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Category: Restaurants

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.

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.

Shopping

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.

Theater

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.

 

Your Guide to Dining Alfresco

‘Tis the season to be outside! Fortunately for you, fellow seeker of warmth and sunshine, Staunton has excellent places for outdoor dining. Places you’ll be able to take a deep breath, nosh a bit, and throw back an ice cold drink for lunch, dinner, or after dinner.

Table 44
Table 44

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

PATIOS

Byers Street Bistro (18 Byers St) – Head to the Bistro after work or meet friends for an afternoon chill-out beneath the umbrellas on the patio. Happy Hour deals extend from the bar, so watch for those offerings while enjoying a “shareable” like the fried green tomatoes, fried dill pickles, smoked bacon and corn hushpuppies, or chorizo fondue. In fact, get a plate of each and pass it around.

Cranberry's
Cranberry’s

Cranberry’s Grocery & Eatery (7 S New St) – Shopping downtown around lunch time? Waiting for a show at Blackfriars? Cranberry’s is centrally located! 

Try the New Street Burrito (also available as a salad) or a classic BLT paired with a freshly squeezed juice concoction, Mexican Coca-Cola, or even coffee. There are many cool options at Cranberry’s, and the patio is an excellent place

Table 44 (300 Church St) – The covered patio is a signature space at Table 44, where a table is waiting for you! Try the refreshing feta and watermelon salad or splurge with a decadent dessert from Paris Cake Company. It’s a great option on a warm day or evening, especially when you add a sangria or a bucket of beer.

Chicano Boy (300 Church St) – This small eatery boasts a huge patio that’s perfect for enjoying a meal with family and friends. A local favorite after, Chicano Boy offers a great menu perfect for guests of all ages. 

Newtown Baking (960 W Beverley St) – Having been a Staunton staple for years, Newtown Baking provides fresh, delicious breads and pastries daily in addition to lunch. Open Wednesday-Saturday, you can now enjoy dinner, ranging from gyros all the way to wood-fired pizzas from 5:00 pm to 9:00 pm at the bakery. 

DECKS

The Shack (105 S Coalter St) – Chef Ian Boden brings a fresh new menu every day of the week based on whatever is fresh from local producers. The Shack is a busy place and reservations are recommended if you can’t get there early. Having the deck enables more people to enjoy the incredible dishes Chef Boden is slingin’. Popular snacks for your five o’clock wind-down have included pimento cheese with benne biscuit crackers, and Sewansecott oysters on the half shell.

Thai Staunton* (1000 Greenville Ave) – Take your friends straight to the deck at Thai Staunton and order up the Asian sample platter to share while sipping cocktails. The deck overlooks bustling Greenville Avenue, but laughter among friends creates an entirely different atmosphere. 

ROOFTOPS

The Pompei Lounge (23 E Beverley St) – The open-air rooftop terrace at The Pompei Lounge is the place to be on a hot summer night. When the sun goes down, the atmosphere becomes electric with live music, plenty of drink offerings, and bar bites that won’t disappoint.

The Pompei Lounge View
The Pompei Lounge View

BREWERIES

Queen City Brewing (834 Springhill Rd) – Staunton’s first brewery hosts food trucks and musicians each Friday night for an event they call Picks n Pints, and their

Queen City Brewing
Queen City Brewing

deck is an awesome place to hang out and sip one of their 22 tapped options of craft beer. Open Mic Night is Wednesdays, if you need a mid-week evening break.

Bedlam Brewing (2303 N Augusta St) – A neighborhood hangout, Bedlam Brewing creates the perfect pub environment offering delicious wood-fired pizza and craft brews. Their patio is the perfect place to relax and enjoy the live music that occurs at Bedlam on Fridays and Sundays. 

In conclusion, there are plenty of great options for outdoor dining in Staunton. Other choices with limited outdoor seating include:  The Pampered Palate, Clocktower Food & Spirits, and Farmhouse Kitchen and Wares, all serving a wonderful view of Beverley Street. Get out and enjoy!