There’s more than one way to fill ‘er up at the service stations along Winchester, Virginia’s newly launched Gas Station Grub Trail.
There’s something for everyone, from BBQ to acai bowls, from breakfast to pizza pie, and each of the 12 trail stops is located in a functioning or former gas station in the Winchester and Frederick County area.
I can’t resist a culinary trail, so I visited as many gas station grub trail locations—FIVE(!)— as possible during my recent press trip to Winchester.
Jordan Springs Market
My first Gas Station Grub Trail stop was at Jordan Springs Market for two reasons: they’re said to have the “Best Chili in the Valley.” They also have a giant hog mural—part of the Winchester Mural Trail. What can I say? I love trails!
The customers in front of me ordered BBQ dishes—so their ‘cue must be great too. But it was a rainy, chilly day, and I had my heart set on their award-winning chili. I stuck to my guns and ordered a bowl.
The chili was served in a simple plastic container and didn’t look fancy in the least. But I dug in with my plastic spoon and was blown away.
It was nice and spicy, but the heat enhanced, not overpowered, the flavor. And I love that the meat was finely ground. I hate big chunks of meat! I see why Jordan Market’s chili is a Shenandoah Valley favorite; it’s exceptionally delicious!
My next stop was Bucha Canna, serving kombucha on tap, açaí bowls, organic smoothies, bubble tea, and boba tea. They also have CBD products if you’re so inclined.
But I had seen their açaí bowls on their Facebook page, so I was after that.
Look for it: The store is tucked behind the service station alongside a Subway.
Each sweet-tart açaí bowl starts with an açaí smoothie base (no sugar added) and then is topped with fresh fruit, hemp heart granola, coconut, honey, and three toppings of your choice.
I often stop and get healthy smoothies when I’m traveling (and they do make them here), but a healthy açaí bowl was a great change of pace. I also tried their delicious kombucha.
This is a grub trail location you want to hit up when looking for something light and guilt-free. I loved it!
The next day I drove out to Gainesboro Market for a down-home breakfast. The small grill, tucked into the back corner of the convenience store, serves breakfast until 11 am and sandwiches after that.
I recommend going for breakfast to try the Sweeney, an unforgettable sweet and savory sensation. The signature breakfast sandwich includes sausage or bacon, egg, and cheese on a glazed donut. It’s unreal! I still dream of it.
The name might make you laugh—a mash-up of chicken, pork and fish—but the smoked meats and sides at Chicorkfish will are anything but a joke. This is seriously good food.
Everything is made in-house (except for the bread), and the portions are generous. It’s some of the best ‘cue I’ve ever had (even without the sauce), and the BBQ baked beans are phenomenal.
If it’s Saturday, don’t miss the Texas Twinkie—barbecue-stuffed jalapenos battered and deep-fried, and if it’s Taco Tuesday, wear your stretchy pants!
Bonnie Blue Southern Market & Bakery
Bonnie Blue is a Winchester restaurant icon and an absolute must-eat when visiting Winchester. The popular eatery is located in a restored 1920 Esso station, and the traditional southern cooking brings in a full house of customers all day long.
If you try nothing else, get the BBQ—it was featured by the New York Times as one of 13 essential BBQ stops.
But I can personally vouch for the breakfast. I ordered Bonnie’s Pulled Pork and Eggs, and it was incredible. It’s a great way to have breakfast AND try the famous BBQ.
There’s also an impressive array of pastries, homemade biscuits, omelets, breakfast potatoes and fried apples and the portions are humongous! I didn’t need to eat anything else the entire day.
More Gas Station Grub Trail Stops
- Pizzoco – Virginia’s #1 pizza (according to Yelp)
- Shaffer’s BBQ & Market (BBQ)
- Restaurante La Flor Blanca Salvadoreño (Salvadorian cuisine)
- Shawnee Springs Market (American)
- Paco’s Tacos (Mexican)
You’ll find details on all of the Winchester Gas Station Grub Trail locations at https://visitwinchesterva.com/winchester-service-station-grub-trail/
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