Healthy Local Eats: The Daily & Yu-mi

by on July 20, 2013

I love Richmond. We’ve lived here for over 5 years now and it’s become home. I grew up in Orange, Virginia and while absolutely beautiful, it’s just a little too rural for me. I lived in Northern Virginia during college. I loved being close to D.C. but despised the traffic. Richmond is great because we have the convenience of city life without insane traffic and there’s a certain “small town” feel about it.

Of course, there are a couple things I wish were different about the city. For instance, it would be awesome if it were easier to meet friends here. I think that many 20-somethings who move to new cities feel the same way, so that’s not necessarily a Richmond thing. I also wish Richmond had a more dynamic offering of healthy restaurants. When we first moved here, there was one vegetarian restaurant, Ipanema Cafe, and Ellwood Thompson’s, a local organic market, and that was about it. We now have a Whole Food’s and a few healthy restaurants have popped up here and there — including one of my favorite vegetarian spots, Fresca on Addison. (You can see all of my favorite Richmond restaurants here.) 

Not to say that it’s super difficult for me to eat healthy when dining out here, I can usually always find something on the menu, but when comparing our restaurant scene to other cities, it’s noticeable that we’re a little limited in this department. When someone asks you where you want to go out to dinner and an organic grocery store would be one of your top picks, that tells you something. What I wouldn’t do to have a place like Tender Greens, True Food KitchenSweetgreen or Cafe Gratitude in Richmond…

Anyhow, I’m pretty stoked because there are two new spots that recently popped up in Carytown that give me hope that Richmond is slowly but surely catching on to the healthy living movement.

The first is a new restaurant called The Daily Kitchen and Bar. Knowing that their mission is to serve foods that are health conscious, environmentally friendly and socially responsible, I’ve been pumped for this place to open for over a year. Naturally, I have already been there twice since they opened last weekend. 

The first time was with my cousin, Brooke, for drinks.

Drinks at the Daily Kitchen and Bar

Brooke has a little bun in oven so she had the virgin coconut mojito (made with coconut water) and I had a watermelon kombucha martini. Unless I’m mistaken, The Daily is the first restaurant in Richmond to have kombucha on tap and when I saw they they had it, I was super excited and knew I had to get one of the cocktails with kombucha. Both of our drinks were outstanding, which made me even more eager to come back for dinner. 

Luckily Isaac and I were able to get a dinner reservation this weekend. Knowing that their speciality cocktail menu was amazing (and healthier than most), starting with drinks was a must. I decided to get the alcoholic version of the coconut mojito which has coconut water, mint, lime and Cruzan rum. We went to the Cruzan rum distillery in St. Croix and this drink definitely brought me straight back to our honeymoon. Too bad I wasn’t actually sitting on the beach while drinking it. ;)

The Daily Coconut Mojito

The coconut water base for the mojito makes it so refreshing and not overly sweet like some mojitos tend to be. We brought home lots of Cruzan rum so I know I’ll be recreating this one at home sometime soon. 

Isaac had the Triple Ginger Ale with bourbon, candied ginger, ginger syrup and ginger kombucha. I’m not a bourbon fan at all so it wasn’t my favorite, but Isaac enjoyed it. 

It was tough deciding what to get for dinner because there were so many delicious looking dishes on the dinner menu, including lots of vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free options. We ultimately decided to go with the Lettuce Wraps with Tofu as an appetizer. 

The Daily Tofu Lettuce Wraps

The wraps had vermicelli noodles, pickled carrots and cucumber, as well as, a bit of cilantro and they came with a trio of sauces. The wraps were super flavorful on their own, but we enjoyed the sauces too. I used one that was chili pepper based to heat things up a little and one that tasted like a peanut sauce. The wraps were a great start to the meal. 

For dinner I had the Seared Salmon.

The Daily Salmon

It was in a orange ginger glaze and had quinoa cakes, corn, edamame and smoked cippolini onions on the side. I order salmon out a lot, but I was pleasantly surprised at how unique this dish was. The orange glaze added a light sweetness to both the salmon and the quinoa cakes, which were like light pancakes. I liked them, but Isaac loved them! He kept saying he wanted me to make him quinoa pancakes for breakfast the next morning. That didn’t happen this morning so I’ll have to make him some soon. I do have the purely elizabeth perfect pancake mix in the pantry so he might just be in luck. :)

The Daily Crab Cakes

For dinner, Isaac ordered the crab cakes and was just as impressed with his meal as I was with mine. The crab cakes had a curry apple remoulade and were served over jasmine rice and broccolini. I tried a bite and they were amazing. I love crab cakes that are pretty much all meat without lots of filler and these cakes fit the bill. 

After our entrees, we both commented on the fact that we both were perfectly satisfied without feeling stuffed. Everything was fresh and full of flavor without being over-dressed or oily. We took at a peek at the dessert menu but ultimately decided dessert would just put us over the top. We’ll have to go back for dessert sometime soon because there were quite a few tasty looking options. 

Naturally, I’m thrilled to have a health conscious restaurant like The Daily in Richmond. I think it will attract health nuts like me but also show folks that aren’t necessary keen on healthy foods just yet that healthy eating can taste good. Pretty exciting stuff! I can’t wait to go back again soon and try some of the other dishes. I’ve heard great things about the seared scallops and the curried lentil bowl so those are on my list next. 

The second healthy spot that I’m loving as of late is called called yu-mi.

Yu mi richmond

It’s a new barista style frozen treat, like fro-yo, only vegan and healthier. The original flavor is made of frozen berries, banana and a plant based raw protein blend – it reminds me of a smoothie, but it’s thicker and you eat it with a spoon.

Yu mi

Yumi richmond

Currently they have four flavors, the berry berry (the orginial one I mentioned above), berry butterberry (this one has peanut butter), chocolate berry (this one has dark chocolate) and chocolate butterberry (with peanut butter AND dark chocolate). They also offer toppings like sprouted sunflower seeds, sprouted crunch blend and gluten-free chocolate cookie crumbles. 

I’ve tried the berry berry, the chocolate butterberry and the berry butterberry. They’re all so darn delicious. I’m pretty much in love with all the flavors, but I’m quite certain the berry butterberry and chocolate butter berry are my favs. Everything is better when peanut butter is involved! 

Yu mi richmond1

So yes, if you’re in Richmond and want to try a cool treat that’s healthy (but also delicious), definitely check out yu-mi. You can currently find it at Carytown Bicycle Company, Monday – Saturday 10AM to 5PM and Sunday 1PM to 4PM.  

So there you have it guys —  two of my new favorite eating spots in Richmond. :) If you’re local, have you tried either of these places? If you’re not local, what’s the healthy restaurant scene like where you live? If you live in California, you don’t have to comment — I know your healthy eating scene is amazing and I’m totally jealous. ;)

{ 19 comments… read them below or add one }

Shel@PeachyPalate July 21, 2013 at 4:32 am

That restaurant sounds amazing. We have two restaurants in Ireland that offer vegan food…and they aren’t great lets say! Also love the vegan softserve place…chocolate and peanut butter sounds awesome!!! I make it a lot myself during the summer, such a super cool healthy chilling treat!

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Kristy @ Southern In-Law July 21, 2013 at 5:06 am

Oh yum! You are so lucky to have these restaurants so close to you!

I live in the suburbs of Sydney, Australia, so they’re arent many healthy or gluten free friendly restaurants close to home – but in the city there are definitely more options! One of our favourite healthy GF restaurants in the city is actually catering our wedding!

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Shannon July 21, 2013 at 8:20 am

They both sound really good. I’ll have to check one out next time I’m down in Richmond. I live in Baltimore and the healthy eating/shopping scene is hit and miss – a few places around the city including a vegetarian cafe near me, but you have to head toward Washington to find much else.

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Kelly @ Runs for Food July 21, 2013 at 10:26 am

I went to place in Caryown called Mellow Mushroom on Friday and really enjoyed it. They had a lot of vegetarian options. I live in Williamsburg now and the healthy eating scene is not as good as it could be. There are a couple places, but most cater to the tourists :-(

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Sara @ sarasmiles July 21, 2013 at 11:24 am

Awesome reviews!! Thank you! I wanted to eat at The Daily on Friday night but it was an hour and a half wait. Ugh I want to try it so badly. I feel the same way about Richmond – not enough healthy options with our restaurants and would love to see more like The Daily pop up. I think Richmond is finally coming around on the healthy living front which is good. I’ve also wanted to try Yumi…I met Kyra Oliver a couple months ago at a work event and heard about it then. Didn’t really know what it was until now!

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Alex M July 21, 2013 at 11:56 am

I know what you mean about having a hard time meeting other 20-something year old friends in a new city! I am actually moving to Richmond, VA this week for a new job, and while I have my family there and my boyfriend is moving with me, I do get nervous and wonder if I’ll be able to meet new girlfriends!

I love to eat healthy too, and I am soo excited to try out The Daily Kitchen & Bar when I get down there. It sounds absolutely fantastic and it will definitely be one of the first places I try! Pittsburgh has a lot of good brunch places, but no so much in the way of dinner.

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Melissa July 21, 2013 at 12:24 pm

Yu-mi looks so, so good! I love that concept. If I’m ever in Richmond, I’ll be sure to make a point of stopping there to try some treats!

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Amanda July 21, 2013 at 4:11 pm

Totally going to be on the lookout for a place like Yu-mi in KC. We do have a Cafe Gratitude though!

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Emily @ Sweet Summer Smiles July 21, 2013 at 4:38 pm

Vegan frozen treats?!!? Sign me up! I hope Orlando gets something like that soon! I feel the same way about the dining out selections where I live too. There’s always something I can find on the menu that fits my “healthy” lifestyle but I wish there were more restaurants geared towards clean eating.

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Tricia July 21, 2013 at 5:41 pm

I really need to try Yumi! I run with Kyra and need to get on the train :-)

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Kathleen July 21, 2013 at 6:54 pm

Have you ever checked out Urban Farmhouse? Everything they serve has local and fresh ingredients. The only downside is that the menu isn’t very extensive! I really need to try Fresca on Addison though!
http://theurbanfarmhouse.net/

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Brittany Mullins July 24, 2013 at 10:23 pm

Yes! I like Urban Farmhouse as well. :)

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Amanda July 22, 2013 at 4:43 pm

I have some family in Richmond and will actually be there this weekend! I’ll have to see if I can convince the fam to try The Daily.

I’ve lived in the NoVA area for about a year now, and am still trying to eat my way through the city. Do you have any suggestions for healthy restaurants in the Alexandria/ Arlington/ DC Metro area?

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Brittany Mullins July 24, 2013 at 10:31 pm

Very cool! Let me know if you try The Daily.

I wish I could offer some suggestions, but when I lived in NoVA I lived in Fairfax, VA and ate on campus a lot so I’m not too familiar with the healthy restaurant scene up that way.

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RobinBananas July 22, 2013 at 9:40 pm

Can’t wait to try the new restaurant!

Don’t know if you’ve gotten this feedback yet, but I find the new font really hard to read – maybe it’s possible to increase the size? The new layout looks great, otherwise!

Congrats on the wedding : )

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Moni Meals & Fitness July 24, 2013 at 9:43 pm

What a fun time. Looks like a great restaurant. I would LOVE to visit Richmond sometime! I have never really been to that side of the country. I am a small town girl at heart growing up in Colorado and then living in Bend, OR most of my life.

I sure love L.A. though. :)

Yum on those eats!!
xx

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Brittany Mullins July 24, 2013 at 10:28 pm

Come visit anytime. You’re always welcome. :)

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Jess C July 26, 2013 at 9:24 pm

The reasons you like RVA (vs NOVA) are the same reasons I do. I like how I can live in the city without all the traffic. I’m hoping to go to The Daily Kitchen this weekend, I’m certainly going to give the mojito a try !

Is Yu-mi a pop up shop ? Or is it just inside Carytown Bicycles.

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Brittany Mullins July 27, 2013 at 12:36 am

Hey Jess. I hope you enjoy The Daily if you go this weekend. Let me know what you think of the coconut mojito. Yu-mi isn’t really a pop up, just setup inside Carytown Bicycles, towards the back of the shop.

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