Surf Rider Restaurants
I had the chance to visit the Surf Rider Restaurant in Hampton, Virginia recently and had a nice surprise. There are a total of five Surf Rider Restaurants and all of them are at or near the coast of the Atlantic Ocean in the Tidewater region of Virginia. The Surf Rider Restaurant chain was started in 1980 by Liz Massey and her son Stanley Bennett and it is still family owned and operated today. Their goal was to have quality, affordable home-style cooked meals with a good variety of fish and seafood items on the menu.
The Surf Rider name is what interested me since I have always considered myself a misplaced California surfer boy so I wanted to ride the largest wave right to the restaurant! Instead, the Surf Rider in Hampton was located in a nice marina right on the water with nice views of the Hampton River. Casual atmosphere inside with a beachy theme, nautical signage, and a bar area at the end of the restaurant was overlooking the marina and the water. It was a Thursday at 1pm lunch time and it was quite busy. Service was quick and I got a table right away with a menu and a water with lemon. Surf Rider has a very large menu with many different choices of food and at a variety of prices but the average price was from $8 for a sandwich to about $25 for seafood. The menu had several categories such as Starters and Appetizers, Soup and Salads, Sandwiches and Wraps, Pasta’s, Burgers, Turf, and Platters fill up every craving you may have in your soul. The main part of the menu (and the priciest) is the House Specialties which is directed to the Seafood lover. Award winning Crab Cakes, Shrimp, Scallops, Oysters, Crab, and more! The fish selection seemed a little light with choices of Tuna or Flounder but the “Catch of the Day” does include specialty fish on other days.
I ordered a cup of Maryland Clam Chowder and a Grilled Yellow Fin Tuna Sandwich which comes with a side. I was unimpressed with the soup and think I got the bottom of the pot because I didn’t find any clam at all. The flavors were fine but for $5.99 for a cup of soup, I expected more. The Grilled Yellow Fin Tuna sandwich was wonderful though! Very fresh, cooked medium rare the way I like it, and it was a big sandwich that included fries for $11. There was a decent beer list and small wine list with fair prices. I am sure tropical cocktails are a real specialty here and there definitely is a full bar.
All in all, I really enjoyed my Surf Rider experience and would “hang ten” here again sometime! Good atmosphere and service, good food at decent prices, and great water views! I would give Surf Rider in Hampton 4.2 Stars out of 5 for a very good experience at a casual restaurant. So don’t be a “Barney” and “bail”, give one of the Surf Rider locations a try and I am sure you will be “amped” like I was!