Today I fell in love with my hometown, Roanoke, Virginia all over again by taking The Historic Downtown Roanoke Food and Cultural Tour.
My culinary crush began at “The Grand Old Lady” Hotel Roanoke (pictured above) where we were served their legendary peanut soup and spoon bread pictured below. http://www.hotelroanoke.com/about/
As we proceeded on our tour our lovely and lively guide Amelia made good on her promise to combine the vibrancy of downtown Roanoke, its colorful past, plus our city’s impressive food culture into a unique experience.
Our next stop was Cedars Lebanese Restaurant where we enjoyed Sambousek (meat pies) served over Tabouleh. When we entered this restaurant we were greeted with warm aromas of lemon and Mediterranean spices. I will definitely frequent this restaurant using one of the coupons that was generously included in our tour pamphlet.
Imagine our delight when we stumbled upon the Southwest Virginia Ballet in costume for the Cinderella! The photograph above (that’s our fabulous tour guide Amelia on the far right front) was taken by ExposureRoanoke.com at the Taubman Museum.
In between Taubman Museum and Billy’s Restaurant sits Appalachian Press (beautiful assortment of printed greeting cards available here). This location was originally Ferris Grocery Store (note the name on the front step).
Billy’s Restaurant was an all-around favorite with our group. We wet our whistles with Devil’s Backbone award-winning Vienna Lager. Then we enjoyed Billy’s signature Shrimp and Grits (pictured above). This dish is made even more remarkable with a local twist ~ bits of Smithfield Ham!
At this point we were getting pleasantly full, not only with food, but historical information about Roanoke. Since I am a native Roanoker, I was surprised to learn so many “new to me” tidbits of information about Roanoke.
Our next stop was Firefly Restaurant located in the historical Downtown Roanoke Market Building. We were treated to Curried Chicken Mango Salad (pictured above). Firefly locally sources many of their ingredients. They have an awesome juice bar!
When my parents moved to Roanoke in 1952 their favorite (and actually only “fast food” choice) place to get a hamburger was the Texas Tavern. Fast forward 63 years and we are still enjoying this little gem of a restaurant which was also on our tour.
The Little Green Hive delighted us with strawberry, mango and banana smoothie samples.
Our last restaurant stop on the tour was On the Rise Bakery and Restaurant where we enjoyed fresh coconut cake…yum!
Roanoke, Virginia, Star City of the South
The Historic Downtown Roanoke Food and Cultural Tour
order tickets from:
questions? call 540-309-1781
Photos from our fabulous Downtown Roanoke Market ~ lettuce plants and herbs are starting to “sprout” all over the market!
Looking forward to attending these tours too:
Historic Downtown Roanoke Sunday Brunch Tour
Roanoke Craft Beer Tour
Blue Ridge Wine Tour