“Have you noticed that a LOT of people in Richmond are wearing Richmond t-shirts?” asked my friend Kelly on a recent girlfriend getaway weekend. We were checking out the shopping in Richmond, among other things, and we found a rather striking civic pride.
“Yes. Yes I have. I kind of get it, though.” I say.
Whether a cap for a favorite local brewery, a tank sporting the logo of a local bakery, or a t-shirt, patch, or bumper-sticker with the ubiquitous RVA logo, the locals are proud of their place.
And well they should be. There’s a lot to love about Richmond for residents and visitors alike. Everyone can appreciate the neighborhood restaurants, the world-class museums, and the stunning parks offering natural play spaces for children and adults mere feet from downtown office buildings.
On a recent weekend, though, my girlfriends and I were wowed by the creative retail offerings throughout the city.
Shopping in Richmond – our list of the best stores in Richmond
– 2025 Venable St, Richmond, VA 23223
It seems to be a new thing to combine two seemingly unrelated things in one retail space. Here we have a modern take on an old-fashioned soda fountain mixed with a carefully curated plant shop. House-made sodas and kombuchas share the chalkboard menu with milkshakes, shrubs, and teas, as well as a few snacks or “breads and spreads,” for consumption at the counter, with the rest of the space a gallery for plants.
The plant side of things includes not only gorgeous and unusual indoor plants, but also beautiful handmade pots and gardening tools. There’s a nod to the shop’s former tenant, Drew Dayberry, whose hand made brooms are still available in the new shop.
– 2415 Jefferson Ave, Richmond, VA 23223
Dear Neighbor is a tightly curated, high end shop for hip female cannabis consumers. And their hip female friends. It’s a gorgeous collection of new, vintage, and imported products for home and body, with unusually friendly (unusual for hip boutiques, but not unusual for Richmond) staff. On our visit, we saw a vintage silver skirt and top we would have bought if it were in our size, delicately scented candles displayed on raw wood shelves, locally designed jewelry with just the right mix of modern and boho chic style, and high design smoking products. We took our own tip and asked the woman at the counter to tell us where else we should go, and she sent us out with a hand printed list (including illustrations!)
– 2708 E Marshall St, Richmond, VA 23223
Tiny Space is indeed tiny, and located in an old garage, but every inch is packed in a way that doesn’t seem stuffy or overwhelming. It is well-curated with a current focus on mid-century cookware and pottery next to vintage 70s caftans, with modern silkscreened kitchen towels by a local artist on the wall.
Broad Street / Jackson Ward
– 207 W Broad St, Richmond, VA 23220
What is now essentially a really cool gift shop inside the adorable Quirk Hotel began as a design gallery and shop just down Broad Street. For years, it has been my go-to for quirky gifts, delicate jewelry, art books, and just the all-around good feeling of being in the light and airy space that is Quirk. I never leave empty-handed. And usually it’s a “one for a gift, one for me” situation.
– 325 W Broad St, Richmond, VA 23220
Another hip boutique with similar styles to Dear Neighbor in a larger downtown space. We found some good bargains both vintage and new on their sale rack.
A Secret Forest
– 102 W Broad St, Richmond, VA 23220
A Secret Forest seems like an only-in-Richmond sort of shop. A craft lollipop-maker moved her Los Angeles-based Etsy shop to a sort of sugar-coated-goth-Victorian storefront in Richmond. Vanessa works her magic making the glittery treats while her husband works his own magic with customers in the front. It’s super sweet in all senses of the word.
Rosewood Clothing Co.
– 16 W Broad St, Richmond, VA 23220
This hip boutique adds more vintage clothing to its collection than Verdalina or Dear Neighbor, but had a similar design sensibility.
Salt & Forge – 312 N 2nd St, Richmond, VA 23219
A new addition to the already plentiful Jackson Ward food options, Salt & Forge offers good biscuits and much more. Everything from the jam to the sausage is made in-house. Owner David Hahn was drawn to the neighborhood for its history, found a space that had been vacant for 15 years, and did a historic renovation that still seems modern and bright.
Secret Sandwich Society – 501 E Grace St, Richmond, VA 23219
On the other side of Broad Street lies the not-so-secret Secret Sandwich Society. We felt we had to go there after two Lyft drivers rhapsodized over their chicken sandwiches. We were not disappointed.
Carytown / Fan District
Carytown is loaded with so many shops I can’t describe them all, so I chose a couple that are just off of Cary Street a little further down in the Fan District.
– 101 S Addison St, Richmond, VA 23220
Perfumes and candles and oils and incenses mixed with locally-designed clothing. I didn’t know that I needed a perfume scented with cannabis and vetiver, but I now I do.
Lamplighter Coffee – 116 S Addison St., Richmond, VA 23220
For nearly ten years, Lamplighter Coffee has offered high quality coffees and teas in a repurposed gas station, with food breakfast and sandwiches, including vegan options.
Scott’s Addition is loaded with bars, restaurants, distilleries, and places to play games (shuffleboard at Tang & Biscuit, bowling at River City Roll, and arcade games at Circuit Bar), but retail is beginning to open there, too.
Studio Two Three
– 3300 W Clay St, Richmond, VA 23230
Screenprinting shop where you can also buy art. And get your own Richmond t-shirt so you can fit in when you inevitably move here.
There’s so much! You can hardly pop a wheelie on your adult-sized tricycle without finding an amazing place to eat or drink.
Supper – 1215 Summit Ave., Richmond VA 23230
21st Century Southern comfort food. And by that I don’t mean modernized or reinterpreted or deconstructed. I mean made better. And also I mean… Krispy Kreme bread pudding? I only WISH my grandmother had thought of that!
Longoven 2939 Clay St., Richmond, VA 23230
A place to enjoy precious small plates and cocktails. High end cooking here.
Shopping in Richmond is fantastic.
Now pin this so you can go do your own shopping on your next trip!