8 Reasons to Drive to Loudoun County

By Rina Rapuano | July 29, 2014 By Rina Rapuano  |  July 29, 2014
Photo by: Patowmack Farm

Ever get the overwhelming urge to get in the car and just go? Here, we give you a few good reasons to go west, where an hour or so in the car will lead you through rolling hills, beautiful farmland, countless vineyards and adorable Virginia towns that make up Loudoun County. And while you're out there, we're guessing you just might get hungry. These delicious spots aren't the only reasons to visit that diverse county, mind you, but we think this list is a good place to start exploring what Loudoun has to offer. 

  • Patowmack Farm in Lovettsville

    At this off-the-beaten-path farm-to-table experience, chef Tarver King serves seasonal, organic dishes that are straight from the farm on which it sits — and every bit as stunning as the views. It's only open Thursday through Saturday for dinner, for brunch Saturdays and Sundays and for a monthly Sunday supper.

    42461 Lovettsville Rd., Lovettsville; 540-822-9017

  • Salamander Resort & Spa in Middleburg

    ​If you find yourself in Northern Virginia's version of horse country, make like the landed gentry and dine at one of two options at this resort, which opened late last summer. Chef Chris Edwards sources locally (and from the resort's garden) for breakfast, dinner and brunch dishes served at Harrimans Virginia Piedmont Grill and goes the small-plates route to pair with Virginia wines for lunch and dinner at Gold Cup Wine Bar.

    500 N. Pendleton St., Middleburg; 540-687-3600

  • Market Burger in Purcellville

    It's no mystery why we love this place: delicious burgers, fries and shakes made with local beef and organic, locally sourced ingredients. As usual, the care taken with the ingredients shines through in the final product. Try the Market Burger with cheddar, bacon and egg and a coffee malt shake.

    145 W. Main St., Purcellville; 540-751-1145

  • Catoctin Creek Distillery in Purcellville

    ​Among the cute little antiques shops in downtown Purcellville — and across the street from Market Burger — is a family-owned distillery that puts out reputable bottles of kosher and organic rye, gin and brandy. Take a tour and jump in on a tasting to see how those spirits get made and find their way into your city-slicker cocktails.

    120 W. Main St., Purcellville; 540-751-8404

  • The Wine Kitchen in Leesburg

    This tiny wine-centric dining room — which later branched out to open Wine Kitchen in Frederick, MD, and WK Hearth in Purcellville — was a near-instant hit when it opened in 2008. With more than 40 wines by the glass, this is a great place to taste your way through some of the grapes grown nearby. What lands on the plate also tends to be organic and local. 

    7 S. King St., Leesburg; 703-777-9463

  • A Taste of Burma in Sterling

    If you've never tried Burmese food (and even if you have), make a pit stop at this strip-mall oasis that serves up some of the area's best versions Burmese cooking. Explore with such dishes as the fiery crispy fried fish, the slightly sweet coconut chicken curry and the texture-rich fermented tea-leaf salad. Finish with a wacky but tasty layered pink dessert called farluda. 

    126 Edds Lane, Sterling703-444-8510

  • Ford’s Fish Shack in Ashburn

    Locals love this seafood shack that brings a taste of New England to Virginia — think lobster rolls, whole Ipswich clams and whoopie pies. And because it's the 'burbs, prices are more reasonable than what you'll find in similar spots downtown. Saturday nights bring live music at both the Ashburn and South Riding locations. 

    44260 Ice Rink Plaza #101, Ashburn; 571-918-4092

  • Mokomandy in Sterling

    We've all heard of some pretty unlikely cuisine mashups over the past few years, but Korean-Cajun? Well, it seems to be working, since this restaurant has caught the attention of locals and food critics alike. Executive chef Daniel Wilcox Stevens deftly pulls off a menu that features ssam and jambalaya, chap che and étouffée.

    20789 Great Falls Plaza #176, Sterling; 571-313-0505

Places Mentioned

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The Wine Kitchen

American Leesburg
Food24 Decor23 Service23 Cost$44
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Ford's Fish Shack

Seafood Ashburn
Food24 Decor20 Service23 Cost$27
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the Wine Kitchen on the Creek

American Frederick
Food24 Decor23 Service23 Cost$44

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