Virginia’s capital is a “foodie” city known for a variety of culinary styles, top-flight chefs, amazing street food, and a host of festivals. Here are 16 great Richmond restaurants to recommend to your out-of-town guests – or just enjoy any time. Many of them are housed in some of the city’s most historic locations and iconic neighborhoods.
Take a taste of Europe
Transport your taste buds to Europe with offerings from the Alpine region, Germany, France, and Italy.
Brenner Pass: Owned by Top Chef contestant Brittany Anderson, this restaurant on Rockbridge Street is all about food and wine from the Alps. Set in a modern, spacious environment, you’ll find a seasonally European-inspired menu along with craft cocktails and select wines from the continent’s mountainous regions. Anderson also operates a sister restaurant in Richmond’s Union Hill neighborhood, Metzger Bar & Butchery, which features German fare.
L’Oppossum Restaurant: Owned by James Beard Award Semi-Finalist David Shannon, this modern French restaurant is housed in an eclectic and art-filled space on China Street. Here French cuisine meets a Southern favorite in Les Escargots À La Ham Biscuit. And who could resist a dessert named The Devil’s in the Details?
Edo’s Squid: Don’t let the name fool you. While the tasty sea delicacy is a menu mainstay, you’ll also find shrimp, mussels, pork, beef, and duck. Located on North Harrison Street, this restaurant embodies the ambiance of a lively Tuscan eatery.
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More International Delights
Whether you’re looking for Mexican cuisine, the freshest sushi, or a Cantonese feast, you’ll find it in Richmond.
Casa del Barco at Canal Walk: Fresh, local ingredients are infused into Mexican favorites at this restaurant on Richmond’s historic Canal Walk. And the bar offers over 130 tequilas! Reserve the patio for an al fresco rehearsal dinner. You’ll also find Casa del Barco at Chesterfield Town Center and Short Pump Town Center.
Akida Japanese Restaurant: It may look like an unassuming eatery on North Sheppard Street, but it’s one of Richmond’s top contenders for sushi year after year. Snag a seat at the bar and watch the creation of your sushi. Be sure to try the restaurant’s namesake roll, stuffed with crab sticks, eel, shrimp, avocado, cream cheese, and tempura batter.
Fat Dragon: You can’t miss the colorful exterior of this establishment on North Arthur Ashe Boulevard. This Chinese restaurant combines Cantonese dishes with sustainable farm-to-table ingredients. Gluten-free diners can enjoy a wide range of menu choices. And the restaurant uses Tamari, a gluten-free soy sauce.
Enjoy a classic American meal
Steaks and seafood are perennial favorites for Richmond diners. Here are three options to satisfy the carnivore or pescatarian in you.
Bookbinder’s Seafood & Steakhouse: Found in historic Tobacco Row in the American Cigar Building, this award-winning eatery features the freshest seafood and top cuts of beef. Reservations are required and the dress code is business casual. Enjoy outdoor dining by the koi pond.
Sam Miller’s: This oyster bar on East Cary Street is a Richmond tradition. And while the restaurant is rooted in history, the menu is always innovative. Be sure to try their famous crab soup.
The Hard Shell: With two locations, one in Shockoe Slip and the other at the Shoppes at Bellgrade, this restaurant was voted Best Seafood by Richmond Magazine. Reservations are recommended. There’s private dining for up to 48 – great for rehearsal dinners.
Down Home Dining
Want just plain good eating? Richmond is ready with mouth-watering barbeque, heartfelt soul food, farm-to-table freshness, and even a Jewish deli.
ZZQ Texas Craft Barbeque: Fridays are homemade pastrami day at this top-rated barbeque restaurant on West Moore Street. You’ll also find beef brisket, pork spare ribs, pulled pork shoulder, and turkey breast. This place is first come, first served, so get there early before they run out! Need good eats for a casual rehearsal dinner or wedding? ZZQ offers large party pick-up as well as full-service catering.
Mama J’s Kitchen: Affectionately known as Mama J’s, this family-owned and operated restaurant is in the heart of Richmond’s historic Jackson Ward and is one of the most notable soul food restaurants in America. Here you’ll enjoy all the classics – fried chicken and catfish, crab cakes, macaroni and cheese, and of course, candied yams and collard greens.
The Broken Tulip: Love farm-to-table dining? Then check out The Broken Tulip, owned by husband and wife team David Crabtree-Logan and Sariann Lehrer. This Carytown restaurant is proud to work with several local farmers and food artisans and even features a food shop for take-home goodness.
Perly’s Restaurant & Delicatessen: This downtown eatery on East Grace Street offers classic Jewish favorites with a twist. Try the potato and duck pierogies as an appetizer, then follow up with a specialty sandwich. Perly’s also serves breakfast and brunch and has deli sandwiches to go.
Who doesn’t love brunch? Make it a grand meal or keep it low-key casual at these Richmond restaurants.
The Jefferson Hotel: If you’re a fan of that delicious meal that offers the best of all culinary worlds, you’ll need to make a well-planned reservation at this iconic Richmond hotel on West Franklin Street. Try the elegant Sunday Champagne Brunch or one of the hotel’s special holiday brunches. And be sure to save room for the extravagant dessert display.
Parterre Restaurant: Located in historic Linden Row Inn at First and Franklin, enjoy Sunday brunch from 9 am to 2 pm. Start off with their signature Patio Twist or a Bloody Mary made from locally distilled vodka, then dive into the Franklin Street B&G – that’s shorthand for biscuits and gravy.
521 Biscuits & Waffles: If you’re looking for a more casual brunch, try this gluten-free spot that’s also kid friendly. Located in the heart of downtown on East Main Street, this family-owned establishment serves buttermilk biscuits, build your own breakfast sandwiches, a great selection of waffles partnered with 100% organic maple syrup, and scones made fresh daily.
Takin’ it to the streets – food trucks and festivals
Food trucks are a terrific way to enjoy a quick bite while taking in popular city sites. The Richmond Food Truck Association offers a comprehensive collection of rolling eateries and where they’ll be on a daily basis. Experience offerings from around the world.
Richmond is also home to some popular food festivals that bring together top chefs. Here are four to put on your calendar.
Broad Appetit: Graze your way down Broad Street with small plate offerings from Richmond’s finest restaurants. Proceeds go to the area food bank Feed More.
Fire, Flour and Fork: USA Today named this event one of the nation’s top food festivals. Held throughout the city, you’ll find collaborative dinners, signature brunches, and food and drink tours.
Richmond Mac and Cheese Festival: Experience 30 kinds of mac ‘n cheese at the Richmond Raceway Complex, along with beer, wine, and live entertainment. Be sure to vote for your favorite.
Carytown Watermelon Festival: Held in August, it’s the largest one-day festival in Virginia. Family-friendly, over 80 musicians, 100 exhibitors – and 3000 watermelons!
Combine these delicious offerings with popular Richmond attractions and annual events for a full wedding weekend. And don’t be surprised if your out-of-town guests come back to experience more amazing RVA restaurants.