subdued (noise level). The food and service was absolutely great. We will continue coming back, but might to go earlier or later in the day.

D
Chicago
3 reviews
Dined on July 27, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Liked it so much we went there for brunch and later dinner that same day. The food tasted fresh flavorful and creative. The seating indoor and outdoors was comfortable with tables with just enough space in between you didn’t feel as if you were sitting in strangers’ laps. I loved it and so did the bday boy.

P
Pittsburgh
3 reviews
Dined on July 27, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Snapper preparation amazing. Such a complex mix of flavors. 3 of us ordered and loved. The 4th person got the lightly fried flounder with 3 dipping sauces and was disappointed commenting she could have done it herself and better and compared it to Gortons. Also missed the scallops which used to always be on the menu. And I missed the old version of the peach salad now ruined with goat cheese instead of the hand pulled mozzarella.

OT
Richmond
1 review
Dined on July 24, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The food and service always exceptional!

D
Richmond
170 reviews
Dined on July 20, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

I could eat here every day! The duck tacos were de-list, along with side salad - love the dressing. Husband said the fried oysters & purple cole slaw were great. Don’t get me started on their in-house focciaia bread! Their moscato is super smooth.

OT
Richmond
2 reviews
Dined on July 19, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 3ambience 3

Overpriced. Small portions. We left hungry. Service was just OK. There were three of us. We had appetizers and entrees and the bill was over $100. The fried oysters were fresh and good, however for the price, the side coleslaw and salad were tasteless and boring. The chocolate ganache cake was stale tasting - we would of shared this info with the waitress if she had returned. By the time she dropped the check off we had ate the frosting off the cake and just wanted to leave.

OT
Richmond
22 reviews
Dined on July 19, 2019
Overall 2food 5service 3ambience 1

The food was wonderful. Delicious peach soup— great cioppino.
But... the flies were miserable. So awful that we raced through dinner.

OT
Richmond
5 reviews
Dined on July 19, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Everything was fresh and tasty! Enjoyed a refreshing peach soup and quinoa salad- delish! Our party also had the mouthwatering hunter burger and another enjoyed chicken salad wrap with potato salad. Everyone had an enjoyable meal! Great service too. We will all be back.

LL
Raleigh
7 reviews
Dined on July 18, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We try to visit The Leaping Lizard when we are in the VB area. The food is imaginative and fresh, and so delicious. I highly recommend the Chicken Caprese if it's on your menu. My husband also really enjoyed his seafood pasta.

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