In recent years, Richmond’s Main Street hasn’t been very popular. Most businesses and patrons have moved closer to the Richmond Centre, right off I-75.
Main Street may not have local favorites like Cane’s and Casa, but it’s full of hidden gems that often go overlooked.
The place people always point to when they want something local in Richmond is Purdy’s Coffee Company, situated at 212 W Main Street.
Purdy’s is great, they serve freshly made, sustainably sourced, fair-trade coffee so every cup makes you feel as good as it tastes.
They also serve up several signature drinks that they’ve created themselves, the Russian Sawmill being a popular choice. The Russian Sawmill is a dirty chai with honey and a dash of cayenne, which may sound frightening at first, but its cacophony of ingredients somehow blend together in a pleasant and smooth drink that warms the whole body.
Right across the street from Purdy’s is Babylon Cafe, a Greek restaurant that serves hearty comfort food that’s absolutely worth every calorie involved.
Babylon serves up the delicious meals expected of Greek restaurants, like gyros and kabobs, but for those new to Greek food Babylon offers American classics with a Mediterranean twist.
Gyro Burgers are a great introduction to Greek food, and their Steak N Cheese Pita is a personal weakness that invokes a Philly Cheesesteak. They’re both served with some of the best fries available in Richmond.
Tsing Tao is another local favorite on Main Street, but it’s in a different ballpark than Purdy’s and Babylon. Tsing Tao is a standard, quick Chinese restaurant that keeps its prices low.
Which Chinese restaurant is the best in Richmond is a source of contention, but Tsing Tao is commonly mentioned as a contender. It’s not out of this world, but they accomplish exactly what they set out to do: make American Chinese food classics how they’re supposed to be made.
They’ll deliver to campus, and it’s one of the cheapest options in the area, so it’s the best place for convenient Chinese food on a budget.
Speaking of delivering, Richmond’s second Jimmy John’s is also on Main Street. There’s not much to say about Jimmy John’s, but it’s a sandwich chain that delivers to campus and that’s enough to make it a viable option for students.
Just off Main is one of Richmond’s most popular restaurants that only people who’ve been around a while will know about, Madison Garden.
Madison Garden is popular as a bar, but what everyone talks about is the wings.
Their wings are juicy, crispy and always come out piping hot.
Madison Garden does two things right with their wings, and they’re the two most important.
First, they cook their wings right, that’s what keeps them coming out fresh and juicy every time.
The second is their seasoning. Madison Garden serves their wings with a dry rub seasoning, and it’s fantastic. It hits all the right notes of spice without being overpowering or drying out the palate, and its much less of a mess than a traditional buffalo sauce.
The Paddy Wagon is one of the most popular bars in town, in part because of its relaxed atmosphere.
The crowd is slightly older than most bars in town, which is what gives it that relaxed atmosphere, but it never makes it feel uncool.
They also have a wide selection of pub classic meals like Shepherd’s Pie and Bangers and Mash which are always delicious and filling.
One of the best parts of The Paddy Wagon is their trivia nights, hosted on Tuesdays, which always pack the venue. It’s really a fun place to be whether it’s for drinking, eating or playing.