We're interested in culinary destination travel, so anything food and wine related, cooking classes, markets etc. We like good value but are not price sensitive. We are two lively boomers enjoying the good life. This is our first time in this area.We'd love to know where to go, where to stay, where to eat, what to do during that time frame?
Assume Chapel Hill? Not sure between there and Richmond. In Richmond consider getting some Vietnamese from Mekong Restaurant. I visited the location in Sandusky, OH (two brothers own the two) and want to visit the Richmond location at some time. Great craft beer selection if it is like the OH location.
For DC proper, you should try Ethiopian at least once (some of the best are near the Embassy district, but you can find them elsewhere). There are a wide variety of places. Old Town Alexandria is also a nice stop. Quaint location and lots of very good restaurants (one for almost every taste). On the mall proper, the Native American museum has the best food. Cafeteria style, but you can try some really unique cuisine there. Carmine's is inexpensive for DC and has good family style Italian. The The Capital Grille you can't go wrong with, but you pay for the food. I really like the Pig on Logan Circle (very unique experience). I am also a fan of the City Tap House of DC - Penn Quarter (small chain out of Philly), but more for the extensive beer selection (although the food is good). For unique experiences, not necessary the greatest food in DC, try the The Big Greek Cafe, the Karma Kitchen (free food, pay it forward by donating to the next guy eating there), Bar Pilar (Hemmingwayesque) and Zola (spy themed).
If you go over to Monticello Drive, either way on your trip, there are a few vineyards in the area. And you can eat at the Café at Monticello (on the grounds, not in the house) if you want to say you ate there, but I would aim for Maya restaurant downtown Charlottesville (modern southern).
I hope this helps.
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