After a fun day at the State Fair, the Boy and I were looking forward to exploring Richmond with Ben and Nicole. We had been promised good food, cute shops and a good time overall. I will say here in advance that we were not disappointed. So rather than vamp any longer, I’ll get right into writing about the restaurants.
Dinner our first night was sushi. We drove a little further into town to visit Sticky Rice, which is right in the heart of the Fan neighborhood. Despite never having been before, the name seemed familiar, and it only took me a little while to figure out why – this is not the only Sticky Rice I’ve heard of. The original sits on the trendy H Street corridor in DC. I personally may never have been there, but I’ve had lots of friends who have been, and loved it. The four of us had a giant plate of sashimi, a few fancy rolls, and noodle bowls to split. It was all super tasty, and I remember the Boy picking up our half of the check and making a goggle-face at how reasonably priced it was for all the food and drinks that we enjoyed. This will continue to be a theme.
The next morning after sleeping in a little bit (walking all day at the State Fair made me TIRED!), we made our way over to Ben and Nicole’s again, and then walked to the main street of their Carytown neighborhood. All that walking built up an appetite, and when we finally arrived at Galaxy Diner, I was READY to eat. Fortunately, this is the kind of kitchsy place that is a feast for both the eyes and the the tummy. The decor was all retro-futuristic chrome and mirrors and very space-y in a cool way. The food was fine, but also had the advantage of being exactly what I wanted and needed at that very moment – a stack of chocolate chip pancakes full of carbs and chocolate. Everyone else’s plates look slightly healthier than mine with eggs and avocado, but when I’m having diner brunch, I want bread-based food, and I got it. Along with some appropriately crispy bacon and delicious stewed apples. Yum! I can’t speak for any other meal during the day, but this is diner breakfast done to perfection (and again – so reasonable for someone used to paying DC prices).
Brunch was late enough and big enough that it was able to count as our major midday meal, but we did quite a lot of walking around that afternoon, and so a quick pick-me-up stop was required. Everyone got their coffee fix at Sugar and Twine, and I enjoyed a chai latte, and it was all good. I’m not sure how it’s possible to have so much intensely cute hipster places all within blocks of each other, but this area of Richmond seems to make it work. This particular shop had a lot of campers in it – people taking up double-table spaces for themselves and their laptops. I get it – hipsters need to work too, but dang if it wasn’t an exercise in seat-stalking to grab a couple of stools to rest our weary feet while enjoying our hot beverages. Bonus: my tea came out super fast, which is always appreciated!
Our final Richmond restaurant for the trip was the unexpected Burger Bach. When told we’d be going to a burger place for dinner, I think the boy and I were initially skeptical. But it turns out that Burger Bach is New Zealand inspired, and a big part of that is using grass-fed NZ beef and lamb. We spent quite a lot of time drooling over the burger choices on the menu, and had a harder time narrowing down a selection of sauces to try with the large order of fries that we split at the table. Add in the fact that they had a wide selection of craft beers to choose from, and it was unexpectedly amazing in a perfectly simple way. I think we also amused the staff because while we waited for the food, we played Batman Love Letter at the table (I won – are you surprised?). And once again – very reasonably priced for two people with appetizer, drinks and mains.
And that’s it (for restaurants). Our trip was quick, but I think it was more of a “proof of concept” type of trip – we had a terrific time, and now we know how great it is. Since Ben and Nicole will probably be living there for a nice long time, we will get to make more visits (and bring the kids), to explore even more of what Richmond’s dining scene has to offer. We’ve only just scratched the surface!
Sticky Rice, 2232 West Main Street, Richmond, VA; Reservations online. Locations in DC and Baltimore.
Galaxy Diner, 3109 W Cary St, Richmond, VA.
Sugar and Twine, 2928 W Cary St, Richmond, VA.
Burger Bach, 10 South Thompson St Richmond, VA; Locations in Short Pump, Midlothian, Charlottesville and Durham.