For the first time in the Commonwealth of Virginia, Harrisonburg’s vibrant downtown has been named a “Culinary District,” thanks to approval from Harrisonburg’s city council on January 28th.
Why a culinary district?
Mostly because it will bring more people downtown to enjoy the variety of restaurants available. The food industry is booming downtown, not just because of the many restaurants located there, but also because of food-related businesses, such as City Exchange, Wetsel Seed, Cassco Ice, Rocco Feeds, and Shenandoah’s Pride, that started off downtown and have since made national impact in the food industry. Plus, according to Harrisonburg Tourism and Harrisonburg Downtown Renaissance, The Friendly City “became a leader in adopting the farm-to-table trend in all aspects of its food-related heritage, culture, and economy.”
Food Culture in Harrisonburg
Culinary enthusiasts enjoy dining at more than 30 locally-owned restaurants and eateries downtown, each with its own unique flavors and atmospheres. More than 15 food-related businesses can also be found here, like the year-round farmers market, specialty wine and beer shops, food tours, cooking classes, and more. Events that celebrate food and beverages welcome folks to downtown as well: Taste of Downtown, Rocktown Beer & Music Festival, National Food Day Farm-to-Table Breakfast, Chocolate Walk, and more.
Accolades for our Local Foodie Scene
A new Downtown Culinary District designation adds to a long list of accolades for Harrisonburg’s foodie scene.
In 2013 alone, Harrisonburg and its food-related businesses received notable mentions or awards in the Washingtonian, Blue Ridge Outdoors, Wine Enthusiast, Travel + Leisure, Huffington Post, USA Today, Blue Ridge Country, The Daily Meal, Virginia Living, Southern Living, The Local Palate, and many other local, regional and national publications.
Map of the New Downtown Culinary DistrictWant to learn more about how food fits into Harrisonburg’s culture? Check out these videos on YouTube:
So tell us… where is your favorite place to dine downtown?