Bedford Virginia Restaurants Serve Up Distinctive Dining Experiences

By Rebecca Denton on April 28, 2011 at 6:31 pm EST

PHOTO CREDIT: Todd Bennett

With a variety of distinctive restaurants located in Bedford’s CenterTown – the city’s vibrant historic downtown district – and throughout the county, Bedford serves up a smorgasbord of rich dining experiences.

“CenterTown has an interesting mix of restaurants in all price ranges,” says Sergei Troubetzkoy, director of Bedford’s Tourism and Welcome Center. “We also have a nice concentration of art galleries and antique shops, and a three-mile walking trail is right on the edge of downtown, within a couple blocks of the main shopping district.”

Visitors to historic CenterTown can choose from casual coffee shops and bakeries, cozy cafes, pizza parlors or more upscale eateries – each with its own characteristic flair.

Located in a renovated, early-1900s railroad station house, Liberty Station is one of the most popular dining destinations in town. The locally owned and operated restaurant offers a diverse menu of fresh steaks, seafood, salads, sandwiches and desserts. Established in 2001, this bustling eatery is also famous locally for Harry’s Famous Cheesecakes – rich and creamy cheesecakes made with fresh ingredients by Liberty Station’s proprietor, Harry Leist.

The Bedford Social Club is another popular local hangout in CenterTown. This public restaurant (not a private club, as its name might suggest) offers elegant, upscale cuisine such as honey-glazed seared scallops in jalapeno peach salsa, coarse mustard- and macadamia nut-encrusted rack of lamb, and steak au poivre. Dessert options include homemade ice cream in flavors such as honey lavender or coconut rum. And the restaurant offers more than 150 wines, a full bar and 38 different beers.

Across from the Bedford Social Club is Clam Diggers Seafood Restaurant, a fresh seafood restaurant and market known for its excellent food, friendly, lively atmosphere and live music. Just across from the CenterTown Park, IvyBridge Café offers a fresh salad bar, sandwiches and wraps, homemade soups, boxed lunches, pastries, desserts, and a soda fountain serving milkshakes, smoothies, malts and floats.

Another welcoming spot, Artisan Cafe on East Depot Street, specializes in handcrafted soups and sandwiches made with organic vegetables and other fine ingredients. This artsy café’s desserts and soups are made from family recipes, and food is served in the middle of an art gallery – a cozy and unusual atmosphere.

On Crenshaw Street in Bedford, the Duchess of Bedford Bakery and Café offers fresh pastries and desserts made on-site every day, along with specialty coffee and espresso drinks made from beans roasted in Virginia. Homemade quiche, fresh-baked artisan breads, cheesecakes, pound cakes, and Boar’s Head meats and cheeses are also on the menu.

Beyond Centertown

Outside of CenterTown, just north of Bedford, the elegant and comfortable Millstone Tea Room focuses on locally grown ingredients served in an intimate dining room that seats 40. Owned by husband-and-wife team Melanie and Jared Srsic, the restaurant serves only pasture-fed meats, seafood from sustainable wild or responsibly farmed fisheries, seasonal produce from its own gardens on the property, and in-season Virginia produce.

Also outside of Bedford, on the Blue Ridge Parkway, is Lake View Restaurant at Peaks of Otter Lodge. Overlooking picturesque Abbott Lake, the restaurant serves breakfast, lunch and dinner daily year-round, including a Friday seafood buffet, a Sunday breakfast buffet and a Sunday country buffet in the afternoon.

Benjamin's, in Forest, is another must-visit restaurant, offering fine dining in a casual atmosphere. Specializing in hand-cut steaks and fresh seafood, the locally owned and operated restaurant features dishes such as beef tenderloin and Alaskan Snow Crab legs, Maryland Blue Crab-stuffed ravioli in a bistro crab sauce, and grilled ahi tuna served with mango slaw.

Benjamin's has another location, Benjamin's at the Pointe, located on Smith Mountain Lake at Mariners Landing, a resort community and conference center in Huddleston.

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