… And this is how our 24 hours in Richmond adventure began: My travel buddy Carlis from Spicy Candy DC and I took the 2.5 hour drive (no traffic, lucky us) for an impromptu road trip to Virginia’s state capital. For the past few years, I’ve been hearing/reading about Richmond’s amazing food scene, with restaurants taking advantage of the local bounty of food produced nearby. My sources were not exaggerating. Here are our highlights:
Where to Eat: Given that food was our main motive, we started at Dog & Pig Show for lunch, a quaint café in the Church Hill neighborhood of Richmond (also, I couldn’t resist the name of the restaurant). The late spring weather was perfect to sit outside and take in the neighborhood. We tried one of their beloved dishes, the shrimp and grits, and we quickly discovered why they are a favorite amongst the locals. After lunch we took a walk along 25th St until we reached Sub Rosa Bakery. There, you can find delicious hand crafted pastries that look almost too pretty to eat, but we guarantee they are worth the bite!
For Dinner: We heard great things about Metzger’s Bar & Butchery. Given the nature of our impromptu 24 hours in Richmond adventure, we were barely able to snag an early reservation for a Friday night. We started our meal with meaty oysters from the Rappahannock but the highlight was the decadent, bigger than life schnitzel. As you probably know, I have a weakness for German cuisine and this indulgent piece of meat hit the spot. The scene at Metzger’s has an intimate neighborhood vibe, there were several folks at the bar engaged in casual conversation with the staff, which gave me that cozy communal vibe.
For Brunch: Our stay was Friday to Saturday and we had the opportunity to experience brunch at Maple and Pine Restaurant at Quirk Hotel. If your 24 hour in Richmond adventure is on a weekend, we highly suggest you add this to your itinerary!!! Let’s start with the space. Maple and Pine is located in the airy lobby of the Quirk Hotel, a beautiful boutique hotel located in downtown Richmond. You’re greeted by dapper staff with colorful bowties, spicy bloody Mary’s, and a refined menu of the southern classics such as country fried chicken and biscuits.
What to do: 24 hours in Richmond doesn’t give you enough time to see it all. We decided to skip the museums this time, although I’ve heard from several locals that the Richmond Museum of Fine Art needs to be on my list for the next visit. What we did do was go for a walk around some of the neighborhoods. Some people love visiting monuments and museums (which are great), but I love taking in the neighborhoods of the places I choose the visit. There’s something about walking into an anonymous bar, seeing how locals live, the facades of people’s homes which gives me a great takeaway of the destination I’m visiting.
Richmond is filled with pockets of green space. After lunch on day one we took a walk at Libby Hill Park. We walk around the neighborhood surrounding the park, admiring the colonial architecture. It was a sunny Friday afternoon and the park was peaceful with dots of locals having a picnic and neighbors walking their dogs. In the evening we headed to Hardywood Brewery, a popular beer maker in Richmond. Upon arrival, you see a large crowd congregated at the parking lot sampling from the different food trucks that have set up shop. The vibe inside is just as exciting-live music and friendly crowds enjoying a craft brew on a Friday night. Another thing that caught our eye was the street art across the city. We took a walk along the Fan and Carytown neighborhoods which are lined with lively bars and shops. As we walked along, we encountered plenty of colorful and created murals throughout these neighborhoods. Here’s a great guide to Richmond’s Neighborhoods.
Where to stay: We stayed at Linden Row Inn, a hip urban bed and breakfast in the heart of downtown Richmond. The room was spacious with a classic yet minimal decor which we enjoyed. Given its historical significance, there are many locals who choose to have their wedding at this location. Don’t be surprised if you run into a blushing bride-especially during the summer months! We had a lovely stay during our 24 hours in Richmond escapade. Another option is the Quirk Hotel, a modern new boutique hotel also located in downtown Richmond. With it’s contemporary decor, in-house gallery, and Maple and Pine restaurant, it is also a favorite.
The verdict: As soon as we hopped in the car back to DC, we concluded that 24 hours in Richmond, Virginia is just not enough. So many more places to eat, parks to visit, and beers to drink! We also loved the affordability of Richmond. If you come from a large city such as Washington, DC like us, you will appreciate all the superb food at an affordable price. Have you been to Richmond? What are your recommendations for our next trip?