FOOD + DRINK

Best Coffee Shop

Black Sheep Coffee, Harrisonburg, Va.


Favorites:
Sweet Donkey, Va.
Shenandoah Joe, Va.

Nestled in Harrisonburg’s renovated Ice House, this hip coffee shop not only makes delicious coffee drinks from locally roasted beans and nearby creameries but also provides an open floor plan that encourages socializing and interaction among customers. Owner Chance Ebersold designed it that way. After starting his coffee industry career in Charlottesville, Ebersold decided that a coffee house should be more than a place to get coffee—be it business meetings or creative collaborations, Black Sheep welcomes community engagement on all levels.

Late-Night Eatery

South Street Brewery, Charlottesville, Va.


Favorites:
Texas Tavern, Va.
Waffle House, Multiple Locations

Open until 1 a.m. seven days a week, South Street is ideally situated one street back from Charlottesville’s downtown walking mall, which makes it a perfect place to grab some grub after seeing music at the Pavilion or The Jefferson Theater. The brewery’s locally inspired and sourced menu transcends typical pub food—try the gourmet three cheese mac ‘n’ cheese, cauliflower “wings,” or honey chicken cordon bleu to taste for yourself.parkwaybrewing_visit-virginias-blue-ridge-freeDistillery

Silverback Distillery, Afton, Va.

Favorites:
Virginia Distillery Company, Va.
Smooth Ambler Spirits, W.Va.

At Silverback Distillery, you can take solace in your glass of bourbon, whiskey, gin, or vodka knowing that its ingredients were sourced from Virginian farmers and that the final product was produced in an energy efficient, geothermal distillation process. Look out for the distillery’s solar panel system in the years to come.

Brewery

Parkway Brewing, Salem, Va.

Favorites:
Blue Mountain Brewery, Va.
Devils Backbone, Va.

Named for the 469-mile backbone of the Blue Ridge, Parkway Brewing crafts its beers around the natural assets and history of the region, like the Raven’s Roost Baltic Porter and Get Bent Mountain IPA. Even in the dead of winter, the brewery offers weekly music and events.

Cidery

Bold Rock Hard Cider, Afton, Va.; Mills River, N.C.


Favorites:
Urban Orchard, N.C.
Blue Bee Cider, Va.

Bold Rock’s portfolio of hard ciders have expanded tremendously in the past year to include a variety of flavors and styles—from seasonal peach and honeydew, to vintage dry and IPA (that’s India Pressed Apple), Bold Rock’s offerings directly reflect the heritage that surrounds their locations in Virginia and western North Carolina.

Winery

Veritas Vineyard and Winery

Afton, Va.
Favorites:
Chateau Morrisette, Va.
Biltmore Estate, N.C.

In 1999, this family-run vineyard encompassed all of five acres that had previously been a horse and cattle farm. Now, Veritas’ picturesque position against a Blue Ridge mountain backdrop is over 50 acres in size. With a pet- and children-friendly atmosphere, this winery is not exclusive to the elite world of wine connoisseurs. Bring the whole family and come out in the summertime for the vineyard’s Starry Night concert series.


Bar

Devils Backbone Brewing Company, Roseland, Va.


Favorites:
Wasena City Taproom, Va.
The Hub/Pisgah Tavern, N.C.

Vaulted ceilings, exposed pipes, and wooden beams give the otherwise traditional bar at Devils Backbone a modern touch. Cozy in vibe, yet large enough to comfortably hold a crowd, this bar is always packed in the evenings. Proudly displayed high on the walls are big game trophies from founder Steve Crandall’s most treasured hunting excursions.

Post-Adventure Hangout

Devils Backbone Brewing Company, Roseland, Va.


Favorites:
Oskar Blues, N.C.
Blue Mountain Brewery, Va.

Just minutes down the road from regional outdoor destinations like the Blue Ridge Parkway, Crabtree Falls, and the Appalachian Trail, Devils Backbone is so conveniently situated, you’d be silly not to end your day in the woods with a brew or two. In warmer weather, the outdoor area affords a relaxing space to sit by the fire pit or challenge friends in a cornhole tournament in a setting surrounded by the Three Ridges Wilderness.


Breakfast

Scratch Biscuit Company, Roanoke, Va.


Favorites:
Biscuit Head, N.C.
The Black Sheep, Va.

There’s a new breakfast place in town that is making everything from scratch…literally. Roanoke native and Scratch Biscuit Company owner Nathan Webster used reclaimed wood from Virginia to craft the interior of his breakfast joint, which is decorated with antique farm tools from the area. His biscuits, which start at just $2, are dense and filling, made from none other than a family-owned and operated flour company based out of, you guessed it, Virginia.

scratch-biscuit-photos-56

Vegetarian Restaurant

Laughing Seed, Asheville, N.C.


Favorites:
Firefly Fare, Va.
Happy Belly Deli, Va.

Dining at the Laughing Seed is like taking a mini-vacation to an exotic paradise. The food here has an international twist and is all vegetarian with vegan and gluten free options. Meat eaters here will be in the minority, but even non-vegetarians will find something delicious. Might I recommend the Bahn Mi Jackfruit Tacos?

The Little Grill Collective, Harrisonburg, Va.

Vegetarians will not feel neglected at this cozy breakfast-and-lunch spot in downtown Harrisonburg, where every menu item is vegetarian, though meat options are available. The restaurant is worker-owned, which means the good folks cooking and serving your meals care about your experience. Head there in the morning for Lambert’s Platter, a tofu scrambler, and follow up later in the day for a Sesame Ginger Bowl.

Farm to Table

The Harvest Table, Meadowview, Va.


Favorites:
Magpie Meat and Three, N.C.
The Station, W.Va

Conceived out of celebrated author Barbara Kingsolver and her family’s yearlong stint of eating only the things they could barter for or grow, The Harvest Table makes a point of funneling as much money back into the local economy as possible. The restaurant only sources ingredients within a 100-mile radius and refuses to use feedlot meat or items like lemon that don’t expand the palate of the customer. To compensate for the off-season and produce availability, the restaurant also owns and operates its own four-acre farm just a few miles down the road.

Restaurant

The Copper Door, Hayesville, N.C.

Favorites:


Devils Backbone, Va.
Whistlestop at Big South Fork, Ky.

Inspired by Chef Dennis Barber’s Louisiana upbringing, The Copper Door’s menu is infused with the tastes of New Orleans. Aged steaks and fresh salmon, shrimp, and grits are staple items here. Exposed stone fireplaces and brick walls give this otherwise fine-dining experience a rustic finish that will appeal to every generation of foodies.

Ice Cream

Chinquapins Ice Cream and Soda Shop, Hayesville, N.C.

Favorites:
The Hop, N.C.
Klines Dairy Bar, Va.

Established in 1875 by Peter Tiger, this ice cream and soda shop is the oldest continually operated business in Clay County, now onto its fifth generation of Tigers. Grab a classic hand-dipped ice cream cone or malt on your next visit to Hayesville—one scoop is like going back in time.

BBQ

Devils Backbone Brewing Company, Roseland, Va.

Favorites:
The Lick BBQ, Va.
12 Bones, N.C.

Nothing says “southern” like house-smoked pulled pork saturated in a house made barbeque sauce (if we had to guess, there’s likely a splash of Devils Backbone beer in there), piled high on a toasted brioche roll, all washed down with a Virginia-crafted brew. Now that’s dinner done right.

Tacos

Brazos Tacos, Charlottesville, Va.

Favorites:


White Duck, N.C.
Tacos Muñoz, N.C

Get to this happenin’ taco shop before 8am and it’s buy one, get one free, or, if you’re not a morning person, get there on Tuesday for $2 tacos. With an entire vegetarian menu plus breakfast tacos all day, any day, Brazos is quickly making its mark on the Charlottesville foodie scene. Oh, and did I mention they have watermelon-jalapeño margaritas?

Burger

Farm Burger. Multiple Locations in Ga., N.C., Tenn., and Ala.


Favorites:
Devils Backbone, Va.
Jack Brown’s Beer & Burger Joint, Va.

For a burger chain, this one certainly sets itself apart with its commitment to grassfed, antibiotic- and hormone-free, humanely raised and handled beef. Build your own burger with an array of gourmet ingredients or choose from any one of their standard burgers. Don’t worry, veggies, you haven’t been left out of the mix. The vegan burger is made with tempeh and black-eyed peas. It’s real, and it’s wonderful.

Pizza

Pies and Pints, Fayetteville, W.Va.

Favorites:


Asheville Pizza and Brewing Company, N.C.
Crozet Pizza, Va.

Do you like craft beer and gourmet pizza? Then get some at Pies and Pints, the premier West Virginia pizzeria. Popular among raft guides and climbers of the New River Gorge, this place is renowned for specialty pies like the grape and gorgonzola, Thai shrimp and coconut, and chicken gouda.

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