Traveler’s Trail to Delightful Dining
With so many places to get a bite to eat, Discover Shenandoah understands the dilemma often confronted by tourists in trying to find a great place to eat while on vacation – often on a long weekend break and usually without much time.The “Travelers’ Trail to Delightful Dining” is provided to guests of Discover Shenandoah to assist in quickly identifying places to eat in the Discover Shenandoah region – in and around the Northern Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia.
The “Travelers’ Trail to Delightful Dining” is helpful for tourists traveling in and through the region and nicely compliments those interested in exploring the “Blue Ridge Whiskey Wine Loop.”
True to the spirit of Discover Shenandoah, the following dining locations are recommended to tourists based on the business’ proven commitment to quality service and product.
The business’ listed on Discover Shenandoah do not pay to be listed on this site – they earn the right to be listed based on their commitment to providing tourists excellent service and product.
All locations have been recommended by locals and are periodically frequented by the hosts of Discover Shenandoah to confirm quality.
Please read the Discover Shenandoah short summaries below to find the most appropriate dining experience for your interests, likes, and desires.
Discover Shenandoah recommends the following locations to tourists in search of something a little bit special – a delightful dining experience!
#4: Brookside Restaurant (Closed for the Season)
This is a local favorite for many years – a solid choice for home-made style breakfast, lunch or dinner. This very quaint road side restaurant is located near the Shenandoah National Park and is always clean and neat. You will likely enjoy a very friendly and out-going staff. The owners are frequently on-site and take the quality of their product and service very seriously. Brookside Restaurant offers a very comfortable country kitchen décor’. Brookside features delicious classic American breakfast plates, wonderful hamburgers and sandwiches, and even serves a mouthwatering lunch buffet with delicious fried chicken and other country favorites. Particularly notable are the home baked cakes and seasonal specialties the restaurant offers daily for dessert. The restaurant also offers wine and beer.
Sunday – Thursday: 7:30 a.m. – 8:30 p.m.
Friday & Saturday: 7:30 a.m. – 9:00 p.m
# 3: Gathering Grounds Patisserie & Cafe
Now located at 24 East Main Street, Luray, This coffee shop and eatery is located in an old town building in Luray, Gathering Grounds Patisserie & Cafe provides a warm and comfortable seating area with a sophisticated casual café atmosphere. This is a breakfast and lunch location that serves beer and wine. The fresh sandwiches are consistently delicious – look for the advertised daily specials as you come through the door.
The Gathering Grounds also offers pastries, cookies and other treats to go along with a wide variety of coffees and teas. This is one of the region’s rare locations where you can rest back in a soft couch and sip coffee or beer while reading the paper or waiting to order. The location is also within easy walking distance of Luray’s shops and the wonderful Greenway along Hawksbill Creek.
Monday – Thursday: 7am to 6pm
Friday: 7am to 7pm
Saturday: 8am to 7pm
Sunday: 11am to 3pm
NEW!!! Friday and Saturday night dinners ranging from $15 – $18
# 1: Mimslyn Inn
This beautifully renovated grand Inn is located on a grassy hill in the heart of Luray. Don’t be intimidated by its grandeur. Walk into the massive front entrance through the classical columns and into the warm and tasteful décor of the foyer where you can sit on a plush couch in front of the fireplace and sip a mixed drink from the bar.
For a more formal experience, go to the large dining room and order one of the Chef’s specials at the main dining room-Circa 31. A lunch buffet is served daily.
Weekly Wine Dinners! Call: 800-296-5105 for reservations!
For a more casual dining experience, go downstairs and enjoy the “Speakeasy” with its 1920’s theme and warm pub atmosphere. There you can order off the menu and ask about the specials of the day for considerable savings. The Speakeasy schedules live music for several nights in every week – call ahead to confirm. The Mimslyn Inn is a classy place to have a good dining experience in Luray.
Sunday & Monday: 4 pm-9 pm
Tuesday – Thursday: 4 pm -10 pm
Friday & Saturday: 4 pm -11 pm
#15: West Main Market
West Main Market is a full-service delicatessen and sandwich shop located in Luray,Virginia’s Downtown Historic District. Their goal is to provide the community and our guests with an exciting menu featuring freshly-prepared foods.
Their menu includes a variety of unique sandwiches, salads, and soups. The delicatessen features specialty meats,cheeses, and homemade side dishes.
If you’re planning a party, a day in the park or on the river, or if you’re just looking for a great lunch, stop by and let them provide you with everything you need.
Monday-Thursday: 10:00 AM – 6:00 PM
Friday and Saturday: 10:00 AM – 7:00 PM
#16: Heart Pine Cafe at Luray Caverns (Closed for the Season)
The restored barn upper level is available for group events. For more information,contact the Caverns.
Their menu includes a variety of sandwiches, salads, pastries, and a selection of fine Virginia wines..
Mon – Sun: 9:00 am – 6:00 pm
#17: Triple Crown BBQ (Closed for the Season)
At Triple Crown BBQ, they take great pride in offering authentic BBQ, from recipes passed down through our families, and our experience living in Virginia and The Carolinas.
Food is prepared daily with traditional methods using our on site, wood fired Southern Pride smoker. Sample some of their pulled pork, sliced sirloin pit beef, baby back ribs, smoked 1/2 chickens, and sausage. Make it a full meal with your choice of sides, including corn muffins. All served up with a smile and southern hospitality. Finish it off with your favorite sauce from our sauce bar and enjoy!
Dine at our picnic tables or take it to go. One thing’s for sure, you’ll be back for more! Go ahead, ask a local, they’ll send you our way.
Wed – Sun: 11:30 am – 6:30 pm
#18: Rancho Viejo Mexican Grill & Cantina
If you are looking for Mexican food, this is the place. Following the family recipes, they offer the freshest ingredients along with great service.
Rancho Viejo brings to your plate the result of many years of flavor, experience and the tradition of a taste that so many describe as the best in town. They offer specials every day and also feature taco and burrito days.
If you are lucky enough to be in town when the Mariachi Band plays, you will be in for a real treat. Rancho Viejo Mexican Grill and Cantina is a “a quick stop at Mexican Tradition.
Monday: 11:00am -9:00pm
# 8: Thornton River Grille
Located at the main intersection in the charming little mountain town of Sperryville, this “upscale” establishment enjoys consistently high customer ratings for good reason. The Grille produces delicious grilled meat sandwiches and plates. The “Flaming Rooster” grilled sandwich is second to none.
The Grille offers seating inside their small charming dining room or upstairs on a large deck. The location is directly on the Blue Ridge Whiskey Wine Loop… just a short drive from the Copper Fox Distillery and Gadino Cellars Winery.
Consider making reservations prior to arrival as the Thornton River Grill is extremely popular among locals and tourists. The restaurant offers customers a convenient on-line table reservation system.
Tuesday – Saturday: 11 am to 3 pm & 5 pm to 9 pm
Sunday: 10 am to 11 pm & 5 pm to 9 pm
# 10: Griffin Tavern & Restaurant
Griffin Tavern & Restaurant is a lovely British pub style tavern in an absolutely charming little mountain town. It is located on the main road passing through the very little town of Flint Hill on the east side of the Blue Ridge Mountains.
The menu offers many options as does the seating. You can enjoy your meal sitting in the simply but nicely decorated dining rooms, on the small outside deck, or in the bar. Take the time to enjoy the Tavern’s large and lively bar.
You’ll find a dart board and a wide variety of ales, wines and mixed drinks. For the full experience, try the nicely battered Fish and Chips. The staff is very pleasant and will likely heighten you experience.
Griffin Tavern & Restaurant is smartly located within close proximity to the Blue Ridge Whiskey Wine Loop Wineries… a good choice for lunch or dinner during a wine tasting outing. Check their web site to take advantage of the scheduled entertainment and activities.
Sunday – Thursday: 11:30 am to 9 pm
Friday & Saturday: 11:30 am to 10 pm
Bar open until Midnight
#11: Flint Hill Public House
This fine-dining restaurant serves a wide selection of freshly prepared American cuisine. The menu offers something to satisfy every palate – including seasonal specials, exciting signature dishes, and creative takes on American Classics.
Enjoy a casual meal in the pub dining room where the menu features tasty pub classics, including burgers, seafood, and flat bread pizzas. Both menus emphasize fresh local produce and meats, and they serve a selection of local Virginia wines.
Sunday – Thursday: 11:30 am to 9 pm
Friday & Saturday 11:30 am to 10 pm
#9: Little Washington Winery
Check out the incredible panoramic pastoral scenery, serenity and a variety of premium wines along with Salami, Cheese & Baguette Platters & Hummus and Cracker Snacks.
Every visit to Little Washington Winery is a different adventure. They feature artisan wines from small-batch farm wineries in Virginia and all over the world. Their “DIRT ROAD” tour changes weekly as they feature the hand-crafted wines you’ll never find at the grocery store.
Open Friday, Saturday & Sunday: 11am-5pm
#12: Element and Apartment 2g
This very small busy eatery is joined by a nicely stocked little wine shop located within walking distance of old town Front Royal.
Element is a hands down favorite of local professionals. The soups, sandwiches, and specials of the day are nicely prepared and reasonably priced. For a nice change of pace, consider the creative special dining events that are frequently offered. The service is timely and professional.
Join the chefs in their apartment for a fabulous gourmet meal on Saturdays. Watch them work in their kitchen and then savor the delicious food. Every Saturday evening the chef’s offer a five-course Prix Fixe menu: amuse-bouche, pasta, salad, entrée, and dessert. There is usually a choice of three or four enticing entrées. Tapas are served on the third Thursday evening What are tapas? Think of this Spanish-style dining experience as an opportunity to try an assortment of mini-entrées, as everyone at the table shares the food, getting a chance to try many dishes throughout the evening.
The Element has a small bar inside and offers a nice variety of beer and wine. The atmosphere is casual and pleasant. As you drive by in search of the Element, stay alert as it is located in an inconspicuous small older town building adjacent to the main road… it is worth the search.
LUNCH: Tuesday to Saturday-11 am to 3 pm
DINNER: Tuesday to Saturday-5 pm to last seating at 9 pm
Reservations not accepted.
SATURDAYS: Five Course Prix Fixe – First reservation – 6:30 pm
THIRD THURSDAYS: Spanish Inspired Tapas – First reservation – 6:30 pm
FINAL FRIDAYS: Wine Classes – 5:30 pm or 7 pm
#13: Daily Grind
The service is friendly and the food and snacks are appropriate and good. The nicely decorated Café is beautifully located in the center of old town Front Royal – just a short stroll from all of the old town’s visitor’s center, shops and antique stores.
Mon- Fri: 7:00am -9:00 pm
Sat: 8:00am -9:00 pm
Sun: 8:00am-6:00 pm
# 14: Joe’s Steak House
Completely renovated inside and out, Joe’s Steakhouse is a true dining destination. This historic landmark, located at the base of the Skyline Drive, has a long and rich history as a Front Royal favorite.
The main dining area, featuring a gorgeous working fireplace and elegant chandeliers, comfortably seats over 100 guests. There is a smaller dining area for events and groups and a nice bar area is also available.
The outdoor patio is perfect for leisurely meals and great conversation while enjoying the spectacular Front Royal views.
Monday through Thursday: 4:00 pm – 10:00 pm
Friday and Saturday: 11:00 am – Midnight
Sunday: 11:00 am – 8:00 pm
Now serving lunch Friday through Sunday!
# 7: Shenandoah National Park – Skyland Resort Pollock Dining Room
Just a short drive southward from Thornton Gap along the Blue Ridge Parkway will bring you to this gem of a location. Perched just beneath the 4,000 ft. high Stony Man Mountain is the Shenandoah National Park’s Skyland restaurant overlooking the Shenandoah Valley (South Fork).
Skyland’s restaurant menu is the product of an accomplished Chef who ensures a wide variety of favorite plates and treats. It is easy for everyone to find something on the menu they will want. Whether ordering a club sandwich or tender fish, the meals are tasty and consistently well prepared. Do not miss out on the Blackberry Ice Cream Pie for dessert – truly a delight.
The restaurant is worth going to for the view alone. The main dining area is large and bright with the entire west facing wall of large glass windows gazing down into the beautiful Shenandoah Valley… on a clear day breathtaking.
After you enjoy your meal, consider wandering into the adjoining bar for your after dinner drink of choice, visit the nice gift shop, or walk outside and take a hike up to the peak of Stonyman Mountain.
Breakfast: 7:30 am- 10:30 am
Lunch: 12:00 pm – 2:00 pm
Dinner 5:30 pm to 9:00 pm
# 6: Big Meadows Lodge – Spottswood Dining Room
The Big Meadows Lodge Restaurant is located inside the historic Big Meadows Lodge of the Shenandoah National Park. Like Skyland, the restaurant enjoys amazing views down into the Shenandoah Valley (South Fork).
The restaurant, built of large American Chestnut beams, with its large stone fireplace and historic charm has a wonderful ambiance. The menu and food preparation is overseen by the same chef as Skyland’s restaurant. You can expect the same quality product at both locations.
The Big Meadows Lodge and its restaurant are an American treasure not to be missed by those in the area.
The dining experience at either Big Meadows Lodge or Skyland is enjoyable and memorable. Take advantage of the restaurants in conjunction with a day hike or short hike in the fresh air at Big Meadows, it will be sure to satisfy a big appetite. Big Meadows Lodge also serves wine and beer and you can enjoy an attractive rustic Tap Room downstairs.
Breakfast: 7:30 am- 10:30 am
Lunch: 12:00 pm – 2:00 pm
Dinner 5:30 pm to 9:00 pm
# 5: Hawksbill Diner
Any tourist looking for a taste of traditional American country cooking in a classic Shenandoah Valley diner should consider visiting this delightful place. The service is always friendly and the menu carries a surprisingly wide variety of typical country favorites. You’ll easily find your foot long hot dog and fried chicken… and much more. The old Hawksbill Diner offers a simple setting and good food at a very reasonable price – a true value.
Conveniently, just down the road from the Diner is the Wisteria Farm & Vineyard to complement your meal.
Sunday – Thursday: 6 am to 8 pm
Friday & Saturday: 6 am to 9 pm
1388 East Main Street, Stanley, VA