Southwest Virginia: Food & Drink 2020

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Restaurants

Asian Restaurant

1st: Café Asia

3940 Valley Gateway Blvd., Suite B1, Roanoke, CafeAsiaRoanoke.com, 540-206-2298

Try a starter from the sushi bar like the spicy Kani salad with imitation crab meat, lettuce, and tempura flakes with tobiko dressing. For the main course, choose from one of the 50 special sushi rolls on the menu, such as the Café Asia Maki with Cajun salmon, cream cheese, avocado, and deep-fried tempura topped with special sauce.

2nd: Peking Restaurant, Wytheville, Facebook.com/PekingVa, 276-228-5515

3rd: Yamato Japanese Restaurant, Martinsville, GoEatYamato.com, 276-638-8188


Barbecue Restaurant

1st: Checkered Pig Barbecue

1014 Liberty St., Martinsville, CheckeredPig.com, 276-632-1161

Since 1997, Checkered Pig has been serving quality award-winning barbecue at its Martinsville location, leading it to open a Danville location in 2009. Customer favorites include the slow pit-cooked pork barbecue—made from hams, not butts, for a leaner product—beef brisket, and warm homemade banana pudding.

2nd: Due South BBQ, Christiansburg, DueSouthBBQ.com, 540-381-2922

3rd: Buddy’s BBQ, Rocky Mount, BuddysBBQVa.com, 540-482-0369


Breakfast/Brunch Restaurant

1st: Chick-N-Little

401 W. Main St., Abingdon, Facebook.com/Chicknlittle, 276-628-6690

Located on Main Street in Abingdon, Chick-N-Little is known for making homemade comfort food and daily specials for locals for more than 30 years. For breakfast, the most popular dishes include the chicken and waffles, topped with honey butter, or biscuits and gravy—the gravy is made fresh, in house every morning.

2nd: Scratch Biscuit Company, Roanoke, ScratchBiscuit.com, 540-855-0882

3rd: White Birch Juice Company, Abingdon, WhiteBirchJuice.com, 276-608-0541


Burger Joint

1st: Fenderz Drive-In

3627 Virginia Ave., Collinsville, Facebook.com/Fenderz Drive-In, 276-647-4555

This year marks the restaurant’s tenth year in business. Hamburgers, onion rings, and French fries are made fresh each morning at Fenderz, along with a full ice cream bar with hand dipped ice cream and soft serve ice cream for sundaes, milkshakes, and floats. Follow the diner’s Facebook page for daily specials and 1950s trivia.

2nd: Jack Brown’s Beer and Burger Joint, Roanoke, JackBrownsJoint.com, 540-342-0328

3rd: Rocky Mount Burger Company, Rocky Mount, RMBurger.com, 540-456-2337


Indian Restaurant

1st: India Garden Restaurant

210 Prices Fork Rd., Blacksburg, IndiaGardenOnline.com, 540-951-5100

India Garden’s expansive menu has something for everyone. Choose one of the specialty entrées for an elevated experience, like the Lobster Dum Korma—lobster tails sautéed with purified butter, cashew nuts, saffron, and caramelized onions. For something sweet, order the popular mango kulfi (homemade Indian ice cream).

2nd: Nawab Indian Cuisine, Roanoke, NawabRestaurant.com, 540-345-5150

3rd: Taaza Indian Cuisine, Roanoke, TaazaRoanoke.com, 540-342-4773


Italian Restaurant

1st: Sal’s Italian Restaurant & Pizzeria 

709 W. Main St., Radford, SalsRadford.com, 540-639-9669

In business for more than 30 years, Sal’s serves a variety of Italian dishes that customers can customize to their liking. Create your own calzone or pasta dish or stick to one of the classics, like the Godfather Ravioli—three cheese and three spinach ravioli with baby shrimp and scallops in a light pink cream sauce.

2nd: Elizabeth’s Pizza, Multiple locations, ElizabethsPizzaVirginia.blogspot.com, 276-632-1366

3rd: Milano’s Italian Cuisine, Abingdon, MilanosCuisine.com, 276-698-3331


Mexican Restaurant

1st: Alejandro’s Mexican Grill

Locations in Roanoke, Salem, AlejandrosMexicanGrill.com, 540-904-5825

The restaurant’s signature salsa bar features many types of salsa made fresh daily and is included with every entrée. The menu, which focuses on a West Coast-style Mexican experience, includes dishes like sweet salmon tacos or California-style burritos. For the diet-conscious, check out the low carb dishes with options like zucchini noodles or taco lettuce wraps.

2nd: El Parral, Martinsville, Monterrey41.com, 276-632-6408

3rd: El Rio Mexican Grill

Locations in Roanoke, Rocky Mount, ElRioMxGrill.com, 540-685-4343


Pizzeria

1st: Bella’s Pizza and Subs

872 E. Main St., Abingdon, BellasAbingdon.com, 276-628-8101

The secret to the restaurant’s pizza—and its 40 years in business—is its western New York recipes and slow cooking with stone ovens. The Absolute pizza includes 13 toppings: anchovies, bacon, ham, hamburger, Italian sausage, pepperoni, banana peppers, black olives, green olives, green peppers, jalapeños, mushrooms, and onion.

2nd: Dogtown Roadhouse, Floyd, DogtownRoadhouse.com, 540-745-6836

3rd: Elizabeth’s Pizza, Multiple locations, ElizabethsPizzaVirginia.blogspot.com, 276-632-1366


Seafood Restaurant

1st: Cabo Fish Taco

117 S. Main St., Blacksburg

14 Campbell Ave. SE, Roanoke, CaboFishTaco.com, 540-552-0950

Combining coastal Mexican cuisine with Southern California touches, Cabo Fish Taco offers flavorful seafood dishes in the form of wraps, burritos, tacos, and more. Start with the creamy Baja shrimp and crab dip with pita points, and for a main dish, try the grilled mango BBQ mahi-

mahi tacos with Mexi slaw and white sauce.

2nd: Captain Tom’s Seafood, Martinsville, Facebook.com/Captain Toms, 276-666-0326

3rd: 128 Pecan, Abingdon, 128Pecan.com, 276-698-3159


Steakhouse

1st: The Tavern Restaurant

222 E. Main St., Abingdon, AbingdonTavern.com, 276-628-1118

The tavern, built in 1779, has a long history of hosting overnight guests, including famous artists and politicians. Today, it operates as a restaurant and creates high quality dishes like stuffed filet mignon—eight ounces of hand-cut black Angus beef breaded, stuffed with shrimp, bacon, ricotta, and herb cream cheese. 

2nd: Frankie Rowland’s Steakhouse, Roanoke, FrankieRowlandsSteakHouse.com, 540-527-2333

3rd: Ippy’s Restaurant and Lounge, Rocky Mount, IppysRestaurant.com, 540-489-5600


Restaurant

1st: Montano’s International Restaurant

3733 Franklin Rd. SW, Roanoke, Montanos.net, 540-344-8960

Montano’s expansive menu offers dishes to serve anyone’s tastes—including Italian, Greek, Brazilian, Cajun, Asian, and American cuisines. The restaurant also carries more than 200 brands of craft beer, is home to an award-winning wine menu, and its 262-seat space is perfect for hosting large gatherings or banquets.

2nd: The Palisades Restaurant, Eggleston, ThePalisadesRestaurant.com, 540-626-2828

3rd: The Tavern Restaurant, Abingdon, AbingdonTavern.com, 276-628-1118


Restaurant for Vegans or Vegetarians

1st: Gillie’s

153 College Ave., Blacksburg, Facebook.com/GilliesBlacksburg, 540-961-2703

Jan Gillie opened the restaurant in 1974. Gillie’s is a breakfast, lunch, and dinner restaurant, offering seafood, vegetarian, and vegan cuisines. Popular dishes include banana walnut French toast and Gillie’s black bean burger.

2nd: Our Daily Bread Bakery & Bistro

Locations in Blacksburg, Roanoke, Salem, ODBB.com, 540-953-2815

3rd: Local Roots, Roanoke, LocalRootsRestaurant.com, 540-206-2610


Coffee Shop or Roaster

1st: Blackbird Bakery

56 Piedmont Ave., Bristol, BlackBirdBakeryBristol.com, 276-645-5754

Opened in 2008, the bakery fully expanded its location in less than five years. The bakery carries four exclusive “Blackbird Blends” made by Dark Hollow Micro Roasters, a local coffee roaster based in Sugar Grove. Try the espresso blend in a coffee drink, and choose from more than 50 syrup flavors.

2nd: Red Rooster Coffee Roasters, Floyd, RedRoosterCoffee.com, 540-745-7338

3rd: Mill Mountain Coffee & Tea

Locations in Roanoke, Salem, MillMountainCoffee.com, 540-989-5282


Food Truck

1st: The Pakalachian

Abingdon, ThePakalachian.com, 276-275-1097

A combination of southwest Virginia and south Asian cuisine is what locals love about this food truck. For a taste, get the Curry Me Down South, a tomato-based chicken curry piled on mashed potatoes and the dish that started the truck. Or, try another fan favorite—Tikka My Senses, a marinated and crispy fried chicken sandwich served with aloo bhaji fries.

2nd: Thai This Food Truck, Radford, ThaiThisExpress.com, 540-838-2329

3rd: Lickin Lizard, Ridgeway, TheLickinLizard.com, 276-956-6600


Dessert

1st: Blackbird Bakery

56 Piedmont Ave., Bristol, BlackBirdBakeryBristol.com, 276-645-5754

Curb your sweet tooth with more than 30 doughnut flavors, 20 cake flavors, 20 varieties of bars, and eight different flavors of ice cream. In addition to baked goods, the bakery offers ice cream from Homestead Creamery, a regional dairy located in Wirtz. Choose from vanilla, chocolate, strawberry, butter pecan, or four seasonal flavors.

2nd: Our Daily Bread Bakery & Bistro

Locations in Blacksburg, Roanoke, Salem, ODBB.com, 540-953-2815

3rd: Dippers Ice Cream, Ridgeway, DippersHomemadeIceCream.com, 276-956-6600


Ice Cream Shop

1st: Dippers Ice Cream

4970 Greensboro Rd., Ridgeway, DippersHomemadeIceCream.com, 276-956-6600

In addition to its small-batch ice creams, which are churned daily, Dippers offers cookies, cinnamon rolls, pound cake, and ice cream sandwiches for more sweet treats. The shop has a rotating ice cream flavor menu with innovative names and ingredients like Nutty Caramel Candy Bar, Sweet Potato Soufflé, or Blueberry Granola.

2nd: Homestead Creamery, Wirtz, HomesteadCreameryInc.com, 540-721-2045

3rd: The Ice Cream Stop, Abingdon, Facebook.com/The Ice Cream Stop, 276-676-0447


Sandwich Shop

1st: Macado’s

Multiple locations, Macados.net

Richard Macher opened the first Macado’s in downtown Roanoke in 1978. Today, the restaurant has 20 locations that span Virginia, West Virginia, North Carolina, and Tennessee. Build your own sandwich or choose from more than 30 premade options, like the Barnyard: fried chicken, American cheese, bacon, and mayo, topped off with a fried egg on sourdough.

2nd: Chef Heathers, Abingdon, Facebook.com/Chef Heather’s, 276-698-3433

3rd: New Yorker Delicatessen, Roanoke, TheNewYorkerDeli.com, 540-366-0935


Outdoor Dining

1st: The Farmhouse

285 Ridinger St., Christiansburg, TheFarmhouseChristiansburg.com, 540-251-7600

Enjoy a fresh summer cocktail, charcuterie board, or cornmeal fried oysters while dining at The Farmhouse’s courtyard patio space. With umbrella-shaded tables, cushioned outdoor furniture, ambient lighting, and an outdoor bar, the restaurant is perfect for a romantic date night or dinner with friends.

2nd: 3rd Bay, Martinsville, 3rdBay.com, 276-666-8414

3rd: The Tavern Restaurant, Abingdon, AbingdonTavern.com, 276-628-1118



Food Shopping

Bakery

1st: Blackbird Bakery

56 Piedmont Ave., Bristol, BlackbirdBakeryBristol.com, 276-645-5754

In 2020, the bakery is opening a satellite location on Commonwealth Avenue in Bristol. For those craving Blackbird Bakery on the go, customers will be able to purchase hot, fresh doughnuts, coffee drinks, and Homestead Creamery ice cream in a quick and easy drive-through line—served with a smile.

2nd: Our Daily Bread Bakery & Bistro

Locations in Blacksburg, Roanoke, Salem, ODBB.com, 540-953-2815

3rd: Sweet Cakes Bakery-Cafe, Collinsville, SweetcakesBakeryCafe.weebly.com, 276-647-8941


Chocolatier

1st: Cocoa Trail Chocolates

3368 Virginia Ave., Collinsville, CocoaTrail.com, 276-647-1980

Alan and Brittany Agee have been creating handcrafted gourmet chocolate in southwest Virginia since 2017. The menu rotates at Cocoa Trail, but customer favorites are always in stock. The newest menu item for 2020 is the German Chocolate Truffle, filled with a dark chocolate cake batter-flavored ganache. Cocoa Trail also has a second location in Danville.

2nd: Anthony’s Desserts, Abingdon, AnthonysDesserts.com, 276-623-1500

3rd: chocolatepaper, Roanoke, ChocolatePaperRoanoke.com, 540-342-6061


Farmers’ Market

1st: Abingdon Farmers’ Market

Corner of Remsburg Drive & Cummings Street, Abingdon, AbingdonFarmersMarket.com, 276-698-1434

The farmers’ market, which is open year-round, is home to vendors that sell local produce, mushrooms, beef, pork, chicken, lamb, baked goods, and ready-to-eat hot foods. Nonfood products available for purchase include locally made soaps, lotions, books written by local authors, fresh flowers, and more.

2nd: Historic Roanoke City Market, Roanoke, RoanokeMarket.com, 540-342-2028

3rd: Blacksburg Farmers’ Market, Blacksburg, BlacksburgFarmersMarket.com, 540-239-8290


Grocery Store

1st: Kroger

Multiple locations, Kroger.com

By 2025, all stores are committed to ending hunger in local communities and eliminating waste across the company through Kroger’s Zero Hunger, Zero Waste social plan. Parts of the plan include accelerating food donations to give out 3 billion meals, practice zero food waste in stores, and advocate for public policy solutions to address hunger and divert food waste from landfills.

2nd: Food City, Multiple locations, FoodCity.com, 800-826-8451

3rd: Food Lion, Multiple locations, FoodLion.com


Specialty/Gourmet Food Shop

1st: The Fresh Market

2207 Colonial Ave. SW, Roanoke, TheFreshMarket.com, 540-344-5490

For a more personable and easier shopping experience, all store layouts are about half the size of a conventional grocery store. Shop for prime custom-cut beef from in-store butchers, more than 100 varieties of specialty chocolates, and Market Meal kits—which include heat-and-eat meals with a main entrée and sides for two people.

2nd: Harvest Moon Food Store, Floyd, HarvestMoonStore.com, 540-745-4366

3rd: The Dutch Pantry, Rural Retreat, Facebook.com/The Dutch Pantry, 276-686-2042


Wine Shop

1st: Katbird’s Wine & Gourmet

230 E. Main St., Abingdon, KatbirdsWine.com, 276-623-0001

Customers can enjoy complimentary wine tastings every Saturday at the shop from 1 to 5 p.m., and tastings at the Martha Washington Inn every two months. In addition to European wines, the shop also has a room for craft beers, cheeses, and gourmet food products—perfect for your next dinner party.

2nd: Vintage Cellar, Blacksburg, VintageCellar.com, 800-672-9463

3rd: Barrel Chest Wine & Beer, Roanoke, BarrelChestWineAndBeer.com, 540-206-3475



Drink

Bar with the Best Atmosphere

1st: Martin’s Downtown

413 1st St. SW, Roanoke, MartinsDowntown.com, 540-985-6278

Opened in 2005, Martin’s has become a sort of “neighborhood bar downtown” according to the owner, Jason Martin. Visit on a theme night for fun trivia or discounts on burgers or tacos. “We always have people here for happy hour—we have our regulars. It’s just a fun environment,” says Martin. 

2nd: JJ’s Restaurant & Sports Bar, Abingdon, EatAtJJs.com, 276-525-4999

3rd: Lucky, Roanoke, EatAtLucky.com, 540-982-1249


Cocktails

1st: Lucky

18 Kirk Ave. SW, Roanoke, EatAtLucky.com, 540-982-1249

The craft cocktail menu rotates each month with seasonal favorites, but one of the most popular drinks can’t be found on the menu. The Cube—a drink in which the ice cube itself is the mixer—is an off-menu item beloved by locals. Freshly juiced apples, ginger juice, and other secret ingredients are frozen into a cube and topped off with two ounces of small-batch bourbon.

2nd: Wild Magnolia, Martinsville, Facebook.com/EatWildMagnolia, 276-666-6666

3rd: Rain Restaurant & Bar, Abingdon, RainAbingdon.com, 276-739-2331


Brewery

1st: Sugar Hill Brewing Company

16622 Broad St., St. Paul, SugarHillBrewing.com, 276-738-1088

After almost four years in business, Sugar Hill is taking a step forward in 2020 and bottling beer for bigger distribution in venues across southwest Virginia. In March, the popular Blonde Warm & Fuzzy became available in retail outlets in the area. The brewery also has several beers on tap every day in its tasting room, along with a full kitchen.

2nd: Wolf Hills Brewing Co., Abingdon, WolfHillsBrewing.com, 276-451-5470

3rd: Buffalo Mountain Brewery, Floyd, BuffaloMountainBrewery.com, 540-745-2491


Distillery

1st: Five Mile Mountain Distillery

489 Floyd Hwy. S, Floyd, 5MileMountain.com, 540-745-4495

Established in 2016, Five Mile Mountain finds its home in a renovated old waterworks building that had been abandoned since 1976. Through the viewing window you can watch the distilling process, completed using copper pots, open flame, and old recipes. Try a full sampling, led by a “mix master” who will guide you through tasting notes and cocktail ideas.

2nd: Stone Mountain Distilling, Lebanon, Facebook.com/StoneMountainDistilling, 276-880-0168

3rd: Twin Creeks Distillery, Rocky Mount, TwinCreeksDistillery.com, 540-483-1266


Winery

1st: Chateau Morrisette Winery

291 Winery Rd. SW, Floyd, TheDogs.com, 540-593-2865

Pair wine with food at the winery’s restaurant on site and partake in the Winemaker’s Platter, with cured meats, local cheeses, roasted grapes, pickles, preserves, mustard, and bread. Our Dog Blue—a semi-sweet Riesling blend—is a customer favorite and scored 95 points at the 2015 San Diego International Wine Competition.

2nd: Iron Heart Winery, Hiwassee, IHeartVirginiaWine.com, 540-320-0203

3rd: Hamlet Vineyards, Bassett, HamletVineyards.com, 276-629-2121


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