The 10 Best Restaurants in Harrisonburg VA to Visit

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Surrounded by an array of farms, orchards, and wineries, Harrisonburg is Virginia’s first official culinary district.

The sheer variety of places to eat in Harrisonburg VA is truly astounding for a town of around 51,000 people. There are 80+ locally-owned restaurants that showcase the best farm-to-table food in the Shenandoah Valley region. 

With more than 55 languages spoken in the Virginia mountain town, the area’s cultural diversity is reflected in our favorite Downtown Harrisonburg VA restaurants.

Visitors will find options for Latin American, Mediterranean, Mexican, and Middle Eastern cuisine, as well as the best of modern American and traditional Appalachian fare.

My wife Heather and I have both worked in various restaurants, so we have an inherent appreciation for what’s involved in creating good dining experiences.

We want delicious food served in a unique and welcoming atmosphere, and we love restaurants that showcase the area’s  locally grown ingredients, history and culture.

Since this has been our hometown for decades, we’re thrilled to highlight some of our favorite Harrisonburg VA restaurants.

Read on for our in-depth guide to the best restaurants in Harrisonburg VA, including personal favorites such as Clementine Café, Magpie Diner, Mashita, and more.

READ MORE:  The 10 Best Things to Do in Harrisonburg VA & Rockingham County

Best Restaurants in Harrisonburg VA Guide

  1. Bella Luna Wood-Fired Pizza
  2. Beyond Restaurant & Lounge
  3. Clementine Cafe
  4. The Little Grill
  5. Local Chop & Grill House
  6. Magpie Diner
  7. Mashita
  8. Ridge Room Rooftop Tavern
  9. Rocktown Kitchen
  10. The Sub Station Mexican Grill

READ MORE: Apple Picking in Virginia: The 15 Best VA Apple Orchards to Visit

Italian restaurants in Harrisonburg VA - Bella Luna Harrisonburg
Bella Luna Harrisonburg

1. Bella Luna Wood-Fired Pizza

80 W Water Street, Harrisonburg VA • (540) 433-1366 • Official Website

HOURS: Sun to Thu 11:30AM-8:30PM, Fri to Sat 11:30AM-9:30PM

“Bella Luna” means beautiful moon in Italian. But when it comes to Downtown Harrisonburg VA restaurants, it means mouthwatering pizza served in a 150-year-old historic horse stable.

The beautiful brick arched doorways invite you into Bella Luna’s brightly lit, colorful wood and brick interior. From your table, you can watch your pizza being made in the wood-fired oven.

Try the Brooklyn, which combines spicy marinara sauce, mozzarella, provolone, parmesan, and red pepper flakes. Or the Ring of Fire, which comes with fennel sausage, hot sauce, and mozzarella.

Bella Luna also has fresh salads, handmade pasta dishes, and sandwiches. Their full bar includes a rotating selection of craft brews on tap, from Harrisonburg breweries such as Restless Moon and Pale Fire.

Finish your meal with Tiramisu, or walk across the street to Bella Luna’s little sister, Bella Gelato & Pastries, for an espresso, pastry, or award-winning gelato made with milk from a local family-owned dairy.

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Beyond Restaurant & Lounge - sushi Harrisonburg VA
Beyond Restaurant & Lounge Harrisonburg

2. Beyond Restaurant & Lounge

50 W Water Street, Harrisonburg VA • (540) 432-0105 • Official Website

HOURS: Mon to Thu 11AM- 9PM; Fri to Sat 11:30AM-10PM; Sun 11:30AM-9PM

If you love Asian cuisine, but find it hard to choose between Vietnamese, Japanese, or Thai, try Beyond Restaurant & Lounge.

It’s one of our favorite downtown Harrisonburg restaurants, with skilled Asian fusion chefs serving up Pad Thai, Vietnamese Fried Rice, and fantastic sushi (including hand rolls, sashimi, and nigiri).

The Spicy Scallops entrée is my favorite go-to meal, while Heather is always pleased with the Vegetable Fried Rice and/or Tempura.

Located across from the Downtown Harrisonburg parking deck, Beyond’s inside dining area is open and bright. But we usually eat on the deck overlooking Harrisonburg’s Black Run stream, so we can watch the ducks swim by.

In our experience, Beyond Restaurant & Lounge is a wonderful place to eat when you’re exploring Downtown Harrisonburg.

You’re within walking distance of great Harrisonburg shops such as Walkabout Outfitter, Agora Shops, and Ten Thousand Villages, a Fair Trade artisan store with unique items from all across the globe.

READ MORE: 20 Things to Do in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia

Downtown Harrisonburg VA restaurants - Shrimp & Grits, Clementine Cafe
Shrimp & Grits Clementine Cafe

3. Clementine Cafe

153 South Main Street, Harrisonburg VA • (540) 801-8881 • Official Website

HOURS: Tues to Sat 10AM-10PM; Sun 10AM-10PM; Closed Mondays

Clementine Café is a restaurant, live music venue, and art gallery in the heart of the Downtown Harrisonburg restaurant scene. Formerly the Strand Theater, the soaring interior is brightly painted and covered with local art.

This upscale American restaurant’s menu includes amazing Shrimp and Grits and some of the best Falafel with Garlic Aioli we’ve ever eaten.

Their big plates and bowls include Bibimbap (a bowl of sticky rice, kimchi, and pickled vegetables, with an egg on top) and Grilled Salmon with a basil-caper relish.

We recommend pairing your evening meal with entertainment: They host an open mic night on Wednesdays, live jazz on Thursdays, and various kinds of live music on Fridays and Saturdays.

If you want a great weekend brunch in Harrisonburg VA, get their Sweet Potato Pancakes on the covered patio, which is tucked in between a bike shop and Black’s Run stream.

For fun things to do in Harrisonburg before or after your meal, check out Ruby’s Arcade for family entertainment and Ruby’s Lounge for late night drinks and trivia.

READ MORE: The 15 Best Things to Do in Roanoke VA

The Little Grill - breakfast Harrisonburg VA
The Little Grill Harrisonburg

4. The Little Grill

621 North Main Street, Harrisonburg VA • (540) 434-3594 • Official Website

HOURS: Mon to Sat 7AM-2PM; Sun 9AM-2PM

The history of this diminutive eatery is as eclectic and inspiring as the homestyle food, music, and art found inside. 

One of the more iconic Harrisonburg restaurants, the Little Grill has been in existence in one form or another since the 1930s.

Now owned by Ron and Mel Copeland, “the Grill” (as it is fondly known by locals) was a successful employee-owned collective for 19 years.

Homestyle is the best word to describe the Little Grill menu, with the Blue Monkey Pancakes (which blend berries and banana) and Huevos Rancheros among our favorites for breakfast.

Their Tempeh Reuben sandwich is a great lunch choice (carnivores will love it, too!),  and don’t miss their all-you-can-eat Mexi Night for authentic Mexican food every Tuesday.

The Little Grill also has an impressive history as a music venue, with Harrisonburg bands like the Hackensaw Boys and Old Crow Medicine Show getting their start on the tiny stage.

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Local Chop House & Grill - seafood restaurants in Harrisonburg VA
Local Chop & Grill House

5. Local Chop & Grill House

56 W Gay Street, Harrisonburg VA • (540) 801-0505 • Official Website

HOURS: Mon to Sat 4PM-10PM; Closed Sundays

Located in Harrisonburg’s renovated City Produce Exchange Building, the Local Chop & Grill House is our #1 choice for creative meals prepared with locally sourced ingredients.

The Local Chop & Grill House menu includes an array of appetizers, soups, and salads, plus an assortment of upscale steaks and seafood. Their Seared Salmon and the local Rainbow Trout are two of our favorite options.

As the name implies, steaks are their specialty. Carnivores will devour the 12 oz Grilled Ribeye topped with horseradish crème fraiche, which is paired with Asparagus with Lemon Sea Salt and Duck Fat Fries.

For a sweet ending, try their house-made Chocolate Espresso Flourless Cake.

We often dine in the bar, which has a more casual atmosphere with a cozy fireplace (and the same dishes served in the dining room). Reservations are strongly recommended for the dining room or patio, but not necessary for the bar.

If you’re looking for a special dining experience for a romantic date night in Harrisonburg, the Local Chop & Grill House is a perfect choice.

READ MORE: The 10 Best Restaurants in Roanoke VA (Virginia’s Blue Ridge)

Magpie Diner - restaurants in Harrisonburg VA
Magpie Diner Harrisonburg

6. Magpie Diner

85 W Gay Street, Harrisonburg VA • (540) 383-4813 • Official Website

HOURS: Tue to Thu 8AM-2PM; Fri 8AM-2PM; Brunch Sat/Sun 9AM-2PM; Closed Mondays

Magpie Diner is one of our favorite Harrisonburg restaurants, and it’s only three blocks from our house! Located in a 1950s tire service station, the classic diner serves breakfast, lunch, and weekend brunch.

Its black and white interior includes a small, friendly bar area, from which you can watch the servers squeeze fresh orange juice and whip up cappuccinos and mimosas.

Weather permitting, they often open up the garage doors in the dining room, but we typically choose a table on their pet-friendly patio.

The Magpie Diner menu honors the seasons, and showcases fresh breads and pastries from the in-house bakery.

Heather is a fan of the pancakes, or a pastry from the bakery. I prefer the Southern Poutine, a hearty dish of crispy potatoes topped with local sausage gravy and a fried egg. For lunch, we love the Egg Salad Sandwich on house-made Milk Bread.

Note that this diner can be a bustling place, especially on weekends. We recommend putting your name on the list and strolling over to Chestnut Ridge Coffee Roasters while you wait for your table.

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Mashita - Harrisonburg Virginia restaurants
Mashita Harrisonburg

7. Mashita

105 North Liberty Street, Harrisonburg VA • (540) 810-1875 • Official Website

HOURS: Mon to Sat 11:00am – 9:00pm, Closed on Sundays

Chef/owner Mikey Reisenberg launched his Mashita food truck back in 2013. Local awards soon followed, and Mashita was voted “Best Food Truck in Harrisonburg” by the local newspaper.

Reisenberg opened Mashita in Harrisonburg’s historic downtown area in 2019. He describes his culinary inspiration as an embrace of French techniques blended with Korean flavors, for a refined and inspired dining experience.

Dining at Mashita (which means “delicious” in Korean) offers a welcome blast of flavors, colors, and fun.

If you choose to dine on the deck, you’ll be surrounded by murals depicting scenes from Spirited Away, the classic animated film by beloved Japanese director Hayao Miyazaki.

The Mashita menu features a full selection of shareable plates, entrees, and can’t-miss Steamed Buns.

During our most recent visit, Heather had the Eggplant Katsu, while I had the Kimchi all-beef hot dog. We wholeheartedly agree that Mashita is absolutely delicious!

READ MORE: The 15 Best Things to Do in Luray VA (Gateway to Shenandoah)

Ridge Room Rooftop Tavern
Ridge Room Rooftop tavern

8. Ridge Room Rooftop Tavern

1884 Evelyn Byrd Ave, Harrisonburg, VA • (540) 442-3966 • Official Website

HOURS: Mon to Thu 3PM-10PM; Fri to Sat 3PM- 11PM; Sun 3PM-9PM

Located atop the Hyatt Place in Harrisonburg, the Ridge Room Rooftop Tavern restaurant features shareable plates and amazing photo ops.

From every table, you’ll have panoramic views of the Allegheny and Blue Ridge Mountains. And the chef of the Ridge Room has elevated the idea of “bar food” to a level as high as the Tavern’s 5th floor perch.

The tavern has regionally inspired small plates such as Crispy Brussels Sprouts, Glen Echo Deviled Eggs (with eggs sourced from local farms), and Blackened Fish Tacos (featuring wild caught blue catfish).

For a romantic evening meal, we indulge in the Cast Iron Seared Crab Cakes, a cold craft beer, and a French 75 for Heather.

When it comes to dessert, we usually choose the Local Artisanal Chocolate Truffles served with seasonal accoutrements.

In addition to local craft beer and wine, the Ridge Room has a curated menu of craft cocktails, night caps and dessert wines to choose from.

READ MORE: Where are the Blue Ridge Mountains? A State-by-State Guide

Rocktown Kitchen -places to eat in Harrisonburg VA
Rocktown Kitchen Harrisonburg

9. Rocktown Kitchen

217 S Liberty Street, Harrisonburg VA • (540) 217-2425 • Official Website

HOURS: Tue to Sat 11AM-2:30PM; Tue to Sat 5PM-9PM; Closed Sundays & Mondays

This upscale farm-to-table restaurant in Downtown Harrisonburg serves elevated American cuisine in an intimate environment.

Rocktown Kitchen is located inside the Ice House, an actual icehouse that was constructed in 1934.

Owners Kristo and Mira Papa painstakingly preserved the original brick walls and wood flooring before opening in May 2017. Their thoughtful attention to detail and quality is apparent in every aspect of the dining experience.

Rocktown Café has a lunch and dinner menu that emphasizes the owner’s relationship with local Virginia farmers. In our experience their nightly specials always deliver, but my favorite dish is the chef’s take on Southern Meatloaf.

We usually start with the Fried Green Tomatoes or the fresh Mozzarella Burrata. The Baby Arugula Salad with blue cheese crumbles, spiced pecans, and honey-poppyseed vinaigrette is healthy, yet tastes decadent.

If you’re looking to pair your meal with a local craft beer, try Pale Fire’s Red Molly. The Pale Fire Brewery is also located in the Ice House, just a short stroll from Rocktown Kitchen.

READ MORE: The 10 Best Virginia Wineries to Visit for Wine Tastings & Tours

The Sub Station Mexican Grill - Mexican restaurant Harrisonburg VA
The Sub Station Mexican Grill Harrisonburg

10. The Sub Station Mexican Grill

3257 S Main St, Harrisonburg VA • (540) 432-3317 • Official Website

HOURS: Mon to Thu 10:30AM-9PM; Fri to Sat 10:30AM-10PM; Closed Sundays

The word “authentic” is often used to describe great ethnic restaurants. Founded in 2010, the Sub Station Mexican Grill is our choice for the best authentic Mexican food in Harrisonburg VA.

Located in a former Waffle House location at the south end of town, the Sub Station serves fresh dishes with flavors as bold as the yellow and red paint on the exterior. 

We always start with their chips and salsa, and highly recommend the fresh guacamole dip. I’ve been known to indulge in a cold, creamy Mexican horchata, a rice milk-based drink with cinnamon.

The Sub Station Mexican Grill menu has a variety of fajitas, tacos and burritos: I highly recommend the Carnitas Tacos.

True to their name, they also have an extensive list of Latin and American-inspired sub sandwiches. Try the Cuban with ham, pork, pickles, and melted Swiss cheese on grilled butter bread with a side of refried beans.

Top off your meal with Sopapillas or Fried Ice Cream, and you’ll find that the Sub Station is well worth the 3-mile drive from Downtown Harrisonburg!  –text and photos by Heather Taylor & Jon Weaver



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Stay on marked trails, take only pictures, pack out your trash, and be considerate of others who share the trails and parks you explore. 

Remember that waterfalls and rocky summits can be dangerous. Never try to climb waterfalls or get close to a ledge to get a selfie.

When you're exploring the wilderness, it's better to be safe than to be a statistic!

The universities brought Jon and Heather to Harrisonburg Virginia in the 1980s and the beauty of the Shenandoah Valley has kept them there to this day. Heather has a Master's Degree in Early Childhood Education and 10 years of experience as an editor and technical writer for online training sites. After college, Jon worked several years at a weekly newspaper before joining his family business which he ran until retirement. Jon and Heather enjoy traveling and sharing their stories with others. Locally, they love exploring the towns and mountains of the Blue Ridge near their hometown of Harrisonburg VA.