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Food Scene

Richmond is a town for food-lovers. It isn’t hard to eat well here — with over 550 restaurants within the city limits (including a handful helmed by James Beard semifinalists), what’s hard is deciding where to eat. Chefs in Richmond are an adventurous bunch, experimenting with nose-to-tail, farm-to-table, and small-plate eating. From soul food to innovative new American to ethnic cuisine of all varieties, any appetite will step away from the Richmond table satisfied.

But it’s not all white tablecloths in the River City, where eating is so often a communal activity. Every spring, the Broad Appetit food festival, benefiting FeedMore, a local hunger-relief organization, takes over Broad Street downtown, and hordes congregate to sample the cooking of dozens of Richmond’s chefs. Other food-related festivals, such as the Richmond Greek Festival, attract crowds throughout the year. In the warmer months, Richmond’s food trucks gather together almost every night of the week in food truck courts around the city.

Those who prefer to eat at home can still tap into the community spirit, beginning with one of Richmond’s many farmer’s markets, such as the constantly growing South of the James Farmers Market, with its scores of produce, meat, dairy, seafood, prepared food, pasta, and pastry vendors. Neighborhood markets, like Little House Green Grocery, owned by Richmond alum Erin Wright, C’07, also are popping up across the city. And recently, two alums — Carrie Fleck Walters, ’00, and Susan Howson, G’07 — merged the restaurant and home kitchens with 804ork, a cookbook showcasing the city’s chefs and cuisine. Not to mention, students interested in UR’s culinary program have plenty of opportunities to sample and work with some of the region’s most top-notch cooking.