Top 9 Soul Food Restaurants in Richmond VA

Richmond is home to a thriving soul food scene. Check out these top restaurants in the city now!

Do you have a trip to Richmond planned in the near future? You’ll want to visit some soul food restaurants during your visit. Trust us, you’ll love it! Soul food, a rich cuisine that fuses culinary traditions from West Africa, Western Europe, and the Americas, is a staple in this part of the country. Not sure what soul food stops are the best? Don’t worry. We’ve got you covered. Check out our list of the top 9 soul food restaurants in Richmond now!

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1. Mama J’s Kitchen

Family-owned soul food restaurant located in the historic Jackson Ward neighborhood

Photo of Mama J's Kitchen - Richmond, VA, United States. Fried chicken, dark w/ cornbread muffin
You’ll want to make sure to come hungry. Image courtesy of Yelp.

415 N 1st St | Jackson Ward, Downtown |

Looking for a top-tier soul food experience? Then head to Mama J’s Kitchen. This charming and cozy soul food restaurant serves all the essentials, from catfish nuggets to BBQ spare ribs. Over the years, it has been featured in prestigious publications like Thrillist and Southern Living. So you can expect a great experience the minute you step inside. 

Thanks to the restaurant’s extensive a la carte menu, you can mix and match all of your favorite soul food dishes together. Thirsty? Mama J’s offers a full drink menu featuring spirits, wine, beer, and signature cocktails. The next time you stop in, you might even see a pro-athlete or singer! Mama J’s is a hot spot for both locals and celebrities alike. 

“The restaurant is absolutely beautiful. Amazing decor and so fresh with the plants and neutral colors. The drinks are very good as well. I ordered the grilled pork chop with a side of candied yams and cabbage and oh my goodness everything was amazing.” - Yelp Review

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2. Family Secrets Restaurant

Local soul food restaurant that has been delighting customers since 2002

Treat yourself to a delicious meal of mac-n-cheese and fried chicken. You deserve it. Image courtesy of Yelp.

5310 Chamberlayne Rd | Richmond |

Founded in 2002, Family Secrets Restaurant is a popular soul food restaurant that specializes in serving delicious and reasonably-priced cuisine. Inside, you’ll find a warm and relaxing atmosphere curated by a friendly staff. Whether you’re looking for a new lunch spot or a fun place to take a date, Family Secrets is the perfect spot for almost any occasion!

The menu offers tons of great options, including the BBQ Pork Sandwich, Jumbo Chicken Wings, and Fried Seafood Platter. Plenty of savory sides like green beans and yams are also available to complement your main dish. Bringing the kids along? Family Secrets offers several kids meals that all come with a side and drink. Yum!

“Family Secrets Restaurant never disappoints! Even during these Corona times, the food is still top-tier as usual. Today I got the chicken wing dinner which comes with two sides. My sides were yams and macaroni and cheese. I decided to have this for Sunday dinner and it hit the spot as usual! God bless the hands that prepared this meal and the family that runs this restaurant.” - Yelp Review

Purchase a GiftYa card for Family Secrets Restaurant.

3. Crustacean Boil N’ Grill

Shrimp, crawfish, crabs, and more delicious seafood dishes served inside a relaxed dining space

No photo description available.
Craving some fresh seafood? Head to Crustacean Boil and Grill. Image courtesy of Facebook.

2077 Walmart Way | Midlothian |

Crustacean Boil and Grill is known for both its fresh seafood dishes and hearty soul food. Located in Midlothian, Crustacean Boil and Grill is the perfect spot for kicking back and relaxing with your favorite people. 

This locally-owned grill offers both the convenience of a fast-food spot and the professional service of a high-end restaurant. On the menu, you’ll find fresh seafood dishes that are sourced from local vendors and enhanced with explosive spices from Southeast Asian and Louisiana. Fried oysters, jambalaya, hot wings, po’ boy sandwiches, and more savory meals await you at this popular restaurant. 

“First time at this location and the food and service is amazing. Elizabeth was our server and she was fantastic. The food was hot and perfectly seasoned. Robert introduced himself as the manager and made sure we had a perfect dining experience. Definitely will be back soon!” - Yelp Review

4. Croaker’s Spot

Charming seafood and soul food restaurant housed inside a cozy brick building

1020 Hull St | Manchester |

For decades, Croaker’s Spot has served as the ultimate destination for seafood and soul food. There are two branches in Virginia, one in Richmond and the other in  Petersburg. Whichever brand you visit, you can expect to be treated to delicious food and great service.

Want a small appetizer before your meal? We recommend splitting some Hot Buttered Soul Wedges with friends. This sweet cornbread dish is draped with the restaurant’s signature buttered soul sauce. It’s the perfect start to any meal. For your main dish, you have a wide selection of seafood and soul food dishes to choose from, such as the Butterfly Fried Shrimp and the Shrimp Louis Salad. Enjoy!

“I have eaten all of these many times over the years. My favorite seafood item is their fried shrimp. No matter what you order, make sure you order some cornbread on the side. It is by far the best cornbread I've ever had from a restaurant and will absolutely change your life.” - Yelp Review 

Purchase a GiftYa card for Croaker’s Spot. 

5. Deep Run Roadhouse

Local BBQ joint offering a tasty selection of Tex-Mex dishes and comfort food

May be an image of food
Organizing an event? Have Deep Run Roadhouse come over to cater it! Image courtesy of Deep Run Roadhouse.

12379 Gayton Rd | Richmond |

Deep Run Roadhouse has something for everyone. While many locals consider it to be one of the best BBQ spots in the city, Deep Run also offers an enticing array of Tex-Mex dishes and comfort food. Set inside a cozy and inviting atmosphere, Deep Run is perfect for casual hangouts with friends and family members. 

All of the menu items are fresh and made-from-scratch. Not sure what to order? We love the Sliced Brisket and Fried Catfish. If you’re coming with the whole family, we recommend ordering one of their signature Family Packs, which can feed anywhere from 4 to 12 people. In addition to their regular dining services, Deep Run also offers catering for private events! If you find yourself falling in love with Deep Run Roadhouse, consider putting it at the top of your list for your next big event!

“As soon as I got there, the very charming guy at the outside pickup window greeted me kindly and told me he hoped I liked it and would come back again. WELL.,... hubby wants to come back again tomorrow although we haven't even finished everything yet. He was reluctant to get the brisket, but boy is he singing a different tune.” - Yelp Review

Purchase a GiftYa card for Deep Run Roadhouse.

6. Alamo BBQ

Authentic Texas-style BBQ served right in Church Hill

Photo of Alamo BBQ - Richmond, VA, United States. Train wreck with pulled pork
Fill yourself up with the signature Train Wreck. Image courtesy of Yelp.

2202 Jefferson Ave | Church Hill |

You don’t have to travel all the way to Texas to enjoy delicious, Texas-style barbecue. Just hop in your car and head to Alamo BBQ, located in the historic Church Hill neighborhood. Some of their most popular dishes include the award-winning beef brisket, fish tacos, and grilled burritos. The Texas Train Wreck, which includes your choice of meat over mac-n-cheese, beans, and cornbread, is also a favorite among customers. As you can see, Alamo BBQ offers an eclectic assortment of dishes. Try some of them out today!

“The barbecue was delicious and so were all the sides, especially the jalapeño Mac and cheese. The staff is very friendly and welcoming, it feels like you're having a barbecue in someone's backyard! Highly recommend it!” - Yelp Review

Purchase a GiftYa card for Alamo BBQ.

7. Early Bird Biscuit Co.

Popular cafe specializing in old-fashioned, homemade biscuits

119 N Robinson St | The Fan |

Who doesn’t enjoy a fresh, homemade biscuit every once in a while? Luckily, you can get your fill at the famous Early Bird Biscuit Co. Everything from the classic Buttermilk Biscuit to the savory Applewood Smoked Bacon biscuit is made fresh and served daily. 

Just want a quick bite for breakfast? Try one — or two — of their classic Buttermilk Biscuits. Want some extra fillings in your biscuit? Build your own masterpiece with the cafe’s delicious meats and cheeses like the Edwards Virginia Sausage and Pimento Cheese. You have total creative control here!

“Early Bird is my favorite go-to biscuit place when I'm having a craving. They make such a tasty biscuit sandwich with Virginia sausage that is such a treat for the mornings.  I also LOVE their homemade pop tart. It's SO good and a must-have treat.” - Yelp Review

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8. The Roosevelt

Rustic, upscale restaurant known for its sophisticated New Southern fare

Photo of The Roosevelt - Richmond, VA, United States. Braised Short Ribs
Many of The Roosevelt’s dishes offer a unique twist on traditional soul food. Image courtesy of Yelp.

623 N 25th St | Church Hill |

The Roosevelt is not a traditional soul food restaurant like most of the spots featured on this list. Its main focus is on New American cuisine. However, many of its dishes, like the cornbread and BBQ pork rinds, offer a fun twist on classic soul food cuisine. The Buttermilk Fried Oysters, Pan Seared Bone-In Pork Loin, and Legs and Eggs, which feature buttermilk fried frog legs, are also popular among guests. If you manage to save enough room for dessert, we recommend splitting the Currant Sake Cafe with a friend. It’s the perfect end to any meal!

“We had an amazing Experience at the Roosevelt. Started with the southern fried oysters which let perfection. I got the pork shoulder for dinner which fell apart under my fork. Everything was incredible including the ambiance. Very warm and antique feeling with great service as well.” - Yelp Review

Purchase a GiftYa card for The Roosevelt.

9. Lee’s Famous Recipe Fried Chicken

Fresh fried chicken served inside a friendly atmosphere 

Photo of Lee's Famous Recipe Chicken - Richmond, VA, United States. Chicken and the fixings
Share some fried chicken and biscuits with friends. Image courtesy of Yelp.

2200 W Broad St | Richmond |

Lee’s Famous Recipe Fried Chicken is the ultimate destination for savory, crispy fried chicken and other popular soul food dishes. Since 1966, locals have flocked to Lee’s for its signature fried chicken dishes and sides. From the classic fried chicken to the chicken pot pie, everything is made fresh and from the finest ingredients around. Stop in today to see what all the fuss is about!

“Can't go wrong at this RVA staple which has been in the city for years (in the same spot). I typically get the exact same meal as it's so good! Jumbo strips, baked apples, potatoes, and biscuits, and let's not forget the honey mustard, the best! Super nice staff (many have worked there for years), quick service (don't let the long lines intimidate you) and consistently good food!” - Yelp Review

Purchase a GiftYa card for Lee’s Famous Recipe Fried Chicken.

If you want to enjoy some great soul food, Richmond is the place to be. What soul food restaurants on the list do you want to visit next? Let us know in the comment section below!

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Trae Bodge

Trae Bodge is the shopping expert here at GiftYa. Trae helps people find the best deals and ideas on popular new items to purchase.

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