Taste of Abingdon - A Culinary Scene Rooted in Appalachia
Abingdon was recently named one of the Top Small Town Food Scenes in the country by USA Today Travel, and it's not hard to understand why. The town is home to 34 independently owned restaurants, a surprisingly high number, considering Abingdon’s total population is just north of 8,000 people. In fact, according to Eater.com, that means Abingdon has more restaurants per capita than San Francisco, New York, or New Orleans! This three-day itinerary highlights Abingdon's outstanding culinary scene that's truly rooted in Appalachian traditions.
Arrive in beautiful historic Abingdon, check into one of the eclectic B&Bs, hotels, cottages or inns.
Once you're settled in, head out for dinner on our historic Main Street - where you won't find a single chain restaurant or shop. Look for the Rooted in Appalachia logo when you dine: these restaurants have committed to using local produce, purchased directly from the farmer. The Tavern serves up fine dining inside Abingdon’s oldest building, constructed in 1779, while Sisters at The Martha offers a sophisticated menu and a cozy, pub-like atmosphere.
Attend a performance at the historic Barter Theatre, The State Theatre of Virginia. This beautifully preserved theatre was founded in 1933 during the Great Depression, when actors bartered an evening’s entertainment for food from local farmers. The theatre now performs year-round in two venues on Main Street.
Start the day off with a trip to the Abingdon Farmer's Market, where you can sample the freshest local produce and the best handmade goods the area has to offer. After spending the morning at the market, take time to stroll the beautiful downtown to visit the many unique specialty and antique shops and grab lunch at one of our distinctive farm-to-table restaurants. There's a good possibility you saw chefs from local restaurants shopping at the market for the freshest ingredients. Local food is harvested and produced at the height of freshness. Its flavor and nutrition are unparalleled.
Head to the Southwest Virginia Cultural Center & Marketplace for the region’s finest in authentic crafts, music, food and wine juried under the strictest standards, one-of-a-kind jewelry, pottery, quilts and handcrafted musical instruments. Be sure to visit the Abingdon Olive Oil Company tasting gallery and Holston Mountain Artisans, one of the oldest craft cooperatives in the United States, offering a wide selection of finely-made gift items, decorations for your home, musical instruments, and local artwork, books and photography.
Take pleasure in the scenic drive down to Abingdon Vineyards to taste their wide variety of locally-made wines. For dinner, travel to nearby Meadowview and visit The Harvest Table Restaurant where you can enjoy locally-sourced cuisine and artisanal goods in their General Store. The restaurant is owned by Barbara Kingsolver and Steven Hopp, inspired by their best-selling memoir Animal, Vegetable, Miracle. In addition to the produce grown on its own Harvest Table Farm, they offer the products from over 50 regional farmers, gardeners and ranchers.
Drive one hour from Abington and begin your tour with a stop at the Wytheville Town Visitors Center (975 Tazewell St.) to gather the information you will need for your adventure throughout Wythe County. Also, located inside the Visitors Center is the Museum Gift Shop, offering a wide array of locally made products, many of which you will see on your tour. Sample the finished products before you see where it all begins.
Your first destination should be Beagle Ridge Herb Farm, located just 10 miles South of Wytheville at 1934 Matney Flats Rd. Beagle Ridge is a Lavender and Herb Farm with beautiful display gardens, guided nature tours, a gift shop bursting with their products and Southwest Virginia’s only walk-through Butterfly house. Learn how lavender thrives in this climate and its many uses including distilling the oils, the countless products made and the health benefits of culinary lavender. Beagle Ridge is a natural work of art so don’t be surprised if you happen upon a photo shoot or one of the many weddings held there.
As you leave Beagle Ridge you must stop at Henley Mountain Blueberry Farm. This pick-your-own farm, just a mile from Beagle Ridge, boasts 850 blueberry bushes made up of ten different varieties. Prime blueberry season is June through August, so you may want to call before stopping by. Pick your own blueberries or choose from the pre-picked selection available at the farm.
After a morning of lavender and blueberries you’ve surely worked up an appetite. Head back into Wytheville for lunch at Log House Restaurant. Step back into 1776 where a two story log home is brightened with oil filled lamps at each table. Casual dining welcomes the fragrances of each meal roaming the air. Take the time to tour the country garden and animals. Buy a treasure at the Wilderness Road Trading gift shops, or visit Christopher’s Lounge for a casual drink and good company.
We’re sure you couldn’t resist buying a pair of luxurious Alpaca socks while you were at the Museum shop. Now we’re headed to Cobb Hill Alpacas to meet the herd and learn about the process. Call ahead to schedule a visit. This family operated farm is home to 18 alpacas, free range chickens and honey bees. The farm store features everything alpaca including socks, mittens, ear warmers, raw fibers, spun yarn and even Teddy bears. The alpacas are very friendly so don’t leave without a selfie with the herd.
As happy hour approaches, West Wind Farm Vineyard and Winery is the natural next stop. Situated on a fourth generation homestead, this family operated winery has been producing award-winning, small batch, family-crafted wines since 2003. After sampling your way through the tasting room, take a behind the scenes tour and learn how the wines are produced. A shopper’s paradise as well, the tasting room is brimming with local art, gourmet snacks, custom gift baskets, wine accessories, luxurious soaps and house hold gifts. End your day with a delicious bottle of wine on the patio taking in the sunset at West Wind Farm.
PLACES TO STAY:
- The Martha Inn & Spa – Once a retirement home in 1812, a college for young women in 1858, and became a hotel in 1935. Since then many famous guests have frequented and you’ll find the inn’s historic charm and architectural detail were preserved through all the changes.
- Creeper’s End Lodging – Located in Abingdon Virginia consists of two brand new colonial-style cottages at the base of the Creeper Trail. These charming cottage rentals can accommodate up to 20+ guests, with 3 bedrooms in cottage A and 4 bedrooms in cottage B; perfect for couples, families, and groups.
- The Black Dog Inn – Located in the heart of Abingdon, Virginia’s beautiful Historic District, Black Dog Inn is within walking distance of dozens of wonderful dining establishments, historic sites and activities.
- The Bristol Hotel – Located in the heart of Bristol, the 65-room boutique hotel features a rooftop bar with sweeping views of the Appalachian Mountains, street-front dining with family style regional fare, and a historic arcade for unforgettable social gatherings and special events.