Make a reservation

Party Size
For 2
Date
Today
Time
7:30 PM
icon/ic_social_proofCreated with Sketch.
Booked 18 times today

The Hard Shell - Downtown

4.5
952 reviews
icon/ic_price_rangeCreated with Sketch.
$30 and under
icon/ic_cuisineCreated with Sketch.
Seafood
Perfect For:
  • Good for a Date
  • Casual
  • Good for Birthdays
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. With a new fresh look; The Hard Shell features sleek booths, lots of light and a vibrant city feel.

The Hard Shell has Richmond's widest variety of fresh and local seafood. A raw bar in now the focal point of the restaurant located where customers can view the extensive selection featuring oysters, clams, shrimp, crab legs, lobster and much more.

The Hard Shell menu items include signatures such as filet mignon, shrimp and scallops, and more.

Private dining reservations are available. Dress is casual.
Dining Style
Casual Elegant
icon/ic_cuisineCreated with Sketch.
Cuisines
Seafood, Steak
icon/ic_clockCreated with Sketch.
Hours of operation
Monday - Saturday
Lunch 11:30 - 4:00
Light Fare 4:00 -5:00
Dinner 5:00 - 10:00

Sunday
Brunch 10:30 - 3:30
Light Fare 3:30 -5:00
Dinner 5:00 - 9:00
icon/ic_phoneCreated with Sketch.
Phone number
(804) 643-2333
icon/ic_new_windowCreated with Sketch.
icon/ic_paymentCreated with Sketch.
Payment options
AMEX, Diners Club, Discover, JCB, MasterCard, Visa
icon/ic_dress_codeCreated with Sketch.
Dress code
Casual Dress
icon/ic_chefCreated with Sketch.
Executive chef
Chris Chaisson
icon/ic_locationCreated with Sketch.
icon/ic_neighborhoodCreated with Sketch.
Neighborhood
icon/ic_cross_streetCreated with Sketch.
Cross street
14th St
icon/ic_parking_detailsCreated with Sketch.
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.
Additional
Banquet, Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Beer, Cocktails, Full Bar, Happy Hour, Non-Smoking, Outdoor dining, Private Room, Weekend Brunch, Wheelchair Access, Wine
What 952 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.5based on recent ratings
4.4
food
4.5
service
4.5
ambience
4.2
value
Noise · Moderate
91% of people would recommend it to a friend
  • 5
  • 4
  • 3
  • 2
  • 1
Sort by
Newest
Filters
5.0Dined 3 days ago

Wonderful dinner at The Hard Shell for Richmond Restaurant week. We had been to the Bellegrade location years ago, but finally tried The Hard Shell Downtown which we vastly preferred. Food is delicious, and the restaurant design is light and bright.
My sister (GF) had the steak, and it was fabulous! I had lobster pasta, which arrived with a half lobster tail in the Shell - beautiful and delicious. Both the starters and desserts were delicious.
We will return to this location of The Hard Shell for special occasions and just for a treat night out!

Report
Helpful
5.0Dined on April 18, 2018

The restaurant seems to be having a hard night with many large parties but we found our evening very enjoyable. Great food, great service, and we sat on the patio so it was quiet and very enjoyable.

Report
Helpful
5.0Dined on April 15, 2018

Many good choices for seafood. Had trouble deciding what to order (a good thing). Need to go back and try other options. Everything we had was excellent.

Report
Helpful
5.0Dined on April 10, 2018

Food was fantastic and reasonably priced! I will definitely return.

Report
Helpful
5.0Dined on April 7, 2018

Always a pleasure. Our go to when we have out of town guests.

Report
Helpful
5.0Dined on April 5, 2018

Food and service was exceptional. Did not feel rushed and was able to comfortably have a business discussion.

Report
Helpful
3.0Dined on April 1, 2018

We have been to the Hard Shell a number of times, but were somewhat disappointed this Easter weekend. Service was much slower than on previous occasions, and out wait person was hard to find on a coupled of occasions. And while the food was mostly good, there were a couple of issues. The lobster omelet was still found to be tasty, but the ingredients seemed to fall out while trying to eat the omelet, suggesting that the ingredients were added after the eggs had already been fully cooked. Same thing was true for the "ham and cheese" omelet, which had essentially zero cheese in it (actually when I looked for some cheese, we ended up find a small patch of cheese - about the size of a butter patty - at the very end of the omelet). I probably won't get that again, which is a shame, because I love a good ham and cheese omelet.

Report
Helpful
3.0Dined on April 1, 2018

Went for brunch. The food wasn't as good as in the past.

Report
Helpful
5.0Dined on March 31, 2018

Jessica, our server was fantastic as well as the food. Loved it.

Report
Helpful
5.0Dined on March 25, 2018

Celebrated a family birthday -- Four Siblings & wives -- was a GREAT evening. Had not been since the renovation --- NICELY DONE. Our waiter was WONDERFUL and the food was EXCEPTIONAL and VERY REASONABLY PRICED. We'll definitely come back again ... and again...

Report
Helpful
5.0Dined on March 25, 2018

This is my second time to The Hard Shell, I have eaten here both times I have visited Richmond. I will continue to be a repeat customer! The food is excellent, creative and fresh. Great service and atmosphere.

Report
Helpful
5.0Dined on March 24, 2018

I came here for my one year anniversary and absolutely loved it! A great crowd of people, the food was great and the service even better! I recommend the Hard Shell pasta!

Report
Helpful
5.0Dined on March 23, 2018

Great time

Report
Helpful
5.0Dined on March 23, 2018

Wonderful, next time we are in Richmond we will return!

Report
Helpful
3.0Dined on March 22, 2018

I came in with my parents for a late lunch. My mom ordered the she crab soup and when she got it, it was lukewarm and had no crab in it. The ceviche my dad ordered was okay, it seemed like the fish was sitting in the acid for a long time and the dish seemed a bit over done. Our entrees were better, except for my sautéed spinach which was slightly burnt. We used to love this place but for the price we aren’t getting the quality we had once gotten.

Report
Helpful
1.0Dined on March 17, 2018

Near the end of finishing dinner. We were asked to leave. We were in the big party section and staff was preparing a big table next to us. Our thoughts was that they needed our table. The lady said the waiter was uncomfortable with us. I was drinking water my husband had a glass of wine. There was another party of six or more behind us who were celebrating a birthday and singing. We were not loud. It was a bad experience.

Report
Helpful
5.0Dined on March 17, 2018

Everything was perfect! Fried oyster appetizer was a bit small but everything else was perfect!

Report
Helpful
5.0Dined on March 12, 2018

Good food, great service. It wasn’t busy in there when we went, but the service was still excellent. It looks like it has a nice patio area for the summer time, but we were unable to check it out due to the weather. Variety of food, but could use other options, especially in the dessert section. The crepe brûlée was delicious, but the key lime pie was horrible (very dense, only tasted like plain cheesecake, no lime flavor). I would go again, but probably avoid dessert.

Report
Helpful
3.0Dined on March 11, 2018

Nice atmosphere. Brunch was okay, I feel like I would enjoy dinner, so I will come back for that. Service was very nice as well.

Report
Helpful
5.0Dined on March 11, 2018

Food was amazing! Bartenders fantastic. Not bad price for the quality of the food. Just a little cramped and near a large party so VERY LOUD.

Report
Helpful
2.0Dined on March 9, 2018

This was my second time at the Hardshell, the first time was good. Loved the steak. The second time i went, my steak was so rare on the inside and it had no flavor. The veggies and mashed potatoes were okay, just a lot of flavor missing. Id much rather save $50 and go to Texas Roadhouse or if youre feeling a date night go to The Boathouse.

Report
Helpful
5.0Dined on March 9, 2018

We started with two soups, lobster bisque and she crab. They were both excellent and reasonably-priced. The oysters on the half shell were outstanding in taste, presentation and value. The shrimp dumplings were boring and the dipping sauce was not up to par.

The entrees, grilled lobster tail with mashed potatoes and spinach and honey ribs were both excellent. The spare rib portion was enormous. The food is delicious and the value is terrific.

There were several large groups enjoying the restaurant. It is a fun place for friends or family to gather.

Report
Helpful
5.0Dined on March 3, 2018

The food was incredible, probably the best shrimp and grits I have ever had. Would definitely recommend to anyone who enjoys seafood.

Report
Helpful
4.0Dined on February 25, 2018

Spent an afternoon brunch with my lovely daughter. She loved her lobster omelet and I enjoyed my steak and eggs! We'll be back!

Report
Helpful
5.0Dined on February 25, 2018

Food was great and reasonably priced. Enjoyed the oyster sampler platter and Bloody Mary. Will go back to eat out on the patio.

Report
Helpful
5.0Dined on February 24, 2018

Delightful find in the up and coming Shockoe Slip in downtown Richmond. Reminded me a bit of my home turf in NYC - the South Street Seaport area. Lovely restaurant, excellent prices, especially for seafood. Good-sized portions and a really nice relaxing atmosphere, at least in the early evening. As the evening wore on you could tell it was getting flooded by hipsters, so I was glad I was there around 6:30-8:30pm. I'd definitely come back when I get back to Richmond.

Report
Helpful
4.0Dined on February 24, 2018

The only complaint that we have is that our meals were not hot. They could have been sitting there a while. Everything from appetizers to our dinner was lukewarm, at best which was very disappointing. We spent close to $400 and it would’ve been a much better experience if our food would have been hot.

Report
Helpful
4.0Dined on February 22, 2018

The Hard She'll always has good food, but it always takes forever to get food. They need to figure out how to do a one hour lunch for the business people who work nearby.

Report
Helpful
5.0Dined on February 21, 2018

Very enjoyable evening. Food was good, people were friendly.

Report
Helpful
5.0Dined on February 18, 2018

Great overall experience. The food was good and service was excellent.

Report
Helpful
5.0Dined on February 18, 2018

We went at 5:00 PM on a Sunday evening, so it was quiet for us. We asked for a nice quiet spot on our Open Table reservation, but they did not seem to know this and we had to ask again. The food was delicious and the service was great! We really enjoyed our time there and look forward to going back again. Great spot!!

Report
Helpful
3.0Dined on February 18, 2018

Our waiter was great. We ordered drinks they did not taste good so we sent them back. For our appetizer we ordered the spiced shrimp, it the shrimp has no spice—we didn’t want to wait and reorder so we ate them. Our entrees were ok but overall for money you spend the food and drinks could be better. I would not recommend this location

Report
Helpful
3.0Dined on February 17, 2018

Service was very slow- we did not get our drinks for at least 20 minutes upon sitting down. Service was not great the entire evening - overall the food was pretty good and the oysters were awesome!

Report
Helpful
5.0Dined on February 17, 2018

As always, the food was great. Two of us had the crab cakes, one had oysters, and one had seared tuna. All were great. The restaurant was busy, but our table was ready the moment we arrived. Our server, Pierce, was busy, but took great care of us and made an excellent wine recommendation.

Report
Helpful
5.0Dined on February 15, 2018

We had a lovely time as we entertained out if town visitors. Everyone enjoyed their meal!

Report
Helpful
5.0Dined on February 14, 2018

Excellent seafood. We had rhe crab cake appetizers and then the scallops/shrimp and Rockfish entrées...all were great.

Report
Helpful
5.0Dined on February 14, 2018

Excellent..start to finish!!! Our excellent waiter, Greg, was even better....thanks for a great Valentine's Day dinner.

Report
Helpful
5.0Dined on February 12, 2018

Great surprise for a last minute dinner in a town I had never been to before. Very high on the taste and value scale.

Report
Helpful
4.0Dined on February 10, 2018

Great atmosphere, and even better food! The only complaint I’d have is that the crab cake appetizer was tiny! Other than that, everything was delicious.

Report
Helpful
3.0Dined on February 10, 2018

Food was good, but I could not hear the person who was across the table. Our waiter was good but it was clear he was overwhelmed.

Report
Helpful
1
2
3
24