The Village Cafe: National Acclaim, Local Atmosphere

By Charlie Couch

The Village Cafe became my most frequented restaurant after I moved to Richmond two years ago. Locally owned, the Village continues to be a prominent establishment in the Richmond community since it opened its doors more than five years ago. The old news-clippings and posters covering the inner-walls display a city-centric theme.

Being from one of the smallest towns in Virginia, I fell in love with the Village Cafe for the same reason I now love Richmond: diversity. Each time you go for lunch, you can always expect new food, music and people. There is only one struggle here: deciding what you want to eat!

The Village Cafe has a little bit everything, from cafe-style sandwiches, like the Turkey Rueban and Chicken Salad on Croissant, to classic Italian foods, such as subs, pizzas and pastas. The pesto and pasta is my personal favorite. Nationally recognized, where Guy Fieri raved about the signature onion rings on The Food Network’s “Diners, Drive-Ins  and Dives.”

Hungry for breakfast? They have it all day whether you want Dae’s Breakfast Buritto or just a bowl of granola. Are you a vegetarian? I highly recommend the hummus plate or the felafel! The assortment of milkshakes is always good, and the Country-Fried Steak and Richbrau’s Fish and Chips are two signature dishes worth mentioning.

Lets talk service: The waiters and waitresses are all relaxed and down-to-earth. None of them have that unnaturally-perky-smiling issue – the one that many servers think increases their tip, but only ends up increasing the level of discomfort at the table.

The service isn’t usually slow, however every restaurant has the occasional hellish rush.  The best time to go to any establishment is during their ‘off-hours’: the time in between the lunch and dinner  rush. The off-hours at the Village Cafe are typically between two and five in the afternoon.

Moving to music, the Village plays the classics, popular modern music, and many times I’ll catch a new band I’ve never heard before resonating from a neon jukebox in the back of the restaurant. That’s right: the power is with the people in this place.

If asked, I would recommend the Village Cafe to anyone, especially those new in to the VCU area. If you’ve live here for any decent amount of time, you should know what makes it a local favorite. The atmosphere and selection of food provided at this establishment makes it an extraordinary experience.

The Village Cafe is located at 1001 W Grace St in Richmond. Menu and daily specials can be found at the Village Cafe’s web site here: http://villagecafeonline.com.

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