Grounds for Discourse: Richmond’s Local Perks

Here’s the spot where we get to talk about our favorite local coffee shops. Perhaps you’ll discover a new favorite of your own, here. We’ve found these places offer a combination of excellent beverages along with a great coffee shop atmosphere. However, if your favorite isn’t on the list, drop us a line and make a recommendation.


Alchemy

814 W. Broad Street  |  (804) 608-9873

If you ever find yourself searching for the true meaning of coffee, you needn’t look any further than Alchemy Coffee. At Alchemy, single-origin drip and properly extracted espresso is abundant. And so is education. Alchemy is located on VCU’s campus, which makes it convienent for students and staff to spend a moment with any barista to learn about coffee, how it’s brewed, and what makes a cup so special. The mission at Alchemy is to enhance the coffee experience through consumer education. And they seek to encourage and direct those in pursuit of the perfect cup.

Allegro Coffee

11173 W Broad Street  |  (804) 364-4050

Located inside of Whole Foods is a coffee shop unlike any other. Not your typical grocery store kiosk, Allegro Coffee serves up something more than a beverage. They offer sustainability in a cup. According to Allegro, coffee is more than just roasting beans. It’s the craft and the community. And they pursue this value by selecting farms committed to sustainable and environmentally friendly practices that are rooted and invested in their communities. Allegro also takes pride in paying their farming partners a fair price that exceeds their cost of production so they can reinvest in their farms and hire and retain the best workers and grow a strong business. Plus, they also donate money to enable the communities to continue thriving, and remain healthy, educated and prosperous. Such dedication to the community brings so much more value to your morning cup-of-joe.

Black Hand Coffee

3101 Patterson Avenue  |  (804) 855-0800

Black Hand Coffee’s mission is to connect coffee drinkers with the best roasts that the international market has to offer. And they are doing just that. Their high-quality green coffee beans are imported from farms around the world; discovered by their friends and importers at Café Imports. Beans are then roasted and transformed into delicious cups of coffee, right here in Richmond. But Black Hand Coffee isn’t just about the brew. They also support the local community through partnerships with non-profit organizations like Comfort Zone Camp, I AM RVA, and Live To Serve.

Bravo Rocco Italian Café

9200 Stony Point Parkway, Suite 180  |  (804) 767-1485

Whether you’re looking to relax with a beverage of your choice or grab and go, at Bravo Rocco Italian Café, you’ll be met with friendly faces that will make you feel like part of the family. Located in the newly designed Stony Point Fashion Center, Bravo Rocco is the perfect place to find respite from a hectic shopping day. Their delicious coffee is made with milk from Trickling Springs Creamery, who’s grass-fed, heritage breed cows, produce clean milk without synthetic hormones. The benefits of grass-fed milk includes a higher protein content, which offers wonderful richness when added to your coffee beverage. Plus, it may give you the added boost you need to continue on with your shopping day!

Brewer’s Café

1125 Bainbridge Street  |  (804) 230-7660

It’s hard to mention a coffee shop without discussing Brewer’s Café. This Manchester destination has been featured on every “Best Coffee Shop” list since it opened in 2015. And the accolades are well deserved. Owner, Ajay Brewer, works with Red Rooster Coffee Roaster from Floyd, Virginia to source delicious coffee beans that are bold, complex, and always ethically and sustainably sourced. Additionally, Brewer’soffers an extensive pastry and made-to-order sandwich menu that’s perfect for any breakfast or lunch meal. Happy Hour specials include a variety of Virginia beers and 25 different whiskeys, all of which serve as the perfect after work treat. But what makes Brewer’s Café special is the owners dedication to the community. Brewer has built his café to serve as a sort of “neighborhood living room,” where all are invited to the café to host events, art shows, meetings, or just relax and take in the day.

Caffespresso

1127 Gaskins Road  |  (804) 350-4504

Step into Caffesspresso and for a moment, you may feel that you’ve taken a trip. Modern tables and chairs have been traded for comfortable sofas, oversized seats and bistro sets. Hardback books cover an entire wall from floor to ceiling, emphasizing the cafe’s successful “take-one-leave-one” book policy. The sun shines through huge windows, suffusing light all throughout the wine bottles that surround the room. Such ambiance implies that a grab-and-go meal just won’t due, here. Each customer must sit and stay for a while. And of course, the coffee is delicious. Coffee, cappuccino, lattes and more are served Italian style in ceramic cups. Authentic Italian panini’s made with focaccia are freshly prepared along with house made salads and other tasty delights. And the free water allows you to cleanse your palate whenever you are ready for a new flavor. Caffespresso isn’t just a café. It’s a destination.

Capital One Café

11872 W. Broad Street, (804) 655-4541  |  2933 West Cary Street, (804) 655-4542

When it comes to banking, Capital One is always thinking outside the box. Blazing a trail, this big bank is swapping its overgrown persona for a more local appeal with the Capital One Café. This fully functional café serves up fresh Peete’s Coffee to Capital One customers and non-customers, alike. Free wifi allows visitors to work and surf the net without hassle. And a small kids area allows children to relax and play as needed. And of course, there’s banking. Friendly financial ambassadors and money coaches are scattered throughout the café to answer any financial questions you may have. Classes and talks are also regularly scheduled for those who want to add to their financial literacy. Want to open an account? You can do that and more at the Capital One Café right after you grab a latte and a scone. One fun fact: Capital One was founded in 1988 by two friends, right here in Richmond, VA. And in the café, card holders receive 50% off food and beverage purchases!

Carytown Coffee

2425 Colony Crossing Place  |  (804) 639-9953

It’s impossible to mention a coffee shop and not mention Carytown Coffee. This coffee shop is deeply rooted into the modern history of Richmond and has served fresh brews to generations of family members. Originally established as James River Coffee Company in 1990, they later became Carytown Coffee in 2009 and then a full service coffee and espresso bar in 2012. Carytown Coffee has supplied premium coffee to Virginia and the mid-Atlantic region for over two decades, with all of their coffees roasted and blended right in Chesterfield County. And though they no longer have a storefront in the Carytown district of Richmond, customers can still find their delicious drip coffee in various markets and restaurants in the area including, The Fresh Market and Mary Angela’s Pizzeria.

Crossroads Coffee & Ice Cream

3600 Forest Hill Avenue  |  (804) 231-2030

If there’s one place that gets the party jumping, it’s Crossroads café. Open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, this café is more than a coffee shop. It’s a lifestyle. Crossroads is the place to be for live music, poetry nights and all around great food. And the coffee is stellar also. Friends and their furry family members can enjoy a cappuccino or a regular Cup-of-Joe on the pet friendly patio anytime throughout the day. And when you need a little more than a caffeine kick, food, wine and beer are also available.

Lamplighter Coffee Roaster

1719 Summit Avenue  |  (804) 447-2648

Lamplighters is a hidden gem with a rather industrial appearance. The café sources high quality, sustainably produced, unique beans, resulting in a delicious pour over brews. But their service doesn’t stop at good coffee. Customers can sign up for any number of their classes to learn foundational coffee knowledge, barista and brewing fundamentals, latte art and more!

Perk! Coffee & Lunchbox

2620 Buford Road  |  (804) 320-7375

If you’re looking for a coffee shop that appeals to the entire family, Perk! Coffee & Lunchbox is the place to go! Perk! has taken so much care to create a special space for everyone. Parents can grab coffee with a friend while their kids play in the oversized tots area. Teens and young adults can surf the net for free with the cafe’s super fast wifi. And all who are thirsty and hungry can enjoy the locally sourced coffee and food. Perk! makes most things in house including their breads, soups and Greek yogurt. And with such a friendly and family oriented staff, you can easily spend all afternoon in Perk! without feeling the time pass by.

Roastology

10825 Midlothian Turnpike  |  (804) 464-2919

If you want to visit a coffee shop that roasts their very own coffee, then this is the place! Roastology’s coffee is roasted in small-batch to emphasize sweetness and balance. And with frequent cupping, their baristas have perfected the ultimate flavor profiles that tickle all taste buds. Their wide variety of beans and roast levels make it easy to find your favorite coffee, from fruity to baker’s chocolate and everything in between. And if you really fall in love, you can take a class on how to roast your own coffee.

Sugar & Twine

2928 W. Cary Street  |  (804) 204-1755 

We can’t say that Sugar & Twine is the best coffee shop in Richmond. However, the line that extends out the door and down the street strongly suggests that it is. This chic coffee shop is a local staple and a travel destination. But what makes it so special is their inclusivity. Their handmade pastries are baked fresh every morning with the best ingredients. Vegans and gluten-free eaters have a plethora of options to choose from. Even furry customers are greeted with treats and a water bowl. But besides all of this, the coffee is just amazing. Served warm in a ceramic cup or a disposable one, this shop makes it easy for locals and visitors to relax and feel good. This is a place where all are welcome.

Ashley Jefferson
Author: Ashley Jefferson

Ashley Jefferson is the EIC of River City Mag. She currently lives in Richmond, VA with her fiance.

Ashley Jefferson
Ashley Jefferson is the EIC of River City Mag. She currently lives in Richmond, VA with her fiance.