Local shopkeeper Rob Bland of Accoutre, a kitchen and homewares shop in Shockoe Bottom takes us on a tour of 6 Richmond neighborhoods, sharing Richmond’s best independents along the way. Use this guide as a companion to TSK Maps Richmond, a map and guide to Richmond’s best shops.
“If there ever was a city that loves to name its neighborhoods, Richmond, VA would be at the top of any list. River City, RVA, City of Seven Hills- no matter what you want to nickname Richmond, once you’ve arrived you’ll undoubtedly be pointed to spots from locals by name not direction. And really, you can’t go wrong no matter where your hotel, friends’ house or Airbnb may be situated. All the neighborhoods flow into one another like a linear deluge akin to the James River, the city’s most notable geographic icon. Along the way you’ll become transfixed by the city’s striking architectural progression, exercises in artistic expression, cultural pride and the welcoming warmth from strangers in this Southern American Center.”
Named for the way some of the streets “fan” out from the Monroe Park area and encompassing the lovely homes on Monument Avenue divided by a walkable boulevard lined with trees as old as the city itself. Bordering the VCU campus, this area is always buzzing with youth and new ideas. Spots to hit: Boketto, Idle Hands Bakery, Emily Warden Designs, 8-1/2 takeout, Scuffletown Park, Joe’s Inn.
IDLE HANDS BAKERY
Richmond’s craft beer mecca, and a bustling, newly developed neighborhood formerly home to industrial warehouses and logistics facilities. Think: Adult Disneyland. Spots to hit: Jackson & James, Highpoint Barbershop, Brenner Pass/ Chairlift, The Veil Brewing, Stella’s Market, Longoven, Blanchard’s Coffee.
JACKSON & JAMES
THE MUSEUM DISTRICT/ CARYTOWN
A peaceful, family friendly part of town that is well suited for lazy strolling. Carytown hosts Richmond’s longest, continuous promenade of restaurants and shops while a few blocks north you can take in some art and history at the VMFA, Science Museum of VA and the VA Museum of History and Culture. Particularly, an afternoon or evening picnic atop the modern fountain-clad overlook at the VMFA grounds is a local favorite. Spots to hit: Brick & Mortar, Chop Suey Books, World of Mirth, North End Juice Co., Onigiri RVA, The Byrd Theatre, Need Supply, Belmont Butchery, Nine Roses. Take a short trip up Cary St. to Addison St. for Na Nin, Addison Handmade, The Wildheart Shop, Lamplighter Coffee.
BRICK & MORTAR
CHOP SUEY BOOKS
THE WILD HEART
THE ARTS DISTRICT
Undeniably the center for galleries and artist studios as well as Richmond’s former department store retail center. Find yourself here for First Friday and walk the heavily foot trafficked who’s-who, people watching parade and enjoy pop-ups along with established businesses. This area extends both sides of Broad St. between Belvidere and 3rd St. The GRTC Pulse system is most used here, and you can easily hop on and off stops throughout the city. Spots to hit: Someday, 68 home, Rosewood, Verdalina, Saison/ Saison Mkt., Pop City, Charm School, Quirk Hotel and Gallery, Ledbury, Perly’s, Mon Chou Patisserie, Rapp Session.
QUIRK HOTEL & GALLERY
SHOCKOE BOTTOM/ SHOCKOE SLIP
The original hub of commerce in Richmond’s development centring around the tobacco and textile industries, and still showing its original forms (original cobblestone peeking through pavement, mechanical artifacts and restored trade/ warehouses, original train trestles and striking train station), and the U.S.’s longest continuously operating agricultural market at 17th Street (newly renovated, est. 1737). Great for access to walk parts of the James and zig zag through the web of side streets and tight alley access in what is certainly Richmond’s most up and coming neighborhood. Home to VisArts annual Craft + Design show at Main Street Station, which is now in its 55th year as a highly curated showcase for the highest level of contemporary craft. Spots to hit: Accoutre, Shockoe Atelier, Carmella’s, Main St. Station, Shockoe Bottom Clay, Nota bene, La Diff, Havana ’59, Virginia State Capitol Building.
Perhaps the most historically well known part of Richmond, Church Hill is home to St. John’s Church where Patrick Henry gave his “Liberty or Death” speech, and Libby Hill park where it is argued that Richmond received one of its lesser used nicknames, “Richmond-on-James” (a play on the resemblance to Richmond-on-Thames in England). the highest vantage point in the city will give you striking views of the city looking west and a large portion of the James river. Be here on 4th of July for the fireworks and again in the fall to witness the fall colors at their best. Spots to hit: Sub Rosa Bakery, Dear Neighbor, Alewife, Pomona, Union Market, Metzger, Tiny Space, Proper Pie Co.
SUB ROSA BAKERY
• Shop Visit: Accoutre
• Shop Visit: Someday