Leaping Lizard Cafe

4.7
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503 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 503 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
96% of people would recommend it to a friend
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OT
Orlando
2 reviews
Dined a day ago
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 5

My second time here. Brought a friend who’s visiting from out of town. Food was great.

NH
1 review
Dined 4 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

This is a great place for lunch. Not too crowded at 11:45, and the wait staff was very helpful with seating options (they have a very nice porch that is mostly weatherized, but it was more comfortable to sit inside on a chilly day). I had soup and a half tuna salad sandwich, both of which were delicious. I will definitely be back!

L
Richmond
33 reviews
Dined on October 5, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Excellent food and service. LL always supports tailoring a menu item to meet dinner’s desires. Great place for lunch or dinner!

OT
Richmond
4 reviews
Dined on September 28, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Always good!!

TJ
Washington DC
4 reviews
Dined on September 27, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 3

Warm and attentive evening

M
Richmond
5 reviews
Dined on September 25, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We had a wonderful dinner out on the covered back porch. The menu had so many wonderful unique items it was difficult to choose. I had the halibut with butter braised bok choy and black rice. It was absolutely delicious! I am going to have to go back just to have this dish again!

OT
Washington DC
10 reviews
Dined on September 23, 2019
Overall 5food 4service 4ambience 4

So great to eat outside on the back porch

DM
Baltimore
17 reviews
Dined on September 20, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Good clean fresh food! Adorable venue with a boho vibe. Really enjoyed everything about it. Super unique cocktails with all fresh juices and a to die for pork chop. The Mediterranean Platter appetizer was wonderful too!

MH
Richmond
1 review
Dined on September 18, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

My mom just turned 94 so I recommended a soup and salad at the Leaping Lizard. My gracious, she loved the atmosphere, looking out at the wildlife and the kind service. Our meals were delicious, but you already knew that !! We talked and laughed the entire time. I love to see her spirits uplifted. We will be returning very soon.

B
Richmond
18 reviews
Dined on September 17, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

I’ve been here several times and each time it is the same... excellent in every way.

SB
Richmond
1 review
Dined on September 17, 2019
Overall 2food 2service 3ambience 3

The crab cake was a very small portion and over salted. The salad appeared hastily prepared. Perhaps the hype made my expectations too high, but the food was mediocre and too much to pay for the portions. Overall OK but I would not plan to return.

J
Richmond
5 reviews
Dined on September 13, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Awesome food and service. Best restaurant in Virginia Beach

B
New York Area
10 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
Richmond
2 reviews
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
3 reviews
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.

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