Nine to Eat: Restaurants Just Off I-77

Travelers passing between southern West Virginia and western North Carolina often use Interstate 77. Connecting the dots, I-77 runs from Bluefield, WV/VA through Wytheville, VA where it intersects with Interstate 81, and exits the Commonwealth near Lambsburg, VA on the North Carolina border. Be sure to see the map below.

Hop off the fast lane and enjoy some really good food along the way. These restaurants are rated four stars or higher by Yelp reviewers, and are eight miles or fewer off of the interstate. Give them a try and let us know how you like it!


Grayson Restaurant – 4.5 stars – American (Traditional) – $ – 2.8 mi. Exit 73 in Wytheville

“Fresh, hot & reasonably priced food.” Jim H.
“Food was delicious.” Clifton W.
“Worth the stop … travelers needing lunch.” Amanda P.

If you’re looking for a down-home southern meal or a place where breakfast is served all day, Grayson Restaurant is your spot. It’s a locally owned place where pride in quality and service are paramount.

Grayson Restaurant

Grayson Restaurant


Key Ingredients – 4.5 stars – American (Traditional) – $$ – 1.1 mi. Exit 80 in Fort Chiswell

“We’ll be back!” Sarah K.
“Excellent food and friendly service. Fresh all around. Colonial atmosphere gives a great setting.” Patrick S.
“Don’t miss this gem!”

A must try experience is just down the drive at The Mansion at Fort Chiswell. Here you’ll find fine dining with Key Ingredients at the mansion. Come by for lunch or dinner and taste for the menus that change with the season to provide the best and freshest ingredients. Try seared dry pack scallops and white truffles, fresh halibut, or even the BBQ ribs. With house-made pico and rice, these colorful dishes will have you stuck on which one to try next. Enjoy the beautiful scenery that surrounds the porch while you eat and after take a tour of the historic mansion. When great food is combined with events happening year round at the mansion, it truly is “history in the making.” We can guarantee you a wonderful time in Chiswell.

Key Ingredients

Key Ingredients


Miller’s Bakery and Deli – 4 stars – Bakeries – $ – 1.9 mi. Exit 14 in Hillsville

“This place is a hidden gem in a little Virginia town! FABULOUS!” Kelsey B.
“The staff are very friendly and it was a treat to get to enjoy this inexpensive but satisfying meal along our trip.” Anne A.

Next time you’re passing through Woodlawn be sure to stop in Miller’s Bakery and Deli. Here they have monthly lunch specials in addition to the specials you’ll find there daily. This family run stop has a great home style feeling to it that makes it a great place to stop in and relax for a while. Making new friends and having a great time with old ones is easy while eating great food. There are always new ingredients being introduced and new eats to try here. With great folks and huge homemade sandwiches you can’t go wrong. There are even gluten free items available. Don’t miss these coconut pie, homemade donuts, and more.


The Mason Jar – 5 stars – Diners – $$ – 2.1 mi. Exit 14 in Hillsville

“A surprise from start to finish. I will definitely stop back by when in the area again and advise you to do the same!” Doug G.
“What a great find! This delish hole in the wall! Very clean and super service!” Nicole D.
“The service was fast, friendly, and very accommodating. Would definitely recommend to all!” Alinda P.

Open Tuesday to Sunday, The Mason Jar is a fun and tasty experience for the entire family. Daily specials are available and events are held at the restaurant during the week. Try their Maryland Crab Cake, The Southern Burger, and more. And if you save room, here the desserts are just as yummy with the strawberry shortcake or even apple crisp and, that’s right, they come in mason jars. Check up with them on Facebook to see what they are up to or look on their website to find their menu and look at all the great items they have. Entertainment is on Friday and Saturday nights starting at 9 to mix with great food all evening long.


Hillsville Diner – 4.5 stars – Diners – $ – 3 mi. Exit 14 in Hillsville

“Friendly place with charming décor. Simple yet satisfying menu.” Anna K.
“Lots of regulars eat here it seems and I think I know why!” Greg L.
“Perfect service. Fast and efficient. The food is amazing.” Steve H.

This diner is a landmark to Hillsville and has been since its creation in 1946. Hillsville Diner is the oldest continuously operating streetcar diner in the entire state of Virginia and can be found on the National Register of Historic Places. While traveling through the beautiful Hillsville Historic District be sure to stop in for a picture and a bite. Try their specialty stewed beef, gravy biscuits, or tasty buttermilk pancakes. This home cooked menu is packed to the brim with great food to accompany their quick service. Open Mondays through Saturdays, this is an old time favorite of visitors and locals where good food is served and new friends meet.


The Dutch Oven – 4.5 stars – Donuts, Delis – $ – 2.8 mi. Exit 14 in Hillsville

“I hesitate to share this gem of a restaurant, I’d like to keep it for myself, but it is an amazing little spot that deserves all the praise I can give.” Wendy B.
“The food was excellent!” Leif H.
“Fresh bread, meats, and cheeses make amazing sandwiches. The dessert are good too.” Kourtney T.

The Dutch Oven is truly a find. With great breads and fresh ingredients, meals here will have you leaving satisfied and planning your next visit. From donuts to sandwiches the food is excellent and the service is fast and friendly. This homemade goodness is the local’s ideal lunch stop. At this hidden gem in a small town, try the Reuben or pastrami cravers sandwich. Each time it is even better than the last. Remember the scrumptious cinnamon rolls and you can even pick up a loaf of bread while you’re there picking up lunch. Don’t miss out on fresh strawberry pie and biscuits and gravy. This is home style cooking gone right.

The Dutch Oven, Hillsville

The Dutch Oven


The Gap Deli at the Parkway – 4.5 stars – Delis, Sandwiches – $ – 2.2 mi. Exit 8 in Fancy Gap

“Quite good! Fantastic food in the middle of nowhere.” Daniel E.
“Never go wrong with good service, a yummy sandwich and a view.” Kelly C.
“It was so good!!! Would stop here again!” Jennifer T.

Found at the entrance to the Blue Ridge Parkway is The Gap Deli at the Parkway where you can find a great place to stop, relax, and eat a tasty meal. Try Cissy’s Taco salad, the Appalachian Trail garden burger, or the Golf Club. Sit out on the patio and take in the scenic beauty surrounding you while you snack. Open eleven to seven, seven days a week, this is where you can find where nature and people come together to create yummy meals. Experience what The Gap Deli calls the General Lee smack down dog or even their made from scratch peach crisp. Take out is also available if you plan to hit the road. It’s great service, great food, and a great view you can’t afford to miss.

The Gap Deli

The Gap Deli


Rap’s Orchard Gap – 4 stars – Diner – $ – 7.5 mi. Exit 8 in Fancy Gap

“Food was wonderful! Fun stop…staff is very friendly and attentive.” Brenda D.
“Great food on the parkway.” Ar J.

Open seven days a week, Rap’s Orchard Gap is a flash back to the 1950s. Adjacent to the Blue Ridge Parkway, this is a great stop for food, drinks, gas, and even souvenirs. With tasty homemade food in the deli, it’s the perfect place to rest along your journey. Here you can find live music on Saturdays and Sundays during the summer season in the outdoor entertainment venue. Other special events are had throughout the year including old car shows, motorcycle shows, and community cookouts. Inspired by a love of music and great meals, Rap’s is where you’ll find a fun and yummy stop to gather and eat great food and have a great time.


Hungry Farmer – 4 stars – Southern – $ – 6.1 mi. Exit 1 in Lambsburg

“A nice little hidden gem with a great southern buffet.” Greg O.
“Best chicken ever! Would definitely go back…Very friendly and attentive staff.” Melanie Y.
“Really friendly service and hearty food.” Julie B.

The Hungry Farmer is the great family restaurant you’ll be looking for on the way out of the state. Found along Fancy Gap Highway, this top features home style country cooking at its finest. Having been open for nearly two decades, The Hungry Farmer has great people who love to serve some really great food. The daily buffet is available and there is a breakfast bar on weekends. Try the cornbread, tater cakes, smoked ham, or even the oven fried chicken. Visitors crave the beef stew here at this small business open seven days a week. It’s a great stop on the way home or the way out. A hidden gem in scenic Virginia with home style country food you can’t miss.


About the Author: Kemry Johnakin is an English Major at Brigham Young University-Idaho, hopes to write the next great American novel, and is greatly unsettled by the lack of oxford commas used in government paperwork.

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