A review of local eats
By: Ashley Bubb
When I came to JMU & Harrisonburg, I had never heard of the local food movement, or had I been exposed to a town with so much emphasis on “going local”. Going local means supporting local farmers and businesses by purchasing from local farmers, restaurants, and vendors.
Throughout the four years you spend at JMU, you should make it a priority to “Go Local” and support your local restaurants and farms. I have compiled reviews of my favorite five ways to go local in Harrisonburg.
1. The Farmer’s Market
The Harrisonburg Farmer’s Market, located in the downtown Turner Pavilion, is open every Tuesday & Saturday from 9-1. The Farmer’s Market, depending on the season, has a variety of in-season produce, plants, and a ton of other food vendors. Whether you would like a grass fed burger, local eggs, homemade breads, or a warm cinnamon bun, the Farmer’s Market is the place to be! It is a great way to support local farmers and vendors. The best part of the market is its inexpensive, quality food. Coming to the Farmer’s Market with even just $5 can get you some good eats
2. The Friendly City Food Co-Op
A co-op is a business that is owned by a group of owners that aims to enrich the community with local products. The co-op sells healthy, and wholesome foods, with most products being organic. You can find fresh produce, local meats, and baked goods from local bakers. The co-op also sells typical groceries, and locally made hygienic products. You can find some nifty snacks at the co-op, with my personal favorite being coconut covered dates J My favorite part of the co-op is the pre-prepared meals and hot food bar! If you ever want to have a nutritious, cheap, and local meal for dinner or lunch, the co-op is the place to come! A general consensus among dietetics
majors is that the best meal there is the Pad Thai Chicken in Peanut Sauce.
3. Bella-Luna Pizza
Being from New Jersey, I have a very high standard for pizza. Bella-Luna exceeds my expectations. Finding out that Bella-Luna creates their pizzas with produce, meats, and cheeses from local farms in the Shenandoah Valley & Central Virginia made it even more delicious J Bella-Luna pizza dough is made from scratch daily (and is better than any pizza dough you have ever had). The atmosphere of Bella Luna is a calm and welcoming one. It is great for a night out with friends, or even a date while also supporting the local movement
4. Food Bar Food
Having the slogan of “Global Comfort Food”, Food Bar Food incorporates creative meals with emphasis on fresh and local ingredients from the Shenandoah Valley. Food Bar Food is known for their authentic meals and creative cocktails. Popular menu items include Caramel Shrimp and J&L Green Farm Beef Burgers.
5. Little Grill Collective
If you are a fan of brunch, the Little Grill is the place to go! The aim of Little Grill is to localize where the food comes from by building a network with local food producers. But it doesn’t just stop there. The Little Grill is also about sustainability. They minimize food waste by composting and creating their lunch specials based on the leftover food. All foods do not contain high-fructose corn syrup, and all chicken, eggs, and beef are free range! Warning to all who come: make sure to get there early for brunch or there will be a wait because it is just that popular.
I hope I have inspired you to make a choice to go local during your time in Harrisonburg. Going local also ensures that you are consuming nutritious and high quality foods. This movement is evolving, and I can’t wait to see what else comes out of it!
Forever a Foodie,