Category: Dining

Hannah’s Favorite Gluten-Free Meals in Staunton

Whether you are allergic to wheat and its by-products, or simply just trying to avoid it, eating gluten-free at a restaurant can be tricky. Here is a guide to gluten-free eating in downtown Staunton and beyond from Staunton Downtown Development Association’s own, Hannah Adams.

Want a nice sandwich for lunch?

Pampered Palate has you covered! They have tons of gluten-free options using gluten-free bread. Their chips, fruit, and potatoes are all great gluten-free side options. Byers Street Bistro is another great option for sandwiches. My go-to is the club sandwich on gluten-free bread and it is delicious!

Looking for something more customizable?

The 101 has tons of create-your-own bowls and almost all of their ingredients are gluten-free. I recommend the curry chicken with lots of veggies and wasabi cream sauce on the side – yum! Laughing Bird Pho also has different ways to customize your pho. Their bowls come with rice noodles and broth that is naturally gluten-free so their food is a safe bet even if you have an allergy to wheat or gluten!

Craving a taco, burrito, or another type of Latin food?

Staunton has some great options. While this type of food is generally gluten-free, there are some things to watch out for. Chicano Boy Taco has yummy options including their salads and burrito bowls (but make sure to not get their tacos – their corn tortillas have a bit of wheat flour in them). Try their loaded potatoes and street corn; they are out of this world. Gloria’s Pupuseria also has great selections. Their pupusas are made with cornmeal, veggies, cheese, and meat (if you want it), and totally gluten-free! I personally love their “Loca” and their jalapeno and cheese. Not to be outdone, Baja Bean Co. also has tasty menu items. Just ask your server to swap their flour taco shells for corn shells, and they have many naturally gluten-free choices too! One of my favorites is the Chorizo Hash – crispy potatoes layered with chorizo, cheese, peppers, onions and topped with a runny fried egg. Can’t beat it!

Hungry for some comfort food?

Shenandoah Pizza offers most of their original creations on a gluten-free crust. As someone who is a pizza crust snob, I can safely say that Shenandoah’s crust is great! For meat lovers, I would recommend the Lee High or the Statler. For those that love veggies on their pizza, I would recommend the Swoope or the Shenanarts – both are super tasty! Wanting something more ethnic? Thai Staunton off Greenville Ave. has great gluten-free options. I personally get their gluten-free Drunken Noodles, but they can make many other dishes! I have heard that the Kra Pow Gai Sub is also delicious.

Looking for a date night spot?

If you are gluten-free, you know that steakhouses like Mill Street Grill and Depot Grille are an easy, safe and delicious bet. Most steak dishes are naturally gluten-free, and these restaurants also have great salad selections. Blu Point Seafood, one of Staunton’s newest restaurants, is also a great choice for couples looking for a fun night out. I get the Blackened Catfish and it is one of my favorite dishes in Staunton and be sure to try one of their handcrafted cocktails. Speaking of great food and drinks, Zynodoa has some tasty steak and chicken options that can be modified to be gluten-free. If you want a lighter fare with drinks, or want to head somewhere to enjoy an app or two before your main course, The Green Room has a divine charcuterie board and a great selection of wine and beer options to pair with it.

There are so many great restaurants in Staunton that it is impossible to list every gluten-free option at each one, so we won’t try. However, we urge visitors and Staunton-ites alike to call ahead and make sure the restaurant you are going to can accommodate you. In my experience, everyone is willing and able to work hard to make sure you can enjoy their delicious food! 

Meet Hannah

Hannah Adams is a Shenandoah Valley transplant after graduating from JMU in 2017. She grew up on the shores of the Chesapeake Bay in Maryland, but fell in love with the small-town charm of the mountains and decided to stay! Before her current role as the Marketing Manager for the Staunton Downtown Development Association, Hannah worked at other Staunton non-profits, such as Blue Ridge CASA for Children and the Valley Mission. When she isn’t at work, she is most likely chasing her dog around her yard or taking pictures for her wedding photography clients.

Comfort Food

Swimsuit season is still ages from now, so why not drown your winter blues in meat, or pasta, or cheese, or pizza, or a combination of all of the above? Or if you’re someone who takes comfort in more abstract terms, like “good for me,” or “tastes like home,” you’ll find that, too. While tastes in comfort food may differ, Staunton has something to comfort every taste.

You’re Craving Soup

When soup is what calls to warm your belly and soul, stop by Snapdragon Pho and enjoy a nutritious bowl of broth and noodles seasoned and adorned with your favorite add ons. It’s also soup season at Stable Craft Brewery, so if you’re in the mood for a beautiful drive through the countryside, plan to enjoy soup, a sandwich, and a pint.

You’re Jonesing for Meat

Located in Staunton’s old train depot, The Depot Grille serves all kinds of comfort food (including seafood, steak, sandwiches, and pasta). A steak sizzler on potatoes is a stand-out menu item. Another good bet from their specials menu is a grilled-to-order, hand-cut, prime New York strip served with peppercorn brandy cream sauce. If you’re more of a chicken aficionado, make room for the chicken tender Parmesan, made with penne pasta topped with crispy chicken tenders doused in marinara, mozzarella, and Parmesan.

You Want Something Southern (and Kinda Fancy)

The Shack offers an ever-changing menu, but it is always locally sourced and inspired by the best kind of Southern cuisine. Recent offerings included grilled pork loin with fermented sweet potato grits, fried apples & minuna, and porcini and lardo gravy. They also serve one of the best burgers in the state!

Something Fried has Your Name on It

BLU Point Seafood has you covered with fresh fish and seafood battered and fried into golden deliciousness. Looking for something traditional? Their Fish n’ Chips features New England Haddock (served with fries and coleslaw), it’s fresh and tastes like something that should have a fancier name. Or if you’re looking to do some sampling, get a seafood basket served with your choice of fried shrimp, oysters, whole belly clams, bay scallops or haddock.

Mmmm. How About “Old Fashioned”?

Do you find comfort in tradition? In Americana? If so, Wright’s Dairy Rite is right up your alley and it’s a crowd pleaser. This burger joint dates back to the 1950s and you can either eat inside or have your food delivered to your car. Follow your classic burger and fries combo with something delicious from their ice cream menu. People come from all over to taste the banana shake! 

You’re carb loading 

In the mood for fresh pasta? Newtown Baking is known for their bread by day but in the evenings this popular breakfast spot turns into a pizzeria cranking out wood-fired pizzas and carb-craving pasta with specials every week. 

Want a deep plate of cheesy, chickeny deliciousness with a little bit of a kick to make it interesting? Try the Cajun Chicken Fettuccine at Mill Street Grill. Everything about this restaurant is comforting, from the cozy basement location, to the generous portions, to the three types of bread baked into a terracotta pot they give you at the beginning of your meal.

Take the family to Shenandoah Pizza for gourmet pizzas with local names like Sherwood Avenue and ShenanArts. Try the Virginia Vineyard sprinkled with red grapes, rosemary and gorgonzola. The interesting blend of toppings was featured in Forbes and is delicious we might add!

Hot Dogs: Staunton’s Top Dogs Are off the Leash

Craving a hot dog? Not just a staple of the kids’ menu, hot dogs spur feelings of nostalgia and please your taste buds. Here are some of the best local joints for a lip-smacking, mustard-slurping taste of summer.

Wright’s Dairy Rite

What better way to enjoy a hot dog than at a classic 1950s drive in? Wright’s Dairy Rite serves quality all-beef hot dogs, including foot-longs, and the ½ pound “Dogzilla.” Top your dog with sauerkraut, coleslaw, sweet relish, jalapenos, chopped or fried onions, yellow or brown mustard, and ketchup. If you stick around for dessert, you can choose a treat from Wright’s extensive ice cream and shake menu.

The Meating Place

If you’re planning to go camping or grill in your backyard, skip the supermarket hot dogs and drive a few miles out into the country to visit The Meating Place for the freshest meat around. The selection is local, and you can get ground meat, steaks, ribs and more along with your hot dogs. Grab a prepared hot dog to mess up your shirt on the drive back to Staunton.

Baseball Game

Hot dogs and baseball go hand in hand, and in Staunton, perhaps the most all-American spot for enjoying this treat is at Harry’s Burger Barn at a Staunton Braves game in Moxie Stadium. Kick back on the bleachers while gnoshing on this early summer tradition. And if you’re out for a stroll in Gypsy Hill Park during little league season, hit up the Kiwanis concession stand for another al fresco sample.

Peck’s BBQ

Peck’s BBQ might be best known for its catering services, but did you know you could go inside and have a meal, too? Serving barbeque, hot dogs, burgers, and sides, Peck’s is open for lunch or dinner Monday – Saturday.

Sam’s Hot Dog Stand

Get your delicious hot dog as a sit-down meal or to go from the drive-thru at Sam’s Hot Dog Stand in Verona. Convenient to those playing golf at the Ingleside Golf Club or on their way in or out of Staunton, this hot dog mecca serves all beef dogs and the appropriate sides like fries, onion rings, and macaroni salad.

Tastee Freeze

Don’t miss your chance to suck on a chili dog outside the Tastee Freeze! Tastee Freeze offers hamburgers, hot dogs (including the “tastee dog,” chili cheese dogs, and corn dogs), and chicken sandwiches. Since 1950, people have been enjoying these foods as a warm up for Tastee Freeze’s soft-serve delights.


More than a Movement: Staunton’s Farm to Table Restaurants

Staunton’s restaurant scene is lively and is often profiled on the pages of national magazines, not only for its chefs but also for its farmers. Amazingly, Staunton is currently home to three former chefs from the world-famous The Inn at Little Washington, all looking to make their mark on Staunton’s exploding culinary scene.

The Shack | 105 S Coalter St.

Chef Ian Boden’s, The Shack, was recently named “One of The South’s Best New Restaurants” by Southern Living magazine – and it has also graced the pages of a wide array of top-tier publications, from Esquire magazine to the Wall Street Journal. Boden brings a fresh new menu every day of the week based on whatever is fresh from local producers. Popular snacks for your five o’clock wind-down have included pimento cheese with benne biscuit crackers, and Sewansecott oysters on the half shell. The Shack is currently open for dinner service Thursday – Saturday with two seatings 5:00PM – 5:30PM and 7:30PM – 8:00pm as well as curbside pick-up. Check out the menu for takeout.

 | 115 E Beverley St

Other restaurants and eateries winning praise from across the country include the upscale southern-cuisine of Zynodoa. This gem has risen to the top because of the constantly changing menu. Their seasonally-driven menu is crafted with quality ingredients primarily sourced from the Shenandoah Valley and Piedmont regions. Start your evening with a handcrafted cocktail or a glass of wine and and an order of the restaurant’s signature cornbread. Recently featured in the Los Angeles Times, the brûléed cast iron cornbread is served “piping hot,” with whipped honey butter and local Concord grape jam.

Nu-Beginning Farm Store | 221 N Lewis Street

Temporarily Closed
The Store
 is a down-to-earth grocery store and local café using ingredients sourced directly from their farm, Nu-Beginnings. Local producers are also listed on the chalkboard so that visitors know exactly where their meal is sourced. And don’t be fooled by the name or the façade. Nu-Beginning Farm Store (The Store) is a café locals and visitors love. Serving up three farm-to-table meals a day along with an assortment of scratch-made goodies like pound cake, scones, coconut macaroons and gluten free cheesecakes. While you wait for your meal, peruse the grocery area packed with jams, jellies, pickles and local spirits.

Mike Lund Food and Lundch | 835 Spring Hill Road

Serving ‘Lundch,’ weekdays only, the cozy storefront is just minutes from Beverley Street and is not to be missed. The ingenuity and think-outside-the-boxedness of Chef Mike Lund of Mike Lund Food & LunDch is evident in the ever-changing, flavorful menu. You never know what incredible dish he will whip up, like maybe giant fennel-spiced garbanzo balls with spaghetti squash covered in herb marinara and shaved parmesan? Offering veggie and gluten-free options and weekly specials with an emphasis on local, fresh ingredients.  Serving Family Style to-go Dinners 11 am-6 pm, Monday thru Thursday with Curbside and Delivery options. Cold meals are available from 11 am-6 pm and hot from 5 pm-6 pm. Please place orders online or call 540-649-4782 with any questions.


BLU Point Seafood Co. | 123 West Beverley Street

Inspired by coastal life in Virginia and Connecticut, BLU Point Seafood Co. serves the freshest sustainable seafood available. Start at the bar, where you’ll enjoy cocktails and a full selection of wine, beer, and cider, including many local offerings. Slide up to the raw bar for a treat like oysters or Virginia clams on the half shell. For your entree, consider the broiled wild salmon with baby kale and warm orzo salad or the fried captain’s platter with hush puppies, fries, and coleslaw.  Though BLU Point focuses on fresh seafood, it also serves pasta, pasture-raised meats and produce sourced here in the Valley.

The Staunton Ice Cream Scoop

July is ice cream month and Staunton is chock full of fantastic places to celebrate and sooth your sweet tooth. Whether you like soft-serve, gelato, classic malts, or traditional cones, here’s the scoop on Staunton-area frozen treat sweet spots.

Wright’s Dairy Rite

Wright’s Dairy Rite has been a Staunton mainstay since 1952, and you can still park your car in the glow of the retro neon sign and get curbside service. Originally serving only frozen custard, this slice of classic Americana expanded to include a full menu, but frozen treats remain a solid reason to visit. The menu offers flurries, splits, milkshakes, malts, and drink freezes to cool you off on the hottest days. For a true sugar rush, try a Wright’s Wheelie. This treat incorporates a warm donut loaded with ice cream, whipped cream, and a topping. If you’d like a helping of nostalgia with that, visit during one of the Cruise-In antique car rallies Wrights hosts twice a year.


Klines Dairy Bar has been serving ice cream since 1943 from its original Harrisonburg location. The Staunton site opened in 1997 and makes fresh ice cream each morning using the same “continuous freeze” production method. This creates a soft dessert that is packed with goodness instead of air. Chocolate and vanilla are always available, and each location produces a weekly special flavor (or two). Enjoy a rotation of can’t-miss options like banana and cake batter or local favorites like razberry and lemon gingersnap in cones, cups, shakes, and sundaes. Pick up a printed flavor card to keep in your car (or just drive by and check the signs). Klines in Staunton also offers Hog Wild BBQ, so you can eat sweet or Carolina-style barbecue and burgers before dessert. 

The Split Banana

Ever wonder how gelato differs from ice cream? Gelato contains more milk and less cream, making it lower in fat. But it’s also dense and creamy because it contains less air. And let’s talk taste: gelato lends itself to intense flavors and is served slightly warmer, so those flavors pop. Experience this for yourself at the The Split Banana, an adorable gelato and sorbet shop decorated with a traditional ice cream counter, a piano you’re invited to play, and old-timey black, white and green tile. The Split Banana serves 18 delectable and fresh-made flavors each day. Enjoy traditional flavors or more innovative and adventurous options like banana stracciatella, sticky rice, and peanut butter and jelly.  The Split Banana earned a TripAdvisor’s 2011 U.S-wide top ten ice cream/gelato spot. It is also a Virginia Living Magazine’s 2012 Best of Virginia pick. A favorite of locals and tourists alike, this shop stays open late, so stop in after dinner, a movie, or a play.

Mt.Crawford Creamery

You might be lucky enough to catch the Smiley’s Ice Cream truck at a local event, but if your craving for cones, shakes or sundaes must be fulfilled, it’s worth a drive to the Mt. Crawford Creamery to visit the new brick and mortar shop. Smiley’s Ice Cream specializes in “porch ice cream,” which is slowly churned to eliminate much of the air added to commercial ice creams. Check out regular flavors like coconut almond chocolate chunk and pina colada sorbet as well as weekly specials. The ice cream contains milk and cream produced onsite. Grab a gallon of milk and visit with the cows while you’re there! You can even order larger batches of ice cream online and pick them up at your convenience.

Food Truck Spotlight

Staunton’s food truck scene has exploded in recent years. Restaurants on wheels offer families relaxed and affordable dining opportunities; they also provide chefs a chance to be creative, and allow them to roll to their cuisine to events, breweries, and private functions. A far cry from fast food, Staunton’s food trucks bring exotic ingredients, gourmet creations, and convenience to the customers who crave them. Here are some local ways to connect with your moveable feast.

Food Truck Round-Up

When: June 23, 2018, 11 a.m. – 6 p.m.

Where: Gypsy Hill Park

Ever have trouble aligning your day with the schedule of your favorite food truck? Here’s your chance to catch several standouts in one place. Enjoy great food as you relax and play in beautiful, family-friendly Gypsy Hill Park. This event offers live music and activities for the kids.

Subject to food truck availability, food and drink will be available for purchase from the following vendors:

Food Truck Battle and Beer Competition

When: September 2, 2018 11:30 a.m. – 7 p.m.

Where: Augusta Expo

Every year the Food Truck Battle and Beer Competition gets bigger, and now, on its fourth anniversary, the event has moved into a new space at Augusta Expo. Eighteen food trucks and six breweries will compete in this award-winning festival, judged by both judges and visitors. And there’s more than just food: expect live bands to provide a rocking soundtrack while you shop for treasures at artisan, craft, and specialty vendor booths. Let the kids frolic in the large children’s area packed with entertainment and activities. The competition benefits the Madee Project, which provides support to pediatric cancer patients and their families.

Attendees can select their choice of ticket options:

  • A $10 general admission ticket (food and drink purchased separately)
  • A $25 beer-tasting general admission ticket (sample and vote for your favorite beers)
  • A $40 VIP ticket (taste food and vote for your favorites in the first round)

The lineup (at the time of this writing) includes:

Before you go:

  • This is a rain or shine event
  • Family friendly: children under six are free (no tastings included)
  • For tickets click here
  • You must bring your ID to purchase alcohol
  • Bring your blanket or lawn chair
  • Love capturing the moment? Share your photos with hashtag #VAFoodTruckBattle

Staunton breweries that host food trucks

Redbeard Brewing Company hosts food trucks several nights each week. Check the events calendar  or Facebook for upcoming visits by The Saucy Bird , Eats On the Streets, Sweet Baby Cheeses, Big Red BBQ, Holy Smokes BBQ, Gloria’s Papusuria, Firkin Pie Company, and more.

Every Friday night, Queen City Brewing features a local food truck from a rotating list including The Saucy Bird and Big Red BBQ.

Staunton’s Best Burger Bets












Want to tickle your taste buds with a good, old-fashioned burger? How about an exotic twist on the classic? Staunton restaurants have elevated hamburgers from the filler section of the menu. From reliable diner burgers with unusual toppings, to scrumptious pub fare, to fine dining, to meat alternatives, Staunton burger joints offer something for just about any taste.

Wright’s Dairy Rite

Wright’s Dairy Rite has been a Staunton institution since opening as a drive-in in 1952.  You can still pull your car under the canopy, order through a speaker, and waitstaff will deliver your meal to your car. Inside, you order from a telephone at your booth. Kids’ meals arrive in boxes designed to look like classic cars. You can get just about any combination of toppings you please, including chili, coleslaw, and onion rings. Other specialties include a half-pound “Monster Burger” a ham cheeseburger a classic “Super Burger.”

The Depot Grille

Located in the old train station in the historic Wharf District, The Depot Grille has two yummy burger choices on its menu: the bacon cheddar burger and the mushroom swiss burger. Both can be made to order and you can even substitute bison if you want a change of pace. If you’re lucky, the Polyface Farms burger will be on special. This burger showcases grass-fed beef, pepper-jack pimento cheese served on brioche. Belly up to the 40-foot antique bar if you want a bit of history with your meal.

The Shack

Both tourists and locals continue to flock to The Shack for its award-winning food, and even a burger from the ever-evolving menu is something special. A current offering features cheddar, marrow roasted onions, dill pickles, black garlic mayo, and bacon. This small restaurant cannot accommodate parties of more than five. Reservations are strongly suggested.

Bedlam Brewing

You might visit Bedlam Brewing, a small-scale microbrewery, for the beer, but don’t leave without exploring the food menu as well. This hidden gem focuses on incorporating local produce and locally-raised livestock in its meals. Let Bedlam tempt you with its sliders, a delicious pair of beef and pork burgers topped with cheddar, bacon, and spicy mayo, and accompanied by pub fries. All this and a killer beer list as well? You won’t regret it!

Table 44

Food at Table 44 tastes amazing and the presentation is wonderful, too. If you’re looking for a burger, you can’t go wrong. The “Southern 44” burger enhances a standard burger with barbecue pork, pimento cheese, barbecue mayo, and jalapeno peppers. Another tasty pick is the “Bacon & Blue” burger topped with bacon onion marmalade, barbecue mayo, and blue cheese. For those who don’t fancy meat, the black eyed pea burger with jicama slaw and garlic aioli on a gluten free bun is a delicious choice. Follow your meal with a sweet treat from the Paris Cake Company.

Mill Street Grill

Try a delicious burger at Mill Street Grill. Enjoy a generous ⅓ pound mix of ground sirloin and filet mignon cooked to order with a large selection of optional toppings including avocado, mushrooms, and havarti cheese. If you’re not feeling the beef, Mill Street also offers a turkey burger option and a spicy black bean burger served with grilled onion, guacamole, lettuce and tomato, and cilantro-citrus mayo on the side. Complete your meal with an extensive appetizer menu and a full selection of wine, beer, or drinks from the bar.

Byers Street Bistro

Is your stomach rumbling for a tasty burger for lunch? Byers Street Bistro has three interesting options on the menu, all made with Angus chuck. The “Bistro Burger” is topped with grilled mushrooms, bleu cheese, garlic mayo, and red wine butter. The “Bacon Royale Burger” incorporates candied bacon, bacon aioli, and smoked cheddar. The “Wharf Burger” uses soy-glazed mushrooms, swiss, white truffle mayo, and fried onions. Hungry yet?

Baja Bean

If you’re looking to complement your Mexican meal, look no further than the Baja Bean’s “Baja Burger.” This burger, made with cheddar, bacon, mushrooms, and jalapenos, comes with a side of beans, rice, or fries. Make your meal a celebration by ordering one of Baja’s 12 carefully curated craft beers on tap. Don’t forget to order fried ice cream for dessert!

Clocktower Restaurant and Bar

Try the Clocktower Food & Spirits “Downtown Burger,” made with fresh Angus and lettuce, tomato & red onion on a grilled pretzel roll and served with house-made potato chips. Order beer-battered onion rings or sweet potato fries to go with it. Originally this building housed the second YMCA built in Virginia. Much of the original clock in the tower remains, though some parts have been modernized. Listen to it ring on the hour during your meal!


Mother’s Day: Staunton Treats for Mom

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Mother’s Day: Staunton Treats for Mom

Still looking for the best way to tell Mom “I love you” this Mother’s Day? Make the day special with this sampling of all the great finds and fun things to do in downtown Staunton. Whether you’re looking for a one-of-a-kind bonding experience, Mother’s Day gift, or brunch, we’ve got you covered.

If You’d Like to Share an Experience with Mom

A guided walking tour of historic Staunton (Saturday mornings only) will appeal to history buffs as it winds through several historic districts and covers history from Staunton’s earliest days to the present. Follow your tour with a traditional Victorian tea or a light lunch at the Anne Hathaway Cottage.

Do you and Mom bond over the silver screen? How about taking her to a movie at the Visulite Cinema? Sip beer or wine while you watch, and then head over to Yelping Dog Wine to discuss the film over wine and cheese.

And if you’re really into cheese, you have to try a mozzarella-making workshop at Creambrook Farm. Even absolute beginners will leave this three-hour, hands-on class with the ability to turn a gallon of milk into a delicious ball of mozzarella!

If you and Mom share a passion for finding treasures, consider taking her to Staunton Antique Center and Artisan Loft. This unique store has three levels of goodies, including original art from local artists. Compare your finds over coffee and French pastries at Réunion Bakery & Espresso.

Take Mom shopping in downtown Staunton on World Fair Trade Day (Saturday, May 12) to help “empower artisans and farmers in marginalized communities around the world.” Latitudes, Harmony Moon, and Cranberry’s will each have a special activity to celebrate the day.

If You’d Like to Buy Mom a Gift

Have your personal message engraved on any piece of jewelry from H.L. Lang Jewelers. Or buy Mom a Staunton charm of a Queen City landmark. Crown Jewelers carries a selection of both new and estate jewelry.

Spoil Mom with luxurious soaps, lotions and all things that smell good from Redwood & Co.

Give her the gift of experience with a felting class or pick out a hand-felted scarf, hat or jewelry from Artful Gifts. Also check out Ltd 7, and Cherish Every Moment for unique gifts.

Inspire your favorite cook with an infused olive oil and balsamic vinegar from Staunton Olive Oil Company

Buy Mom something as beautiful as she is from Sunspots Studio. Browse the gallery for hand-blown art glass or Alex and Ani jewelry.

Give Mom the gift of relaxation by surprising her with a massage at Mill Street Body & Soul Day Spa and Salon or an OPI Powder Perfection manicure at Le Papillon Nails.

Check out Little Made; Market (Saturday, May 12), a curated indie arts & craft festival featuring 20 specially selected artists showcasing their handmade works.

If You’d Like to Take Mom out for Brunch

Try one of these Mother’s Day Brunch and specials on Sunday, May 13.

The Mother’s Day buffet at Stonewall Jackson Hotel includes something for everyone. Choose from over five stations with everything from salad to smoked salmon, spinach and goat cheese lasagna to garlic and rosemary sirloin. There’s dessert, too! See the full menu. Brunch will be served from 11 – 2.

Kathy’s Restaurant‘s special Mother’s Day menu includes surf & turf and fresh fried oysters. See the menu. Meal served from 11 – 8.

Other Sunday Brunch Spots:

Zynodoa: Brunch served from 10 – 2.

The Shack: Brunch served from  10:30  – 2.

The Depot Grille: Brunch served from 11 – 2.

Byers Street Bistro: Brunch served from 11 – 2.

Mill Street Grill: Brunch served from 11 – 3.

See our post on Staunton brunch spots for more details.

Girlfriends’ Getaway

Staunton has plenty of trendy restaurants, local wine, luxurious lodgings, and unique shopping and entertainment opportunities. That’s why it’s the ideal environment for making new memories during a wonderful girlfriends’ getaway. You and your besties will want to make it an annual trip. Here’s a fun roundup of must-do activities.

Explore Staunton

When you arrive, head straight for Staunton’s extremely walkable downtown. The Staunton Farmer’s Market opens on the first Saturday in April, and often features live music. Nibble a baked treat and scout out seasonal produce, honey, jams and pickles to take home. Next, explore Staunton’s five historic districts, visit the Woodrow Wilson Birthplace, or take a tour of the American Shakespeare Center. Stop in at Paris Cake Company for something sweet. And if cupcakes are your particular passion, you can’t skip the giant cupcakes and egg-less raw cookie dough at Sweet Nana Cakes.


Staunton has a lot to offer girlfriends who enjoy shopping together. Plan to spend some time exploring our boutiques, galleries, and antique stores. Design at Nine offers the latest in women’s fashion, shoes, and accessories. Try Latitudes for fair trade selections ranging from women’s apparel, to jewelry to recycled metal wall art. If you’re looking for more art to buy, check out Beverly Street Studio, where local artists exhibit and sell their work. You might also be captivated by the spectacular glass work at Sunspots.

Relax and Recharge

Recharge your mind and body with a class at Sanctuary Yoga and Wellness.The studio welcomes walk-ins and offers classes in a variety of styles, including vinyasa, hatha, and yin. See here for a schedule. If you’re serious about relaxing, why not share a spa day with your girlfriends? Indulge yourself at Breezy Hill Day Spa, housed in a historic mansion or Mill Street Body and Soul Day Spa and Salon,  which is right downtown. Both spas’ services include massage, facials, manicures, and pedicures. Breezy Hill offers an all-day session that includes lunch.

Outside Fun

Take a scenic drive to Fishersville and ramble around the Andre Viette Farm. Viette is world famous for his daylilies, and the farm and garden center is open year round. Get inspired by the beautiful gardens and take some plants home to your own. If fresh flowers are your thing, explore the Pebble Hall Wildflowers. Pick a bouquet of whatever’s in bloom, pet the horses, and plan a picnic to appreciate the view. If you’re outside for something more rigorous, remember that you’re in some of the best hiking country in the world. For some ideas, see An Alternate Spring Break: 5 Awesome Hikes. You might also rent a kayak or stand-up paddleboard from Rockfish Gap Outfitters in Waynesboro for a fun-filled day of paddling on the South River or Lake Sherando.

Drinks and Light Fare

Still wishing there were one more season of Downton Abbey? Drown your sorrows in tea at the Anne Hathaway Cottage Tea Room.  Enjoy traditional High Tea, light lunches and afternoon cream teas in a picturesque thatched cottage surrounded by gardens. You can even sample all the teas thrown into the harbor during the Boston Tea Party! If you’re still thirsty, head to Ox Eye Tasting Room to taste a variety of their wines. Follow your tasting with a full glass of your favorite. Or go to Yelping Dog Wine, where wine can be enjoyed by the glass or by the bottle, and you can munch on a cheese plate or gourmet grilled cheese sandwich. If you prefer a vineyard with a view, take a picnic to Barren Ridge Vineyards, only a short drive east of Staunton.

Dinner with Friends

Staunton boasts a rich restaurant scene with much to choose from, but if you’re looking for fare to share with your girlfriends, try a range of Spanish tapas and other Mediterranean food at Aioli Restaurant. If pizza and beer are more up your alley, split a gourmet pie at Shenandoah Pizza and Tap House. And if you still have room for more food, get some scoops of homemade gelato at The Split Banana. Here, a number of flavors, both traditional and exotic will tempt your taste buds. Guinness Extra Stout in a waffle cone, anyone?

Staunton After Dark

Many of Staunton’s watering holes host events on different nights of the week. Fun stuff includes trivia, live music, and karaoke. Check out the Staunton on Tap and the Shenandoah Beerwerks Trail events page for more info. Downtown 27 is Staunton’s own dance club. Downtown 27 offers live music, DJ dance parties, and other exciting entertainment. And if active puzzle games are your style, book a Staunton’s Crack the Code Escape Room. Groups of six or fewer use their wits to puzzle out clues and escape the room in under an hour.


A trip to Staunton isn’t complete without some Shakespeare at the American Shakespeare Center. You can catch a performance almost every night year-round, and you can even sit on stage to get very close to the actors. If you’re lucky, they might use you as a prop! Check out what’s on stage at Shenanarts, where you’ll see ambitious and energetic performances by local talent almost every weekend.

Other good stuff:

For a list of Staunton restaurants known for brunch, see our post: Staunton’s Brunch Bunch.

If you’re planning to stay in Staunton overnight, here are some quirky and fun places to stay or click here for our bed and breakfast picks.


Staunton’s Brunch Bunch

Virginia.org recently named Staunton one of Fifteen Virginia Foodie Towns to Try, putting it on the same page as larger metropolitan areas like Alexandria, Charlottesville, and Richmond. Some of our local establishments were profiled for dinner, drinks, and dessert, but we do a great Staunton brunch, too! Here are eight delicious places to get your late morning/early afternoon bite on.

Gone are the days when brunchers made due with biscuits drowned in plain white gravy. Many of Staunton’s restaurants put a modern twist on traditional Southern cooking. Others focus on using locally-sourced ingredients, and on the process of creating the food.


New to the brunch scene, Zynodoa is tucked into a historic building in downtown. Offering inspired southern cuisine in a stylish, metropolitan setting, their seasonally-driven menu is crafted with quality ingredients primarily sourced from the Shenandoah Valley and Piedmont regions. Get your day started with a “Morning Buzz,” a blend of coffee, belle isle cold brew moonshine, frangelico, and sweetened condensed milk. Go traditional with a helping of Sausage Gravy & Biscuit or if you have a hankering for lunch choose from their “High Noon,” options which range from Virginia Jumbo Lump Crab Fritters to the Buffalo Creek Farm Burger. Sunday Brunch: 10-2.

Table 44

Table 44 offers comfort food kicked up a notch. The wide variety of brunch offerings are all made from scratch and include English muffins, cinnamon rolls, and eggs Benedict. Table 44 even makes its own bacon for its 44 breakfast, which also features sweet potato/short rib hash. Don’t forget to order a fantastic loaded Bloody Mary to complement your meal. And make sure to carry out some tasty and beautiful baked treats from Paris Cake Company as you leave. Saturday and Sunday brunch: 11-3.

the green room

The Greenroom is a hip new spot in Staunton run by Blackfriars Playhouse actors. The comfortable cafe space offers a curated wine, craft beer, and cider list. Pair your drink of choice with their loaded tater tots, smoked salmon toast or waffled French toast with maple syrup, pistachio crumbs, and whipped cream. Sunday brunch: 12-5. 

byer’s Street Bistro

Not currently serving brunch.
Byer’s Street Bistro, a favorite of both locals and tourists, provides Southern-style American food in a casual, upbeat setting. This family-friendly find offers outdoor seating for warmer days and often features live music. Brunch choices include shrimp and grits, harvest vegetable frittata, and new dishes every Sunday. Sunday brunch: 11 – 2.


Cranberry’s serves breakfast in the cafe at the back of its natural grocery. The menu focuses on vegetables, fruits, and organic grains and includes numerous options for vegetarians, vegans, and those on gluten-free diets.  Menu items showcase many local and organic ingredients, including eggs and sausages from Polyface Farm. A favorite item is the unique malt yeast waffle, which can be served with fruit and whipped cream. Cranberry’s also has an extensive smoothie and juice selection, ranging from the signature Celtic Elixir to the Fountain of Youth (which includes a shot of wheatgrass). Breakfast is available all day.

The Depot Grille

You get to walk past a pair of cabooses to enter the The Depot Grille, which is housed in the old freight depot of Staunton Station. The Depot is casual, kid-friendly, and it serves great food like prime rib, quiche, crab cakes, grilled shrimp Benedict, and weekly specials for Sunday brunch. Cocktail specials are available all day. After brunch, take a walk over the Sears Hill pedestrian bridge to Wilson Park for spectacular views of downtown Staunton. Sunday brunch: 11 – 2.

Mill Street Grill

Originally built around the turn of the century as a mill to supply southern kitchens with flour, Mill Street Grill opened in its present form as a restaurant in 1992. Mill Street Grill is cozy, consistent, casual, kid-friendly, and serves Southern-style American food. For brunch you might try filet mignon eggs Benedict or huevos rancheros. Sunday brunch: 11 – 3.

Nu-Beginning Farm: The Store

Nu-Beginning Farm: The Store is serving up great farm-to-table food. The Saturday morning menu includes Belgian waffles, pancakes, scones, and “eggs Cumberbatch,” which would taste great paired with a mimosa or bellini. Make sure to pick up some locally-sourced grocery items or local beer and wine before you leave. Saturdays until 11.

Other places to get yummy morning fare include: Clocktower Food and Spirits, Kathy’s Restaurant, and Mrs. Rowe’s Restaurant. Try Réunion, Blue Mountain Coffee, The By & ByNewtown Bakery (Saturday only) for pastries and coffee.