Two Top Richmond Restaurants

By Annie Tobey | May 30th, 2024

A sample from ‘100 Things to Do in Richmond Before You Die’

ZZQ BBQ sandwich, sides, and beer. ZZQ is one of the top Richmond restaurants covered in "100 Things to Do in Richmond Before You Die," by Annie Tobey

The Richmond Region was recently included in Essence Magazine’s list of “Best Destinations for Culinary Travel in 2024.” For visitors and locals alike, Richmond’s restaurants offer high-quality fare across a variety of cuisines, from Southern soul to ethnic options, from comfort food to special occasion. Best of all, you don’t have to blow the budget to eat out and savor every bite. These two top Richmond restaurants offer a taste of that variety. Admittedly, they are also two of my favorites.

Both descriptions come from my book, “100 Things to Do in Richmond Before You Die,” which guides readers to selected Richmond bucket list restaurants.

Front cover of "100 Things to Do in Richmond Before You Die" by Annie Tobey“100 Things to Do in Richmond Before You Die” (by Annie Tobey, published by Reedy Press, September 2023) presents must-do activities and must-see venues in five categories: food and drink, music and entertainment, sports and recreation, culture and history, and shopping and fashion.

Find more than two dozen other recommended restaurants in the book. You can get a copy for yourself or as a gift, at online retailers, including Reedy Press, Amazon and Barnes & Noble, as well as numerous Richmond-area booksellers, retailers, and even craft beverage taprooms. (You’ll find a list of retailers at and read more about the book on

Two sample entries of top Richmond restaurants to whet your appetite

Appreciate the Evolution of BBQ at ZZQ

Many regions stake their claim on barbecue, but Virginia has reason to boast of being the birthplace of the pit-cooked meat – a slow-roasted fusion of indigenous and African American cooking methods with European sauces. Since those early days, Virginia barbecue has embraced influences from elsewhere, too. In fact, one of Richmond’s best-loved ’cues comes straight from the heart of Texas. ZZQ pitmaster Chris Fultz was raised in Central Texas. The stacks of lumber and line of commercial cookers beside the restaurant hint at the mouth-watering smoky goodness inside. Treat yourself to ribs, brisket, pulled pork, sausage, or smoked seitan, with stick-to-your-ribs sides like jalapeño mac and cheese, blackstrap collards, terlingua coleslaw, and much more. The always-popular, freshly prepared foods often sell out,
and hours are limited, so go early.

3201 W Moore St., 804-528-5648

Elevate Your Dining at L’Opossum

The name offers your first clue to the creativity at L’Opossum sur la Colline de l’ Orégon. It blends sensibilities of France and the American South and sprinkles in a dash of humor. The décor at this debaucherous playground for sophisticates provides the next hint: irreverent and eccentric art, like whimsical opossums, miniatures of Michelangelo’s David, and Star Wars collectibles. The atmosphere is enhanced by a one-of-a-kind music playlist. The menu scintillates the funny bone and the appetite: like the “French Tickler” cocktail, oysters “in a green fairy fog of absinthe mist” and “braised pork belly à la Leviticus, a sinful temptation too good to Passover.” But it’s the food that ties the experience in one hugely delicious bow. From appetizer to dessert, each dish pulls together inspired ingredient combinations that play on the palate like a masterful Samuel Barber opera. Award-winning L’Opossum provides a feast for all senses.

626 China St., 804-918-6028

Boomer editor Annie Tobey has been involved in publishing for more than three decades, editing magazines, creating hundreds of freelance articles for local and national publications, and publishing two books. Her first book, “For Any Young Mother Who Lives in a Shoe” (Judson Press, 1991), offered humor and guidance to parents of young children. More recently, “100 Things to Do in Richmond Before You Die” (Reedy Press, Sept. 1, 2023) gave Tobey the opportunity to share her love for her hometown of Richmond, Virginia.

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