Fredericksburg is a great town to spend some time in. With a variety of interesting stores in its historic downtown, combined with a number of interesting historic sites, such as the Mary Washington House, Hugh Mercer Apothecary Shop, Kenmore, and the James Monroe Museum, you can easily spend several days without running out of great daytrip destinations!
If you visit, it’s worth exploring the culinary side of Fredericksburg, as the town also offers a number of interesting restaurants, for all price ranges.
Start Your Day Right
Start your day with a stop at Hyperion Expresso or Eileen’s Bakery and Cafe. Both offer a variety of coffees and teas, along with some baked goods to die for.
My favorite Fredericksburg experience was sitting in the window alcove of Hyperion Expresso, enjoying my morning coffee. But Eileen’s Bakery and Cafe isn’t to be missed either, as the aroma of fresh baked delectibles is striking, and you get to enjoy your coffee and treat in a re-purposed old church. Eileen’s also offers breakfast sandwiches and quiche, as well as lunch fare later in the day.
Hyperion Expresso is located at 301 William Street; hours are Monday – Thursday 7 a.m. – 8 p.m., Friday – Saturday 7 a.m. – 10 p.m., Sunday 8 a.m. – 8 p.m., closed Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day, and New Year’s Day; website is http://www.hyperionespresso.com/
Eileen’s Bakery and Cafe is located at 1115 Caroline Street; hours are Tuesday – Friday 7:30 a.m. – 3 p.m., Saturday – Sunday 8 a.m. – 4 p.m., closed Mondays; website is http://eileensbakeryandcafe.com/
For lunch, dinner or a late night snack, take the 28-inch pizza challenge with one of Benny Vitalis New York style pizzas. We tried plain cheese and bruschetta pizza (slices, not whole pies), and thoroughly enjoyed every bite! Be prepared to stand, though. Benny’s has lots of pizza, but not lots of seats.
Another casual place to try is Curitiba Art Cafe. With a variety of light fare and a focus on drinks influenced by Brazilian culture, the cafe also offers a variety of teas and coffees, as well as a hot chocolate to die for. Hot and cold sandwiches reflect the Brazilian cultural influence, but the menu also includes traditional salads. Notably, draft beer and wine, as well as some mixed drinks, make this a spot to head to after dinner to hang out and relax.
An absolutely must if you visit Fredericksburg is a stop at Goolrich’s Modern Pharmacy. Leave your prescription at home (although you really can get it filled there), because you’re going for an old-fashioned malt, float, or shake at the country’s oldest continuously operated soda fountain.
Benny Vitalis is located at 722 Caroline Street; hours are Sunday – Thursday 11 a.m. – 11 p.m., Friday – Saturday 11 a.m. – 2 a.m.; website is https://www.bennysva.com/locations/benny-vitalis/
Curitiba Cafe is located at 919 Caroline Street; hours are Monday – Thursday 10 a.m. – 8 p.m., Friday – Saturday 10 a.m. – 10 p.m., and Sunday 11 a.m. – 7 p.m.; website is https://www.curitibaartcafe.com/
Goolrich’s is located at 901 Caroline Street; hours are Monday – Friday 9 a.m. – 6 p.m., Saturday 9 a.m. – 4 p.m., closed Sundays; website is https://goolrickspharmacy.com/
Day and Evening Fare
Foode’s farm-to-table menu offers a variety of comfort foods, light fare, and creative updates on traditional items. Try the Fredericksburger while you’re sitting in the bank vault — the restaurant is housed in a former bank building.
If you’re looking for traditional Italian fare, Ristorante Renato offers homemade pasta favorites such as chicken (or veal) parmigiana, and the like. I appreciate their flexibility. As travelers, my friend and I would only waste food if we’d ordered full servings, so we asked to share a dish. The waiter accommodated this request, bringing the food out on two separate plates. Call for reservations — the Saturday evening we were there it was packed!
Fahrenheit 132 is at a slightly higher price point than most of the other food establishments covered by this article, but enjoys an excellent reputation for its steaks, which makes sense — it’s a steakhouse, afterall. You can also find chicken, pork, and seafood, however, so there’s something delicious for everyone. Reservations are a must, so plan ahead.
Foode is located at 900 Princess Anne Street; hours are Tuesday – Thursday 11 a.m. – 3 p.m. and 4 p.m. – 9 p.m., Friday – Saturday 11 a.m. – 3 p.m. and 4 p.m. – 10 p.m., Sunday 9 a.m. – 3 p.m., closed Mondays; website is https://www.foodefredericksburg.com/
Ristorante Renato is located at 422 William Street; hours are Monday – Friday 11:30 a.m. – 2 p.m. and 4:30 p.m. – 10 p.m., Saturday 4:30 p.m. – 10 p.m., Sunday 4:30 p.m
. – 9 p.m.; website is http://rrenato.com/
Fahrenheit 132 is located at 318 William Street; hours are Sunday – Thursday 4 – 10 p.m., Friday – Saturday, 4 – 11 p.m.; website is https://www.fahrenheit132.com/
There are a number of breweries right there in downtown Fredericksburg. Consider visiting Red Dragon Brewery and Spencer Devon Brewery for a flight of craft beer. Each brewery has unique qualities that make trying them all an absolute must.
|The Spencer Devon Brewery sports this mural on its building.|
Red Dragon Brewery is located at 1419 Princess Anne Street; hours are Monday – Thursday 4 – 9 p.m., Friday 4 – 10 p.m., Saturday 11 a.m. – 10 p.m., Sunday noon – 6 p.m.; website is https://www.reddragonbrewery.com/
Spencer Devon Brewery is located at 106 George Street; hours are Monday, Wednesday, Thursday noon – 10 p.m., Friday noon – 11 p.m., Saturday 11 a.m. – 11 p.m., Sunday 10 a.m. – 5 p.m., closed Tuesdays; website is https://www.spencerdevonbrewing.com/
A little further away is 1781 Brewing Company, located in the gorgeous countryside of Spotsylvania, and sharing a roof with the Wilderness Run Winery. 1781 Brewing focuses on farmhouse ales, and takes advantage of its location and its very own spring. The combination of both a brewing company and a constantly growing winery (they plant, on average, an additional acre of vines every year) ensures a variety of choices for patrons, served in a beautiful, rustic setting, on a family farm that’s been transformed and saved by the two businesses.
On the opposite end of the spectrum is Potomac Point Winery and Vineyard, which offers an established variety of wines in comfortable, sophisticated setting. Go for the wines, sure, but be sure to go too for Sunday brunch, which we did, to our delight. The menu offers sophisticated twists on light fare: bruchetta toast (but not just any bruchetta toast), cheese plates, and light sandwiches. Try a flight while you’re there, and be sure to ask for a quick peak at the cute coyote footprints in the Coyote Cave.
Wilderness Run Winery/1781 Brewing Company is located at 11109 Plank Rd, Spotsylvania Courthouse; hours are Wednesday, Thursday 4 – 9 p.m., Friday – Saturday 11 a.m. – 10 p.m., Sunday 11 a.m. – 6 p.m., Monday – Tuesday closed; websites are https://www.1781brewing.com/ and https://www.wildernessrunvineyards.com/
Potomac Point Winery and Vineyard is located at 75 Decatur Road, Stafford; hours are
Sunday – Thursday 11 a.m. 6 p.m., Friday – Saturday 11 a.m. – 9:30 p.m., closed Mondays; website is https://www.potomacpointwinery.com/