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Try local favorites when dining during JMU’s Family Weekend |

Try local favorites when dining during JMU’s Family Weekend

JMU’s Family Weekend is quickly approaching. It’s time to forget about your meal plan for a weekend and treat your families to some of the best restaurants in Harrisonburg. Here are five of the most mouthwatering places to eat around town.

Breakfast Brunch – The Little Grill Collective

Located off North Main Street, the Little Grill Collective is a worker-owned restaurant that prides itself on its sustainability and variety of vegetarian and vegan items. When you walk into this small gem, you’re almost immediately hit with the smell of homemade breakfast items and are greeted with smiling faces. Some delectable breakfast items include Huevos Rancheros, a savory dish consisting of over-easy eggs topped with vegetarian chili and a side of beans and rice. For a sweeter option, they serve a variety of pancakes. The Blue Monkey pancakes are a local favorite. The pancakes are buttermilk based and filled with blueberries and bananas, plus you can get real maple syrup for a dollar extra. Although the restaurant’s closed on Mondays, it’s open most days from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Lunch – Greens Grains Cafe

Founded in Harrisonburg, Greens Grains Cafe is a healthy lunch option for visitors that’s located right off campus on Port Republic Road. It focuses on creating fresh salads, soups and sandwiches where most items are locally sourced. Greens Grains Cafe has a Panera Bread-esque feel with its pick-two option for people who have a hard time deciding which items to try. Its refreshing Strawberry Sensation salad, a spring mix tossed with chicken, goat cheese, strawberries, mandarin oranges, pecans and dried cranberries, pairs perfectly with its Turkey Melt, a turkey and bacon sandwich with dried cranberries, cheddar, and Thousand Island dressing on multigrain bread. Among that, it serves coffee for a perfect midday pick-me-up. Greens Grains Cafe is also quite conscious of those with dietary restrictions, including menu items that are vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free.

Dinner – Food.Bar.Food (Global Comfort)  / O’Neill’s (American Comfort)

If you’re craving something different than the traditional dinner options downtown, Food.Bar.Food. is the perfect place. Its slogan is “global comfort food” and it includes culturally specific food options like thai curry noodles, a heaping portion of rice noodles with coconut red thai curry, chicken and shrimp, squash, green beans and cherry tomatoes. Food.Bar.Food also has more classic, American-style options such as the seared salmon and grass-fed beef burgers. As the restaurant suggests, it specializes in drinks, including its signature cocktails and non-alcoholic mocktails. Overall, it definitely embodies its slogan with its stunning atmosphere and comforting food items.

O’Neill’s Grill is an American-style restaurant just a mile from JMU’s campus on University Boulevard. Like many of the other local food places in Harrisonburg, it uses fresh, local ingredients. Not only that, it also smokes its own meat, cuts its own fries and hand makes its own sauces. It has plenty of classic menu items, including its savory burgers, pulled pork and mac-and-cheese skillets. O’Neill’s warm atmosphere is perfect for family time, especially when it’s shared over a cookie skillet — a warm, chocolate-chip cookie drizzled with hot fudge, whipped cream and scoops of ice cream on top. Plus, it’s open until 2 a.m. Monday through Saturday for late-night food runs.

Dessert – Peace, Love, and Little Donuts


The small doughnut shop located off of Port Republic Road offers a wide variety of flavors, including apple pie, “John Lemon” and almond joy.


Loren Probish | The Breeze

Peace, Love, and Little Donuts is a fairly new, ’70s inspired doughnut shop located right near Greens and Grains Cafe on Port Republic Road. Although the doughnut shop is a franchise, it’s far from basic. They bake their adorably small doughnuts fresh. The doughnuts are kept warm and made to order right in front of you. It has classic flavors, such as cinnamon sugar and vanilla, but it also has “psychedelic flavors” like maple bacon, apple pie and raspberry lemonade. As an added bonus, they also give you a free cinnamon sugar donut if it’s your first time visiting.

Even if you can’t make it to these restaurants during Family Weekend, all of these local spots are open throughout the year.

Contact Leeyah Jackson at For more on the culture, arts and lifestyle of the JMU and Harrisonburg communities, follow the culture desk on Twitter @Breeze_Culture.

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