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Ten Culinary Revolution Hotspots in Virginia

RICHMOND, Va. – For people whose travel decisions are based solely on their taste buds - now is the time to feed that passion for great food in Virginia.  Check out these ten getaways to taste Virginia's culinary revolution.

Chincoteague oystersChincoteague Island on Virginia’s Eastern Shore is surrounded by natural and cultivated oyster bars and reefs and known for quality oysters. Delight in fresh, savory local oyster dishes prepared in a multitude of ways in Chincoteague before heading out to see the famous wild ponies.

Capital FlavorRichmond’s historic neighborhoods are alive with flavors – from the southern soul food of Jackson Ward to the eclectic menus of The Fan to the legendary pizza of Shockoe Bottom and nearly 50 annual food festivals, Virginia’s capital city is a hotspot for great food finds.

Cook Like a Pro – Learn the secrets of Virginia’s culinary masters. Enlist in Food & Wine camp at Lansdowne Resort.  Go natural at culinary workshop weekends at Shenandoah National Park.  Or learn to make the perfect biscuits, breads and cakes at Wade’s Mill in Raphine, a 1750s working grist mill.

Cone Claims - Abe Doumar created America’s first ice cream cone at the 1904 World's Fair in St. Louis. He purchased a waffle from a nearby vendor, rolled it into a cone and topped it with ice cream. Today the ice cream at his namesake, Doumar’s in Norfolk, is still handmade and ice cream lovers expound upon its creamy perfection.

Hams, History and Hospitality  - That’s the motto of Smithfield, Virginia - home of the world-famous ham. 

Visit the charming main street and shop for antiques, art and homemade candies before heading to Smithfield Station for fresh crab cakes made with Virginia ham of course. Stop at the original Smithfield Ham Shoppe for an authentic taste of Virginia.

Valley of Taste – Enjoy the great eats of downtown Roanoke - home to Virginia’s oldest and largest year-round growers market, where chefs built their establishments based on the proximity to fresh, local ingredients available at market.  Anchored by the beauty of historic Hotel Roanoke, it’s a fresh foodie destination.

Puppy Cuisine – An array of restaurants meet every taste in Old Town Alexandria – including those of the furry, four-legged set. Alexandria is a dog-friendly town, and many of its restaurants serve cuisine and refreshments geared for pups and pooches, as well as their owners. 

 

Leesburg Legends – Leesburg in Northern Virginia is as full of taste as it is history and culture.  From the casual elegance and 21 taps at Tuscarora Mill to the piano bar sophistication of Lightfoot, visitors will get their fill.

Catch of the Day - Reel in the excitement of catching your own meal at Watermen’s in Virginia Beach. Year-round anglers are hooking the mightiest tuna, wahoo, marlin, striped bass and flounder with nearby restaurants that will cook up the fresh catch for hungry fishermen and women.

Little Washington, Big Taste – dine at The Inn at Little Washington, one of America’s finest restaurants and country inns.  Enjoy the gourmet tastes and luxurious surroundings at this inn that continues to top World’s Best lists for dining and accommodations.  Legendary Chef Patrick O’Connell’s inspired American cuisine has been described by food critics as “so good it makes you cry” and draws admirers from around the world.

Hungry for more?  Go to www.Virginia.org for more places to taste Virginia’s culinary revolution and watch Chef Alex Montiel of La Cocina del Sol make his special, heart-shaped appetizer.

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