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Jun 13, 2011 07:22 AM

Making a list for a friend moving to Richmond VA need basic rec's please.

Friend is moving to Richmond, Va would like basic rec's for daily living. :)

1. Best coffee shops
2. Pizza
3. Fine Dining
4. Brunch

Etc. I thought it would be fun to give her a starter list. I know this is vague but she hasn't decided where she will be living yet. So I figure get the best of the best. I apologize if there is a thread on this subject, I looked and did not find one.

Thank you so much for your help. Juli

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  1. You will get a better reply on the Mid-Atlantic or Southern boards.

    1 Reply
    1. re: MrsWheatie

      I had checked the southern boards but no luck I missed the Mid -Atlantic that is the ticket thanks.

    2. coffee shops are REALLY neighborhood dependent so i'm just gonna skip that one for now. i'm a dreadful judge.
      2, pizza - depends on the style. most famous richmond pizza is a place called bottoms up which is a stuffed pizza. VERY much it's own thing. i like the one in shockoe bottom (original) but hated the new one in glen allen. for thin crust there is mary angela's, frank's (original and west), personally i like cappricio's and chianti.
      3. Fine Dining - how fine? fancy or good?
      i like acacia, six burner, julep's, sensi, chez max - that i think fit the bill. there are also some less upscale places that are great.
      4. brunch - millie's and the jefferson are the classics - and opposite from each other. i like black sheep and stronghill a lot too.

      1 Reply
      1. re: AMFM

        Great list this is so helpful. I think I want to add lunch as well (if you don't mind :) ). And on fine dining I meant good . Thanks again for your help.

      2. I lived five years in Richmond. There's a fine dining establishment about half a block north, (sort of) from the State Capitol and I forget it's name, although Richmond people move so slow that even if it went out of business, it would probably be still serving customers.

        The most popular and traditional Richmond Recipe, and the one you'll notice the most, is the "Ham Biscuit"
        It's a basic Souther Biscuit with a slice of ham in it. It might be the Smithfield Country ham, but probably isn't because that stuff's not only expensive, it's seriously salty.
        Your friends will be served ham biscuits every time they turn around, although I can't say I've ever seen them in restaurants, unlike fried salt herring served with fried eggs for breakfast. Unlike the Swedes and Jews, who wash and pickle salt herring before trying to serve it, in a Richmond restaurant it was just reconstituted in water, then breaded and fried.
        Seafood is very good in Richmond, and the peanut-fed hogs of Southeast Virginia are wonderful!

        10 Replies
        1. re: PeteSeattle

          when did you live here? just out of curiousity. cause while there's still an old richmond feel in certain places, the town has changed a lot even in the 6 years i've lived here. really a pretty arty, eclectic, hip place at this point.

          that said, ham biscuits are awesome. they have them at brunch at the jefferson.

          1. re: AMFM

            I lived there from 1988 to 1994, I believe. And I don't believe that Richmond's changed all that much. It seems that they've been trying to make a downtown arty district for awhile, but if you go to the upstream neighborhoods I bet that you can still smell the outhouses left over from the 1870's that were simply filled in. After 100-150 years, Richmond really shouldn't have changed very much.
            Certainly not in its food tastes. Ham biscuits are ubiquitous.

            1. re: PeteSeattle

              Richmond has changed quite a bit in the last 17 years.

              1. re: PeteSeattle

                Nope, Richmond has changed an incredible amount since when you were here. Night and day, seriously. I moved here from Boston, and feel no culture shock

                1. re: BostonCharles

                  The only way Richmond could have changed in any fundamental way is if the population had been forced to move away and the place taken over by others! Mind you, that's kinda actually happened, in that an entire generation has come since I was there.
                  But I'm skeptical that changes which may seem so obvious are more than superficial.
                  For example, I'm now living in a city that seriously considers serving oysters with orange marmalade! (now THAT'S different! And not in a good way..........)

                  1. re: PeteSeattle

                    ummmm.... richmond is a crazy tatted arty hipster town. gets noted all over for being so. there are very few areas left that feel southern or stuffy.

                    1. re: AMFM

                      As per above, the place I generally compare Richmond to is Brooklyn. And yeah, the city is pretty full of people who moved here from elsewhere now.

                      1. re: BostonCharles

                        What happened to the blacks? Did they get tattoos too? When I lived there, I used to practice bagpipes in the National Guard Armory near Gilpin court (if I remember the name right). There were several times at night when we had to hit the dirt, due to nearby gunfire. The upside is that from that time on, if I'm piping and someone shoots at me, I continue to play! (Has happened several times since then)

                        1. re: PeteSeattle

                          really? necessary?
                          richmond, like every city, has areas that aren't as nice as others. but go to great clubs such as the camel or the national, or anywhere as a matter of fact, and one of the things i love most about this town is it's ethnic and cultural diversity.

                          1. re: AMFM

                            Ha! Spoken like someone who knows where to turn left on Broad street!
                            Thanks. I knew the changes had to be superficial!
                            Ham biscuits for everyone!
                            (I'm still in shock at listening to the locals here in Seattle tell me that sausage gravy served over biscuits should be made with canned crab instead of sausage; pig is factory farmed, not peanut-fed, salmon can be served with a mole sauce of peppers and chocolate; and the one that broke me: Oysters with raspberries! YUCK!)
                            And for some reason, here Smithfields hams are sold only in the Chinese grocery stores so ethnic that labels are often only in Chinese. But you can buy them by the slice.
                            Herring is available either flash-frozen or pickled in vinegar, but never salted. I guess the Swedes buy all the salted ones!
                            And in spite of this place being known for its fish, for some reason I see a lot of lines in the water, without seeing many rods bent with a fish on them!
                            But our crabs? WHOOWEE! The smaller ones are up to a foot wide, and cost $10.00 each. And one small crab can feed four people. We buy blue crabs from VA, much cheaper than the local ones.
                            Our round crab nets are three feet in diameter instead of 18". Our crabs wouldn't fit into an Eastern crab net.
                            But our laws are possessive. You can't crab without a license, and you can only take the species with white-tipped claws, not the one with black-tipped claws, and you can only take the males of that species anyway! (The Dungeness crab) and you can't take them unless they're big enough to feed an army of teenagers.
                            I feel that the locals don't seem to really know much about the life-cycle of their crabs, since I believe the crabs only mate once a year, and then with only one crabess (Is that the right word?) They think they mate like deer.
                            One interesting thing about this area is that the original pioneer poplulation of America still lives here. These people arrrived in Jamestown in 1612 or thereabouts, moved on, by 1810 they were in Arkansas, and once they arrived in the Pacific Northwest they just stopped expanding, although some must have gone on to Alaska.
                            So you find people here who are the intellectual descendents of Capt. John Smith and his merrie band. You can find people who are independent gold miners. Their attitudes go back to Jamestown.
                            But oysters with raspberries? EW!

          2. Coffee shops......Crossroads, CanCan

            Pizza....that's a way to get a debate started :-) Mary Angela's in Carytown, Azzurro (wood-fired), Mediterraneo

            Fine Dining.....Sensi, Lemaire (not as upscale as it used to be but I'd still qualify it as special night out)

            Brunch......Millie's, Lulu's, The Jefferson (upscale buffet.....a special occasion, once a year place, not "hey we're hungover, brunch would be nice" kind of brunch, CanCan

            Places she needs to know about....Chicken Fiesta (Peruvian roasted quick weeknight take out), Comfort (southern food with a twist), Anoaka (great Indian).

            Once she knows where she is living and working, we can elaborate :-)

            3730 Winterfield Rd, Midlothian, VA 23113

            Azzurro Restaurant
            6221 River Rd, Richmond, VA 23229

            3 Replies
            1. re: Janet from Richmond

              Great tips, especially Chicken Fiesta and LOL on the The Jefferson. If figured I would type the list up , laminate and give her that with a street map. You guys are great. Thanks again.

              1. re: Janet from Richmond

                Don't know anoaka, but malabar is great Indian too

                1. re: BostonCharles

                  and lehja. all three different. and all 3 within a mile of each other in the west end. at least there's some good food out here. :)

                  i'm excited to try ironfish by pescados. i'm hoping. i'm hoping....

              2. Is she moving to the actual city or to the suburbs? I lived in northern Chesterfield County for a while but my address was Richmond, and it's much the same way in a lot of Henrico County as well. Very different dining scenes in each area, but for now let's pretend she'll be in the city.

                Coffee shops--Cafe Gutenburg, Globehopper Cafe, Crossroads

                Pizza--you'll hear a lot of raves about Mary Angela's but for my taste the sauce is too sweet (same problem with Bottoms Up). If you want a little more upscale Stuzzi, Sette and 8 1/2 are all good choices although Stuzzi can be inconsistent.

                Fine dining--the usual suspects have already been named.

                Brunch--Millie's and Lulu's, although I have to put in a vote for my neighborhood haunt the Hill Cafe just because it's a block and a half from my place (but the food is seriously good). One of these days I'll make it to the Jefferson.

                7 N 23rd St, Richmond, VA 23223