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RVA Food

Three restaurants in RVA that are really good - but always have an empty table

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by Kate Vinnedge

Photo by Taber Andrew Bain

 

Richmond has a ridiculous amount of restaurants - and almost all of them are good, great, or just the absolute best. Getting a table can be a challenge, however - especially when you don’t want to sacrifice quality.

There’s a few with really, really good eats that for some reason or another, always seem to have a few tables open, even during rushes. Here are three restaurants in Richmond that are really good, but always seem to have an empty table or two:

Branch & Vine

Branch & Vine, located on the corners of West Main and Meadow, is a lunch and dinner hang out spot with a spin on the usual restaurant set up. In addition to fantastic sandwiches, soups, wraps, burgers, salads, pastas, and desserts, Branch & Vine carries a large selection of bottled wine for sale, as well as six packs and individual bottles of craft beer. You can even do your deli meat shopping here!

I love doing work after office hours here, or playing catch-up over the weekend - with two comfy couches and bar seating as well, there’s a place to sit down for whatever kind of work mood you’re in. The coffee is delightful, too.

El Pope

Formerly known as Latino Cuisine, El Pope is just east on Main from the previously-mentioned Branch & Vine. Good quality, authentic latin food is difficult to come by in the western area of the fan, so this restaurant serves as an oasis for the latin-craving palette.

The fried Yuca is to die for, and all of the pupusa are absolutely delicious. For those who want to chow down on authentic latin cuisine, this is the place to be.

Chiocca’s

Now, I won’t pretend to give you the big scoop on one of Richmond’s unknown restaurants here - articles were being written about Chiocca’s well before I was born - the sandwich shop bar combo opened its doors in 1952.

Nestled into the basement of a row house at the corner of N Belmont and Kensington, Chiocca’s has some of the best sandwiches in Richmond. The atmosphere is that slightly grungy, slightly dim hole-in-the-wall-with-plenty-of-history feel, that just adds to the taste of your sandwich. I remember coming here when I was under ten years old, well before I lived in Richmond, and always looking forward to visiting the river city, so I could get my hands on another one of Chiocca’s delicious sandwiches - the Son of a Beast.

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