Many visitors come to Fauquier from Virginia’s Northern suburbs and from Washington, D.C. for a “weekend in the country” experience. Those seeking a respite from crowds and congestion find our bed and breakfasts and Airbnbs attractive while families often choose from several of our local hotels. And, then there’s the food! From fine and elegant to tasty and casual dining there is something for everyone in Fauquier.
Roughly the same shape as my home state of California, Fauquier County also touts a plethora of wineries and microbreweries. Our local wine industry has risen from burgeoning start-up operations in decades past to world-class creations that are competing with wines produced in Napa Valley and Europe. While many of the wineries in Fauquier have retained the boutique feel, others have become attractive to families including their canine kids. Call ahead or visit the website of your winery of choice to learn about dining options that range from charcuterie boards to food trucks and from wood-fired pizza ovens to gourmet menu items. Many wineries will also allow you to bring your own picnic.
Comfort Food Options
Fauquier offers many alternatives for those seeking family-inspired comfort foods. Northside 29 in New Baltimore offers great temptations for breakfast, lunch and dinner, all at fair prices and sister restaurant, Spitony’s Pizza builds some awesome pizzas and Italian dishes. For that true diner experience, check out Frost Diner on Broadview in Warrenton (a country-style diner, open 24/7, bring cash, credit cards are not accepted, ATM available). For an authentic and iconic pub experience, step into Molly’s Irish Pub for a nosh and a tankard of your favorite brew. Another great option is The Front Porch Market & Grill in The Plains – a comfortable restaurant with seating on the “front porch,” inside on the main floor and upstairs and in the enclosed “back porch.” Foster’s Grille, with several Fauquier locations, delivers burgers and fries reminiscent of the Foster Freeze charbroilers of my younger years in SoCal. They also offer several healthier options, all available for order via their unique customer-self-serve pencil and menu pad process.
Fine and Special Occasion Dining Opportunities
Claire’s at the Depot (located in Warrenton’s former train depot) is our go-to place for date night, anniversaries and birthdays and for business and his/hers getaway lunches (Claire’s also offers Sunday Brunch and outdoor dining). In north county, in the town of Marshall, one will come across Field & Main which offers a delicious and eclectic menu and unique outdoor dining structures (heated in the winter). A wonderful find in The Plains is The Rail Stop Restaurant (open for breakfast, lunch and dinner). Chef and owner Tom Kee partnered with actor Robert Duvall to open the restaurant over 20 years ago (Robert Duvall owns a farm not far from the restaurant).
Faang Thai in Warrenton tempts diners with a host of Thai-inspired dishes in a casual setting while Café Torino & Bakery, a short distance away, entices with a host of Northern Italian specialties along with delicious cakes and pastries, all made in-house.
Johnny Monarch’s in Marshall actually consists of two repurposed double-decker English buses! Limited indoor seating is supplemented by expansive open and covered outdoor accommodations. Hunter’s Head Tavern is the area’s only farm-owned gastropub offering inside and outside dining. It truly has the feel of a pub, complete with an English garden-like setting outdoors.
In my current hometown Village of Catlett – not much here in this land of more cows and horses than humans, but for a throwback treat check out the comfort food at the recently remodeled Trenis Fuel and Hardware on Route 28. It’s one of the only places I know where you can buy hardware, fishing gear and ammo, fill up on gasoline, and grab some Church’s Chicken. Also available are hot and cold sandwiches to go, homemade sides and a new “beer cave” featuring a walk-in experience with a wide selection of domestic and international beers.
Don’t Miss Destinations – My Personal Favorites!
- Claire’s at the Depot (Old Town Warrenton)
- The Front Porch Market & Grill (The Plains)
- Field & Main (Marshall)
Photographs and text by Dennis Taylor
Feature caption: Flank steak with squash puree, served by Field & Main.