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The Hard Shell - Downtown

4.7
4.7
1515 Reviews
$31 to $50
Seafood
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. Menu items include signatures such as filet and lobster, shrimp and scallops, lump crab cakes. Patio request honored when possible but tables are first come, first served. Private dining & reservations are available. Dress is casual.

Make a reservation

2 people

9:00 PM


Booked 17 times today

Order delivery or takeout

Other options

  • Order online

Additional information

  • Dining style

    Casual Elegant

  • Cuisines

    Seafood, Steak

  • Hours of operation

    Lunch Tue–Fri 12:00 pm–4:00 pm Happy Hour Mon–Fri 3:30 pm–5:30 pm Dinner Mon–Thu 4:00 pm–9:00 pm Fri, Sat 4:00 pm–10:00 pm

  • Phone number

    (804) 643-2333

  • Payment options

    AMEX, Discover, MasterCard, Visa

  • Dress code

    Casual Dress

  • Private party facilities

    The private dining room accommodates parties up to 50 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

  • Neighborhood

    Richmond

  • Cross street

    14th St

  • 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/Lounge, Beer, Cocktails, Corkage Fee, Full Bar, Non-Smoking, Patio/Outdoor Dining, Patio/Outdoor Dining, Private Room, Takeout, Wheelchair Access, Wine

Popular dishes

What 1,515 people are saying

Overall ratings and reviews

Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant

4.7
4.7 based on recent ratings
  • 4.6Food
  • 4.7Service
  • 4.6Ambience
  • 4.4Value

NoiseModerate

Loved For

  • Virginia

    Seafood

  • Richmond

    Seafood

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Filters

  1. T

    Tanya

    Richmond

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined 3 days ago

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    The server did a great job providing excellent service and the food was delicious.
  2. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on January 18, 2023

    overall5food1service5ambience5
    Food was not that good, but service was amazing.
  3. p

    positivejoe

    Baltimore

    36 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    36 reviews

    Dined on January 18, 2023

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Great place right off i95 can’t Believe I havnt tried it until now
  4. N

    Ntellectual

    Atlanta

    10 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    10 reviews

    Dined on January 18, 2023

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Our waitperson Eva was knowledgeable, attentive and has a great demeanor. The food was exquisite especially the parmesan fries, she crab soup, fried oysters and mussels. The scallops were amazing. Great taste, texture, temperature and presentation. The ambiance is perfect for a date, afterwork cocktails or a large, well-dressed and well-behaved group of friends or colleagues. The Hard Shell is a lovely restaurant.
  5. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on January 17, 2023

    overall5food5service4ambience4
    Really nice job. The fryer was out but we had plenty of options Two of us split two small plates.
  6. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    Charleston

    5 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    5 reviews

    Dined on January 16, 2023

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    The restaurant is located downtown. The oysters are the best oysters I’ve ever had. We had the filet and HardShell burger. They were both were delicious.
  7. GA

    GASteve

    Richmond

    116 reviews

    vip
    4.0

    116 reviews

    Dined on January 10, 2023

    overall4food4service5ambience5
    The service at lunch was great. The restaurant was not very crowded. The she crab soup was good but could have used more crabmeat. Likewise, the crab cake on the crab cake sandwich was good but could have been larger; it was slightly more than half the size of the bun. The side salad was fine.
  8. T

    Truefoodie

    Richmond

    2 reviews

    5.0

    2 reviews

    Dined on January 9, 2023

    overall5food5service5ambience3
    The entire meal was exceptional! The raw oysters, and clams were fresh and flavorful. The brussels sprouts and truffle fries were great appetizers. The arugula salad was beautiful, crisp and topped with a perfectly cooked piece of salmon. One guest had the she crab soup and liked…but didn’t love it. The New York strip with fresh lump crab was the winner!! It was cooked to perfection and I loved having the ability to create my own meal. I chose the broccolini and asparagus and loved them both!
  9. JR

    JanetR

    Richmond

    2 reviews

    5.0

    2 reviews

    Dined on January 7, 2023

    overall5food5service5ambience4
    Loved this place and will be back next time we are in town. I had the seafood pasta and it was incredible. Also recommend the carrot cake.
  10. JL

    JaLisa

    Richmond

    8 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    8 reviews

    Dined on January 7, 2023

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    At this point I eat here weekly lol. Definitely the most consistently delicious food in Richmond.
  11. b

    baysalo

    Key West

    52 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    52 reviews

    Dined on January 4, 2023

    overall5food5service5ambience4
    Pleasantly surprised with our experience. Will surely be back.
  12. RO

    RayzdocOBX

    Chicago

    20 reviews

    5.0

    20 reviews

    Dined on January 3, 2023

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Clean, crisp, simple but beautiful; comfortable seating. Excellent service and food!
  13. RH

    RichardH

    Richmond

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on December 31, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Our go-to place to celebrate. This was our third New Years plus we have celebrated several anniversaries at the Hard Shell, downtown. A little pricey...but a really nice restaurant.
  14. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on December 31, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Top notch service and delicious food
  15. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    1 review

    3.0

    1 review

    Dined on December 30, 2022

    overall3food2service5ambience3
    You would think if your gonna pay these prices and go to a “high end” restaurant they would have a dress code. The guy sitting next me had pajama pants on and his friend was wearing shorts (It was December 30th) The food was so so but the server was fantastic.
  16. m

    mightymouse

    Richmond

    36 reviews

    5.0

    36 reviews

    Dined on December 30, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    First time at this restaurant. Really enjoyed the experience. Will definitely return.
  17. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    Las Vegas

    17 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    17 reviews

    Dined on December 25, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Completely amazing.
  18. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    Richmond

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on December 24, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    It was a great experience! We decided to dine out for Christmas Eve and we weren’t disappointed.
  19. MV

    MilVA

    Richmond

    10 reviews

    5.0

    10 reviews

    Dined on December 24, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    My husband and I have dinner every Christmas Eve at the downtown Hard Shell and it never disappoints. We had reservations but decided to join Dane at the bar instead. It was an great decision and he was great. Best wishes to all for a happy 2023!
  20. RA

    RichelleA

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on December 24, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    I loved this place. The food was so good. Had the shrimp and scallops
  21. MC

    MC90

    Atlanta

    9 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    9 reviews

    Dined on December 23, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Amazing food and great service! The ambience is wonderful too - perfect for a date night, girl's night, or just a dinner with friends. Highly recommend!
  22. JP

    JaimeP

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on December 22, 2022

    overall5food4service5ambience5
    We were celebrating our 38th anniversary and have always enjoyed having dinner here. We will definitely go again soon.
  23. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on December 20, 2022

    overall5food4service5ambience4
    The lobster tail was poached perfectly, tender and juicy. For dessert, the key lime pie was outstanding. Definitely will be back soon.
  24. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    1 review

    4.0

    1 review

    Dined on December 14, 2022

    overall4food5service4ambience4
    Space to small food good and service okay
  25. CR

    CharlotteR

    Richmond

    2 reviews

    3.0

    2 reviews

    Dined on December 13, 2022

    overall3food4service2ambience5
    We went for our anniversary and stated so on the reservation. No acknowledgement of such from anyone. The server did not ask any questions nor did he offer any recommendations, we had to ask if there was a special entre. Server would get 1 out of 5 stars. The food was, as always, fantastic. A bit disappointed in not receiving any acknowledgement of our special day, but would return for the food but never for an occasion.
  26. EJ

    ElizabethJ

    Raleigh

    7 reviews

    5.0

    7 reviews

    Dined on December 8, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Wonderful service great food
  27. JG

    JanieG

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on December 6, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Nice atmosphere, service and food. First time in Richmond and we picked a great place for dinner.
  28. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    Raleigh

    11 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    11 reviews

    Dined on December 5, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Our waiter was Emily who was bright about the menu, gracious and efficient. .Great oysters appetizer and excellent Hard Shell burger with inventive side salad. The Hard She’ll was a great find for us,
  29. DA

    DavidA

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on December 3, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Got a great seat. Food was prompt delicious and a good amount.
  30. BP

    BrianP

    Richmond

    3 reviews

    5.0

    3 reviews

    Dined on November 26, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Wonderful atmosphere. Great food. A bit pricey on the entree side but the drinks and hors d'oeuvres were reasonable. I would go again.
  31. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    Chicago

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on November 19, 2022

    overall5food4service5ambience5
    Our sever (Vincent, I believe) was so great. He times our courses out perfectly and it was the best date my husband and I have had since moving from Chicago. Thank you to Vincent and the rest of the staff!
  32. l

    lodyt

    Richmond

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on November 18, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience4
    Loved our wait person ‘Em! Made our meal all the more awesome! Definitely coming back and recommending to everyone
  33. S

    Sorin

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on November 15, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    I am originally from the Eastern Shore of Maryland, so I am super picky about my seafood. Especially raw oysters, steamed crabs, and crab cakes. The Hard Shell provided a dozen quality oysters and they were substantial in size. The crab cake sandwich was perfect - little to no filler, not over cooked, and paired with a lovely sauce that kept everything juicy and moist. 10/10 will be back again soon for another business lunch.
  34. RG

    RuairiG

    Exclusive

    1 review

    4.0

    1 review

    Dined on November 15, 2022

    overall4food4service4ambience4
    I love this restaurant. Food is excellent. Fried oysters are excellent.
  35. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    Richmond

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on November 12, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Great food and awesome service, will be visiting this place again soon.
  36. BJ

    BrendaJ

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on November 5, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Blackened ribeye with shrimp was probably the best steak I’ve ever had. It was cooked exactly the way I asked-medium- and you could cut it with a butter knife. Our server, Vincent, was super friendly and attentive. We will definitely go back to get this again … and again!
  37. DO

    DONJ

    Richmond

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on October 29, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Daughter’s birthday
  38. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    Washington DC

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on October 28, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    In town for a college visit, and it happened to be restaurant week. Both the food on the regular menu, and the restaurant three course meal were amazing! Fresh delicious seafood and wonderful steak!
  39. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    Richmond

    1 review

    3.0

    1 review

    Dined on October 28, 2022

    overall3food4service3ambience3
    It was OK. The food was pricey for what you received.
  40. HN

    HalN

    Western NC

    4 reviews

    5.0

    4 reviews

    Dined on October 27, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    We went early, and enjoyed it thoroughly. Great food, and will be back again

Safety precautions

  • Cleaning & sanitizing

    • Surfaces sanitized between seatings
    • Digital, disposable or sanitized menu provided
    • Common areas deep-cleaned daily
    • Sanitizer or wipes provided for customers
  • Physical distancing

    • Limited number of seated diners
    • Distancing maintained in common areas
    • Extra space between tables
  • Screening

    • Sick staff prohibited in the workplace

FAQs

You can order delivery directly from The Hard Shell - Downtown using the Order Online button. The Hard Shell - Downtown also offers takeout which you can order by calling the restaurant at (804) 643-2333.

The Hard Shell - Downtown is rated 4.7 stars by 1515 OpenTable diners.

Yes, you can generally book this restaurant by choosing the date, time and party size on OpenTable.

Make a reservation

2 people

9:00 PM


Booked 17 times today

Order delivery or takeout

Other options

  • Order online
Google Map for The Hard Shell - Downtown

1411 East Cary Street, Richmond, VA 23219

Additional information

  • Cross street

    14th St

  • Neighborhood

    Richmond

  • Hours of operation

    Lunch Tue–Fri 12:00 pm–4:00 pm Happy Hour Mon–Fri 3:30 pm–5:30 pm Dinner Mon–Thu 4:00 pm–9:00 pm Fri, Sat 4:00 pm–10:00 pm

  • Cuisines

    Seafood, Steak

  • Dining style

    Casual Elegant

  • Dress code

    Casual Dress

  • 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.

  • Payment options

    AMEX, Discover, MasterCard, Visa

  • Additional

    Banquet, Bar/Lounge, Beer, Cocktails, Corkage Fee, Full Bar, Non-Smoking, Patio/Outdoor Dining, Patio/Outdoor Dining, Private Room, Takeout, Wheelchair Access, Wine

  • Phone number

    (804) 643-2333

  • Private party facilities

    The private dining room accommodates parties up to 50 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

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