Richmond Virginia Restaurant Review Websites (fyi, we don't have printed Zagat or Michelin)

Local Restaurant and Food Blogs

Question of the Week: 
Richmond, VA's Best Take-Out Fried Chicken
New categories will be added regularly
Just because of the nature of the fried chicken category, you have to include some chains in this list (though Lee's and Golden Skillet aren't exactly multi-national behemoths)

Name Address
(1) Lee's Fried Chicken 2200 W. Broad St (804) 355-1059 
Leeeee...., Lee, Lee, Lee, Lee Lee Lee Lee Lee Lee Lee Lee Lee, We're talkin' f'in Lee.  Original recipe.  He cast a spell a spell on me. 
(2) Golden Skillet  6116 Jahnke Rd (804) 233-0388 
These once dominated the Richmond landscape (see history).  Now, most of them are gone (lots of converted Chinese restaurants or car dealerships).  A few survive and keep the legacy alive (I like the Jahnke Road one).  Magical breading-pressure cooker recipe! The Big Skillet chicken sandwich is probably the best fast food chick sandwich in town.
(3) Chicken Box   3000 3rd Ave (804) 228-2442

Special thanks to Jocelyn's Corner and whine me, dine me for reminding us of this Richmond treasure.  Tough neighborhood (bullet-proof glass), but worth getting shot at for their fried chicken and world-famous $2 Big Chick sauce (hot sauce and mayonnaise). "The Second Best Thing You Ever Ate!"  Get the collectors cup! 

(4) Bojangle's Dinwiddie Avenue Hopewell, VA (coming soon)
North Carolina fried chicken love coming soon to the RVA.

Honorable Mention (in order of favorites):
(me likey White House Rolls n Wedges),
(near RIR...getting a box of chicken w fried apple pie and watching Nextel track testing without earplugs <no parking issues...pull right up to the entrance> is one of my great pleasures in life)
a lot of new ones have been popping up

Best Richmond Fried Chicken Buffet: Tanglewood Ordinary (2210 River Road West. 804-556-3284) or more of a hike, Michie Tavern (683 Thomas Jefferson Pkwy Charlottesville, VA 22902 (434) 977-1234) near Monitcello

Favorite fried chicken joints in Virginia-DC: 
Pollard's Chicken (2316 Virginia Beach Blvd, Virginia Beach (757) 463-2530) Deep fried biscuit!  You gotta be kidding me.  AWESOME! | Wayside Takeout (2203 Jefferson Park Ave, Charlottesville, VA 434-977-5000). Right by Scott stadium; old school fried chicken | Georgia Brown's (327 Tennessee Ave NE, Washington, DC). near the White House.  High brow, low country.  Pricey fried chicken but ohhhh so good.  The bread basket with biscuit, corn bread, and Georgia butter is the best in the world.

Question of the Week Archive: 

The Very First Question of the Week:
"If I had an out-of-town guest, where would I take them?" 

Name Address
(1) Sunday Brunch at TJ's at The Jefferson Hotel 101 W Franklin St (804) 788-8000
Show off Richmond's crown jewel by taking your guest to the mother of all Sunday brunches at the Jefferson (reservations really recommended).  A lot of hotels around have tried to copy the concept (the Langham in Boston comes to mind), but nothing beats the Jefferson Sunday in terms of indulgence and visual spectacle.
(2) Mamma Zu 501 S Pine St  (X Spring) (804) 788-4205
Pound for pound, the best dine-in restaurant in Richmond (food quality/freshness, variety, portions, price, and, yes, even the hole in the wall ambiance)...Son of the legendary AV Ristorante in DC, Zu's is every bit as good any of the "red sauce" restaurants in all the 5 boroughs of New York City.   Go to Edo's Squid (Mamma Zu's younger, more handsome brother) if the line is too long or you don't have AMEX, check, or cash...
(3) Comfort 200 W Broad St (804) (804) 780-0004 
A lot of out of town guests will ask "Take me to an authentic Southern place" (whatever that means).  Comfort is invariably where I take them to not only show off good Southern comfort food (at a reasonable price), but to demonstrate, that we're not all backwater here amongst all the great Broad St art galleries.
(4) Millie's 2603 E Main St (804) (804) 643-5512
Millie's is universally regarded by national food critics as a "must-eat" restaurant in Richmond (specifically, their omelets, the infamous Devil's Mess).  What they are able to do with their "kitchen" is mind-blowing.  It is a great starting point brunch spot if you want to show your guest around historic Church Hill (and the James River view where Richmond was named).  Also, unlike in other cities, where you go to a restaurant to gawk at celebrity diners, here the celebrities are actually waiting the tables.  Interestingly, Millie's is not on my top 50 list.  Why?  Yogi Berra once said of a popular restaurant: "Nobody goes there any more, it's too crowded!"   
(5) Half Way House 10301 Jefferson Davis Hwy (804) 275-1760 
Again, not in my Top 50 (just too pricey), but the historical charm of this place is undeniable.  Built in the 1700s, a who's who of dignitaries have dined here (everyone from George Washington to Robert E Lee).  Again, another place to take your annoying guest who is demanding an "authentic" Virginia restaurant (and you don't feel like schleping to Williamsburg).
Other notable mentions: Iron Horse;  Michelle’s at Hanover Tavern; Tanglewood Ordinary

Coupons/Half off Restaurant Promotions

National reviews (some might be outdated)

Richmond Featured on TV

Richmond Food Festivals

Richmond Pre-Made Meal Preparation Kitchens

  • Dream Dinners 11653 W. Broad St (804) 360-0477 | 6808 Woodlake Commons Loop Midlothian, VA 23112 (804) 739-6442
  • Meal Makers Gayton Crossing (804) 741-4111 | 1266 Alverser Plz, Midlothian VA (804) 594-0355
  • My Girlfriend's Kitchen 4025 Lauderdale Drive (804) 740-7448 | 13152 Midlothian Turnpike (804)794-5732
  • Super Suppers 3621 Cox Rd # C The Shoppes at Twin Oaks (804) 747-5555

Richmond Cooking Classes/Schools

Richmond Eating Clubs

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Reputable Best Richmond Restaurant Lists/Surveys

Richmond Good Life's HOT LIST

These restaurants are getting lots of heat and buzz from media and bloggers (100% unscientific method).  Usually, this list consists of new restaurants or restaurants with new chefs or menus. Note: I'm not necessarily endorsing any of these: 

Class of 2012

  1. Peter Chang's 11424 W Broad St Glen Allen, VA 23060 The "Perfect Chef" brings authentic Sichuan flavors right next to Wally World.  
  2. Blow Toad   2907 W Cary St Richmond, VA 23221 (x S Sheppard St) (804) 355-8623 Don't call it a comeback.  Coal pizza. 
  3. Pasture  416 E Grace St Richmond, VA 23219 (804) 780-0416  Jason Alley. Act II (just like Empire or Godfather).
  4. Camden's Dogtown Market 201 W 7th St Richmond, VA 23224 (804) 745-6488 Market-Restaurant hybrid featuring really home-made sandwiches (every component from bread to pickles to cured meat).
  5. Burger Bach 10 S Thompson St Richmond, VA 23221(x Ellwood)  New Zealand hamburgers. Band meeting...
  6. C Street   3325 West Cary St Richmond, VA 23221 (x S Dooley Ave) (804) 355-2200 Stealthy good lunch only place that's starting to get critical notice. 
  7. The Roosevelt 623 N 25th St Richmond, VA 23223 (x M St) (804) 658-1935 Super-teamup of Lee Gregory and Kendra Feather.  New Southern packs em in.
  8. Stella's 1012 Lafayette St Richmond, VA 23221 (x Wythe Ave) (804) 358-2011 Stella's V3.0.  Classic textbook opening. 
  9. Portico 12506 River Rd Henrico, VA 23238 (804) 784-4800 Prettiest restaurant in the metro area.  Future rehearsal dinner spot. 
  10. Sapori Ristorante Italiano 3513 Festival Park Plaza Chester, VA 23831 (x W Hundred Rd) (804) 425-4628 The token Chester pick.  Italian gem got a rave review from RTD and a reliable source on Twitter. 

Editor's Personal Hot List (places that I'm currently digging/catching my fancy)

  1. Jiang's 1213 Carmia Way Richmond, VA 23235 (804) 379-0600 Just that no-frills, old-school Chinese restaurant that seems to be a dying breed.  Props to Yelp/Droid for making me hip to this little gem in the land of big-box Midlo.  What do I order? All the boring standbys! 
  2. Capriccio Pizza 9127 W Broad Street, Suite A  (804) 346-0184 Authentic Brooklyn slices.  What else can you ask for? Finally, getting the media recognition. New renovations in the works...
  3. Bistro 27 27 West Broad St Richmond, VA 23220 (804) 780-0086 There's some serious creativity coming out of that open kitchen.
  4. Andrade's International Restaurant 7 Bollingbrook Street Petersburg, Virginia (804) 733-1515 If Petersburg wasn't such a hike, I'd go here once a week.  Peruvian-influenced Mexican with the freshest ingredients.  Bar-none, best Latin American restaurant in the 804 (and despite the white table cloth, this place is actually very affordable).  
  5. Kabuto  8052 W Broad St, Richmond, VA 23294 (804) 747-9573 Of all the sushi choices out there (and there has been an explosion. Sushi is the new Chinese), I oddly seem to be returning back to this old standby.  The itamae is an old school chef from Osaka.
  6. Chicken Fiesta (coming soon) 7568 W Broad St Merchants Walk Shopping Center (in the old Taqueria del Sol location) Peruvian charcoal goodness has arrived North of the River. Rejoice!!!! 
  7. Bella Italia 6407 Iron Bridge Rd (804) 743-1116 I really think they have the best pizza south of the river.

Last Update: Jun 13, 2010

Richmond Good Life's Top 25 Best Restaurants in Richmond, Virginia 

This is the editor's list for "Best of Richmond" Restaurants.  This list is alphabetized (ie, not rank ordered), and the restaurants range in diversity from very cheap to very expensive.  As the website doesn't accept outside advertising or free meals, this is simply an unbiased look at the personal taste of the author (note: think of this list as a Zagat's based on one survey.  The author will never be mistaken for a vegetarian, restaurant critic, nor even a true foodie; instead, liking really simple, basic dishes <beef, chicken, pork, seafood, pasta, rice, bread, potato> prepared with excellence--rich peasant/prole food).  Some other caveats: couldn't care less about "locavore" unless it makes the dish taste better (which it usually does but not always).  This list is mostly designed for out of towners who don't trust that hotel or airport guide underwritten by advertisers and looking for a decent meal  (the locals already know where the good places be)... 
This list will get updated at the end of the year.

Address (neighborhood)
8 1/2
401 Strawberry Street, Richmond, VA 23220 (x Stuart) (804) 358-8505 (Fan) ITALIAN-COMFORT BARGAIN
Any restaurant named after a Fellini movie is OK by me.  Best subs (fresh Billy bread, top imported meats, & free monster potato wedge; Italian and Roast Beef particularly stand out) and pizza (garlicky w fresh mozzarella) in Richmond by a monumental landslide.  Also, when on the menu (rare), best chicken noodle soup (cures colds), beef stew, ricotta cake, and cannoli in town. The food is so good there, it makes me cry. Take-Out only w authentic Italian groceries.  Probably, my favorite Richmond restaurant.
88 Garden
6135 Midlothian Turnpike, Richmond, VA 23225 (X Labrook) (804) 231-5388 (Southside) KOREAN
Local Korean food goodness.  There's actually a garden in the back where they grow fresh vegetables and spices.  Like Mama Zu's, they've been doing it before it was "cool."  Try the lunch sampler platter to get a lay of the land.  Interestingly, the best wings in town (KFC...Korean Fried Chicken).  I don't get when I hear there's no decent Korean in Richmond.  It's right there hidden amongst the strip clubs and bodegas.
Andrade's International Restaurant  
7 Bollingbrook Street, Petersburg, VA 23803 (804) 733-1515 MEXICAN-PERUVIAN
It starts with (free) really fresh chips and the most original and tasty salsa in town.  And from there, it goes uphill!  God Bless the Mexico's of the world for bringing us super fast/value-priced Mexican, but the downside is that everyone seems to copy their model leaving the Mexican scene in Richmond kind of homogeneous. Andrade's is a Godsend for their original take on Mexican as well as their core Peruvian saltado dishes. Worth the drive, no doubt.
4015 Lauderdale Dr Richmond, VA 23233 (x W Broad) (804) 360-8686 (Short Pump)
For the amount of restaurants per square mile (mostly chains), Short Pump is surprisingly barren of decent fare.  The two Indian restaurants (Anokh and Leija) save this sprawling sector big time.   By giving you soup or salad, extra sides, and dessert, Anokh edges Lehja in regards to bang for your rupee.
Anthony and George’s
7505 Staples Mill Rd Richmond, VA 23228 (804) 266-4182 (Dumbarton) STEAK BARGAIN
Time warp, man.  The lovable Greek steakhouse diner by the Amtrak station.  You're getting a lot of value for the money.  Ten dollar Delmonico lunch special is a steal.  They have some of the finest fresh cut french fries and, possibly, the best Philly cheese steak.  Also, underrated for breakfast on the weekends.  
Café Rustica
414 East Main Street, Richmond, VA 23219 (x 4th St) (804) 225-8811 EUROPEAN-COMFORT
This is what you call a savvy local's local restaurant.   The value to quality-creativity-deliciousness ratio may easily be the highest in Richmond.  Chef Andy Howell seems to always be ahead of the trend curve having literally invented what's now called the "fan restaurant" back in the 90s.  With Rustica, he again cleverly anticipates what we didn't know what we really wanted by bringing Richmonders hearty-portioned European comfort food (familiar and unfamiliar) at super fair menu prices. 
Capriccio Pizza
Suite A, 9127 W Broad St, Richmond, VA 23294 (Tuckernuck) (804) 346-0184 PIZZA
Quickly established themselves as the best NY slice restaurant in all the five boroughs counties.  Bensonhurst trained owner knows how to make pizza the right way.  Stick with the plain cheese and tomato sauce and be happy. 
Chicken Fiesta 
7748 Midlothian Turnpike, Richmond, VA 23235 (804) 320-1112 (Southside Midlothian)
7568 W Broad St Richmond, VA 23294 (804) 755-1112 (Near West End)
Peruvian-style rotisserie chicken (con arroz) at an unbelievable price.  Taco salad with shredded chicken is the best in this genre (you can never go wrong with coal-fired chicken).  A popular spot for both foodies and undocumented homies. Now NOTR!
200 West Broad St Richmond, VA 23220 (x Jefferson) (804) 780-0004  (Downtown) AMERICAN-SOUTHERN COMFORT
Name really says it all.  Homemade, fresh, and good portions.  See left side bar.
22900 West Cary St Richmond, VA 2322
(x North Colonial) (804) 359-6969 (Carytown) DELI
Probably, Richmond's best traditional full-service deli (more Italian than Jewish) featuring Thumann's meats and cheeses.
Croakers Spot Restaurant 
1020 Hull St Richmond, VA 23224 (x 11th St) (804) 269-0464 (Southside-Manchester) AMERICAN-SOUL FOOD-SEAFOOD
The Buppie Comfort.  Fried lake trout is the city's best. New location in the South Sayiid! 
Edo’s Squid
411 North Harrison St Richmond, VA 23220
(x Grace) (804) 864-5488 (VCU Downtown) ITALIAN-COMFORT-SEAFOOD-STEAK BARGAIN (if you stick with pasta/wine)
This Italian seafood joint has the best mussels in town (try Thursdays)....Actually, the best seafood restaurant in town in general. It's not fair as they also have the best steak in Richmond (seriously). The Karl can kill vampires better than Buffy.   Finally, they don't gouge you on the wine.  Great food, great people.
Hibachi Ichiban 
12617 Jefferson Davis Hwy
, Chester (804) 768-6382 (Southside-Chester)
I have always been a huge fan of hibachi places (Kabuto, Osaka, Sakura, etc).  This restaurant has taken all the grilled dishes of these pricey joints and stripped out the theatrics (flying knives and volcano onions).  Same kinds of dishes at half the price!!  Truly, my dream restaurant realized.
Lehja Restaurant
11800 West Broad Street Richmond, VA 23233 (Short Pump Town Center) (804) 364-1111 (Short Pump) INDIAN
Quickly has emerged as the best Indian restaurant in Richmond (ingredients, taste, presentation, ambiance).  Always a good sign when you your fellow diners include H1B workers enjoying themselves.
21 N 17th St Richmond, VA 23219 (x E Franklin) (804) 343-9771 
(Shockoe Bottom) AMERICAN
Millie's Redux.  One of the better overall restaurants in Richmond.  Desserts are the best in Richmond (I'm a fanboy of their Strawberry Shortcake).
Mama Cucina
4028 Cox Rd Glen Allen, VA 23060 (x W Broad) (804) 346-3350 (Innsbrook) ITALIAN
Cucina is not quite Zu but if you're in the West-End, skip the Olivigiannotucci Gardens and head here instead.  Fantastic red sauce restaurant.  One notch belt buckle portions and homemade taste like a Mama.
Mamma Zu
501 South Pine St Richmond, VA 23220
(x Spring) (804) 788-4205 (Oregon Hill) ITALIAN-COMFORT
The owner is a food genius.  Two of his other restaurants are on this list.  Legendary Italian "hole in the wall" restaurant is as good as it gets. See left side bar.
8815 Three Chopt Rd Richmond, VA 23229 (x Ridge) (804) 285-1899 (West End) AMERICAN-COMFORT
Can a chili and onions hot dog be gourmet?  Yep.  All around solid menu.  Thalheimer cake for dessert.
Pescados  | Pescados China Street
13126 Midlothian Turnpike Midlothian, VA 23113
(804) 379-7121 (Southside)
626 China St Richmond, VA 23220 (804) 644-3474 (Oregon Hill)
I like Pescados.  Never in a million years would you think that one of Richmond's best seafood restaurants is located in a non-descript strip mall in the Midlothian suburbs.  Their new Oregon Hill location has literally made Spring Street the best restaurant road in Virginia (no kidding).  I'll give Midlothian the edge since they're OG and still the only location serving the shrimp blue chip app.  The banana cheesecake in kiwi is angelic. 
2222 E Cary St 101 Richmond, VA 23223 (804) 648-3463 (Shockoe Bottom) STEAK-ITALIAN
Sensi is the best steakhouse (locally owned or mega chophouse chain) in Richmond. Period. Standout pasta, too.  
Shanghai Restaurant
6701 Lake Harbour Dr Midlothian, VA 23112 (x Hull) (804) 639-9089
Nothing, too authentic/exotic here, but really solid, old school 50s style American-Chinese.  Best Chinese Sunday buffet in town. 
Sidewalk Café 
2101 W. Main St
Ridiculous portions and friendliest of staffs.  Some swear by the hummus plate. 
Tarrant’s Café   
1 W. Broad St
(804) 225-0035 (Downtown) AMERICAN-COMFORT
This is the neighborhood bar and grill for downtowners.  Nice takeout pizza parlor ("Tarrantino's") in the back is an extra bonus.
Wise Choice Citgo
1751 Ashland Rd Rockville, VA 23146 (804) 749-3335 (Goochland ) AMERICAN-GAS STATION
Look at the parking lot.  All pickup trucks and 18-wheelers.  Salt of the Earth take-out gas station with fried chicken, yeast rolls, potato wedges, and breakfast sandwiches as the blue-collar standards. I probably eat here more than any other place in the Richmond Metropolitan area.

The Next 25...

An astute person might say "how in the heck does Roy's Big Burger rate the same as La Grotta?" For my internal calculations, I use the value formula of quality/satisfaction AND cost.  There is a time and place for expense accounts and Mondavi-Rothschild, Opus One Meritage; and there is a time and place for the change in your car ashtray and Snow Creek Berry Boone's Farm. Again, I love every one of these "second 25" establishments (in alphabetic order)... 

Address (neighborhood)
2601 West Cary St (804) 354-6060 (Fan)
The closest thing we have to a "celebrity chef" in town.  A few years back, Chef Reitzer was voted by Food & Wine as one of the "Best New Chefs of America."
Acacia recently closed its doors in Carytown.  They will re-open soon at 2601 W Cary (See Website for details)
Amici Ristorante
3343 W. Cary St. (804) 353-4700 (Carytown)
Best bet if you're looking for upscale Italian in Carytown.  Nice patio.
2 N Meadow St
(X Main). (804) 355-9919 (Fan) AMERICAN-NEW
A little pricey, but this Fan joint serves up great dishes and desserts.  Starts you off with these amazing yeast rolls that'll remind you of Henrico County elementary school cafeteria (that's actually a good thing). Also, try their chocolate chip cookie/ice cream dessert if available.
Bandito’s Burrito Lounge 
2905 Patterson Ave (804) 354-9999 (Museum) MEXICAN BARGAIN
Hot tattooed biker chick waitresses and cheap Tex-Mexican food is a deadly combination.
Can Can 
3120 W. Cary St (804) 358-7274 (Carytown) FRENCH BISTRO
Close your eyes and you'll swear you're in Paris.  The interior designer got every last detail correct.  Francophile paradise.
Carini Restaurant
3718 Williamsburg Rd
(804) 222-0715 (East End) ITALIAN BARGAIN
One of Richmond's oldest family Italian restaurants (along with Rosa's and L'italia).  One of your best bets around the airport.  Stick to pizza.
Davis and Main
2501 W. Main St
(804) 353-6641 ( Fan) AMERICAN-NEW
Try the carolina wings as an appetizer.  Killer burger and cole slaw.  Everything here is good. Classy atmosphere. Popular with the creative performance crowd.
Family Secrets
5310 Chamberlayne Ave
(804) 515-8890 (Northside) AMERICAN-SOUL FOOD/BBQ
A hidden gem.  Serves an awesome NC style BBQ sandwich (sweet, spicy, vinegary) patterned after Ralph's in NC.   Could be Richmond's answer to Sylvia's, Roscoe's or Harold's (if more people find out).
Hard Shell 
1411 E Cary St
(804) 643-2333 (Downtown-Shockoe Slip) SEAFOOD
2nd Best seafood restaurant in Richmond.  Sophisticated interior. 
Grandpa Eddie's Alabama Ribs and BBQ 
11129 Three Chopt Rd
(804) 270-RIBS (West End) AMERICAN-BBQ
Richmond's finest BBQ. Buttered buns and bbq-sauce cole slaw give the sammiches the final touch!  Also, their IBCA Championship Chicken is as good as a chicken dish gets (very unique cooking process).
The Hill Cafe
2800 E. Broad St
(804) 648-0360 (Church Hill) AMERICAN-COMFORT
This restaurant symbolizes Church Hill.  Very comfortable, good neighborhood vibe.  
Kabab Grille
1580-B W. Koger Center Blvd (804) 378-3394 (Southside) PAKISTANI BARGAIN
Lunch buffet is awesomely good and affordable.  Their flat bread is soo tasty.
La Grotta 
1218 E. Cary St
(804) 644-2466  (Downtown-Shockoe Slip) ITALIAN
The town's premiere high-end Italian restaurant.
Mai Sushi (aka Haru) 
7019-G Three Chopt Rd
(804) 288-5030 (West End/UR) JAPANESE-SUSHI
Located in the Village Shopping Center "cave."  Dark sushi place tries harder. White rabbit candy at the end of the meal.
Melting Pot  
9704 Gayton Rd
(Gayton Crossing Shopping Center) (804) 741-3120 (West End) FONDUE
Fondue is crack cocaine, and I'm a clucker.
Michelle’s at Hanover Tavern 
13181 Hanover Courthouse Rd
(804) 537-5250 (Hanover Courthouse)
Great historical location.  Kitchen is captained by one of Richmond's "Mount Rushmore" chefs, Michelle Williams.
The Old Original Bookbinder’s 
2306 E. Cary St
(804) 643-6900 (Downtown-Tobacco Row) AMERICAN-SEAFOOD
This "chain" from Philly is a great steak/seafood establishment.  Area's best clam chowder.
Osaka Sushi & Steak 
5023 Huguenot Rd
(River Road II Shopping Center) (804) 288-8801 (Near West End- River Rd)  JAPANESE-SUSHI
For whatever reason, the sushi is better at the River Rd location.  Eat raw fish and rice amongst the yuppies. 
Perly’s Delicatessen  
111 E. Grace St
(804) 649-2779 (Downtown) AMERICAN-COMFORT
This place is old school.  Where grizzled reporters from the Times Dispatch gather for familiar diner food.
Philip’s Continental Lounge 
5704 Grove Ave
(804) 288-8687 (Libbie-Grove)  AMERICAN-COMFORT
The same menu has been around since the 50s (probably, the same grease, too).  Fried chicken is what I order. 
PF Chang’s 
9212 Stony Point Pkwy
Stony Point Fashion Park. (804) 253-0492 (Southside) AMERICAN-CHINESE
The only national chain on the list. Two reasons (1) The Chinese restaurant scene in the 804 is lacking (2) Wonton soup and Great Wall of Chocolate!   
Roy’s Big Burger 
5200 Lakeside Ave
(804) 262-8775 (Northside-Lakeside) HAMBURGERS BARGAIN
A hamburger institution in Lakeside. 
Strawberry St Cafe 
421 N. Strawberry St
(804) 353-6860 (Fan) AMERICAN-COMFORT
Legendary bath tub salad bar featuring their famous curry chicken salad.  If a good soup is in the kettle, then you're really in business.
Sumo San 
1725 E. Main St
(804) 643-6500 (Downtown-Shockoe Bottom) JAPANESE-SUSHI
Hippest sushi joint in town (ie. Clever dish names and Caucasian waitresses).
Yen Ching 
9033 W Broad St
(X Tuckernuck) (804) 747-7422 (West End) CHINESE
This is the best, traditional "mom n pop/Christmas Story" Chinese restaurant in town...Stick with their Broad St location.
Young Bin Kwan 
7437-B Midlothian Turnpike
(804) 675-0511 (Southside) KOREAN
Best kept secret in Richmond.  If you are a carnivore, you will love flame cooked Korean kalbi prepared on your table. 

If a particular restaurant is not on the Top 50, it does not, by any means, reflect that I dislike it.  Just not in my personal top 50.

Readers "Veto Override" the Good Life's Top 50

Of course, the RGL list is not the end all, be all; it's just the opinion of one (flawed) person with a very specific, idiosyncratic set of tastes.
To accommodate opinion diversity, readers can recommend their favorite restaurants (ie, the most glaring omissions) to  (must be sent with a unique email, I can sniff out the SPAM & BS)....

Address (neighborhood)
Number of Votes Received/Commentary
sorted by number of votes then alphabetical
Carena's Jamaican Grille
7102 Midlothian Tnpk
(804) 422-5375
When  two of Richmond's most prominent chefs combine forces, you get some serious kitchen magic.  This is what "dreadneck" fusion dining should be all about.  One reader notes that they literally have dem "best conch fritters" in the United States (outside Jamaica)
Joey's Hotdogs
10400 Ridgefield Pkwy (804) 651-4108 (inside the Exxon) (West End) HOT DOGS 
I love this place, myself.  Reader notes: "Joey’s has natural casing snappy reds that are right on target for the perfect dog. His Chili is also a Greek sauce which is also authentic to what I find in Upstate NY. Anyways food for thought - right? To me - there’s nothing better than to get 3 “All the way” at Joey’s" Another reader notes "The dogs at Joey’s are true dogs with a proper natural casing(I believe they are specially made from Hormel), the chili is far superior (and quite different) from that of Melito’s. Further, it is the water steaming that gives the simple bun that “squishiness”"  And another reader notes: "I travel a great deal with my job, and no matter where I go, I search to find the local dog, always in search of a great dog. My travels, both work and pleasure, have also included many places around the world, and so far Joeys slogan, “Best dog on the planet” holds up in my book."
814 N Robinson St (off Broad) (804) 359-8036 (Museum)  JAPANESE-SUSHI
Sushi O.G.: One of the most beloved Sushi places in our town (the one by the Science Museum) that really started the whole Richmond sushi craze.  Limited seating. 
Full Kee (menu)
6400 Horsepen Rd (off Broad) (804) 673-2233 (Near West End) CHINESE
The most authentic Chinese restaurant in town specializes in Dim Sum.  Sister restaurant sits right in the heart of DC's Chinatown.  This is a "chefs go there" restaurant as they have some pretty exotic stuff (off the non-English menu). All they need now are dead chickens in the window, and they're complete.
Kuba Kuba
1601 Park Ave (X N Lombardy) (804) 355-8817(Fan) CUBAN
Richmond's lucky to have two really good Cuban places (one neighborhoody and one upscale) in Kuba and Havana 59 
10392 Leadbetter Rd, Ashland, VA (804) 550-3888 AMERICAN BAR/GRILL
"Fan bar" in the Hanover Air Park. "Best meatloaf in town (Mondays)."...Another reader raves about the porkchop,/sweet potato/apple sauce dish.: "Caramelized yumminess" 
Rowland Fine Dining
2132 W. Main St  (X Shields) (804) 257-9885 AMERICAN -FUSION
"Any list of the top restaurant in Richmond ought to include this one. We're addicted to Virginia's paella and the lamb shank. Not to mention the scallop appetizer and the calamari and arugula salad. Check it out: it may make you rearrange your list!"..."I have to agree That Rowland Fine Dining is one of the best restaurants in Richmond."
Benny's BBQ
2919 Hathaway Rd Richmond, VA 23225 (804) 320-7447 BBQ
"Another small, neighborhood joint on Hathaway Rd at the intersection of Forest Hill Ave. They have great bbq, but they are known for their sides (black eyed peas, stewed tomatoes, sweet potato casserole [best I have ever put in my mouth- don't tell my grandmother], and other southern treats). They rotate their sides, so they have different ones on different days. Also, they have a peanut butter bbq sauce that you can only get upon request! It may sound a little funky, but trust me, it is good. Finally, they have Legend's on draft- a must for any good Richmond restaurant."
Bernie's Sub and Pizza Shop
415 North Ridge Rd Richmond, VA 23229 (804) 285-2777 AMERICAN/SUBS
"A great sub and pizza joint in the Ridge Shopping Center on Ridge Rd in between River and Patterson. Another place where the decor has really old dust caked all over. Don't let that fool you. This place might actually be hit or miss. I say that because you can't get your sandwich the way you want it (with minor exceptions). They make their stuff the way they want to, and if you don't like it, don't come back. Thats what I love about the place. I suggest the Italian with all the hot and sweet peppers."
Café Rustica 
414 E. Main St (x 4th St) (804) 225-8811
(Downtown) AMERICAN 
"Could use another person busing tables and seating people...The food was great though...seafood/pasta dishes were yummy!" 
425 North Belmont Ave Richmond, VA 23221 (804) 355-3228 AMERICAN/SUBS
"A Richmond institution. My grandfather used to go sneak beers here when he was in high school. They have awesome sandwiches (I suggest anything with pastrami), a good beer selection (at a great price) and if you are lucky, you might even get to see a neighborhood drunk get kicked out. Decor has not changed since the restaurant's inception."
Cielito Lindo
4702 Forest Hill Ave Richmond, VA 23225 (804) 233-3022 MEXICAN 
"A mexican restaurant on Forest Hill Ave near Forest Hill Park and Westover Hills Blvd. It is in a little building with an awesome deck that used to be a cheap Asian takeout. They probably can seat more on the deck than they can inside. It is the perfect definition of a neighborhood joint, and it is one of very few restaurants that does not show up on google maps when you do mexican restaurant searches (a very good sign). They have some standard Tex-Mex fare, but they also have a number of items that you can't get at every other mexican restaurant in America."
El Paisano 2601 Turner Rd (804) 276-8103 (Southside) GUATEMALAN/ MEXICAN 1 VOTE 
To be researched.   
Havana 59 16 N 17th St  (804) 780-2822 (Shockoe Bottom) CUBAN 1 VOTE 
Mojitos are great and the Paella is delicious and a plentiful portion!!
House of Vietnam
3402 Pump Rd (off Broad) (804) 364-1888 (Short Pump) VIETNAMESE
Isn't it weird that Short Pump has the densest number of restaurants in the region, yet there's nothing really good.  House of V is an oasis in this desert of chains.
Jerusalem Market & Deli
7226 Hull St. Rd. Richmond, VA 23235 (Southside) MIDDLE EASTERN
To be researched.  Reader notes that they have "great falafel & shawarma" 

Joe's Inn
205 North Shields Ave Richmond, VA 23220 (804) 355-2282
"Another Richmond institution on Shields Ave in the fan. The food is awesome, the location is great, and the atmosphere is cool. The baked spaghetti is probably their specialty, and it is my favorite item on the menu." 
Short Term Town Center, Suite 910
11800 West Broad St Richmond, VA 23233 (804) 364-1111 (Short Pump) INDIAN


Gorgeous temple of Indian food. A rare gem not normally seen in big shopping malls.
Kitchen 64 
3336 N Boulevard Rd (804) 358-0064 (Northside) AMERICAN


"I have to vote for Kitchen 64...great atmosphere, great patio, yummy sweet potato fries."
3456 Lauderdale Dr (804) 364-7077 (West End) INDIAN
Southern food. Southern India, that is...Literally, the spiciest restaurant in Richmond...whatever, you do, keep water near.
Mary Angela’s
3345 W Cary St (804) 3345 W Cary St  (804) 353-2333 (Carytown) PIZZA
"Best pizza in Carytown" has a lot of fans out there!  One reader notes, "Mary A's brings the finest ingredients and the best pizza tossers, which really makes a huge difference in the overall taste of the pie."
6004 W Broad St (804) 288-8929 (Near West End) VIETNAMESE
Darling of the restaurant critics. Another one of those "chefs go there" establishments.  I personally am a big fan of their clay pots and rocket shrimp.  They have a great beer selection.
Mom's Siam
2811 W. Cary St (X Colonial) (804) 359-7606 THAI
There's just not enough Thai restaurants in Carytown. 
Northside Grille 
1217 Bellevue Ave (804) 266-0043
That has also become one of my favorite restaurants in the area. Good atmosphere and great food."
Restaurante Amigos
6835 Midlothian Tpke Richmond, VA 23225 (804) 674-4237 MEXICAN 
To be researched.  






















































































































































































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