Updated: Sep 3
This post is sponsored by Virginia Tourism
I've been lucky enough to travel all over the country exploring Black-owned businesses and Black history in the U.S., and Richmond, VA, is one of my favorite trips.
It's such a cute city, and there's great food and lots going on there to explore. Plus, it's close to the Washington DC area, so you can drive down easily for a weekend trip. I regret not visiting Richmond more when I lived in D.C. Clearly, I played myself. On top of that, Richmond has a variety of Black-owned businesses that make for a well-rounded experience where you feel like you can have it all. From wellness to shopping to food, I highly recommend exploring Black Richmond on a visit!
Getting To And Around In Richmond, VA
Richmond is the third largest city in Virginia and one of the nation's oldest cities. Located in Eastern Virginia, Richmond is easily accessible from multiple nearby cities by car, or you can fly directly into Richmond International Airport (RIC). Richmond is about a 2-hour drive from Washington D.C. and 4 hours from Charlotte, NC, depending on traffic. Once you're in Richmond, the city is easy to navigate using rideshare services such as Uber or Lyft, or you can rent a car to get around.
Stops To Explore Black Richmond
Richmond has a lot going on! Here are just a few stops to get you started exploring Black-owned businesses and Black history in the city.
Founded in 1981, this museum works to preserve and celebrate African American contributions to Virginia's history and culture. The lower floor contains a historical exhibit, while the upper floor hosts rotating exhibits. When I visited, the upper floor collection featured art from Virginia-born and Virginia-based artists that explored the meaning of freedom. The work was incredibly moving, and I highly recommend visiting while that exhibit is there if you can!
Shop For Gorgeous Jewelry At Sun & Selene
This Black-woman-owned jewelry company designs and handcrafts gorgeous fine jewelry using high-quality materials like sterling silver, 14k gold-filled, and natural gemstones. This is a great stop to buy gifts for loved ones or a little something shiny for yourself. I snagged everyday hoop earrings here, which I love and will wear for years to come.
Get Your Sweat On At Hour Cycle Studio
This boutique cycling studio centers the Black experience and makes their indoor cycling workouts so fun. Class playlists are often themed, and you'll hear hip-hop, Soca, Reggae, and more during their rides. I took a DJ Khaled-themed class while I was in Richmond, and it was a blast.
Get Your Next Favorite Read At The Book Bar
This cozy Black-owned bookstore offers a curated collection, including new releases, bestsellers, and indie favorites, centering BIPOC characters and authors. I visited when the owner was in the shop and got some amazing recommendations. The Book Bar also sells wine by the bottle from Black-owned wineries or Black winemakers.
Take A Self-Care Break At The Well Collective
In addition to offering gorgeous and welcoming studio and community spaces, the Well Collective hosts an array of restorative classes and workshops, ranging from yoga to meditation to a movement and journaling class. I loved the class I took at this Black woman-founded space when I was in Richmond. It was an ideal break from the hustle and bustle of city life and travel.
Black-Owned Restaurants And More In Richmond, VA
Richmond has a plethora of Black-owned spots to choose from for your dining explorations. Below are some of my favorites from my trip!
This community-focused coffee shop in Richmond's historic Jackson Ward neighborhood, a historically Black neighborhood, is a great stop for coffee, tea, and breakfast sandwiches.
Don't miss the bagel sandwiches, and check out the super cute decor while you're there. Urban Hang Suite also hosts events like live music, poetry readings, and art exhibits.
I will go back to Penny's Wine Bar any day! The space is cozy, the playlist just right, and you can tell this is a great spot for date nights or meeting up with friends.
I suggest making a reservation to stop at this wine bar and bottle shop for dinner. The food is excellent, and you can select wines by the glass to enjoy with your meal and then buy a bottle or two to take home.
From the team behind the popular Soul Taco, JewFro offers a unique fusion of African and Jewish cuisine. Their aim is to "'bridge the gap' between Black and Jewish communities" through food.
I particularly loved the hummus with lamb appetizer here and that the menu had a selection of wine, beer, cocktails, and zero-proof drinks!
This popular modern Southern restaurant was founded by the husband-and-wife team of Chef Michael Lindsey and Kimberly Love-Lindsey.
Expect to find Southern classics, seasonal menu items, craft cocktails, and more at this spot. You can also check out some of Lindsey Food Group's other offerings, including ML Steak, Jubilee, Bully Burger, and Buttermilk and Honey.
Ruby Scoops is a small-batch ice cream shop known for unique flavors crafted with locally sourced ingredients. Expect to find a rotating selection of flavors, including classics like vanilla and chocolate, as well as creative options like strawberry red bean and sesame Oreo.
And don't forget to check out Ruby Scoops' sister concept, Suzy Sno, in Carytown for New Orleans-style shaved ice.
Croaker's Spot is a longstanding Richmond institution named for the Chesapeake Bay region's popular saltwater fish, the Croaker.
Croaker's Spot is known for its seafood options, ranging from shrimp and grits to crab cakes and steamed seafood platters. It's also a great option for quick carryout if you're on the go!
Richmond, Virginia, has a lot to offer if you're looking to explore Black-owned businesses and a bit of local Black culture. Make plans for at least a weekend there and enjoy! And if you have any questions about Richmond and the spots noted here, drop them in the comments below.
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