Good Times


In 2000, Lake Anna had few restaurants. I recall CJs, the No Wake Zone, and Anna Cabana which only operated in season. CJs and the No Wake Zone still exist but under new names and management. Anna Cabana announced that 2022 would be their last season.

There’s no need to worry. Since 2000, the lake has exploded with many dining opportunities. Although some venues don’t have a full, on-site restaurant, they do bring in food trucks occasionally. We’ll talk about those venues under “Entertainment.”

Starting at the south end of the lake, near the dam and Dike 3, El Gran Patron opened in 2022 at Pleasant’s Landing with their third restaurant. They’ve offered two popular Mexican restaurants in the Fredericksburg area. Now it’s Lake Anna’s turn. With a full bar, including widely-praised margaritas, and an extensive Mexican menu, incredible waterfront views, and inside and outside dining, don’t miss this exceptional restaurant.

The “official” El Gran Patron‘s new website is “Coming Soon” at the time of this writing. The link is included anyway so, once it’s up and running, the menu, hours, and other information will be there for your reading pleasure.

Chef Lee Chinese Restaurant is pretty darn good. The Lake Anna location is one of two. You’ll find it in the Food Lion plaza. People say that the drinks at the bar are generous.

Vito’s Italian Restaurant and Grill is located mid-lake on the south side of the Route 208 bridge in a multi-business building. They have indoor and outdoor dining, plus a small bar downstairs and a larger lounge upstairs. Vito’s is one of the few places on the lake that offers breakfast.

You might find live music at Vito’s. If there’s no music at Vito’s, check out the Taphouse which is just across the parking lot.

Vito’s top deck offers a very nice waterfront view. You can also see it from the lower deck. Drive your boat to the docks and head on up for dinner or drinks.
Two more restaurants, The Asian Cafe and the Tasty Crab, are located in the building at the Route 208 bridge. Both can be reached by water.

The Asian Cafe offers Japanese cuisine, featuring sushi, sashimi, and hibachi. They have a small inside and outdoor dining area, with the latter sporting lake views.

The Tasty Crab serves Chinese food and seafood boils. The seafood boils include corn, potatoes, sausage, and a choice of seafood ranging from shrimp, crawfish, green or black mussel, snow crab legs, lobster tail, or king crab legs.  They have a small inside and outdoor dining area, with the latter offering a peek of the lake.

Cross the bridge from the Route 208 multi-business building and drive a few miles to the Hideaway on the left side of the road. You’ll recognize it because it’s attached to Hotel Lake Anna, a recently upgraded, one level strip motel. The Hideaway’s on-line presence is limited, but you can call or visit them at (540) 895-5055 or 5152 Courthouse Road, Spotsylvania, 22551.

The Hideaway is a local’s bar and restaurant. The food is good so don’t let the super-casual atmosphere deter you. You certainly don’t need to dress up to dine at the Hideaway. The tiki plaza offers outside dining. The Hideaway used to be known as CJ’s.

There are two good restaurants at the north end of the lake – Tim’s Restaurant and The Cove.

Tim’s Restaurant has a central bar surronded on three side by dining and an extensive waterfront back deck. They frequently offer live music on the back deck. Pilot your boat to the docks at the Boardwalk, and walk right up to Tim’s. Tim’s has three other restaurants in Virginia.

Don’t miss The Cove. There are several drinking and dining areas at the Cove, including a lovely waterfront deck and tiki bar. The Cove offers offseason specials, which might include Monday steak night and Wednesday 1/2 price burger night. Just like Tim’s, dock your boat at the Cove and enjoy this local gem.

The Cove often has live music, a dj, or karaoke. The Cove used to be known as The No Wake Zone.

Callie Opie’s Orchard is a bit past the lake, south on Route 522, but is definitely worth visiting. They offer fine dining with some unique offerings, such as pecan crusted trout, using local sourced produce and meats. Their event barn is a spectacular venue for live music.

Many of the Lake Anna restaurants offer live music throughout the week. I particularly like Callie Opie’s event barn. Be sure to check the live music schedule at Lake Anna Buzz.

Tavern on the Rail, this article’s featured photo, is not at the lake but is close by. It’s so unique that it deserves it’s own mention. Tavern on the Rail is a Nationally Registered Historical Landmark, beginning in 1837 as the Harris Poindexter Store. Tavern on the Rail offers more upscale dining upstairs, casual dining downstairs, and patio dining. Just so you know, Lake Anna “upscale” is still pretty comfortable. The food is good and plentiful. If you still have room for dessert, don’t miss the Signature Train Wreck, vanilla ice cream topped with almond butter, toffee bits, caramel sauce, and served in a waffle bowl!

The Town of Mineral has two restaurants – Sabor a Mexico and the Mineral Restaurant at 42 Davis Lane, Mineral, 23117,  (540) 894-4927. Locals give the Mineral Restaurant high praise for their pizza. Joe-Joe’s Super Heroes and Pizza is just across the parking lot from Sabor a Mexico. 

The Town of Louisa has an excellent restaurant, Obrigado, which is associated with a breakfast/lunch eatery, Floozie’s Pie Shop. Country Boys BBQ, a new venue, is worth trying at 121 West Main Street, Louisa, (540) 500-9778. There’s a new Chinese/Sushi place in the Louisa Food Lion plaza, owned by my neighbor, so you have to try that. You’ll find more Louisa restaurants, but that’s a bit far from the lake so I just wanted to highlight a few.


Let’s start with the Lake Anna Buzz Live Music Schedule. Some of these venues are a bit far from Lake Anna but still worth a drive. Here’s a rundown of a few of the more local spots. 

Entertainment venues quite near or at the lake are:

Many of these venues offer appetizers, pizza, or food trucks, especially when they feature live music or entertainment, such as trivia, karaoke, cornhole, or festivals.

Another source to check out Lake Anna is the Lake Anna Guide. You’ll find some timely blogs as well as more ideas of things to do.

Fast Food

There are quick stops around the lake to pick up sandwiches, pizza, chicken, and similar fare. Here are a few of them:

  • Subway at 11020 Kentucky Springs Road, Mineral, 23117, (540) 894-5588
  • Elk Creek Country Store at 5198 Kentucky Springs Road, Bumpass, 23024, (540) 872-3275
  • Big Cheese Pizza at 11004 Kentucky Springs Road, Mineral, 23117, (540) 894-4270
  • Below Deck LKA at 200 Boardwalk Way suite d, Mineral, 23117, (540) 894-7806

Late night cravings? You’ll have to go farther afield, such as the Sheetz in Louisa or Woodford; the McDonald’s in Spotsylvania or Thornburg/Woodford; or the Taco Bell in Woodford. Sorry, but there’s nothing close for late-night munchies at Lake Anna.