As you find yourself rolling out of bed this weekend, perhaps one of the first questions you’re going to ask yourself is- what is there to eat? If you have the patience and mental fortitude to focus on following a recipe first thing after waking up, you will probably end up making a wonderful breakfast at home. If you’re at all like myself, within an hour of being awake, you’re scrunched into a ball, rocking slowly in a corner, screaming for someone to get you a cup of coffee. After years of living in this wonderful city, I’ve discovered quite a few places to get my “breakfast fix.” Regardless of what kind of occasion it may be or what you may be looking for, the river city (for the most part) has you covered. Here are some wonderful finds:
WPA Bakery– Interested in a light breakfast pastry or perhaps- a donut? Yes, that’s right, there are vegan donuts in Richmond. Every Sunday, this Churchhill-based bakery, fires out both vegan and gluten-free offerings. Grab a cup of coffee or a slice of pie and you’re set for the morning!
Lamplighter Roasting Co.- With three locations around town, Lamplighter is obviously the River City’s coffee provider of choice. Depending on the store, you can usually find some sort of pastries first thing in the morning, or, you can grab one of their breakfast bagel sandwiches. You can get them toasted or not toasted, slathered in tofutti or hummus, stuffed with sausage or fresh greens- the possibilities are endless! Order one of their sandwiches and an apple cider to go and they’ll get you out the door and back to work before your boss even realizes you were gone!
Strange Matter– Believe it or not, those ornery punks are up early Saturday and Sunday to make breakfast for you starting at 11 am! After headbanging all night and shmoozing it up at the bar, Strange Matter’s greasy, fried food is exactly what you need. Order a cup of coffee from Black Hand and pop a couple mango donut holes in your mouth while you’re waiting for your food. Apart from their regular lunch and dinner menu, they offer french toast, a killer Monte Cristo sandwich, a variety of different tofu scrambles and biscuits and gravy, usually only available on the weekends.
The Daily Kitchen– Less than a year old, the Daily Kitchen has become a go-to destination for brunch in Carytown. Catering to the “healthier”, “green conscious” citizens of Richmond, their menu boasts items that are completely organic and sustainable with produce, meats and cheeses that are locally sourced. In terms of breakfast goods, their normal weekday breakfast menu is a bit limited but you can find a wonderful selection of pastries such as pumpkin or blueberry muffins that come with a side of fig jam. There are bagels, bruleed grapefruit (don’t knock it unless you try it) granola and buckwheat pancakes. On Sunday, they offer an extended “brunch menu” that includes vegan rancheros, tofu scramble, a breakfast burrito and a breakfast pizza. Order one of their fancy mocktails or cold pressed juices and feel your body cleanse itself of your weekly woes.
Harrison St. Cafe– Nestled in the heart of VCU “country” this quaint meat-free restaurant offers a cozy coffee shop atmosphere with a delicious vegetarian/vegan menu. Apart from their regular breakfast offerings, which include bagels, a variety of tofu scramble wraps, granola, french toast and an extensive coffee and drink menu, they also offer weekly specials. If you play your cards right, you just might show up on one of the days they make pumpkin french toast!
Postbellum– Offering brunch Saturday and Sunday, this culinary gem is a considerable step up from your local bar. Chef, Jen Mindell takes traditional southern favorites and adds a unique, modern twist to them. Menu items include: a berry-topped corncake, tofu scramble mixed with fresh veggies and cheese, biscuits covered in a hominy sausage gravy and a poutine, i.e. potatoes and various other veggies covered in a thick sausage sauce.
Kind mentions- juice/smoothie bar at Ellwood Thompson’s, apple/cherry turnovers at Capital Coffee & Desserts, fried tofu biscuits and gravy at 821 Cafe