AB Road Eats: Richmond

There is something incredible happening with the food scene in Richmond. I want to thank everyone that fed me while I was there.


Lamplighter Coffee: I had the pleasure of sitting down to a cup of coffee with Richmond Magazine’s Stephanie Breijo at this establishment (well recommended by Stephanie). I went to their Addison location and really liked the environment and outside seating.


Sally Bell’s Kitchen: A friend of mine said I couldn’t leave Richmond without trying Sally Bell’s. This eatery has been serving patrons for almost nine decades. And while you might think a boxed lunch is simple, Sally Bell’s is everything but. I ordered three different boxes (because how could I try just one) — ham, turkey and chicken salad — and enjoyed them all. My personal favorite is the homemade potato salad.

The Black Sheep: Another recommendation of Ms. Breijo’s was this very busy lunch spot. They’re know for their sandwiches so large they call them battleships (I split one sandwich with four people). I ordered the USS Roanoke: Sliced turkey rolled around sliced provolone. griddled and then topped with crispy procuitto, arugula, peppadew peppers and a mixed fruit mostarda on a toasted french baguette.

Saison Market: Driving a little further down on the same street I stumbled upon Saison Market. I liked this place. I liked how it was set up. And I certainly enjoyed the food and coffee. I ordered a chicken biscuit (only available for breakfast, but I got lucky) and a cup of nitro coffee (carbonated coffee). Good stuff is happening here.

Proper Pie Co.: I have to talk about this little pie shop twice. The first is to rave about their savory pies, which were hearty and so comforting. I ordered two: Roasted Lamb and Vegetable and Pork Chili Verde. I don’t know which one I liked better. All I know is I want more.


Pasture: Fans on both Facebook and Twitter raved about this restaurant. I ordered several things from the menu including the potato and ham soup, house pickled vegetables and my favorite, the salt and vinegar pork rinds. Those were some of the best pork rinds I’d ever had.


Sub Rosa Bakery: These guys are hardcore. The bakers here are milling their own grain and culturing their own yeast. If you want good bread in Richmond, I recommend you come here.

Proper Pie Co.: I had to separate this recommendation for this simple reason: their savory pies are out-of-this-world, but their pumpkin pie is the best pumpkin pie I’ve ever had in my life. That’s right, best ever. Not only is the consistency creamy and not too sweet, but they top it with a salted caramel. If you’re in the area, you’d be doing yourself a disservice by not trying a slice of this pie. I will also go on to say you should probably try the coconut cream pie too. Yes. Get both.

Images © Alton Brown, 2014


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    • 4

      Sorry, “Kuba Kuba” is the proper spelling. You have to try their pulled pork with black beans and fried plantains. Man, now I’ve got to get to Kuba Kuba!

  1. 5

    A few of my favs…
    Biscuits at Early Bird Biscuit Co.
    Mrs Yoder’s Doughnuts
    Don’t Look Back tacos (if they’re open, after their recent fire)
    Demi’s (Mediterranean)

  2. 9

    Seems like you got a good bunch of suggestions here. I have to disagree with Carytown Cupcackes thought and instead send you to Pink Bell Cake House on the other end of Carytown. Their cake is moist, BUT NOT OVERLY SWEET and the Buttercream is the best I have had. No driyng out of the cake either…. not that that would be a problem since you will have eaten it by then.

  3. 10

    Seems like you got a good bunch of suggestions here. I have to disagree with Carytown Cupcackes thought and instead send you to Pink Bell Cake House on the other end of Carytown. Their cake is moist, but overly sweet and the Buttercream is the best I have had. No driyng out of the cake either…. not that that would be a problem since you will have eaten it by then.

  4. 11

    For dessert you have to go to Shyndigz! Unparalleled cakes, pies, and other desserts. High quality and great service!
    They also have the Fancy Biscuit next door which is delicious for breakfast/lunch!

  5. 12
    Margaret Carney

    Be sure to stop by Hog’s Head Cafe!! You won’t be disappointed!
    Also, the chicken and waffles with Sriracha concoction/syrup (not sure what’s in it but it’s magical!!) at 3 Monkeys is not to be missed!!

  6. 13

    Hogshead is a must. Oyster tacos are amazing but it truly doesn’t matter what you order…..you will not be disappointed. Food is fresh and delicious. Never had a bad meal once and I’ve been dozens of times. You have to try this place.

  7. 15
    Michelle C

    We drive over an hour after a work day just for Hogshead Cafe!! My fav – Nashville Hot Chicken tacos! They have the best fresh food, we’re never disappointed, super friendly staff, small place that the locals know about, and we’ve decided we’re “locals” now. Go, eat, love!!!

  8. 16

    You’ve got to try Hogs Head when you come to RVA. If you are undecided on what to get, I recommend the nachos. They are the best in the city.

  9. 17

    Hogshead Cafe is a must try. The food is always fresh and consistently out of this world. Who knows, if you try it you may just move to Richmond so you 2 can become a regular. Going tomorrow to take family visiting from FLA.

  10. 18
    Pam Miller

    Definitely visit Hogs Head Cafe! Amazing food every single day! Awesome entrees, great homemade southern side dishes with a twist & delicious desserts!

  11. 20
    Sandy T

    I’m just an average person, not a culinary critic, but the food at Hogshead Cafe is anything but average. It is the best food I’ve ever put in my mouth. Their standard menu puts them in a class with the best BBQ joints out there, but their chalkboard specials and homemade sides elevate them well beyond a BBQ joint. The recipes are mouth watering. You could eat lunch and dinner everyday for a week and never eat the same thing twice. But you’d want to eat the same things, again and again, because sometimes you just can’t get enough of a great thing!!! Check out Hogshead when you visit RVA, you will be glad you did!!!

  12. 21
    Patty Michalak

    Alton, I am a food snob. Yes a true foodie. If you don’t go to Hogshead Cafe in Richmond Virginia, you are truly missing out. This is not just another barbecue joint. Although the ribs fall off the bone, and the barbecue is superb, the sides are to-die-for, everything is homemade. Everything. You must try the asparagus fries, the broccoli bake, the squash bake. Holler when you’re there, if you want some good company!

  13. 23

    If your a sushi fan you must try Sticky Rice the Godzirra and Sticky Balls are the best! Add a bucket of tots with their spicy dipping sauce and your in heaven. For the best authentic Cuban food try Kuba Kuba owned by Manny Mendez. Their entrees are incredible but you must have their Mom made (seriously made by Manny’s Mom) Tres Leche cake. It’s a secret family recipe and is the best in the planet.

  14. 24

    Shyndigs for dessert is a must! Everything on their menu will make you want to slap your momma. My favorite is the salted chocolate caramel cake, but their daily specials are consistently out of this world.

  15. 25

    Seriously you have to go to Hogshead , best find in RVA !! Love those Pork wings and Hogdog , it’s always so hard to choose what is the best in this place …because it is all good . Homemade love on a plate , desserts are a must have ! delicious

  16. 28

    Be sure to try Hogshead Cafe on your next trip to Richmond! Hands down the best BBQ & Brisket in Richmond! The homemade sides are also delicious, especially the yams and baked apples & sweet potato fries! Service is great too!

  17. 30

    Be sure to try Hogshead Cafe on your next trip to Richmond! Hands down the best BBQ & Brisket in Richmond! The homemade sides are also delicious! Service is great too!

  18. 31
    Caroline Williams

    Hogs Head Cafe is hands down one of our favorite places to go. Get there early so you don’t have to wait. Of course, if you do, have a Hogarita and enjoy! Each dish prepared is excellent and will keep you wanting to come back again and again. The specialities are listed on the board to the left when you walk through the door. The atmosphere is cozy and will soon become a favorite place to eat in Glen Allen Va.

  19. 32

    Heritage is my favorite spot in town for dinner! Shrimp crackers and fried Broccoli are the best. Breakfast is Greenbriar cafe. Everything is so fresh and the coffee is great. #ABRoadeatsRichmond

  20. 37

    Hogs head Cafe is one of the best restaurants in Richmond. Not only are their ribs the best and meatiest I’ve ever had, they have awesome gumbo(I’m from Louisiana so I know good gumbo), excellent greens, the best scalloped potatoes, and the hog limeade is off the chain!!! Please put this place in the spotlight!!!

  21. 38

    You have to eat at Hogshead Cafe. They have the best barbeque, but their sweet potato fries with the maple dipping sauce is awesome! I have eaten there twice this week and I live on the other side of the river.

  22. 40

    Please visit Hogs Head in Richmond when you visit!! BEST FOOD and LOVE all of their awesome sauces and creative entrees. You will be glad you went to see this exciting restaurant!

  23. 42
    Melissa R.

    You have to try Hog heads in Richmond. It is a hole in the wall delicious restaurant. We live in Newport news, VA and found it on our way through Richmond. It is now a destination more than a stop on the way through. 🙂

  24. 43
    George Ostein

    Check out Hogshead cafe when you visit Richmond brother….the hogdog with brocoli bake on the side and an adult limeade you can’t go wrong

  25. 44
    Josh Turner

    Check out the hogs head cafe! Wife and i moved away from Richmond 4 years ago and we always go to hogshead when we visit. I dare you to find something on the menu that wont apeal to your appetite. Hogdog is recomended with sweet potatoe fries. some loaded tots or fried pickles are a nice appetizer as well!

  26. 46
    Amy Roberts

    You’ve got to check out Hogshead Café. It’s one of RVA’s hidden gems. We’ve been eating there since it opened. Only ten tables and a tight knit staff, you have to appreciate small, amazing production. Plan ahead! They’re closed on Sunday’s and Monday’s. My fave thing on the menu is pork wings!!

  27. 47
    Amy McClure

    Check out Hog’s Head Cafe on Broad Street when you come to Richmond. Here you will find excellent service, fresh smoked bbq and southern sides such as corn pudding, fried green tomatoes, sweet potato fries, and scalloped potatoes just to name a few. This place will not disappoint! Oh and don’t forget dessert.

  28. 48

    Hogshead Cafe!! The best BBQ around town, with tastey Limaids to wash it all down. Their sides are hearty homemade comfort food. Exceptional service as well!

  29. 51

    Definitely need to stop at Hoghead Cafe. Incredible portions of incredible food. All kinds of American comfort food and the best southern cuisine.

  30. 52

    Chiocca’s downstairs on Belmont for best subs around. Edo’s Squid for awesome dinner . The squid, white beans and arugula is an awesome app. And their Rockfish is the best around

  31. 53
    Pam Willman

    Hoghead is a GREAT place to eat. Always have something awesome cooking in the kitchen. Anything on the menu is to delicious. All of their desserts are homemade and mouth watering. You should stop in and enjoy some delicious food. The atmosphere is great and the staff are very friendly and make you feel at home.

  32. 55

    Shyndigz is a must for dessert. Luv their pecan streusel bread pudding. Don’t forget the fancy biscuit next door to
    Shyndigz. Hogs head brisket blue cheese tacos are mmmmm good. If you are looking for a good home cooking diner . . . Eat 33.

  33. 58

    Talk about dessert!! Have you been to shyndigz??? This place is putting Richmond on the map. And the Fancy Biscuit is so good I go every weekend!

  34. 61

    You have to visit Hogs Head Cafe..they have the best BBQ and Ribs and thier hush puppies…OMG. It use to be our (my families) favorite hole in the wall but now thanks to Trip advisors the word is start to spread about how great they are. You won’t be disspapointed.
    My favorite is their signature nachos but you have to ask for the chipotle sauce to go with it as it adds the right amount of heat to balance the flavor of the sweet and smoked flavor of their bbq.

  35. 65
    Maxine Wolff Shapiro

    Check out Shindigz for cakes etc.
    and a restaurant called Demi’s on McArthur Blvd
    Chianti in Gayton Crossing Shopping Center for authentic, delicious Siciliano food!

  36. 66
    Angie Aldred

    Fancy Biscuit – breakfast
    Jack Brown’s – lunch/beer
    Peter Chang’s – dinner (Andrew Zimmern did a show on this place too…amazing)
    Shyndigz – dessert

    There, I’ve planned an entire culinary day.

  37. 78
    Lucio Battista

    There is one of the most incredible places called the Fancy Biscuit that is without question a must see on your next journey through Richmond! Chef William Thompson truely knows how to not only make the best biscuits in the country, but everything else that he and his staff are making is sublime. So please don’t miss an amazing opportunity to eat at the Fancy Biscuit!!

  38. 80
    K Benge

    Okay I’m shocked that you weren’t directed to “Kuba Kina” for the best paella around. I have lived in Richmond my whole life and as long as I can remember have loved Kuba Kuba. Also I’m pretty shocked you weren’t directed to Gelati Celeste which has the best ice cream in Richmond hands down. Ever since I was a little girl we’d go to a movie at the Tower and have ice cream afterwards from the store next to the theater. Galaxy Diner is my go to for fried pickles and burgers as well as Carytown Cupcakes for giant delicious cupcakes. Pssst also Mr. Brown our local BBQ joint Buzz and Neds beat Bobby Flay in a show down 🙂

  39. 81
    Migrom eebest8

    Your style is really unique in comparison to other people I have read stuff from. I appreciate you for posting when you ave got the opportunity, Guess I will just book mark this web site.

  40. 83

    Thank you for checking out our city. My husband and I moved to Richmond right as the City’s and our own culinary tastes were starting to grow. We have made it a point to hit the new spots as they opened and spread the word when we find a new favorite. We even started a dinner club with some like minded friends. We each take turns hosting, making the entree, appetizer, and desert. Every quarter we go out as a group to a restaurant. Some of the group’s favorites include Dutch & Co, Metzger Bar and Butchery, My Noodle and Bar, Fan Noodle House, Heritage, Pasture, The Roosevelt, and of course we’re down with The Proper Pie. Feel free to head on down to Richmond Town any time. There are plenty more places to grab a tasty bite and “Fan”tastic things to see.

  41. 84

    Thanks for checking out our city. My husband and I moved to Richmond right as the City’s and our own culinary tastes were beginning to grow. We have made it a point to hit the new spots as they open up and spread the word when we find a new favorite. We have even formed a dinner club with some like minded friends. We take turns hosting, making the entree, appetizer, and desert. Every quarter we hit a new restaurant. So far the group is a fan of Dutch & Co, Metzger Bar and Butchery, My Noodle and Bar, Fan Noodle House, Pasture, Heritage, The Roosevelt, and of course we’re down with the Proper Pie. Come back to Richmond Town any time. There are so many other good food spots to hit and “Fan”tastic things to see.

  42. 85

    Sadly you are too late for one of my RVA childhood favorites, the local chain of Bill’s Barbecue. I know- you’re thinking “Chain!” but I’m telling you their hushpuppies were awesome! Speaking of hushpuppies (only handdipped, of course), if you come back to RVA, you might want to try them at Extra Billie’s… and maybe their fries with their special seasoning (they look like sweet potato fries- which they also serve- but are awesomely different… and some barbecue with their house sauce.
    Or do as we did on our last visit and just order several orders of hushpuppies and enjoy them on their own (well, with butter, of course, but that goes without saying!)!
    (If you get to the Norfolk/Va Beach area, you might also try hushpuppies at Pollard’s, but due to someone’s bad sense of taste and strong sense of rushing, you need to ask for handdipped or you’ll be very sad you didn’t. They are worth the wait.)
    And while we’re talking hushpuppies, I was pleased to see a local RVA eatery serving hushpuppies with their own little cup of melted butter (I was feeling loved!)… but they weren’t my favorite hushpuppies, so not referring the name of the eatery (good feeling gone).
    FYI, I’m always on the search for a good homemade recipe, Mr Brown…. (hint hint) And no sticking whole kernel corn in them! I mean, REALLY!?!?!

  43. 87

    I am really glad you enjoyed yourself in Richmond. I am happy to live here during this really exciting time in our food scene. One thing I am sad about is the fact that you missed out on what is hands down THE best food within 100 miles (hyperbole? mmm). Owen Lane at The Magpie is putting together one of the most original menu’s in town. None of the tried and true (read trendy) comfort food that every on else is dishing out. Let me know next time you come to town – our treat! 😉

  44. 88

    So glad you got a chance to sample some of the goodies that represent the vibrant Richmond restaurant scene. I have the honor of having been a critic for Richmond magazine and watch this town grow. We have ethnic restaurants we’ve never had before. We have talented chefs pushing limits while respecting quality. We have a lot of chefs making their own charcuterie, ice cream, and baked goods. Very glad you got to sub rosa bakery. I think they are one-of-a-kind. One of the things you may not have seen is the camaraderie that this scene has kept. When sub rosa had a fire in the apartment upstairs that shut down the bakery a Baker three blocks away came over got any dough that had been risen and ready to go and baked it for them, donating the proceeds the restoration fund. I’m a rare disease patient, ALS, and eight of the best chefs in town got together at Pasture and raised money for my ALS clinic. When our chefs go to festivals or go to New York to cook for the press, they all go together. I think they all genuinely like and respect each other. I hope you have a chance to come back. Thanks for all you have done.

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