Menus Sourced Locally from Shenandoah Valley Farms and Mills
How fresh and local is your dinner? A farmer dropped off the kale that morning, a docent plucked the collards from the garden at the Stonewall Jackson House, the steak was raised down the road at Buffalo Creek, the ginger beer was made in-house and the strawberry shortcake? Created from scratch by the pastry chef.
Chefs are pretty accessible in Lexington, and you're likely to find them chatting with customers about their meals. Look for Southern fare served with Southern hospitality, where the chefs are inspired by what's local and fresh. From the cocktails to the entrees to the made-from-scratch desserts, much of it is home-grown and original.
At longtime hotspot Southern Inn, the menu offers an innovative take on favorites from across the South. Creative food pairings drive the menus at Haywood’s and TAPS, both found in The Georges. At TAPS, the Buffalo Creek burger with pimento cheese is plate-licking good. Local specialties include the sirloin steak from Buffalo Creek and shrimp with Wade's Mill cheese grits. Local produce tops the artisan pizzas at Heliotrope Brewery.
Hand-crafted cocktails, craft beer, wine, and a seasonally-inspired gastropub-style menu are the cornerstones of a great evening at Juniper Lounge at the Gin Hotel, where the breezy second-floor veranda overlooks the action on Main Street.
As your tastebuds will discover, "farm-to-table" is more than a culinary buzzword in Lexington. At The Red Hen, Haywood's, and Taps, the short-but-robust menus change regularly based on what's newly available. At Southern Inn and Pure Eats you can enjoy meats, cheeses, grains, and desserts sourced regularly from Shenandoah Valley farms and mills.
From tomatoes to carrots to squash, produce is bright, fresh, and flavor-packed. As local chefs will tell you, the Shenandoah Valley is unique when it comes to produce. The Valley's hills aren't well-suited to large-scale agricultural enterprises, but small family farms thrive on the rich soil. Dozens of farms dot the landscape, and they sit within a range of micro-climates, which supports a variety of produce.
Tastes are richer on Lexington menus because the fruits and vegetables served are picked when ripe, not earlier, because they don't have far to travel. This homegrown produce sports an array of colors and shapes because it's not mass-engineered for conformity.
On Lexington menus look for produce from Paradox Farm, Sunflower Flats, Fox Ridge Farm, Stone House Farm, Three Rivers Farm, and Polyface Farm, grains from Wade's Mill, and cheeseboards curated by Cheese to You, Mountain View Farm, and Razzbourne Farms. Some of these farms also offer their produce at area farmers markets.
Lexington is also unique because Valley-sourced meats like all-natural burgers and steaks from Buffalo Creek Beef and chicken from Somerset Farm, can be found on local menus and purchased for cooking at home from Cattlemen's Market.
Don't forget the locally made beverages of our area. The Blue Ridge Mountains are the backdrop for wine and beer tasting at Rockbridge Vineyard & Brewery and down the road at Great Valley Farm Brewery & Winery.
For wine tasting, head to Jump Mountain Vineyard and Lexington Valley Vineyard. If you prefer craft beer, visit one of the breweries along the Shenandoah Beerwerks Trail. Don’t miss the large selection of craft beer at Devils Backbone Outpost Tap Room & Kitchen. In downtown Lexington you can sip house-made beer at Heliotrope Brewery. Those who are new to hard cider (and even those who aren't), will want to seek out Halcyon Days Cider Co. to try a flight. Don't forget to wander their appletree labyrinth!
Visit our DINING DIRECTORY for a complete listing of area restaurants.