Downtown Lynchburg restaurants in the spotlight with new cookbook

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Amateur home chefs now have the chance to try their hand at recreating recipes from their favorite downtown Lynchburg restaurants.

Hill City Eats is available for pre-order on the DLA website.

Provided photo

A new cookbook celebrating downtown eateries and watering holes has been created by the Downtown Lynchburg Association and is available for purchase.

Hill City Eats includes 35 downtown restaurants, breweries and wineries and includes information about each establishment, its history, photos and a recipe of its choice.

James Ford, marketing director for DLA, said the process started in April by calling for participation with the goal of having the cookbook out before Christmas.

He said every downtown restaurant was invited to participate.

“It’s mostly just a way to expose these restaurants and show a little taste of what they have to offer,” he said.

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Hill City Eats is available for pre-order on the DLA website, The organization is offering shipping or local pickup options at Mission House Coffee, Ayven Avenue or Lexie & Lee. Books will be shipped or available for pickup starting Dec. 9.

Ford said the book creates a timestamp of what downtown Lynchburg was in 2022.

“The restaurant landscape is changing so quickly, which is awesome and we’re growing so much,” he said. “I think it’s cool, because the culture of Lynchburg is one that people are proud to live here and they love the people here so it’s cool to have a piece of Lynchburg in their homes. It’s also a way to look back at what things were and how far things have come.”

He said the DLA wanted it to be a coffee table-style cookbook with beautiful photos and good writing, but its main goal is for people to check out these restaurants and try the ones they’ve never been to.

Rodney Taylor, owner of Market at Main at 904 Main St., said he wanted to get involved with the project because it was another way to promote downtown Lynchburg. His business’ page features corncake pancakes.

“I think DLA does so much for downtown and once we started talking about it, I realized the number of restaurants and diversity of restaurants downtown and they’re all highlighted,” he said. “And I think people will be surprised. I mean, there’s a restaurant for almost every type of food you would want for almost any budget.”


An example of one of the 25 recipes in the new DLA cookbook.

Provided photo

Taylor said he’s excited to have downtown presented as a destination to eat a variety of different food.

“And you don’t have to choose a specific restaurant; you can come downtown enjoy an event or go to the Academy [Center for the Arts] and have multiple choices of where you would dine before afterwards,” he said.

Timby Mukherjee is co-owner of Hot & Cold Café at 1206 Main St., which features chicken curry in the cookbook. She said Hill City Eats is a great opportunity for downtown to advertise restaurants and said it was a no-brainer to get on board.

“It was a good opportunity for us to showcase our restaurant,” she said. “But not only that, it’s a great opportunity for downtown to showcase all the restaurants and businesses that are downtown that some people don’t even know about. It’s a great gift for Christmas. It’s something great for supporting our town. There’s so many positives to it.”

She said she and her husband, Uday, had fun helping with the cookbook and liked that DLA staff wrote about each business alongside the recipes.

“You get a story too about the different restaurants, so that’s cool and I’m excited to read about the other ones; I might know some parts but I might not know all of it,” she said. “It’s a timepiece for the future.”

Nicole Davidson is co-owner of The Batter Bar located at 1225 Main St., which features “Ginnamon” thumbprint cookies in the cookbook. She said she was excited DLA decided to do the cookbook because there was something similar done when she lived in Nashville.

“There were a couple of different local cookbooks and while I was living there, I purchased a few just because it was a piece of my city,” she said. “I think it helps give a sense of ownership of your city.”

She said she feels it’s another way to give something — even small — back to the community.

“We can’t always give every single recipe that we have out, but if we can give back a little something as a thank-you, then this is something we want to share and it was a really cool opportunity to do that,” she said. “And I think it’s a really cool move for our city to kind of put a stamp on who we are as Lynchburg collectively and this encourages a sense of camaraderie between businesses.”


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