Nearby points of interest
Nearby points of interest
About 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. 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.
Richmond, VA 23219
Hours of Operation:
Monday - Saturday
Lunch 11:30 - 4:00
Light Fare 4:00 -5:00
Dinner 5:00 - 10:00
Brunch 10:30 - 3:30
Light Fare 3:30 -5:00
Dinner 5:00 - 9:00
$30 and under
AMEX, Diners Club, Discover, JCB, MasterCard, Visa
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.
Banquet, Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Beer, Cocktails, Full Bar, Happy Hour, Non-Smoking, Outdoor dining, Private Room, Weekend Brunch, Wheelchair Access, Wine
The Hard Shell - Downtown Ratings and Reviews
We visited hard shell while in town for a wedding. Were told by the Omni hotel it was the best food in town. Really enjoyed the bar atmosphere while waiting for a table. We did notice while at the bar that probably 2-3 parties were sending food back, but didn’t think much of it. When we sat down, we noticed 2 more tables send food back while we were seated. We ordered the Shrimp and Scallops, and the crab pasta. They weren’t bad, but extremely underwhelming. Lobster chowder as an appetizer was outstanding- would recommend that to everyone. Overall, really nice ambience and enjoyable atmosphere, but the food was disappointing on the whole. I do think it may have just been an off night for the kitchen staff.
I had a number of people in from out of town for a meeting. Some live near the coast and are very picky with seafood. The meal, drinks, and service were all OUTSTANDING. Everyone has been talking about dinner for the last few days saying how great everything was.
Hard Shell was a good experience. We sat outside and that was seemingly a good idea at the time, but when the food came the flies swarmed around us. I think having an air source like a fan would have helped keep the flies away. The service was very good. We started with the calamari and shared a cesear salad. My date had the fish special, which was tasty and I had the tuna poke. We ordered the key lime--it was average. I wish I had ordered the creme brûlée. We were from out of town--I don't think I would rush back there.
We loved our dinner at Hard Shell BUT the slamming and dropping of plates throughout our dining visit was obnoxious at best. We did let the hostess know that this was not acceptable and she promised to let management know Hopefully they will remedy this as everything else is wonderful! Great food and service.
Brian (s) was my server and he was fantastic. Attentive without being overbearing. He was very knowledgeable. I had the ceviche which was sorry fresh. I feel like the line it was made with was probably either a little old or out of season but overall it was pretty tasty. The oyster poboy was on point. The batter was savory and the pirates were fried to perfection, crispy on the outside and perfectly moist on the inside. The bread it was served I was delicious too! I wish I had ordered dessert but I was so full. Hand cut fries for the win! Will definitely be returning.
My boyfriend and I weren't from the Richmond, VA area so we googled seafood restaurants and The Hardshell came up. We were so impressed with the staff and how friendly and accommodating they were! The food from the appetizer to the main course was absolutely Superior A+++ quiality!! We can't wait to return!!!!
The vibe was nice, but when I arrived the only seating available was outside or at the bar. They were preparing for a private party and failed to contact me to advise; I had a reservation. Fortunately, it was a nice day for sitting outside. Unfortunately, the fly's ran my son and I inside to the bar. Having to swat fly's through my meal sort of ruined the moment. We moved inside to the bar, and surprisingly there were a couple of gnats there as well, though it was much better. Having said, the food was very good and I would go back. Just not in a pinch.
When visiting RVA we always try and make it to the Hard Shell for dinner. The food is always tasty. Our service this particular evening was not so great. She seemed to be preoccupied and was not attentive. We had to flag her down to get her attention and she did not make a point to check on us. It's unfortunate.
Everything was great as usual except for our reception. The gentleman that greeted us and sat us was not very pleasant at all. He made it seem as though it was a chore to be there. Disappointed with that aspect as it was the first time my parents were there.
Recommended to us by the bartender in our hotel, plus I had seen it while touring the Shockoe Bottom area, we were very happy with our meal. As usual, parking in Richmond is something to consider. There is a lot across the road which made it really convenient but the machine was malfunctioning so we watched the car the entire time we ate - not very relaxing. My cocktail arrived very differently than expected but was quickly rectified. The oysters were fresh and delicious and each of the items we ordered were very tasty and well-prepared. I had the lobster quesadilla - wow. I think it's something I would look forward to eating at least once a week (Monday is lobster night). We ordered dessert - key lime pie and cheesecake - neither was memorable...so I didn't feel badly only having a bite of each. The interior is beautiful and interesting and I will look forward to coming back again next time we're in Richmond!
We happen to be in Richmond for a conference and wanted to make last-minute brunch reservations on a Sunday morning. Most places were already booked but the hard shell had openings. In fact we were the only ones when we first arrived. We were immediately greeted and seated. Coffee and Bloody Marys with great. My husband ordered the steak and eggs and found the steak to be a fairly tough cut. I had the crab omelette which I really enjoyed. Both entrees included biscuits, fruit and home fries. The biscuits and home fries especially were delicious. We also ordered a side of chocolate chip pancakes to share. They were great. I would definitely come back next time we are in Richmond. I'd like to try their dinner menu.
The time of day we went was at the end of happy hour. It was difficult to carry on a conversation without elevating our voices as everyone else did. Nice place but I would pick a different time of the evening next time. As we finished dinner the crowd lessened and much nicer ambience.
Our server, Brian, seemed rushed. Barely heard what we had to say before rushing off. Seemed to be more attentive to others. The ceviche was just ok, pretty heavy on the lime. The crab cakes were just ok. The creme brulee was eggy the consistency was not smooth but more like tapioca. and The imperial margarita was the highlight, which is pretty sad.
Was pleased that the interior has been updated since our last visit quite a while ago; much brighter and inviting. Food was very good, but did not get near enough for the very high prices. Would only go for a special occasion. Server was professional and efficient. Could have used a little more attention from him.
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