Where to Eat and Drink in Richmond
Virginia's capital city is having a moment in the national culinary spotlight. Our dining critic highlights the places you just can't miss.
When dedicated traveling foodies research other cities, we’re not looking for museums and monuments—we comb the internet and shake down friends for the latest information on dining hot spots. That’s what led me to Richmond—along with a companion, Nycci Nellis, who co-hosts the weekly show Foodie & the Beast on Federal News Radio—for a dine-a-palooza, hitting more than 20 restaurants, bakeries and bars in 2½ days to develop a list of places that epitomize why Richmond has blossomed into one of the best dining destinations in the country.
Follow my strategy: Input the places you’d like to try on a Google map, create efficient itineraries that avoid zigzagging, and leave the D.C. area at 10 a.m. to avoid I-95 rush hour anxiety, which gets you into Richmond just in time for—lunch!
Here is my list, categorized by mealtimes. (Many of the places listed for lunch or dinner are open for both meals.)
In Richmond’s Manchester neighborhood, restaurateur Anthony “A.J.” Brewer opened Brewers Waffles, a waffle and milkshake shop and art gallery, last July. You can build your own, ordering a traditional, vegan or cornbread waffle base, then adding sweet or savory toppings and sauces. If you don’t like making decisions, opt for one of the signature combinations, all named after local elementary schools. Try The Overby, a traditional waffle topped with scrambled eggs and bacon, plus your choice of cheese or hollandaise sauce. No phone scrolling is necessary while waiting for your waffle to be made. Instead, pass the time perusing the gallery’s exhibits. // 1311 Hull St., 804-658-3468, brewerswaffles.com
The original Perly’s Delicatessen Restaurant closed in 2013 after being a downtown Richmond institution for over half a century. It reopened at the same location under new ownership in 2014 with a revamped menu. Breakfast and brunch are available until 3 p.m. Look for matzo brei (a fried matzo and egg dish), corned beef hash and eggs, smoked fish, schmears and killer chocolate babka (but no pork products). We kvelled over Schnitzel Perlstein, an enormous crispy breaded veal cutlet topped with two sunny-side up eggs, smoked trout, capers and pickled red onions served with a side of potato salad. // 111 E. Grace St., 804-912-1560, perlysrichmond.com