Hidden Restaurant Gems in Waynesboro
Your New Year's resolutions likely included some form of breaking out of your regular patterns and trying something new. While at your most ambitious, you probably wanted to take up skydiving or learn Mandarin. But now, nearly a month in, you might be a little wiped out from all this self-improvement. How about an easier way to try something new, like trying a new taste or new place to eat? Most of our restaurants offer takeout, so you can even try something new while wearing your sweats from the safety of your couch! Read on to learn about Waynesboro’s hidden restaurant gems and save your energy for skydiving.
Gio’s 503 Salvadorian - 325 E. Main St.
Gio’s 503 Salvadorian offers a great way to try something new while still having the chance to fall back on old favorites. Gio’s meals include traditional Salvadorian food like pupusas, which are flatbreads stuffed with combinations of cheese, meat, and beans. You can also try the fried plantains, with a texture that’s a cross between bananas and potatoes without the sweet banana flavor. The edges get caramelized and a little bit crispy. If trying something new makes you nervous, order a side of wings, fries, or one of their juicy cheesesteaks to go along with it!
Alex’s Taco Truck - 250 E. Main St.
Alex’s Taco Truck doesn’t have much seating, but that shouldn’t stop you from grabbing a sack of deliciousness and taking it home with you. On a nice day, you can order from Alex’s and then walk across the bridge to savor your meal by the river in Constitution Park. Choose from tacos, quesadillas, burritos, tamales, and guaraches (masa dough with smashed pinto beans and toppings) stuffed with steak, chicken chorizo, or beef tongue. The food is flavorful, inexpensive, and the servings are generous. Order at the truck or call ahead to minimize wait time.
El Puerto Mexican Grill & Cantina - 2120 W. Main St.
You should probably check out an online menu for El Puerto before you head in to dine. The extensive menu runs six pages long and includes all of your Mexican favorites served as main courses or part of combo platters. If you’re looking for something new, try the molcajete, which is a lava rock bowl baked in the brick oven and filled with a meat of your choice as well as beans, salsa de molcajete, chorizo, nopales, mushrooms, and onions and covered with queso. It's a good place to take kids because of the low-key casual atmosphere and quick service. There’s also a kids’ menu featuring smaller servings of Mexican meals as well as items like hotdogs and chicken fingers. Pair your dinner with a big margarita or frosty mug of beer. Online ordering is available.
Silk Road - 2040 Rosser Ave.
Silk Road takes its name from the old trade route, which connected many areas in Asia with the Middle East and Europe. This Asian fusion hot spot seeks to connect diners with flavors from a variety of places, such as Japan, China, and Thailand. You can select an entree or try a bit of several different flavors by ordering from the a la carte menus. The food at Silk Road is ready quickly and is not only delicious, but beautiful, too. After all, you eat with your eyes first! Plan to eat in the modern dining room or download the app and order ahead for takeout. Treat yourself to a fried banana for dessert!
Osaka III Japanese Restaurant - 400 Tiffany Dr., Suite D / Sakura Japan 8 - 2105 W. Main St.
Strip malls, however uninspiring, are often home to some of the best hidden gem restaurants. Osaka III is the perfect example, where you’ll rave about the delicious food, excellent service, and reasonable prices. Osaka serves lunch and dinner, and offers a variety of sushi, bento boxes, hibachi meals, and teriyaki meals. Try something different like seaweed salad or the Million Dollar Roll, topped with spicy tuna caviar. You can round out your meal with items from the bar including hot sake and the best green apple martinis around.
If you’re not ready to venture in to a restaurant, Sakura prepares traditional Japanese favorites that you can get at the drive-thru. Take home a classic like soba noodles, fried rice, hibachi plates, fresh sushi, gy?za (dumplings), sashimi boxes, and more.
Sam’s Hot Dogs – 416 ½ W. Main St.
Even though it’s squeezed between two buildings (hence the ½ in their address) on Main Street, it’s not hard to find Sam’s Hot Dogs with their bright red and green awning. Offering all-beef dogs widely heralded as the best around, Sam’s Hot Dogs doesn’t do many frills, but one staple is the spicy chili topping created back in 1983. Hot dogs are the ultimate portable food, so grab a few dogs to go and walk down to the South River Greenway to eat while you stroll.
Scotto’s Italian Restaurant and Pizzeria - 1412 W. Broad St.
Scotto’s dishes up delicious and satisfying pizza and subs as well as traditional Italian favorites for lunch and dinner. Pizza comes with regular, deep dish, or gluten free crust and can be topped with all your favorites as well as more unusual tastes like hard-boiled eggs, scallops, basil pesto, or gorgonzola cheese. If you’d like an entree, try the chicken parmesan, the sausage stuffed shells, or the butternut squash ravioli. Ever had an Italian blossom pie? Peppers, onions, sausage, pepperoni, and three cheeses are baked and served as a flower blossom, making a deliciously beautiful treat! There’s a reason Scotto’s has been a Valley favorite for 30 years: the authentic Napolitano recipes and fresh ingredients.
Weasie’s Kitchen - 130 E. Broad St.
If you ask anyone who lives in Waynesboro where to go for breakfast before a big day of hiking or after an early morning fishing trip, they’ll point you toward Weasie’s Kitchen. Weasie’s will heap your plate with hearty, made-to-order breakfast food all day long. You won’t want to miss the pancakes, omelets, or what they call the “hungry boy breakfast,” which has a little bit of everything. But did you know you can get all kinds of other delicious foods at Weasie’s, too? Plan to polish off American classics like sandwiches, burgers, chicken fried steak, pork chops, and even liver and onions doused in gravy.
Tailgate Grill - 1106 W. Broad St.
The Tailgate Grill has been serving some of the best burgers and fries (and cheesesteaks and onion rings) in the Valley since 2005. After being closed during the lockdown, the grill is open again with the same menu and new owners. The menu is simple and straightforward, and you can order online and easily customize your burgers.
There you have our picks for restaurants that don’t get all the buzz, but have been local favorites for years. While you may not have noticed them in the past, now is the time to expand your horizons and try something new!