July 5, 2023 Food & Drink
Culpeper provides an abundance of fresh dining options no matter the time of day. Whether you are trying to eat within a dietary restriction or just prefer to eat farm-to-table as much as possible, Culpeper is the place to stop.
Greet the Day
Kickstart the day with coffee and breakfast from Raven’s Nest coffee house, which offers a full menu of lattes, cold brew and other coffee drinks, along with various pastries, muffins and bagels. For the freshest breakfast, though, you can’t go wrong with the quiche of the day. The scones are another treat, usually in creative flavor combinations like almond joy, maple bacon or carrot cake.
If you aren’t overly carb-loaded by lunchtime, grab lunch at Moving Meadows Farm and Bakery. After all, you can’t get bread fresher than someplace you can watch the flour being milled in the front window. The combination store-restaurant serves sandwiches, soups and a huge variety of baked goods. Plus, you can buy farm-raised products to take home, like chicken, beef, eggs, bread and much more. Nearly every ingredient found in the store come from the family farm, where the animals are raised naturally and compassionately, using a rotational grazing style.
Explore your Palate
As you wander downtown post-lunch, stop into Taste: Oil, Vinegar, Spice, where you can sample gourmet olive oils and vinegars in bold flavor combinations ranging from chipotle to Persian lime. The friendly staff can help you navigate the dozens of dark and white balsamic vinegars, infused oils, and other specialty products—plus share recipe ideas to make the most of your new drizzles. Taste also stocks fragrant spice blends, sauces and unique pastas like porcini mushroom linguine or artichoke and lemon tagliatelle.
If you want to take several flavors home, try a four- or six-pack of small bottles. That way, you don’t have to choose between cinnamon pear dark balsamic and harissa-infused olive oil.
Just a few doors down from Taste you’ll find La Bee de Loca, a shop with its own built-in beehive. Owner Felecia Chavez is happy to talk to guests about the importance of bee preservation or show them to the hive. La Bee de Loca sells many honey and beeswax products along with bee-themed gifts. The sticks of sweet local honey, including multiple flavored varieties, make great gifts (even for yourself!).
If you’re craving classic upscale American fare for dinner, try Flavor on Main. Starters like soup and salad are given a delicious boost from ingredients like crème fraiche, grilled romaine, micro herbs and heirloom tomatoes. Entrees focus on local and regional ingredients and include dishes like sea scallops with a parmesan and English pea risotto or pork loin with roasted root vegetables, caramelized apple jus and jalapeno cornbread. Even the simplest dish tastes absurdly gourmet and yes, fresh, at Flavor on Main.
Spice of Life
Or, if you want to venture somewhere for international flavor, Natraj Indian Cuisine is a delicious option. Dishes are prepared to order with locally sourced ingredients and pure herbs and spices from the Himalayan foothills, making Natraj a feast for nearly all the senses—beautiful colors, aromas and tastes await you. The restaurant serves many vegetarian and meat-based options for both appetizer and entrée, such as perfectly crispy vegetable samosas or tandoori specials of chicken, lamb or fish. The spices are the star of the show, delivering delectable flavor and heat (but don’t worry, the kitchen will match the spice level to your preference). And of course, no meal here could be complete without a few pieces of pillowy, soft garlic naan bread.