Just as an army travels on its stomach, so too do motorcyclists travel from meal to meal. It's often not much more than enough sustenance to reach the next stop - a roadside burrito to accompany a fresh tank of gasoline, for example - which can have both pros and cons. At the beginning or especially at the end of a long day in the saddle, we might be far more interested in sit-down service so we can relax, chat about the day that's ending and plan the next one over a delicious, leisurely meal.
For anybody traveling to, from or within Virginia headed for The 50th, here is a list of 10 of the best places to eat in the state, selected from a variety of sources known to many of us who live here as good sources for quality evaluations of our eateries. Enjoy!
Please note: Hours may vary and reservations may be required - it's always best to call ahead. Restaurants have also been known to close with little notice, so please check to be sure any restaurant you wish to visit is still open for business.
- Ashby Inn & Restaurant (Paris) - regarded as one of the best restaurants in Northern Virginia. Award-winning cuisine varies with the season and is open for lunch and dinner. The Ashby is also a bed & breakfast, with morning meals available to overnight guests only.
- Byrd & Baldwin Bros. Steakhouse (Norfolk) - typically open only for dinner, you'll find some of the best surf & turf in the state at B&BBS near the Atlantic Ocean.
- The Inn at Little Washington - Washington, Virginia, is almost quaintly retro if your idea of retro hearkens back to the 18th century. Sporting 23 guest rooms, The Inn's restaurant draws admirers from around the world thanks to Patrick O'Connell's reputation.
- Market Table Bistro (Lovettsville) - another amazing restaurant hidden away in one of Virginia's small towns. MTB is open for brunch/lunch from 11 AM to 3 PM Wednesday through Sunday and for dinner from 5-8 or 5-9 PM Wednesday through Saturday.
- Alexander's (Roanoke) - open since 1979, this is where you want to go if you're in Roanoke and like a classic upscale American dining experience. Open for dinner Tuesday through Saturday and reservations are a good idea.
- Le Refuge (Alexandria) - to get your French cuisine fix in Northern Virginia, you can't go wrong here. Old Town Alexandria is a beautiful place to spend an afternoon or evenings as well.
- The Tavern (Abingdon) - tucked away in Virginia's southwestern corner is this gem for American & German dining. The building dates to 1779! Open only for dinner, often closed on Sundays.
- Vintage Tavern (Suffolk) - definitely lives up to their tagline "A little bit vintage, a little bit tavern." A great option if you're out towards Virginia's eastern shore urban center. Open for dinner Tuesday through Sunday.
- Zynodoa (Staunton) - to experience farm-to-table Southern cuisine, you can't go wrong (or do much better) than Zynodoa, easily accessible from US 11, I-81 and I-64 in the western third of the state.
- Three Blacksmiths (Sperryville) - open late (7-1130 PM) from Wednesday through Saturday, this is the place to go for an all-encompassing multi-course tasting menu experience.
- Teddy's (Nickelsville)
- Heirloom (Virginia Beach)
- Edelweiss (Staunton)
- The Great Machipongo Clam Shack (Nassawadox)
- Sweet Jams (Norfolk)
- Crozet Pizza (Crozet)