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University of Richmond: Must Go’s!

March 22, 2022

Addi Mansini

University of Richmond: Must Go’s!

New to the University of Richmond and looking to have the best experience during your four years? Or maybe you're old to the University but want to get out and explore the surrounding Richmond city area more? From experienced fellow students, here is a list of the best places to see in Richmond→ from food, sights, and experiences to nightlife and entertainment!

Let’s start with the essentials, food. Whether you’re looking for something quick, easy, and inexpensive, or something a little nicer, Richmond has it all.  Here are some of UR students’ top picks for brunch, a nice meal, or a late-night bite.

Brunch:

The Daily Kitchen and Bar

Located in the heart of Carytown, The Daily is a fan favorite that serves delicious farm-to-table breakfast options. The menu has options for meat-lovers but is a great choice for those who may be gluten-free or vegetarian.  One of our nicer favorites, they also serve delicious breakfast cocktail options.  Check them out for lunch or dinner too!

Shorty’s Diner

A nice mid-range option, Shorty’s diner gives everyone the old-fashioned breakfast they love.  The menu is extensive and well-priced, and the servings are large! While you’re waiting for your food, you can enjoy the classic music and the old-school style decor on the walls.  Located just a 7-minute drive from campus, it’s a great option for a weekend breakfast with friends.

Nate’s Bagels

Something quick and easy to pick up on the weekend, or a special week-day treat, Nate’s is one of Richmond’s favorite bagel spots.  Pick from one of their classic options, enjoy a specialty bagel, or build your own order.  Located on a corner down the length of Cary Street, you can go pick up your order from the familiar orange doors.  An excellent to-go option, since you have to order online!

Shore Dog

A quiet spot right off campus, this cafe is the perfect spot for brunch or lunch.  Bring your homework for a quiet study grind or relax with some friends.  A quick and easy option with avocado toast, breakfast sandwiches, and more.

Lunch/Dinner:

Jack Brown’s Beer and Burger Joint

A delicious burger with crinkle-cut fries and a pickle on the side.  Their delicious homemade “JB sauce” is the perfect addition to the meal.  Five minutes from campus, this is a meal that never lets students down.  You can also grab a beer from their extensive local tap list, or enjoy one of their fried Oreos for dessert.

Mellow Mushroom

A funky pizza joint that has unique pies, starters, and drinks. With a few locations around the Richmond area, one in the heart of Carytown, it’s an excellent sit-down option. Make sure to sign up for their rewards program to get your first round of parmesan soft pretzels and beer cheese on the house!

PBR (Pizza Beer Richmond)

Serving Neapolitan Style Pizzas baked fresh in an Authentic Brick Oven, PBR has a delicious lineup of homemade unique pizzas! The food is great, the atmosphere is great and it’s all complemented by an incredible draft beer line up that is always bringing in the freshest local, regional and American craft favorites. Your Pizza & Beer experience is one you will never forget!

Late Night:

Cookout

A go-to option after a late night with friends, there are a few Cookout locations that Richmond students frequent.  A delicious variety of milkshakes, greasy fries, burgers, and chicken are some of the menu’s staples.  They offer plenty of options and large portions for cheap. Open until 4 am!

The surrounding city of Richmond has a wide range of entertainment options and sights to see. From activities to fill some of your lazy Saturdays, or places to entertain your visiting family, Richmond really does have it all. Here are some of our students’ favorites!

The James River (Pony Pasture)

The James River is a beautiful place to visit in the spring when you want to go for a swim, or in the fall and winter when you want to enjoy the scenic views and the gorgeous sunsets. Pony Pasture is a park on the river with lots of trails that will take you everywhere you need to go to explore, walk, sight-see, or swim! There is no address, but just google “pony pasture RVA” and google will take you there!

Maymont

Maymont is a 100-acre historic estate and park, located in Richmond, Virginia, with many unique experiences for all to enjoy. Stroll through the gardens and arboretum, see native wildlife habitats, feed friendly goats, explore The Robins Nature Center and visit the Mansion. This zoo/museum is free and open to the public.

Virginia Museum of Fine Arts (VMFA)

Virginia’s top art exhibitions are located in the heart of Richmond’s museum district.  The museum has three floors of art exhibits, ranging from ancient to modern and contemporary that visitors can browse for free.  On a rotating schedule, the museum will have specially designed, featured exhibits that require a ticket but are always worth it.  On warm Friday evenings, students love to sit on the museum’s grassy hill to enjoy live music and a glass of wine or picnic!

Carytown

A ten-minute drive from the University’s campus, Carytown is a collection of shops, restaurants, and attractions on West Cary Street.  You can dine, grab a coffee, or browse in a variety of stores from high-end to thrift shops.  The strip is home to street vendors and annual festivals, and always has something to see. A historical highlight is the Byrd Theater, a classic movie theater that hosts a variety of features for lower prices. You might even get a performance from the famous organist!

The National / The Altria

Richmond is home to both The National and Altria Theater, which both host a variety of concerts and entertainment options. Entertainment ranges from plays and Broadway musicals to stand-up comedy shows.  You can find tickets for fair prices online and can count on a good experience at both theaters.

Night Life:

Richmond is home to a variety of different bars and night-time entertainment stops.  The city is a mix of students from UR and VCU, as well as young adults working in the city of Richmond.  With options in Downtown Richmond and areas of Shockoe bottom, there can be fun for anyone who wants a night out with drinks and friends (if you’re 21, of course).

Southern Railway Taphouse & Sine’s Irish Pub

Located in downtown Richmond, a 20-minute ride from campus, Taphouse and Sine’s are UR students' go-to bars to frequent on the weekends.  The two are located around the corner from each other, allowing for an easy walk to switch up your scene.  You can expect these bars to be packed with familiar faces on Friday and Saturday nights, with the lights off, the music loud, and everyone dancing.  Both are 21 and over, with no cover charge at the door most nights.

The Circuit & Slingshot

Located in Shockoe Bottom, these two options add a fun take on your typical bar.  The Circuit is an arcade bar that combines classic arcade games like Pinball, Skeeball, and DDR with over 40 options of beer, seltzers, and wine on tap. Slingshot is down the street and allows you to play three different game options while you drink with friends. These options are great for a more chill, but consistently fun night for your weekend!

This list is an excellent start to the sights and sounds of Richmond, but we can’t complain it’s anywhere near complete.  With new restaurants, bars, and entertainment popping up all the time in the city, you can’t run out of options for things to do off-campus. Get out and explore during your four years, and make sure to hit all of the highlights, as well as some hidden gems.

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