(LTE) Gillie's

Local restaurant Gillie's caters to those with a taste for vegetarian food.

Valentine’s Day is upon us once again, and whether you’ve been in a relationship for years, you’re asking someone out for the first time or you’re focusing on some well-deserved self-love, you’re probably searching for something to do. When you think of Valentine’s dates, what comes to mind is probably a slew of images of candlelit dinners or trips to the movies. However, this year Valentine’s Day falls on a Friday, giving patrons the whole weekend to celebrate and bringing another viable date option to the table: breakfast. Whether you and your significant other are early birds or you prefer to rise later and treat yourself to brunch, there’s a cute date spot for every type of person in Blacksburg. 

For the coffee lovers, there are coffee shops galore in downtown Blacksburg worth exploring this and every weekend. Tucked away in Market Square Park just off Roanoke Street, Idego Coffee caters to the hipsters and foodie Instagrammers, with its sleek interior offering picture-worthy lattes and an inviting environment to sit and chat. “I like that they care about doing things the right way,” said junior history and professional and technical writing major Elizabeth Sholtis, a frequent patron of Idego. 

Lattes, mochas and more arrive at their patrons lovingly crafted, with classic foam art resting on the top of every drink. And if you’re more interested in the environment than the coffee, worry not. “I also really enjoy that the layout of the space invited you to be social,” Sholtis said. “It’s structured to be more social than a quiet study spot.”

If you’re seeking something a little more relaxed or perhaps a shop with a little more variety, look no further than Mill Mountain Coffee and Tea, a local chain with a location on Main Street right in downtown Blacksburg. Three different menus offer a vast selection of not just espresso drinks but also sandwiches, salads, a wide variety of tea blends and even ice cream. The menu also provides clear vegetarian and dairy-free options to accommodate any dietary restrictions you might have. It’s a great place to take yourself on a solo date if you want to study or read a book, but also provides a nice relaxed environment perfect for a coffee (or tea, or sandwich) date for two. 

More of a brunch person than a coffee connoisseur? There are plenty of options for you to explore this Valentine’s Day weekend if you want to take your beau out to breakfast. A popular casual spot for weekend brunch is Joe’s Diner, open for breakfast seven days a week from eight in the morning until two in the afternoon. Serving up comfort food from biscuits and gravy to french toast, Joe’s Diner is a great spot to find good food without having to change out of your sweatpants. 

It can be tough to get a seat sometimes since Joe’s will only seat you if your whole party is present, and the wait on a particularly busy Saturday morning can seem intimidating. Is it worth it? “Absolutely,” said Grace Hecker, a sophomore at Virginia Tech. “The people who work there are welcoming and friendly. It’s my favorite place to go for brunch in Blacksburg.” 

If you’re looking for someplace where the options are a little different, try local hot spot Gillie’s. Sitting on College Avenue across from Theater 101, this charming restaurant serves delicious brunch with a twist: every dish offered is vegetarian-friendly. Patrons can dig into delicious versions of classics like pancakes and huevos rancheros, and the more adventurous can try “something different” like bruschetta or the smoked salmon hash. Rich buttermilk biscuits are available as an optional side dish with almost every entree. Chill and accommodating even on the busiest of Sunday mornings, Gillie’s is a Blacksburg favorite that can be worth checking out even if you’re not an herbivore.

No matter what you’re feeling like this Valentine’s Day weekend, there’s something for everyone in Blacksburg regardless of your taste in dates or even relationship status. Show yourself some love and dig in.

Lifestyles staff writer

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