This past weekend we made our second visit to Richmond, Virginia. Our first visit was prompted about a year ago after The Black Sheep was featured on Adam Richman’s Best Sandwich in America. P and I had been talking about a return trip and really wanted to check out Blue Bee Cider, an urban cidery that recently opened. These are some of the places we enjoyed on our little overnight stay:
We enjoyed it so much the first time around it was worth the return trip. Be prepared for a wait – both times we had to wait about a 20-30 minutes (and you do have to wait outdoors). The upside is that they have an outdoor bar in the back that you can grab a drink at while you wait on your table (I had spiked apple cider!). I don’t think you could go wrong with anything on their menu. I’ve heard the banana pudding is amazing but sadly I did not try it last time and they were out this time around…oh well I guess a reason for a return trip. Bottom Line: Well worth the wait…take a jacket, grab a drink, and dig in.
Tucked away in a non-descript light industrial/office type complex, however they have really transformed the interior with funky artwork. They have a good selection of beers, and all that we tried were quite good. I had a Saison, P had a Belgian Brown, and we shared tasters of their tripel fermented three ways (unidentified Trappist yeast strain, Celis, and McChouffe yeasts) and a taster of the imperial pumpkin porter. This is just a brewery with a bar (there was a food truck present during out visit). Their tasters are a bit pricey at $3 to $5 per 5 oz. tasting glass but their pints are reasonably priced. Bottom Line: Good beer and really neat art.
This was our brunch pick for Sunday and let me say it was a good pick. I would recommend reservations; they were already packed when we arrived around 11 for our reservation. The menu is based on classic brunch with unique twists. We got the Benny (a benedict with a southern twist) and the Big Hot Mess. I think dinner here would be amazing and apparently they are known for their drinks. Bottom Line: Make a reservation and try something new.
And the rest….
- Lamplighter Roasting Company: Great little coffee shop tucked into a neighborhood. A bit funky but good food and coffee. There was a line but it moved really quickly. I had an amazing doughnut with my coffee…I’m sure the bagels would not disappoint either. I just loved this place. And yes, I did have that doughnut even though we were eating brunch in a few hours 🙂
- Arcadia: Neat little steakhouse in the Shockoe Bottom area of downtown Richmond. When we visited in 2012, Arcadia offered house dry aged beef, but unfortunately, they have since discontinued the practice. Steaks are still very good though.
- Isley Brewing Company: Very new brewery, has only been opened about two week. Limited beer offering including 3 variations on a Belgian wit (classic, blueberry, and orange mango), and 2 variations of American Robust Porter (true to style and coconut and coffee). Also offered a unique American pale ale. All executed well. Nice space in a warehouse district – Scott’s Addition, but needs a bit more interior decorating.
- Blue Bee Cider: Right across the bridge from downtown Richmond. P and I did walk there (it was still light) but would not recommend walking at night (we took a cab back). Very small tasting room with extremely friendly staff/owners. We went on the basic tour conducted by the owners father. The cider was great and we returned the next day to buy a couple of bottles to take home.
- Legends Brewery: Just up the street from the Blue Bee. This would not make my list of recommended places; just not our scene/feel. We stayed for one beer and decided to head back across the river.
- This time around we stayed at the Crowne Plaza, and I would not recommend it. Last time we stayed at the Omni and it was much better (they were booked when we checked for this trip).
- Richmond has a lot of really cool neighborhoods and houses, the drawback is you have to drive to most of them. Parking can also be challenging in some of the areas.
- The Carytown area has a lot of neat shops and restaurants to explore. Worth the drive and the hassle of parking (I recommend trying to park on one of the side streets behind Cary Street).
- Once Upon A Vine: A wine shop that has a great beer selection. We came home with some really good Virginia beer finds.