Fetch dvm360 in Virginia Beach: Where to eat, drink and make merry

January 3, 2017
Sarah Mouton Dowdy
Sarah Mouton Dowdy

Sarah Mouton Dowdy, a former associate content specialist for dvm360.com, is a freelance writer and editor in Kansas City, Missouri.

We know CVC Virginia Beach is still months away, but can you blame us for indulging in a little seaside dreaming?

First things first-have you signed up for Fetch dvm360 in Virginia Beach? If not, remedy that here before reading any of the food, drink and fun suggestions below. Otherwise, you may experience pain, longing and stomach growling. You've been warned.

At Fetch dvm360 in Virginia Beach, held at the Virginia Beach Convention Center May 17-20, all that stands between you and the Atlantic Ocean is the ViBe Creative District, which, as luck would have it, is chock-full of excellent dining and drink options. Here are some sweet spots within a mile of the convention center.

Bad Ass Coffee

Pardon our French, but how would you like to start your day with some Bad Ass Coffee? Just two blocks from the convention center, it's a speedy stop for a protein-packed breakfast bowl, yummy baked goods (like the blueberry crumble coffee cake) and hot, iced or blended Hawaiian coffees. Breakfast is served all day, so don't be shy about showing up again for lunch.

Java Surf Café and Espresso Bar

A five-minute walk from the convention center, you'll find Java Surf Café and Espresso Bar, which boasts specialty lattes and java smoothies like the Craftsman, a mix of coffee, Nutella and dark chocolate. Get a sandwich or scramble for breakfast (the Wipeout sandwich contains a three-egg omelet with onions, bell peppers, tomato, avocado, spinach and pepper jack cheese) and return for paninis, cold cuts and salads for lunch. It also has grab-and-go options for breakfast or lunch on the run.

Three Ships Coffee

Less than 300 feet away, you'll find Three Ships Coffee, a coffee bar and roastery featuring small batch coffee beans, cold brew coffee and tea, pour-over coffee, coffee cocktails and an espresso bar. Pair your drink with one of Three Ships' housemade biscuits, hand pies or grilled sandwiches. Repeat as many times as necessary.

Commune

A little closer to the beach (ahhh … we like that phrase!), you'll find Commune, a breakfast and lunch spot with creative, sustainable farm-to-table food. We won't tell if you decide to start your day with a sorbet mimosa, but if your eyes won't open, try the burnt honey latte. Save room for an egg and goat cheese tartine with prosciutto or bread pudding French toast.

The Stockpot

If you're in the mood for healthy comfort food for breakfast or lunch, look no further than The Stockpot, handily less than a block away from the convention center. In addition to a mouthwatering morning menu of items like pork carnitas toast and breakfast fried rice, Stockpot offers salads (like the tabouli salad with baked falafel) and-you guessed it-housemade soups. But don't expect to find your mom's recipe here. The chicken and noodle soup, for example, is made with soba noodles, ginger and kimchi. Top off your meal with fresh smoothie like the Coconut Crush, which blends almond milk and Greek yogurt with pineapple, banana, vanilla, orange juice and toasted coconut.

Zeros Subs Oceanfront

Zero's Subs Oceanfront is another quick, convenient stop for lunch-especially if you want to pick up food for a beachside picnic. This local favorite crafts hot subs with hearth-baked bread, and though it gets the most raves for its meaty sandwiches (like its grub steak and cheese sub), it has options for vegetarians and those with gluten intolerance as well. Zero's is open until 10 p.m. daily-just in case you have a late-night sub craving.

Esoteric

Wondering what's for dinner? Next door to Commune, you'll find “carefully curated craft beer, cocktails and Modern American cuisine” at Esoteric. Start with poutine or octopus tacos, followed by the pork chop with bourbon and bacon braised Brussels sprouts, scallops with roasted squash puree or the grilled cheese stuffed with ricotta, Havarti and white cheddar. Finish with a sweet potato doughnut topped with cinnamon sugar or the Eso S'mores (a brownie with bourbon-soaked sour cherries, housemade marshmallow and graham cracker ice cream).

Hearth Wood Fired Cuisine and Craft Beer

A block away from Esoteric, Hearth Wood Fired Cuisine and Craft Beer serves up New American cuisine with a nod to southern roots. The menu changes often depending on what is in season and locally available but to give an idea of their flavor, some of the items on the sample menu include wood-fired oysters Rockafeller and an oven-roasted half chicken with sweet potato puree, slow cooked collards, black garlic butter and chicken jus. Hearth also has several pizza options, including the Pig & Goat (with pancetta, baby arugula, Peppadew peppers and goat cheese) and the Dapper Apple (with smoked Gouda, Granny Smith apple, country ham and honey).

Virginia Museum of Contemporary Art

The Virginia Museum of Contemporary Art lies half a mile north of the convention center. The museum does not have a permanent collection and rotates exhibitions every three to five months (check out current and future exhibitions here). Admission is less than $8 and includes an audio tour.

VB Surf Sessions

The Virginia Beach Convention Center is less than a mile away from the Atlantic Ocean, which includes a boardwalk and a bike path. If you're feeling especially adventurous, visit the website for VB Surf Sessions to see if you can schedule a surf lesson or a standup paddleboard or kayak tour.

Virginia Aquarium & Marine Science Center

Just a 10-minute drive away, you'll find the Virginia Aquarium & Marine Science Center and its 800,000 gallons of aquariums, hands-on exhibits, nature path and marshlands. If you'd like to explore the ocean life in the ocean itself, check out one of its Sea Adventures boat trips to scan the sea for dolphins and whales.

Rite Aid

To soothe sun burns or stomach aches, or to nab a forgotten toothbrush, visit the Rite Aid near the intersection of Arctic Avenue and Virginia Beach Boulevard.