There are a number of famous foods and restaurants in the Roanoke Valley in Virginia's Blue Ridge Mountains that have received recognition for their originality and quality.
This list of featured foods includes restaurants that have been mentioned in major magazine publications, websites, books, and television.
For the traveling foodie, these items and restaurants represent the unique culture and flavor of the region that you're looking for.
Many of these spots and iconic dishes are also included in our Food Itinerary that can help you plan a food-focused getaway to the Blue Ridge Mountains.
Learn more about the most iconic foods and dining spots in Virginia's Blue Ridge.
Publications: Open Table Top 100, Garden & Gun, Travel & Leisure
What to Order: Menu changes seasonally, but lamb & filet of beef dishes are very popular.
This Downtown Roanoke restaurant is regularly ranked as one of the best restaurants in Virginia and was named by Open Table as one of the Top 100 restaurants in America based on quality and positive reviews. The menu regularly features locally-sourced organic produce and prime quality Virginia aged meats. It's an elegant, chic atmosphere that is offering some of the most innovative flavors in Virginia's Blue Ridge.
Publications: Garden & Gun, CraftBeer.com
What to Order: Extensive selection of craft beer, The Mo-Joe Ribeye, Shrimp Creole & Grits
Blue 5 has been featured in Garden & Gun for items such as the fried oysters and the catfish BLT sandwich. With over 40 beers on tap, it's also a great spot for a drink, which is why it was named Virginia's Best Beer Bar by CraftBeer.com. The bar regularly features seasonal specials and constantly has new brews on tap, providing visitors the opportunity to sample locally-produced craft beers while also enjoying exotic new varieties.
Publication: Garden & Gun
What to Order: The Dreamer Burger
Burger in the Square is a casual, family-friendly, counter-service restaurant that is a hit with locals and visitors. Garden & Gun recommends stopping by for a Dreamer burger and a glass of freshly-brewed sweet tea. The Dreamer features freshly-cooked beef, bacon, provolone, grilled mushrooms, onions, lettuce, tomato and mayo on a kaiser roll. We suggest adding a side of waffle fries!
Publications: Garden & Gun, USAToday & OpenTable
What to Order: Sunday Brunch - Eggs Benedict, Local Roots Burger, Bloody Marys
According to Garden & Gun, a visit to Local Roots isn't complete without sampling the eggs benedict, French toast, and your daily vegetables with a Bloody Mary for brunch. It's been highlighted by The Roanoker Magazine as one of the best restaurants in the region, and the talented team at Local Roots are taking farm-to-table to another level.
Publications: Garden & Gun, The Local Palate
What to Order: Hand-Crafted Cocktails - The Cube, The Grassy Hill, The Handsome Devil
Lucky is part of the re-vitalization of Kirk Avenue in Downtown Roanoke by bringing an exciting blend of southern and French influences to this gastro-pub. Lucky received rave reviews from Garden & Gun for its foie-gras infused creme brulee and cocktails such as the cherry-sweetened whiskey sour and Death in the Afternoon. The Local Palate featured bartender Hunter Johnson and his Grassy Hill cocktail.
Publication: Southern Living
What to Order: She Crab Soup, Khachapuri, Tokyo Ramen, Martinis
Southern Living recognized Metro! for its sophisticated menu and cosmopolitan atmosphere in Downtown Roanoke. Metro! is a great spot to enjoy the city's nightlife with a martini that will take you back to a different era. Whether it's a night that features a few martinis, the She Crab soup that will cause you to question if it's socially acceptable to lick the bowl, or the incredibly unique Khachapuri (an Eastern European cheese bread), a dining experience at Metro! promises to be an exciting culinary adventure.
Publications: Southern Living
What to Order: Lunch Buffet, Lamb Tikka, Chicken Kozhambu, Chili Paneer
Nawab is a great place to taste some of the international flavors of Virginia's Blue Ridge with its delicious Indian food. Southern Living mentions the garlic naan and lunch buffet as two reasons to give this unique cuisine a try in Downtown Roanoke. It's one of the best lunch values in the city and offers the opportunity to sample the impressive selection of different Indian flavors and spices.
Publication: Southern Living
What to Order: Fresh Baked Bread & Breakfast Pastries, Hot Paninis, Coconut Cake,
Any foodie on the hunt for great bread should pay a visit to On the Rise Bread Company in Downtown Roanoke. Southern Living featured On the Rise for its fresh-baked breads and you won't be able to resist taking a few loaves home with you. It's also the perfect spot for a sweet treat, with a broad selection of cookies, brownies, muffins, and cakes. We could try to tell you about the Coconut Cake, but it's so good it just leaves us speechless.
Publications: Garden & Gun, Esquire Magazine, Cooking with Paula Deen
What to Order: Swiss Melt Grilled Cheese Sandwich, Milkshakes, Old-Fashioned Ice Cream Sodas
Esquire Magazine listed the Swiss Melt (a blend of swiss cheese, artichoke hearts, Dijon mustard, and horseradish) from Pop's as one of the best grilled cheese sandwiches in the country. The shop was also recognized for its amazing milkshakes by Cooking with Paula Deen magazine. The shop features ice cream provided by Homestead Creamery, the popular local dairy that's also based in Franklin County in Virginia's Blue Ridge.
Publications: Cooking with Paula Deen, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
What to Order: Peanut Soup & Spoonbread
Not only has the iconic hotel been featured in many major travel publications, The Regency Room is the first-class restaurant in the hotel that serves incredible cuisine. No meal is complete without trying the classic peanut soup and spoonbread. Learn more with the recipes for both dishes.
Publications: Garden & Gun, CNN Eatocracy, Food Network, USA Today, Southern Living
What to Order: Jar of Pickles Appetizer, Seasonal Entrees, Jalapeno Coconut Banana Pudding
The River and Rail has one of the best chefs in Virginia in Aaron Deal. This restaurant is the latest project by Deal, a James Beard Award nominee, winner of Guy's Grocery Games on Food Network, and someone who's been featured in Garden & Gun, CNN Eatocracy, Southern Living, and many other major publications. Southern Living has named the restaurant one of the Top 100 Places to Eat in America. The Banana Pudding with Jalapeno Coconut Ice Cream has also been named by Food Network as one of the best ice cream desserts in America. Named one of the Best Southern Fine Dining Restaurants by USA Today's 10 Best.
Publications: Cooking with Paula Deen, Southern Living, The Today Show
What to Order: Made-from-Scratch Biscuits & Country Ham
When Southern Living says you serve one of the five best breakfasts in Virginia and Today on NBC recognizes you for your biscuits, you know how to prepare traditional southern cuisine. The country ham and made-from-scratch biscuits have been a staple for diners in the region for years, and it's one of the iconic dishes of our area. Enjoy a meal at The Roanoker Restaurant and taste the hospitality of Virginia's Blue Ridge.
Publications: Hamburger America, Tonight Show with Jay Leno, Cooking with Paula Deen, Money Magazine, Fodor's Travel Guide
What to Order: Cheesy Western Burger & Bowl of "Chile"
Perhaps no restaurant in the Roanoke Valley has received more recognition than Texas Tavern. A "Cheesy Western and bowl of chile with onions" is one of the classic meals of Virginia's Blue Ridge, with the burger listed in Hamburger America as one of the best 150 burgers in America. It's a beef patty tapped with American cheese, onions, relish, fried egg and mustard. The Tavern is open 24 hours a day, 364 days a year, and any visit is sure to provide an interesting story.
Publications: Garden & Gun
What to Order: Evie's Chicken Salad, Dragon's Tooth Sandwich, Killer Carrot Cake
Whether it's an item from the extensive vegetarian section of the menu, a salad with one of the homemade dressings, or a freshly baked dessert, you're sure to find something delicious from Wildflour Market & Bakery in Old Southwest Roanoke. Garden & Gun suggests trying the Chicken Salad and a lemon bar for dessert. We'd also suggest leaving room for a slice of carrot cake.
Here are some other resources for enjoying delicious food in Virginia's Blue Ridge: