Where to Eat in Richmond, Virginia, Right Now

The River City is just getting started.

Alewife: Richmond, Virginia
Photo: Robbie Caponetto

Richmond, Virginia, is a city with a deep and complicated history, but lately, it has gained a reputation as a hip landing spot for young professionals and new businesses. The Commonwealth's River City is home to picturesque neighborhoods that could give Charleston's Rainbow Row a run for its money, and craft companies like Belle Isle Moonshine that swear they couldn't have planted roots anywhere else. Thanks to its culinary creativity, Richmond has recently gained traction as one of the South's best food destinations, ranking with cities like Nashville, New Orleans, and Savannah. From the treasured local haunts to the buzzy newcomers, dine at any of these restaurants and you'll soon understand that Richmond's culinary ascendance is just beginning.


Alewife: Richond, Virginia Church Hill Neighborhood
Robbie Caponetto

"Here, Szechuan peppercorn-dusted oysters and scallops with carrot-miso butter feel at home alongside cornmeal biscuits and refried lentils," Priya Krishna writes of Alewife, which was voted the South's Best New Restaurant just a few years ago. "It's a place that [chef and owner Lee] Gregory says exemplifies the growing diversity of Richmond's population and foodways." Order the Siren's Song—a signature sampler platter that changes by the hour, repurposing the night's food scraps or odds and ends into supremely innovative Mid-Atlantic tasters. Current starters include the lobster salad with pickled mushroom, herbs, apple, and sunchoke, and the peacock cantaloupe salad with grape vinaigrette, tea jelly, and pistachio. As for entrees, don't miss the swordfish chop with tomato braised greens, butter beans, and smoked pork belly.

Mama J’s

From the relaxed dining room to the generous portions of fried chicken and catfish, this South's best local restaurant feels like home. Mama J's is Richmond's go-to spot for true soul food. It's a family-owned-and-operated spot in the historic Jackson Ward area that celebrates the tradition of eating good food with family. On the menu, you'll find fried chicken, trout, crab cakes, pork chops, beef brisket, and barbeque spare ribs—and that's just the lineup of entrees. There's a whole host of sandwiches, starters, and sides to try too. If you didn't bring your appetite, just snag a seat at the bar—the signature drinks are all named after members of the Mama J's family.

Brenner Pass

Seated in the city's growing Scott's Addition neighborhood, Brenner Pass is the sophomore eatery fromTop Chef contestant and Richmond native Brittany Anderson. The restaurant serves Alpine cuisine, inspired by the mountain pass that borders Italy and Austria. Stop in to order Gruyere and Emmentaler fondue for the table, whole-roasted Virginia trout, and dry-aged steak au poivre. After dinner continue the regional adventure next door at Anderson's Black Lodge where you'll find classic cocktails, caviar and shot pairings, in addition to late-night bites like fondue fries and hotdogs with Alpine-influenced toppings.

Sub Rosa Bakery

Sub Rosa Bakery owners Evin and Evrim Dogu
Sub Rosa Bakery owners Evin and Evrim Dogu are siblings and James Beard Award semifinalists. Robbie Caponetto

Led by brother-sister duo Evrim and Evin Dogu (who received James Beard Award-semifinalist status in 2019 and 2020), Sub Rosa Bakery takes "homemade" to new extremes: They "mill their own stone-ground flour from Southern-grown grains and bake homemade bread in a wood-fired oven," writes Hannah Hayes for Southern Living. "Evin's morning selection of delicious chocolate croissants and pastries filled with fig and Appalachian cheese provides reason enough to schedule a wake-up call." No trip to Richmond is complete without something delicious baked by the team at Sub Rosa Bakery.


Longoven is an exciting player in Richmond's diverse dining scene, bringing sophistication and refinement to a city known for its relaxed groove. Located in Scott's Addition, they "offer seasonal tasting and snack menus that change regularly, highlighting the best products from [their] farmers and purveyors." You'll find dishes like a chili oil grilled lobster made with pine nut puree, gingered crunch and pickled spruce on the extended menu, which is available to browse online

The Roosevelt

The Roosevelt
John Murden

Tucked away in Richmond's Church Hill area sits The Roosevelt, a neighborhood gem where you can snack or feast on the menu's offerings, which include small plates like cornbread, alligator piccata, and a crawfish roll, and entrees like fried hen, smoked garnet yam and confit turkey leg gumbo. The century-old building has been home to numerous restaurant concepts—from seafood to Mexican—but The Roosevelt's pioneering role in Richmond's culinary growth has cemented its status as a modern RVA institution.


Inspired by both rustic and modern Greek fare, Stella's fills their menu with Mediterranean classics like spanakopita, dolmades, and keftedes as well as flavorful entrees such as moussaka (sautéed eggplant with spiced aromatic ground beef baked with béchamel), braised lamb shank, and crab cakes. The restaurant is one in a long lineage of restaurants named for Stella Dikos, a legend in the Richmond food scene. If you're not able to snag a reservation at the sit-down restaurant, or simply want to take some of their Greek classics home, stop by Stella's Grocery. With six locations across the city, these gourmet shops offer baked goods, prepared foods, sandwiches, rotisserie, and gelato.


Photo: Robbie Caponetto

This formal-yet-funky fine dining restaurant essentially encapsulates the spirit of Richmond—it is artful and excellent, but it still doesn't take itself too seriously. L'Opossum's clever, elegant menu features playfully named dishes like "Les Escargots à la Ham Biscuit," which comes with a sweet garlic buerre blanc, and "A Brisk Fall Cookout in the Boneyard" which, according to the restaurant's menu, is "roasted rack of lamb atop a chimichurri sweet potato salad" served with "big round blackberry barbecue bordelaise." When you show up for a meal at L'Opossum, you're in for an adventure.

More Dining Spots

Other spots not to miss: Perly's Restaurant and Delicatessen for Jewish deli boards; Jardin for wine and sommelier knowledge served on a colorful patio, Kuba Kuba for a taste of Cuban café culture, Proper Pie Co. for New Zealand-style savory pies; and Little Nickel where you'll find charming coastal-inspired food and drinks. No matter where you land, you can't go wrong with a meal in Virginia's capital city.

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