The Hard Shell - Downtown

4.6
1336 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.

Support The Hard Shell - Downtown during COVID-19

Safety precautions

Cleaning & Sanitizing
  • Surfaces sanitized between seatings
  • Common areas deep cleaned daily
  • Digital, disposable or sanitized menu provided
  • Sanitizer or wipes provided for customers
Physical Distancing
  • Limited number of seated diners
  • Distancing maintained in common areas
  • Extra space between tables
Protective Equipment
  • Waitstaff wear masks
  • Diners must wear masks unless eating or drinking
Screening
  • Sick staff prohibited in the workplace
What 1336 people are saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.6based on recent ratings
4.6
food
4.7
service
4.6
ambience
4.4
value
Noise · Moderate
92% of people would recommend it to a friend
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MW
MyronW
Charlotte
1 review
Dined 5 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Food and service was outstanding.

D
Davidc
Richmond
3 reviews
Dined 5 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

always looking for a good place to get fresh fish and oysters, glad to see that Hard Shell is surviving

OT
OpenTable Diner
1 review
Dined 6 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Small place with great food! Loved it!

CO
vipCammieO
Richmond
18 reviews
Dined on February 14, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

It was a wonderful Valentine’s evening! Food was delicious and our waiter was very attentive and helpful. We’ll defiinately be back!

C
Chandrea
1 review
Dined on February 13, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The food was amazing. I loved the vibes in the restaurant. This is definitely a place that I will be returning to in the future.

OT
OpenTable Diner
Richmond
1 review
Dined on February 13, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The service was Great.

OT
OpenTable Diner
Philadelphia
9 reviews
Dined on February 12, 2021
Overall4food4service4ambience4

While visiting Richmond , I saw the Hardshell menu online and hoped we would not be disappointed. We were not disappointed and would recommend the Hardshell to Richmond natives and visitors alike.

LE
LaurieE
1 review
Dined on February 12, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The Hard Shell never disappoints. 10/10 would highly recommend!
Great atmosphere, excellent food and awesome service.

OT
OpenTable Diner
1 review
Dined on February 12, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Valentines Day
Everything was wonderful!

OT
vipOpenTable Diner
Washington DC
10 reviews
Dined on February 10, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great food and service. The selection of high quality seafood options was impressive and appreciated Tim’s help navigating the choices. Will definitely repeat.

OT
OpenTable Diner
Washington DC
3 reviews
Dined on February 9, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great experience. Will definitely return.

OT
OpenTable Diner
1 review
Dined on February 6, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

This might be my new favorite restaurant in Richmond! Fantastic food, drinks, and atmosphere. the staff were all very friendly and gave us great wine recommendations. We will definitely be back!

JG
vipJoeG
Wilmington
11 reviews
Dined on February 6, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Outstanding food and service! Brian was a great waiter! The clams and grilled salmon were outstanding!

OT
OpenTable Diner
1 review
Dined on February 6, 2021
Overall3food3service4ambience3

I was just a little disappointed in the food, it wasn’t as good as I thought it was going to be. Very bland, tasted like there was no seasoning on anything.

B
Brendan
Washington DC
6 reviews
Dined on February 4, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We always have a nice time here. Great food and service and a cute little restaurant.

MM
MaryM
Caribbean
1 review
Dined on February 3, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

I always enjoy eating at the Hardshell. Jess, our server always goes above and beyond even in these times of covid. The quality of the food is good and consistent. I am very thankful they are open for lunch.

AH
AnneH
1 review
Dined on January 29, 2021
Overall1food1service2ambience2

Food was mediocre at the best. Wait staff were disheveled in appearance. Definitely not what one would expect for the price of the entrees.
Will not dine there again

OT
OpenTable Diner
Richmond
1 review
Dined on January 23, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Perfezione ✨
Food, Bev, Atmosphere & Service: 10/10

GL
GandLV
New York Area
8 reviews
Dined on January 16, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Even though we are still in the midst of Covid, the restaurant was busy enough and a place to go whenever we get back to normal. Food and drinks excellent as was the service. Would love to be here when it is very busy again, very upscale, trendy fun looking.

JL
JordanL
1 review
Dined on January 16, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

All of the food was great except the Dungeness Crab. It was just okay. Lobster, steak, salmon, ribs, brussels sprouts and sides were all great.

OT
OpenTable Diner
New Orleans
1 review
Dined on January 12, 2021
Overall5food5service4ambience5

Great meal and good service. We had the raw oysters, calamari and lobster dip. Yum!!
My mussels were delicious. Will definitely return.

s
shawng
1 review
Dined on January 9, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The food was delicious! One of the best crab cakes I've ever had!

AB
AmberB
1 review
Dined on January 7, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great food, great ambiance, server was friendly and very knowledgeable.

OT
OpenTable Diner
Richmond
1 review
Dined on December 31, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Loved it. Will definitely go back

AM
AnnieM
Chicago
3 reviews
Dined on December 30, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We loved our visit to The Hard Shell. We chose it because the reviews said the oysters were excellent (they were!) but actually everything we ate was delicious and the staff was extremely accommodating and kind to our kids and and their palates. Everything was extremely fresh, and the wine and desserts were delicious. This was our first visit to Richmond and the only restaurant we tried. We are sold and will go back on our next visit.

HR
HazelR
1 review
Dined on December 19, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

I had always heard about this restaurant and I love seafood. I had high expectations and they food, service and ambiance was awesome. Definitely get the she crab soup and truffle fries delish! I will definitely be going back again !!!

V
Virginia
Richmond
2 reviews
Dined on December 19, 2020
Overall5food4service5ambience5

Cozy, great food and great service

G
vipGooch
Philadelphia
33 reviews
Dined on December 10, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

When in Richmond this is a must visit.
Cold night made comfortable outside with plenty of heaters.
Tim, our server was pleasant, efficient and knowledgeable. Martinis were EXCELLENT as was the GG with Chambourd. Fried oysters made my Honey happy. She crab soup and shrimp were recommended prior and they were very good. Had the King crab combo and wasn't disappointed at all. Very relaxing atmosphere considering the CCP virus scares and we enjoyed the date night in a new city to visit.
Bill and Nancy

J
Jeff
New York Area
2 reviews
Dined on December 8, 2020
Overall3food2service3ambience3

I selected this restaurant as a nice, quiet place for my anniversary. The server was friendly and very attentive. The drinks and appetizers (parmesan truffle fries) were a good start to our evening. Sadly, I was disappointed with my dinner. I had ordered the 14 oz Sirloin, comes with potatoes and asparagus. The sirloin was cooked to my liking on the inside, but the outside was burned or even charred. The potatoes seemed to be cooked the same way, burned. I couldn't even finish my meal because the flavor was nonexistent due to the way the food was cooked.

CW
vipChariceW
Washington DC
69 reviews
Dined on December 5, 2020
Overall5food4service4ambience4

Our date night dinner was delicious The service was wonderful.

OT
OpenTable Diner
Washington DC
2 reviews
Dined on December 4, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Excellent. Would definitely return when in the area again.

OT
vipOpenTable Diner
Richmond
3 reviews
Dined on December 4, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Everything from the cocktails to dessert was awesome. Every time we visit we think we don’t eat here enough!

BA
BradfordA
Richmond
3 reviews
Dined on December 4, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Very nice, with option for inside or outside seating.

P
Patrick
Richmond
5 reviews
Dined on December 1, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Phenomenal experience. Our sever, Tim, was fantastic. Will be back.

OT
OpenTable Diner
New York Area
10 reviews
Dined on November 20, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Was amazing!!

r
rvadiner5
Richmond
3 reviews
Dined on November 20, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We had such a wonderful rehearsal dinner!! The Hardshell was so accommodating and amazing! 10/10 would recommend.

ML
MarkL
1 review
Dined on November 18, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Our third straight anniversary dinner here, and we'll be back!

b
beatrixp
Richmond
1 review
Dined on November 14, 2020
Overall4food4service5ambience5

It was good, very nice and quiet peaceful very romantic,will return again

OT
OpenTable Diner
Washington DC
4 reviews
Dined on November 13, 2020
Overall5food4service5ambience4

Very nice staff! Delicious cocktails. Nice ambiance. The food came out quickly and was perfect temperature. Nice presentation. Loved the she crab soup and the rockfish. Get the carrot cake! Will definitely return.

OT
OpenTable Diner
Richmond
3 reviews
Dined on November 6, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

This place has only gotten better over the years!

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 4.6 stars by 1336 OpenTable diners.

Yes, you can generally book this restaurant by choosing the date, time and party size on OpenTable. Due to local restrictions, this restaurant may not be accepting reservations at the moment.