Richmond, Virginia Travel Guide: Cool Spots to Eat, Shop, and Drink

By Brittni • Updated on 02/15/2024

Places to visit near Richmond VA.

Quick Hotel lobby and restaurant in Richmond, Virginia

As part of the 12 trips in 12 months series, Jeff and I flew to Richmond, VA recently and explored the city for a long weekend.

I had never been to Richmond before and really didn’t know what to expect (other than being excited to visit one of my favorite online store’s brick and mortar location). But it was really, really charming. And I absolutely want to go back again soon.

We managed to hit up pretty much everything we were hoping to (and more) – all without getting heat stroke. It was really hot that weekend.

Click through for all of my fave places to eat, drink, shop, stay, etc in Richmond, Virginia. Also known as RVA.

woman wearing striped dress walking through large pergola at a botanical garden

Places to visit near Richmond VA

We flew into Richmond from Atlanta (only an hour and a half flight) and arrived at the airport early Friday morning.

But with only a couple of days to explore before heading back home, we wanted to hit the ground running. So we took an Uber from the airport and hightailed it to the hotel to put our bags down and change.

Then we were out and about for the rest of the day. And it was pretty much go-go-go the entire weekend.

There are tons of old buildings that have been restored / revitalized and there’s plenty to do…I didn’t even touch on all of the outdoorsy stuff.

But I’ll save that for another time. This list is long enough as it is.

And speaking of which, here’s my (rather lengthy) list of cool spots to eat, shop, and drink in Richmond…

king room with pink walls and minimal decor, at the Quirk Hotel in Richmond, VA

Where to Stay in Richmond

Quirk Hotel

This hotel is probably one of the coolest places we’ve stayed this year.

It feels in some ways like it’s straight our of a Wes Anderson movie, but in other ways feels completely unique to itself. If you like art, good design, and the color pink, you’ll def want to stay here.

There’s a great rooftop bar and a restaurant downstairs.

Plus, it’s connected to Quirk Gallery (which also has a great little shop).

HI Richmond Hostel

We didn’t stay here or visit in person, but I’ve heard good things. If you are interested in going the hostel route, this would probably be your best bet.

small independent restaurant in Richmond, Virginia with white walls and yellow illustrative accents

Where to Eat and Drink in Richmond

Brenner Pass

We couldn’t get in here because there were no reservations available while we were in town (so book this one ahead if you can), but it looks pretty cool and was recommended by several different locals that we talked to.

Metzger

German-influenced food and cocktails.

Graffiato

An Italian-inspired restaurant with hand-rolled pastas, artisanal pizzas and small plates. I really liked their hand cut spagetti and the American pie pizza.

Maple & Pine

It’s Quirk’s downstairs restaurant and it’s delicious. Really good cocktails too.

Charm School Social Club

So nice, we went twice. This ice cream and coffee shop is cute and delicious. The peanut butter fudge ice cream is my fave.

Whisk

This place is cute. They have sandwiches, pastries, coffee, etc. And they make macaron ice cream sandwiches!

Stella’s

If you like Greek food, this is your spot.

Eleven Months

This Carytown spot is really cool. It’s a home for rotating restaurant bar concepts.

I’m not sure how often new concepts rotate in and out, but whenever they do, everything changes  – the decor, the menu, the cocktails, etc.

bar at Quirk Hotel in Richmond, Virginia with lined up alcohol bottles and pink velvet stools

Coffee Shops in Richmond

Lamplighter

There are several locations and we were only able to go to the one across the street from NA NIN (on Addison St), but I’m sure all three locations are good. Coffee, tea, etc. They have a small selection of donuts too – the Boston creme donut is really good!

Sugar & Twine

This coffee and pastries / baked goods spot is in Carytown, right around some of the other places on the list. Try the homemade oreos!

Alchemy Coffee

Coffee and baked goods. Get the potato hand pie – it’s delicious.

inside of cool indie store in Richmond, VA called NA NIN

Where to Shop in Richmond

Need Supply

*UPDATE: Need Supply has closed down entirely, but I left it on the list as an archive of a shop that was previously a Richmond staple.

Jeff and I shop the Need Supply online store WAY too much. So we were both happy to be able to finally visit the brick and mortar shop.

Jeff had to take an Uber back to the hotel after this stop, if that tells you how much we like this place, so we wouldn’t have to carry around bags all day.

And I stayed in Carytown to take photos and scope out some other spots. 

ANYWAY. One more thing about Need Supply… There’s a good amount of inventory in the store, but it’s no where near what you’ll find online.

SO, here’s a tip: Browse the online store ahead of time and call the shop a few days before you’re planning to visit to ask if they can make sure any specific online items you want to see in person are available at the store when you come in.

They can bring anything from the online store over to the shop from the warehouse, which I really wish I would have known before we got there. One of the girl’s that works there mentioned that to us while we were checking out, so I wanted to pass it along.

NA NIN

This little shop is so well curated and has a great vibe – brands like Samantha Pleet, Ace & Jig, Nu Swim, and lots more.

They have a great online shop too, if you’re not planning a trip to Richmond anytime soon.

NA NIN is right across the street from the Addison Lamplighter location and there are two shops next door that looked interesting too.

I didn’t go in (different style), but I think they’d be worth checking out too if you’re already there.

Verdalina

This shop is right down the street from Quirk and is definitely worth checking out. 

The shop owner, Deborah, is really kind and carries some brands that I really love too…Jesse Kamm, Rachel Comey, Ulla Johnson, etc.

Mod & Soul

This one is right by Verdalina and is the most affordable of the shops on the list.

I bought this striped dress there for $64.

Quirk Gallery

Love this little gallery and shop attached to the Quirk hotel.

They do small workshops on the weekends sometimes (it was screen printing while we were there), which is pretty fun. And the shop carries great small housewares, jewelry, etc.

Botanical gardens in Richmond, Virginia with greenery and flowers surrounding large trees

Other Things to Do in Richmond

Maymont Gardens

This one is a fun stop and it’s free (they accept donations though).

They have Italian gardens and Japanese gardens. The Italian gardens were were are the flowers were and the Japanese garden has a waterfall.

There’s even a petting zoo (which we didn’t get a chance to visit).

Bike Riding

In between car rides, we road bikes around to a handful of places in the city one day and it was super fun.

I highly recommend renting some if you can, even if it’s just for a few hours.

If you stay at the Quirk hotel you can rent their bikes for free.

Virginia Museum of Fine Art

The fine art museum was worth checking out. The mid to late 20th century collection was my fave. 

In the museum photo, I’m standing between a Rothenberg and a Sultan. I was pretty into the work of Susan Rothenberg when I was in college and I’d never seen a piece of hers that large before.

Art Galleries

There were a bunch of other little galleries right around the hotel as well, that we passed by.

If we had more time, I think we would have explored those more.

Inside of the clothing store, Need Supply in Richmond, VA with wood cabinets and terrazzo flooring

small women's clothing shop in Richmond, Virginia with tall ceilings and white walls with wood flooring

Woman standing in front of giant abstract painting at a art museum in Richmond, Virginia

cute old buildings in Richmond, Virginia downtown

Have you ever been to Richmond, VA? Did I get everything on the list of must-visits?

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12 comments | Click here to reply

I’m born & raised in Richmond & currently live right by Quirk. There are places on this list that I’ve never heard of, but now can’t wait to check out! Richmond is such an awesome city; you’ll be hard pressed to find a better city with so much to do and so close to the beach, mountains, and DC! <3

Holly

Also, how funny, the link you used for the Mod & Soul striped dress… that’s me! I’m that model! haha! 🙂

Olivia Ruffin

I live in Richmond, and you pretty much summed it all up! It has been hot here lately, but so glad you had a wonderful time!

Olivia Ruffin

I live in Richmond! Thank you for writing such a fun piece highlighting our beautiful, awesome city. RVA ❤️

Caitlin

I love Richmond! We haven’t been in a few years, but definitely pinning this in case we ever go again!

Paige
http://thehappyflammily.com

Paige Flamm

Beautiful decorationand pictures, i love your post
The Pink Pineapple
New post:http://thepinkpineappleblog.blogspot.com/

the pink pineapple

Definitely Courtney. It’s a cool town!

Brittni

Thanks for sharing this, if I ever decide to go to Richmond, I’ll know where to go. I like your pictures too!
http://sugarcoatedbears.blogspot.com/

Courtney Hardy

How perfect, Tamryn. You’ll have so much fun there!

Brittni

Just in time! I am visiting next weekend. Thanks for the suggestions.

Tamryn

Haha Michelle. Well, if you ever do make it to Richmond, it’s a fun place to explore. Especially if you like the outdoors.

Brittni

I doubt that I will ever come to Richmond (since I’m from Europe), but it looks like a really cool place to see, and to shop apparently!
https://www.makeandmess.com/

Michelle
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