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Virginia shafted in foodie state-by-state ranking

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RICHMOND, Va. —  The editors of Thrillist decided they would write a story ranking states by the food and/or drink found in said state.

The ranking process developed from a conversation about “what state we’d want to eat and drink in for the rest of our lives if we couldn’t move anywhere else.”

The ranking was created after answering these  four key questions, per state: 1) What did they produce (beef, oranges, ugh, sorghum?), 2) What iconic items were they known for (key lime pie? onion burgers?), 3) What is their beer/wine/spirits production like (great breweries/wineries?), and finally 4) What is the food/drink scene like in their cities?

Virginia ranks an unflattering 32, just behind New Mexico and in front of Connecticut. The editors also don’t took fondly on our barbecue,  showing a bias toward our neighboring state’s vinegar BBQ.  In fact, our neighbors to the south ranked much higher, coming in at slot 11.

The Commonwealth ranking is explained: “Virginia is for lovers, country ham aficionados, and wishing that BBQ you’re eating had come from North Carolina.”

Wow, they certainly overlooked a whole cornucopia of state-produced products that includes wine, whiskey, peanuts, cider, tofu, beer, and Brunswick stew.

They certainly missed our booming dining scene when researching the fourth criteria. It’s only been in the national spotlight and hosts a breathtaking amount of food festivals, including one devoted solely to bacon!

Well, in  response, let’s use Thrillist’s own words: “Weighing all those factors, here is our by-no-means-scientific ranking. If you disagree and want to tell us how stupid our faces are, well, that’s what Internet commenting forums are all about.”

Read the entire list here. 

So what’s your favorite Virginia-made product?


  • Bakersfield Joe

    I would agree with the ranking.It;s hard to find good meat either in groceries or eateries. Restuarants are way overpriced and food is usually just ok and the extra tax doesn’t help.

  • mia

    Saude Creek wines are super; well blended. We have some great microbreweries, Polyfax farm and Greenway farms raises some of the FINEST grass fed organic beef, and fams in King and Queen and Westmoreland counties sell everything from collard greens to duck eggs to pecans at the local farmers markets. There are the sublime Parrot oysters farmed by Chesapeake Bay oyster Company…. goodness, just so much IF the twenty-somethings would leave VCU main street campus and the Starbucks and ACTUALLY DRIVE through Virginia discovering what is GROWN HERE. The “come-heres” won’t leave their franchise package food comfort zone.

  • Travel Virginia (@TravelVirginia)

    Virginia has a spectacular food & drink landscape, including a robust farmers market system throughout the state, along with a Farm to Table eatery selection. The Wine Trails and burgeoning micro-breweries make Virginia one of the tastiest of US states! AND a Bacon Festival, a Garlic Festival and many BBQ festivals that promote BBQ of many varieties :-p

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