There’s so much to love about Montgomery County during the fall season. The leaves changing colors across the Blue Ridge Mountains. Cheers from Lane Stadium echoing through the streets on crisp Saturday afternoons. And, of course, the fall harvest, when the region’s agriculturalists begin sharing their bounty with local chefs, and when restaurants and breweries throughout Christiansburg and Blacksburg begin featuring fresh ingredients in their creations. For foodies, the fall is a perfect opportunity to visit Montgomery County and experience for yourself how our local agricultural roots continue to evolve our culinary and craft brew scene. Here are a few newer locations to check out during your next visit to eat, drink and love in Montgomery County. Go to Town!
Iron Tree Brewing Company
The “new kid on the block” is Iron Tree Brewing, which opened in May of 2021. Located in a newly renovated tasting room in downtown Christiansburg that was designed to be a relaxing atmosphere, there are about a dozen beverages on tap to accommodate everyone’s taste. Some of the most popular beers on tap include the classic Pepper Street Porter, the Golden Calf and the smoky Duck Pond Water. Food trucks from the region frequently set up shop outside the brewery so you’ll have plenty of options to grab a bite while sampling the delicious beers.
The scent of barbecue is now filling the Blacksburg air thanks to the new Blacksburg Q. The restaurant began as what’s known as a “ghost kitchen,” meaning that food is prepared utilizing extra kitchen space of an existing restaurant (in this case, Zeppoli’s, an Italian restaurant and wine shop), and is served curbside for takeout only. This was a perfect way to launch a new restaurant during a time when many restaurants were only able to offer takeout as a result of the pandemic. Ghost kitchen or not, there’s nothing scary about the flavors at Blacksburg Q. The restaurant is now open for dine-in and curbside pickup, and offers perfectly smoked and grilled foods with the Southern comfort and quality ingredients you’d expect from a top barbecue joint – ribs, pork and chicken along with appetizers and sides like fried pork belly, smoked mac and cheese, smoked wings, potato salad and red cabbage slaw.
Square 5 Public House
Nothing tastes better on a cool fall day than some hearty pub food and delicious, crisp beer. You can find both at Square 5 Public House in Blacksburg. Warm up with a variety of perfectly crafted sandwiches from the simple grilled cheese to classics like the Reuben, fried chicken sandwich and BLT. In addition to pizza and burgers, entrees include fish and chips (because what would a pub be without it?), chicken and chips, and a sausage platter. Then wash it all down with a refreshing beer like 3 Notch’d Watermelon Gose, Bell’s Two-Hearted or Golden Road Mango Cart.
If these new locations in the New River Valley aren’t enough to satisfy your love for great food this fall, check out our Food & Drink page at www.gotomontva.com. In the meantime, plan to eat, drink, love and Go to Town! in Montgomery County, VA.
Sip Your Way Through Montgomery County
After a stroll through the streets of our local towns, it will dawn on you that it’s five o’clock somewhere. Why not head over to Rising Silo Brewery and Farm, one of southwest Virginia’s farm-based breweries? Located on Glade Road Growing, at Rising Silo you’ll find beers brewed with exclusively organic malts and water from the farm’s well. Brew master Greg Zielske also sources produce from other local farms to develop creative seasonal options. Additionally, the brewery utilizes green energy through the power of 113 solar panels that provide 31 kW of solar energy, as well as a solar hot water system.
While you’re there, pull up a stool (or chair) at Tabula Rasa on Glade, the farm kitchen at Glade Road Growing. You can’t get more farm-to-table than when the table’s actually on the farm! Featuring produce, meat, poultry and eggs from right there at Glade Road Growing, Tabula Rasa also sources nearly all or their grains, cheese and oils from Southern Appalachia farms and mills that prioritize organic growing.
At Eastern Divide, treat yourself to an array of different beer styles and flavors for all seasons and occasions. Eastern Divide brews with all Virginia grains provided by Murphy and Rude Malting, lending an authentically local taste to all their brews, and supporting local Virginia agriculture in the process. Eastern Divide also has begun fermenting beers in oak barrels previously used for products like bourbon, wine and maple syrup, adding a greater variety of flavor. When you get hungry, Feast & Company, local to the New River Valley, has its own kitchen at Eastern Divide to feed the brewery’s visitors. serving farm inspired cuisine combining both rustic and refined flavors with the best local ingredients.
Another local favorite, Moon Hollow Brewing Company, boasts an inviting venue where people from all walks of life can connect over fresh, local brews. Named for the small plot of land behind the brewery space, the brewery treats patrons to a variety of locally influenced flavors, from a grapefruit ginger sour to a traditional Hefeweizen. While Moon Hollow does not have its own kitchen (yet), local food trucks are often on site in case you get the munchies.
Next, head to Christiansburg to enjoy Iron Tree Brewing’s wide variety of beers. The tasting room has an industrial feel with a relaxing atmosphere. With a beer for everyone’s taste buds, plenty of seating and in-house board games, Iron Tree is the perfect place to enjoy good company and good brews! Hankering for some food to pair with your beer? Iron Tree hosts a variety of local food trucks on different days of the week to satisfy those cravings.
Top 5 Brunch Spots
Whether you’re visiting with some gal pals or catching up with family, everybody loves a good brunch. Luckily, Montgomery County has plenty of brunch spots to choose from!
Eastern Divide Brewing partners with their in-house caterer, Feast and Company, to deliver delicious meals paired with one of a kind craft beverages. Combining a fun atmosphere with culinary goodness on a late Sunday morning is the perfect recipe for relaxation and indulgence. Eastern Divide also offers indoor and outdoor seating with plenty of space to spread out and enjoy the sunshine.
Lefty’s Main Street Grille has been a staple in the New River Valley for the past 17 years, and has a mouthwatering brunch menu. Laid back and family friendly, Lefty’s is a great place to bring the whole crew to fill up on good food for a weekend full of adventure.
Our Daily Bread’s Blacksburg location serves the community with a variety of goodies and treats. In addition to their house made pastries and cookies, Our Daily Bread has two delicious brunch menus – one for Saturday and another for Sunday. Don’t forget to try the macarons!
Gillie’s is a local favorite for inspired vegetarian and vegan dishes curated with the freshest ingredients to provide customers with a filling and healthful experience. Their brunch menu is a country mile long with options ranging from tofu scramble, to the Gillie’s Special and smoked salmon hash. The team at Gillie’s also has new and rotating specials each week that truly are as mouth watering as they sound.
Joe’s Diner serves breakfast with a side of nostalgia from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. five days a week. Checkered floors, red leather booths, and classic breakfast options make Joe’s Diner a go-to spot for students and locals alike. Step back into the good ole days with a hot meal from the friendly staff at Joe’s Diner.
Home Grown Flavors of Montgomery County
Local agriculture has been a defining feature of the New River Valley for decades, and the quality of proteins, produce and other treats has only improved over time thanks to influences ranging from Virginia Tech’s agricultural thought leadership to local farmers who have remained dedicated to their trade. Fortunately, you don’t have to forage very far to get your hands – and taste buds – on Montgomery County’s agricultural bounty, as there are several farmers markets and “u-pick” locations open to the public.
Blacksburg Farmers Market
Every week, the region’s farmers and makers gather to showcase regional produce, baked goods, meat, eggs, handmade goods and even locally made honey at the Blacksburg Farmers Market. All of the farms are located within 50 miles of downtown Blacksburg, ensuring only the freshest, local flavors are on sale. In addition to all the great food, the Blacksburg Farmers Market plays host to talented local musical acts from spring through fall that add an element of liveliness to this agricultural celebration. The market is open on Wednesdays and Saturdays from spring through fall, and on Saturdays during the winter months.
Christiansburg Farmers Market
Just a short drive from Blacksburg, the Christiansburg Farmers Market is open every Thursday from May through October and showcases even more of the New River Valley’s locally grown and made produce, flowers, baked goods and more. And if all of that shopping makes you hungry, visit one of the on-site food trucks to taste some of that local flavor from our talented chefs.
Three Birds Berry Farm
Spend some time on the farm foraging for sweet and succulent raspberries, blueberries and blackberries at Three Birds Berry Farms, just 7 miles from Downtown Blacksburg. All crops are pesticide free and organically fertilized, and you can fill up a pint with your hand-selected berries for just $3 (plus $1 for a reusable container). Once you have your bounty, check out their website (3birdsberryfarm.com) to check out their “berry care guides,” which provide great recipes you can make at home.
Sinkland Farms Pumpkin Festival
What agricultural region would be complete without a massive festival celebrating it?Sinkland Farmsis home to one of the region’s longest standing agritourism events, the annual Pumpkin Festival. Over a 6-week period each fall, visitors are treated to a variety of events on Sinkland Farms celebrating the region’s deep agricultural roots. Live music, kids’ activities, agricultural demonstrations and, of course, giant pumpkins make this one of the most cherished events of the year.
A grocery store, carry-out restaurant and caterer, Hethwood Market in Blacksburg brings the flavor of farms to you through foods crafted with locally sourced ingredients. Try something new like wild boar meat sticks or something more familiar like The Hokie Griller – a seasoned, grilled chicken breast on a Kaiser roll with all your favorite toppings. In addition to prepared foods, you can also pick up locally made dairy products, baking supplies and snacks. Be sure to try the kettle corn!
Hethwood Market also operates a farm stand in nearby Riner that serves barbecue meals to-go every Thursday, including pork, chicken, baked beans and mac-and-cheese. A portion of the proceeds from these meals goes to the United Way of the New River Valley.
Caffeine & Sweets: Christiansburg Edition
Whether you’re in search of the perfect latte to start your day or an afternoon treat, Christiansburg, VA has an abundance of options!
Great Road Coffee is located in the heart of Downtown Christiansburg and takes pride in offering “great coffee in a great environment.” Great Road Coffee has no shortage of friendly faces and space to study or spend time with friends.
*Pro Tip: if you’re feeling adventurous, try the Sweet Heat Latte!
Space Rabbit Coffee has been operating in their mobile store since June of 2020 and has recently opened a drive-thru permeant location in Christiansburg! Featuring unique roasts and amazing flavors, Space Rabbit Coffee is a great stop during your visit with us! Don’t forget to try one of their amazing donuts as well when you visit!
*Pro Tip: a beautiful mural outside makes a great photo opportunity!