In the mood for some great food? Then you need to put two local Smith Mountain Lake restaurants on your list to try. Owned and operated by the Gordon Family, The Blackwater Café and Jake’s Place have both received numerous awards and are a favorite of locals and tourists alike.

The Blackwater Café
First up is The Blackwater Café. This restaurant has been a favorite of residents and visitors alike since it opened back in 2005. Located at 4730 Scruggs Road in Moneta, The Blackwater Café has a wide range of dinner options at affordable prices. With the motto of “Your dining experience is our priority” this family-owned and operated restaurant definitely lives up to its motto.

A few favorite menu items include the appetizer course of Spicy Shrimp and Grits. This dish features sautéed shrimp, Andouille sausage and chipotle butter. For a salad entrée my favorite is the Red Wine Poached Pear Salad that begins with mixed field greens then is topped with poached pears, toasted almonds, currants, brie and a five spice vinaigrette. For the main course a must try is the Red Wine Braised Chicken. This dish has olives and tomatoes that compliment the red wine braised chicken and all are placed on a bed of creamy parmesan polenta. A variety of gluten-free menu options are available.

With nightly specials and other fun events such as wine dinners, seafood Wednesdays, Italian Sundays and Jazz Dinners; The Blackwater Café is one of the hottest dining spots at Smith Mountain Lake. The renowned Chef Cara McClaine utilizes locally grown ingredients whenever possible. You can visit The Blackwater Cafe online or check out their Facebook page for nightly specials and other fun events.

Jake’s Place
If you are looking for a relaxed atmosphere with family friendly dining and lake views then look no further than Jake’s Place. Originally opened in 2012, Jake’s Place has become a favorite of many over the past 2 years. With its low key atmosphere and large bar area with big screen TV’s it’s the perfect place to watch the game or join friends for a visit. The restaurant is located in a tranquil cove with waterfront views that allow for the lake enthusiast to arrive by boat or jet ski and park at the convenient dock area. An outdoor deck area is a great place to enjoy a picturesque lunch or dinner at Smith Mountain Lake.

Craft beer, pizza and margaritas are all top menu items. As well as a host of other menu options ranging from fried pickles, crab cake sandwich and the salt and pepper catfish. Enjoy live music, football, and other fun events such as 80’s night, poker run, luau, and many other nightly themes and specials. Jake’s Place is located at 1041 Harbour Inn Lane in Moneta you can visit their website at or find them on Facebook for current specials and events.

The Results Are In!
The Blackwater Café recently received 7 awards and 3 honorable mentions for the 13th Annual Best of Smith Mountain Lake Awards. Among the rankings the café takes gold for restaurant service, top chef, salad and seafood. Silver awards were received for the wine selection and steak. Jake’s Place won first place for best outdoor dining, best place to come by boat and top spot for cocktails.

If your stomach is growling (I know mine is after writing this post) then stop by and try these great local restaurants- I can guarantee you won’t leave hungry and you may even have a new favorite place (or two) to dine.