Richmond, VA Food Guide

Richmond named a “top destination” for food travel in 2016.
— By National Geographic

Richmond's food scene continues to shock the world, receiving all sorts of accolades like the one above. I'm divulging all the dirty details about my favorite foodie spots in Richmond, VA. You'll be able to find everything from the best smoothie shop all the way to the hidden speakeasy at our local Thai restaurant. 

Coffee:

Lamplighter-- With multiple locations around RVA, you'll notice only the coolest people in the area hang here. You will run into local entrepreneurs, students and CEOs while enjoying some of my favorite coffee around. Give their seasonal beverage a try and it'll put you in the best mood.
Black Hand Coffee Co.-- Locally owned coffee shop good for takeout coffee and a quick bite. In a hurry, this place will have you in and out in no time.
Urban Farm House-- Another shop with multiple locations around town, this is more than your average coffee shop. You'll find healthy eats, local products and lots of working folks in all locations. This is the perfect place to post-up and get some work done.
Sugar & Twine-- One of my favorite spots to hang out and get some work done while enjoying a delicious pastry and a fancy hot beverage. Located in the middle of Carytown, be sure to explore this popular shopping street with some coffee in your hand.
Blanchard's Coffee-- BY FAR the best coffee I've ever had. This is not a coffee shop but an actual coffee roasting production facility. Don't worry though, you can walk-in and purchase your favorite blend (DARK AS DARK... drooling just thinking about it) in a HUGE bag and they'll even grind it up for you. They also host cupping sessions in the facility every Friday at 10:30AM. Go get you some!
Brewer's Coffee-- Such a good spot in Manchester, an up-and-coming neighborhood, across the bridge. We love to go enjoy the outdoor area and soak up the good weather. The owner, AJ, is just as cool as his coffee.
Whisk-- Okay, so I have to admit that this was my obsession for a good while. Located in one of my favorite neighborhoods in RVA, this little spot gives you so many good feels. Baked goods, yummy coffee and macaroons galore... you'll want to live here. Be sure to venture around Church Hill after you grab your beverage of choice.

Breakfast + Smoothies

North End Juice Co.-- A hole in the wall (literally) that will bring you so much joy. The guys that started North End joined us from California and know all the good combos to rock your world when it comes to smoothie bowls, juices and avocado toast. Every ingredient is thoughtfully sourced and fresh AF. This is a must when visiting RVA.
The Pit and the Peel -- With one location in the heart of VCU and one in Carytown, this spot is filled with young people craving the good stuff. They specialize in smoothies, juices and toast of all kinds. Try their Bee's Knees Bowl and you'll think you're eating dessert for breakfast... a winning morning option in my mind.
Ginger Juice--Looking for a fresh juice and detox shot? Ginger Juice knows how to do it right. They've recently added avocado toast options, smoothie bowls and other healthy snacks to the menu while always keeping things fresh. 
Ellwood Thompson's Cafe-- The most magical experience you could ever have while food shopping. This local market has everything in one. You can't go wrong with visiting Ellwood's for all your food, smoothie and bowl needs. They have one of my favorite smoothies in RVA called "The Hulk."

Brunch

Joe's Inn-- Looking for a family-friendly location with endless food options? Joe's Inn is the place to go as they have super cheap plates with all the classic diner options. Don't forget to checkout their mimosa and bloody drink specials during brunch hours.
Lulu's-- Named #1 brunch in Richmond for a reason... their red velvet waffles and fried chicken will keep you coming back for more.
Lunch & Supper -- Y'ALL... this place is a southern dream come true. Every dish on the menu gives that cozy home-cookin' feeling. My favorite thing about this spot is the house smoked bacon & the large pancakes.
Early Bird Biscuit-- Visiting Richmond means you must indulge in your Southern cravings. Early Bird Biscuit has the BEST biscuits in town with endless options when it comes to breakfast sandwiches. Also, great coffee options on repeat.
Millie's-- A meal that locals will tell you to wait in line for. The brunch is too good to pass up when you're visiting town. 
The Fancy Biscuit-- Plan to leave this place super full and happy as all get out. Their biscuits are the size of your head with every combo you could imagine. The shrimp and grits biscuit gives me all the southern feels.

Lunch Spots:

Goatocado -- A food truck turned into the real deal. This location on Main St. will make you feel like a local health guru with infused waters, veggie bowls and all fresh ingredients. Make sure to stop by during happy hour for $3 beers.

Burger Bach -- Craving a burger but wanting to keep it on the healthier side? This New Zealander gastropub has all grass-fed beef patties but also options for those who want delish seafood. Try out their vegan burger and fries to get the full experience.

Secret Sandwich Society -- So this may not be the best option if you're looking for something super healthy but it is one of a kind when it comes to a loaded sammie. You better believe you will leave this place wishing you had the sandwich skills their chefs did.

Mama J's Kitchen -- The best decision you will ever make. Don't feel guilty for indulging in their mac and cheese, fried catfish bites and southern fried chicken. Mama J's is known for the best comfort food in town while making you feel right at home. 

MeKong-- You'll be shocked to know that this hidden spot in a random shopping strip is one of Richmond's most precious gems. A Vietnamese restaurant and beer bar all in one with the best dang Pho you could enjoy. MeKong has one of the largest tap selections, with over 50 draft beers to choose from.

The Daily-- You'll feel healthy just stepping into this Carytown restaurant with greenery scaling the walls. The Daily caters to every food allergen out there while making the food taste dang good. My favorite choice is the tofu BBQ sandwich with their epic sweet potato fries.

Dinner

Sabai-- Our FAVORITE spot in town. If you like thai food, creative cocktails and swinging benches, you'll fall in love with Sabai too. The atmosphere will make you feel like you're on a tropic island enjoying delicious food. You can't make reservations and it's always hoppin' so make sure you arrive early or are willing to wait. Secret tip, ask to hang in the speakeasy while you wait for your table.
Laura Lee's-- We recently discovered this place and its quickly become a top on our list. The chef takes Richmond staples and turns them into a sophisticated dish that will rock your taste buds. Their drinks have a twist that will leave you mind blow. They also host a "meatless Monday" with new vegan dishes every Monday night for all you vegheads. 
Stella's-- Stella's is a Richmond staple that brings people from all over to dine in the coziest and most romantic little spot. Expect to share a table, literally, with strangers if you don't have reservations to enjoy a rustic Greek meal. Every single menu item will give you all the feels while leaving you wanting more. Their classic greek salad is a MUST.
Tazza Kitchen-- Tazza finally just opened a spot in Scott's Addition with the coolest vibes and bar. I love this spot because there are so many options for everyone, including the kiddos. Their brick oven pizza and kale salad tends to be my top choices. Finish up early and walk over to one of the local breweries just steps away.
Kuba Kuba-- A hole in the wall that will leave you wanting to move to Richmond because of that neighborhood feel. This Cuban, family-owned, restaurant that has been around since the 90's and never disappoints. If you have a sweet tooth like me, their tres leches cake is life changing.
Mama Zu's-- Who doesn't love a good authentic Italian spot? Mama Zu's takes Italian to the next level with large, family-style, dishes with loads of fresh seafood, garlic and pasta. Don't be discouraged by the 1-2 hour wait... just grab a bottle of wine and relax until your plate of heaven arrives.
Little Saint-- One of the newest additions to the Museum District, this space is super cozy and has options for every type of eater out there. They source all their ingredients locally and have such fun drinks on the menu.
8 1/2-- Don't plan to eat-in at this location but do plan to eat everything on the menu. With the best pizza in town, you can grab this on-the-go while venturing around town. You will be drooling once you open the pizza box. 
Max's on Broad-- The best seafood dishes in town along with a romantic setting right along Richmond's busiest street, Broad St. Plan ahead and make reservations to avoid the crowd that will be waiting to get in.
Heritage-- A sophisticated meal with all the right foods, this spot never disappoints. Known for locally sourced food, be sure to try this spot for every meal of the day.
Comfort-- Southern food galore... another great location along the Broad st. corridor. Make sure to try the mac & cheese and all their southern veggies.
Akida-- If you like sushi, this hole in the wall will make you a happy person. The space is tiny, so only take a few sushi-lovers with you. Although small, it's a Richmond top spot for sushi.

Happy Hour

Rapp Sesh-- A vibrant addition to the Rappahannock Restaurant, this casual spot focuses on small plates and oysters. The cutest place to post-up after work for drinks, appetizers or coffee.
Foo Dog-- You'll not only love the fact that happy hour is EVER DAY, but that this popular restaurant near VCU campus has some of the best priced food in the city. Trust me, you'll want that drink and the fish taco appetizer.
Quirk Hotel-- Imagine the most magical boutique hotel with pink everywhere, plus a great happy hour & rooftop bar... you're imagining Quirk Hotel. Don't leave Richmond without the sunset view and a fancy cocktail at this spot.
Savory Grain-- Prosecco on tap... need I say more?
The Jasper-- A Carytown newbie that speaks my language... "full pours; honest prices." Recently stepped food in this whiskey bar and immediately fell in love. Their signature cocktails are one of a kind while providing light appetizers for munching.

Bakeries & Sweets

Shyndigz-- Want your cake and to eat it too? Shyndigz is the place to get all your sweet tooth fixings in one spot. With unlimited dessert options, cake slices the size of your face and a bar with fancy cocktails, this is a Richmond must for all you dessert lovers.
Sugar Shack Donuts-- Doughnuts so fluffy you could die. Homemade to perfection and irresistible flavors, this is somewhere you can take the whole family for sweets and coffee. Make sure you grab a sanoma doughnut... it's out of this world.
Proper Pie-- I can't decide if I like the dessert pies or the breakfast savory pies more. EVERYTHING is incredible here. Get there early before they run out and make sure to take some for the ride home... these suckers will go quick!
Sub Rosa Bakery-- A neighborhood bakery with the best bread in town, but also, some hard-to-resist treats. You'll want to travel days to get a whiff of their fresh-baked loaves.
Pop's Market-- Not only is everything freshly baked, but they're located in the heart of the city, ideal for wandering. I've heard their breakfast biscuit be named the best in the city but you should decide for yourself.
King of Pop's-- The most adorable little hut setup in Scott's Addition but you can also find their carts all over town. These pops aren't the average flavors you enjoyed as a kid but like 100x better. They even have a popcicle made of Ukrop's rainbow cookies... straight heaven. 
Nightingale Ice Cream Sandwiches-- This is mot your typical ice cream sandwich my friends. Homemade and local, these sweets are pretty much life changing. Delicious ice cream sandwiched between two incredible cookies and all kinds of flavors. You can find these all over town.