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
I came for my birthday, we weren't given free bread (I saw in comments later that was included) and the place wasn't that full so not sure why that happened. The mashed potatoes were bland, but the lobster was cooked good. There were several pieces of cartilage in my crab cake, at least 8 large pieces and I stopped eating it because I got tired of taking the pieces out of my mouth after every bite. I told the waiter and he said that it was because it was fresh crab, and I told him I have had plenty of 'real' crab cakes without all that cartilage. I hope they take more time in picking through the crab meat as other restaurants do, because nobody likes eating cartilage, shell or bones. It would be strange to have a salmon cake with fish bones in them so why are they okay with serving cartilage in the crab cake? The service was quick, but I would gladly wait for better food.
They were understaffed when we were there but all employees helped out the single waiter on staff to get things done. The lobster dip was not very good (or lobstery) but everything else was very good (but I don't know if I'd go so far as to say great). We had the she crab soup - good but almost too creamy (floury) tasting, scallop appetizer (this may have been the one great selection), and the grilled lobster tail with spinach and asparagus sides.
The service was very good and friendly given their predicament, the food was very good, the manhattans were well poured. All in all, a very good experience.
The food was average. The recommended She Crab bisque was a little on the thin side. What was most disappointing is the fact that it was happy hour, there's no separation from the bar to the restaurant, and they would not honor the happy hour prices at our table. I can't say we would return, as there are better restaurants in the area.
The service overall was timely and the food was delicious. While the server was nice the only off putting thing was the server must have come up 10 times in 15-20 minutes trying to take the check, we were clearly still talking and drinking wine and told him we were good but he kept circling to the point it became laughable and awkward and my date was a little offended because it came off a bit unprofessional. Mind you I worked in restaurants for 8 years so I know how the process works but if there is no sign the check has been looked at or a card placed and waiting for a server I would tone that down as that did create a negative experience at the end of our evening. I know it seems small but in the mind of ppl that are on a date or friends night out, we don’t want to feel rushed when we are spending 70-150 depending on the occasion. That is all.
I loved the fish and chips. I told our waitress that it was the best i have EVER eaten. Seriously, i can afford steak and lobster but the was better. The cod was flakey and delicious and the fries were crispy just how i like them. My wifes lobster and crab was also great👊....
My wife and I eat at the Hardshell on Huegenaught many times. She took me out for my 60th birthday to the Downtown location and it was awful. The food was inedible and cold, the noise was way to loud and overall we had a terrible experience. I could never recommend this location to anyone.
Recommended by friend. Stopped in for a late weekend lunch. Excellent food. Exceptional service. Well informed and friendly staff. Fairly priced. Paid parking nearby. Not sure what the atmosphere is later in the day but this is a restaurant that should definitely be tried for lunch.
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.
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