Spring is on the horizon and we are currently longing for warm weather, al fresco dining, and road trips. If you’re anything like us, you plan your travels around where you’ll be eating.
So, As any caring foodie would do, we compiled a comprehensive list of Virginia’s must-try restaurants for all of those who love local food.
Check out some of these new spots, and a few who have been slaying the local food scene for a while. This is a homage to those who truly love local food and support local farmers and makers as best they can. When you are on your adventures–stop by these great places and tell them VA Foodie sent ya!
Located in the heart of the Fan District, Little Saint has been serving up thoughtfully sourced realness since Fall 2017. They have something for every foodie, no matter what kind of dietary restrictions you may have. Keto-friendly, gluten-free and vegetarian/vegan options are all lovingly represented on their menu, which also features uber-local seasonal cocktails. See? Something for everyone.
Located in Richmond’s Jackson Ward neighborhood, Soul Taco blends traditional Latin American Flavors and old school Southern cuisine to create a uniquely yummy dining experience. Their ever-changing menu focuses on local and sustainable food, and with dishes like Hush Puppy Nachos and Mississippi Pot Roast Taquitos–what more could a foodie ask for?
Who doesn’t love a warm, freshly baked loaf of French bread? No one, that’s who. Open for breakfast, lunch, and brunch on weekends, MarieBette’s “ingredient-driven” menu features local goodness from farms around the area. Eating carbs and supporting local? Yes, please!
Do you enjoy food with a view? Located in the Virginian Hotel, the Skyline Grill is Lynchburg’s best (and only) rooftop dining experience, and the food ain’t too shabby either. From fire-roasted flatbreads to tapas plates, Skyline Grill is the perfect place for a date night or a night out with friends. Although if you want to eat some charcuterie solo –we certainly won’t judge.
Food.Bar.Food has been one of our faves for a while now. Their menu is constantly growing and changing, but always features fresh and local ingredients. Food.bar.food samples cuisines from all over the globe, but the one thing they all have in common is that they’re all delicious.
Nothing satisfies like a good ole’ burrito, and Sexi Mexi in Winchester has got you covered. They’re open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner so you could totally eat burritos all day if you wanted (and who wouldn’t?). Their menu is freshly prepared and regionally sourced plus they offer a wide variety of craft beer and wine, go ahead-get your grub on!
Think you can’t find fine, French-inspired baked goods in Southwest VA? Well, ya thought wrong! Reunion Bakery was recently written up by Vogue, so you know they’re legitimately delicious. Classic French patisserie fare, made with local ingredients wherever possible. How could you go wrong?
“Be Happy” is a mantra that Woodstock Cafe takes to heart. This charming eatery has been in business since 2005 in the heart of the Shenandoah Valley. They’re famous for their homemade pasta dishes and the majority of their dishes use local ingredients. For some take-home goodness, they also have a shop on the premises with a variety of local products.
Blue Ridge Highlands
Author Barbara Kingsolver and family wrote a book called Animal, Vegetable, Mineral about their goal to eat locally for a year. Their success inspired them to open Harvest Table in Meadowview, VA, where their goal is to sustain the local agricultural community and celebrate Appalachian heritage. Serving brunch, lunch, and dinner, this gem of the Southwestern VA foodie scene is sure to impress.
Back Bay Farmhouse Brewing is a relatively new addition to the VA Beach craft brewery scene, but they’ve made a big impact since they opened last fall. Their specialty is micro-brewed beer and cider, but don’t worry wine lovers! They also have an expansive wine list. Back Bay’s location in a renovated turn-of-the-century farmhouse is totally insta-worthy, so book yourself a tour or tasting, you won’t regret it.
Enjoy represents the future of foodie gathering places: part art gallery, part event space, part culinary experience. They are built to suit a wide variety of pop-ups, and their calendar is jam-packed with chef dinners, coffee tastings, and more. Check out their upcoming events and get in while the getting’s good.
Prosperity Kitchen and Pantry sprouted from the seeds of Commune (one of our fave places to eat in VA Beach). Their repertoire includes pretty much anything you can put in an oven: from croissants, breads, sticky buns, and cupcakes by day, to Roman-style pizzas in the evenings. Oh, and did we mention that everything is made in small batches, from scratch, and using as many local and sustainably sourced ingredients as possible?
Food Halls are a classic foodie destination. A Taste of Urbanspace opened in Tyson’s Galleria last December, much to the delight of hungry foodies in the NoVA area. Eat your heart out with options that include classic Italian, Japanese comfort food, Laotian eats, Southern cuisine, and cake and ice cream for dessert! Then, you know, burn off some calories with some retail therapy. Win-win!
Bread and Water Company is all about baked goods with a conscience. DC foodies can get in on their gluten-y goodness in three locations in the DMV area. Their from-scratch menu features produce from local farmers and changes with the seasons. Also: coffee and pastries. Thank us later.
Delicious Thai food, ‘grammable beverages and the cutest macarons you ever did see? Sign us up! “Ocha” means “yummy” in Thai, so you know you’re in for a treat. We’re smitten with their dessert drinks like their mango sticky rice smoothie, which is the perfect way to finish a meal in our opinion.
Smoking Kow started as a food truck and opened this brick-and-mortar location in the spring of 2018. They have everything that a meat lover could possibly want, including (drumroll please) your choice of meat on a bed of homemade mac and cheese! Everything is made from scratch, and they even have their own bbq sauce available for purchase. Barbecue lovers rejoice!
Two words: Hot. Chicken. Wooboi uses free-range, antibiotic-free, local chickens for their Nashville-style hot chicken creations. You can eat all the hot chicken you please with zero guilt because Wooboi is committed to minimizing food waste and maximizing the use of biodegradable and recycled products. This chicken is good for your belly and for the environment, so eat up!
18 Grams has got coffee down to a science. In fact, they call themselves a “coffee lab” because precision makes perfect when it comes to espresso. 18 Grams also has an extensive food menu consisting of Epicurean toasts, salads, and healthy bowls aka the perfect fuel for a long bike ride. Which is convenient, because 18 Grams is located inside of a bike shop. Perfect, right?
Going to a classic Jewish Deli is a foodie right of passage. Call Your Mother calls itself Jew-ish, with all the traditional deli classics, but with a twist. They have it all, folks: a bagel selection that is on point (with ALL the fixins’), latkes, Pastrami tacos, and a sandwich called the Rihanna Flex. It’s what deli dreams are made of.
Rooster and Owl is a restaurant that sounds like it belongs in the Hundred-Acre Wood, but it’s Northwest DC location places it firmly in foodie territory. Their well-crafted, chef-driven menu is completely seasonal, with locally sourced ingredients. You can even build your own 4-course meal, which really increases the yum factor.