Loudoun’s Destination Restaurants – how many have YOU been to?

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I just love trying out new places to eat.   Even though I’ve lived here for 15 years (and have watched new restaurants sprout up and have seen lots close their doors), I still like to search around for a new discovery.  This is especially true when we have friends or family in town and we want to show off our lovely town.  Well, we have discovered that Loudoun has some really special places to eat – some in old barns, mills, or vineyards.  If you want to try something truly unique Loudoun’s Destination Restaurants are the answer!  

So, what exactly is a destination restaurant?  Well, a “Destination Restaurant” is defined by the International Culinary Tourism Association as “a restaurant that is so interesting, different, or special that people travel just to eat there.” I think of The Inn at Little Washington as an over the top example of a restaurant that people come from all over the world to visit.  The restaurants selected as Loudoun’s Destination Restaurants were nominated, juried by a Loudoun tourism industry panel, and required to meet certain criteria including offering a unique experience, being a local favorite, and using or offering local products including Loudoun wine, beer, and/or spirits.  

Check out Loudoun’s impressive list of dining destinations,  which recently grew from nine to fourteen restaurants.  Now admittedly, some of them are a bit costly and should be reserved for special occasions, but there are several that are more affordable and casual, with good fresh ingredients.  Visit their website to see the full list of Destination Restaurants to check off the ones you’ve already visited and then add the rest to your own “must-try” list today.  I have not had a chance to dine at them all, but was super impressed with the nine restaurants that I have visited.  I especially adore Mokomandy, the Wine Kitchen, and Hunters Head Tavern.



(excerpts taken from visitloudoun.org)