Jump to content

Dining in Culpeper


Recommended Posts

...If you find yourself walking down Main Street in Culpeper, on your way to dinner at Foti's, you'll pass a leather-goods company named "Janal Leather." I highly recommend at least looking at the place. To assist you in locating it, I'm including a photo that I snapped across the street on my cell phone.

Potential chaps aside (ugh, that pun almost tells itself), here's a Culpeper-At-A-Glance itinerary I wrote for a friend a few months ago. I make the trek from Alexandria to Culpeper a couple times a year, well worth it for the foodie finds and other treasures. My forays into Foti's have been typically lackluster, so it does not make the cut when I make this trek.

Culpeper-At-A-Glance Itinerary

*Saturday is the better day to go, some of the stores are closed on Sunday.

*If you eat at It's About Thyme, and you absolutely should, call ahead to see if you can make a reservation.

*Load a cooler in your trunk with some ice packs so you won't have to stress about transporting any tasty vittles you are sure to procure from the little stores.

*On Route 522, about five minutes outside of downtown, make sure to visit a store called "Food For Thought". This place is small, but a gem of local meats, cheeses, honey, and all manner of gourmet delights. The owner used to have a location right in the middle of downtown, but moved to this larger location a few years ago. The store is a standalone structure, hard to miss. Here's the website: http://www.foodforthoughtva.com/Welcome.html And a bit of local gossip for you: the owner of Food for Thought is the ex-wife of the owner of It's About Thyme. They get along marvelously and are both incredibly passionate about local agriculture.

*On the main drag in Culpeper, stores not to miss include the following:

-JANAL leather: A leather boutique with charming and distinctive pieces you won't find anywhere else. Jackets, shoes, purses, and an interesting collection of jewelry. Here's their website: http://janalleather.com/About_Us.htm The craftsmanship is of astonishing quality and worth a browse, even if, like me, you generally don't wear that kind of stuff.

-Cameleer: The world market store that brings me back to Culpeper again and again. Their room in the back is chock full of natural fabric clothing (hemp, tencel, silk) that is to die for. It's spendy, but the pieces are hard to find anywhere else. The front room has imported household goods like table settings, trinket boxes, etc.

-The Frenchman's Corner: This is actually two stores. One is for kitchenwares, with a wine and cheese store in the back, and the other is all gourmet food items with hopelessly tasty chocolate selections. The father runs the food store, the son runs the other one. All top notch merchandise and worth a long browse.

-Knakals Bakery: The ham biscuits available here will make you praise the Commonwealth at the top of your lungs--so quintessentially Virginian! The ham is from the Calhoun Ham company, another Culpeper-based food business. The Calhoun storefront is worth a browse, but it's not on the main street. It's two blocks over, and there is nothing else over there. So if anyone you know is a huge fan of Virginia ham, check the stores hours and drive by on your way out of town to save the walk. Their website: http://www.calhounhams.com/

-Coffee shop: The coffee shop on Main Street is called RavensNest. They brew a tasty cup and have a large seating area if you want to pass some time. All desserts and biscotti are homemade.

-It's About Thyme restaurant is right across the street from The Frenchman's Corner. Adjacent to the restaurant is the most delightful market called Thyme Market. It sells everything from the house-made cheese (Better Than Cheddar, which is as the name suggests), smoked meats, pickled everything, and by-the-pound gourmet entrees. You might want to enjoy the restaurant first, and then hit the market second so you can pick out those things you enjoyed most from the menu.

There are also several other stores that I generally do not go into, but are probably a lot of fun. They include cute little places like this one: http://www.reigning-cats-dogs.com/

Link to comment
Share on other sites

One other stop to add to the Culpeper itinerary above...

Begin or end your day at Belmont Farm Distilery, about 15 minutes south of the main drag. Take the tour April through December, especially worth the trek because:

(1) The opportunity to see the Prohibition-era copper kettle and (2) The ability to procure Virginia corn whiskey-soaked oak and apple chips ($6 or $7) that will wow your flavor performance on the charcoal grill. We've used them for chicken, salmon, vegetables, an impressive transformation.

When you plan your Culpeper day trip, most of your stops are mom-n-pop small businesses, so call ahead or do research to verify hours of operation.

Not sure how old it is, but a tear-off map of Culpeper is available out here.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

"On the main drag in Culpeper, stores not to miss include the following:

-JANAL leather: A leather boutique with charming and distinctive pieces you won't find anywhere else. Jackets, shoes, purses, and an interesting collection of jewelry. Here's their website: http://janalleather.com/About_Us.htm The craftsmanship is of astonishing quality and worth a browse, even if, like me, you generally don't wear that kind of stuff.

The link for Janal Leather is broken. Instead one is offered links to the following websites: Gay Shoe Fetish; Dirty Cheating Wives; Drag Queen Shoes--up to size 17, all colors. Hmmm.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It's about Thyme also owns the Copper Fish and the Thyme Market on the same street. The Thyme Market is a good place for sandwiches and the like. They often have suckling pig. Their pizza's aren't bad either.

There are a few cool shops on that same street as well. GREEN ROOST (sells cool accessories for the home, many repurposed), HARRIET'S GENERAL (sells made in the USA clothes and other items), and TASTE (sells olive oils, vinegars, and spcies).

Also, about 5 miles outside town is Cibola Farms. They sell bison, free range pork, goat, chicken and turkey. We make a trip there every quarter to load up the freezer.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

-The Frenchman's Corner: This is actually two stores. One is for kitchenwares, with a wine and cheese store in the back, and the other is all gourmet food items with hopelessly tasty chocolate selections. The father runs the food store, the son runs the other one. All top notch merchandise and worth a long browse.

-Knakals Bakery: The ham biscuits available here will make you praise the Commonwealth at the top of your lungs--so quintessentially Virginian! The ham is from the Calhoun Ham company, another Culpeper-based food business. The Calhoun storefront is worth a browse, but it's not on the main street. It's two blocks over, and there is nothing else over there. So if anyone you know is a huge fan of Virginia ham, check the stores hours and drive by on your way out of town to save the walk. Their website: http://www.calhounhams.com/

While small, the wine selection at Frenchmen's Corner is excellent and fairly priced.

And a second recommendation to make a stop by Calhoun's

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...