Best Brunswick Stew in Virginia (2019)


Both Brunswick County, Virginia and the town of Brunswick in Georgia claim to have developed the original recipe for Brunswick stew, though some version of the meaty hunter’s stew was likely made by American Indians long before either state was even a colony. The first recorded recipe in Virginia dates back to 1828, when Jimmy Matthews – a slave of Dr. Creed Haskins –slow-cooked the stew for his master’s hunting party. Traditionally made with squirrel and other game meats, modern variations of the dish often use chicken and sometimes pork or brisket, as well as vegetables like tomatoes, potatoes, corn and lima beans.

  • Smohk RVA BBQ

    Smohk RVA BBQ

    The Brunswick stew on the menu at Smohk RVA BBQ in Richmond blends the Virginia and Georgia styles by using both pork and chicken, slow-simmered for hours with all-natural and house-made smoky apple barbecue sauce.
    Photo courtesy of Smohk RVA

  • Buddy's BBQ

    Buddy's BBQ
    Rocky Mount

    The Brunswick stew from Buddy's BBQ in Rocky Mount is made from a family recipe that’s been passed down over four generations. The stew is cooked low and slow, with hickory smoked means until a spoon inserted into the stew can stand on its own.
    Photo courtesy of Buddy's BBQ

  • Old Chickahominy House

    Old Chickahominy House

    A staple on the menu at Old Chickahominy House in Williamsburg is the Brunswick stew, served a la carte, with hot biscuits or crackers, or as part of Miss Melinda’s Special with Old Virginia ham, hot biscuits, fruit salad, homemade pie and coffee or tea.
    Photo courtesy of Old Chickahominy House / Facebook

  • Chowning's Tavern

    Chowning's Tavern

    A popular option on the menu of Chowning's Tavern in Colonial Williamsburg, the Brunswick stew features young fowl, smoked brisket and plenty of vegetables from the garden. It’s topped with pickled okra for added zing.
    Photo courtesy of Joe Haupt / Flickr

  • Two Drummers Smokehouse

    Two Drummers Smokehouse

    The Brunswick Stew from Two Drummers Smokehouse in Toano begins with sauteed bacon and a traditional mirepoix. Fresh herbs, corn, tomatoes, potatoes, smoked chicken, pulled pork and house-made chicken broth are added, and the whole batch is simmered for hours to blend the flavors.
    Photo courtesy of Two Drummers Smokehouse

  • Hank's Grille & Bar

    Hank's Grille & Bar

    At Hank’s Grille & Bar in McGaheysville, the Brunswick stew is made with trimmings from their smoked pork, beef brisket and grilled chicken. These meats join red skin potatoes, lima beans, corn and whole roma tomatoes for a low and slow simmer in 30-gallon batches.
    Photo courtesy of Hank's Grille & Bar

  • BBQ Exchange

    BBQ Exchange

    A meal from The BBQ Exchange in Gordonsville wouldn’t be complete without a side of warm Brunswick stew, served with cornbread, a pumpkin muffin or a roll.
    Photo courtesy of Troy Dell / BBQ Exchange

  • Galax Smokehouse

    Galax Smokehouse

    The Brunswick stew from Galax Smokehouse comes loaded with pulled pork, smoked chicken, potatoes, tomatoes, lima beans and corn.
    Photo courtesy of Galax Smokehouse

  • Croby's Urban Viddles

    Croby's Urban Viddles

    Croby’s “urban” take on a traditional Brunswick stew uses roasted chicken and pork in place of wild game, with tomatoes, corn, spices and veggies from the pantry slow-simmered together to create layers of flavor. It comes with a side of house-made honey potato bread for sopping.
    Photo courtesy of Croby's Urban Viddles

  • The Club House Grill

    The Club House Grill

    The Club House Grill in Lawrenceville claims to serve the best Brunswick stew in Southside Virginia. This variation, served right in the heart of Brunswick County, is a guest favorite.
    Photo courtesy of The Club House Grill / Facebook

The top 10 winners in the category Best Brunswick Stew in Virginia are as follows:

  1. Smohk RVA BBQ - Richmond
  2. Buddy's BBQ - Rocky Mount
  3. Old Chickahominy House - Williamsburg
  4. Chowning's Tavern - Williamsburg
  5. Two Drummers Smokehouse - Toano
  6. Hank's Grille & Bar - McGaheysville
  7. BBQ Exchange - Gordonsville
  8. Galax Smokehouse - Galax
  9. Croby's Urban Viddles - Charlottesville
  10. The Club House Grill - Lawrenceville

A panel of experts partnered with 10Best editors to pick the initial 20 nominees, and the top 10 winners were determined by popular vote.

Congratulations to all these winning restaurants!

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