Best (in order of goodness)
- Mexico Viejo at Crazy Horse Marina
- This Mexican restaurant features fantastic service, food, and views. Decor is classic Mexican restaurant. There is often a wait during normal busy hours. So go at 3:00 p.m. There is ample public dockage and a ship’s store with ice.
- Smith Mountain Dock & Lodge
- This is a fantastic little slice of Americana, usually busy but with efficient service from a plethora of staff. Boat boys and girls help tie off and launch on the public dock, and will pump fuel if desired. Dockage can be tight, but there is a ship’s store. Order inexpensive short-order fare while standing over a glass panel looking down into the lake. Eat outside on the public dock tables. Feed the carp.
- Heath’s Waterfront Grill at Mariner’s Landing
- Heath’s is the second nicest restaurant on SML. Decor is light, clean and modern, but seems a little cheap, like it came from Ikea. Service is decent. Food and views are good. There is ample public dockage, but no ship’s store.
- The Landing at Bernard’s Landing
- The Landing is fine dining on SML. Decor is well done and classic. Views are excellent. Rumor has it the chef can be temperamental, which may add some adventure to the meal. There is ample public dockage, but no ship’s store.
- Mango’s Bar and Grill at Bridgewater Plaza
- Mango’s typically has less than mediocre service with a great outdoor atmosphere adjacent to a mall and marina. Service improves dramatically when business is slow. Avoid busy times to avoid loud intoxicated rednecks.There is ample public dockage with fuel and many stores.
Worst (in order of badness)
- King’s Point Pub at Lake Haven Marina
- This dive is dark, dinghy, and inconsistently open, including on weekends.
- Waller’s at Crystal Shores Marina
- Waller’s is hillbilly heaven. Decor is great, open air and islandy. Expect slow to non-existent service and a crowd of loud intoxicated rednecks anytime, including Thursday afternoon. Pest control is awful – expect plenty of flies and bees. Dockage is tight, but the boat boys and girls are excellent, help tie off and launch, and will pump fuel if desired.