917 W. Grace St.
Second Place: Fresca on Addision
Third Place: 821 Cafe
It takes confidence to call itself Richmond's best vegetarian restaurant, but after 15 years of solid success, Ipanema Cafe respectfully claims the title. Meat is never missed at this cellar-level clubhouse for students, hipsters, their parents, neighbors, musicians, artists and folks looking for an interesting twist on plant-based dining. A constantly changing menu has a fish dish thrown in, but otherwise teems with sauces, veggies and hearty grains. Wine, beer, live music, an earthy patio and a creative bohemian vibe add up to a low-key and affordable experience that fans flock to with loyalty. Regulars adore the simple storefront and patio dining at Fresca on Addison, where everything is meat-free and made fresh daily. Pizzas, sandwiches, soups and salads step just off the beaten path, and the staff knows how to meet a special request head-on. Nearby, vegetarians and meat lovers mingle at 821 Cafe, and no one seems to mind that a giant burger shares menu space with a tofu po' boy. At 821, there's something hearty and handmade for most anyone's taste, at a price point that wins applause.