Favorite RVA Eats

Thursday, August 2, 2018

So, quality is super important to me - quality time with my family over quality food is perfection.  Seriously one of the questions I'm asked most is "what's good to eat around here"?  I definitely have foodie tastes, but I'm married to a meat-and-french-fries kinda guy and have a toddler, so we compromise a lot.  I'm a big believer in eating local and supporting the amazing restaurateurs and chefs that chose to make the south their home.  Some of my local Richmond favorites...

Portico in Goochland county is a bit of a drive, but worth it.  This is the restaurant for al fresco dining; the patio is unreal.  It's delicious Italian food with a bit of an upscale twist. 

Lunch or Supper in Scott's Addition - probably one of the hottest local places right now.  I've been a couple times, and it is worth the hype for sure!  So there's a tiny restaurant - "Lunch" that's more casual and basic, and right next door is "Supper" - a bit more upscale.  They share the same menu, but only Lunch is open at breakfast.  And the breakfast is delish!  Highly recommend cheese grits and the sausage gravy.  They don't take reservations, and it's usually a wait for dinner.  Luckily, they have a great e-system that shows you your place in the line and texts updates while you wait in the adorable beer garden right next door!  Do yourself a favor and get an appetizer - the pimento cheese topped fried green tomatoes are everything that's good about the south.

TJ's at the Jefferson in Downtown - a great place to bring someone you want to impress!  While there is an actual restaurant, I prefer to sit out in the lounge area and watch the goings on below.  The Jefferson is probably the most beautiful place in Richmond and especially so at Christmas.  It's an old, historic hotel with quite the stories over the years.  Husband remembers his grandfather bringing him here as a child for a bowl of the peanut soup.  The desserts are great, and the people watching is even better.  Their decor is truly something to behold.  Extra note - I've been to Lemaire, the very formal/upscale restaurant also inside The Jefferson.  I honestly found it unimpressive for the price and wouldn't go again.

ZZQ in Scott's Addition - RVA definitely has it's share of BBQ.  It's a southern staple, and it's one of husband's favorites.  And they usually have mac and cheese, so win for the toddler too!  ZZQ just won best BBQ in Virginia and one of the top 12 in the country by Food and Wine Magazine, and it did NOT disappoint.  They have odd hours and do tend to sell out, so go early.  This is some tender, high quality meat here, and the sides are amazing.  There were no sides for the rest of my family though - they definitely do kind of an upscale southern approach to classics like beans, potato salad, and slaw.  The slaw was purple cabbage, and Reagan looked at me like I had betrayed her by offering such a thing.  The mac and cheese only came in a jalapeno variety, which I thought was great, but disappointed everyone else.  No matter, we'll still definitely be back!  And bonus - a parking lot and ample indoor seating!

Boulevard Burger and Brew in Scott's Addition is fun, casual eating.  It's right across from the home of the Flying Squirrels, the local Richmond minor league baseball team and from Movieland, a beautiful brick movie theater in a historic train station.  Great burgers, great staff.  They have boozy milkshakes - score! - but it's definitely a family vibe.  A lot of the time they have free tickets for baseball that night; check their Facebook page.  Sides are big enough to share between two people.  It's pretty small inside and gets busy at peak weekend hours because of the great location.  There's a parking lot, but it also fills quickly. 

Heritage in Uptown has been one of my favorites for years, and it's still nearly fully booked every weekend.  The thing to do here is to try a bit of everything - a few of the "snacks", a couple appetizers, and an entree to share.  Highly recommend the charcuterie board, pork belly, fish dip, and rockfish.  If you make a reservation, ask for one of the little window booths for some fantastic people watching.  This is a great place to eat if you're going to the Altria Theater for a show later in the evening. 

- Some places I've never been but that are on my list to try ASAP - 
-Buckheads in Henrico - a supposedly amazing steakhouse in a super random, unassuming shopping center!  Daniel Radcliff ("Harry Potter") ate here when he was in town filming and reportedly loved it.

-Brenner Pass in Scott's Addition is on my SUPER short list.  It just placed in the top new restaurants in the country by Bon Appetit Magazine.  This one will be hard to get the husband to try; it's definitely foodie eats here.  Focus is on the Alpine region and its flavors.  It's definitely a pricey one, so I'm saving it for the next special date night!

-L'opossum in Oregon Hill is the hot spot for French food.  I'm intrigued by it, because it looks cheeky - like classic (and if reviews say anything, delicious) French food, but with a hip/modern twist.  I love their menu, with items like "Beef Swellington" and the "Portobello Big Mac". 

There's probably a dozen more I could name, but I'll keep it at my top favorites right now!  RVA also has bakeries, desserts, coffee, and drink hotspots galore, and I can't wait to tell y'all about those.