Sweet Water Baking Co.

Sam Siller of Sweet Water Baking Co. stands behind his booth at the Blacksburg Farmers Market on March 25, 2017. 

When it comes to food, Blacksburg has almost everything. In fact, there are too many great places to speak of in just one article so I will only mention a few. If you want to get a taste of Blacksburg, here is where to go and what to get:

Blacksburg classics

Gillie’s Restaurant

Location: 153 College Ave.

Hours: Breakfast, Monday through Friday 7 a.m. to 11 a.m.; Brunch, Saturday and Sunday 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.; Lunch, Monday through Saturday 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.; Dinner, Monday through Thursday 5 p.m. to 9 p.m., Friday and Saturday 5 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.

There is never a bad time to go to Gillie’s, but the best times are weekend brunch and weekday breakfast. This College Avenue location is a hot spot on weekend mornings, and there is usually a large crowd waiting outside for a table.

Gillie’s specializes in vegan and gluten free options, and they do it so well you won’t even know the difference. Go classic and order the Chappie’s choice: scrambled eggs topped with white cheddar, Gillie’s amazing potatoes and a homemade buttermilk biscuit or whole wheat toast.


Location: 201 College Ave.

Hours: Monday through Wednesday, 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.; Thursday through Saturday, 11 a.m. to 2 a.m.; Sunday, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.

There is one thing you have to get when you go to Souvlaki: the gyro (note: the traditional pronunciation is “YEE-row”).

This pita wrap comes with lamb (suggested) or chicken, homemade tzatziki sauce and toppings. You will be drooling as soon as you step up to the counter to order. Get it with a side of fries and your day will be completed.


Location: 922 University City Blvd.

Hours: Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 11:30 p.m.

Macado’s may not be a Blacksburg-specific restaurant, but it has been a University City Boulevard landmark for decades. Aside from the food, it is just a fun place to be. A giant stuffed gorilla hangs from the ceiling, but there will always be one person in your group who doesn’t notice it until halfway through the meal; there are screens of all sizes always broadcasting games of every sport; the second level is a giant loft with a balcony that feels VIP; the decor is reminiscent of “Where’s Waldo” and there is always something new to find.

When it comes to the food, the appetizers and sandwiches are the main draw. Order either the fried pickles (which come in crispy spears, not the usual soggy chips) or spinach and artichoke dip.

While there are many food options, the extensive list of sandwiches is where you will find your future favorite meal. Choosing one may be a challenge, so the best way to go is to make a gut decision at the last second; this is a low-risk move since all the sandwiches are great. My favorite is the classic Macado.

Family friendly

As a student, it is important to have an answer when your visiting family asks about the greatest local place to eat. This is also an opportunity to get a meal for more than $8 without having to pay for it.

Bull and Bones Brewhaus & Grill

Location: 1470 S Main St.

Hours: Monday through Friday, 11 a.m. to 2 a.m.

Bull and Bones Brewhaus & Grill is locally owned, resides in the First & Main shopping center and can seat as many people as you want to bring. This is the place where the Virginia Tech Athletic Department rents a section to wine-and-dine potential recruits. The hand-pulled barbeque pork is the way to go here, paired with any of the custom drinks from the brewhouse.

Cabo Fish Taco

Location: 117 S Main St.

Hours: Sunday through Thursday, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.

Cabo Fish Taco, like Bull and Bones, is special to Blacksburg, even though it does have one other location in Charlotte, North Carolina. Everything is made fresh daily and the Baja-style menu features items you won’t find anywhere else in the area.

Not so shockingly, the fish tacos are the way to go. I suggest the soy ginger shrimp tacos which are beer-battered, soy-glazed and topped with all the classic taco toppings you want.

When snacks attack

Our Daily Bread Bakery & Bistro

Location: 1329 S Main St.

Hours: Monday through Saturday, 7 a.m. to 8:30 p.m.

Our Daily Bread Bakery & Bistro is a local French restaurant that serves from a menu as well as a pastry case. There is nothing else like this place in the New River Valley. For these kinds of pastries, you would have to go all the way to its other locations in Roanoke and Salem.

The baker was trained in France and recruits from the same French school he attended, meaning that everything produced is as authentic as you can get. If you just want to pop in, grab a few macarons from the pastry selection; there are always a number of interesting flavors to choose from, and I love the birthday cake and chocolate ones.

Carol Lee Donuts

Location: 1414 N Main St.

Hours: Monday through Friday, 6:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

Carol Lee Donuts has been in Blacksburg since the ‘60s — part of what makes these flaky donuts taste so good is the sentiment attached to them. They are currently located in a shop on North Main Street, past the traffic circle.

Make sure to show up with cash or check, because this mom-and-pop shop does not take plastic. The menu features the typical selection; cake and yeast-raised donuts are 80 cents each. There is also a selection of handmade and filled donuts. Ask for a dozen and fill it up with whatever catches your eye.

Make any of these selections and you can get a great taste of Blacksburg. Even beyond this list (look here, here and here), there is plenty more to eat in this small town. Happy eating!

Read all of Tech Fundamentals here.

Lifestyles Staff Writer

Lifestyles writer and food columnist.

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