Richmond is steeped in American history, but there is something for almost everyone to enjoy here. From art galleries to botanical gardens, sporting events to museums, unique boutiques to top-notch salons and spas, Virginia’s capital city is uniquely diverse and never ceases to impress and entertain tourists and locals alike. Virginia may be for lovers, but eating in Richmond will prove to be a foodie lover’s paradise if one ever existed. Some of these tasty eats are available year-round, while other events happen just once a year—so be sure to plan in advance! In addition, some annual festivals are free to attend, while others require that you purchase tickets for entry. Many ticketed festivals are known to sell out quickly; if one is calling your name, it is strongly recommended that you purchase your ticket in advance. You are definitely not going to want to miss out on a single bite.
Richmond’s Carytown neighborhood should be at the top of any foodie’s “must-eat” list. This “mile of style” is home to literally hundreds of restaurants, bars, and local stores. Carytown enjoys several festivals throughout the year, including their very own Food & Wine Festival. Participating local restaurants will be offering samplings of Thai, Indian, and Mexican food—and of course, good old burgers and fries—though this list is far from comprehensive. The festival also spotlights some of the best regional wines available. Don’t forget about Carytown’s annual Watermelon Festival, where you can get to enjoy as much of this tasty fruit as you can handle—in addition to delicious watermelon-inspired cocktails at nearby bars and eateries.
Richmond has several farmers’ markets throughout the area at any given time. These markets are a great way to support the local community while simultaneously giving your taste buds a thrill. The 17th Street Farmers’ Market, located at the corner of 17th Street & Main, is one of Richmond’s most popular markets. Their annual Shockoe-on-the-Halfshell Festival is not to be missed if you love oysters! Fried, steamed, or raw, local eateries will be busy cranking out as many oysters as the crowds can handle. Even if you’re not a fan, you can still enjoy the tasty cold beer on tap and live music. If you would rather dive into a warm bowl of tasty stew, check out 17th Street’s Brunswick Stew Fest. “Stewmasters” from across Virginia will descend on Richmond to compete for the right to call their stew the best—get there early, and give one (or all of them) a try.
If brats and beer are more your speed, fear not: Richmond’s annual Oktoberfest never fails to deliver the best of the best German foods around. Knockwurst, potato pancakes, pork roast, and broiled chicken, these hearty eats will have you unbuttoning your pants by the end of the evening. Local breweries and wineries will be joined by German breweries to provide a huge sampling of beers for the event. There will also be dancing, music, Christkindlmarkt, and activities for young and young-at-heart alike. For a souvenir, pick up a commemorative beer stein.
Armenian Food Festival
Have you ever sampled an Armenian dish? For a truly unique dining experience, the annual Armenian Food Festival is sure to pleasantly surprise even the most well-traveled of foodie palettes. The festival has been going strong for over half a century, offering delicacies like Spinach Borek (a savory pastry with cheese and spinach filling), Derev Dorma (stuffed grape leaves), hummus, chicken and pork kebabs, and various ethnic dessert and bakery items. The event also features live Armenian music and dance groups at various times throughout the weekend.