It seems like there’s never a shortage of excitement when it comes to Smith Mountain Lake restaurants and bars. And while I always enjoy stopping by for a bite at my favorite SML restaurants – The Landing, Blackwater Café, Benny Adelina’s, Moosie’s and Waller’s to name a few – it has been so much fun trying out some of the best new restaurants at Smith Mountain Lake. Here’s a rundown of new places to eat at SML and updates on some other local eateries, too.

Vinny’s Italian Grill & Pizzeria is a fun spot for lunch or dinner when you’re craving New York-style pizza, subs, salads or pasta dishes made with freshly prepared sauces. Located just north of Hales Ford Bridge on the Bedford side of Smith Mountain Lake, Vinny’s is a super family friendly restaurant so be sure to add it to your list of SML pizza places to try. (540) 297-0000,

Mongolian City BBQ opened earlier this year at LakeWatch Plantation to a lot of excitement by SML locals. Here’s how it works: You choose shrimp, fish, chicken or beef (or you can go all veggies) for your bowl and a friendly server loads it up with the fresh vegetables of your choice. Select a sauce and then (this is the hard part) wait while it’s all grilled up hibachi style. Yum! Visit Mongolian City for quick and fresh Asian food at Smith Mountain Lake. (540) 346-2288

As the name suggests, Dock It Grille and Bar is a new, casual restaurant you can boat to on Smith Mountain Lake. Located at Indian Pointe Marina (channel marker R37), Dock It serves breakfast all day, plus a full menu of fresh, home-style comfort foods. The next time you’re out on Smith Mountain Lake with hungry family and friends, give Dock It a try. By land, it’s on Morewood Road, near The Westlake Golf and Country Club. Visit the Facebook page or call (540) 912-0112.

The extensive menu at East Lake Restaurant has a something for everyone – nachos, wings, soups, salads, wraps, sandwiches, burgers, steaks, ribs, pasta, chicken and seafood. There’s also a big breakfast menu. East Lake has indoor and outdoor seating and occasional live music. The SML restaurant is located at 1449 Hendricks Store Road in Moneta. (540) 297, 9100 and on Facebook.

The Back 40 opened recently on Hendricks Store Road in the space formerly occupied by Rookies Sports Tavern. The new owners are focused on creating an Eastlake restaurant and bar that caters to Smith Mountain Lake locals (but I’m sure tourists will find and enjoy it, too). The menu includes all-American favorites such as burgers, meatloaf and prime rib. There are TVs and a pool table for entertainment. Check them out on Facebook or call (540) 297-0015.

Other news for Smith Mountain Lake restaurants:

El Toreno moved from its spot at LakeWatch Plantation to more cozy quarters across from Westlake Towne Center. The dining area is smaller, but they’ve added a separate bar with TVs and ample seating. There’s also a make-your-own salsa bar and plenty of drink specials so be sure to revisit this Smith Mountain Lake restaurant.

CJ’s Coffee and Sandwich Shop opened a second location at Bridgewater Plaza on the upper level near the Smith Mountain Lake Visitor Center. Stop by for delicious sandwiches and a variety of fancy coffee drinks.

Jonathan’ Restaurant at LakeWatch Plantation has new owners and features a revamped menu that’s heavy on all-American favorites such as sandwiches, steaks, chicken and seafood. The atmosphere and service are still top-notch so be sure and give it a try.

Not a restaurant, but certainly worth noting is a new craft beer store at Downtown Moneta. Brew Knows stocks hundreds of craft beers and micro brews in addition to a variety of wines and gourmet food items.

Bon appétit!


P.S. If you’re looking for an extensive list of Smith Mountain Lake restaurants and bars, visit the SML Regional Chamber of Commerce restaurant listings.