We’ve all heard the expression, “don’t judge a book by its cover.” It’s an invitation to look beyond appearance, and it couldn’t be truer in regards to Virginia’s dining scene. While there are plenty of gorgeous, jaw-dropping restaurants out there, there may be just as many establishments that you’d sooner drive past than notice. After reading about these 12 hole-in-the-wall places, you’ll learn what you won’t want to miss out on:
We’re aware that these uncertain times are limiting many aspects of life. While we continue to feature destinations that make our state wonderful, please take proper precautions or add them to your bucket list to see at a later date. If you know of a local business that could use some extra support during these times, please nominate them here:
1. Yorkshire Restaurant (Manassas)
Yorkshire Restaurant is a case in point of restaurants that you should not pass by, especially when it comes to breakfast. Not only is the pricing incredibly reasonable, but the food itself is delicious. Pancakes, biscuits, sausage gravy, bacon...you name it. It's a one-stop shop for all your breakfast desires. Location: 7537 Centreville Rd.
2. Rick's Cheese Steak House (Williamsburg)
Even Philadelphia natives can vouch for the authenticity of Rick's Cheese Steaks. A relatively new spot, this establishment is quickly making a name for itself in Williamsburg's dining scene. The cheese steaks themselves are made to perfection and come with mouthwatering sides such as onion rings and jalapeno cheese fries. Address: 603 Prince George St.
3. A Bowl of Good (Harrisonburg)
Harrisonburg's A Bowl of Good Cafe truly lives up to its name. Serving up healthy, local fare, this spot is not to be missed by anyone driving through town. Popular items are the lentil bowl, black bean bowl, and any of the tasty wraps, as shown above. Address: 831 Mt Clinton Pike.
4. Here & Abroad Bistro (Fredericksburg)
Tucked away out of plain view, you'll find one of the best bakeries in town. Here & Abroad Bistro and Bakery is renowned for its chicken salad, freshly baked breads and quiches. Photographed above is the crab meat quiche, not to be missed. This place also happens to serve up amazing coffee. Location: 1004 Princess Anne St.
5. Mojito Cafe (Virginia Beach)
Mojito Cafe is a true hidden gem among many impressive eateries in the Virginia Beach area. This spot specializes in Latin American cuisine, using fresh and top quality ingredients. With only 8 tables, you'll want to show up early or perhaps consider taking your meal to go. Photographed above is the garlic lime cilantro shrimp soup. Address: 300 28th Ave S.
6. Blue Ridge Pig (Nellysford)
If you consider yourself a BBQ fan and haven't yet tried the Blue Ridge Pig, you're missing out big time. This little gem of a place has perfected pulled pork and also creates a smoked turkey croissant masterpiece, as shown above. Just be sure to bring some cash with you, as cards are not accepted here. Address: 2198 Rockfish Valley Hwy.
7. Handsome Biscuit (Norfolk)
The Handsome Biscuit is a small restaurant with major hype, and it definitely delivers on these high expectations. Biscuits are made using sweet potatoes and inside you'll find sweet or savory (or sometimes both) ingredients. Photographed above is the Lox special with smoked salmon and bacon. For sides, you'll definitely want to order the house made hash browns. Address: 2511 Colonial Ave.
8. Market Burger (Purcellville)
Is there anything better than a perfectly-made burger? That's exactly what you'll find at Market Burger, along with fries and a shake. Burger toppings range from traditional to creative, and you can also jazz things up by ordering the sweet potato fries. The brioche buns are sourced locally and are out of this world. Address: 145 W Main St.
9. The Mason Jar (Hillsville)
The Mason Jar is one of the best kept secrets in the town of Hillsville. As its name might suggest, it's renowned for southern cuisine served in generous portions. Here you'll find ribs, crab cakes, burgers, and fried pickles. For an especially unique taste of southern cooking, be sure to order the Pork Fritters, as shown above. The dipping sauce is to die for, and you'll be making plans for your visit back ASAP. Address: 845 W Stuart Dr.
10. Tacos Rojas (Roanoke)
Tacos Rojas could easily be passed by if you didn't know exactly what you were looking for. Located in a convenience store, its unassuming location hides one of the best-kept secrets in town. The most popular orders are the steak tacos and fish tacos. Address: 737 13th St SW.
11. Honey Butter's Kitchen (Williamsburg)
For a comfort food/breakfast haven, it doesn't get much better than Honey Butter's Kitchen in Williamsburg. This place isn't necessarily a hole-in-the-wall, and locals love it, but it's a place you'll want to add to your bucket list. The simple, Southern menu offers entrees such as shrimp and grits, chicken liver, and for breakfast, some killer pancakes. Address: 4680-17 Monticello Ave.
12. Excellent Table (Blacksburg)
If you're looking for something a bit out of the ordinary, Excellent Table serves up incredible and authentic Ethiopian cuisine. The restaurant space is small, as it was intended on being a carry-out place as opposed to sit down. Regardless of where you choose to eat your meal, you're in for a real treat. Popular dishes include spicy chicken and bean curry as well as the fried tofu with eggplant. Location: 119 North Main St., Ste 103.