A Day Off in Ghent

Spend the day on foot lunching and shopping in this perfectly hip historic Norfolk neighborhood.

9:00 a.m. Stroll Down Memory Lane

New Orleans has the Garden District; Richmond has Monument Avenue; in Norfolk, the most picturesque historic homes can be found in the Ghent Historic District overlooking the Hague, an inlet off the Elizabeth River. Best admired on foot, these handsome homes built in the late 1800s feature fine examples of Tudor, Queen Anne and Colonial Revival styles.

10:30 a.m. Take the Biscuit

At the Handsome Biscuit you’ll find find sweet potato biscuit sandwiches featuring a variety of yummy fillings. We suggest the Dill Na Na, which is made with potato onion frittata and arugula with dill mayo, and the Hella Fitzgerald, a fried chicken and bacon combo with cheddar and red eye sausage gravy. HandsomeBiscuit.com

11:30 a.m. Shop Around

Michael Millard-Lowe Antiques specializes in items from the 17th—20th centuries, American and European. Treat yourself to a Louis XV commode or George III chest of drawers, or choose something more modern from one of the multiple vignettes in the intimate space. Millard-Lowe.com

2:00 p.m. Chop, Chop!

A self-described “old-fashioned butcher shop,” Pendulum Fine Meats specializes in whole animal butchery. Pop in for lunch and try a classic Reuben or a sandwich of roasted pork with butter beans and braised kale. Before you leave, stock up on Virginia brands like Hubs Nuts and Pennacook Peppers, and a big selection of Virginia-made wine and beer. PendulumMeats.com 

3:30 p.m. Find Your Niche

Tucked away just off Colley Avenue, Kitsch feels like the set of an indie film. The quirky five-year-old shop is filled with unique finds from local artisans like Virginia Beach’s Twittering Bird, purveyors of punchy postcards; screenprints and patches from Norfolk-based hand lettering specialists Maple and Belmont; and leather goods from Free Range and Feral in Sedalia. KitschVa.com

5:00 p.m. Settle Down

It is rare to find a restaurant as popular with out-of-towners as it is with locals, but once your plate arrives at the No Frill Bar & Grill you find out why: heaping portions of traditional American fare from a menu diverse enough to please even the pickiest of diners. We like the meatloaf, which is served with string beans, mashed potatoes, cornbread and beer battered onion rings. NoFrillGrill.com

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