FOUR HUNDRED THIRTY miles long and 200 miles wide, from the Atlantic to Appalachia and back again, Virginia is essentially one intense local flavor after another. When you combine notes from the ocean, the mountains, and the hodgepodge that is North-meets-South, you get a food destination, not just a scene.
To really make sure you experience the best of the state on your next visit, we’ve handcrafted a foodie road trip through some of the state’s tastiest cities: Virginia Beach, Norfolk, Richmond, Charlottesville, and Staunton. The best part? The whole trip can be done over a three-day weekend.
Day 1 — Virginia Beach
Virginia Beach has kept up its reputation in the Virginia culinary landscape by staying true to its biggest asset: water. There are tons of elegant waterfront restaurants here, alongside legendary diners and coastal cafes.
Morning: Grab a cup of
Afternoon: For lunch, try one of Virginia Beach’s boardwalk dining experiences, where you’ll get another view of that Atlantic coastline.
After lunch, take a trip to
Night: When it comes to a five-star seafood dinner,
Day 2 — Norfolk (morning)
As you head west toward Richmond, be sure to make a pit stop at The Handsome Biscuit, located in the historic-meets-hip Ghent area of Norfolk. As its name suggests,
Day 2 – Richmond (afternoon and night)
Richmond’s food scene is well-balanced, a combination of casual and fine-dining joints with hip takes on staple meals. Richmonders adore their food so much they host an annual four-day event called
Afternoon: Located in the Scott’s Addition district,
If you’re looking for something to do before dinner, hop on an
After dinner, satisfy that late night sweet craving at
Day 3 — Charlottesville (morning and afternoon)
Morning: A visit to Charlottesville isn’t complete unless you stop at
Afternoon: From its exterior, The Market at Bellair looks like your average gas station (that’s because it’s actually set inside a gas station). But don’t let that scare you, because once you step inside, you’ll find the most adorable and delicious sandwich shop. All of their sandwiches are appropriately given UVA-themed names, and their ingredients are endless — smoked turkey, Cajun roast beef, peppered ham — though you’ll never be disappointed if you order the sandwich of the month.
Bonus: Charlottesville is home to many award-winning wineries, thanks in large part to the local topography. Surrounding the city are ancient mountains that have since been eroded to rolling hills, which now produce uniquely complex wines. If you have time, spend the afternoon popping around some of Charlottesville’s most-talked-about wineries:
Day 3 — Staunton (night)
Travel about 45 minutes west of Charlottesville and you’ll get to Staunton, a small town known for being the birthplace of Woodrow Wilson. Staunton is where you’ll find
Afterwards, think about staying the night at the Stonewall Jackson Hotel (it’s super historic and right in the heart of downtown). Grab brunch in the morning at