The River and Rail Restaurant

4.7
396 reviews
icon/ic_price_rangeCreated with Sketch.
$30 and under
icon/ic_cuisineCreated with Sketch.
Southern
Top Tags:
  • Creative Cuisine
  • Local Ingredients
  • Special Occasion
The River and Rail, a southern Bistro, is located in the heart of Western Virginia.

Chef Aaron Deal changes the lunch, dinner and brunch menus weekly based on the availability of seasonal products from our local providers.

He and his team are producing updated Southern/Appalachian and French classic dishes for this neighborhood restaurant, located just a block away from Carilion Roanoke Memorial Hospital in the old Lipes Pharmacy, in the City of Roanoke.

Have a signature cocktail at the bar or enjoy draft beer in our warm dining area.

We hope you also enjoy our thoughtfully curated wine list.

Whether it is a bite with the family on a weeknight, or a family celebration, we look forward to serving you the best the region has to offer.
Dining Style
Casual Dining
icon/ic_cuisineCreated with Sketch.
Cuisines
Southern, Comfort Food, Contemporary American
icon/ic_clockCreated with Sketch.
Hours of operation
Lunch: Tuesday - Saturday: 11:00am - 2:00pm
Dinner: Tuesday - Saturday: 5:00pm - 10:00pm
Brunch: Sunday: 11:00am - 2:00pm
icon/ic_phoneCreated with Sketch.
Phone number
(540) 400-6830
icon/ic_new_windowCreated with Sketch.
icon/ic_paymentCreated with Sketch.
Payment options
AMEX, MasterCard, Visa
icon/ic_dress_codeCreated with Sketch.
Dress code
Casual Dress
icon/ic_chefCreated with Sketch.
Executive chef
Aaron Deal
icon/ic_locationCreated with Sketch.
icon/ic_neighborhoodCreated with Sketch.
Neighborhood
icon/ic_cross_streetCreated with Sketch.
Cross street
22nd St. SW
icon/ic_gift_cardCreated with Sketch.
Gift Card
Additional
Bar Dining, Beer, BYO Wine, Chef's Table, Corkage Fee, Farm to Table, Full Bar, Gluten-free Menu, Outdoor dining, Weekend Brunch, Wheelchair Access, Wine
What 396 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.7based on recent ratings
4.7
food
4.6
service
4.5
ambience
4.3
value
Noise · Moderate
98% of people would recommend it to a friend
5
4
3
2
1
Sort by
Newest
Filters
K
Baltimore
4 reviews
3.0Dined 5 days ago
Overall 3food 3service 3ambience 3

It was good but pretty over priced for what you were getting.

Report
Helpful
OT
Richmond
1 review
5.0Dined 6 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

My boyfriend and I were greeted with the utmost respect and friendliness the moment we walked through the door. They remembered us from previous visits, and we appreciated that greatly. The food never disappoints. We had the burger, and while there was a mix up with our side orders, Nexus took care of us in a very timely manner. Our cocktails were delicious. We sat at the bar and loved it. We have been coming here for years and always encourage people from out of town to come. One of the best restaurants in Roanoke!

Report
Helpful
OT
Charleston
1 review
5.0Dined on July 7, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Good atmosphere great service, amazing food. And try to save room for dessert.

Report
Helpful
GH
1 review
5.0Dined on July 6, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Very good oysters, even better catfish and terrific steak. Our waiter was a real courteous pro! We will come back.

Report
Helpful
OT
Richmond
10 reviews
5.0Dined on July 1, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We loved the restaurant and highly recommend their brunch!

Report
Helpful
GW
Richmond
1 review
5.0Dined on June 30, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Very much enjoyed our experience at River and Rail. Food was outstanding, service was great. Would recommend it readily.

Report
Helpful
B
1 review
5.0Dined on June 24, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Great meal. Every bite was full of flavor. We loved all of it-oyster wraps, ribs, grouper, scallops, cheeses, and panna cotta. Service was attentive. Highly recommend for an intimate evening.

Report
Helpful
e
San Diego
9 reviews
5.0Dined on June 24, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Really delivered on all levels. Fried oyster kimchi sliders mmmm

Report
Helpful
SG
Richmond
4 reviews
5.0Dined on June 23, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 5

We were their on a Friday night so it was pretty busy. It was quite loud and energetic inside. Our server was attentive, and not overbearing. That being said the overall service was a little slow. Drinks, food and desert were outstanding. I would definitely go again.

Report
Helpful
LS
1 review
5.0Dined on June 20, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The experience as a whole was great. The restaurant is very cute and inviting. I enjoyed the Asparagus Salad with the Blackened Catfish, which was juicy and flavorful, cooked perfectly. My son had the Fried Chicken, it was excellent. The beer was delicious. Fortunately, we were not in a hurry because the food did take quite a while but I enjoyed the atmosphere and the beer so it was not a problem and we had started with the Oysters on the Half Shell. These were sweet tasting.

We had come from California to Virginia Tech Orientation and my son had just learned he got accepted into the Engineering Program. I had mentioned this on our Open Table Reservation and the server and bartender both congratulated my son and provided us with complementary Ice Cream (3 Kinds), the coffee ice cream was probably the best ice cream I have ever tasted! Thank you. I hope to be back!

Report
Helpful
SE
Richmond
1 review
5.0Dined on June 17, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Been for dinner many times but recently enjoyed brunch. Was excellent as always. A last minute change in my reservation was required and management made every effort to allow the change which we are grateful for. Can't wait to visit again.

Report
Helpful
OT
Richmond
14 reviews
4.0Dined on June 17, 2018
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 4

The food is delicious and the service marvelous... Wonderful people who always want to please. My very favorite restaurant in Roanoke.

Report
Helpful
w
1 review
5.0Dined on June 14, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

What a fantastic meal. We split a salad and cheese plate. The salad greens and dressing were amazing and the pairings of the cheese plates to various savory pickled items equally so. My wife had a perfectly prepared fish entrée and I had the hanger steak. We didn't have dessert but we did share a glass of nice Amontillado sherry. My wife also got an interesting cocktail that was the best we've had in quite some time. We will definitely go back. Note that it does take a little while to get your food because the kitchen is small and everything is made to order but well worth it.

Report
Helpful
TB
Richmond
1 review
5.0Dined on June 13, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Excellent, as always!

Report
Helpful
OT
Richmond
1 review
4.0Dined on June 7, 2018
Overall 4food 3service 5ambience 5

Derives was excellent. Food that should have been hit or warm was not.

Report
Helpful
MK
1 review
5.0Dined on June 6, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

My wife and I went there for her birthday, and we were not disappointed. Great food and service!

Report
Helpful
S
Richmond
1 review
5.0Dined on June 5, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

One of Roanoke's best restaurants, in every way. Costly, but worth it.

Report
Helpful
P
Richmond
3 reviews
5.0Dined on June 5, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great food and great service. We really enjoyed the oysters and hanger steak.

Report
Helpful
OT
Western NC
1 review
5.0Dined on June 3, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Food was fabulous!!!! Had the pimento cheese for an appetizer and shared biscuits and gravy. Leah was excellent. Will definitely go back!!!

Report
Helpful
OT
Key West
1 review
5.0Dined on June 1, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We had dinner on a Friday evening. Oyster wraps were incredible. Dinner was delicious and flavorful. We will be returning.

Report
Helpful
LL
Washington DC
20 reviews
5.0Dined on May 29, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Food reflects the season. Unique items thoughtfully prepared and presented. Excellent quality ingredients. Service was attentive and on- point. These folks are serious about presenting a terrific dining experience.

Report
Helpful
VT
Richmond
8 reviews
3.0Dined on May 22, 2018
Overall 3food 2service 4ambience 4

This is a very difficult review for me to write. It seemed like for every excellent thing that was done, there was something not so great to counter its act. We walked into the restaurant and were immediately greeted with a “Happy Anniversary” which meant they read the comments I left in OpenTable....something very few restaurants even do...let alone acknowledge. Our waitress greeted us within three minutes of us sitting down and explained the menu since it was our first time. I ordered a $12 Ascot cocktail that was very good, but I was caught off guard at the size of the drink. I went on to order a half dozen oysters on the half shell (which was great). For my entree I ordered the soft shell crab and my wife ordered the steak medium well. This is where it begins to go downhill.

Once our meal came, my soft shell crab was very small and over cooked...which was disappointing for someone who grew up next to the beach. My wife’s steak was very dry and over cooked as well. Since we are not ones to overly complain, we kept it to ourselves...especially since the waitress never asked us how our meal was...and then even sent another waitress to pick up our plates.

The kicker is as we were wrapping up our meal, the table next to us was brought out a complimentary dessert as they told them “Happy Anniversary”. When the dessert menu came out, we decided not to get anything...as we were pretty disappointed in our entree. I waited to see if we would be offered a complimentary dessert as well...to find out that the answer was no.

Great people work and very friendly, but extremely disappointing for the cost of the meals to receive the quality we did. We will probably not return.

Report
Helpful
SJ
Richmond
4 reviews
5.0Dined on May 22, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We had a wonderful lunch sitting outside! The service was fast and the food was delicious! Our server was attentive and thoughtful.

Report
Helpful
MT
1 review
5.0Dined on May 19, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Enjoyed everything about the River & Rail.....tried the cornbread....it was delicious....main course was fantastic.....the serve local beer.....all around it was a great dining experience.

Report
Helpful
OT
Richmond
12 reviews
5.0Dined on May 17, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Fantastic food. Always consistently good service.

Report
Helpful
BF
1 review
5.0Dined on May 16, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We have eaten at The River and Rail previously when in Roanoke and were able to introduce friends from Charlottesville who were equally impressed. Always a great meal and pleasant atmosphere.

Report
Helpful
DP
1 review
3.0Dined on May 12, 2018
Overall 3food 4service 1ambience 2

We waited for nearly an hour and half to get our lunch with several tables who were seated after us - without reservations - got their meals (one actually finished eating and left the restaurant) before we got served. The restaurant was terribly busy, and we did not order anything exotic - it seemed our order just got misplaced and our waitress seemed to pay little attention.

Report
Helpful
P
Richmond
3 reviews
3.0Dined on May 11, 2018
Overall 3food 4service 3ambience 3

We were there for Friday lunch. The food was as expected; very good. My wife had the she-crab soup of the day and a hamburger while I had the pimiento cheese spread with toast and the special of the day, ribs. My disappointment was in the time it took to complete our meal - one hour and 40 minutes.

Report
Helpful
EF
Richmond
12 reviews
5.0Dined on April 29, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Home run on the biscuits and I'm picky. Chef Deal has them down perfect. Cocktails are a must. Best bartenders in Roanoke and fantastic wait staff.

Report
Helpful
OT
Washington DC
34 reviews
4.0Dined on April 27, 2018
Overall 4food 5service 3ambience 3

My husband and I eat at River and Rail quite a bit. We decided to play hooky from work and go to lunch on a Friday. Service was a bit slow on this particular day, but the food was awesome as usual.

Report
Helpful
MR
Raleigh
61 reviews
4.0Dined on April 26, 2018
Overall 4food 5service 3ambience 5

Great farm-to-table restaurant. Only serves what’s local and seasonal.

Soft shell crab with Carolina gold rice and soft cooked egg was delicious. Cheese plate and chicken liver mousse outstanding. Panacotta dessert did not disappoint.

We’re it not for long wait for the check, we would give 5 stars all around.

Report
Helpful
OT
New York Area
3 reviews
5.0Dined on April 20, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

You will not find a better place if you are looking for a great dining experience! We go here for every special occasion.

Report
Helpful
OT
Richmond
1 review
4.0Dined on April 14, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

The Air conditioning was not working. Very warm

Report
Helpful
CB
Nashville
9 reviews
3.0Dined on April 11, 2018
Overall 3food 4service 3ambience 4

The food is good and I like the motif - brings back old memories.

We arrived at 1pm on a weekday and it wasn't too busy, but the man who met us at the door hadn't looked at the reservations and even though we told him OpenTable, they canceled our reservation later. Had to login to ask for credit (no answer on phone at restaurant).

Also, the dishes we ordered weren't prepared at the same time so when we finally got them, the fried chicken was cold. The other dish was hot.

Report
Helpful
LV
Washington DC
292 reviews
5.0Dined on April 6, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Outstanding food. Terrific service from Ally; she is incredibly knowledgeable. Oyster wraps were totally awesome as was the green asparagus salad. Rockfish and scallops also excellent. Wonderful wine options. We will be back when we are next in town.

Report
Helpful
TG
Richmond
1 review
5.0Dined on April 6, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We selected River 'n Rail because we were in Roanoke on business and needed a lunch spot. My husband has an onion allergy, and they were great to work with, finding things he could eat. I ordered the grilled pimento cheese which came with the house chips. The sandwich was absolutely delicious, and I could die happily in a bucket of those chips. They are paper thin, crisp and crunchy and just the right amount of salt. I also ordered the deviled eggs appetizer, and that was delightful - creamy filling with a slightly spicy/pickled topping on a bed of arugula. I ordered decaf coffee and was delighted to find they french-press their coffee - it was wonderful. My husband had sorghum ice cream for dessert which he really enjoyed. The service was impeccable. And it was fun to be able to see the cooks do their magic out in the open. We'll definitely return!

Report
Helpful
D
Baltimore
30 reviews
5.0Dined on April 5, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Made an Open Table reservation and told the restaurant that I was driving down from Baltimore to have dinner with my son on his 30th birthday. They remembered the occasion and gave us the best table and an excellent server. The food was wonderful. We weren't rushed. They even lit a candle and sang happy birthday to him with a complimentary dessert. Couldn't have been a better experience! Thank you River and Rail!! We will return!

Report
Helpful
O
1 review
5.0Dined on April 4, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

One of my favorites in Roanoke, hands-down. Chef Aaron Deal is outstanding, creative and worth it, EVERY time!

Report
Helpful
BR
1 review
5.0Dined on April 1, 2018
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 4

Our first visit to this restaurant was wonderful. We enjoyed its Easter Sunday brunch. We were greeted enthusiastically. Our waitress was attentive, while being both charming and funny without being intrusive. The atmosphere is attractive and bustling, informal, relatively loud but not overpowering. The brunch menu was not long but each item looked interesting--a nicely conceived culinary adventure was in store for us.

We began with a chicken liver mousse accompanied by pickled sweet onions and crunchy toast for spreading, which was deliciously light in texture while rich in flavor, and also with deviled eggs beautifully topped with a light chow-chow and snipped chives--these could have been a meal in themselves (if ordered again and again). Each appetizer went well with the per-glass chardonnay and the bloody mary--albeit going off in divergent taste directions!

The wine bottle list is thorough, interesting, unusual, can stretch your budget, leans toward California, and it--along with the beer list and the cocktail list--should be a draw in themselves. The restaurant provided us a decent-sized per-glass pour and therefore value in addition to a good choice for its per-glass chardonnay.

When it came to "Seconds," we were tempted by the omelet, the striped bass, the crepes, etc. (the brunch menu is all priced in the teens), but our son had his eye on the all natural R&R burger, which was enhanced with cheese, onions, B&B pickles and--in his case--with bacon and a fried egg. The hanger steak with fries and eggs, and a light tossed salad, was a good choice. Most unusual and interesting was the poached eggs benedict, almost like a reuben version of the same--gruyere cheese, good pastrami, a light hollandaise, perfectly limpid eggs and...red cabbage! (Misleadingly called sauerkraut on the menu.) This was an excellent dish--exciting!

Here, they know how to cook. We anticipate returning regularly to The River and Rail, for lunch or dinner.

Report
Helpful
NV
Richmond
24 reviews
5.0Dined on April 1, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Terrific experience. Our first time there was Easter brunch. Outstanding in every respect!

Report
Helpful
1
2
3
10

Tweets by The River and Rail Restaurant