Warrenton is nestled in Virginia’s picturesque Piedmont region where horses graze and wineries abound. It’s a perfect day-trip destination about 50 miles west of Washington. Amble along Main Street’s brick sidewalks to see 19th-century architecture. Tour the Fauquier History Museum at the Old Jail on Ashby Street, built in 1808 next to the beautiful brick Fauquier County courthouse. Shop at the farmers market at Lee and Fifth streets on Saturdays from 8 a.m. to noon. Pick up lists of shops, Civil War sites and other attractions at the visitor center on North Calhoun Street. And stop in these casual eateries to imbibe and revive:
Besides espresso drinks, tea, sandwiches, wraps and salads, this cafe (22 Main St.) offers alcoholic drinks, including the Zombie Tea. “That’s a cold, iced tea-based alcohol drink made of muddled berries and three rums,” said owner Nikki Guskiewicz. On the first Friday night of each month, local writers and poets read their own work or that of a favorite author; on the third Saturday of the month, local musicians play tunes; and every other Sunday afternoon there are painting classes.
“We mill the flour and make everything by hand with basic, pure ingredients,” said Pablo Teodoro III, owner of this bakery (108 Main St.). The store, an independently owned franchise, offers whole-grain breads, hard-crusted loaves, scones, muffins, cookies and sandwiches. Painted on the wall: “If a stone was thrown at you, throw back some bread in return.”
You can’t miss this bakery (22 Waterloo St.) as you glide into town because the red pickup is always out front. Proprietor and baker-in-chief Brian Noyes launched Red Truck in 2009 in a 1921 Esso gas station. Bakers arrive at 3 a.m. to make muffins, pastries, granola and, of course, the bakery’s signature moonshine cakes. This writer loved the chocolate hazelnut croissant.
This industrial chic brewpub (41 Beckham St.) was once an auto repair shop. “We replaced the old garage doors with new accordion glass doors to give an outdoor feel to the inside taproom,” said partner Lou Oliva. It has three floors plus an outdoor patio and roof deck. About a dozen beers are on tap. “One of the favorites is the Warrenton Great American Ale,” Oliva said.