This is a series of three articles which will highlight the best of downtown Staunton, per traveler reviews.
When you’re visiting Staunton and seeking a nightcap with a side of city vibe, these are the places to check out. You’ll mix with locals and other travelers – business, leisure, alumni – and you’ll soon understand why this city is one of Virginia’s most beloved. Cheers to good times, new friends, and Staunton.
Brick’s Restaurant and Pub – 4 stars – Pizza, Bar, Italian
Open 5 p.m. to 2 a.m., Brick’s is a good place to unwind. As Rod O. from Charlottesville wrote in his Yelp review, “Is it a sports bar? It could be, maybe, though it seems like a comfortable place to relax! I could give this pizza no less than 4 1/2 stars!” Local Chris H. recommends Brick’s calling it a “great local hangout … the pizza is addictive!” Claudia H. from nearby Verona dubbed it a “pizza dive bar,” which is not a negative comment by any means, as she went on to write that it’s “a great new addition to downtown Staunton.” Come as you are, shoot pool, get a homemade pizza, cheese fries, calzone, or wings, and wash it down with a Devils Backbone Vienna Lager or Pabst Blue Ribbon, whichever way your taste leads.
The Pompei Lounge – 3 stars – Lounge, Italian
Located within and above Emilio’s Italian Restaurant, Pompei is open 5 p.m. to 2 a.m. Head upstairs after an excellent meal at Emilio’s and enjoy a Lemon Drop Martini (Yelp reviewers recommend it) with live tunes. When it’s warm, you’ll love the view from the rooftop terrace. There’s always something going on at The Pompei Lounge.
“… a great local place that felt as much like a house party as a bar, with plenty of little nooks, crannies, rooms and terraces (seriously, it felt as though this place went on forever!) to make a night of it with a good group of friends …” -Maki P., Seattle, WA
“Holy crap, this place rocks! Excellent atmosphere, attentive staff, kickass bartenders!” -a love note from Vinyl Rob on The Pompei Lounge Facebook page
Marino’s Lunch – 4.5 stars – Bar, Burgers
A Staunton institution, Marino’s is an authentic local hangout with bluegrass jams Tuesday and Friday nights. Rub elbows with area musicians and learn a thing or two about their skills, as well as plenty of lore and tall tales. Slide into a booth, order a drink and a cheeseburger, and let the good times roll.
“This place is a great way to meet the local scene. I went on a Tuesday night and it was packed. Everyone is super friendly and up for a good time. Their cheeseburgers are fantastic and cheap.” -Amanda L., Pine, CO
“If you are in Virginia, this place is worth a 100 mile detour. You will not forget it, ever. It is the kind of place people write stories about.” -Christy R., Italy, TX
Yelping Dog Wine – 4 stars – Wine Bar, Sandwiches
A wine and cheese shop open until 9 p.m. (10 on Fridays and Saturdays), Yelping Dog is decidedly low-key and chill with live music from time to time. Order a cheese plate or gourmet grilled cheese and ask for the perfect wine pairing.
“Hands down my favorite place to spend a relaxing afternoon or evening!” -Erin M., Fort Defiance, VA
Byers Street Bistro – 4 stars – Music Venue, American (New)
Count on a lively band every Saturday night at Byers Street Bistro. Open until midnight, you can sample a range of draught Virginia craft beers with appetizers like fried green tomatoes, smoked bacon and corn hushpuppies, and Chesapeake crab cakes.
“The restaurant has a nice atmosphere both upstairs and down in the pub area. Fun place to catch live music on the weekends too. This has been my go to spot, if I’m in the area, for the past ten years.” -Jesse V., Winchester, VA
What is your favorite fine dining, nightlife, dive, or café in Staunton? Head to Yelp and leave a review, plus fill in the missing details for each: hours, outdoor seating, etc. Share your knowledge and #LOVEStaunton.