7 Black Owned Restaurants to Visit in Richmond, VA

December 2, 2021
Food & Drink
jason wolfe
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It’s becoming ever-more important to be informed about the businesses you are supporting, from fashion and skincare brands, to book stores and restaurants. We fully support taking the time to learn more about the businesses you choose to support. Your purchases matter! That’s why we’ve compiled a list of Black-owned businesses to visit in Richmond, VA, so that this information is just a little more accessible and you can support the businesses you really want to.

Do you want to give a loved one the gift of a meal at their favorite restaurant, and support a Black-owned restaurant while doing so? With GiftYa, you can do that easily. GiftYa allows you to choose from almost every merchant in the country to send a loved one a gift card to their favorite store, business, or restaurant. You can send a gift up to $100 straight to their phone. Sending a gift through GiftYa is a great way to show someone you care about them. Thoughtfully give with GiftYa today!

1. Lillie Pearl

North Carolina roots meet Southern African American Cuisine 

416 E Grace St | Downtown | lilliepearlrva.com 

The food here at Lillie Pearl pays homage to Owner/Chef Michael Lindsey’s grandmothers Lillie Pearl and Hattie. Chef Mike takes West African ingredients, his North Carolina roots, and Southern African American cuisine to create a unique culinary experience like no other.

Craving fried chicken? Choose from the Fried Chicken Sandwich (lettuce, heirloom tomato, shaved pickles, spicy honey, and buttermilk ranch), the Smashville Fried Chicken Sandwich (nashville hot spice, ranch slaw, shaved pickles, and spicy buttermilk ranch), or the Fried Chicken (buttermilk battered airline chicken breast, pickled stems, charred corn mash, collard greens, spicy honey, and house hot). 

Coffee Rubbed Filet Medallions are delicious, and you won’t find them anywhere else, while the Lillie Burger is a classic if you aren’t feeling quite as adventurous.

Whatever you do, be sure to try one of their signature cocktails. The Jumping Jack Flash, made with Laird's Applejack Brandy, lemon juice, and house-made grenadine, is a favorite, while the Harvest Mule is the perfect fall drink, complete with Smirnoff Green Apple, cranberry juice, lime juice, cinnamon sugar, and ginger beer.

You can purchase a GiftYa for Lillie Pearl here!

“Y'all, this is the best meal I've had in a long time. Great flavor, texture and innovation. Usually they're is usually at least one miss, but not at the place. They literally knocked every dish out of the park! I'm officially a fan!” - Yelp Review

2. Soul Taco

Tacos inspired by the soul (and food) of the South

321 N 2nd St | Downtown | soultacorva.com 

The culinary vision of this restaurant is to combine the style of Latin American cuisine, the comfort of Southern cuisine, and the fresh and vibrant ingredients of California-style cooking to create tacos that are distinctly Southern U.S. Their menu is ever changing, but the quality and deliciousness of each taco is consistent.

Tacos are sold individually, so you can mix and match to try all of their unique offerings. The Cornmeal Crusted Catfish taco (Maryland Blue Cornmeal crusted blue catfish, tomatillo salsa, red cabbage slaw, and hot sauce aioli) is a Southern-inspired favorite, as is the Buttermilk Battered Fried Chicken taco (Buttermilk battered fried chicken, pickled red onions, avocado, chipotle BBQ crema, and agave hot sauce).

The Flaming Hot Cheeto Elote Loco is another favorite (and vegetarian, too!) This roasted corn on the cob is topped with a spicy aioli and cotija cheese, rolled in flaming hot cheeto dust, and sprinkled with cilantro. The Hush Puppy Nachos are our absolute must-order. Think hush puppies topped with a chipotle cheese sauce, pico de gallo, black eyed peas, guacamole, and sour cream. Yum! And it’s only $2 more to add chicken, steak, or pork.

Have you ever wished for an adult version of a happy meal? Try Soul Taco’s “Happier Meal” - two tacos, a beer, and a toy! Be sure to try the House Made Limeade with your meal as well!

If you think it can’t get any better, Soul Taco also offers an amazing lunch special. Monday - Friday from 11am - 3pm, you can get any 3 Items for only $10!

You can purchase a GiftYa for Soul Taco here!

“Soul Taco is DELICIOUS. The atmosphere is warm but chic. Their limeade is sweet with an edge of tang, but so inviting and tasty. I had the fried chicken taco - I have never quite had anything like it.” - Yelp Review 

3. Ipanema Café

Quaint vegan spot with live music

917 W Grace St | The Fan | ipanemaveg.com 

This quaint vegan cafe is perfect for lunch with a friend. If you come on a nice day, you can even snag a spot on the patio.

The Fried Cauliflower, complete with vegan ranch and vegan buffalo sauce, is a great starter to split. 

Lunch specials include the Tofu Patty Melt, with house marinated tofu, caramelized shallots, toasted sourdough, and cheddar cheese, and the Cowboy Burrito, with rice, lettuce, avocado crema, seasoned “beef,” pico de gallo, jalapeños, and cheddar cheese.

The Beyond Burger is a favorite among guests for its simplicity and deliciousness. This meatless burger comes topped in a special sauce and is served with your choice of a side. Pro tip: get the french fries served with vegan ranch and topped with dill. It’s not every day you have endless amounts of vegan ranch at your disposal!

For dessert, the Brownie À La Mode is our go-to. A hot vegan fudge brownie served with vegan vanilla ice cream? We’ll take three. They also offer a rotating selection of pie, also served with vanilla ice cream.

You can purchase a GiftYa for Ipanema Café here!

“For being one who loves meat and is not quiet into or a part of the vegan or vegetarian community, I thank you for pulling me in! I ordered the BBQ Jackfruit Sandwich and my girlfriend got the Beyond Burger.” - Yelp Review 

4. Ms. Girlee's Kitchen

Soul food

4809 Parker St | Fulton | msgirleeskitchen.com 

The food at Ms. Girlee’s Kitchen, inspired by the owners’ late grandmother Girlee, tastes like home. From Mama’s Meatloaf to Adult Grilled Cheese, each item on this menu is comfort food through and through.

Their special is the Catfish Dinner - two pieces of golden fried catfish with two sides of your choice and cornbread. If a sandwich is more your style, we recommend either The Chicken Sandwich (hand battered chicken breast with “That Sauce”) or the Fish Sandwich. You also can’t go wrong with the Southern Fried Chicken. 

Backtracking a bit, be sure to get the Shush Puppies, hush puppies plus shrimp, for the table to start. We absolutely love them!

Breakfast at Ms. Girlee’s Kitchen is no-less amazing. From Gillies Breakfast Philly (chicken philly with scrambled eggs, cheese, onions and house sauce served with fried potatoes) to Waffle Sliders with bacon, egg, and chicken to the Classic Chicken & Waffles with fried golden brown chicken with mini waffles, it will be hard to choose just one entree. 

“Soul food delight! The hush puppies was delicious for starters. The ribs had a smoky sweet sauce and super tender. The fried chicken wings and gizzards was extra crispy to the max, how does Ms Girlee does that?” - Yelp Review 

5. Maple Bourbon

Old-fashioned Southern brunch 

1116 E Main St | Downtown | maplebourbonrva.com 

Through their food and atmosphere, Maple Bourbon aspires to help guests remember a time when “summers were long (and hot), kids played outside, and celebrations required great music.” Come for weekend brunch with the family and experience yummy food and a warm welcoming environment.

They have breakfast sandwiches for those who like their breakfast sweet, savory, or both. The I Got You is a breakfast sammie that falls right in between. This french toast and egg sandwich served with home fries or a fresh fruit cup is our jam, and it could be yours, too. Pro tip: add bacon for $2.

The Soul Man is good if you’re feeling extra hungry. A classic Belgian waffle with their signature Maple Bourbon or Brown Sugar Butter syrup, two leg quarters (baked or fried), and two sides are sure to keep you full until dinner. The Nitty Gritty, aptly named chicken and grits, is another Southern comfort meal that has become a favorite at Maple Bourbon. You can get fried or grilled chicken breast fillet atop dinner grits (cream-based with sautéed onions and bell peppers).

Kids can choose from the ABC (half classic Belgian waffle, one egg your way, and one piece of bacon), the Candy Girl (half classic Belgian waffle with waffle topping of your choice and one piece of bacon), the Gimmie That (two fried chicken tenders and applesauce or home fries), or the Work It (half classic Belgian waffle and one fried chicken tender) all for $10 or less!

“The waffle was very good, with the right amount of sweetness. Everything was great. Those chicken wings had me second guessing not getting the chicken and waffles. This place is a true gym. If you're in Richmond, give their weekend brunch a try.” - Yelp Review 

6. Brewer's Café

Award-winning coffee shop 

1012 Hull St | Manchester | brewerscaferva.com

This award-winning coffee shop is ​​owned and operated by father and son duo Ajay and Parker Lee Brewer. Here you will find coffee and espresso drinks made with beans that are bold, complex, and always ethically and sustainably sourced. 

Their menu features made-to-order sandwiches such as the house specialty, the Brewer's Club. This sandwich, made with fresh turkey, Virginia ham, and thick-cut bacon, and served with sriracha mayo on toasted potato bread is the perfect bite to pair with your cup of coffee. 

Sweets from local bakers at The Treat Shop, Poor Georgie's Bake Shoppe, Cupcakery, as well as beer from Virginia breweries and over 25 different whiskeys from nearby, are also served at Brewer’s Café.

In addition to sweets, on the healthier end, Brewer’s also makes their own cold pressed juice made with 100% fruits and vegetables. Some fan favorites are the Black is Beautiful, with activated charcoal, watermelon, ginger, and lemon, and the Cool Melon, made with watermelon, lime, mint, and carrot.

You can purchase a GiftYa for Brewer’s Cafe here!


“Yeah, that is a delicious, rich, bold cuppa Joe. And with a fine poppy seed muffin to enjoy on their wide, street side patio this is how breakfast should be. A local fave, welcome to Manchester.” - Yelp Review 

7. Pig and Brew

Barbeque and beer

1313 Hull St | Manchester | pigandbrew.com

Co-owners Lamont Hawkins and Lamarr Johnson provide the best of both worlds at Pig and Brew because they are a pit-master with 20+ years of food experience and a mixologist, respectively. Come in for dishes at an affordable price, a relaxed atmosphere, and the “Best BBQ South of the James.”

We love starting off with the Hillbilly Fries, fries topped with cheese, bacon & NC style pork bbq. But they don’t fill us up enough to stop us from getting the Smoked Wingettes, the St. Louis Spare Ribs, the Smoked Brisket, or even the Meat Lovers Trio, your choice of three meats from brisket, ribs, smoked wings, fish, pulled chicken, or pork bbq.

The sides that come with most plates are just what you’d hope for - mac and cheese, potato salad, collard greens, corn bread, baked beans, and more.

Enjoy one of the many beers on draft or have the master mixologist make you a cocktail like The P&B - hennessy, strawberry puree, and pineapple juice.

You can purchase a GiftYa for Pig and Brew here!

“The Smoked Wingettes and side of Fried Shrimp delicious. I really enjoyed my potato salad and string beans. Lip smacking.  It was Friday Happy Hour but it was nice.  A good place to chill at. Ate so quick forgot the pics.” - Yelp Review 

From soul food and Southern-inspired tacos to vegan cafés and coffee shops, there are so many amazing Black owned restaurants to support in Richmond, VA. Let us know in the comments which of these Black owned restaurants you try first! 

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