Recognition for Richmond As a Culinary Destination
‘Essence’ magazine lists RVA among the top 10
What do Paris, Barcelona, Charleston, and Richmond have in common? They were among the 10 cities cited by “Essence” magazine as “the best destinations for culinary travel” in 2024. Of Richmond as a culinary destination, the popular lifestyle magazine said, “From fine dining to food trucks, fill your belly with some of the best food in the South and elsewhere.
The listing specifically praises many delicious and creative dishes, including toasted ravioli, fried oatmeal, pistachio cheesecake, buttermilk biscuits with fried chicken, goat cheese and pepper jelly, and red velvet waffles.
The other cities that made the list are Toronto; Lima, Peru, Carmel-by-the-Sea, California; Tampa, Florida; Columbus, Ohio; and Mexico City.
The joy of covering Richmond as a culinary destination
While this is wonderful news, it comes as no surprise. The city’s food scene has gotten plenty of national and international recognition over the years. Besides the creativity mentioned by “Essence,” the region can claim award-winning renowned chefs, quality restaurants across budgets and price points, an abundance of local restaurants thriving alongside chains and franchises, other distinctive food purveyors, and fare from many different nationalities.
“National news coverage helps introduce the region to new visitors and strengthens community pride locally,” said Jack Berry, president and CEO of Richmond Region Tourism, the nonprofit organization that promotes the region’s tourism. “Our food scene is diverse, delicious and award-winning. We’re thankful for our talented restaurant partners who work every day to showcase the best of the region through their creative cuisine.”
Richmond Region Tourism recently announced that visitor spending generated a record $3.5 billion for the local economy – a 22% year-over-year increase – while supporting more than 27,000 jobs.
Locally, Boomer has followed the Richmond food scene alongside local devoted food writers, including Karri Peifer, with the Richmond Times-Dispatch and now Axios Richmond; Eileen Mellon, with Richmond Magazine; and Justin Lo, special correspondent with the Times-Dispatch. We all find plenty of quality material around town.
I had the opportunity to include some of Richmond’s best restaurants in my recent book, “100 Things to Do in Richmond Before You Die.” I had fewer than 20 entries to devote to local food establishments since the book’s 100 “things” also covers shopping, museums, entertainment, and recreation. That was one of my most difficult tasks: whittling down the list of restaurant to include, while still covering our breweries, distilleries, and other beverage producers.
Locals, celebrate with a meal at one of our creative quality restaurants. Out-of-towners, come see what all the hype is about! You will find a lot to enjoy in Richmond between meals: “100 Things to Do in Richmond Before You Die” is a great way to build your bucket list.
PHOTO CAPTION, ABOVE: Casa Del Barco is a Richmond destination for redefined Mexican cuisine. Entrées such as Beef Barbacoa Enchiladas and Sizzling Fajitas are made with fresh, local ingredients. They have a list of over 130 tequilas and growing. Courtesy of Richmond Region Tourism.