Richmond – The Culinary Capital of the South (Seriously)

We know what you’re thinking – What about New Orleans, Charleston, or even Nashville? We admit that naming Richmond as the “Culinary Capital of the South” is a bold statement, but one we’re willing to stand behind. Here’s why.

In a small to mid-sized city with a population of about a quarter-million, there are hundreds of restaurants within the Richmond city limits — some estimates hover around 600. Many of these are independently owned, ranging from mom-and-pop neighborhood favorites to award-winning, chef-driven concepts.

In recent years, there has been a significant boom in Richmond’s culinary landscape. Places like Edo’s Squid, Acacia and Lemaire are stalwarts of Richmond dining yet constantly reinvent themselves. In addition to the more established restaurants, there’s a second wave of chefs like our friends from The Roosevelt, Pasture, Dutch & Co. and The Magpie, who are serving up dishes like soft-boiled eggs paired with house-cured salmon and show-stopping centerpieces like antelope and wild boar.

Our geographic location gives us a unique perspective on the meal creation process. We have one foot firmly planted in the culinary traditions of the South, with the other resting in influences from all directions. We are on the eastern seaboard, a stones throw away from Washington, DC, and a crossroads between North and South. Chefs take Southern influences in every way, shape and form, and combine them with influences from places like Philly and New York and make them their own.

We aren’t specifically tied to one culinary tradition – Richmond, this is where different influences harmonize.

Richmond’s culinary industry may be relatively young, but it is thriving and continues to progress at an incredibly impressive rate. Currently, Richmond dining is stronger than ever, and we all are looking forward to seeing it take off thanks to the individuals who are passionately shaping it. Using a farm-to-table approach, only the best ingredients, and a borderline obsession over the final product, it’s no wonder we’ve found kindred spirits in our Richmond chef friends.

For our Short Run lookbook, Special Service, we spent the day with a few local chefs as they showed us what goes into putting together a meal at our favorite restaurants. Short Run is now available, shop now.


  • Love how Richmond completely embraces Farm to Table at so many restaurants. Thanks for emphasizing this. It is so important to good food.
    The Lacinto or dino kale in the top photo looks wonderful! Where’s this photo taken?

  • I visit Richmond often and it seems to me that the attitude of the dining public there supports the edgy excitement the chefs bring to their creations. My friends there are looking for healthy, flavorful, quality over quantity, and consider a meal at a nationwide franchise as a waste of a meal out. A posted question about where to eat next brings a plethora of suggestions from a wide variety of people.

  • I love this collaboration! Ledbury embraces its roots so well and so uniquely. Another reason to be proud of RVA.

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