Eight Comfort Foods You’re Going to LOVE

These locally recommended entrées are also locally sourced, hot, and take you back to a simpler time. If you’re looking for something “like grandma used to make,” one of these will certainly fit the bill. Better yet, take a tour of Virginia to seek out each one. Don’t miss the map below!



Parks Mill is a simple place reflective of a simpler time, and it’s here that you’ll find what just might be “the best BBQ in southern Virginia,” according to owner Lou Holcomb. She and her husband pride themselves with dishing up giant portions to loyal customers. If you order the pork ribs, be ready for a quarter-rack and two nice sides. Lou recommends “the slow-simmered baked beans and the astoundingly good homemade banana pudding.” If you don’t want to take her word for it, how about that of Diane from Bakersfield, California? Her Yelp review reads, “The pulled pork and the ribs were outstanding and the portions were generous.  The banana pudding was awesome as was the potato salad.”

Stay: Hampton Inn | Black’s Fort Inn | The Martha Hotel & Spa
Do: Try the Local Beverages | Visit Heartwood for a Souvenir


Chef Travis Milton with his Five Fat Fried Chicken— FIVE FAT FRIED CHICKEN | COMFORT | RICHMOND —

You can choose anything on the menu at a place named Comfort and know that you’re getting exactly that: a plate of comfort food. Speaking firsthand, I have a hard time choosing what to order as I would really like to have one of everything, please! Chef Travis Milton crafts his Five Fat Fried Chicken using locally sourced fats (country ham, chicken, bacon, duck, and pork), secret flavoring ingredients (it’s a take on his great-grandma’s recipe), and a hot cast iron skillet. Order it up with house mashed potatoes and greens … and macaroni and cheese … and grits … and fried okra …

Stay: The Jefferson Hotel | Hilton Garden Inn | Marriott
Shop Carytown | Take in a Show | Sip Local Suds

ALSO SEE: 10 Destination Restaurants … In a Hotel


Chef Joy Crump with her Chicken & Waffles— CHICKEN & WAFFLES | FOODE | FREDERICKSBURG —

FoodE owner and chef Joy Crump carefully guides the hands of her culinary team before they’re allowed to even attempt to recreate her mother’s chicken and waffles. That’s how important the dish and your opinion of it are to her. The fried chicken is beautifully golden and perfectly moist sitting atop a house-made waffle. The only thing to make it all more perfect is the rosemary steeped warm Virginia maple syrup and whipped maple butter. Now that is some comfort.

Stay: The Kenmore Inn Bed & Bistro | The Richard Johnston Inn | Courtyard by Marriott
Dive into History | Shop Galleries & Boutiques | Taste Moonshine, Beer & Wine

ALSO SEE: 12 Restaurants Where Fresh Flavor Reigns



Owner Bryan Hockstein describes his Double Smoked Fatty as “local ground beef, pork and veal wrapped in applewood smoked bacon and stuffed with house smoked pulled pork, cheddar and jack cheeses, onions and homemade pickled peppers.” If that much beefy deliciousness isn’t enough for you, please know that it’s also smothered in tomato gravy and rests on a bed of smashed potatoes. For sure, that dish is a hungry man’s meal that is so good someone’s poor mama got smacked.

Stay: Early Inn at The Grove | Claiborne House B&B | Holiday Inn Express
Do: Check Out a Show at Harvester | Paddle the Blueways



Chef Margaret Moorefield is in the top 1% as honored by Best Chefs America, and she’s creating scratch-made goodness with locally available ingredients daily. Take a glance at her menu and you may find that you’re drawn to the Bourbon Molasses Porterhouse Pork. It’s a double-cut, marinated, grilled chop weighing in at a hefty 16 ounces, and it’s plated with honey mashed sweet potatoes and ginger cranberry applesauce. If you’re on the look out for gluten-free options, this dish is!

Stay: Charles Bass HouseHoliday Inn Express | Berry Hill Resort
Do: See a show at The Prizery | Stroll the Historic District | Smell What’s Blooming at the Botanical Gardens



Chef Philip Newton prepares his Virginia turkey and vegetables to pair perfectly with bloody butcher cornbread. Not familiar with that? Bloody butcher is a red and black heirloom corn originally from Virginia. Everything – the turkey, vegetables and cornbread – are all smoked for a truly delicious combination that feels and tastes like Thanksgiving in Virginia.

Stay: Inn on Owl Creek | Summers Cottage
Do: Find a Pretty at Holston Mountain Artisans | Venture into Abingdon for Sight-Seeing



The Devils Mess is “an omelette with all the right stuff therein … Open-faced omelet of spicy sausage, onions, green peppers, garlic, tomatoes and mild curry, finished with melted white cheddar and avocado,” writes owners Paul Keevil and Lisa Edwards. Even those who don’t reside in Richmond recognize a great dish and a great place to eat … “I live in Reston, VA and make it a point to eat at Millie’s EVERY time I am in Richmond.”

Stay: Residence Inn | Courtyard by Marriott | The Berkeley Hotel
Do: Visit Historic St. John’s Church | Check out the Edgar Allan Poe Museum | Hop On a Segway Tour



A 45-day-old. eight-ounce, wet aged beef shoulder is the centerpiece of this comfort dish at Golden Leaf Bistro. This hunk of beauty is served alongside steaming twice baked potatoes and a house salad, of course, for a well-balanced meal. If you’d like, swap those baked potatoes for bread pudding, sauteed spinach, or macaroni and cheese. It’s a worthy meal, indeed.

Stay: The II Georges Inn Gourmet B&B | Holiday Inn Express | Courtyard by Marriott
Do: Seek Out the Murals | Visit a Farm and Take a Tour | Stroll Millionaires Row


Find more food inspiration at Virginia.org/Culinary.

© Casey for Virginia’s Travel Blog, 2015. |

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We are FUN! We are RVA! We support local business and charities! Life is good!

Casey Higgins

We are FUN! We are RVA! We support local business and charities! Life is good!