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Top 5 Local Smith Mountain Lake, Virginia Restaurants

The Smith Mountain Lake, Virginia area is known for many amazing things that make it a premier vacation destination. While you will most likely be visiting for the natural beauty, an integral part of any vacation is the restaurant scene. It can be difficult to find out the best local restaurants in any new city or town, so here is our top five list of best local Smith Mountain Lake, Virginia restaurants.

Napoli Cowboy

Napoli Cowboy is one of the best Virginia restaurants and a must visit while near Smith Mountain Lake. The owners of Napoli Cowboy look to combine tastes of two very different cultures into one cohesive dish. They combine the comfort food of Texas with the decadence of Italy to create a truly inspired menu. Their efforts have gained them national praise on large news broadcasts like NBC Daytime Virginia and Fox News. Their menu is a crazy combination of Southern comfort favorites like their fried oysters and calamari along with Italian favorites like fresh meatballs in marinara sauce. Once of our favorites is their Napoli Chili with seamlessly uses Italian ingredients to make a spicy Texas favorite. Their signature chili is made extremely hot and served with sour cream, jalapenos, cheese, and green onions and garnished with Italian pepperoncini peppers.

Blackwater Café

Blackwater Café is a newer Smith Mountain Lake staple that is in the business of creating tasty food and memorable experiences along with an amazing atmosphere. Their menu takes American classics and makes them a bit more upscale to create a great culinary experience. Their appetizers include charcuterie board selections that include seasonal accompaniments, a chef’s flatbread with fresh local ingredients, and their warm crab dip served with fresh naan to dip. If you are partaking in a full meal with them, we recommend trying some of their signature entrees. The BBQ meatloaf is a local favorite made with certified angus beef with a BBQ glaze and served with pan roasted peas and mashed sweet potatoes. Their “Block Ready” Ribeye is also a treat. They start with a 12-ounce certified angus beef ribeye and cook it to perfection with a red wine compound butter sauce.

Old Oak Café

The Old Oak Café brings to your plate everything you have even known or not known about comfort food. The restaurant was started by two friends, Annie and Jo-Ann, who shared a common philosophy to do things right and give people what they wanted with a smile. With over 60 years of restaurant experience between the two, Annie and Jo-Ann have developed a system to provide guests with good old fashion home cooked meals that have been elevated to a new high. They have many signature dishes, but we think they are serving up some of the best breakfast we have ever had. They serve everything from eggs benedict to homemade biscuits and gravy with grits. Since their breakfast is so good, they serve it until 2pm every day. Dinner at the Old Oak Café if just like a Southern mother would serve. Popular comfort foods can be throughout their menu for dinner; we highly suggest their old-fashioned meatloaf!

Vinny’s Italian Grill & Pizzeria

Vinny’s Italian Grill and Pizzeria is the product of New York and brings a specific Italian flair. You will find unique flavors and combinations with New York style pizza, delicious subs, meatballs, and pasta dishes just like you would find in New York. The recipes are all unique creations of the founder, Vincenzo “Vinny” Vitale, adapted from his mother and father’s recipes growing up. Vinny’s was opened in 1998 when he first started serving up new takes on classic dishes. The people at Vinny’s always meet guests with a distinct smile and make sure that your time is as perfect as possible. You will leave Vinny’s full of amazing food and will probably want a nap!


Drifter’s is a new restaurant to the area with a long history in the area. Drifter’s was originally called Waller’s and opened in the summer of 2011. This local watering hole was a local institution and quickly became a favorite due to the amazing food and service. They served up the highest quality seafood, meats, and cocktails in the area. When the restaurant industry faltered in 2020, managers and bartenders Ryan and Jaclyn took over Waller’s with a new name and have hit the ground running. They continue to be a local favorite but have upgraded this establishment in almost every way. Drifter’s offers guests amazing food with the best of local talent and showcase local breweries and distilleries. Drifter’s is a great place to start the party. Their menu features upgraded bar food with local seafood options like crab legs and amazing fish tacos. You really can’t go wrong with a meal and a craft drink at Drifter’s.

Contact us today to book one of our well-appointed vacation rentals in Smith Mountain Lake and enjoy a culinary exploration of the best Virginia restaurants!