The Virginia Highlands Festival Culinary Scene

Welcome to historic Abingdon, Virginia, home to the Virginia Highlands Festival! Abingdon's small town charm and 30+ local eateries are why it's been named USA Today's Best Small Town Food Scene for four years in a row!

Culinary Arts and Traditions

Culinary Arts & Traditions has quickly become a fundamental tenet for The Virginia Highlands Festival (VHF). Travis Milton, the executive chef of Hickory and Taste, two locally-sourced restaurants of the Nicewonder Farm & Vineyards in Bristol, Virginia, is making his third appearance as the host of VHF Celebrity Chef events. This year he brings Ronni Lundy and Ian Boden to the table for the VHFs ever-growing Chef Chat event.

Ronni Lundy says, “we (and many chefs of this region) are broadening the story we have been given about Appalachia.” Those who want to learn more about this evolving story and the significance of our region in the culinary world will not be disappointed.

Appalachian Supper

On Thursday, July 21, Chef Edward Lee will join his friends to present An Appalachian Supper for guests at the brand-new Hickory Restaurant in the vineyard at Nicewonder Farms in Bristol, VA.

The July 21 Appalachian Supper allows each chef to present a course for guests. These friends are committed to placed-based cuisine, highlighting Appalachian food and how it absolutely “guides how we cook.”

As a prelude to the supper, guests are invited to a particular cocktail hour featuring a bio-regional tea cocktail by Appalachian Teas & Botanicals and Chef Travis Milton. The tea, a unique blend of Asian oolong and Southern Appalachia grown and gathered, is custom blended for the Virginia Highlands Festival.

Chef Chat Tickets Appalachian Supper Tickets

USA Today's Best Small Town Food Scene

Abingdon, Virginia, has been named USA Today's Best Small Town Food Scene four years running (2019-2022). With 30+ local eateries, there's no question why Abingdon has been awarded this title. 

Abingdon’s chefs incorporate in-season, locally sourced produce and products. Mountain trout, stone-ground grits, heirloom fruits, and vegetables, sustainably raised chicken and beef, and pastured pork is featured on the menus. A craft brewery, cidery, and a “Napalachian” (Napa Valley meets Appalachia) winery, specialty stores, and a year-round, certified farmers market add to the culinary credentials. Abingdon’s food scene is continually evolving, celebrating locals and transplants who bring their tastes and heritage, including bakers who display Southern favorites alongside European specialties.

Abingdon's Food Scene
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