Home Culture & Wellness Dining in Downtown Salem

Dining in Downtown Salem


Written by Carey Linkous

Roanoke College is a beautiful campus with two excellent and well-staffed food options of Commons and Cavern for students to choose from. However, sometimes with only two food options, it may seem like it gets boring. A great way to break from the boredom is to explore the quaint town of Salem around us. Trying new restaurants is a great way to do that! Here are a few places to eat near the college that would be perfect for a day off-campus or a quick stop in between classes:

 Mac and Bobs

Any returning Roanoke College Student or Alumni recognizes this restaurant immediately. Located right across the street from West Hall and owned by two alumni, Mac and Bob’s is in perfect walking distance from the school. Make sure to try one of their famous calzones! They take Maroon card money.

West Salem Barbeque

West Salem Barbeque is a recently opened restaurant located at the corner of Broad Street and Main Street, a decent walk to build up your appetite. This restaurant is home to some of the best barbeque around. For the 21 and over crowd, there is a decent selection of Bourbons to sip on with your burnt tip pulled pork and mac and cheese.


Macado’s, another household named Salem restaurant, is located right next to the Bank Building. Often you’ll find friends as your servers as Macado’s is known for hiring Roanoke students. Macado’s is popular for their sandwiches, but their Monday night discount wing night is quite the crowd pleaser. They take Maroon card money.

El Jefe

El Jefe, a Mexican restaurant that opened this past winter, is located behind West Salem Barbeque.They are owned by the same people who opened West Salem Barbeque as well as Tuco’s in downtown Roanoke. This is a great place to get a specialty taco, or even a fish taco. Be on the lookout for special discounts on Taco Tuesdays!


This smoothie shop is right next to Roanoke’s campus. Located right off of College Avenue, next to the Campus Safety office, Fruitions is a great place to stop between classes. They not only carry smoothies, but also some great wraps and soups! They take Maroon Card money.

Muchacho Alegre

Located next to Macado’s, Muchacho Alegre is the cheaper Mexican restaurant option on mainstreet. This restaurant is unique because they have live music on select nights! For the 21 plus crowd, they have a great happy hour (4-7pm) on margaritas and the like. 

 Blue Apron

This is the nicest restaurant in downtown Salem. It is located across from Macado’s. The prices are significantly higher than other restaurants in Salem, but the quality of service and food is perfect for any formal dinner or a cute Valentine’s Day date or anniversary.

AllSports Café

AllSports Café is the home of burgers, wings, and karaoke nights in downtown Salem. Located on the corner of Colorado Street and Main Street, this restaurant is within walking distance from campus and is the perfect place to go watch any sports game. On Sunday nights, they have $1 Natural Lights.

Mill Mountain Coffee & Tea

A popular place to study for RC students, Mill is the epitome of the local cafe. With a quaint and homey atmosphere, students can enjoy quality coffee and snack on a sweet treat, like their muffins. If you are looking for a heartier meal as you tucker through your next paper, look to their sandwiches and burgers. (Their sweet potato fries with the chipotle ranch are the perfect study snack)


  1. Hey Bracketyack team! My name is Jeff and I work with the Awful Arthur’s Seafood company directly across from campus. I was wondering how we could become more engaged with the students on campus and around town. We are a restaurant that features items for everyone, but specializes in Seafood. Tuesday nights we feature half price Snow Crab Legs, and Thursdays we feature half prices peel and eat shrimp. Let us know what we can do!