Photo courtesy of Shagbark.
Richmond, Virginia, is widely recognized as a revitalized, hip Southern city, brimming with fashionable boutiques and distinctive art galleries. But in recent years, this jewel along the James River has really made its mark as an epicurean destination, with chefs, restaurateurs, and foodies flocking from near and far to open outposts and dine at award-winning restaurants. To help curious diners navigate the burgeoning Richmond food scene, we enlisted Cheney Edmunds, editor of The Scout Guide Richmond, to curate a culinary tour of her hometown. From where to get your morning caffeine fix to the best burger in town, Cheney discusses a vast array of exceptional options the commonwealth’s capital has to offer.
Photo courtesy of Ironclad Coffee Roasters.
COFFEE // IRONCLAD COFFEE ROASTERS (1805 East Grace Street). “This small, family-owned roaster has the most enchanting interior. While lounging inside is currently on hold due to COVID, picking up a delicious beverage here is still a must.”
SHORE DOG CAFE (435-B North Ridge Road, Henrico). “A great spot to pop in for a coffee and a breakfast sandwich. I also love the selection of local art that’s featured on the walls.”
BREAKFAST AND BRUNCH // CAN CAN BRASSERIE (3120 West Cary Street). “Can Can has been a staple in my dining routine for years, whether it be a breakfast pastry on a weekday or an impressive French-inspired brunch on the weekend.”
KUBA KUBA (601 Park Avenue). “Every meal at this Cuban-inspired restaurant is consistently delicious. My favorite order: a breakfast burrito and a coffee, both of which are stellar.”
Photo courtesy of Lucky AF.
LUNCH // TASTE UNLIMITED (5706 Grove Avenue). “As a Norfolk girl I grew up eating Taste Unlimited’s famous Hilltop Sandwich (with extra house dressing). I was beyond delighted when they opened 3 blocks from my house in Richmond.”
LUCKY AF (3103 West Leigh Street). “Located in the trendy Scott’s Addition neighborhood, this is one of my go-to lunch spots. The sushi here is beautiful and fresh, and the outdoor patio radiates coolness.”
RIVER CITY ROLL (939 Myers Street). “This spot is perfect for lunch on the weekends. Not only do they have the best burger in town, but a wonderful, dog-friendly patio.”
Photo courtesy of Longoven.
DINNER // LONGOVEN (2939 West Clay Street). “In response to pandemic safety-protocols, Longoven opened a beautiful wood-heated patio that has allowed patrons to continue to dine there throughout the winter. I am not ashamed to admit that my husband and I recently ate there twice in one week and ordered the oysters both times!”
ADARRA (618 North First Street). “Adarra is easily one of my favorite places for seasonal food and incredible wine. The cozy neighborhood vibe, gorgeous bar, and low lighting instantly transports me to Greenwich Village.”
SHAGBARK (4901 Libbie Mill East Boulevard). “My dining experiences here have never been less than perfect. My mouth instantly begins to water when I think about their Vidalia onion bisque or cheesy cauliflower gratin.”
GERSI (805 North Davis Avenue). “If you love Italian food (and who doesn’t?) and feeling like you are in a cozy neighborhood bistro, this is the place to be. Try the spaghetti al limone, you won’t regret it.”
STELLA’S (1012 Lafayette Street). “An absolute favorite for delectable Greek food. I always order the black kale salad and the saganaki (flaming cheese). Don’t forget to order a cocktail—the Onassis is my favorite.”
As with most places, the pandemic has hit Richmond’s restaurant industry hard. Over 40 restaurants have closed due to economic hardships, with many more coming closer to closure every day. In an effort to support these small, locally-owned restaurants, a grassroots response by Richmond Restaurants United has been created by local restaurant veterans. Check out their website to see how you can support these excellent businesses and ensure the Richmond food scene bounces back.
*Please note that due to COVID-19 some of these businesses might be closed or have specific guidelines in place. We recommend calling ahead and/or visiting their websites for the latest information on their status, offerings, etc.