I live in Roanoke and the Blue Apron in Salem is my favorite. You will need to call for reservations. The food is fabulous. Salem has 3 exits off of I 81 and there is alot of hotel choices. The Blue Apron is on main street near the courthouse. The chef/owner is very skilled and you can order tapas size plates or dinner size of all offerings. The menu changes seasonally but everything I haven't eaten here is wonderfu.Check them out on facebbok or yelp.
Staunton is just W of I 81 and a very nice town also. It's home to Mrs. Rowe's country food breakfast, lunch and dinner, Wright's Dairy Rite, Staunton Grocery for casual fine lunch/brunch/dinner and The Depot Grill.
Mrs. Rowe's Family Restaurant @ 74 Rowe Rd., Staunton, VA 540 - 886 - 1833.
Wright's Dairy Rite @ 346 Greenville Ave., Staunton, VA 540 - 886 - 0435.
Staunton Grocery @ 105 West Beverley Street, Staunton, VA 540 - 886 - 6880.
The Depot Grill @ 42 Middlebrook Ave., Staunton, VA 540 - 885 - 7332.
Lexington, VA has a number of good restaurants like Bistro on Main for lunch/dinner, Macado's for sandwiches, Sheridan Livery Inn and Restaurant for lunch/dinner, The Palms for lunch/dinner and drinks and Soutern Inn for fine dining lunch/dinner. Lexington is the home of VMI and W&L U. It's a beautiful town a few minutes W of I 81 and worth a visit.
Bistro on Main @ 8 North Main St., Lexington, VA 540 - 464 - 4888.
Macado's @ 30 North Main St., Lexington, VA 540 - 464 - 8201.
Sheridan Livery Inn & Restaurant @ 35 North Main St., Lexington, VA 540 - 464 - 1887.
The Palms Restaurant @ 101 West Nelson St., Lexington, VA 540 - 463 - 7911.
Southern Inn Restaurant @ 37 South Main St., Lexington, VA 540 - 463 - 3612.
Home Place is a great restaurant several miles W of I 81 W of Roanoke at Exit 141 serving outstanding country food, good fried chicken and deserts in an old home. Just E of Lexington at Exit 188AB Frank's for the Memorie's is a great place for good road food with great outdoor dining.
Home Place Restaurant @ 4968 Catawba Valley Dr., Catawba, VA 540 - 384 - 7252.
Frank's for the Memories BBQ @ 2117 Magnolia Ave., Buena Vista, VA 540 - 261 - 5553.
Get off I 81 at Exit 150B and go E to Highway 11. Turn left and go N a couple of miles to Pomegrante Restaurant for outstanding seafood and steaks for dinner.
Pomegranate Restaurant @ 106 Stoney Battery Road, Troutville, VA 540 - 966 - 6052.
The best option on I 81 near Roanoke, VA if you are trying to make good road time is Three Little Pigs at Daleville at Exit 150 5 miles N of Roanoke, VA. It's located in a small shopping center less than two minutes off W side of I 81 and serves great BBQ. It also has a very nice outdoor seating area and the menu includes sandwiches and salads for those who don't want BBQ. They also serve cold adult beverages. The shopping center has some very nice stores in case you are in need of road supplies. There are nice hotels on both sides of I 81 and a nice big truck stop to refuel and pick up road supplies. Three Little Pigs is a much better choice. Check it out next time you go by.
Three Lil Pigs BBQ @ 120 Kingston Dr., Daleville, VA 540 - 966 - 0165.
Roanoke has quite a few nice restaurants but they are mostly in town. The restaurants near I 81 don't compare. If you should spend the night in Roanoke go check out these places for good road food. Blues BBQ, Fork in the Alley for pizza, burgers, sandwiches, Harbor Inn Seafood, Hollywood's Restaurant and Bakery for lunch/dinner, The Roanoker for breakfast and Wildwood Smokehouse BBQ.
Blues BBQ @ 107 Market Street SE, Roanoke, VA 540 - 344 - 5683.
Fork in the Alley @ 2123 Crystal Spring Ave. SW, Roanoke, VA 540 - 982 - 3675.
Harbor Inn Seafood @ 7416 Williamson Rd., Roanoke, VA 540 - 563 - 0001.
Hollywood's Restaurant and Bakery @ 7770 Williamson Rd., Roanoke, VA 540 - 362 - 1812.
The Roanoker Restaurant @ 2522 Colonial Avenue SW, Roanoke, VA 540 - 344 - 7746.
Wildwood Smokehouse @ 2041 Electric Road, Roanoke, VA 540 - 989 - 2100.
In Christiansburg just on down the road a piece is Dude's, Due South, Farm House and Summit. All are very good places to eat.
Dude's Drive In @ 1505 Roanoke St., Christiansburg, VA 540 - 382 - 7901.
Due South BBQ @1465 Roanoke St., Christiansburg, VA 540 - 381 - 2922.
Farm House Food @ 285 Ridinger St., Christiansburg, VA 540 - 382 - 4253. .
Summit Restaurant @ 95 College St., Christiansburg, VA 540 - 382 - 7218.