11 Famous Foods From Virginia: Dishes Virginia Is Known For

Please note that some posts may contain affiliate links. We may earn a commission should you choose to purchase using these links but at absolutely no extra cost to you.

When it comes to gastronomy, Virginia offers up some of the best in American cuisine. From the Chesapeake Bay to the Blue Ridge Mountains, this charming state takes advantage of its scenic landscapes to also bring some wonders to the dining table. The diverse and delicious foods from Virginia range from classic comfort dishes to more innovative creations.

What’s Special About Foods Of Virginia?

Virginia’s food scene is steeped in history and tradition. As one of the original 13 colonies, the Old Dominion has had centuries to perfect its culinary craft, blending Native American, European, and African influences into a distinctive and downright scrumptious array of dishes.

The state’s diverse geography – with its fertile farmland, rolling hills, and stunning coastline – provides a wide range of fresh, local ingredients that give Virginia cuisine its unique, homegrown appeal. From fresh seafood to farm produces and succulent meats, not forgetting the tasty peanuts, there is plenty to love here for the passionate chef.

That said, the heart and soul of its culinary community are not to be overlooked. The state holds a treasure trove of talented chefs, skilled pitmasters, and passionate food artisans who pour their love for Virginia’s culinary heritage into every delectable creation.

The famous foods of Virginia are a delightful and delicious celebration of the state’s rich history and bountiful natural resources. Be sure to look out and sample some of these foods Virginia is known for when you visit!

Most Unique And Famous Virginia Food

Virginia Country Ham Biscuits


Virginia is home to some of the best country ham in the world, and it’s not surprising that these succulent slices have become a sought-after delicacy. The salty, smoky flavor has been favored by locals for many years.

Country ham biscuits are another classic food Virginia is known for. Flaky, golden-brown pastry fresh, from the oven, loaded with thin slices of this awesome meat. The salty and savory bits of bliss make these sandwiches an unforgettable way to start your day on a tasty note! 

What makes Country Ham Biscuits special is the unbeatable combination of two Virginia culinary icons: the beloved, buttery biscuit and the time-honored, air-dried country ham. 

This dynamic duo of flavors is a match made in heaven, a partnership so perfect, it could rival even the most iconic of celebrity power couples. 

While you can find these treats throughout the state; many locals also make them at home. You can even top it up with added flavor from your personal favorites – how about some honey, jam or melty cheese?

These portable mini sandwiches can also be packed for convenient feasting while you are out exploring the famous landmarks in Virginia.

Popular Seafood In Virginia

Blue Crabs


Virginia is famous for its abundance of seafood, but none more so than the iconic blue crab. These tasty crustaceans can be found in waters around the state during the warm season. 

Catching your own crabs is a favorite activity among locals in Virginia. Some of the popular spots are Chincoteague and Cape Charles. 

From steaming to picking and devouring, there are many ways to enjoy these succulent morsels of freshness. But nothing beats a good old-fashioned family feast of boiled or barbecued blue crabs around the dinner table with plenty of sides!

The state’s famous Chesapeake Bay has been providing delicious catches of blue crabs for centuries, making them one of Virginia’s most popular dishes. They may take some time and patience to cook and eat, but you’ll never forget the flavors.

You can easily find blue crabs at local seafood shacks or waterfront restaurants. This prized food in Virginia is so divine that it gives those stunning coastal views and beaches a run for their money. You will discover that this state has more to offer than just pretty scenery. 

Try adding a squeeze of lemon, a sprinkle of Old Bay seasoning or your own secret blend to take this classic seafood dish to the next level! So grab your bib and enjoy some delicious blue crabs the next time you visit Virginia.



Virginia is known for its stunning nature. The state is home to numerous tranquil rivers and lakes teeming with a favorite in the Virginia food scene – Trout!

Imagine a fresh, tender, and flaky fillet of trout, perfectly seasoned and cooked to perfection, just waiting to be devoured by your eager taste buds. Apart from the taste, they are popular due to their versatility and nutrition profile.

There are plenty of ways to enjoy this fish; it can be cooked on a grill, pan-fried, oven-roasted, or smoked. No matter how you prepare it, this aquatic delight can make for a memorable and satisfying meal! It is just a flexible canvas to work your culinary magic on.

Trout fishing is a long-standing tradition within Virginia culture, with some anglers even using fly fishing gear to catch them. The most common types are rainbow trout, brown trout, and brook trout. 

Shrimp & Grits


This all-time Southern favorite is an equally famous food in Virginia. It’s a comforting dish featuring juicy succulent shrimps, nestled atop a bed of creamy, buttery grits.

The addition of fresh herbs like parsley and oregano gives this seafood delight an extra layer of flavor that will have you coming back for seconds. And if you’re craving something even more indulgent then top it off with some bacon or sausage for an even more mindblowing experience. 

From traditional, down-home versions that stood the test of time, to innovative, upscale renditions working in unexpected flavor combinations – you will certainly find one that suits your palate and cravings.

Shrimp & Grits is a delicious reminder that sometimes, the best flavors come from the simplest of ingredients – and the warmest of welcomes

Whether it’s a breakfast, brunch, or dinner – Shrimp & Grits are always a hit in Virginia. So if you’re ever in the area, be sure to make it one of your culinary adventures! 

Rappahannock Oysters


The Eastern Shore of Virginia is home to many oyster beds, and their fresh flavors have been bringing people from far and wide. Rappahannock Oysters are some of the most iconic seafood in the state, known for their plump, juicy meats, and unique briny flavor.

It’s no wonder that they’re a hit amongst seafood lovers. These delicious bivalves not only make for an amazing appetizer but also add depth to gourmet dishes. 

Oysters can be enjoyed in a myriad of ways, from raw on the half-shell to grilled, roasted, or even fried. And let’s not forget about the plethora of accompaniments – a dash of hot sauce, a zest of lemon, or a drizzle of mignonette can elevate your oyster experience to new heights of deliciousness

To slurp your way through the best oysters Virginia has to offer, head over to famous seafood spots, local oyster bars or even check out one of the oyster festivals happening around the state.

Famous Foods In Virginia

Brunswick Stew


We are diving spoon first into a soul-warming delight amongst all the delicious foods of Virginia. Brunswick Stew is a classic dish that has been around since the 1800s.

It was initially made with wild game like squirrel or rabbit, but today you find more of the common meats like chicken and pork. It’s a saucy, slow-cooked stew combining tender meat and a bunch of veggies like potatoes, lima beans, corn, and tomatoes. 

The long hours of cooking mean that the flavors of the ingredients are so steeped in the gravy and overall dish. There is nothing better than having this hearty stew over rice or biscuits.

Brunswick Stew is an iconic comfort food that you can find at restaurants or sometimes even festivals throughout the state. They are especially popular for chilly evenings for obvious reasons. It is a superb way to get a taste of Virginia food traditions and Southern cuisine.



As with many other Southern states, BBQ is popular amongst the various Virginia foods. It is one of the places to embark on a lip-smacking, finger-licking adventure.

The state is packed with amazing restaurants offering a variety of locally sourced meats that have been smoked low and slow over wood fires. You can find everything from beef brisket, pork shoulder, ribs, chicken wings and more – the options are endless! 

When it comes to Virginia BBQ, mouthwatering images of succulent, slow-smoked meats, infused with the flavors of hickory and oak, slathered in a tangy, zesty sauce comes to mind.

From tender pulled pork and juicy brisket to fall-off-the-bone ribs and smoky chicken, what makes BBQ truly special in the Virginia food scene is the incredible combination of time-honored techniques and the unique spin that local pitmasters put on this Southern classic.

Each version is unique in its own way as different regions tend to use specific spices or sauces for their recipes. This makes for an interesting exploration into the world of Virginia’s BBQ culture as each restaurant offers something slightly different. 

Visit the local smokehouses and roadside BBQ joints to experience some of the best foods in Virginia.

Snack Foods Of Virginia

Pimento Cheese


Pimento Cheese is one of the most loved foods in Virginia and you will easily see why after trying it. It’s a creamy, dreamy blend of sharp cheddar, mayonnaise, and zesty pimentos, all whipped together into a scrumptious, tangy concoction.

This ooey-gooey goodness has been gracing Southern sandwiches, crackers, and spoons for a long time. It’s super versatile; you can use it as a dip, spread, or even a simple side to any meal. It adds a nice zing to those classic recipes like a convenient combination of cheese and condiments.

That said, people are known to create their own versions of this simple-to-prepare Southern favorite. Some of the popular variations include adding jalapenos for extra heat or using smoked gouda for more flavor. 

You will likely find dishes featuring Pimento Cheese at diners and restaurants; a grilled pimento cheese sandwich anyone? Or snag a few tubs of this ready-made spread from local markets. They make for good souvenirs to take a taste of Virginia home. 

Mac & Cheese


The classic comfort food in the United States needs no real introduction. The fluffy macaroni smothered in luscious sauces is one of the most popular dishes on any American table. 

As a Southern state that is also high on BBQ, Mac ‘n’ Cheese is also a crowd pleaser in the state of Virginia. Whether you’re having it as a side dish or as a meal itself, this cheesy casserole is both comforting and nostalgic at the same time.

There is another reason why Mac ‘n’ Cheese is a food Virginia is known for – the recipe is said to be first recorded in a cookbook called “The Virginia House-Wife” by Mary Randolph. While many believe the dish originates from Europe, Virginia played an early role in spreading its influence within the United States.

Today, you can find lots of variations to this gooey indulgence, from traditional, home-style versions that’ll transport you right back to grandma’s kitchen, to inventive, gourmet renditions featuring mouthwatering add-ins like crab, bacon, or truffle oil. This dish is so insanely versatile and loved that it can appear anywhere from budget diners or high-end restaurants.

Take the opportunity to try this simple yet tasty pleasure at some of the local haunts, it’s sure to bring a “cheesy” smile to your face.

Virginia Peanuts (Peanut Pie And Soup)


Virginia is one of the major peanut producing states in the U.S. and it comes as no surprise that these legumes are beloved snacks in the area.

Just the simple boiled peanuts are already so irresistible and addictive as you unconsciously munch one after another. However, as we crack open the scrumptious, crunchy, and nutty world of Virginia Peanuts, there is more than one way to enjoy this delicacy.

Look out for the decadent Peanut Pie topped with a dollop of whipped cream that makes for the ultimate indulgence. And don’t miss out on the creamy, earthy peanut soup that warms the belly and soul! You can find a variety of peanut-packed dishes in Virginia.

Peanuts are convenient, flexible treats, perfect for snacking during a leisurely stroll through Virginia’s historic streets, or as the star ingredient in a delicious, home-cooked meal. They are an integral part of the Virginia food culture and scene since the 19th century.

So next time you visit, make sure to sample these delicious, nutty foods of Virginia that leverage that oh-so-hardy crop.

Desserts And Sweet Foods From Virginia

Apple Butter


A thick, luscious spread, brimming with the flavors of ripe apples, warm spices, and a hint of caramelized sweetness. This, my fruit fanatic friends, is one of the famous foods in Virginia – Apple Butter.

It has a deep, sweet taste that comes from boiling apples in spices and sugar until it thickens into a velvety, smooth condiment. 

The delectable sweetness of this amazing treat goes perfectly with toast, crackers, or even pancakes! It’s also great as an addition to savory recipes like roasted meats and stews; adding a hint of tartness and complex flavor.

Apple butter has its origins in Europe. But with countless orchards dotting the state’s landscape, it’s no wonder that generations of Virginians have been transforming the humble apple into this rich, delectable spread. 

If you’re looking to get your hands on some of the best apple butter around town then head over to local markets or farmers’ stands where they are homemade with love.

Discovering Delicious Foods From Virginia

This beautiful state of America has a wide variety of delectable dishes to offer. Whether it’s sampling some classic Southern food or discovering something new in one of their many festivals around the state, there is something special about the Virginia food culture.

From fresh juicy Oysters to homemade Apple Butter spread, the foods in Virginia offer a tantalizing tapestry of flavors, rich history, and down-to-earth charm that sets it apart from the culinary landscapes of other states.

So don’t miss out on all these amazing delights when you visit. Factor time to really indulge in some of the scrumptious foods Virginia is known for.



Book Your Flight

I usually use a combination of 2-3 of the following search engines to find cheap flights: Skyscanner, Momondo, Google Flights

Find Your Accommodation

Booking.com is my usual platform for finding accommodation options as they have one of the largest selections. Hostelworld is great for booking hostels. For more private or long term accommodation, Airbnb is my go-to platform.

Travel Insurance

Travel insurance is important for to protect yourself against unforeseen circumstances. I usually look at a few insurance companies depending on my travel needs.
  • SafetyWings for Travel Health Insurance
  • IMG Global for added Insurance when doing activities outside of usual coverage
Packing for your trip? Check out the packing list for ideas on what to bring

For more travel resources, check out my resources page for best platforms and companies to use when you travel.

More Adventures


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Welcome To NomadsUnveiled
This is Rax. For over a decade, I have traveled to over 60 countries - from a budget backpacker to a business traveler, expat and then a digital nomad. You can find insights and perspectives from myself and other world travelers that will inspire your journey of discovery.


other stories