The Poor Farmer’s Market in the Meadows of Dan

The Poor Farmer's Market in the Meadows of Dan, Virginia
The Poor Farmer’s Market in the Meadows of Dan, Virginia

Today I’m taking a break my typical grind of hikes, views, and definite wilderness to talk about a cute little place I visited in Virginia last summer!  It’s called the Poor Farmer’s Market and is located just off of the Blue Ridge Parkway near the town called Meadows of Dan (milepost 177).  It’s part restaurant, part museum, and part gift shop with a local flare, self-proclaimed as an Old Fashioned Country Store.  Since it’s a charming little place to stop if you’re cruising the parkway – and has good food – I’d highly recommend it if you happen to be in the area.

Signs over the door to the sandwich shop at the Poor Farmer's Market in the Meadows of Dan, Blue Ridge Parkway, Virginia
Signs over the door to the sandwich shop

My aunt and uncle have lived near enough to the Blue Ridge Parkway to visit it many times, so they were the ones who let us know about the Poor Farmer’s Market.  They took us up on the 4th of July to enjoy a sandwich before we drove up to Mabry Mill and the nearby viewpoints near Rocky Knob.

Mabry Mill, about 10 minutes away from the Poor Farmer's Market, Blue Ridge Parkway, Virginia
Mabry Mill, about 10 minutes away from the Poor Farmer’s Market

From the outside, the Poor Farmer’s Market looks like a country store.  A big front porch is crowded with barrels, produce, and historic signs.  The day we visited, there was also a local musician strumming away inside a kudzu-swathed gazebo near the gravel parking lot.

Walking across the parking area at the Poor Farmer's Market, Meadows of Dan, Blue Ridge Parkway, Virginia
Walking across the parking area

We went in the right side of the building, since that’s where the sandwich counter is.  We ordered and picked out drinks from the cooler.  There are also snacks, biscuits, breakfast sandwiches, pizza, hot dogs, salads, and desserts.  I hear their ice cream is especially notable.  We all had sandwiches since that’s what the market is known for (at least within my aunt’s family!)  The Poor Farmer’s Special was delicious, though I hear the Hungry Hillbilly is even better!

Wandering around in the store while waiting the 10 minutes or so for our sandwiches at the Poor Farmer's Market in the Meadows of Dan, Blue Ridge Parkway, Virginia
Wandering around in the store while waiting the 10 minutes or so for our sandwiches

We ate out on the porch.  On the 4th of July, it was fairly busy, but we were able to find a table for the six of us.  It’s cooler up in the mountains than at lower elevations, so, out of the sun, it was quite a nice, lightly breezy, place to eat.  (I didn’t see anywhere to eat inside, but except for very windy rain, you’d be fine under the awning of the deep porch.)

Tables on the wide porch of the Poor Farmer's Market in the Meadows of Dan, Blue Ridge Parkway, Virginia
Tables on the wide porch

After lunch, we browsed the gift shop.  There’s a wide variety of trinkets, knickknacks, books written by locals, t-shirts and hats, regional treats, and more.  The food is special since it’s mostly locally made.  I picked up a couple of interesting books as gifts and some saltwater taffy.  We also got some peanuts – very tasty.  I felt the prices on most things were reasonable given what it is – a gift shop.

Vats and other things for sale at the Poor Farmer's Market, Meadows of Dan, Blue Ridge Parkway, Virginia
Vats and other things for sale

The gift shop also has many historic items lying around, from washtubs to old farming equipment.  Most of it is for sale, though at the moment it’s adding a fun ambiance.  It’s worth walking through just to see what you can spot in the various rooms of the shop!

Lots of locally produced food in the gift shop at the Poor Farmer's Market, Meadows of Dan, Blue Ridge Parkway, Virginia
Lots of locally produced food in the gift shop!

So if you happen to be traveling the Blue Ridge Parkway and want a fun little place to stop in and/or grab a snack, take the exit to the Meadows of Dan and stop in at that Poor Farmer’s Market!

And there's some redneck humor, too...  This is the convenience store counter, complete with lots of jackknives.  Poor Farmer's Market, Meadows of Dan, Blue Ridge Parkway, Virginia
And there’s some redneck humor, too… This is the convenience store counter, complete with lots of jackknives

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Would I go 100 miles out of my way for this? ★

Overall Rating: ★

Fresh produce outside of the Poor Farmer's Market in the Meadows of Dan, Blue Ridge Parkway, Virginia
Fresh produce outside of the store

Getting to the Meadows of Dan/Poor Farmer’s Market

GPS Coordinates: 36.73501588764987, -80.40783377044148

Blue Ridge Milepost (exit from the parkway): 177.7

From the Blue Ridge Parkway, take the exit for US-58.  At the bottom of the exit ramp, turn east (toward US-58 East).  After 0.2 miles, turn right (south) into the parking area between the Maverick gas station sign and the Poor Farmer’s Market (which has the Maverick gas pump under the front awning).  There are several entrances, but we took the one on the right of the building.

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