A Guide to the Top Foodie Experiences in Smyth County
Immerse yourself in southern cuisine and experience the unique flavors of Southwest Virginia in Smyth County. There are stories told about how the soil in Appalachia adds its own flavor to the food grown here, that can’t be replicated anywhere else. We’ve compiled a list of the top local places to delight your taste buds.
Shop Like a Local at Smyth County’s Farmers Markets
Sample the freshest produce, locally raised meats, baked goodies and preserved flavors at one of three Smyth County farmers markets. To walk the farmers market corridor in a small town is to experience the flavors of our residents as well as our food. You’ll be greeted by local farmers and artisans who have their handiworks on display. Take some chow-chow home with you – a pickled relish that has been enjoyed in the Southern US for over 200 years. Nibble on a piece of Amish Friendship Bread, baked by skilled southern hands, for breakfast before you head out to one of Smyth County’s independently owned restaurants.
Enjoy an afternoon stroll with your family on the Salt Trail, and stop by Saltville’s farmers market afterwards, open from 3-6pm on Saturdays, April through October. In Chilhowie, you’ll find the Chilhowie Farmers Market open on Thursdays from 4-7pm June through October. The Marion Farmers Market operates on Saturdays from 8-Noon May through October. During the season there are often special events at this covered pavilion, and downtown is just steps away.
Local Restaurants Serving Farm to Fork Faire
After you visit the Marion Farmers Market, take a short walk to Wooden Pickle Food & Spirits, a local favorite, serving up dishes using Laurel Springs Beef. You’ll find unique flavors here that the whole family can enjoy. Farm Burgers with a fried egg, a full kids’ menu, and dinner specials like the Ribeye atop Root Veggies will keep your mouth watering with memorable tastes of Southwest Virginia.
Speaking of Laurel Springs Beef, they’ve opened a shop next door, selling their locally raised beef products as well as local goods like honey, soaps and crafts. This 5th-generation family farm upholds the strictest standards while raising their cattle as affiliates of the Global Animal Partnership. Their cattle are pasture centered and provided a stress free life on this beautiful farm.
Local Brews and Spirits
After you’ve filled your belly at one of Smyth County’s restaurants, it’s time to experience the craftsmanship of our local brewers, vitners and distillers. For the beer connoisseurs, check out 36°Fifty Brewing, Marion, Virginia’s hometown brewery, where you can grab a pint or a growler to go.
Satisfy the wine lover and the whiskey lover in one trip! Enjoy the spectacular views at Davis Valley Winery & Distillery while sampling their wines and spirits on a 100-year old oak bar. For a true Southern spirit, enjoy a taste of one of their popular fruit moonshines. Taste the local difference water makes on their whiskey, distilled with pure mountain limestone water and local farm sourced grains in their slow, deliberate small-batch distillation process.
You’ll need to spend more than a day or two in Smyth County to enjoy all of the local brews and spirits! New in 2021, Highlands Distilling Company has opened a tasting room in Marion, VA, featuring craft bourbon, whiskey and moonshine.
Farm Stays in Smyth County Virginia
Go beyond the plate, and actually stay at an AirBnB that’s also a working farm. There’s nothing quite like watching a herd of cattle galloping across the valley for feeding time. Stay at Iris’s Place, located on the 5-generation family farm of Laurel Springs, just a short drive away from Grayson Highlands State Park. Breathe in the fresh air and enjoy the star gazing from your hot tub at a cabin stay on Old Rich Valley Farm. Let The Farmhouse Market cater your stay at their modern farmhouse accommodations in Sugar Grove, VA. Don’t stay on a working farm and miss the opportunity to sample the local goods while you’re here! Share your space with alpacas and chickens at Long Neck Lair Farm, and enjoy the outdoor fire pit while you immerse yourself in Southwest Virginia.