International visitors and those from Colorado, who are looking for a breakfast place with a beachy, Southern charm, take a chance on Doc Taylor’s, a local dive and favorite for breakfast, lunch and brunch.
This former doctor’s office in Virginia Beach is renovated into a restaurant, open from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. daily. The unassuming location does not show signage for those searching for this restaurant. It is a large, white, beach cottage, built back in the 1930s.
“The restaurant is located in an old beach cottage and the staff is the nicest in Virginia Beach,” said owner Bill Gambrell.
Gambrell points out the restaurant offers a diverse menu, serving breakfast and lunch choices all day. He shares the adventurous selection from the include organic and/or free-range eggs, believing the whole menu is popular.
The menu showcases cute names for breakfast – The Flatliner, The Greek, Grandma Ellen’s Chipped Beef and The Nurse Ratchett, an organic egg omelet with grilled red peppers, Portobello mushrooms, spinach, and hollandaise. The food was filling but not heavy, perfectly cooked and absolutely hits the spot.
Ray Ray is one of the menu entrees recommended by the wait staff. It is a breakfast sandwich with egg bacon and cheese with a crispy broiled Parmesan crusted tomato, all on an onion bun.
Seating is available in various homey rooms of the old cottage and on the sun patio, perfect for a beach community. Bar stools, at both the kitchen counter and the beverage bar, are the premium seating on weekends. Old beach decor adorns the wall. Photos and memorabilia on the restaurant’s wall share the story of the building’s story. Doc Taylor’s has an open kitchen so you can see and hear everything the chefs are doing in this area.
The head chef and general manager, Ray Labuen, cooks along with the staff in the kitchen, while managing more than 25 staffers during the summer peak time. His background includes sites such as the Belvedere Resort and living in both California and Hawaii.
It’s within walking distance of most major hotels on the boardwalk, making this tourist friendly, but it seems to also have a nice mix of locals, too. As far as a local dive, it has all the charm you want at a coastal city.
The only problem is the size of this place … way too small for the crowd it attracts in Virginia Beach. It was an hour and a half wait on weekends, during the off-season months of October to March. Wait times for a table are out of control on the weekends and the restaurant does not take reservations. But the awful wait times indicate this this place is pretty good if people are willing to wait hours to eat a good breakfast.
Despite the tight squeeze of tables, blogger and author Katherine Jackson recommends Doc Taylor’s as a place for locals and out-of-town guests.
Price range between $5 to $12, an affordable feast of food for vacationers and local residents of Virginia Beach. For a couple, an average meal costs about $24 with tip and tax.
Doc Taylor’s is situated next door to the owner’s other restaurant called Tautogs.
“Our current operation, Doc Taylor’s, was spawned after sister restaurant, Tautogs, had established itself as one of the best seafood restaurants on the Virginia Beach oceanfront,” Gambrell said. “We felt that we wanted to extend our 23rd street presence.”
Hotels offer breakfast buffets as part of their lodging package. Other competitors include:
- Mary’s Restaurant
- Rick’s Cafe
- Java Surf Beach cafe
207 23rd Street
Virginia Beach, VA 23451
Tip 1: To avoid a long wait, get to the restaurant when it opens at 7 a.m. or at the end of the day around 2 p.m.
Tip 2: Come hungry, the portions are generous.
Tip 3: $1.99 is a bargain for the Doctor’s Famous Bloody Mary.
For more ideas, visit www.visitvirginiabeach.com.
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