13 Outdoor Dining Spots in Lexington, Virginia
Enjoy al fresco dining year-round in the southern gateway to the Shenandoah Valley.
Yes, you can savor a little pre-coronavirus normalcy with a night out. Studies show that being outdoors lowers exposure risk, and that risk drops even lower when combined with social distancing and other safety considerations. Thankfully, restaurants with outdoor dining areas are ready-to-serve in Lexington, Virginia and throughout Rockbridge County. From peaceful patios to city sidewalks, enjoy drinking and eating in the great outdoors at these eateries.
Devils Backbone Outpost Tap Room & Kitchen
Though best-known for its award-winning brews, Devils Backbone Outpost Tap Room & Kitchen in Lexington also serves beer-friendly favorites like nachos, wings, pretzels, burgers, barbecue, tacos, fries, and other bites. Its outdoor dining area at the back of the building offers standard dining as well as picnic tables, some under a cover and others with big umbrellas. Wood-burning fire pits and mushroom umbrella gas heaters warm the space in cool months.
Sip wine and nibble on fine fare at Haywood’s at The Georges in downtown Lexington while listening to live piano entertainment. Three tables in the atrium dining room at the back of the restaurant are available when weather cooperates, while heaters extend the possibility of a comfortable setting even in cool weather. The chef-driven menu showcases locally sourced ingredients in a range of seasonal dishes such as beet-cured salmon sashimi, butternut squash gnocchi, beef tenderloin, Cajun roasted cauliflower steak, and more temptations. Private dining space inside the restaurant is available for large groups and special occasions.
Quench your thirst for local beer at the new Heliotrope Brewery, where brews are made using local ingredients and served alongside creative sourdough pizzas, flatbreads, and salads. Three spaces are available for sipping and dining al fresco. Tables on the front porch overlook Lexington’s Main Street. Individually tented picnic tables are lined up on the alley at the side of the brewery; heaters help warm the space as needed. And two large party tents can accommodate up to 20 people in the back garden, which is also heated when temps drop.
JJ’s Meat Shak
Two covered patios are available at JJ’s Meat Shak in Buena Vista, one at the restaurant and the other across the street at the catering facility. Both remain open whatever the weather; heaters can be rented if arranged in advance. From award-winning barbecue ribs to wood-fired pizzas, specialty burgers to daily home-cooked specials, chicken wings to seafood platters, the menu presents a range of satisfying options.
Juniper Lounge, located on The Gin Hotel’s second floor in downtown Lexington, is a casual gastropub with 17 tables in its second-story outdoor dining area overlooking Main Street below. Three gas heaters help keep the space toasty in cool temps. Best sellers on the dinner menu include New York strip steak, cheddar bacon burger, smoked salmon burger, drunken mussels, and buffalo cauliflower. The cocktail menu features several gin cocktails, including a gin lavender martini, alongside a full range of additional options.
Macado's is a regional chain known for its stacked sandwiches. The downtown Lexington location offers two covered front porches overlooking North Main Street on the ground and second levels. The menu presents a mind-boggling array of dishes, including chicken wings with your choice of nine different dipping sauces, tacos, soups, chili, salads, burgers, sandwiches, pastas, wraps, and desserts.
Outdoor dining at Pure Eats is hard to miss, since eight tables adorn the patio at the front entrance. As the weather cools, umbrellas will be replaced by a tent to help trap warmth supplied by electric heaters. Planters separate the dining area from the parking lot while adding ambiance to the accessible, pet friendly space. The menu presents comfortable favorites like doughnuts, bagel sandwiches, hamburgers, fries, hot dogs, wraps, salads, milkshakes, and more goodies.
Quaker Steak & Lube
Quaker Steak & Lube in Raphine (among the White’s Travel Plaza truck stop family of services) boasts seven tables and two booths in its covered patio that’s heated for comfort as needed. Chicken wings are best-sellers; choose breaded boneless, grilled boneless, or jumbo bone-in wings with blue cheese or ranch dip. The menu presents a seemingly endless variety of options, including steaks, seafood, burgers, nachos, potato skins, salads, soups, sandwiches, loaded fries, and so much more.
Salerno Wood Fired Pizza & Taphouse
The menu at Salerno Wood Fired Pizza & Taphouse in Lexington impresses with over 75 food and 85 drink options. Grab a seat on the dog-friendly patio and dig into wood-fired pizza topped your way or one of the suggested combinations like Fat Dragon with homemade red sauce, fresh mozzarella, spicy sausage, fire-roasted tomatoes, and fire-roasted peppers. Or try a calzone, pasta, salad, soup, burger, or dessert. With 30 taps as well as additional options, choosing a drink can take some time.
Southern Inn Restaurant
Enjoy casual elegance and contemporary American cuisine at Southern Inn Restaurant in the heart of historic downtown Lexington. Chef/Owner George Huger presents an eclectic menu of mouthwatering dishes from lamb meatballs to fish tacos, burgers to roast duck breast with port cherry demiglace, meatloaf to pan-seared sea scallops with mushroom ragout. Reserve one of the nine tables currently sheltered by tent or umbrellas behind the restaurant; a more permanent shelter will be constructed. For comfort in any weather, the outdoor dining area is warmed by heaters plus a fire pit in chilly seasons and cooled by fans when temperatures climb.
Sweet Treats Bakery, Eatery and Music Emporium
Indulge in cakes, brownies, cookies, cupcakes, and other crave-inducers at Sweet Treats Bakery, Eatery and Music Emporium in Lexington. Or eat a whole meal before giving in to your sweet tooth. From omelets to daily soups, pancakes to burgers, waffles to grilled paninis and more, the menu presents a range of flavors and dishes to satisfy hunger. Eight umbrella tables are available outside the restaurant.
Taps at The Georges in downtown Lexington serves a range of libations and creative pub fare. The jovial vibe reaches the 12 tables in the outdoor dining space at the back of the inn, where heating elements and fans help extend the appeal of that weather-dependent, sometimes-tented area. With options like the Virginia cheese board, Caesar salad, sweet potato fries, burgers, fish and chips, penne pasta, and more, you’ll find something on the menu to satisfy.
Tonic Restaurant boasts a large patio that can accommodate up to 50 people in downtown Lexington. The drink list is built around herbal remedies and features several bubbly tonics as well as Italian-style gins that tend to be softer and more floral than British gins. The food menu presents local ingredients with East Asian and Central American influences. Early favorites on the new menu include roasted broccoli with ginger dressing, shrimp & grits with andouille sausage, ginger lo mein, and slow-roasted pork shoulder with tomatillo sauce.
Outdoor dining is just one among many great reasons to visit Lexington, Virginia. For help planning your visit, call 540-463-3777. Once you arrive, stop by the Visitor Center at 106 E. Washington Street.