Winter is a season with its own special perks, and getting cozy and eating warm treats are two of them! Finding warm and delicious food in a cozy setting is a great strategy for enjoying the winter in Front Royal. Read on for a rundown of some of Front Royal’s coziest eateries. You’ll find suggestions for treats, casual dining, cozy pub-style restaurants, and more.
Cozy Treats for all Day Long
If you’re looking for a warming treat on a winter’s morning (or afternoon!), Front Royal’s cozy coffee shops are a great place to start. Between Manor Line’s Back 40, DL Campus Coffee on Main, and the Daily Grind, you can find ambiance, delicious coffee, yummy baked goods and more. With all this caffeinated goodness within Front Royal’s charming walkable downtown area, you can enjoy some crisp fresh air as well as a cozy mug of coffee to warm you from the inside out.
If you really want to zone in on the baked goods, Front Royal’s Down Home Comfort Bakery is the place to stop. Just the name evokes feelings of warmth, comfort, and delicious home-style food. Front Royal’s favorite bakery is a great place to stop for a freshly baked treat at any time of the day. Treat yourself to a slice of layer cake, a warm, fresh cinnamon roll, or one of a range of fantastic freshly baked treats that change with the seasons.
A Cozy Dinner to Suit your Style
With a range of locally owned restaurants all serving delicious food, the Front Royal area has a cozy place for you to eat whether you’re looking for a casual family pizza night or an upscale date night.
Pizza lovers, head to The Melting Pot. This casual pizza restaurant has been a Front Royal Tradition since the 1970s, and one bite will show you why. Fill up on thin crust pizza piled with all your favorite toppings.
The Main Street Mill is another Front Royal classic. Relax in a historic feed mill-turned restaurant. With wood floors, high wood-beamed ceilings, and murals, the Main Street Mill is a great place to get cozy. Pair the ambiance with a full service bar and a menu filled with comfort-food favorites. You’ll leave feeling satisfied and refreshed.
For a really rural vibe, head a bit out of town to The Apple House in Linden, and enjoy the Bushel Pub. With local wines and beers on tap, it’s a great place to enjoy a craft beverage with a burger or some pub style finger food. The atmosphere is casual and family friendly, and the open fireplace and taxidermy decor make it a great place to enjoy on a winter’s night.
Maybe it’s because it originated in the chilly British Isles. Pub food seems like a perfect fit for cooler weather. Formerly Griffin Tavern, now The Dark Horse Irish Pub, in nearby Flint Hill offers delish Irish fare in a renovated 1800s home. With three dining rooms to choose from, you can have cozy any way you like it here.
The Blue Door Kitchen and Inn in Flint Hill is an upscale dining experience, and a great option for a special day or date night. Find locally sourced and seasonal ingredients on a frequently changing menu, and enjoy some of the best flavors that winter has to offer. Be sure to make a reservation if you’re planning an evening here.
Whether it’s a hearty pub dinner or a warm cup of coffee that makes you feel like you’re celebrating winter, head to the Front Royal area. You can find warming eats any way you like them, and enjoy all the coziness that the colder weather calls for.
Summer and fall are typical times of year for harvesting and preserving fruit and vegetables. But there’s still more of the year left for another kind of harvest as the weather turns cold. Late fall and early winter are the traditional season for butchering animals. There are several reasons for this seasonal rhythm. First of all, it makes more sense for farmers to butcher meat animals in the fall, rather than providing them with food and water through the harsh temperatures of another winter. In addition, in the ages before refrigeration, butchering animals in cold weather (40 degrees and below) reduced the risk of meat spoiling during processing. Without modern freezing and refrigeration, butchered meat was commonly preserved in many of the ways we now choose primarily for their flavor such as curing (think bacon and hams!), smoking, or drying (jerky).
Of course, with modern refrigeration and freezing devices, butchery isn’t primarily confined to the cooler months of the year as it once was. Nevertheless, fall is a great time to shine a light on local, humane meat production and some of the delicious meat products you can find around Front Royal. Read on to discover Front Royal’s local meats.
Front Royal’s Local Meat Farms
Grass is a healthy cow’s natural diet, and grass-fed beef is a healthy and delicious food for humans. In the Front Royal area, you can find local, grass-fed beef at Cottonwood Ranch, a family-owned and operated farm just a few miles from town. Cottonwood’s cows receive humane treatment throughout their lives, graze happily on pasture, and have their diet supplemented by high protein beer mash from local breweries. Manor Line Ranch in nearby Browntown, VA is another great source of local grass-fed beef. You’ll find the same high standards of humane treatment, environmental stewardship, and delicious food here too. Manor Line Ranch also produces high quality pork, lamb, and goat.
Head to their websites to purchase meat from both farms directly. Save some money and stock the freezer by placing a bulk order. You can purchase a whole, half, or quarter cow and enjoy a variety of healthy, grass-fed steaks, roasts, and hamburger, while having your freezer stocked so you’re never caught off guard.
Restaurants Serving Local Meats in Front Royal
If you want someone else to cook your local meat for your, check out you can find some great farm-to-table restaurants in the Front Royal area. Head to PaveMint Smokin’ Tap House to find delicious, local, smoked meats, burgers from local farms, and more. You’ll even find some meat from Manor Line Ranch on the menu. The made-over gas station provides a fun and unique atmosphere for enjoying your food.
For another local food experience, try Region’s 117 at Lake Frederick. This local fine dining option boasts a menu of “regionally inspired” dishes, with most of their ingredients sourced within 117 miles of the restaurant. Head here for beautiful views, delicious cuisine, and a fine dining experience you won’t forget!
Pick up more Meats and Local Products
In search of even more local products? Stop by Dusty’s Country Store and explore a wide variety of local, Virginia-produced food. Check out their jerky for meat preserved the old-fashioned way. The Apple House in Linden is another local favorite; find Virginia hams in the gift shop, as well as a range of other local products, or grab a bite in the restaurant or Bushel Pub.
Celebrate fall by bringing home some delicious local meats to enjoy with your family. Whether it’s Thanksgiving Dinner, another special occasion, or a simple weeknight meal with the family, local meat is a great addition to any table.
There’s a seasonal rhythm to human eating that comes with making an effort to eat local and produce some of your own food. Summer and early fall are a natural time of year to be outdoors, growing and harvesting fresh produce. But as the weather cools and the days shorten, there’s a lot less growing happening in the great outdoors. Many of us feel an urge to get cozy inside instead. It’s a great time to enjoy the tastes and scents of home-baked goods or preserved produce.
If you’re feeling a craving for cozy baked goods and preserved local produce as fall turns to winter, you’ll find plenty to satisfy you in Front Royal. Read on for the best local places to pick up baked treats or stock up on local preserves.
Front Royal’s Baked Goods
Down Home Comfort Bakery is Front Royal’s number one stop for freshly baked goods all year round. But in the fall, there’s something particularly appealing about cozying up with one of their tantalizing treats. You’ll even find seasonal produce in your treats here. Try out the Pumpkin Moonshine Cake or Apple Caramel Cake for melt-in-your-mouth flavors of fall. Their cinnamon rolls and pecan sticky buns are favorites all year round. Need a hand with your Thanksgiving dinner? Down Home Comfort Bakery has you covered with a huge selection of delicious pies available for preorder now!
Head to Manor Line's Back 40 for a cozy coffee shop with many local products on the menu. Enjoy delicious coffee and seasonal baked goods. Couches, a stash of board games, and toys for kids make it a great place to spend a cozy few hours.
Or explore a few blocks north of Main Street to find Garcia and Gavino, a friendly family bakery. You can enjoy cupcakes and other sweet treats, as well as a selection of empanadas and breakfast burritos.
In the mood for warming up with a cup of coffee and a baked treat on the side? Front Royal’s Daily Grind is another great option. This cozy coffee shop on Main Street is a long time local favorite. With fresh scones, muffins, turnovers, Danishes, and more, you’re sure to find the perfect sweet treat to pair with that warming mug of coffee or hot chocolate.
Let us not leave out DOUGHNUTS, wonderful doughnuts! And anyone knows that the most memorable doughnuts around are Strites Doughnuts! You can get your fill at 50 Water Street in Front Royal, open Friday and Saturday's from 7am to sold out or Noon. (Note they accept cash only).
Local Pickles and Preserves in Front Royal
For many years, preserving food to last through the winter has been one of the major tasks of human life. During the summer and fall, people would “put up” a supply of canned and preserved goods, such as pickles, jams, sauces, pie fillings, dried fruits, and more. The colder moths were a time to rest from the labor of growing and harvesting, and enjoy the food prepared earlier in the year.
With grocery stores now bringing fresh food into our hands from all corners of the earth, preserving food is no longer a necessity for many. Nevertheless it can be a fun and money-saving hobby, and the results are still delicious. If you’re not interested in preserving your own food, shop for local preserves in Front Royal. The Apple House has a wide range of local products such as chutneys, jams, jellies, and pickles. Dusty’s Country Store is another great place to stock up on preserved Virginia produce including peanut butter and traditional chutneys. Pick out some unique gifts at either location to get a jump start on your holiday shopping.
It’s the season for cozy fires, candlelight, spicy baked goods, and delicious jams and jellies. Look no further than Front Royal to stock up on all your edible supplies for a cozy and delicious winter.
May is finally here, the end of the school year is well in sight, and (if you haven’t already) it’s a great time to start making travel and tourism plans for the summer. In Front Royal, we love the many guests who pass through our small town. May 1-7 is Travel and Tourism Week, and we’re joining the celebration by recognizing the fantastic folks who find something to draw them to Front Royal. There are so many things to love about Front Royal, that tourists come into town for many different reasons. Read on for our handy guide to six kinds of tourists/travelers you’ll find passing through town!
1. Hiking Legends
The most legendary hike in the U.S.A. is unquestionably the Appalachian Trail. Large numbers of dedicated hikers taking on the daunting challenge of hiking the over-two-thousand mile trail every year. As the Appalachian Trail passes close by Front Royal, it’s not surprising that many of them drop by our town. In fact, with an affordable shuttle service from the trail to the town, a free locker, laundry, and shower service, a premium gear shop, and fantastic restaurants to fill hungry hikers, it’s not surprising that Front Royal is a favorite stop for Appalachian Trail hikers. There’s even lodging specifically provided by and for Appalachian Trail enthusiasts. An officially designated Appalachian Trail Community, Front Royal has become a model for many of the towns that host Appalachian Trail hikers every year.
If you enjoy hiking, you don’t have to be undertaking the Appalachian Trail to find some hiking to love around Front Royal. Shenandoah National Park is another favorite hiking location, with stunning scenery and hikes ranging from easy to challenging, including the beloved Old Rag.
2. River Relaxers
For those who enjoy fishing, boating, swimming, tubing, or anything that requires a river, Front Royal is a dream destination. With the North and South Forks of the scenic and lovely Shenandoah River meeting right in town, there are so many opportunities for river recreation that Front Royal is known as the Canoe Capital of Virginia. Bring your own gear, or work with one of our friendly outfitters. You’ll find an enthusiastic welcome, a beautiful river, and a boatload of memories waiting to be made! Check out Front Royal’s riverside campgrounds for even more time to enjoy the river.
“Leaf-Peepers” are the tourists known for pursuing the stunning sights of the changing leaves of fall throughout. Fall is a great time of year to visit Front Royal. With Shenandoah National Park one of the top leaf-peeping destinations in the country, October is a popular month for visitors. Head to Front Royal to access the park and enjoy the stunning vistas of vibrant fall colors spread across the Blue Ridge Mountains.
From to farm-to-table operations, pick-your-own farms, craft breweries and internationally acclaimed restaurants, the Front Royal area has plenty to keep a foodie happy for a long, long time. Plan a weekend or longer to explore the gourmet food options of the Front Royal area, and enjoy breakfast, lunch, and dinner Front Royal style!
5. Wine Lovers
With sensational sipping spaces, rolling vineyards, and stunning mountain views, Front Royals wineries are a special destination for all lovers of wine . . . from the casual to the connoisseur. Pack a picnic, enjoy a tasting, or buy a bottle. There are so many ways to enjoy the amazing Virginia wines and wineries of the Front Royal area. Don’t forget to stop by Front Royal Wines before you leave town and pick up some souvenirs to bring home.
6. Big City Escapees
Living and working in the big city takes its toll, and sometimes you just need a little WanderLOVE. For residents and commuters in the D.C. Metro area, Front Royal is the ideal destination to find that love and enjoy a country weekend. Less than a 90 minute drive from central Washington D.C., it’s convenient enough for a day or weekend trip, but still rural enough that you’ll feel like you’ve truly entered a different world. Break free of the city and head to Front Royal for fun, adventure, relaxation, and restoration.
Front Royal draws visitors for many reasons, and it’s a dream destination for a variety of tourists and travelers. Do you find yourself drawn to join one (or more!) of our groups of happy visitors? If so, make plans for your trip to Front Royal today! You’ll find yourself wanting to come back again and again!
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