Staunton might be a sleepy little town in the Valley, but it’s well known for its Victorian architecture, Shakespeare theater, and sprawl of microbreweries. It hasn’t been snoozing in the global cuisine department, either. Come to Staunton hungry and prepare to eat your way around the world! You won’t even need to catch a plane.
Since 2015, jefe Justin Hershey has been serving up handmade tacos and enormous mission-style burritos at Chicano Boy Taco, a Mexican-American taquería inspired by Hershey’s heritage and dedicated to flavor. This bustling joint has some of the best tortillas you’ve ever eaten, and it has helped define Staunton’s food identity. Order from the simple menu (burrito, taco, or burrito bowl plus your choice of fillings and salsa) at the counter and then choose a seat inside or on the patio. You can order a Mexican beer or a “cheap beer” and eat here for lunch or dinner. It’s located just a short walk from downtown Beverley Street and it offers ample parking.
You’re guaranteed to get hungry hiking Staunton’s hills and historic districts, so make plans to dine at Ubon Thai, which is housed in a beautiful example of Staunton’s Victorian architecture. This restaurant serves made-from-scratch authentic Thai cooking from a chef who got her start selling street food. Owner, Ubon Herlong, is extremely friendly and invested in your experience at her restaurant. Feast on pad thai, panang curry, chef’s specials like crispy duck, and desserts like sticky rice with mango and coconut for lunch or dinner. After your meal, you can explore the grounds and see the herb gardens that provide seasonings for the dishes. If you’re in town for a few days, consider staying overnight at the inn.
Gloria’s Pupuseria has expanded from a farmers’ market and food truck favorite to include a cozy restaurant that emphasizes traditional Salvadoran cuisine and locally sourced ingredients. Tucked into a storefront, this eatery produces pupusas that are out of this world. Pupusas might look like plain tortillas, but they are actually dough, meat, and cheese treats that pack serious flavor. Try them stuffed with fillings like chicken, blended pork, vegetables and cheese. You can also enjoy tamales steamed in plantain leaves, fried plantains, or Salvadoran enchiladas. Refresh yourself with an ensalada, which is mango and pineapple juice served with fresh diced fruit. Save room for flan or tres leches for dessert.
laughing bird Pho
Want a meal that’s nourishing and fun to eat? How about one that’s close to everything and open late so you can stop in after a show? Laughing Bird Pho is a locally-owned Vietnamese noodle shop serving authentic pho, which is a popular street food in Vietnam. Pho is slow-simmered beef or vegetable broth poured steaming hot over meat, noodles, and vegetables to make a soup. Customers order at the counter for quick service and then season the soup to their personal tastes with an assortment of garnishes like bean sprouts, peppers, and lime. Laughing Bird Pho also serves rice noodle salads and spring rolls. And if you were wondering, the restaurant’s webpage points out that you pronounce pho like “fun” without the “n.”
Taste of India
Right in the heart of downtown Staunton, Taste of India is convenient for people exploring the city or looking for a restaurant within walking distance of the Blackfriars or the Visulite. The enticing scents and friendly service of this delightful restaurant will draw you in from the sidewalk. Taste of India serves an extensive lunch buffet and dinner at reasonable prices. Try the deliciously tender spiced chicken tikka masala or the lamb vindaloo. A wide selection of meat-free dishes like Aloo Gobi Vegan and Saag Paneer will please vegetarians. Make sure you accompany your main course with an appetizer like vegetable samosas and garlic or peshawari naan. You can get a good selection of Indian beers, wine, and yogurt lassi drinks.
Inn at meadowcroft
Head on over to the Inn at MeadowCroft, a beautifully renovated 1795 log home surrounded by pastoral views of Augusta County. There you’ll enjoy a southern take on a traditional English tea. Your first course will start with a seasonal soup served with rosemary scone and clotted cream. Next, try an assortment of finger sandwiches using the MeadowCroft Farm’s scratch-made pickles, jams and relishes. Then indulge in their signature cookies like their lemon bars or thumbprint cookies. Served with your choice of tea. Reservations required.