Finding a restaurant with delicious southern food is no difficult task in Virginia. In fact, the state celebrates its ability to serve up various versions of the same classics without compromising originality or tradition. And those two factors are exactly what make dining at the Swinging Bridge Restaurant an unforgettable experience.
The Swinging Bridge Restaurant is located in Paint Bank, Virginia. In a quaint, unassuming building, this dining space immediately welcomes you to enjoy down-home country cooking. Don't be fooled: this is no run-of-the mill restaurant.
The first thing you'll notice when you step into the restaurant is the swinging bridge itself. This functioning bridge definitely adds that "hillbilly gourmet" flair to the dining atmosphere.
This indoor bridge provides endless entertainment for guests of all ages. Upstairs you'll find a wildlife display, gift shop and the Country Store.
The restaurant feels like a cozy hunting lodge, somewhere you wouldn't mind spending a few hours after a long day out in the cold countryside. Tall ceilings, wood panelling, and a roaring fire all contribute to that authentic feeling.
Be sure to start off your meal with something simple and perfect: the homemade biscuits. They taste even better than they look in this photo (if that's possible).
Swinging Bridge is primarily known for its buffalo selection. Some of the most popular menu items include the Great White Buffalo Sandwich, the "Almost Famous" Paint Bank Sub, and the Pulled Buffalo Barbecue Sandwich. If you stop in on Saturday night, you can try the Prime Rib special.
You better believe there's something delicious cooking in this one-of-a-kind smoker out back.
Fresh catch of the day: local Rainbow trout, green beans, and sweet potato fries. As the menu claims, you might be tempted to "Slap your Mama 'cause she don't cook like this no more."
And don't forget about breakfast! You'll feel like a true outdoorsman with the Logger Breakfast Platter.
The Paint Bank General Store upstairs sets a unique atmosphere for this small town treasure. From groceries to gifts, you can find a little bit of everything inside. The restaurant opened in 2005, but the mercantile has been around for nearly 100 years.
We might suggest finishing your meal before conquering the old fashioned Sweet Shoppe.
If you stop by on a Thursday night, you'll be able to cozy up by the fire and listen to the live Bluegrass band.
After you've finished your meal, or while you're waiting for your delicious homemade dessert, you can try your hand at a round of horseshoes set up in the back yard. (Side note: pictures of the desserts are incredibly hard to find, and I've got a theory that they're probably too delicious for anyone to take the time to pull out their camera for).
The sign in the back says it all. And after dining here, you will definitely want to come back soon.
Whether you have time for a meal, or just a quick visit to the Country Store, your time at Swinging Bridge will feel like you've stepped back in time to your own cozy kitchen, even if you've never been there before.
Have you spent time at the Swinging Bridge Restaurant? If so, we’d love to hear about your experience there. Or feel free to share some other unforgettable dining experiences in Virginia — we know there are plenty to choose from!