EBF Guide to Richmond

Where to Shop for Healthy Foods:

Ellwood Thompson’s: a local, organic market in Carytown. They have a large refrigerated section with pre-made wraps/sandwiches which are vegan/vegetarian friendly, a large hot bar/salad bar with a plethora of options, a fresh juice bar, a large bulk bin section and a prepared foods counter.

Good Foods Grocery: an organic grocery store with a huge bulk bin selection. There are two locations in Richmond.

Relay Foods: an online farmers market and grocery store that delivers local produce, artisan goods and regular grocery items to convenient pickup locations or directly to your house. (Currently serves RVA, Charlottesville, DC, NOVA and Baltimore.)

Trader Joe’s: I like TJ’s for buying staples like almond milk, nuts, dried fruit, cereal, oats, yogurt, cheese, hummus and frozen fruits and veggies. I find their produce section to be a bit scant and overpriced but there are some items that are good buys like bagged greens and salad mixes and avocados, limes, lemons and onions. They also have ridiculously good deals on wine.

Whole Foods: Whole Foods is my favorite store! They carry almost any organic product you can think of as well as obscure health food items like chia seeds and wheat grass. I like to make a stop at Whole Foods in all the cities I visit because they’re all set-up differently and have a variety of products based on the region and location. I’m pretty sure this makes me a health food nerd.

Where to Eat Out:

** My absolute favorites are in bold.

  • Balliceaux: This place has a modern, hip vibe and really good food. Great for date night or dancing with friends late night when they have live music in the back room.
  • Fresca on Addison: My favorite vegetarian restaurant in Richmond. They serve the same types of meals I would make for myself at home, which I love. The sushi sandwich on their homemade whole wheat pita bread is to die for!
  • Ginger Thai Taste: One of the three Thai restaurants in Carytown, this place is my favorite Thai restaurant in Richmond. They have awesome Tom-Yum soup, green papaya salad and fresh spring rolls.
  • Ipanema Cafe: Vegetarian/Vegan restaurant with delicious dishes and amazing desserts. The menu changes pretty often and is written on a chalkboard when you walk in.
  • Lamplighter Coffee: The best coffee shop in Richmond. Isaac and I love this place (we even took some of our engagement photos at the cafe)! They make delicious almond milk lattes.
  • Lehja: I’ve never been to India, but this place has the best Indian food I’ve ever had. It’s authentic and so delicious.
  • Mekong: The best beer bar ever! They have great Vietnamese food as well — I love the “build your own summer rolls” or the spicy green beans with veggies.
  • Mezzanine: A farm-to-table restaurant we’ve been to several times for special occasions.
  • Olio: A cute European market with great wraps, sandwiches, artisan cheeses, along with a great beer and wine selection. They also do catering and they catered our wedding.
  • Selba: Here’s my review.
  • Stella’s: A fabulous and authentic Greek restaurant.
  • Sweet Frog: Serve yourself fro yo! Need I say more?
  • The Daily Kitchen & Bar: A new restaurant in Carytown that strives to serve foods that are not only delicious but also health conscious, environmentally friendly and socially responsible. Here’s my review.
  • The Roosevelt: Cute and quaint restaurant in Church Hill with great drinks. They don’t have a ton of vegetarian options but everything I’ve had has been really good.
  • Yu-mi: Barista-style frozen treat that not only tastes good, but is filled with good ingredients that make you feel good while you eat it (and after). You can find it at various places around Richmond including Carytown Bicycle Company. Here’s my review.

Not Quite RVA

  • Carl’s Ice Cream: (Fredericksburg, VA) Not the healthiest option ever as it’s old fashioned ice cream, but it’s amazing. I grew up going here on the weekends and will forever love the chocolate and strawberry combo in a cone.
  • Sammy T’s: (Fredericksburg, VA) A great vegetarian friendly spot with awesome sweet potato fries.

Farmer Markets:

Find Delicious Products Made Locally:

  • Bombolini Pasta: delicious, fresh pasta that comes in a ton of different flavors from whole wheat, tomato basil to cinnamon and chocolate. They even have black bean and gluten-free pastas.
  • Great Harvest Bread: Charlottesville, Va.
  • Pizza Tonight: pizza kits with homemade dough and sauce, special seasonings and toppings. Made right here in Richmond.
  • No Bull Burger: the best veggie burgers, locally made in Charlottesville, Va.
  • Reginalds Homemade: a Richmond based company that makes peanut butter (and cashew butter)! The peanut butters are made with Virginia peanuts  and other all-natural ingredients. Some of the  flavors include: Apple Sin, Hazelnut Amaretto and Double Chocolate Chunk.
  • Twin Oaks Tofu: best tofu ever! <– Check out the tour I took of the Twin Oaks Community.

Where to Work Out

Yoga

Barre

Cycling

Personal Training

{ 22 comments… read them below or add one }

lizlivingvegan October 11, 2010 at 4:37 pm

Oh wow! I’m new to RVA so this list is super helpful! I’ve never been to good foods grocery, so ill definitely have to check it out! And I’ve only tried a handful of the restaurants you listed. Thanks for this guide!

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Sheila February 4, 2011 at 11:21 pm

Hi! I have really enjoyed reading your recipes and stories since moving here in August and starting up my own blog. Trader Joe should totally be on your list of awesome shopping options: they do tons of healthy, affordable snacking items and their frozen foods section is pretty amazing as well. They’re in Short Pump down the street from Whole Foods. Happy blogging :)

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Eating Bird Food February 5, 2011 at 8:47 am

Thanks so much Sheila. I’m not sure how I missed Trader Joes. It’s one of my favorite stores!!

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Melissa April 26, 2011 at 6:10 pm

Hi Brittany! I’m so glad I came across your blog! I moved to Richmond about 9 months ago, so I’m really enjoying reading through your posts! :)

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Zandria May 22, 2011 at 3:38 pm

I just came across your blog today…looks great so far and I look forward to going back and reading some of your archives. I lived in Richmond for 8 years (1997-2005), and I still have a lot of immediate family in the city so I come back to visit pretty often (I currently live in Washington, DC). I, too, have eaten at Ginger Thai Taste on a few occasions and enjoyed it every time. :)

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elisabeth pajic July 12, 2011 at 7:28 am

we would love to have your endorsement as a local grower/supplier of healthy foods. (www.gallmeyerfarms.com)

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Eating Bird Food July 12, 2011 at 2:03 pm

Please send me an email and tell me about your company. Thanks!

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Nicole August 17, 2011 at 12:28 am

Don’t forget Sticky Rice, Kuba Kuba, Edo’s Squid, Sprout, and Crossroads!! I live in the Fan, so I basically stick to places I can walk, but they are all super yummy! I love your blog, and was pleasantly surprised when I realized you live in Richmond. Keep up the good work!

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Eating Bird Food August 27, 2011 at 3:43 pm

Thanks Nicole! Great recommendations. :)

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Nicole August 17, 2011 at 1:20 am

And 821 (super cheap) and Carytown Cupcakes (which has vegan and gluten-free options each week now)!!!

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Lacey December 29, 2011 at 9:52 am

Hey! Just bumped into your site and was all “whoa Richmond!” I love accidentally running into local blogs! :) My latest favorite restaurant is Fresca on Addison (Cary & Addison/Strawberry St). It’s awesome!

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Eating Bird Food December 29, 2011 at 10:28 am

Yes! I love Fresca on Addison as well. I actually have plans to go there for lunch today!! :)

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Joy June 25, 2012 at 7:55 pm

Ok, this may sound a little silly. Do you have any posts on the basics of eating healthy? I feel like I should literally dump everything in my fridge and pantry and start from scratch but I am SO LOST with were to start! I’m a breast feeding mom and I really need to get better about grocery and meal planning for my husband and I/baby. If you do have a post could you refer me to the link? If not are there any resources you would recommend?

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Eating Bird Food June 26, 2012 at 7:19 am

Hi Joy, you’re question isn’t silly at all! I’m not sure I have any posts on the basics of eating healthy YET, but I’ve been asked them same thing before so I’ll have to write one soon! I will say that Tone It Up Nutrition plan or Tosca Reno’s Eat Clean books would be a great place to start. They both will give you healthy meal plans, recipes and the grocery lists. I hope this helps.

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Joy June 27, 2012 at 1:03 pm

Thanks!

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Crystal July 6, 2012 at 10:01 pm

Wondering if anyone knows where to find Cashew Juice? I recently tried it at a Brazilian restaurant on vacation and loved it. Any help? Thanks!

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Sarita June 29, 2013 at 4:11 pm

Are there any local co-ops in the RVA area?

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Brittany Mullins July 1, 2013 at 8:53 am

There’s actually one getting started right now. Here’s their website: http://richmondfoodcoop.com/

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TourFrog August 1, 2013 at 3:26 am

Hi! We’d like to share our own favorites list of RVA Restaurants :)

http://tourfrog.com/richmond-va-sightseeing-guide/top-15-restaurants-in-richmond-va/

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Cate September 18, 2013 at 1:48 pm

I am from Fredericksburg and just moved from Richmond. I can’t believe our paths haven’t crossed before. Just wanted to say that your RVA dining spots are ON POINT! Love the blog and will definitely check back regularly!

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Angela Parker February 15, 2014 at 7:49 pm

Loved your list! We love Pescados. Have you tried Urban Farmhouse? That’s another local place we love. Also, Prairie Grain Bread Company is delicious! It’s so nice to *meet* another Richmond blogger!

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Eating Bird Food February 16, 2014 at 11:28 am

Yes, I love Urban Farmhouse as well and I’m excited for their expansion. It’s so sad that Pescados closed. :/

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