Wake up slowly on your day off, with a blissfully empty calendar; savor your breakfast, lingering in the sunny corner of a café.
Wake up quickly, jumping out of bed on your way to wherever, with only minutes to spare but a yearning for more than your fridge currently offers.
Whether you’re a leisurely day-starter or an on-the-go gourmand, breakfast makes your morning and Richmond embraces this with a bevy of restaurants equipped with local eggs, meats, baked goods and more. Here is your guide to greeting the day, from 24-hour breakfasts to the best brunch booze. However you wake up, be sure to dig into the city’s finest.
Which came first: The chicken or the egg? Whatever your answer, Richmond serves up both, and more, with its bountiful brunch options. We’re laying it all on the table with four unique egg dishes — and eggs served four different ways —that’ll start your day with flavor and flair.
By Stephanie Breijo
Soft-Cooked: Fried Chicken Thigh at The Roosevelt
Poached: Veggie Bennie at Toast
Omelet: Devil’s Mess at Millie’s Diner
Baked: Green Eggs & Lamb at Black Sheep
A quick primer on the perfect egg
By Catherine Amos Cribbs
You don’t have to be in the market for your own backyard chickens to understand that raising hens affects eggs, but it doesn’t hurt to learn a bit more from a family who raises hundreds of chickens a year — not to mention ducks, geese and guineas.
Stacey Chippendale and her husband, Steve, began homesteading at Dunreath Farm in Ashland more than six years ago, specializing in selling to the first-time poultry owner. The Chippendales eat primarily duck eggs, but they help to educate new chicken owners about raising practices.
So what’s the benefit to the eggs? Healthier living makes for healthier birds, which makes for nutrient-rich eggs. And a hen’s diet can dramatically influence the color of the yolk.
“When you free-range your poultry, with a lot of pasture and bugs, the yolk becomes the most beautiful dark orange color,” she says, “like the color of the sun.”
According to Stacey and the Humane Society, there are few official standards or regulations behind egg labels, but important benchmarks include the floor space a hen receives and whether it can perform natural behaviors such as foraging, walking and nesting. For example, “cage-free” implies hens are uncaged inside barns, but do not have outdoor access; free-range poultry are typically uncaged with some outdoor access; and pasture-raised hens remain outdoors for most of the year with access to tall grass and large, open spaces.
But what those terms mean to big agribusiness differs from what it means to small-scale farmers, Stacey says. “For all of us who are doing it truly free-range, free-range and cage-free mean the same thing. Pastured poultry is what we do [at Dunreath].”
As far as the color of the shells themselves, that’s up to the breed of hen and has no impact on the egg — but most customers look for brown eggs, she notes.
“My husband says, ‘Keeping chickens is the gateway drug to self-sufficiency,’ ” she says. “We see over and over, people who suddenly have this urge to take control of their food source Chickens are the perfect first step.”
A World of Flavor
English Breakfast at Penny Lane Pub
Feeling peckish? Head downtown for Penny Lane’s English breakfast, order any number of beer pint combos to accompany your brunch, and Bob’s your uncle. You’ll find a heaping portion of eggs, baked beans, potatoes, authentic pork bangers, blood sausage, toast and bacon (be it American or Irish), served every Sunday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., and on Saturdays during English Premier League football matches. It’s hard to keep mum about this off-menu item, so it’s no surprise that it’s fast become the pub’s cult classic. 421 E. Franklin St., 780-1682 —Stephanie Breijo
Egg Curry at Lehja
Bored of the scrambled/poached/over easy conundrum? You could always get your egg fix in curry form. Lehja’s weekend three-course prix-fixe brunch includes a dhaba-style egg curry: hard-boiled eggs in a smoky, rich, tomato-based sauce, served with rice and naan. A dhaba is a roadside diner, and though Lehja exists on an altogether higher plain, this dish stays true to those roots, delivering earthy comfort with just enough spice to warm and revive. 11800 W. Broad St., 364-1111 —Emma Coates
Strifti Spanakopita with Poached Eggs at Stella’s
This is my idea of Sunday brunch perfection: two spirals of flaky phyllo wrapped around sautéed spinach (the kind of pastry found in Athens bakeries and made here by Stella Dikos herself) and topped with soft poached eggs ready to spill their gooey yolks into the crevices. Add roasted potatoes with olive oil, oregano and onions, and a dollop of creamy tzatziki sauce, and you have an original dish that’s Greek in flavor and completely satisfying. 1012 Lafayette St., 358-2011 —Tina Eshleman
Local Breakfast Meats
Whether you’re dining in or sampling some of the best brunch spots around town, Richmond is home to fresh, local meat raised by purveyors right here in Virginia. From breakfast sausage to bacon, bite into our handy guide and learn which neighborhood markets carry regionally raised goods.
By Rachel McGuinn
Nuremberg Breakfast Bratwurst Links, Metzger Bar & Butchery
A 2014 addition to Church Hill’s dining scene, Metzger Bar & Butchery serves German-inspired food and wine, in addition to house-made sausages, bratwurst, and other delectable meats for retail. Its breakfast sausage, a Nuremberg breakfast link made from pork bratwurst and marjoram, is often sourced from Harmony Hill Farm in Glen Allen.
Scrapple and Beef Bacon, Belmont Butchery
You’ll find slow-simmered pork combined with cornmeal and house-mixed spices in Belmont Butchery’s own scrapple recipe. It’s made with pork from Autumn Olive Farms near Waynesboro, and you can serve it pan-fried or scrambled with eggs for a classic Mid-Atlantic breakfast. Belmont also sells bacon made from Virginia-raised beef, rotating between Beechwood, Prospect and Buffalo Creek farms.
Pork Bacon, Little House Green Grocery
Located in Bellevue, Little House Green Grocery receives fresh, weekly deliveries from Keenbell Farms. As its main meat purveyor, Keenbell, a third-generation farm in western Hanover County, delivers brown eggs, beef and chicken in addition to the pork bacon. The packages of pre-sliced, uncured bacon are frozen and range from 1 to 2 pounds.
Sweet Sausage, Union Market
Nestled in Union Hill on Jefferson Avenue, Union Market offers local and specialty goods in addition to casual dine-in fare. Among its local meat options are sweet breakfast sausages with sage, garlic and black pepper, made in-house with pork from The Rock Barn in Nelson County’s Arrington community. The Rock Barn also offers monthly pork shares at $80 for seven to eight fresh cuts. For more information about its rotating goods and pick-up sites, visit therockbarn.com.
Spice up your morning with Richmond’s unconventional offerings
By Piet E. Jones
Breakfast doesn’t seem complete without a little meat, but, as good as bacon and sausage are, sometimes you need to step out of your comfort zone. Leave the links at the door; here are a few of RVA’s best alt-meats to kick-start your day.
Heritage might be considered quintessentially Southern, and very Richmond, but chef Joe Sparatta has slipped his central-Jersey roots into the menu in the form of Taylor Ham, also known as a Pork Roll. Sparatta makes this regional delicacy, a bit like bologna but with a little more tang from lactic fermentation, in-house using heritage pork breeds — Berkshire and Ossabaw — raised by Autumn Olive Farms near Waynesboro. He pairs his pork simply with eggs and cheese; a workingman’s roadhouse breakfast elevated by premium ingredients and care.
One recurring problem with breakfast meats is the amount of fat involved, but Magpie chef and co-owner Owen Lane navigates that greasy issue by serving up a little rabbit. Free-range from Ashley Farms in North Carolina, these coneys get slow-braised in a rabbit-and-squash stock, resulting in tender and tasty morsels that are high in protein and extra lean. Of course, an omelet containing a layer of Brie and house-made seasonal jam might not keep it low in calories, but at least the braised rabbit won’t add too much fat to the party.
Kippered salmon: It’s the “bacon of fishes,” at least according to Rachelle Roberts (above), Perly’s Restaurant & Delicatessen manager, and I can’t really disagree. Hot-house-smoked after brining, this moist, flaky salmon is an amazing way to start the day, whether on a bagel with schmear or cozied up next to some scrambled eggs. Seafood also makes for an amazingly simple addition to any breakfast at home, no cooking required, with many freshly smoked and cured choices of fish easily available from Yellow Umbrella Provisions.
Of course, if you’re craving convention and nothing but sausage will do, run over to the Little House Green Grocery — or even Kroger — and pick up the simply seasoned breakfast sausage with just a hint of sage, made by Richmond’s very own Sausage Craft.
In the age-old war of hash browns vs. home fries, everyone wins (but you must pick a side). Learn the key differences of these breakfast starches, once and for all.
By Stephanie Breijo
House fries. Cottage fries. Fried potatoes. Skillet potatoes. This dish of many names almost always consists of diced potatoes, often parboiled, then fried in oil or butter until browned, typically with the addition of peppers and onions. Add meat and you’ve got yourself a mighty fine hash.
A fried potato doth not necessarily a hash brown make. In the case of these bad boys, finely shred raw potato, no parboiling required. From there, fry up your starchy shards, flattening the pile on your flattop or skillet. Brown one side or both, according to your cravings for crunchiness.
Hot n' Fresh
Add a pick-me-up to the morning shuffle by grabbing a traveling breakfast, prepared from scratch at one of Richmond’s top pastry palaces. Bonus: They all brew superior coffee and tea, to boot.
By Genevelyn Steele
The Wicked Whisk’s cranberry orange scones
The Wicked Whisk
1248 Sycamore Square, Midlothian, 379-8324
If you think of scones as bland quick breads best patched up with clotted cream and butter, then prepare to be pleasantly surprised at The Wicked Whisk, where mid-morning nibbles of their airy, addictive second cousins to biscuits stay moist. Visit at 10 a.m., when the cranberry orange scones, puffed with fruit and sweetly glazed, are warm and fresh from the oven.
620 N. 25th St., 788-7672
Sub Rosa’s attention to detail involves stone-milling flour in-house; curing, smoking and slicing bacon from Tuckahoe Lamb and Cattle Co.; and sniffing out ripe Amy’s Garden strawberries to fill wood-oven-baked croissants. Buttery fig and Manchego radials crackle as they splinter, dropping flaky pastry shards that, along with Sub Rosa Classic breadcrumbs, have led to celebratory reviews from Esquire, The Washington Post and The New York Times.
2707 E. Marshall St., 716-9797
Fellow Virginians, can you name the official state muffin? Here’s a hint: You can find it at WPA Bakery in Church Hill. Sweet or savory, this carb-loading confectioner supplies Richmonders with unusual first meal choices, like olive oil or pumpkin-butterscotch muffins, as well as the state muffin of both Virginia and Minnesota: blueberry.
719 N. Meadow St., 204-1524
Lucille’s Bakery knows how to ward off a case of the 7 a.m. hangries. Cross the threshold of this Fan carryout café to a waiting airpot of freshly brewed Lamplighter coffee. Help yourself. Better? Now, sink your teeth into the custardy center of one of this bakery’s mini quiches. The varieties change daily, with roasted vegetable or ham and cheese, usually in crusty, eggy rotation.
Bird is the Word
You’ll find fluffy, flaky goodness at Lakeside’s Early Bird Biscuit Co., where owner and head baker Tim Laxton whips up 300 to 400 biscuits a day, each made using his grandmother’s own rolling pin. Top buttermilk biscuits with house-made jam, blackstrap molasses butter or local sausage or cheddar gravy, Tuesday to Saturday. Daily biscuit specials alternate between sweet and savory, but we stopped by for a sampling of what you can expect.
By Stephanie Breijo
Photo by Sarah Walor
Old Bay Seasoning and extra-sharp cheddar cheese make for an addictive, salty, buttery start to your day.
This popular biscuit deconstructs pimento cheese flavor with extra-sharp cheddar, fire-roasted red peppers and a touch of cayenne.
PB & J
Jam-packed with in-house preserves, this sweet and sticky option gets topped with a peanut butter glaze.
Apple of My Eye
Enjoy fresh-cut apples, cinnamon, spice and everything nice on this sweet-glazed biscuit that conjures cinnamon rolls.
A slew of shops around town remind us that there’s a second definition of “craft brew”
By Jason Tesauro
Whether coffee is a thoughtless part of your morning routine on par with teeth-brushing or it’s a fetishized ritual akin to wine tasting, somewhere in the 804 there’s a cup with your name on it. Our city boasts many these coffeehouses, but RVA’s entire scene can be broken down into three classes of perk joint: Geek Out, Gack Out and Hang Out. Forget blind loyalties and hit the right one according to each day’s particular kind of java jones.
Geek out: More wine bar than coffee shop, these are the master sommeliers of beans. They treat coffee with poetic and scientific respect. Expect single-origin coffees, pour-overs and Instagram-able latte art, and try a cortado, a kind of small latte or less-foamy cappuccino with exacting ratios.
Lamplighter Roasting Co.
Even Alton Brown gets his Richmond coffee here. Lamplighter didn’t invent brew, but it was the first in Richmond to tout serious coffee consciousness and that Portlandia-like obsession with sourcing and preparation known as the Third Wave coffee movement. Zip into the Addison Street or Morris Street locations for a quickie cup to go, but hit Summit Avenue when you want a contemplative cup to stay; the bar is set up for witnessing the precision of pour-overs and marveling as each perfect shot gets pulled. 1719 Summit Ave., 447-2648 or lamplightercoffee.com
The Lab by Alchemy Coffee
Take one look at the Tom Brickman-built sorghum bar and tables or the wall charts of grind settings and brew times, and you’ll know you’re in the hands of artisans. Eric Spivak, who years ago left Altria to launch a mobile coffee cart, opened this brick-and-mortar over the summer. Blanchard’s Coffee Co. roasts The Lab’s house blend and Counter Culture provides its Reserve series coffees, but whatever the bean, you’ll find the coffee experience educational, approachable and memorable. Don’t miss the 4-foot-tall Yama Cold Brew Drip Tower for a 12-hour showstopper. Craving something sweet? Many of The Lab’s munchies are baked by The Rogue Gentlemen’s Drew Thomasson. 814 W. Broad St., 608-9873 or alchemycoffeerva.com
Gack out: There’s lots of love in the cup, but they also know that sometimes it’s for effect. At these spots, expect house-roasted beans, a broad vocabulary of preparations and well-pulled shots from someone with a master’s degree in barista-ology. Order an espresso doppio (double shot).
Adbibo Coffee Co. Roasterie & Coffee Shop
With Pescado’s and Adbibo, in-town food snobs are going to have to stop knocking Chesterfield and Midlothian. Here at Adbibo, they roast their own beans and offer a score of single-origin coffees as well as baked goods, sandwiches to-order and tons of gear and gizmos for the home barista. Adbibo’s bright lights and office-break-room-style furniture won’t endear itself to indie slackers, midday rendezvousers or romantic canoodlers, but that’s not Midlothian’s MO, anyway. 10825 Midlothian Turnpike, 464-2919 or adbibocoffee.com
Black Hand Coffee Co.
Richmond loves its neighborhood spots. Whereas Starbucks eyes strip malls and busy thoroughfares, Black Hand’s Museum District locale means you won’t run into tourists or the khaki set, but it does mean you should allot five extra minutes for small talk with the two pals you’ll inevitably run into. Beans are roasted on-site with a lighter touch, which — contrary to the “dark roast equals high-octane” perception — means higher potency. The shop is small but the flavors are big, and the breakfast bagels are cheap and tasty. Pop in now for a Black Eye (one-third espresso, two-thirds coffee), but beware the up-at-3 a.m. red eyes later. 3101 Patterson Ave., 855-0800 or blackhandcoffeeco.com
Hang out: C’mon, it’s just coffee. In these joints, coffee isn’t a solo act, but part of a larger ensemble of drinks, food, tunes and community. Order the house blend and enjoy copious free refills.
Captain Buzzy’s Beanery
It’s a neighborhood meet-up spot with fresh, hand-pressed orange juice, and beans roasted daily to a chocolatey dark. Chill out with a newspaper and fill up with hot joe or hot gossip; this is the coffee equivalent of Church Hill’s beer-and-a-shot hideaway, Poe’s Pub. And before you play some cornhole out front, read comic books in the big sunny window or settle into deep conversation with a friend, don’t quibble over what to order — nothing’s sucky, nothing’s sublime — instead, mutter without irony your best When Harry Met Sally impression: “I’ll have what she’s having.” You can’t go wrong. 2623 E. Broad St., 377-6655
Battle of the Booze
In the world of brunch beverages, two libations reign supreme: The mimosa and the Bloody Mary
By Nicole Lang
The origin of the Bloody Mary is about as clear as the drink itself, but cocktail scholars can agree that it’s always been heralded as a hangover cure, and no wonder; was there ever a drink more suited to improvisation? Gone is the classic celery stick garnish, replaced by every house-made pickle imaginable, and in some cases, whatever the barkeep can successfully affix to the glass; bacon, pickled okra, caper berries, deviled eggs, deep-fried peppers, shrimp. Additions aside, in Richmond, true Bloody Mary street cred is only attained with an in-house mix.
The Magpie’s take on the Bloody Mary is so polarizing, they print a disclaimer on the menu and offer an off-menu classic option. Co-owner Tiffany Gellner-Lane wanted a cocktail of fresh vegetables based on her love of V8 juice, so her husband, chef and co-owner Owen Lane, created the veggie-rich gazpacho base that’s now a Carver cult favorite. 1301 W. Leigh St., 269-0023
Casa Del Barco eschews vodka for its tequila-based Bloody Maria. The standard starts with blanco tequila, a house-made Bloody mix, fresh jalapeño and an ancho chili salt rim. With over 130 tequilas available to upgrade your Maria, you could be there a while. 320 S. 12th St. on the Canal Walk, 775-2628
Dismayed by the watery mess most Bloody Marys become, Heritage’s Timothy Quinn sought to prevent dilution by using canned whole Italian plum tomatoes instead of juice, and blending them with chipotle chilies for heat and smoke. Bread-and-butter pickle juice adds a sweet and sour element, while a trio of secret ingredients heighten the umami factor in this much-lauded Bloody. 1627 W. Main St., 353-4060
Hemingway at The Ritz, The Buck’s Club of 1920s London — heck, even Alfred Hitchcock — are all credited with bringing the mimosa to the brunch table. And who would argue against starting the day with Champagne? (Certainly not Hemingway!) Though the true mimosa recipe calls for French bubbles, yours likely will be made with a sparkling wine alternative like Cava, Prosecco or Moscato d’Asti (unless you do, in fact, happen to be at The Ritz). After a night of too much whoop-de-do, an effervescent and sprightly mimosa is just the thing.
Even the health-conscious among us like to partake in a morning tipple now and then. The Daily Kitchen & Bar, whose Hippocratic motto “may thy food be thy medicine and thy medicine be thy food,” offers a whopping six varieties of juice — pomegranate, passion fruit, pineapple, cranberry, orange and grapefruit — to enhance the classic mimosa during brunch on Sundays. 2934 W. Cary St., 342-8990
Folks line up early to score a seat at Greek oasis Stella’s. Its menu offers a traditional mimosa for its bustling Sunday brunch, but most prefer the Mediterranean twist of the pomegranate mimosa or the elegant sparkler Hagia Sophia, which features Prosecco, Aperol and St-Germain. 1012 Lafayette St., 358-2011
Keeping it simple (and simply delicious), freshly juiced oranges and Cava are the signature and classic duo available during brunch on Saturdays and Sundays at Saison. (The Jackson Ward spot also features a local heirloom tomato Bloody Mary during tomato season.) 23 W. Marshall St., 269-3689
Hair of the Dog
Hungover? These food-and-beverage combos packed with vitamin C, caffeine, fat, protein and booze are the ones you should choose.
By Genevelyn Steele
$8, with one dry-toasted English muffin, $2, at Strawberry Street Café
A White Russian with espresso vodka engineers one rich Big Lebowski tribute drink. This quasi-melted milkshake, buffered by a starch-filled stomach, provides sustenance for when you’re not quite up to keeping real food down.
Lamplighter Nitro Cold Brew
$3.75, with Fried Chicken Biscuit,
$6, at Saison Market
Tall Bike coffee concentrate that’s chilled, kegged, then tapped and poured through nitrogen to alleviate bitterness. Get the homemade biscuit to-go, and you can lick your fingers after catching every healing crumb.
$5, and Po Boys, $8 to $10, Wednesday nights at Pearl Raw Bar
Stop by for Leidenheimer Baking Co. buns, sourced from New Orleans and over-filled with fried seafood, best served with a pint of Starr Hill Grateful Pale Ale to kick the shakes Big Easy-style. The beer’s lower alcohol content of 4.7 percent makes good bellytimber without stoking last night’s fire.
$7, and Hot, Black and Blues, $7.50, at The Continental Divide
This is the Special K of hangover drinks: plain ol’ well tequila, grenadine and freshly squeezed O.J. Start your day off right by ordering one alongside a bowl of blue corn chips served with goat cheese and dotted with the Divide’s endorphin-releasing Danger sauce.
$16 at Sam Miller’s
It’s a protein-chocked appetizer in a glass that’ll fill your engine with toxin-flushing tomato lycopene, garnished with crab-stuffed olives, blackened shrimp and celery sticks.
You wake up starving, possibly (OK, probably) late. You need breakfast, and you need it fast; no time for forks and knives today! This morning, you’re eating with your hands. Fortunately, there are a number of RVA restaurants and coffeehouses that understand the art of the breakfast sandwich, achieving that perfect ratio of bread-to-egg-to-cheese-to-meat (or meat substitute).
By Stephanie Breijo
- The Egg & Cheddar Torta
This flavorful sandwich packs a salty, seasoned punch with gratuitous amounts of scrambled eggs, cheddar and curried cabbage slaw on a soft bolillo roll, served until 3 p.m. each weekday. For best results, add house-made chorizo for $1. BONUS: Your breakfast sandwich comes equipped with one side; though these options rotate, expect choices like fresh fruit, Byrd Mill grits, masala potatoes or lentils with feta.
- The Pretzel Sammy with Schnitzel
Metzger Bar & Butchery, $9
Take a bite out of Deutschland with this brunch on a bun. Metzger’s buttery house-made pretzel roll contains an over-easy egg atop a thick slice of Appenzeller or Landaff cheese, as well as the plate’s shining star, the fresh schnitzel made of pork loin that’s sliced, pounded, breaded with panko, then fried to a golden crisp. Those duck-fat potatoes aren’t too shabby, either.
- The Velocity
Quite possibly the messiest breakfast sandwich in RVA, The Velocity piles two eggs cooked your way with six hearty strips of bacon, two slices of American cheese, a slathering of Duke’s Mayonnaise and a heavy dash of Texas Pete hot sauce on thick, buttered Texas Toast. It’s everything that’s wonderful and terrible about American excess, all at once.
- Twin Oaks Soy Chorizo Sandwich
Lamplighter Roasting Co., $5.75
Looking for something a tad lighter? Lamplighter’s Addison and Morris street locations offer a meat substitute that even the most bloodthirsty omnivores will enjoy. Twin Oaks’ soy chorizo lends mild heat to this sammy with fluffy egg, avocado, tomato and Havarti. Order this baby on a soft knot roll, or for $1.50 more, on gluten-free bread.
Saison Market, $3-$6
Get a sweet n’ savory fix at Saison Market with the Mallorca, Saison’s take on the classic ham-and-cheese combo. The basic model — a gooey, glorified grilled cheese — sets you back $3, warding off early-a.m. hunger with cheddar on potato bread that’s been dusted with powdered sugar. Veer into breakfast territory for $1 more and add an egg; $2 more upgrades you to country ham. Go on and treat yourself; the eggs and ham are worth that $3 splurge.
All Day ... And All of the Night
The breakfast bell could toll for thee at any time; whether you’re craving a pile of eggs in the afternoon, a stack of pancakes for dinner or a 2 a.m. post-bar breakfast burrito, Richmond’s always got you covered with diners and doughnuts galore.
By Stephanie Breijo
104 N. 18th St., 643-1640
Stop by Shockoe Bottom’s Luncheonette diner for greasy-spoon classics like ham and eggs, biscuits and gravy, and corned beef hash, or turn that plastic menu page and feast your eyes (and/or stomach) on their “deluxe” pancakes. These cakes come fully loaded in flavors like Bananas Foster, Apple Turnover, Coffee Cake, and Cookies-N-Cream, so you might want to sit out the shakes, floats and egg creams when ordering. Or you might not. Life is short, after all.
Aunt Sarah’s Pancake House
9010 Brook Road, 269-0198
Aunt Sarah’s has been stacking buttery buttermilk discs with a variety of syrups since 1962. Try add-ins like fresh strawberries, bananas, chocolate chips and pecans, or opt for “melt in your mouth” corn cakes until the clock strikes 7 p.m. (or 8 p.m. on Friday and Saturday). If eggs are more your speed, try a Super Skillet, or stop by on Thursdays when omelets are buy one, get one free. The location at 4502 W. Broad St. also serves breakfast all day, but get your fix early, because this spot closes at 3 p.m. Sunday through Thursday.
C&M Galley Kitchen
2805 Hathaway Road, 323-1117
Head to Stratford Hills for diverse breakfast dishes served gratuitously and late. In the mood for Italian-inspired eggs? Try the frittata with mozzarella, basil and roasted red pepper, or perhaps the Italian sausage with peppers, onions and potatoes with two fried eggs. Looking for something lighter? A breakfast salad could do the trick, as could granola with Greek yogurt and honey. Whether you’re saddling up for the Cowboy Breakfast with beef chili or the Smoked Salmon Frittata, you’ve got options, and they’re all under $10.
1601 Park Ave., 355-8817
Spice up your breakfast with Kuba Kuba’s huevos, served daily from 9 a.m. ’til close. This Fan favorite plates Cuban-inspired flavor, as well as Spanish tortillas — a traditional skillet-baked egg dish with any number of savory ingredients like potatoes, chorizo, peppers, onions and cheese — though you can’t go wrong with the slow-roasted-pork omelet and a cup of their Gaviña coffee, with or without the steamed milk. Don’t forget: It’s never too early for a slice of tres leches cake.
3109 W. Cary St., 213-0510
This Carytown staple serves up its Interplanetary Breakfast from open ’til close, as early as 10 a.m. to as late/early as 2 a.m. Take a seat in one of Galaxy’s glittery booths and order from the pun-laden menu, with options like the Halley’s Omelette (with bacon, green peppers, onions, mushrooms, tots, tomatoes and American cheese), or the decadent Black Hole Pancakes stuffed with Oreo cookies. Whatever you choose, be sure to order a side of fried pickles because, ahem, they’re out of this world.
Joe’s Inn at Heart of the Fan
205 N. Shields Ave., 355-2282
One of Richmond’s most beloved breakfast and brunch spots, Joe’s Inn has been serving RVA since 1952. Pop in for breakfast starting at 8 a.m. daily and enjoy omelets, steak and eggs (in both 6-ounce and 12-ounce meaty portions), an egg on a bun, French toast and more until closing, be it at midnight (Sunday through Thursday) or 2 a.m. (Fridays and Saturdays). If you’re craving more bite with that breakfast, Bloody Mary and mimosa pints run $4.75 on weekdays, but they’ll only set you back $3 on Saturday and Sunday until 3 p.m.
River City Diner
7 N. 17th St., 644-9418
11430 W. Huguenot Road, 897-9518
803 E. Parham Road, 266-1500
All three River City locales offer classic diner breakfast fare all day, with pancakes and omelets aplenty. If you’re not in the mood for a short stack or a scramble, opt for a reliable eggs ’n’ meat combo with a side of hash browns, fried apples or grits, or try to tackle Rod’s Breakfast Sandwich, piled with country-fried steak, bacon, eggs and cheese.
6925 Hull Street Road, 276-3391
One of Richmond’s best and most beloved breakfast gems is also one of its most unconventional; La Milpa, the 24-hour Mexican restaurant and market, is a lonely building in a South Side parking lot. Inside, it’s hung with piñatas, hats and dried goods, and serves some of the most authentic Mexican food you can find in RVA. Order on-menu items like Huevos Rancheros or Huevos con Chorizo, each served with rice and beans for $8, or venture off-menu by adding huevos to your tacos, quesadillas and burritos for $1.50-per-egg more.
Country Style Donuts
4300 Williamsburg Road, 222-2466
And lest ye forget the sweeter things in life, remember that you can find fresh-from-the-fryer doughnuts 24 hours a day, six days a week at Country Style. (Try not to crave their goods on a Monday.) With 40 different doughnut flavors to choose from — and a variety of pastries like bear claws and turnovers — you’ve got a wealth of sugary options ahead of you at a cost of $1 per doughnut or $9 per dozen.
3rd Street Diner
218 E. Main St., 788-4750
When your breakfast craving strikes in the wee hours of the morning, your best diner bet is on 3rd Street. This 24/7 watering hole hits the spot with a handful of options for two-egg breakfasts, three-egg omelets, breakfast platters and egg-and-cheese sandwiches, and even offers a $4 early bird special between 6 and 10 a.m. If you’re feeling especially ravenous, visit the diner between 2 and 6 a.m. on Fridays and Saturdays for a $10 all-you-can-eat breakfast buffet; just give us all of the bacon and eggs you have, 3rd Street.