2018 Best of GAY HRVA Reader’s Poll Winners: Food & Drink

Best of Gay HRVA 2018 QUICK LINKS

Best Local Chef 

Patrick Evans-Hylton

Patrick Evans-Hylton is a Johnson & Wales-trained chef and an award-winning food journalist, covering tasty trends since 1995 in print, broadcast and electronic media. He is publisher of Virginia Eats + Drinks Magazine.   He also hosts the weekly The Virginia Eats + Drinks Show on WNIS every Friday evening.

Best Overall Restaurant


Owner Neil Boden opened Streats a few years ago with a menu inspired by international street food, easily recognized by the distinctive red garage door on W. 21st in Ghent has developed a devoted following in the community.

Best Restaurant on a Budget

MJ’s Tavern

MJ’s Tavern has quickly become a cornerstone of the LGBTQ community since opening in 2012. MJ’s Tavern is located in the Colonial Place / River View neighborhood. Locally owned and community committed, their friendly staff makes everyone feel at home.

Best Restaurant for a Splurge

The Green Onion


The Green Onion is an eclectic bistro with both Euro-centric and contemporary American sensibilities.  Located in the heart of Ghent on Colley Avenue, Annette Stone’s cozy bistro has long been a local favorite.

Best Pizza

Cogan’s Pizza


One of Cogan’s uniquely topped pizza slices is filling enough for two, but so good you’ll want a pie all to yourself. Cogan’s also offers 33 beers on tap including several seasonal brews. But perhaps best of all is Cogan’s ability to transition from a family friendly restaurant to a great college bar with live music in the evenings.

Best International Cuisine

Luna Maya

Luna Maya has been considered one of the Best Mexican/Latin Restaurants in Norfolk and the Hampton Roads area since its opening in 1997.  Sisters Karla and Vivian Montano are committed to serving excellent food with great service in a relaxed and refined environment.

Best Burger

80/20 Burger Bar

80/20 Burger Bar strives to use the best, local ingredients available from certified grass-fed and finished beef from Leaping Waters Farm in Shenandoah, VA to the best in local produce, their objective is to support our area’s local farmers and their products to provide a healthy, unique, and cost-conscious experience. They also boast over 100 local and regional beers.

Best Food Truck

Karnage Asada

Serving a mash-up of Latin-Asian, for the second year in a row, Karnage Asada was voted best food truck by our readers.  Now sporting two trucks, Karnage Asada covers all of Hampton Roads, serving their distinctive cuisine and winning awards!

Best Seafood

A.W. Shucks

Located in the heart of Ghent in Norfolk, A.W. Shucks is among one of the favorite seafood and raw bar hangout, priding itself on fresh local and regional seafood, a large selection of fresh oysters at our raw bar and craft beers and wine for pairings.

Best Vegan/Vegetarian Fare

Starving Artist Cafe

Starving Artist Cafe on North Colley Ave. in Norfolk has quickly become a ‘go to’ spot for vegans, vegetarians, lovers of local art, live music and the carnivores that love them!  Offerings such as the vegan cheesesteak (pictured above) and daily specials make this small cafe with the bold mural owned by Kim Keene and Bridget Varney a favorite.

Best Craft Cocktails


Gershwin’s is a 1930’s themed bistro, featuring live entertainment and a bar that is one of the largest in town, featuring bartenders mixing cocktails that can’t be found anywhere else such as their “Grand Illumination” cocktail featuring Maker’s Mark smoked with cherry wood on the bar is legendary.

Best Wine Selection

Mermaid Winery

Norfolk’s first winery has expanded to include its first store in Norfolk’s Ghent  neighborhood to a new store on Shore Drive in Virginia Beach. Mermaid Winery focuses on producing small lots of well-balanced wines using Virginia and California grapes. Their winemaking process can be viewed from their tasting bar where you can enjoy wines and a selection of appetizers and entrees.

Best Craft Brewery

O’Connor Brewing Co.

It’s hard to believe that O’Connor Brewing Company started from a humble garage warehouse in 2010 and has expanded to become a World Beer Cup Award winning brand, with 40 employees, dozens of styles and is well on its way to becoming Virginia’s leading, independent craft brewery.

Best Distillery

Chesapeake Bay Distillery

Chesapeake Bay Distillery is a locally owned and operating distillery featuring handcrafted spirits. They offer product tastings and retail sales for their featured products. Chesapeake Bay Distillery currently produces Spirits of the Blue Ridge Vodka, Ghost Pepper Vodka, and Chick’s Beach Rum and operates a tasting room in Virginia Beach.

Best of Gay HRVA 2018 QUICK LINKS