Lynchburg is home to a variety of global cuisines
By Jodi Helmer
You don’t have to hop on a plane to sample amazing global flavors. Thanks to its cosmopolitan vibe, Lynchburg is home to many locally-owned restaurants featuring authentic cuisines from around the world.
Whether you’re in the mood for pad Thai, tacos, tuna rolls or tikka masala, there is a local restaurant that can satisfy your hunger—no passport required.
La Taqueria Mexican Grill
The menu is chock full of traditional favorites like tacos, fajitas, quesadillas, flautas and burritos as well as some unexpected – and delicious – dishes such as sopes, corn flour patties topped with refried beans; quecas, deep fried corn flour tortillas stuffed with cheese and a choice of meat; and plato del chapo, sliced beef, chorizo and grilled onions served with rice and beans. Once you’ve received your order, a visit to the fixin’s bar is a must with sauces like fresh tomatillo salsa and cabbage salad choices with habanero chilies or cilantro and lime.
18243 Forest Road, STE 8 | La Taqueria Mexican Grill
Ty Thai Cuisine
The Thai restaurant serves up classics like pad Thai, Thai fried rice (kao pad) and drunken noodles (pad kee-maw) as well as creative dishes such as chicken pumpkin curry, salmon ginger dinner and basil tofu eggplant.
“Our customers can experience dishes in many spice levels,” says owner Amy Uacharoenwongse. “It can either be made mild, medium, hot or Thai hot level. Everything is freshly prepared to the liking of each customer.”
For dessert, taro buns, pumpkin chee (Asian sweet pumpkin in warm coconut milk) and a fried banana drizzled with honey and sesame seeds offer a sweet ending to a delicious meal.
112 Tradewynd Drive | Ty Thai Cuisine
Hot and Cold Café
When Uday and Timby Mukherjee opened Hot and Cold Café in 2007, it was the first local restaurant serving Mediterranean food in Lynchburg. Over the past decade, it has also grown to be among the most popular thanks to a diverse (and vegetarian-and vegan-friendly) menu featuring both Mediterranean and Indian specialties. Uday makes amazing mango chutney with a spicy kick.
Whether a customer has been coming to the restaurant since it opened or stopping in for the first time, Timby says, “We want people to say they enjoyed the taste, the atmosphere or the whole experience.”
1206 Main Street | Hot and Cold Café
Family Oasis Mediterranean Grill
Authentic dishes like grape leaves, baba ghanoush, falafel, hummus with shawarma are just one of the reasons the causal eatery is considered to have the best Mediterranean cuisine in the area.
The restaurant also serves as a small grocer, stocking favorites like Turkish delight, cardamom-infused coffee, dates and famous Middle Eastern shortbread cookies called maamoul. Whether you want to order food in the restaurant or grab snacks and staples to go, Oasis can satisfy your appetite for a taste of the Mediterranean.
6113 Fort Avenue | Family Oasis Mediterranean Grill
Aji Ramen and Sushi
With a menu that includes sashimi, sushi, udon, ramen and lo mein—all made with the freshest ingredients—Aji has earned high marks as the top Asian fusion hotspot in town. Social media is filled with rave reviews like “one of the gems of Lynchburg,” and “new favorite restaurant in [Lynchburg].” It’s high praise for a restaurant that just opened in 2019. Owner Eric Wu purchases fresh fish that is flown in several times each week and searches out other fresh ingredients because he knows it is reflected in the flavor of each dish.
910 Main Street | Aji Ramen and Sushi
The next time you’re hungry for a new restaurant experience, grab a fork and knife and dig into the delicious global cuisines served up close to home.
Jodi Helmer writes about food, drink and travel for National Geographic Traveler, Hemispheres, Huffington Post, AARP and Our State. She lives and works on a hobby farm near Charlotte, North Carolina.
Learn more about Jodi HERE