The Ten Top in Norfolk, Virginia

The Ten Top—a little carry-out restaurant in Norfolk, Virginia—is bursting with good food and love. That may sound a bit overdrawn, but when you learn why, you’ll probably agree with local food blog Laine and Alex: “I do not know why it is called The Ten Top, but I give it a 10.”

In restaurant lingo, a “top” is a table, and a “ten top” is a table equipped with ten chairs. Noted Norfolk chef, Peter Pittman, set the tone of homemade goodness when he opened a little restaurant with one round table and ten chairs and named it simply The Ten Top. The name stuck, and in 1997, the eatery moved to its current location on Shirley Avenue.

Rick and Heather Fraley bought The Ten Top after their 2011 wedding. Both are skilled chefs.  They met when Rick arrived at  The Ten Top in 2008. During Rick’s first day at work, Heather—then kitchen manager—accused him of trying to steal her job, but she solved the problem by stealing his heart. The young couple has maintained a delicious commitment to quality dishes—made from scratch— with locally produced foods that incorporate the bounty of nearby Chesapeake Bay.