My Favorite Vegan Friendly Restaurants in Richmond, Virginia


Every once in a while I tell someone how many vegan-friendly restaurants we have here in Richmond and say that I've been meaning to put a list together. Well, finally I have one. 


  • This is not an all-inclusive list of vegan-friendly restaurants in Richmond. I think you'll be able to get that at soon.

  • These my favorite vegan-friendly restaurants in Richmond. You'll notice that there aren't many on the Southside or West End. That's because I don't travel there often.

  • This list only includes places where I've actually eaten and enjoyed my meal. I also excluded national chains to highlight the options we have right here in RVA.

Here's the key:

V | Vegetarian   

VE | Vegan   

VF | Vegan-Friendly - They have 2 or more vegan options on their menu and they are clearly labeled

VF* | Vegan-Friendly with poor labeling - They have 2 or more vegan options on their menu, but they aren't labeled

Last Updated: 8/8/2019


City Center (map)

Cafe Ole (VF*)
2 N 6th St, Richmond, VA 23219


Citizen (VF)
1203 E Main St., Richmond, VA 23219

Shockoe Bottom (map)

Bottoms Up Pizza (VF*)
1700 Dock St, Richmond, VA 23223

Root Stock Provisions (VF)
1810 E. Main St. Richmond, VA


Monroe Ward (map)

Charm School (VF)
311 W Broad St, Richmond, VA 23220

Jackson Ward (map)

GWARbar (VF)
217 W Clay St, Richmond, VA 23220

Saadia’s Juicebox and Yoga Bar (VF)
402 1/2 N 2nd St, Richmond, VA 23219

Carver (map)

Cobra Cabana (VF)
901 W Marshall St, Richmond, VA 23220

Fan (map)

821 Cafe (VF)
825 W Cary St, Richmond, VA 23220

Fresca on Addison (V)
22 S Addison St, Richmond, VA 23220

Goatocado (VF)
1823 W Main St, Richmond, VA 23220
Also has a food truck

Harrison Street Cafe (V)
402 N Harrison St, Richmond, VA 23220

Ipanema (VF)
917 W Grace St, Richmond, VA 23220

Lamplighter Coffee Roasters (VF)
26 North Morris Street, Richmond, VA 23220
116 S. Addison St. Richmond, VA 23220 (Fan)
1719 Summit, Ave. Richmond, VA 23230 (Scott’s Addition)

Mean Bird (VF)
2227 W Main St, Richmond, VA 23220
Also has a food truck

Mojo’s Philadeli (VF)
733 W Cary St, Richmond, VA 23220

Plant Baz (VE)
900 W Franklin St, Richmond, VA 23220

Postbellum (VF)
1323 W Main St, Richmond, VA 23220

Roots Natural Kitchen (VF)
939 W Grace St, Richmond, VA 23220

Sticky Rice (VF)
2232 W Main St, Richmond, VA 23220

The Hop Craft Pizza & Beer, (VF)
1600 W Cary St, Richmond, VA 23220

The Pit and the Peel (VF*)
1102 W Main St., Richmond, VA 23220
3321 W. Cary St., Richmond, VA 23221 (Carytown)

Carytown (map)

Carytown Cupcakes (VF)
3111 W Cary St, Richmond, VA 23221

Ellwood Thompson’s (VF)
4 N Thompson St, Richmond, VA 23221

Good Leaf (VF*)
2925 W Cary St, Richmond, VA 23221

Mellow Mushroom (VF)
3012 W Cary St, Richmond, VA 23221
12171 West Broad Street, Henrico, VA 23233 (Short Pump)
1409 Huguenot Road, Midlothian, VA 23113 (Midlothian)

Sen Organic Small Plate (VF)
2901 W Cary St, Richmond, VA 23221

The Daily Kitchen and Bar (VF)
2934 W Cary St, Richmond, VA 23221
12201 W. Broad St, Henrico, VA 23233 (Short Pump)

Museum District (map)

North End Juice Co (VF*)
718 N. Cleveland St., Richmond, VA 23221
9101 Midlothian Turnpike, Richmond, VA 23235 (Midlothian)

West End

Charles’ Kitchen (VF)
9127 W Broad St, Richmond, VA 23294


Church Hill (map)

Liberty Public House (VF)
418 N 25th St, Richmond, VA 23223

Nile (VF*)
306 N 29th St, Richmond, VA 23223

Proper Pie (VF)
2505 E Broad St #100, Richmond, VA 23223

WPA Bakery (VF)
2707 E Marshall St, Richmond, VA 23223
3414 Semmes Avenue, Richmond, VA 23225 (Forest Hill)

Church Hill North (map)

Soul N’ Vinegar (VF)
2832 R St, Richmond, VA 23223

Union Hill (map)

Union Market (VF)
2306 Jefferson Ave, Richmond, VA 23223


Northside (map)

Sugar Shack (VF)
1001 N Lombardy St Richmond, VA 23220
1931 Huguenot Rd  North Chesterfield, VA 23235 (North Chesterfield)
1501 N. Parham Rd Richmond, VA 23229 (West End)
5512 Mechanicsville Turnpike  Mechanicsville, VA 23111 (Hanover)

North of Northside

Phoenix Garden (VE)
7103 Brook Rd, Richmond, VA 23227

Scott’s Addition

Boulevard and Brew (VF)
1300 N Boulevard, Richmond, VA 23230

Don’t Look Back - Triple (VF*)
3306 W Broad St, Richmond, VA 23230


Hang Space (VE)
8002 Buford Court, Richmond, Virginia 23235

Food Trucks

Go Go Vegan Go (VE)

King of Pops (VF*)

River City Wood Fire Pizza (VF)

Sammich (VF)

The Dog Wagon (VF)

The Hungry Turtle (VF)

Food Delivery Services

Daily Jars (VF*)

Yummvees (VE)

Have a restaurant recommendation? Let me know in the comments!

What Does Vegan Mean

Talk about a word that carries a lot of stigma?

Vegan is definitely that word.

Vegan Food: Any food that does not contain animal products

Vegan does not mean that the food is healthy, unprocessed, sugar-free, gluten-free, clean, natural, organic, or low calorie. 

It just means that it doesn't contain animal products. 

Yep, that's it!

Now, you might be wondering, "So, what are animal products?" 

Because...who talks about food like that?!

The obvious ones are meat, like chicken, duck, turkey, beef, pork, lamb, and deer.

Fish, including shellfish, are also animals. 

The animal products that may not immediately jump to your mind are those that are made with not the flesh of these animals, but the secretions or other parts of these animals. This sounds gross...because well, it kind of is.

These include... 

  • Cheese, cream cheese, sour cream, whipped cream, yogurt, ice cream, and butter (which are made with milk) which comes from cows
  • Mayonnaise (which is made with eggs) which comes from chickens
  • Chicken and beef broth (which are made from meat and bones)
  • Gelatin, which is made by boiling animal skin, tendons, cartilage, ligaments, and or bones of cows, pigs, or fish in water
  • Honey which bees make as food for themselves

Once you know what vegan means, the second step is to know your options.

You may be thinking about what you just read and wonder, "Well, what's left?" 

A lot! 

Innovation in the food space has really made strides and those of us who chose not to eat animal products are extremely thankful.

In addition to the wide variety of vegetables, fruit, beans, grains, seeds, and nuts, we have plant-based alternatives to all of the products I listed earlier.

Learn about all of the vegan substitutes for animal products: The Ultimate Guide to Vegan Substitutes

Go Vegan in Just 7 Steps

So, you've decided to go vegan or have considered it and you don't know where to start? You are in the right place!

I transitioned to a vegan diet in 2009 when I learned about factory farming. I was horrified and immediately decided that I would not participate in that nonsense. I couldn't do it with a clear conscience. I was vegetarian for one month, until I realized that the dairy cows and hens didn't have it much better. I went vegan the next month and haven't looked back.

Yes, there have been times when I wanted to taste certain flavors and textures, but I either tried to recreate them or just moved on. Even though, 2009 wasn't that long ago, the vegan food industry has come a long way and there are vegan substitutes for almost everything! Lucky you!

Here are 7 steps to go vegan...


  1. Decide why you want to go vegan & realize that going vegan isn't the only option
  2. Decide if you want to quit all at once or take small steps
  3. Learn about animal products and how to find them on food labels
  4. Learn about your options for replacing meat in your meal
  5. Remove and replace non-vegan food in your home
  6. Pick 3 vegan go-to meals for breakfast, lunch and dinner
  7. Stay encouraged and continue to learn

Step 1: Decide why you want to go vegan & realize that going vegan isn't the only option

Each person has his/her own personal reason for going vegan. Maybe you...

  • Have learned about factory farming and want to make changes to save animals,
  • Know about the impact of animal agriculture on the environment and want to make changes to save the earth, or
  • You want to eat less meat to improve your health

Congratulations on your decision to make a difference!

A quick Twitter search reveals that many people feel compelled to go vegan, but don't feel like they can.

They say things like, "I want to go vegan but...

  • chicken is so f$%in good. I can go without the rest of that sh*!
  • the concept of giving up egg noodle is terrifying but the treatment of chickens is also terrifying whelp
  • I love hamburgers
  • idk where to start on giving up eggs and bacon, which are two of my favorite things
  • I can't! Meat is sooo good! But I still love animals."
  • i love pasta with cheese so much send me to hell
  • I like hot wings and bacon too much
  • I want to eat steak too

My personal vegan godmother (she actually doesn't know this, but I gave her this title) Colleen Patrick-Goudreau says,

Don't do nothing, because you can't do everything. Do something. Anything.

You don't have to go vegan to save animals, the earth or improve your health. Any change you make matters, and makes a difference. Your goal should be to do something.

You don't have to be vegan, but you should exercise your decision-making power to make a difference.

Maybe you are like some of the people on Twitter and you don't want to take the leap because you don't want to give up certain foods - eggs, bacon, hamburgers, cheese.

Consider this.

What if you ate those foods once a week, but the rest of the time you didn't? What if you ate them once a month?

Do you think that would make a difference? It absolutely would.

Whatever your why is - the animals, the earth, or your health. Just eating less makes a difference and is a worthwhile, admirable thing to do.

Let that sink in for a minute.

Just eating less makes a difference.

What you eat and what you don't eat is your personal decision and should feel right to you, not anyone else.

Step 2: Decide if you want to quit all at once or take small steps

Let's say you've decided you want to go vegan and go "all in" right away and remove all animal products from your diet. Depending on your personality and desire, you can either stop eating all animal products at one time, or stop eating one at a time over a longer period of time.

This is your personal journey. Do it in a way that feels right to you.

A Warning about Sharing Your Journey

Something weird  happens when you tell people "I'm going vegan." Sometimes they become very defensive and say things that feel antagonistic and even downright mean. In the beginning, I wanted to tell people because I was excited and still in shock with what I had learned about factory farming. But I quickly learned that sharing wasn't worth the rude comments that I heard, particularly from those closest to me. I encourage you to seek out like minded people in your town by using or online through all of the many online forums and groups.

A Warning about the Vegan Police

There is an unofficial group of vegans that some of us refer to as “the vegan police.” These vegans often have good intentions when they point out people's missteps along their vegan journey. However, to the person who is just trying to figure everything out, they can actually be discouraging and frustrating. If you encounter "the vegan police" along the way, don't engage with them or let them steal your excitement and desire to live a more compassionate and healthy life.

Step 3: Learn about animal products and how to find them on food labels

The easiest way to go vegan and limit the amount of label reading you have to do is to make the bulk of your diet whole foods. These include fruits and vegetables in the produce department. They also include foods that have may have a label, but that label only has one or two ingredients like, nuts, seeds and grains.

The primary ingredients you want to look for on labels of prepared food are eggs and milk.

Lucky for you, these ingredients are common allergens and in 2006 the FDA required all food manufacturers who produced foods regulated by the Food and Drug Administration to comply with comply with FALCPA's food allergen labeling requirements. This is shown on labels as a "contains statement" and it's typically in bold at the end of the ingredients list.

However, there are times when eggs or milk isn't listed in the "contains statement," so you'll want to scan the ingredients list and look for things like:

  • casein/calcium caceinate
  • cream
  • egg whites
  • lactose
  • milk
  • milk fat
  • nonfat milk
  • skim milk
  • whey

Pro Tip

Don't assume an item is vegan just because the front of the package says: veggie, non-dairy, or vegetarian. Always read the ingredient list.

Get in the habit of reading labels and work toward buying fewer foods that come in packages with a long list of ingredients. It gets easier.


Step 4: Learn about your options for replacing meat in your meals

Following are 7 ways you can replace meat in your meals.

  1. Vegetables
  2. Beans
  3. Tofu
  4. Tempeh
  5. Seitan
  6. TVP
  7. Commercial meat replacements

Before we get into the list, let's manage expectations. There are instances where replacing meat will be less noticeable when you are going vegan. But in many instances, don't expect the replacement to taste like meat or give you the same feeling when you eat it. Remember, that's not always the goal.

The goal is to do less harm - to the animals, to the earth, to your body. That's it. Remember - Do something. That's our goal here.

Get your mind right :) and let's go through this list.


Vegetables can be used to replace meat. Think about dishes like portobello mushroom burgers where the burger replaces the meat. Chunky vegetables, particularly starchy vegetables can replace meat in stews. Smaller bite-sized vegetables can be a great substitute for meat in marinara sauce for a pasta dish.


Beans get the worst rap ever. They really do and it's a shame because they are so good for you. The health benefits are amazing and they are super cheap, whether you buy them in a can or cook them from scratch. They are the main reason why the "cost excuse" doesn't fly.

Many chili recipes already include beans, so you can just leave out the meat and you've got a meat-free meal. Black bean burgers can fill in on the days that you aren't eating meat too. Beans are also a great replacement for meat on salads.


Tofu is tricky. I'm not going to lie. But once you know how to prepare it, you're in business.

Here are 2 of the easiest ways to cook it:

Press, Dry Fry & Add Sauce

  1. Press the tofu to get the water out so you can later get the flavor in. Use a tofu press or use this method. I prefer to press my tofu for at least one hour, so this requires advance preparation.
  2. Cut the tofu into bite-size pieces. (Watch me cut it in this video)
  3. Dry fry the tofu. This means that you are heating a nonstick pan over medium heat, without oil and browning the tofu on each side. You may have to do this in batches. The tofu should be in a single layer in the pan.
  4. Put all of the tofu back in the pan, pour in a thick sauce, toss to coat and heat through and serve with rice and vegetables. A thick sauce that you buy in a bottle will work best, like an Asian sauce or barbecue sauce.

Press, Marinate & Sauté

  1. Press the tofu (see above).
  2. Cut the tofu into bite-size pieces and place in a container. Cover the tofu with your marinade. One of the bottled marinades will work perfectly. Marinate your tofu for 30 minutes or an hour.
  3. Sauté the tofu in a pan, in a single layer with a little oil. Once it's brown on the bottom, turn it over and brown the other side.


Tempeh is fermented soybeans. It looks strange (and honestly somewhat unappetizing) in its uncooked form. It was one of my favorite foods to eat when I became vegan, because it gave me something to chew.

To prepare tempeh, cut it so it fits into your steamer basket and steam it for 15 minutes to remove the bitterness.

Then you have several options:

  1. Bake it with a thick sauce
  2. Marinate it and brown it in a skillet or bake it
  3. Braise it
  4. Brown it in a skillet and toss with sauce


Seitan, pronounced say-ten, is made with vital wheat gluten flour. It has the meatiest texture of all. Making your own takes some skill and knowledge, but several companies sell it and Asian restaurants often use it for faux meat in dishes. Many upscale vegan restaurants will also have it on their menus.


TVP is textured/texturized vegetable protein, also known as textured soy protein (TSP), soy meat, or soya chunks (read more on Wikipedia). It comes in different forms, like crumbles, chunks and strips. It's the simplest to prepare. All you have to do is rehydrate it in boiling water.

plant-based Meats

Food science and technological advances have been amazing for vegans. Companies like Gardein, Beyond Meat and Field Roast have done an amazing job of mimicking the texture of meat with vegan chicken, beef, pork and fish.

Click below to get recipes highlighting these ingredients!

Step 5: Remove and replace non-vegan food in your home

This is a critical step once you've made the decision to change your diet and go vegan. Depending on what you decided for step 1, you may want to do this all at once, or a little at a time. You may want to eat what you have and not replace it or you may want to give it away or throw it in the trash.

Here is a list of foods that you'll want to remove from your...


  • Meat (including fish)
  • Milk
  • Eggs
  • Butter
  • Cheese
  • Sour Cream
  • Cream Cheese
  • Coffee creamer
  • Yogurt
  • Mayonnaise
  • Salad dressings with milk or eggs in the ingredients list


  • Pizza
  • Frozen dinners with milk and cheese in the ingredients list
  • Frozen desserts with milk in the ingredients list


  • Chicken/Beef broth or stock
  • Canned soups with animal products
  • Box food mixes with animal products in the ingredients list

When it comes to replacing these items, I recommend only replacing some of these right away, if you eat them several times a week.

  • Milk
  • Butter
  • Coffee Creamer
  • Cream Cheese
  • Yogurt
  • Salad dressing

Check out this master list of vegan substitutes for brands that you should look for in your local grocery store. You'll typically find non-dairy milk near the dairy milk. However, the other items are typically in the organic/natural section of the grocery store.

Go to a few stores and look around. Find the organic/natural section and see what they have. Make a mental note of who has what.


I do not recommend replacing the eggs right away, because different egg replacers work for different recipes. Ener-G powdered egg replacer is nice to have on hand, if you bake. Follow Your Heart recently released a VeganEgg that you can scramble, but it's in high demand and currently out of stock in many online stores.

Step 6: Pick 3 vegan go-to meals for breakfast, lunch and dinner

Start by making a list of the meals you eat over and over again. Think about how they could be easily veganized.

Let’s look at some examples.


  • Cold cereal  //  Veganize it: Use non-dairy milk
  • Oatmeal  //  Veganize it: Use non-dairy milk or water
  • Yogurt + Fruit + Granola  //  Veganize it: Buy vegan yogurt

Lunch (made at home)

  • Salad with Grilled Chicken  //  Veganize it: Buy vegan chicken or swap chicken for black beans

Lunch (bought at a restaurant)

  • Pizza: Hold the cheese
  • Sub: All veggies, hold the cheese
  • Asian: Sub tofu for the meat


  • Pasta with Meat Sauce and a Salad  //  Veganize it: Swap meat with vegan crumbles or TVP and use a milk/egg-free vinaigrette for salad dressing
  • Meat + Vegetables + Baked Potato  //  Veganize it: Swap meat for tofu, tempeh or a commercial meat substitute and use vegan margarine on your potato and vegetables

After you have veganized your regular meals, browse the internet and check out a few vegan cookbooks from the library and try a few new recipes.

Step 7: Stay encouraged and continue to learn

You’re not going to be perfect and that's okay. Perfection isn't the goal. Making a difference is. There are several books that you can read and documentaries that you can watch to learn more about the benefits of a vegan diet.

The Ultimate Guide to Vegan Substitutes

Last Updated: 2/7/18

Look at all of the amazing vegan substitutes that are available in grocery stores! There are over 150 of them. With so many options and new ones popping up all of the time, it’s a great time to explore a vegan diet.

Depending on where you live in the world, some may be easier to find than others, but I guarantee that if you look around, you’ll be surprised at how many options you actually have within 30 minutes of your home.


Table of Contents

  1. Bread & Baked Goods

  2. Cheese

  3. Condiments

  4. Desserts

  5. Eggs

  6. Meat

  7. Milk

  8. Ready to Eat Meals

  9. Seafood

  10. Yogurt


Bread & Baked Goods

Rounds & Wedges (Artisan)

  • Daiya Wedges: Jalapeño Havarti, Cheddar, Jack

  • Heidi Ho: Creamy Chia Cheeze, Spicy! Chia Cheeze, Smoky Chia Cheeze, Ne Chèvre – Pure, Ne Chèvre – Black Lava

  • Kite Hill: Soft Fresh Original, Soft Fresh Truffle Dill & Chive, Soft Ripened, Ricotta

  • Miyoko’s Kitchen: Classic Double Cream Chive, Double Cream Sundried Tomato Garlic, High Sierra Rustic Alpine, Fresh Loire Valley in a Fig Leaf, Limited Edition Mt. Vesuvius Black Ash, French Style Winter Truffle, aged English Sharp Farmhouse, Aged English Smoked Farmhouse, Country Style Herbes de Provence

  • Treeline Treenut Cheeses: Classic Hard Cheese, Cracked Pepper Hard Cheese, Herb-Garlic French Style Soft Cheese, Scallion French-Style Soft Cheese

Shreds & Slices

Cream Cheese




Salad Dressings

Sour Cream

Spreads & Sauces


Whipped Cream



Ice Cream & Frozen Desserts


* This egg replacer works best when a recipe calls for 2 or less eggs




Beef, Ground


Deli Slices


Hot Dogs

Jackfruit (Pulled Pork)




Sausage, Ground

Sausage Links

Sausage, Breakfast




Ready to Eat Meals




Vegan Meatless Mondays Made Easy


Eating one vegan meal a week can be as easy or as difficult as you make it. I created this guide to show you how very easy it can be and to wipe away all of your excuses.


  1. What is Vegan Food?
  2. Meal Ideas
  3. Super Easy
  4. Easy
  5. Medium Difficulty


Vegan food isn’t a special type of food. Vegan food is really defined more by what it doesn’t include, which are animal products. Animal products include the flesh of animals themselves (land and sea animals as well as insects) and their “secretions” as Colleen Patrick-Goudreau puts it (gross but accurate). These secretions include honey, milk and eggs, which as a result includes foods made with milk and eggs, like cheese, mayonnaise and yogurt.


Following are for breakfast, lunch and dinner that range from Super Easy to Moderately Difficult or Medium. None of these ideas are Very Difficult or Hard. Those listed as Medium difficulty just take more time than the others.

Super Easy


  • Plain Bagel or Toast with Margarine or Avocado and Fruit
  • Cereal and Milk with Fruit
  • Overnight Oatmeal
  • Yogurt and Fruit


  • Garden Salad
  • Salad with Vegan Chicken (store bought)
  • Taco Salad
  • Veggie Sub without Cheese (restaurant)
  • Veggie Wrap without Cheese (restaurant)
  • Vegan Burger (store bought), Vegetarian Baked Beans (store bought) & a Side Salad
  • Vegetarian Sushi (restaurant)


  • Tacos with Tomatoes, Rice, Corn, Black Beans and Salsa
  • Spaghetti with Marinara Sauce
  • Pizza without Cheese (restaurant)



  • Cooked Oatmeal with Fruit
  • Cream of Wheat with Fruit
  • Grits with Fruit
  • Pancakes & Sausage/Bacon
  • Waffles & Sausage/Bacon







Ginger Carrot Soup


This Vegan Ginger Carrot Soup is part of a collaboration with 7 other vegan YouTubers - Soup-er Vegan Soups!

I adapted this recipe from The Splendid Table's Carrot Ginger Soup recipe.

Serves: 4 cups

  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1/2 cup chopped yellow onion
  • 1 pound carrots, chopped
  • 1 3/4 cups vegetable broth
  • 1/4 cup orange juice
  • 1 tablespoon finely grated fresh peeled ginger
  • 14-ounce can coconut milk
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 pinch ground nutmeg


  1. Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat.
  2. Add the onion and sauté until translucent, about 5 minutes.
  3. Add the carrots, broth, orange juice and ginger; bring to a boil.
  4. Reduce the heat and simmer, covered for 30 minutes.
  5. Remove from the heat.
  6. Puree with immersion blender or let cool for 15 minutes and blend in a blender, until very smooth.
  7. Return the soup to the saucepan and stir in the coconut milk, lemon juice, salt, pepper and nutmeg.
  8. Reheat the soup over medium heat until hot.
  9. Ladle the soup into bowls and serve.



Check out the Other Vegan Soups

Split Pea Sweet Potato Soup

EcoVeganGal // Website, YouTube Channel

Creamy Potato Curry Soup

Fellowship of the Vegetable // Website, YouTube Channel

Filipino Rice Porridge

AstigVegan // Website, YouTube Channel

Soft Pretzel Bites

SimplyBakings // Website, YouTube Channel

Vegetable Lentil Stew

The Divine Hostess // Website, YouTube Channel

Red Lentil Coconut Curry

Veggietorials // Website, YouTube Channel

Lentil Soup with Sun-dried Tomatoes and Spinach

Brown Vegan // Website, YouTube Channel