American Food

Virginia: Traveling I-81

My fiancee and I love a good road trip and have taken quite a few over the years that have us driving up and down I-81 in Virginia (and of course making plenty of stops along the way). Below, I’ve compiled some of our favorite spots we have stopped for snacks, coffee, a bite to eat, and stretch our legs while walking through a charming downtown. I’ve listed everywhere out in order of the town you drive through when heading south on I-81 through VA.


  • Bro Bears Coffee – this drive-through coffee shop is located in a parking lot and has tons of coffee beverages to fuel you up for the first (or final) leg of your trip
  • Hopscotch Coffee and Records – I love a coffee roaster that knows what they are doing and this spot fits the bill. Plus there’s a great vibe in here if you need to decompress for a bit before continuing your drive.


  • Little Grill Collective – A vegan/vegetarian friendly worker owned spot in Harrisonburg, VA. Plenty of breakfast and lunch options and the few times we’ve visited I’ve ordered the breakfast burrito – it’s so good!
  • Magpie Diner – a modern corner diner with seriously excellent food and pastries. Great for grabbing a bite to eat.


So we have actually stopped here for the night and had a seriously wonderful time so it’s always a must for us when in the area.

  • Redbeard Brewing Co. – This was our favorite stop for beers in the area
  • The Split Banana – Super cozy ice cream shop
  • The Shack – They offer a 5 course tasting menu that’s regularly changing and was seriously one of the best meals we’ve had
  • Reunion Bakery + Espresso – amazing coffee, flaky pastries, this place has it all. Don’t miss the cruffin
  • Cocoa Mill – this chocolatier has something for everyone and we definitely grabbed some truffles for the road
  • Crucible Coffee – if you’re looking for a really good cup of coffee, this roaster is a great stop. Make sure to grab a bag to bring home too!



  • Drip – This no frills coffee joint is perfect for fueling up. If you need to stretch your legs, check out the Buchanan swinging bridge just across the street.


  • Sweet Donkey Coffee – In an old home, this coffee shop is serving some fun flavor combinations and I wanted to try them all. The spicy honey latte was excellent.


  • Blackbird Bakery – A true old fashioned bakery – the doughnuts really hit the spot.
  • Pal’s Sudden Service – This fast food chain lured me in with its seriously adorable building and I can’t resist an order of french fries!

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