Virginia is known for many things: it is filled with rich history, obtaining two distinct names: “the birthplace of a nation” and “Mother of Presidents.”
While many people visit this area to see flashback and intricate architecture and beautiful landscapes, they also travel to Virginia as it boasts delicious Southern food.
From oysters to fried chicken, traditional Virginia foods are nothing short of delicious and a must-try when traveling to the area.
Whether you’re planning a Virginia vacation or not, knowing what food Virginia is known for is quite an interesting topic – and this article shares the top eight.
What Food Is Virginia Known For: 9 Famous Dishes
Virginia has plenty of downright delicious foods. While many plates could have made the list, the following eight are the most prominent and well-known in the area.
1. Brunswick Stew
If you’re looking for a bowl of stew to warm up on a chilly winter night, look no further than the Brunswick Stew.
Brunswick Stew originated in a southern area known as Brunswick County.
The original recipe utilized wild game like squirrels and rabbits, but today, it’s more common to consume this traditional Virginia dish with smoked pork or chicken.
The stew comes with a hearty tomato base, loaded with meat, beans, and an assortment of vegetables. With so many ingredients, it’s not only tasty but filling, too.
2. Country Ham Biscuits
Biscuits and gravy may be popular elsewhere, but Virginia Country Ham Biscuits are the must-have staple breakfast.
Country ham and biscuits are as simple as it sounds. Cured, thin slices of ham are sandwiched between two impressively fluffy biscuits.
The simple sandwich can be served with a condiment, like butter or mustard, but it’s typically consumed “as-is.”
While it makes for a great breakfast, whether sitting at a restaurant or grab-and-go, it’s commonly served as an appetizer, eaten as a snack, or munched on at a tailgate.
3. Peanut Soup
If you didn’t know this already, Virginia is well-known for its gourmet peanuts.
Virginia’s Peanut Country is situated in the coastal and Southern regions. This is where the best of the best peanuts can be found to create the famous “peanut soup.”
Like other soups, this soup is served with an assortment of veggies like celery and onions. The game-changer is the inclusion of peanut butter and the topping of plump Virginia peanuts.
4. Soft Shell Crabs
Blue crabs are found on the East Coast of Virginia’s coastal towns, such as the Chesapeake Bay.
This delicacy is served in many ways, but soft shell crabs are among the most popular East Coast dishes.
These scrumptious crabs are battered and fried for a superiorly crunchy exterior and a lavishly soft interior. It’s the perfect Virginia cuisine for lunch or dinner!
(That said, I also have to mention that you can find unbeatably fresh seafood at many Virginia restaurants – if you’re a seafood fan, you will love it here!).
You can’t think of “Virginia” without thinking of oysters. The consumption of oysters dates back to 1607, when the settlers survived on them, giving Virginia the name “Oyster Capital.”
Today, oysters are one of the most delicious specialties that are served in many ways.
They can be eaten in a stew, grilled and consumed, or as a remoulade.
6. Pimento Cheese
Looking for a famous cheese spread you can top your toast, crackers, or Virginia country hams and biscuits? Consider the South’s favorite cheese spread: pimento cheese.
Pimento cheese is an incredible Virginia specialty that combines cheddar cheese with mayo and sweet peppers for a sensational and unique flavor.
It’s the perfect topping for just about anything, especially if you want to add some more pizazz to a savory dish.
There are a lot of options on this list, most of which can be considered hearty mountain fare that will fill your belly.
But we can’t forget about the local produce when discussing Virginia food.
While Virginia is known for many yummy fruits, one of the most prominent is apples. These delicious apples are found in many dishes, from apple butter to pie and beyond.
8. BBQ Sandwich
Many people argue that Southern-style barbecue originated in Virginia. With that in mind, it’s not surprising that Virginia has an incredible selection of barbecued foods – especially sandwiches.
Sandwiches are topped with all kinds of meat options (even fried chicken!). The standout, though, is the sauce.
The flavor of the barbecue sauce will depend on where you purchase and eat the sandwich. For example, you can expect a tangier barbecue sauce near the Tidewater area. Northern Virginia has a sweeter base.
9. Appalachian Food
Initially, stunning mountain vistas attracted settlers. Little did they know that they would soon enjoy more than just the views; they’d also eat reinterpreted generations-old recipes using the local crops.
From pickling and canning vegetables to recreating turkey and pumpkin dishes, settlers created their own delicious specialties that are well-known and beloved to this day.
In this day and age, Virginians pay homage to their humble beginnings, serving Appalachian food that tastes like the most incredible down-home cooking you can imagine.
What Snacks are Virginia Known For?
Need a snack to nibble on? Consider one of Virginia’s most well-known snacks: pecan sour cream coffee cake, chocolate-covered salted caramel bites, or hot honeycomb.
What Drink is Virginia Known For?
If you like to enjoy a drink with their meal, you will be happy to hear that Virginia has quite a selection.
Virginia is known as the “birthplace of American spirits.” That said, you know you can get some of the most incredible spirits out there.
The top three options include: whiskey, bourbon, and moonshine.