205 N. Shields Ave.
Second Place: McLean's Restaurant
Third Place: Perly's Restaurant
You aren't officially a Richmonder till you've waited on the sidewalk outside Joe's Inn for weekend breakfast. Everyone knows the rule: Large parties don't get seated until everyone arrives. But there's always a convivial vibe outside, so the wait becomes part of the pleasure of the meal. Inside diners are guaranteed plenty of food for a pittance and the fastest service they could hope for, especially considering how full the place always is. There's also a family-friendly appeal, meaning no worries when your child shrieks or throws a pancake on the floor. McLean's not only does a good breakfast, but also is open when some people most need it — the middle of the night. It's open seven days a week, 6 a.m. - 3 a.m. And on Fridays and Saturdays it honors the drinkers, club-goers and night owls by opening at 9 p.m. and staying open throughout the night for philosophical discussions and assessments of what came before. Perly's is always a hoot, with equal parts downtown worker bees and curious visitors who've heard that the biscuits are an essential part of the Richmond experience. And they are.