Roanoke - also known as the Star City for the illuminated star that sits atop Mill Mountain - shines in more ways than one. The small city in the Blue Ridge Mountains is surrounded with beautiful vistas and green space, and delicious dining options are aplenty. Old standbys like Texas Tavern, in business since 1930, and newer additions like River and Rail Restaurant coexist with ease in Roanoke, not surprising for a charming place where there’s no shortage of sweet tea or Southern hospitality.
- FOR BREAKFAST -
Scratch Biscuit Co.– Located in Grandin Village, this spot is open daily for breakfast and lunch with a specialty brunch menu on Sundays. Biscuit options abound, ranging from simple to much more adventurous, and sandwiches, burgers, and additional breakfast options round out the menu.Scrambled - Fast casual fare in historic City Market building down. No surprise with a name like Scrambled, the menu leads with eggs (farm-fresh, cage-free, and organic) but the famous Vanilla French toast is also worth a try.Roanoker Restaurant - On Colonial Avenue, a Southern breakfast and a cozy booths welcome guests at this local institution that dates back to 1941. Closed Mondays.Ernie's Bar & Grill - Quick breakfast and friendly service await at Ernie’s in the City Market building, where regulars swear by the potato cakes and omelettes.More Breakfast Places:
Hotel Roanoke -Brunch at The Regency Room at Hotel Roanoke is a local tradition. Open since 1938, its been recognized as one of the top 100 brunches in America and is the Roanoke Valley’s only AAA Four Diamond Restaurant. Billy’s - This Market Street restaurant offers Sunday brunch from 11 a.m. - 3 p.m., with selections ranging from the traditional - omelettes and pancakes - to more eccentric items like candied bacon and breakfast nachos.Bread Craft - An artisan bakery is bound to have good brunch, and it’s served here beginning at 8 a.m. on Saturdays and Sundays, with quiche, maple french toast, and eggs benedict among the menu options.More Brunch Restaurants:
Burger in the Square - Old-fashioned burgers and hot dogs on Brambleton Avenue.Wildflour- Located at Towers Shopping Center, Wildflour is open daily from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Homemade breads and desserts and other high-quality ingredients kick this inventive yet still simple menu up a notch.Roanoke Weiner Stand - This local hot dog joint has been in business serving the Roanoke community a simple meal for over 100 years.R.T. Smith’s Deli - Downtown deli offering breakfast and lunch all day long and sandwiches made to order.Viet Sub - Sandwich shop on Williamson road, visitors say the Vietnamese banh mi is the best they’ve ever eaten.More Lunch Spots:
River and Rail Restaurant - Locally-sourced Southern food and craft cocktails in an intimate bistro setting. Menus change daily.Fortunato - Italian kitchen and Neapolitan-style pizzeria in an urban setting.Local Roots - This restaurant on Grandin Road works closely with local farmers to source ingredients for its lunch and dinner menus.Alejandro's Mexican Grill - A casual downtown spot with Mexican food, margaritas and a signature salsa bar with a number of different varieties to try.Fork In The Alley - A fun spot with pub fare in an old carriage house on Crystal Spring Avenue. Perfect for a get-together with friends or a casual date night.Bernard’s Gastropub & Eatery - Mussels, wings, and heartier entree options like braised short rib and bourbon glazed salmon make up the menu at this casual restaurant serving elevated food on Jefferson Street.Tuco’s Taqueria Garaje - A delicious array of tacos and more than 90 tequilas and mezcals are offered here in a vibrant and fun setting.More Dinner Destinations:
Texas Tavern - Where to begin? This local institution with just 10 seats has been in business since 1930 and is open 24 hours a day, making it hard to insert into a category for breakfast, brunch, lunch or dinner. You could go for an inexpensive lunch, or a late night meal at 2 a.m. Nothing on the simple menu is more than $5, and if you pop in for a meal, this guide to the lingo will ensure you can place your order like a local. A cheesy western or a bowl of chili is a good place to start.
-FOR YOUR SWEET TOOTH -
Pop’s Ice Cream and Soda Bar - Take a step back in time at this ice cream parlor and full service soda fountain in Grandin Village.Blue Cow Ice Cream Co. - Hand-crafted ice cream and unique flavor combinations come together at this artisan ice cream shop at the base of Mill Mountain.Bubblecake - In the Towers Shopping Center, Bubblecake delights the Roanoke community with cupcakes big and small, what the shop calls babycakes. Choices range from more classic options like red velvet to fancy options like the Tiffany, a powdery blue vanilla almond treat.
-FOR CRAFT BREWS, WINE, AND COCKTAILS -
Deschutes - The Roanoke tasting room of Deschutes Brewery offers a spacious tap room and outdoor seating.Barrel Chest Wine & Beer - A retail store and tasting space for wine and beer all-in-one. Barrel Chest has 18 beers on tap at all times and up to two dozen wines available by the glass. A light snack food food menu is available.Big Lick Brewing Company - Roanoke’s first Nano brewery, Big Lick has a beer garden and taproom in a convenient downtown location.Valhalla Vineyards - Open since April 2004, this vineyard has a scenic setting overlooking the Roanoke Valley.Stellina - An intimate cocktail bar in downtown Roanoke on Kirk Avenue beside Fortunato.
- JUST A SHORT DRIVE AWAY IN SALEM -
Parkway Brewing Company -The tasting room at this micro-brewery established in 2012 is a fun stop while in Salem.Mac & Bob’s - A favorite of Roanoke College students and well-loved by locals, too, this casual restaurant has a menu filled with calzones, salads, sandwiches, and craft beer.Blue Apron Restaurant & Red Rooster Bar - This classy spot on Main Street in Salem serves lunch and dinner Tuesday through Saturday of each week. Cocktails, wine, and other libations are served from the Red Rooster Bar.This charming mountain city awaits, as do many more food experiences around the Commonwealth to eat and drink what you love in Virginia!