Magpie Diner, a full-service breakfast and lunch restaurant, is one of the newest businesses to open on the north end of downtown Harrisonburg, having renovated the old tire service station on the corner of W. Gay and N. Liberty Streets. They also have a bakery next door with delicious pastries and various baked delights. Chestnut Ridge Coffee Roasters have moved in the building as well and provide expertly roasted beans for both Magpie and The Perch—the expansion and relocation of The Hub, a coworking space (more information about that here).
The diner is a delightful mix of classic 50’s diner with a modern twist—b&w tile flooring, plenty of light, modern pendant lighting, open shelving, and those squishy round black bar stools. The waitstaff are kind and efficient. There’s bar and booth seating, as well as regular table seating in the adjacent room.
Having pivoted from their original opening plan to start the Magpie & Friends Market to help distribute local produce and products during the start of the pandemic, they are now open in full force with seating both inside (safely spaced out) or on their patio. Something to keep in mind—they aren’t doing any takeout orders. They want to perfect their dine-in experience before proceeding with takeout orders, and we respect that. If you’re planning on having brunch this weekend, make sure to allow plenty of time because there is usually a wait for their popular brunch. Their regular menu is seasonally inspired meets ol’ fashioned diner vibes. Want to have breakfast for lunch? Go ahead. There’s also a nice selection of salads and sandwiches if you’re feeling more traditional, and don’t forget about a slice of pie or a refreshing cocktail to finish off your meal.
Although I wished I could have sampled the entire menu, I picked the crispy chicken milanesa sandwich. If it was any indication of the rest of the menu, Harrisonburg has hit flavor gold! The panko-crusted fried chicken cutlet was deliciously crispy on the outside and succulent on the inside. The bitter greens helped balance the dish and the milk bread bun was light and fluffy yet didn’t fall apart in my hands.