Fall Food: This Virginia Town Has More Restaurants Per Capita Than New York

And, luckily for you, we've just entered peak season for their farm-to-table fare. Roadtrip, anyone?

When you think of a robust culinary scene, it’s likely that skyscraper visions come to mind, with big-name cities such as New York at the forefront. But what if we were to tell you there’s a secret foodie haven a mere three hours from Charlotte, and you don’t have to take a taxi to get around? Instead, you can walk from place to place in this burgeoning foodie destination—there are unique eateries peppered along Main Street and beyond, making creative meals easily accessible to visitors.

We’re talking about Abingdon, Virginia, a town that could charm the socks off of New York and give its kitchens a run for their money. Abingdon boasts more restaurants per capita than New York, San Francisco, and New Orleans, making it a foodie-force to reckoned with. Plus, did we mention you don’t have to deal with taxis?

Just under 200 miles north of Charlotte, Abingdon offers a tantalizing farm-to-table food scene that ramps up specifically in the fall. Plus, with prime leaf-peeping along the Virginia Creeper Trail and a blockbuster lineup at Barter Theatre, Abingdon will be alive with action this autumn.

Below is everything you need to know to curate a foodie-friendly visit to Abingdon this fall—make sure you arrive with an empty stomach and a curious palate!


Peruse the Abingdon Farmer’s Market

A chef shops at the Abingdon Farmer’s Market, which is open twice weekly in the fall.

A chef shops at the Abingdon Farmer’s Market, which is open twice weekly in the fall.

Any foodie knows that a farmer’s market is the place to be when you’ve got time to kill or a meal to make. And the Abingdon Farmer’s Market, located at the pavilion on Remsburg Drive, will not disappoint! The producers-only market features products only locally grown and made, so you can be sure that whatever you buy supports local farmers, artisans, and vendors—not some faceless corporation across the country.

The Abingdon Farmer’s Market (AFM) happens every Tuesday and Saturday during the fall, so no matter when you head to Abingdon, you shouldn’t have a problem making it to a market. The items sold at AFM can make for one-of-a-kind gifts or rare additions to your pantry back home in the Queen City. Some items you’ll be able to purchase include:

  • Unfiltered Maple Syrup
  • Dried apple rings, jams, and jellies
  • Pasture-raised lamb
  • Piedmontese beef
  • Pork
  • Sausage
  • Honey
  • Hydroponic lettuce
  • Eggs
  • Chicken
  • Organic salad greens and vegetables
  • Plants
  • Local wines
  • Herbs and teas
  • Authentic Macedonia Baklava
  • Artisan bread
  • Scones, cookies, brownies, fudge

Get to know all of the fall 2018 vendors here. The Abingdon Farmer’s Market is also hosting a Fall Festival on October 27, 2018, from 10 a.m. to noon.


Eat at Abingdon’s Independently-Owned Restaurants

The Tavern gives diners a delicious meal in a historic setting.

The Tavern gives diners a delicious meal in a historic setting.

Hungry yet? Good, because there are plenty of restaurants to dine at in Abingdon—35, to be exact. This number, paired with Abingdon’s darling small-town status, is what constitutes the town’s impressive restaurants-per-capita accomplishment. Though you probably won’t have time to eat at every single independently-owned restaurant serving up local fare, here are some food-lover favorites to start you on your gastronomic journey.

  • Rain Restaurant and Bar—Privately owned and operated by Owner and Executive Chef Ben Carroll, Rain serves high-quality American food in a contemporary atmosphere sprinkled with Southern charm
  • 128 Pecan—A local favorite, this sweet spot is great for casual eats. Stop here for lunch and enjoy their “simple, good food.” They’re not ranked #1 on TripAdvisor without reason.
  • The Tavern—Be sure to book dinner reservations at this popular restaurant housed in the town’s oldest original historic building dating all the way back to 1779. You’ll get a real feel for Abingdon’s past at The Tavern, but the flavors will have you planning a future visit before you even finish.

The full Abingdon restaurant directory can be found here (updated regularly).


A Gorge-Worthy Getaway Awaits

You can’t go to Abingdon without treating yourself to 128 Pecan.

You can’t go to Abingdon without treating yourself to 128 Pecan.

Don’t miss out on one of the best up-and-coming creative culinary scenes in the Southeast! Fall in Abingdon is the ideal time to expand your tastes and visit a new place—be one of the first to discover this tasty destination, and enjoy as your fellow foodies fawn over your stories of great meals and amazing experiences. Learn more about visiting Abingdon and where to stay at VisitAbingdonVirginia.com.

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