Everyone enjoys Ashland for its rails and trails, but it has also become a destination for food lovers. Whether it’s a casual lunch or fine dinner, a big family breakfast, or a quick cup of coffee, Ashland’s food scene has great eating for every occasion.

Morning Meals

Some people like to skip breakfast in favor of a larger lunch, opting instead for a fresh cup of Joe. The Depot, a celebrated historic venue and public event space in downtown Ashland, is the place to be for great coffee and conversation. Six days a week, you can sit and talk over gourmet blends and even order one of their New York Style Everything bagels if hunger hits.

For breakfast and lunch, find FoodiO in the VisitAshlandVA app (available in your app store) and try one of their all-natural smoothie bowls. Maybe you’ve been walking around Ashland and have worked up an appetite. If that’s the case, you might sample breakfast and lunch sandwiches or pastry platters.

For a fine brunch with stunning scenery, pay the celebrated Henry Clay Inn a visit. Dine on the covered front porch of this Georgian-style treasure, or step inside their elegant banquet room. The brunch menu can satisfy diets and allergies, so order a spread of small plates, entrees, and desserts to share.

Lunch on the Run

Are you planning an outdoor Ashland adventure and need to grab some food for the road? Stop by Homemades by Suzanne, an Ashland fine foods and catering staple for decades. Scoop up a few boxed lunches to go and be sure to add a few slices of homemade pie or a cookie or two.

Locals know that Ashland Meat Company has the best cuts of meat around, so naturally their sandwiches are hard to beat. With a century of experience and a reputation as one of Virginia’s best butcher shops, people come from all over to grab food to go. Belly on up to the deli counter for a sandwich made just for you and your tastebuds.

Upscale and Date Night Dining

A family milestone or special occasion warrants a nice dinner at the The Iron Horse Restaurant. This welcoming eatery is keen on pairing superior seafood and steaks with southern hospitality. Their modern menu is big on local sourcing, so eating here really means being part of the greater community.

Another date night deal that is beloved by residents and visitors alike is found at the Caboose Market and Café. A farm-to-table favorite for their delightful small plates, shareables, and entrees, the Caboose also has a fantastic selection of affordable beer and wines from all over the world. Try their date night deal with a bottle of wine on Wednesdays.

Soul-Warming Southern Fare

Sometimes, you just want comfort food. There’s no fuss in these establishments, just southern fare that tastes mighty fine.

Jake’s Place Restaurant and Market brings all that slow-cooked, savory goodness to their barbecue sandwiches and ribs, while also offering mouthwatering burgers and seafood. This is a place for family; they even cater backyard cookouts.

For a comforting meal like mom used to make, Ashland Pot Pie Co. is a great stop that feels like home. Feast on their flavorful made from-scratch potpies, soups, and sandwiches. The desserts deserve their own admiration; you’ve gotta try the fresh fruit hand pies.

There’s nothing like food for the soul. Around the Table, a soul food restaurant born out of Ammie’s Catering brings together friends and family through a love for food and community. Everyone has a seat at Ammie’s table, and that means sampling some of the best soul food ever created. Everything on the menu is a hit, so maybe you should order all of it.

Casual Eats on the Cheap

When looking for a laid-back hangout that is both easy and budget-friendly, live like a local and go to Sportspage Bar and Grille. This friendly establishment is great for watching the big game while feasting on sandwiches and sliders. Sportspage is locally owned and family-friendly, meaning you can feed everyone without breaking the bank.

Another great option for appetizing yet affordable food is Marco’s Italian. A family-centric restaurant, Marco’s combines classic Italian recipes with a contemporary twist. The menu is expansive yet affordable, meaning the whole family will feast at a value that cannot be beaten.

Global Cuisine in the Center of the Universe

There are very few small towns in America that are able to offer dining experiences as diverse and worldly as Ashland. Casa Herradura Family Mexican Restaurant features fresh and authentic classic Mexican dishes made from scratch. Order their Birria tacos and find out why they’re an absolute must.

Have you ever heard of Peruvian charcoal chicken? If not, add Fire and Chicken to the eating itinerary. Fire and Chicken is an Ashland eatery with the mission of putting authentic Peruvian cooking on the map. Fresh, flavorful, and tender; you’ve never had chicken quite like this. Explore their authentic menu and taste the best recipes of Peru.

Some people cannot go a week without their sushi fix. Luckily, Ashland’s Yokozuna Sushi brings the best sushi to the center of the universe. This family-owned restaurant has any type of roll imaginable, plus beer, wine, and sake. Order a spread of food and watch the chefs work their magic.

Great takeout is an art, and Ban Thai is the only artist needed for fantastic Thai food. Behind a modest storefront façade is a restaurant packed with tasty stir-fry, noodle dishes, and the popular Spicy Basil Fried Rice. Customers also love the curry plates and soups, as well as the restaurant’s commitment to excellent customer service.

Find Your Culinary Calling in Ashland

The center of the universe should contain a galaxy of food options, and Ashland never disappoints in bringing you otherworldly options. This is just another reason to “Come Center your Universe” in Ashland. For more about what to get up to in between savory, sweet, and superb bites, check out our favorite things to see and do in Ashland by clicking here.