The Best Restaurants In The River District, Richmond, USA

Seafood spaghetti
Seafood spaghetti | © postchiangmai0/Pixabay
Nicole Link

The River District encompasses most of Richmond’s downtown and riverfront neighborhoods. Characterized by stunning 18th and 19th century architecture, an abundance of options for outdoor recreation and gorgeous views of the water, it’s an area of the city that shouldn’t be missed. Here’s a list of the best restaurants to check out while you’re there.

Bacon-wrapped chicken breast over spaghetti squash

1. Pasture

Restaurant, American, Vegetarian, Vegan

Risotto with local and wild mushrooms, Parmesan, and poached egg
Courtesy of Heritage
Once a shopping destination, East Grace Street is now home to Pasture, an eclectic restaurant that specializes in Southern cuisine with a twist. Chef come owner Jason Alley and his business partner Michele Jones seek out fresh, seasonal ingredients from local farms and producers to form the basis of their delightful menu, even featuring a ‘Farmers’ Board’ so customers know exactly where their food is coming from. Be sure not to miss their large craft beer selection, of which many come from here in Virginia.

2. Heritage

Restaurant, Bar, Bistro, American

Heritage has become one of the top restaurants in all of Richmond. Its success is largely due to the trio in charge: Chef Joe Sparatta runs the kitchen, his wife Emilia is charge of the front of house and her brother Mattias Hägglund is behind the bar. Together, they turn Southern cuisine on its head, offering new takes on the classics with an arsenal of specialty ingredients and a distinct French flair. Pimento cheese spread transforms into pimento croquettes served with a smoked tomato aioli, while Hudson Valley duck is served with local turnips, mushrooms, forbidden rice and mustard greens.

3. Bistro Bobette

Bistro, Restaurant, French, European, Vegetarian

Pan seared jumbo lump crab cake
Courtesy of Julep’s New Southern Cuisine
If genuine French cuisine is something you crave, head over to Bistro Bobette, located on the edge of the River District in Shockoe Slip. Seeking to replicate the family-owned neighborhood bistro loved by all, the restaurant’s dining room is cozy with brick accents on the walls and dark wood floors throughout, while the food is traditional and aaccessible. Try Bistro Bobette’s croque monsieur (open-face ham and cheese sandwich) for lunch or the bacon-wrapped rabbit for an indulgent dinner.

4. Julep's New Southern Cuisine

Market, Restaurant, American, Vegan, Gluten-free

Located near Pasture on East Grace Street, Julep’s New Southern Cuisine, as the name suggests, specializes in reinvented Southern fare. Executive Chef Randall Doetzer expertly refreshes traditional dishes without rendering them unrecognizable. Try the crispy fried green tomatoes paired with pimento cheese and pepperdew aioli, or the jumbo lump crab cake with root vegetable hay, crisp slaw and grilled red pepper remoulade. Just be sure to pair your meal with one of the restaurant’s specialty cocktails – they are truly fantastic.

5. Rappahannock Oyster Company

Restaurant, Seafood, American, Vegetarian

In 2012, Rappahannock Oyster Company officially joined the East Grace Street restaurant row. After years of supplying other restaurants with their oysters, cousins Travis and Ryan Croxton opened their own kitchen with Executive Chef Dylan Fultineer at the helm. Rappahannock’s menu is fresh, unique and not surprisingly, relies heavily on fresh seafood. Besides enjoying the company’s raw oysters on the half shell, try the locally sourced wood-grilled scallops served with butter glazed carrots, oyster mushrooms, fregola sardo and yuzo.

Culture Trips launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes places and communities so special.

Our immersive trips, led by Local Insiders, are once-in-a-lifetime experiences and an invitation to travel the world with like-minded explorers. Our Travel Experts are on hand to help you make perfect memories. All our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.?>

All our travel guides are curated by the Culture Trip team working in tandem with local experts. From unique experiences to essential tips on how to make the most of your future travels, we’ve got you covered.

Culture Trip Spring Sale

Save up to $1,100 on our unique small-group trips! Limited spots.

Edit article