Trendy Neighborhood Guide- Richmond, Virginia


You might have heard a thing or two about Richmond, Virginia. Richmond is more than just the state capital and a hub for history, the city is also well-known for its long standing art culture, up and coming food scene, and breweries that top national lists. The creative culture is palpable here in Richmond and it extends throughout the many different and diverse neighborhoods.

Over the past decade, that love for creativity, food, beer, art, and culture has taken off and certain neighborhoods have run with it- expanding their focus on cool spots to eat and drink, creative spaces for art, and even new ways to play games and hang out with friends. We have listed the best neighborhoods in Richmond for anyone seeking some of that cool Richmond grit, stylish spaces, amazing food, and an all around local and inviting experience.

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Photo credit: Hannah Armstrong IG: @hannahelizarmstrong

What was once a thriving industrial area has now turned into one of Richmond’s fastest growing neighborhoods. Home to a majority of the city’s breweries, Scott’s Addition has been drawing beer lovers from near and far since the first brewery opened in 2013. The area now features over 15 breweries, cideries, and distilleries as well as some of the city’s coolest dining options and more.

What to do in Scott’s Addition

Scott’s Addition is a place to go for FUN. Within a relatively small, walkable radius you have lots of options for beer tasting, game playing, and and all around fun having. The possibilities are endless here so check out the list below for what to do in Scott’s Addition. 

Go Brewery Hopping

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The Veil Brewing Co.– Creativity is king over at the Veil Brewing Co. They focus on spontaneous fermentation, high gravity and barrel aging, hop forward beers, and wild/sour ales. With frequent new releases, you are always in for a pleasant new surprise at the Veil, like fruit forward tropical beers served frozen.

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Vasen Brewing– Celebrating the art of beer making and their love for the environment, Vasen mixes the experimental nature of American beer making with the funkiness of Belgian farmhouse and sour ales for a vibe all their own. The tasting room brings the essence of the outdoors in, with natural elements throughout the space.

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Ardent Craft Ales– Centrally located, Ardent offers a beautiful beer garden, in house food as well as wine options for anyone who might want to switch it up while hopping from brewery to brewery. The beers here are heavily IPA focused with a few other options as well.

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Starr Hill– The brewery with the best view, hands down. Hang in the Beer Hall or head up to the rooftop for an awesome, birds eye view of one of the best neighborhoods in Richmond. Starr Hill always features an extensive draft list with lots of options and somehow all of them remain on point. If you love sours or stouts- this is your spot as they always have lots of great options.

Isley– The OG brewery of Scott’s Addition, Isley has all the cozy, local vibes and is always a fun stop for playing games or listening to live music at open mic night. They get wild with the beers over here, focusing on flavorful stouts and juicy wheat beers. Try mixing their flagship peanut butter stout, Choosy Mother, with Plain Jane, a fruit-forward Belgian Wit, and you have the famous PBJ- it’s just delightful.

Three Notch’d RVA Collab House– A branch of Charlottesville’s Three Notch’d brewery, the collab house is a cool spot featuring beers made in collaboration with local Richmond restaurants, home brewers, artists, non profits, you name it. Plus the delicious Three Notch’d flagships as well.

Strangeways RVA Scott’s Addition– One of the local breweries tasting rooms, Strangeways in Scott’s Addition offers 36 beers on draft at any given time in a laid back space with a patio to boot.

Try some cider

Whether you need a break from beer tasting or are more of a cider-drinker, be sure to check out Scott’s Addition’s three awesome local cideries.

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Blue Bee Cider– With apples from local Virginia farms, Blue Bee creates delightful ciders ranging from semi-sweet to bone dry. Grab a tasting flight and hang on the spacious patio.

Buskey– The tasting room at Buskey shares space with the production room making for a very cool, industrial vibe. These guys have all the funky cider flavors you can dream of- think peach tea, watermelon rosemary, cucumber mint- even a cider inspired by Thailand featuring Thai spices, lemongrass, makrut lime leaves, limes, and ginger.  

Courthouse Creek– With their own orchard nearby in Goochland county, Courthouse Creek recently opened a small tasting room in the popular Scott’s Addition. Stop into this small, farmhouse-inspired tasting room, charming patio or upstairs cider garden for a very locally-grown, locally-produced dry to semi-sweet cider or two.

Check out Other Notable Watering Holes

Brambly Park Winery

Urban Winery + event space + outdoor “park”, Brambly Park has it all. With delicious wines produced on-site, awesome food, and live music throughout the week, Brambly is a Scott’s Addition must.

The Hof Garden

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One of Richmond’s original rooftops, the Hof Garden offers a cool ambiance and 360 degree views of the surrounding Richmond area as well as live music, a small German-inspired food menu, and a full drink menu- including frose.

Reservoir Distillery

Opened in 2008, Reservoir Distillery was the 3rd bourbon/whiskey distillery to open outside of Kentucky. Stop in to try some of their award winning whiskeys.

Grab a Bite

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Tazza Kitchen– Open kitchen, beautiful interior design, wood fired pizza and local ingredients make for a unique experience at Tazza.

Pinky’s– The newest player in the Scott’s Addition restaurant game, Pinky’s brings coastal mediteranean dining to the area in a bright, modern setting with industrial high ceilings. 

Stella’s Grocery– A very cool idea from the geniuses behind Stella’s restaurant on Lafayette Street, Stella’s Grocery is a small grocery-style market with premade items straight from the restaurants menu as well as counter serve hot food, beer, and wine- all with a patio to enjoy your food on the spot or take it home.

Wood & Iron– Lively sports bar with upscale bar food and awesome food and drink specials. The smoked and grilled wings are the best in town.

ZZQ– Most popular BBQ joint in the city housed in a cool, industrial setting directly behind Ardent Brewery.

Perch– Super bright and stylish, Perch combines Pacific-inspired flavors with the Virginia Spirit- think grilled octopus, chilled lobster soup and other creative, upscale fare.

Lunch & Supper– Cozy restaurant with unique outdoor space serving up creative Southern cuisine- awesome brunch spot.

Longoven– Scott’s Addition’s most high-end dining option, Longoven offers a seasonal pre fixe tasting menu in a stunning setting- reservations required.

Lucky AF– Asian fusion and upscale sushi at its finest in a cheeky stylish setting.

Boulevard Burger and Brew– Retro diner-inspired digs serving top of the line burgers and local beers on draft.

Play Games

Tang & Biscuit– Richmond’s only shuffleboard social club, Tang & Biscuit is a full-service bar and restaurant with floor shuffleboard lanes. 

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photo credit: Sarah Hauser, IG account: @virginiaflair

The Circuit– The Circuit is the first arcade bar in Richmond featuring a self-pour beer and wine service, a full arcade including games like skee ball, DDR, and pinball as well as vintage games. 

Slingshot Social Game Club– Head to Slingshot for some duckpin bowling, bocce ball, and super skee ball.

Bingo– A brewery and game room converge at Bingo, stop by for a Bingo beer, cocktail, or some arcade fun.

Do Some Hyper-local Shopping

Go thrifting at Class and Trash– The ultimate in preloved and vintage housewares, Class and Trash has everything from small tables and accessories to leather couches and full dining sets- everything with its own personality.

Stop by Sun & Selene jewelry studio- A black, female-owned small jewelry business with style, every piece at Sun & Selene is handcrafted by Brittanny herself. Her new studio in Scott’s Addition is gorgeous, bright, and clean just like her pieces. 

Studio Two Three– Stop into this art studio for some locally made Richmond gear or try a screen printing class!

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Jackson Ward is a historic neighborhood known for its rich African American heritage. Throughout the years, the buzzy neighborhood has drawn famous musicians like Ella Fitzgerald, Duke Ellington, and Louis Armstrong and was home to the famous dancing legend Bill “Bojangales” Robinson. The neighborhood continues to be a hub for Black history and culture as well as the center of Richmond’s art scene.

What to do in Jackson Ward

If you are looking for art, culture or a delicious meal, Jackson Ward has you covered. Check out the list below for some of the awesome things to do in Jackson Ward.

Peruse some Art Galleries

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Gallery 5– Gallery 5 is many things- a community space, arts center, and music venue sharing and selling local art with live music on the weekends.

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Art 180– Art 180 is a non-profit on a mission to create change through art and allowing space for the city’s youth to express themselves through creativity, art, and music. 

Candela– A photography focused art gallery, Candela creates a beautiful space with photographic exhibits designed to support artists and stimulate curiosity and conversation.

Across the street

1708– A non-profit space for new art, 1708 features ever changing exhibitions, auctions, and events.

Black Iris– Black Iris is an artist-run laboratory focused on inclusion of all artists and mediums with its own sneaky social club and music venue. Look out for events, lectures, screenings, and more.

Quirk Gallery– Bright and colorful sister to the art-focused Quirk Hotel, The Quirk Gallery has changing exhibitions featuring local and regional artists as well as a small shop to purchase home decor, jewelry, and accessories from unique makers.

Visit the Black History Museum & Cultural Center

The Black History Museum and Cultural Center– Founded in 1981- a snug museum home to art, artifacts and stories that share the deep history of Black people in America. The inspirational  museum is proudly set out to share the complete and inclusive story of this country.

Check out some Local Shops

Little Nomad– A stylish and trendy shop for your little ones.

The Someday Shop– A charming shop for vintage, housewares and plants.

Serendipity RVA– Women’s clothing and accessories shop.

Circle Thrift & Art Space– An eclectic shop for second hand items and housewares as well as local art.

It’s a Man’s World – Consignment store selling vintage and second hand menswear.

Eat & Drink

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Saison– A stunning small space with seasonally inspired upscale fare, Saison is open for dinner and a PERFECT date night spot. The cocktail menu is also inspired by the changing seasons and doesn’t miss a beat.

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Mama J’s– A family-run business opened in 2009, Mama J’s is the ultimate spot for soul food in a casual atmosphere with great service.

Restaurant Adarra– Dim-lit and rustic chic, Adarra offers a cozy space- not to mention a stunning patio and an exceptional menu unlike anywhere else in town. Inspired by the Basque region of northern Spain, the menu features pintxos and other traditional Spanish dishes intermingled with local ingredients.

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Max’s on Broad– Max’s is a modern, French restaurant with gorgeous interior serving their own take on classic French dishes as well as an awesome happy hour.

Saadia’s Juicebox & Yoga Bar– Saadia’s is a unique stop for all things healthy. The front of the shop is a charming walk up counter for juices, smoothies, acai bowls, and more- plus a skylight-lit yoga studio in the back.

Lift Coffee– Casual coffee shop with unique coffee and tea offerings, light bites, and a back patio.

Salt & Forge– Handmade, gourmet sandwiches, and salads in a casual setting, open for breakfast and lunch.

The Speakeasy Grill– Stop in for southern brunch on Saturdays and Sundays at this speakeasy style restaurant housed in a restored 1907 home featuring fried chicken dishes and creative cocktails.

See a Show

Virginia Repertory Theater

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Virginia Rep is a historic performing arts theatre where you can catch all kinds of musical performances and live music.

Hippodrome

Built in 1914, The Hippodrome historic venue has seen legendary greats such as Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong. Today the venue continues to put on concerts and a variety of events.

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Quirky and colorful, Carytown is the original destination shopping district in Richmond with plenty of bars and restaurants to boot. For years, Carytown has been an iconic spot to go to experience and support small, local businesses and has always been known as one of the best neighborhoods in Richmond with a variety of things keep you entertained all day.

What to do in Carytown

You can easily spend a whole day perusing Carytown and its abundant shops and restaurants. We have put together a list of some highlights below for what to do in Carytown but we also recommend a leisurely stroll and popping in anywhere that strikes your fancy.

Shop

Carytown was made for shopping, be sure to head here for the best local shopping in one place.

Mongrel– Kitschy and smart, Mongrel is way more than your average gift shop. Split up into genres, it is easy to find awesome gifts as well as a thing or two for yourself.

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Clementine– Another long standing Carytown staple, Clementine is an upscale consignment boutique selling brands from Free People to Theory.

Other consignment shops include Ashby, Buffalo Exchange, and Second Debut by Goodwill.

World of Mirth– World of Mirth is a one-of-a-kind toy store selling kids books, toys, and unique things you’re unlikely to find anywhere else.

Plan 9– Plan 9 has been selling music in Carytown for over 39 years. This expansive record shop sells vinyl, CD’s, movies, turntables, and other awesome music merch.

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Bygones Vintage– Take a step back in time at Bygones Vintage where you will find clothes that date back to the early 1900s through the 70’s. Truly unique finds here.

If you love vintage, head down the road to Luxor Vintage Shop for some more vintage clothing as well as housewares.

Ladles & Linens– Modern kitchen shop with anything you might need to 

Walkabout Outfitters– Family-run outdoor shop selling staple brands like Patagonia and CamelBak for all your outdoor adventure needs.

Bittersweet– Modern women’s clothing shop.

Eat & Drink

The options for food and drinks are endless here but here are some of our favorite spots to eat and drink in Carytown.

Sugar & Twine– Start the day with Carytown’s iconic coffee and pastry shop Sugar & Twine. Famous for their awesome array of pastries and delicious local coffee.

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Can Can Brasserie– A Carytown staple, Can Can has been around since 2005 serving up inspired french cuisine and an extensive wine menu in a truly transcendent atmosphere.

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Sen Organic Small Plate– A small, Vietnamese restaurant featuring an upscale, organic menu with a stunning patio boasting blond wood and lots of greenery. Be sure to try the hydrating tea, it’s incredible.

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The Jasper– Reminiscent of a dark, romantic bar in Brooklyn with some swanky flare, The Jasper is the ultimate Richmond cocktail bar. Cocktails here are an art and you’re going to want to try them all.

Burger Bach– This New Zealand-inspired burger hotspot uses New Zealand beef and lamb to make beautiful, high quality burgers. The hand cut fries with an array of delicious dipping sauces are a nice touch.

For something a little more casual, try Carytown Burgers & Fries– an iconic walk-up burger joint or Citizen Burger– a full service bar and restaurant with awesome (slightly sloppier) burgers.

The Mantu– A new-age Afgan restaurant right at the front of Carytown, Mantu was started by world- renowned chef, Hamidullah Noori and serves up some of the most unique and inspired cuisine in the neighborhood.

The Broken Tulip– Snug and romantic setting featuring a hyper-local and ever-changing menu.

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Mom’s Siam– Hip spot for top notch Thai food and an awesome patio.

Mellow Mushroom– Local chain serving up creative pizza and cocktails.

Garden Grove– A brewery AND urban winery in one, Garden Grove not only makes delicious drink options but makes for a great stop for groups who would like to have both.

East Coast Provisions– Contemporary seafood focused restaurant in a restored historic house with a sushi bar and raw oysters.

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Bev’s Ice Cream Shop– DELICIOUS homemade ice cream shop offering creative flavors.

Carytown Cupcakes– Creative and colorful cupcakes in a charming setting with beer & wine.

See a movie at the Iconic Byrd Theater

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Opened in 1928, this long standing theater shows new and classic movies in an architectural treasure, with romantic details and 1920’s vibes. Plus cheap ticket prices.

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Photo credit: Hannah Armstrong IG: @hannahelizarmstrong

Another historic site in Richmond, Church Hill is home to St John’s Church where Patrick Henry gave his famous speech “Give Me Liberty or Give Me Death” in 1775. It was also home to a large civil-war era military hospital that became a refuge for freed slaves after the war. Union Hill is the small neighborhood right next door where community and personality carry over.

If you’re looking for a truly local, neighborhood vibe, Church Hill and union Hill are the place. They’re much quieter Richmond neighborhoods with an insane amount of character, some of the city’s best restaurants, and certainly the best views in town.

What to do in Church Hill & Union Hill

Walking around Church Hill and Union Hill is a great way to start as the architecture and Queen Anne homes are historic and unique to the area. From there be sure to grab a bite, a fancy cocktail, or pack a picnic and take in the view from one of the awesome neighborhood parks.

Grab coffee and a pastry/breakfast

Church Hill is one of the best neighborhoods in Richmond for great coffee, pastries, and quick breakfast options. This ranges from the best bakery in town to a small walk up juice bar making a name for itself all around town.

Sub Rosa– People travel from far and wide for a bite of bread from Sub Rosa bakery. Local grains are ground in house and baked fresh daily for all kinds of creative croissants, breads, pies, and other mouthwatering treats.

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Riverbend Coffee Co– Classic coffee shop featuring a full menu of coffee, drinks, baked goods, and food.

Pomona– Adorable little coffee shop selling plants and other small housewares, serving up delicious local coffee and a light and fresh seasonal menu, plus a cute patio with picnic tables.

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Union Market– Neighborhood market and cafe- come in for a bite or pick up some local beer, wine, or food to go.

North End Juice Co.– Healthy and delicious menu of juices, smoothies, burritos, and more.

EAT

If you’re looking for that eclectic-chic vibe, these Church Hill restaurants have you covered. Something about this neighborhood seems to bring in old time-y vibes mixed with cool, effortless style.

Upscale (some of Richmond’s most stylish digs)

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The Roosevelt– Housed in a turn of the century building, this nationally recognized dinner spot whips up some of the most creative new-Southern dishes paired with an award-winning cocktail program and perfect Virginia wine list.

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Metzger Bar and Butchery– An homage to Union Hill’s neighborhood history as home to the city’s butchers, tanners, and German immigrant population, Metzger brings upscale German-inspired fare and European wine to the area in a beautiful rustic chic setting.

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Alewife– Voted the “south’s best new restaurant in 2020”, Alewife has gained critical acclaim since opening its doors in 2018. The restaurant focuses on conscious sourcing and sustainable efforts with a seafood driven menu inspired by Virginia’s own waterways.

Grisette– Inspired by small, family run restaurants in Lyon, France, Grisette serves up French meals with a Virginia flare on mismatched floral plates in stylish vintage digs- think farmhouse chairs, antique wood bar, and printed wallpaper.

Casual

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The Hill Cafe– A neighborhood mainstay, The Hill Cafe is perfect for anyone who loves a casual atmosphere, great food, and cozy vibes.

Alamo BBQ– Texas style BBQ with a Richmond touch housed in  a unique adobe style building, Alamo is famous for its BBQ burritos and tacos. Vegetarian options available as well!

Cobra Burger– New to the Church Hill scene in 2021, Cobra Burger is arguably serving up Richmond’s best tasting cheeseburger, fast food style. These guys have edge and so does the menu.

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Proper Pie Co.– Unique New Zealand inspired sweet and savory pies are baked fresh daily at Proper Pie Co. Stop in, grab a pie, and eat with your hands right out of the bag- like a true New Zealander!

Millie’s Diner– Millie’s is technically right outside the line of Church Hill but it has been a Richmond staple since 1989. Right at the bottom of the hill, Millie’s remains an iconic brunch spot in a funky diner setting. If you happen to be around the area for Saturday or Sunday brunch, stop in and be sure to try the iconic Devil’s Mess.

Check out some local shops

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Dear Neighbor– A charming neighborhood shop selling modern, stylish gifts, jewelry, accessories, and apparel.

Tiny Space– As the same implies, Tiny Space is another small neighborhood shop selling vintage pieces, unique housewares, and tchotchkes who also puts on small community-focused events.

Have a picnic in the park/ Take in the view

You don’t want to come to Church Hill and miss out on the view. The neighborhood literally sits on a hill that overlooks the James River and Richmond City. Be sure to head to one of the parks below for a view or even a picnic.

Chimborazo Park– Sitting on 30 acres, Chimborazo Park offers a 180 degree view of Richmond. Take a stroll through the park or plan a picnic and watch the sunset over the river.

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Photo credit: Hannah Armstrong IG: @hannahelizarmstrong

Libby Hill Park– One of the most iconic views comes from Libby Hill Park- just down the street from Chimborazo. The view from Libby Hill is said to have given Richmond its name as historically it resembled Richmond-upon-Thames in England.

Jefferson Park– With a more glamorous city view, Jefferson Park overlooks downtown Richmond and features a fountain and playgrounds for the kids.





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