Richmond has become a hub for foodies throughout the years and has developed even more as the city is becoming nationally recognized. There are hundreds of restaurants and it can be a bit daunting to decide on where to eat. Here are the top restaurants for each price point and for each time of day:
Honestly, The Village is good for any time of the day that you’re craving breakfast foods because they serve breakfast all day. The food is ready in no more than 10 minutes and they have everything from simple pancakes, eggs, and sausage, to corned beef hash and steaks. The meals are cheap, and if you decide to build your own breakfast, they can be even cheaper. Your wallet will thank you!
Nate’s Bagels opened up over the summer of 2018 and has been a hit since their doors have opened. Their most popular combo is the ‘Lox w/ the Works,’ but their menu items satisfy any craving from Reubens to Banh Mis. They have a variety of bagels to choose from but go early because they sell out quickly!
Snuggled in a corner of West Main Street, Kokonut Grill offers the perfect mixture of Hawaiian and Japanese foods. The best thing to get is their chicken katsu with coconut rice and macaroni salad. It’s a perfect to-go meal if you’re in a rush and also a great place to hang out with their karaoke set up.
Saison Market has great, flavorful lunch items that won’t put a dent in your pocket. Their fried chicken biscuit is to die for and if you’re looking for vegetarian options, the Nashville Cauliflower Sandwich is also an amazing choice. Most importantly, they have a market attached to the restaurant with great, local items such as coffee, beer, and wine to browse!
Sticky Rice has a special place in my heart because of their happy hour on Fridays. If you’re a sushi lover and on a budget, go to Sticky Rice on Fridays from 5 – 7 p.m. A large portion of their sushi menu is half off. I usually take the happy hour advantage to try new sushi or sashimi that I’ve been hesitant about. Grab some drinks while you’re there. I prefer the Lychee Martini, and don’t forget the bucket of tots!
Don’t Look Back has recently moved from their Carytown location to Scott’s Addition. Although the change is a bit odd for old customers, their new location has pool tables and plenty of room to socialize. Of course, the food is just as amazing. The tacos are only $3 each and you have the option of building them two different ways; Gringo, which is the American style with sour cream, lettuce and tomatoes, or traditional, which includes pickled onions, lettuce, and tomatoes. I suggest trying the shrimp taco and if you’re vegetarian, the potato taco is to die for.
In a pasta mood? Bombolini has the freshest pasta. All of their pasta is freshly, handmade every day. You have every option from tomato penne to ink-squid spaghetti to toss in with your sauce of choice, whether it be meat, alfredo or marsala. Just be weary of their hours as they close at 7:00 p.m. Tuesday through Friday.
Millie’s is hands down my favorite breakfast place in Richmond. You will not be disappointed if you come here. Just be sure to make reservations or be prepared to wait, especially on Sunday mornings. The owner, Paul, is usually there to greet you at the door and offer mimosas or Bloody Marries. You can’t go wrong with ordering their omelets, but my personal favorite is the Scrambled Eggs with Lobster. The eggs are fluffy and beautifully infused with generous lumps of lobster, tomatoes, and mushrooms while the puff pastry and hollandaise delicately blankets the combination.
Another great brunch place is Lunch and Supper. The restaurant is divided into two designated areas, which can cause a bit of a wait, but the food is well worth it. The chicken and waffles are a classic and my personal go to. If you’re in the mood for something lighter, the classic eggs benedict with crab cakes will not fail you.
Secret Sandwich Society is a lovely restaurant nestled in the downtown area. There are so many combinations of sandwiches to choose from, there’s no doubt you’ll find something that satisfies your craving. They not only have amazing sandwiches, but also finger-licking good wings that’s definitely worth the try as a starter!
Fried po’boys, calamari, fish, oysters, clam chowder, corn bread, and chili. If all of those words make your mouth water, Croaker’s Spot is the perfect spot. Located near Libby Hill, this restaurant is the definition of southern comfort food. The fried fish is delicate and fresh, and the fried seafood platter will make you feel like you’re eating next to the ocean itself. Be prepared to have the best food coma of your life afterwards.
Kuba Kuba is the best Cuban food you’ll get in Richmond. Their paellas and ropa vieja will warm your soul and serenade your taste buds with the most amazing flavors. Their cornbread is also by far my favorite out of any that I’ve tried. It provides the perfect balance between savory and sweet, especially when you dip it into the sauce. If it’s your first time there, I’d recommend the classic Cuban dish, ropa vieja. Not feeling meat? Their seafood is just as good and the paella mariscos is to die for. Kuba Kuba also has a house hot sauce that provides the perfect kick for any spice lover. Do not leave without trying their Tres Leches. Order a slice to share, or take it to go, whatever you do, do not leave without trying the tres leches, you won’t regret it!
Have a big appetite? Joe’s Inn is the perfect place. Located in the heart of The Fan, Joe’s Inn’s proportions are no joke. Their specialty is the Spaghetti A La Joe and it may seem incredibly simple, but the flavors surely aren’t. There’s something about spaghetti baked in meat sauce and topped with provolone that epitomizes comfort food.
Perly’s is a Jewish restaurant and delicatessen that serves Jewish food with a modern twist. They serve lunch and dinner, but they are known for their amazing breakfast foods. The Cheese Blintz and Cinnamon Babka French Toast are their most popular brunch items, however, if you’re craving something savory, the Filmore Fritatta is a great choice.
Zen Organic is truly a space to relax while enjoying amazing Vietnamese dishes. The chopped rice with pork has the most amazing flavor all while being tender and light. Vietnamese coffee is my favorite way to have coffee and compliments your meal wonderfully if you want that extra burst of energy midday.
Tarrant’s Café not only has an amazing atmosphere, decorated in old fashioned chandeliers and wood trim, but also the most amazing food. They offer the most amazing fried chicken and waffles for dinner that has a friendlier price point compared to their menu items. If you’re balling out, the grilled sea scallops are beautifully cooked and combined with a basil risotto.
Helen’s is a quaint restaurant that uses food to create statements. Their menu changes with the seasons, however, if you ever see their duck dish on the menu, I highly recommend ordering it. The duck is cooked in the most amazing sauce and is so incredibly succulent compared to its chicken cousin. Not only do they have amazing food, they also have a great bar scene during the weekends!
Hopefully this list is a good start for anyone in Richmond wanting to explore the food scene a little more and for anyone visiting!