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The Hard Shell - Downtown, Richmond, VA
The Hard Shell - Downtown, Richmond, VA
The Hard Shell - Downtown, Richmond, VA
The Hard Shell - Downtown, Richmond, VA
The Hard Shell - Downtown, Richmond, VA

The Hard Shell - Downtown

4.6
4.6
1681 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.

Make a reservation

2 people

10:00 p.m.


Booked 12 times today

Order delivery or takeout

Additional information

  • Dining style
    Casual Elegant
  • Price
    $31 to $50
  • Cuisines
    Seafood, Steak
  • Hours of Operation
    Brunch Sun 10:30 am–4:00 pm Lunch Mon–Fri 11:30 am–4:00 pm Happy Hour Mon–Fri 3:00 pm–6:00 pm Dinner Mon–Thu, Sun 4:00 pm–9:00 pm Fri, Sat 4:00 pm–10:00 pm
  • Phone number
    (804) 643-2333
  • Payment Options
    AMEX, Discover, Mastercard, Visa
  • Dress Code
    Casual Dress
  • Private party facilities
    The private dining room accommodates parties up to 50 guests. The Hard Shell offers custom menus and bar packages to suit every event. The private dining room is the perfect place for dinner programs, wedding functions or celebrations.
  • Private party contact
    Leandra Dunlevy: (804) 643-2333
  • Neighbourhood
    Richmond
  • Cross Street
    14th St
  • Parking Details
    The Hard Shell validates parking after 5pm daily in the garage at the corner of 14th St. and Cary St. directly across from the restaurant.
  • Additional
    Banquet, Bar/Lounge, Beer, Cocktails, Corkage Fee, Full Bar, Non-Smoking, Patio/Outdoor Dining, Patio/Outdoor Dining, Private Room, Takeout, Wheelchair Access, Wine

What 1,681 people are saying

Overall ratings and reviews

Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant

4.6
4.6 based on recent ratings
  • 4.6Food
  • 4.6Service
  • 4.6Ambience
  • 4.4Value

NoiseModerate

Loved For

  • Richmond

    Good for business meals

1,681 Reviews
  1. JamesG

    Richmond

    4 reviews

    3.0

    4 reviews

    Dined 3 days ago

    1. Overall 3
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 1
    4. Ambience 3
    Great food, bad waiter and very loud. Nice ambience but the loudness prevented a conversation at a six too

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  2. ReginaldW

    Richmond

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined 4 days ago

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 4
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    Great spot. Plenty of menu selections. Service is fantastic. Definitely would recommend this restaurant.

    Is this helpful?

  3. 1WahooFoodie

    Richmond

    44 reviews

    vip
    4.0

    44 reviews

    Dined 7 days ago

    1. Overall 4
    2. Food 4
    3. Service 4
    4. Ambience 5
    Delicious grilled snapper special with asparagus spears was very well seasoned and executed. Skin was crispy. Layered carrot cake was moist and well balanced with spices and sweetness levels. Very good meal.

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  4. EricV

    Kansas City

    3 reviews

    5.0

    3 reviews

    Dined on February 20, 2024

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    Excellent food. Server was knowledge and attentive. Table was available when we arrived. Service time was reasonable. Calamri starter was quite good. Would order the crab cake sandwich again.

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  5. CarolM

    Richmond

    2 reviews

    5.0

    2 reviews

    Dined on February 18, 2024

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    The overall experience was great! They had our table ready for our party of 7 early, so we were able to have a drink while we waited for the final 2 to arrive. The food was delicious. When my Rockfish dinner arrived, the whipped potates were cool, so I sent them back. They replaced the entire meal and then comped it!!! I was shocked. I did ot expect them to do this. Excellent waitress, manager, and experience. We will be going back!

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  6. OpenTable Diner

    Richmond

    7 reviews

    vip
    4.0

    7 reviews

    Dined on February 18, 2024

    1. Overall 4
    2. Food 4
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    Food was good but my she crab soup was lukewarm. Would have been so good if it was served hot. Basic kitchen rule of soup: serve it piping hot! Lobster dip was good, also lukewarm. Steaks, ribs, all prepared well. Server was great but bar was super slow for a not too crowded night.

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  7. Emmy

    Richmond

    2 reviews

    5.0

    2 reviews

    Dined on February 17, 2024

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    Amazing food, great service, and pretty setup! Everything was delicious- we had fried oysters, she crab soup, lobster tail, rockfish, crab cake, and crème brûlée. It was outstanding!

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  8. BrittenyC

    Washington DC

    10 reviews

    5.0

    10 reviews

    Dined on February 17, 2024

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    We were seated immediately, our waiter was very attentive, the food was amazing and I loved the atmosphere.

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  9. KimberlyJ

    Richmond

    8 reviews

    vip
    3.0

    8 reviews

    Dined on February 16, 2024

    1. Overall 3
    2. Food 2
    3. Service 2
    4. Ambience 3
    Waiter struggled with completing the order correctly. Examples are: a) forgot our mix drinks two different times, b) forgot to bring two bowls of she crab soup, and they brought two ribeyes cooked to the wrong temperature. One was ordered medium rare, and delivered well done Second was ordered medium rare and delivered medium well. First time I would rate their service and food well below past experiences.

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  10. rickm

    Richmond

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on February 16, 2024

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    literally the best steak ive ever had, whole meal delicious! great little restaurant too

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  11. Lauren

    Richmond

    8 reviews

    5.0

    8 reviews

    Dined on February 14, 2024

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    Great food and menu. We've been there many times over the years and it never disappoints.

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  12. OpenTable Diner

    Baltimore

    1 review

    vip
    4.0

    1 review

    Dined on February 10, 2024

    1. Overall 4
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 3
    4. Ambience 4
    Love The Hard Shell whenever we are in Richmond! Food is great and Shockhoe Slip is very quaint.
    The Hard Shell - DowntownResponded on February 15, 2024
    Hi A, thank you so much for the lovely review! We love that you come to visit us when you are in town. We can't wait to see you again soon. -The Hard Shell Management Team

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  13. CGKell

    Richmond

    10 reviews

    4.0

    10 reviews

    Dined on February 10, 2024

    1. Overall 4
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 1
    4. Ambience 4
    Our food was good and the wait time for the food was great. The only issue we had was the service. The waitress was not very nice. Barely said hi and it seemed she did not want to work. Based on that, we will not return.
    The Hard Shell - DowntownResponded on February 15, 2024
    Hi CGKell, thank you for taking the time to share your experience with us. We love to hear that your meal was good and that your wait time was great. I'm disheartened to hear that your service was not up to our standards of operation. We sincerely hope that you are willing to give us another visit in the near future so that we can truly show you what we have to offer here at The Hard Shell. I'd love to hear more about your stay with us if you're up to it. You can reach us by phone or email. Take care, The Hard Shell Management Team

    Is this helpful?

  14. TonyMcGuirk

    Philadelphia

    4 reviews

    5.0

    4 reviews

    Dined on February 9, 2024

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    Outstanding food - awesome waiter ! Options to switch sauces across dishes!

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  15. KristinL

    Philadelphia

    9 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    9 reviews

    Dined on February 4, 2024

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    My husband and I ate here during our one night stay in Richmond on our way home and the food Was excellent. I had the lobster roll and my husband had the hanger steak. We both enjoyed what we ordered. The service was great as were the drinks. Definitely recommend

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  16. LisaM

    Richmond

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on February 3, 2024

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    Service and food are excellent!! We live it there!

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  17. OpenTable Diner

    Miami - Dade

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on February 3, 2024

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    Always a great experience. Food was excellent. Service was great

    Is this helpful?

  18. JeffH

    Richmond

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on February 1, 2024

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 3
    Meal and service were very good. Was crowded and noisy. On the pricey side.

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  19. Tammy

    Richmond

    2 reviews

    5.0

    2 reviews

    Dined on January 27, 2024

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    Everything was amazing!! Our waiter was amazing I think his name was Gabriel? But definitely will be returning!

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  20. Disappointed

    Atlanta Metro

    3 reviews

    3.0

    3 reviews

    Dined on January 27, 2024

    1. Overall 3
    2. Food 2
    3. Service 1
    4. Ambience 3
    Dinner twice in one week, based on prior excellent experiences. Service was unacceptable; reception nonexistent or “grouchy”, literally had to ask for tableware, S&P, etc., failed to refresh drinks, etc. Rockfish was over-cooked and strong-smelling. Many tables with large groups; could not hear conversation at own table. However: fresh oysters were cold and delicious still.
    The Hard Shell - DowntownResponded on January 31, 2024
    Hello, We are very sorry to hear about your experience with us at Hardshell Downtown on Friday night. It seems you had an underwhelming experience that night with us and we do apologize. We would love to make things right and offer you a gift certificate for the next time you join us. Please reach out to the restaurant and ask for a manager on duty and they will be able to assist you. Thank you and we look forward to hearing back from you! Thank you, The Hardshell Downtown Management

    Is this helpful?

  21. OpenTable Diner

    Richmond

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on January 24, 2024

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    The food and the atmosphere was great. The service was super. I would always recommend this place to family and friends.

    Is this helpful?

  22. OpenTable Diner

    Richmond

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on January 21, 2024

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    The food and service was excellent! We were seated on time.

    Is this helpful?

  23. OpenTable Diner

    Columbus

    4 reviews

    5.0

    4 reviews

    Dined on January 18, 2024

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    Excellent service. Food was great. Recommend the scallops, calamari and Mahi Mahi.

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  24. CiaraF

    Richmond

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on January 14, 2024

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    When we arrived we were seated quickly. The waiter was great! The entire staff was very nice. The food was delicious and the drinks also were great! Everything came quick! Nice place! I would absolutely go back again!

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  25. Views

    Richmond

    12 reviews

    5.0

    12 reviews

    Dined on January 13, 2024

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 4
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    Hardshell is a nice place food and service is good.

    Is this helpful?

  26. JohnL

    Washington DC

    34 reviews

    3.0

    34 reviews

    Dined on January 12, 2024

    1. Overall 3
    2. Food 3
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 4
    Just ok. Calamari was over fried. Fries soggy. Po Boy can without the sauce. Steak was good as was the wedge salad.

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  27. JohnH

    New York City

    2 reviews

    2.0

    2 reviews

    Dined on January 7, 2024

    1. Overall 2
    2. Food 2
    3. Service 2
    4. Ambience 2
    This is a place to eat not dine. Food was satisfactory but not memorable.

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  28. Beth

    Richmond

    23 reviews

    5.0

    23 reviews

    Dined on January 5, 2024

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    Our evening was perfect. We were able to arrive earlier than our reservation which was a nice surprise. The food was excellent as was the service. Wine by the glass was also above average, and very thoughtful to offer a taste. Wish we could have engulfed in dessert however we were very well satisfied, next time:) It was a bit noisy so it was hard for my husband to hear the conversations, but we managed. Can’t wait to return.

    Is this helpful?

  29. OpenTable Diner

    Richmond

    2 reviews

    4.0

    2 reviews

    Dined on January 1, 2024

    1. Overall 4
    2. Food 4
    3. Service 4
    4. Ambience 4
    Our waitress was knowledgeable and attentive! Even with being slammed for NYE she made sure we were well taken care of.

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  30. KatyL

    Richmond

    6 reviews

    5.0

    6 reviews

    Dined on December 31, 2023

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 4
    4. Ambience 4
    Hard Shell is a special place for us and we love sharing it with friends. The food was amazing as always!

    Is this helpful?

  31. BrianJ

    Washington DC

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on December 24, 2023

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 4
    Excellent service, food, and comfort. Hard Shell is our go to place for special occasions.

    Is this helpful?

  32. CherylP

    Richmond

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on December 24, 2023

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    Excellent as always! Lobster dip was amazing as was the blackened Mahi. The service top notch! Thank you for a wonderful Christmas Eve!

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  33. NancyW

    Richmond

    5 reviews

    2.0

    5 reviews

    Dined on December 24, 2023

    1. Overall 2
    2. Food 2
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 4
    Expected far better due to reputation. Service was excellent. Food up and down our selection was a fail with a return of the parm truffle fries - soggy with no flavor. Even chocolate dessert was bland. Scallops greasy, rockfish unremarkable. Tuna sashimi wasn’t bad / I liked the sauce and used it to spice up the rockfish.

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  34. OpenTable Diner

    Richmond

    20 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    20 reviews

    Dined on December 24, 2023

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    Great lunch experience! Good food & Our server Martha was so attentive & friendly!! Love her so much!!

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  35. MichaelM

    New York City

    82 reviews

    vip
    3.0

    82 reviews

    Dined on December 22, 2023

    1. Overall 3
    2. Food 3
    3. Service 4
    4. Ambience 4
    We were on the road traveling all day and dined on the early side. Chosen randomly, the location was convenient and the place was quiet yet lovely. The staff was welcoming and accomplished. We were rather surprised at how quickly our meal was delivered! Minutes after ordering. Both the appetizers (delicious, crispy fried calamari and half a dozen raw oysters) and the main courses, blackened mahi mahi and crab cakes. The food was good, not great. Rather mediocre. We skilled dessert.

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  36. JHayes

    Richmond

    16 reviews

    4.0

    16 reviews

    Dined on December 21, 2023

    1. Overall 4
    2. Food 4
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    The Hard Shell was such a fantastic find! There is a great seafood selection, all of which was good. Service was amazing. We will definitely be back!

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  37. KarenW

    Richmond

    3 reviews

    5.0

    3 reviews

    Dined on December 15, 2023

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    The food and service are always great. As lovers of an Old Fashioned, the bartender was superb!

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  38. JoshH

    Exclusive

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on December 15, 2023

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    This is my favorite restaurant downtown. I have been trying many others when visiting for work, and value is fantastic. Steaks, seafood, and house drinks are great.

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  39. OpenTable Diner

    Richmond

    4 reviews

    5.0

    4 reviews

    Dined on December 12, 2023

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    Always great food & service! Happy hour naps were awesome and dinner was on point!

    Is this helpful?

  40. OpenTable Diner

    Denver

    3 reviews

    3.0

    3 reviews

    Dined on December 11, 2023

    1. Overall 3
    2. Food 3
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    The food was tasty. Service was excellent. However, the majority of the food was cold. Soup was lukewarm, the hot lobster dip was room temp and even the hot water for my tea was not really hot. This was a bit disappointing on a cold day.

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Safety precautions

  • Cleaning & sanitising

    • Surfaces sanitised between seatings
    • Digital, disposable or sanitised menu provided
    • Common areas deep-cleaned daily
    • Sanitiser or wipes provided for customers
  • Physical distancing

    • Limited number of seated diners
    • Distancing maintained in common areas
    • Extra space between tables
  • Screening

    • Sick staff prohibited in the workplace

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 1681 OpenTable diners.

Yes, you can generally book this restaurant by choosing the date, time and party size on OpenTable.

Make a reservation

2 people

10:00 p.m.


Booked 12 times today

Order delivery or takeout

Google Map for The Hard Shell - Downtown

1411 East Cary Street, Richmond, VA 23219

Additional information

  • Cross Street
    14th St
  • Neighbourhood
    Richmond
  • Hours of Operation
    Brunch Sun 10:30 am–4:00 pm Lunch Mon–Fri 11:30 am–4:00 pm Happy Hour Mon–Fri 3:00 pm–6:00 pm Dinner Mon–Thu, Sun 4:00 pm–9:00 pm Fri, Sat 4:00 pm–10:00 pm
  • Price
    $31 to $50
  • Cuisines
    Seafood, Steak
  • Dining style
    Casual Elegant
  • Dress Code
    Casual Dress
  • Parking Details
    The Hard Shell validates parking after 5pm daily in the garage at the corner of 14th St. and Cary St. directly across from the restaurant.
  • Payment Options
    AMEX, Discover, Mastercard, Visa
  • Additional
    Banquet, Bar/Lounge, Beer, Cocktails, Corkage Fee, Full Bar, Non-Smoking, Patio/Outdoor Dining, Patio/Outdoor Dining, Private Room, Takeout, Wheelchair Access, Wine
  • Phone number
    (804) 643-2333
  • Private party facilities
    The private dining room accommodates parties up to 50 guests. The Hard Shell offers custom menus and bar packages to suit every event. The private dining room is the perfect place for dinner programs, wedding functions or celebrations.
  • Private party contact
    Leandra Dunlevy: (804) 643-2333
  • Privacy Policy
  • Terms of Use
  • Cookies and Interest-Based Ads
  • Cookie Preferences
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