Skyline Drive, the 105-mile two-lane that threads through Virginia’s Shenandoah National Park, has decent food at its National Park Service Oases. (Try the Smithfield Ham Monte Cristo or the roast turkey with cornbread stuffing at Big Meadows Lodge at mile 51.2.) But when big appetite beckons, we head for one of the four entry/exit points and drive into the countryside for such Roadfood delights as apple butter donuts at The Apple House (near the Front Royal terminus) and vintage sliders at the Snow White Grill. The Thornton Gap exit leads to such Old Dominion classics as peanut soup at the Southern Kitchen and country ham at Fulks Run Grocery. A detour even farther east will yield gorgeous layer cake at the Orlean Market and blue-ribbon pastries of every sort at the Red Truck Rural Bakery. The southern end of Skyline Drive is near Staunton, Virginia, home of beauteous burgers at Wright’s Dairy Rite and the sprawling family favorite Mrs. Rowe’s. And about twenty minutes east is extraordinary pizza and hot milk cake at Dr. Ho’s Humble Pie.
A century-old country store in rural Virginia, the Orlean Market serves excellent, from-scratch meals. Locally baked layer cakes are to die for.
Outstanding baked goods such as Kentucky bourbon pecan pie, real mincemeat pie, and chocolate moonshine cake put the Red Truck Bakery on the Roadfood Honor Roll.
Good old vintage Virginia restaurant, just off I-81 in New Market. Southern Kitchen serves fine peanut soup, country ham, and cream pies.
An exuberantly hip Virginia restaurant with a menu of excellent pizzas, Dr. Ho's also offers fabulous locally-sourced salads and the best hot milk cake.