What to Eat in Williamsburg


It’s everyone’s favorite… What I Ate Wednesday! Today we’re traveling back in time to beautiful Colonial Williamsburg, VA. Plan you visit now and YOU could eat the same food Thomas Jefferson ate a a young lad at William & Mary!

But first, let’s get dressed:
Colonists only had so many sets of clothes, and washing them took much more time and effort than it does today! You wanted to keep your clothes as clean as possible, so you would cover up as much as possible with a huge napkin!

Napkin or bib?

If you had a peanut allergy in colonial days, you might not last too long. Peanut soup was a popular meal or part of a meal. Some recipes call for peanuts, chicken stock, celery, carrots, and a few more ingredients, and you can get a taste at one of the taverns in town!

Peanut Soup

And speaking of soup, how about this Brunswick Stew?

Hearty Brunswick Stew

Nearly every home would have a kitchen garden for daily essentials like vegetables, herbs, and spices for your daily meals, so it makes sense that the salads we ate in Williamsburg were fresh!

Salad with traditional dressing
Salmagundi Salad features eggs, cheese, and more!

Ready for some entertainment?
Often taverns would allow minstrels to wander their dining areas to entertain their guests during a meal. Colonial Williamsburg is keeping with that tradition!

Strumming a tune
A tiny violin!

Ready for the main course? It might include a mix of fowl, game, or seafood in these parts of Colonial Virginia! Come hungry!

Crab cake
Meatloaf and mashed potatoes

You know this is my favorite part! Sugar was very expensive in Colonial America, so desserts were not as sweet or as elaborate as they are today. It was a VERY special treat to have sweets after your meals, and it was almost exclusively the wealthy landowners who could afford dessert, and then usually only when company came to dine.

Apple cake a la mode
Bread pudding with special sauce!
Cream pie

Coffee and Chocolate
Coffeehouses are not a new trend, my friends! Many coffeehouses existed in the 17th and 18th centuries as places to gather, have meetings, discuss the news of the day, network, etc. But you wouldn’t just get coffee at these establishments. You’d also get drinking chocolate. But that’s probably not the kind of hot chocolate you’re thinking of. This chocolate is a little bit bitter and includes some spices as well; not the milk chocolate we’re used to in the 21st century!

R. Charleston Coffeehouse
Drinking chocolate
Mr. Peabody Pembroke gets in on the fun!

So what do you think? Could you survive on colonial fare?

Published by quickwhittravel

Welcome to the blog! We do things a little differently around here: no ads, no negativity, and no checked luggage, y'all. My name is Whitney, and Quick Whit Travel Blog is your one-stop shop for all the best travel tips, packing advice, and destination information. Click around or message me on social media @quickwhittravel for more!

3 thoughts on “What to Eat in Williamsburg

  1. I just got back from a trip to Williamsburg! I was so glad I got a chance to eat at the King’s Arms Tavern and have some fun “authentically historical” food … I got the pottage pie and it was delicious! Such a fun place to experience 🙂

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