Five Best Vegan Restaurants to Try Near Richmond, VA

For my Class of 2022, I know that CNU was a popular college for Richmonders, so I’m assuming that for the rest of the classes here, the same goes. If you’re from Richmond, chances are you’re at least interested in diverse cuisine. Richmond is a hotspot for eclectic foods, offering options like gigantic slices of cake at Shyndigz (they’re seriously HUGE...if you know, you know) to galactic eats at Galaxy Diner. However, an aspect of Richmond culinary culture that I value greatly is its extensive array of vegan dining options!

Here are my top five favorite vegan restaurants:

1. Nuvegan Cafe 

This is legitimately my favorite restaurant ever, of all time, cannot be beaten. Everything is vegan, and the menu feels like it goes on for miles. This restaurant is set up cafeteria-style, so if you’re visiting RVA from CNU, you’ll definitely be getting those Regattas vibes you’re probably missing (including friendly and fast service). My pick is the barbeque tofu, which is served on a bed of brown rice, and I pair it with mac and cheese and a slice of cornbread. I can also definitely recommend the “chicken” drumsticks and the veggie lasagna, though. All top notch.

*There is also a Nuvegan Cafe in D.C. for our NOVA Captains! 

2. The Pit and the Peel

Looking for Instagram-worthy food? The Pit and the Peel’s got you covered. From creative avocado toasts to latte art, this cozy cafe is super creative. The real gem on the menu is the acai bowl section; you’ll find me browsing this one 9/10 times I’m here. I usually go for the “Peanut Butter and Jelly Time” bowl because peanut butter is life, but I’d also recommend the “House” bowl. Something else I love about the smoothies and smoothie bowls here is that you can add vegan protein, so I usually go for that too.

3. Ellwood Thompson’s fresh bars

Like Whole Foods, but cheaper, craftier, and...Richmond-er, Ellwood Thompson’s is a must-visit if you’re in the area. To start, the store has so many free samples if you explore the aisles, which is amazing. If you’re looking for a meal, though, go check out the Hot Bar and the Create Bar. Each bar has so many options that rotate daily and for each meal. I’ve loved literally everything I’ve tried from these bars, but I’m always on the hunt for their baked tofu and their barbeque lentils.

4. The Daily Kitchen and Bar

Just to preface - a veggie burger is my favorite meal ever. This place has the best veggie burger I’ve ever had, and I’ve had a lot, trust me. I get my lentil patty topped with lettuce, tomato, onion, and vegan cheddar cheese. And, of course, I always get a side of the amazing sweet potato fries (which are cooked in olive oil, for any nut-allergy gals wondering). The vegan pizza options and the barbeque tofu sandwich are also among the numerous delicious vegan options here.

5. Charm School Social Club

I couldn’t write this article without including an amazing vegan dessert spot. My choice is usually Charm School; artsy and quirky, this retro ice cream parlor serves seasonal vegan ice cream options daily. I’ve tried too many to remember, but I’m always on the hunt for the peanut butter swirl or the hazelnut flavors when I stop in. I also love adding the toasted vegan marshmallow fluff on top of my cone!

Whether you're vegan or just looking to expand your culinary horizons, I hope you check out these delicious vegan spots on your next trip to Richmond!