Dish is located downtown beside the James River and is one of the longest running establishments in Lynchburg. The restaurant takes inspiration from tapas bars and introduces dishes from all over the world to create a truly eclectic meal to suit a diverse range of tastes. On the menu, you can find shareable plates and side dishes such as bruschetta with crab and asparagus and duck confit spring rolls. The owners pride themselves in creating a relaxed and communal atmosphere, and diners are encouraged to order as few or as many dishes as they like. Inside, the restaurant is bright and roomy.
Just a short walk from Dish restaurant is the Bluffwalk Center Project, which is a real hotspot for dining downtown. The building is a huge former shoe factory, which has now been converted into multiple restaurants, including Shoemaker’s, Waterstone Pizza and Jefferson Street Brewery. Inside, the exposed brick and high ceilings make for a chic and timeless setting. Prices for entrées start at $20 for seafood dishes and up to $35 for specialty dishes such as steak au poivre. The restaurant also runs a happy hour Monday to Friday from 4.30pm until 6.30pm, where you can find the likes of fried oysters and sautéed oysters for under $10.
Found within the same picturesque location as Shoemaker’s, Waterstone’s serves pizzas for an average price of $9.95, with additional toppings priced at $1 each. You can also design your own pizza without cheese, which makes this a popular option for those looking for dairy-free meals. While much of the menu is customizable, their ready-made pizzas are also worth trying, and are available in unusual flavors such as spicy thai and meat-filled sicilian. The menu also includes a selection of pasta, sandwiches and salads, as well as a kids menu and a dessert cart. At the bar, there is a range of excellent wine, draft beer, and cocktails, most of which are under $10.
Jefferson Street is the perfect place to stop in on for a night-cap after a meal at Shoemaker’s or Waterstone’s. The brewery is worth visiting even to just see the interior, which combines old-school americana with a distinct southern sensibility. The bar is well-stocked with a range of honey wheat, american pale ale, oatmeal stout, light and amber ale. The selection may be huge, but the staff are so accommodating that this venue will be appreciated by ale fans and novices alike. The beers at Jefferson Street Brewery are all created by award winning brewmaster Wesley Chastain, who is a veteran of american brewery and will be happy to answer all of your questions.
Isabella’s Italian Trattoria
At a convenient location in the center of Boonsboro Shopping Centre is Isabella’s Italian Trattoria. The restaurant is family-owned and specializes in Northern Italian cuisine. The ingredients are supplied by local farmers, so every dish is a showcase of the produce of central Virginia. The menu offers a range of dining options, including casual bar dining and a plethora of dishes to enjoy as a full three-course dinner. Prices are very reasonable -you can pick up a pizza for $12 and a salad combo plate for $10. There’s also the option of a ‘Tuscan Combo’, where you can purchase a combination of a soups, salads or panini for $10.
The Dahlia is the place for fuss-free, quality food in Lynchburg. Known as a hidden gem because of its inconspicuous appearance on Bedford Avenue, the restaurant’s interior is small but inviting. The menu specializes in surf and turf, and offers a wide selection of American classics and pub grub, such as bangers and mash, fish and chips, and fried pickles with dip. While the restaurant specializes in hearty fireside food, they also supply a quality brunch with a range of breakfast pick-me-ups such as bloody marys and mimosas.
Jimmy’s on the James
If you want to find a spot for entertainment as well as food, Jimmy’s on the James is the place for you. The live music, performed by popular local musicians, is fun without being intrusive, and if you’re lucky, you could be treated to a performance by the proprietor himself. Food-wise, the menu supplies a range of meatloaf, burgers and steaks for under $20 apiece. The meat-heavy menu is also complemented with a range of risottos and delicious pastas. Plus, no visit to a southern-style restaurant would be complete without something deep-fried, and Jimmy’s fulfills this by providing deep-fried Oreos as a dessert option.
The Canopy Food Truck
A list of the top restaurants in the South Atlantic area wouldn’t be complete without at least one food truck. The Canopy Food Truck have molded themselves on a kind of mobile Chipotle, which, unsurprisingly, has proved incredibly popular with the locals. The truck can be found on Main Street during the lunch time slot, when the long queue outside their eggshell blue camper-van is made up of both local workers on their lunch break and visitors to the area. The range of tacos, salads and sandwiches all clock in at about $7 and arrive in generous portions to keep you going all afternoon.
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Oishii is the best place to get beautiful, handcrafted sushi in Lynchburg. On the menu, you can find all of your favorite rolls, which come in both vegetarian and vegan form, and the interior features an open kitchen to ensure quality of preparation and allows the owner to interact with customers. Make sure to check out their website for their generous range of printable discounts, which include reductions for students and the offer of free rolls. If you don’t usually get dessert when you go out for sushi, make sure to try it here, as their dessert menu includes a range of unusual bubble teas and ice creams.
Robin Alexander Bistro
Robin Alexander Bistro, locally known as RA Bistro, is a great all-round restaurant for traditional dining. Following the Lynchburg trend of revitalizing neighborhoods by converting former manufacturing houses into restaurants, this restaurant has turned a former laundry house into a cozy establishment with a rustically chic decor. The menu combines all-American favorites with the latest trendier dishes, and they also offer an excellent range of draft beers and cocktails to complement your meal. For an affordable option, the prix fixe menus clock in at $9.49 for a two-course lunch and $15.49 for a three-course dinner, and includes seasonal specials.