Whether you find yourself in Virginia’s Blue Ridge as a visitor or a resident, you need ideas for dinner and a show. Date night or just traveling through, these are excellent options that beat a night at home or laying low in a hotel room all evening.
Splurge with some of our favorite food and entertainment pairings…
- 5 Points Music Sanctuary – Athens Corner Grill, Lews | Roanoke
- Mill Mountain Theatre – Table 50, Wasabi’s, 202 Social House | Roanoke
- Attic Productions – Pomegranate Restaurant & Gathering Place | Botetourt County
- Harvester Performance Center – Rocky Mount Burger Co. & Twin Creeks Distillery | Rocky Mount
- Jefferson Center – food fanatics, Tuco’s, Beamer’s | Roanoke
- Salem Civic Center – Lydia’s Italian Kitchen, Blue Apron Restaurant & Red Rooster Bar | Salem
- Showtimers Community Theatre – Wildwood Smokehouse, Ichiban, Remini’s | Roanoke County
- The Spot on Kirk – Lucky & Fortunato | Roanoke
- Star City Playhouse – Red Jasmine, FarmBurguesa | Vinton
- Berglund Center – Downtown Restaurants, New Yorker Deli | Roanoke
- Restaurants with Live Music
- Map of Locations
5 Points Music Sanctuary – Athens Corner Grill, Lews | Roanoke
A non-profit focused on music therapy, music education, and hearing loss advocacy, 5 Points Music Sanctuary (pictured above) offers live entertainment multiple nights of the week. The best part of 5 Points is their dedication to making sure those who are deaf or suffer from hearing loss can experience all of the entertainment in a variety of ways.
They strive to have American Sign Language interpreters at each show and save the best seats for those who can best enjoy them. Multiple Subpac Tactile Bass Systems are available to such guests as well. A Subpac is a worn device that delivers low frequencies that your body can feel. It gives “a new physical dimension to the music experience.”
Before the show at 5 Points, consider great food at Athens Corner Grill, an authentic Greek and Mediterranean restaurant offering a full menu of homemade deliciousness guided by generations’ old recipes. Or, cozy up with a sub, pizza, pasta, or salad at Lews Restaurant. It’s a laid-back place to hang out.
Mill Mountain Theatre – Table 50, Wasabi’s, 202 Social House | Roanoke
When it’s a musical, comedy, or drama you’re looking for, Mill Mountain Theatre is one of the first places to look. Multiple stages offering multiple types of shows means there are plenty of options most times of the year.
To kick off the night, find dinner nearby in the Market Square area. We like Table 50, Wasabi’s, and 202 Social House. Table 50 is fine dining of local ingredients and excellent wines; reservations are available. Wasabi’s is the hot spot for sushi lovers in downtown Roanoke. Diners at 202 Social House can expect delicious soups and salads, pastas, and steaks. Their gelato flight is a wonderful way to cap off the meal.
Attic Productions – Pomegranate Restaurant & Gathering Place | Botetourt County
“Dinner and a show” doesn’t have to be a couples only event. Choose a night at Attic Productions for a “presentation of family entertainment that reinforces and upholds…community values.” Plan a family night out to see “Miracle on 34th Street” in December.
Pomegranate is nearby for dinner with or without children. Their menu is flexible, offering chicken tenders, burgers, and chicken sandwiches that can easily accommodate a younger eater. For us older folks, beautiful options like crab cakes, salmon, risotto, and a filet will delight the palate.
Harvester Performance Center – Rocky Mount Burger Co. & Twin Creeks Distillery | Rocky Mount
The Harvester Performance Center brings nationally known performing artists to Virginia’s Blue Ridge and gives fans one of the most intimate concert experiences around. Fall and winter performances from Michael Franti & Spearhead, Old Crow Medicine Show, The Embers, Ricky Skaggs and Kentucky Thunder, and Trampled by Turtles, to name just a few.
Rocky Mount Burger Co. is the perfect choice for dinner before or after a show at The Harvester, because it’s also about great music paired with delicious food & drinks. As the name suggests, you’ll also find some of the best burgers in Virginia’s Blue Ridge. And it’s also right across the street from the venue!
Add to the fun with pre-dinner drinks at the nearby Twin Creeks Distillery, carrying on Franklin County’s legacy of being The Moonshine Capital.
Jefferson Center – Food Fanatics, Tuco’s, Beamer’s | Roanoke
There are a variety of events at Jefferson Center with performances weekly across the Jefferson Center Presents, Star City Series, Jazz Series, Family Series, and Jazz Club. Through the fall and winter season guests will be treated to performances by The Wood Brothers with Nicole Atkins, Ruben Studdard, The Del McCoury Band, The Steeldrivers, Squirrel Nut Zippers and The Dirty Dozen Brass Band, and Bela Fleck & The Flecktones, for starters.
Pre- or post-show dinner ideas are easy. Choose your favorite food region and go from there. We like Food Fanatics Kitchen “serving Rustic Italian Cuisine” for their wood-oven pizza and house-made pastas.
For Latin flare, Tuco’s Taqueria Garaje is the place to be. House tacos and salads share the menu with an impressive array of tequila and agave. Flights of both are available. Burger and beer? Beamer’s 25 has fast become a tradition for both.
Weekly performances are available for the picking at Salem Civic Center. Seasonal shows by the Roanoke Symphony Orchestra are calendared alongside Slayer, Primus, Chris Jansen, Mandolin Orange, and Brantley Gilbert. It’s a great place to see your favorite radio artists as well as regional favorites.
Lydia’s Italian Kitchen (formerly Pizza Pasta Pit) is a casual restaurant with an attention to scratch-made menu items. Bite off a piece of heaven when you try a wood-fired pizza or dive into a beautiful baked ziti or Stromboli. For a bit of fine dining and amazing cocktails, head to the modern Blue Apron Restaurant. Their menu changes often but offers bits of everything, like wahoo, duck breast, flank steak, and salmon.
Showtimers Community Theatre – Wildwood Smokehouse, Ichiban, Remini’s | Roanoke County
One of Roanoke’s local community theaters is Showtimers, a 1950s mainstay. The season is comprised of shows given a two-week run every other month. To close out the season, Mark Twain’s “Is He Dead?” takes the stage December 5-15.
Lovers of Memphis style barbeque will be right at home at Wildwood Smokehouse. Whether your BBQ love comes on a bun, a platter, or by way of a rack of ribs, Wildwood can fix you up. For another focus on meat, look to Ichiban Japanese Steakhouse for their hibachi dinner. Sushi is also plentiful at Ichiban!
Green and Italian is at hand at Remini’s Café. Start with a savory spanakopita or light bruschetta before your main course. Sandwiches, salads, soups, and wraps are perfect for light dining or there’s “Remini’s Family Room” of favorites like chicken parm, spaghetti and meatballs, and cheese ravioli.
The Spot on Kirk – Lucky & Fortunato | Roanoke
The Spot on Kirk is an intimate venue where you can experience everything from local album releases to full-blown concerts from the genres of rock and rap to blues and Americana.
Make a reservation for Lucky and you’ll feel lucky with your menu choices. It’s perhaps our favorite place in Roanoke for Virginia oysters. Don’t worry, there’s also comfort food like buttermilk fried chicken with mashed potatoes and pork shoulder with buttermilk grits. Wonderfully, authentically Italian is Fortunato. Spoil yourself with calamari, olives, sweet Italian sausage, and salumi and formaggi plates. Both spots also feature some of the best cocktails in the region.
Star City Playhouse – Red Jasmine, FarmBurguesa | Vinton
A small, non-profit theater, Star City Playhouse seats about 40 guests and offers great shows from the past. Enjoy dinner before the show at Red Jasmine, an authentic Thai restaurant featuring duck and chicken entrees with all the curry your heart desires.
At FarmBurguesa the menu is all burgers all the time. It’s an intimate 13-seat restaurant with a diner feel. Sit at the bar and watch your beef or veggie burger come together.
Berglund Center – Downtown Restaurants, New Yorker Deli | Roanoke
When you couple the Salem Civic Center’s calendar with that of the Berglund Center, you can easily fill a calendar with nationally known acts. This season features Cirque du Soleil, John Prine, REO Speedwagon, Alice Cooper, and Manheim Steamroller.
Given its convenient location, you have all of downtown Roanoke at your disposal when it comes to dinner arrangements, as well as the variety of great restaurants on Roanoke’s historic Williamson Road. For years, frequent guests of the Berglund Center have made it a priority to eat at The New Yorker Delicatessen before a show. Their sandwiches are easily shareable.
Restaurants with Live Music
Sometimes “dinner and a show” happens all in the same place. We like that option, too. In downtown Roanoke, try Martin’s for scrumptious signature offerings like the fried chicken mac and cheese, Big Kahuna tacos and lobster crab cakes. Free live entertainment can be found at Martin’s nearly every night of the week.
At Blue 5, it’s just the same with regard to the music scene, but the menu is distinctly Southern with mainstays like ribs, shrimp and grits, and dirty rice. You can also enjoy great live music and food specials nearly every weekend at Wall Street Tavern in Roanoke’s City Market Building.
Corned Beef & Co. Bar and Grill offers weekly dinner specials as well as a robust menu of salads, sandwiches, burgers, and more. Their entertainment is less frequent than that of Martin’s and Blue 5, but their range includes comedy acts and full-fledged parties.
Depending on where you are, you can enjoy Awful Arthur’s seafood in either Roanoke or Salem. They describe themselves as “beach vibes meets Sports Bar atmosphere,” so check out their raw bar and join in the fun of karaoke, trivia, or Bingo, or shake what ya mama gave ya when the DJ spins his rad beats.
Who’s ready to git up? Sidewinders Steak House and Saloon features country music for its live entertainment and the man behind the “git up challenge” is coming for the fun on October 23. Other acts for this season are Rodney Atkins and various regional performers. As for the food, load up on potato skins, wings, chopped steak, Alaskan snow crabs, a variety of burgers, or a very fine sirloin.
Out on the water of Smith Mountain Lake in Moneta is Mango’s Bar & Grill where you can easily find yourself in “a tropical state of mind,” as they like to say. DJs and live local bands bring the entertainment every weekend. All you need to bring is your appetite. A variety of seafood is available, of course, but you’ll also find hearty treats like smothered chicken and grilled meatloaf.
If you want, share your experiences on social media. You know, make us jealous with your food, your fun, and the beautiful people with whom you surround yourself. Be sure to add _ #Trailsetter _ and we’ll keep an eye out.
Featured image provided by Virginia’s Blue Ridge
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