Virginia residents know that when it comes to dining, there is no shortage of delicious options. This list aims to cover the whole spectrum of the dining experience: taste, atmosphere, personality and location. You might just find your next go-to establishment here!
We’re aware that these uncertain times are limiting many aspects of life as we all practice social and physical distancing. While we’re continuing to feature destinations that make our state wonderful, we don’t expect or encourage you to go check them out immediately. We believe that supporting local attractions is important now more than ever and we hope our articles inspire your future adventures! And on that note, please nominate your favorite local business that could use some love right now:
1. Quirk Hotel's Maple & Pine
If creativity is what you’re after, look no further than downtown Richmond’s Maple & Pine. The menu features seasonal produce with a savory flair, yet the atmosphere of this farm-to-table dining room is anything but rustic. The lavender hummus that accompanies the almond crusted lamb seems to capture the spirit perfectly. Maple & Pine is located at 201 W Broad Street, Richmond, Va. 23220.
2. Mas Tapas
Mas Tapas in Charlottesville celebrates simple, wholesome ingredients with a Spanish flair. The atmosphere is a neighborhood-friendly bar and grill where you’ll hardly mind spending a few hours. Don’t miss the queso con miel, which is sheep’s milk cheese served over brick oven bread and drizzled wild chestnut honey. You can find Mas Tapas at 904 Monticello Rd., Charlottesville, Va. 22902.
3. Michie Tavern
And while you’re in Charlottesville, be sure to stop by Michie Tavern for a little 18th-century flair. A horse-ride away from Monticello, this restaurant offers comfort food fit for a king (or in this case, a founding father). Some of the buffet options include cornbread and biscuits, green beans with ham, and stewed tomatoes. Michie Tavern is located at 683 Thomas Jefferson Pkwy, Charlottesville, Va. 22902.
4. Farmers Fishers Bakers
With a beautiful view of the waterfront, Farmers Fishers Bakers is a favorite among the Georgetown community. For $29.99, you can browse and enjoy the butcher’s table, gardener’s table, carving table, and even the dessert bar. Talk about free range. Lunch and dinner are equally delectable, and the full bar offers 24 beer taps. Farmers Fishers Bakers is located at 3000 K Street NW, Washington, D.C. 20007.
5. Peter Chang China Cafe
Peter Chang has been deemed one of the most sought-after chefs in the world, and after tasting his authentic Sichuan/Chinese cuisine, you will understand why. In 4 short years, the menu’s flavors and spices have drawn in a loyal Richmond crowd to the restaurant’s unsuspecting Short Pump location. The address is 11424 W Broad St., Glen Allen, Va. 23060.
6. Country Cafe
Located in the charming mountain town of Hot Springs, Country Café is one of the best diners around. It may be impossible to find a better homemade pie or fried chicken dinner in the entire state. With its cozy interior and wood-paneling exterior, this spot is beloved by locals and a must-see for visitors. The address is 6156 Sam Snead Hwy, Hot Springs, Va. 24445.
It wouldn’t be unheard of to drive an hour or two…or more… just to taste Merroir’s sweet Rappahannock oysters. Seafood is perfected in this little treasure of a tasting room. Fresh catches will be served up raw or cooked on an outdoor grill. The location is 784 Locklies Creek Rd., Topping, Va. 23169.
8. Bistro on Main
Facebook/Bistro on Main
Until you’ve tried Bistro’s homemade beer bread, you won’t know that it’s been missing from your life. Located on historic Main Street in Lexington, this restaurant delivers American fare in way that is both classic and comfortable. Bistro feels like a gathering place, and to many of its loyal customers, it is. The location is 8 N Main St. #1, Lexington, Va. 24450.
Stella’s is a slice of Mediterranean heaven. Established in 1983, this locally owned restaurant has grown up with the rising dining scene in Richmond. From spanakopita, to grilled octopus, to Stella’s famous baked pasta, this spot offers plates big and small with the most splendid traditional flavors. The address is 1012 Lafayette St., Richmond, Va. 23221.
10. Abbey Road Pub & Restaurant
All you need is love…and a couple of fish tacos. Located in the heart of Virginia Beach, Abbey Road pays tribute to the Beatles in a truly authentic way. Established in 1982, this pub and live music venue has been serving up delicious American pub food and a choice of 100 different beers. This is the place where tourism and taste get along. The location is 203 22nd St., Virginia Beach, Va. 23451.
If you’re enchanted by patio dining, tea lights, and a little taste of Italy, you might just fall in love with Portico. The cottage-turned-restaurant is nestled among gardens of flowers and fresh herbs that will probably be featured in your meal. This place transforms seemingly simple dishes such as pizza margherita and rosemary chicken into mouthwatering delicacies. Portico is located at 12506 River Rd., Richmond, Va. 23238.
12. Pierce's Pitt Bar-B-Que
A lot of places in Virginia claim to serve the best Bar-B-Que in the state, but Pierce’s is consistently recognized for its delicious smoked meat. The joint was established in 1971 when a Tennessee native with a secret family recipe decided to settle down in Williamsburg. See if your taste buds can handle “Doc” Pierce’s original bar-b-que sauce. The address is 447 East Rochambeau, Williamsburg, Va. 23188.
13. The Waterwheel Restaurant
Enjoy the atmosphere of a simpler time inside of a renovated water mill at the Inn at Gristmill Square. The farm-to-table cuisine can be enjoyed in one of the most charming and intimate settings imaginable. You can even walk into the restaurant’s wine cellar to pick the perfect accompaniment to your mountain trout entrée. The location is 124 Old Mill Rd., Warm Springs, Va. 24484.
Pronounced “foodie,” this casual spot in Fredericksburg is sure to turn you into just that. These days it isn’t rare to find restaurants featuring locally grown and sustainable produce. What is rare is a place that also exudes joy and says “we really value your happiness” right on the menu. If happiness is chocolate chunk cookies served with chilled organic milk, then this place is on to something. The location is 1006 Caroline St. C/D, Fredericksburg, Va. 22401.
15. Curry Mantra
Opened by a Bombay native, this haven for Indian cuisine is cherished by Northern Virginia. The cooking honors traditions of northern and southern India that will infuse your senses with aroma and flavor. Enjoy the full range of regional dishes, seafood specialties, and unforgettable curries. The location is 9984 Main St., Fairfax, Va. 22031.
16. The Grilled Cheese Bistro
Who says grilled cheeses aren’t sophisticated? Visiting the Grilled Cheese Bistro in Norfolk means choosing from at least 14 varieties of this classic bread and cheese combo. The atmosphere is comfortable, lovely, and is the stuff of your childhood dreams. Its location is 345 Granby St., Norfolk, Va. 23510.
17. Burger Bach
No list is complete without a burger place. What makes Burger Bach unique is its New Zealand heritage. Burger Bach, located in the eclectic Carytown area (and also in Short Pump) has committed to using grass-fed beef raised in mountain pastures. The Aucklander burger comes with guacamole, free-range mayo, mixed greens, NZ Egmont cheese, tomato, and uncured bacon. If that isn't the cure for jet lag then nothing is. Burger Bach’s Carytown location is 10 S Thompson St., Richmond, Va. 23221.
As you can tell, these flavorful favorites have a little dash of everything. Dining in Virginia is a unique experience that will keep you entertained and coming back for seconds.