It might not be the first town you think of when you think of cities with great dining and nightlife scenes, but those living in Richmond, VA, know that the city is really a food-lover’s dream. From area institutions that have been open for decades to newcomers on the block, restaurants in Richmond offer it all, from classic southern cuisine to newer trends. You’ll also find plenty of breweries and even cideries offering locally created drinks.
Tasting Beer and Cider
Admittedly, these days, craft breweries are a dime a dozen. But, cideries, which produce dry hard cider, are much more rare. Blue Bee Cider is the only cidery operating in an urban area in the state of Virignia. Although the cidery is mostly focused on production, it does offer tours and tastings several days a week. After learning a bit about the production of cider, you can sample the company’s offerings, such as their Hopsap Shandy, a cider brewed with hops, or their Rocky Ridge Reserve, which is aged in brandy barrels.
If beer is more your thing, there are several breweries that operate taprooms in the city. Ardent has a beer garden and taproom that’s open five days week, while Hardywood brewery will fill growlers or serve glasses of beer at its taproom Wednesday through Sunday.
Food and Fun
Why just eat your meal when you can have fun doing it? At Baja Bean Co., you can enjoy California-style Mexican dishes such as tacos and burritos, before or after a game of pool. The restaurant also occasionally hosts video game contests or features live music. During the warmer months, you can take your meal outdoors and eat on the largest restaurant patio in the area.
A Taste of History
If you want to experience a bit of history while enjoying a classic cocktail, head to Lemaire. Located in the Jefferson Hotel, a historical hotel in the middle of the city, Lemaire’s decor heralds a time of opulence and extravagance. Bronze statues of alligators located throughout the hotel are a tribute to the real alligators, brought by guests of the hotel, that used to wander its hallways.
Another historic establishment in the city is the Tobacco Company. Housed in a former tobacco warehouse, the restaurant has been serving drinks and food for three decades. The multi-story building features a different experience on each floor. The basement level is home to a nightclub, complete with a dance floor and DJ. The first floor features a bar that opens to an atrium. The dining area of the restaurant is located on the second and third floors, with the second floor area reserved for more formal affairs and the third floor designed for a more casual dining experience.
Richmond often finds itself on lists of the top towns for dining and nightlife, and it’s easy to see why. From classic options or establishments that have been serving food for decades, to newer places that are putting a distinct stamp on Southern cuisine, there is plenty to choose from when living in the city.