Traveling Tidbits

Coffee at Jackson’s Corner, New Market

Looking for a cozy spot for coffee or a light snack in New Market? Look no further than Jackson’s Corner Coffee Roasters & Café. Situated in the historic Strayer House in the heart of historic New Market, Jackson’s Corner offers a modern café experience while sharing a little bit of history at the same time.

Jackson’s Corner offers a wide range of breakfast, sandwiches, salads, soups, and pastry goods, perfect for a late morning meal, a brunch gathering, or just a quick snack before dashing off to the battlefield. For lunch, classic sandwiches like the BLT, Cuban, and Reuben balance with the artisan salads like their signature Cranberry-Walnut, Strawberry-Spinach, and Mandarin-Orange selections. They also have a “Pick Two” option where one can have both soup and a half of a sandwich to get that well-rounded café experience. Daily specials, different from their regular menu, offer even more unique choices for the casual diner. Pastries, cakes, cookies, and other sweets are varied and on a seasonal rotation. Their pumpkin rolls are a major hit around the holidays! Gluten-free and healthier variations are also advertised and available for those who are watching their calories. The spectrum of menu items is boggling for an establishment as small as it is and gives most chain cafes a run for their money.

Coffee drinks, in comparison, are pretty standard, but include all the favorites like Americano, Macchiato, Mochas, Lattes, and even Breve. For those who want something warm, but not the caffeine, they offer hot teas and hot chocolate. And if you happen to be visiting in the summer – and we all know southern summers are not ideal for hot drinks – they can make pretty much any of their coffees iced. Bags of ground coffee to-go, mugs, and preserves are also available for sale in the café if you’re looking for a little piece of Jackson’s Corner to take home with you.

Best of all – in my humble opinion – are the little nuggets of history sprinkled throughout the dining area at the café. Wall hangings depict scenes of the Civil War, including a plaque about the soldier’s coffee and the battle at New Market. A display case shows off some relics and artifacts of the war, and next door is a Shenandoah Valley Battlefields Foundation Orientation Center that can provide a wealth of information for your battlefield journey through the Valley. An exhibit can be toured, and a gift shop browsed after your trip to the café. For more information about the exhibit and orientation center, visit (https://www.shenandoahatwar.org/news-and-press/strayer-house-civil-war-orientation-center-newest-addition-to-historic-new-market/ )

Display of bricks at the Shenandoah Valley Orientation Center

The Strayer House was built in 1808 by John and Dorcas Strayer (a cousin of Abraham Lincoln), and also served as the site of their mercantile business. Situated on the corner of the Valley Turnpike and the road that led from New Market Gap, the Strayer House witnessed the comings and goings of both armies through the Civil War. The Strayer House’s claim to fame came in May and June of 1862 when it served as Stonewall Jackson’s headquarters as he withdrew south in his campaign. After a rainstorm on June 3, he was forced to seek shelter inside the Strayer’s home. Inside, he conducted other military business like consulting with his mapmaker, Jedediah Hotchkiss and George Clark, an English reporter for the New York Herald who had been captured at Front Royal earlier in the campaign. Jackson’s stay at the Strayer House wasn’t long, but it left a lasting impression on New Market, enough to inspire the proprietors to name their café after the general and use his likeness in their logo.

Our breakfast at Jackson’s Corner (author photo, 2019)

Like Jackson’s visit in 1862, our visit to Jackson’s Corner was brief, but enjoyable. We were about to jump on the Blue Ridge Parkway – something I had been wanting to do for a while – but the café was so inviting I almost didn’t want to leave. The staff were friendly, and the spot by the fireplace in the dining area was a keen reminder that this building was once someone’s home. I opted for a classic coffee brew, and was pleasantly surprised by the distinct nutty flavor. I typically expect a strong, but usually average coffee when I order it this way, but the extra flavor made it so much better. My husband and I shared a sausage, egg, and cheese bagel sandwich and a plain bagel that was both satisfying in taste and appetite. Most bagel sandwiches I’ve had, the bread would be too hard or stiff to permit a good, hardy bite. The bagels at Jackson’s Corner were soft and pliable enough to consume without the contents of the sandwich slipping out, which I appreciated. We didn’t have time to go through the exhibit, and the gift shop was closed at the time, but you better believe if we ever make it back up that way, I’ll be visiting both and stopping at Jackson’s Corner for another lovely café pit stop.

Hours: Monday – Friday, 7am – 6pm; Saturday, 8am- 3pm; Sunday, 11am-3pm
Address: 9386 S Congress St, New Market, VA 22844
Phone: 540-740-9010

Parking is located behind the Strayer House or along the downtown streets.

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