Walking around downtown Richmond and it’s clear that the city is coming back to life after two years of work-from-home. Office workers are returning to the city center, and festivals and concerts are once again on full display on Brown’s Island. But for those looking to fill time between work and play, or for somewhere to go after a Brown’s Island event, we’ve rounded up a few of our favorite places to visit while downtown. 


Capital Ale House

A true downtown OG, this is the Capital Ale House location that started it all. The two-story restaurant, complete with a courtyard beer garden and an attached concert hall, is perfect for whatever the day brings: from lunch with coworkers, to an after-festival beer, to a first date. 

Casa Del Barco

Perfectly situated along the Canal Walk, Casa Del Barco’s renovated patio is the perfect place to meet up with friends before or after an event on Brown’s Island. Grab a table under the fully covered patio for a full meal, or head to the new container bar for a quick drink and bite to eat. 

The Tobacco Company

The Tobacco Company Restaurant, which first opened in 1977 in a Shockoe Slip tobacco warehouse dating back to 1866, is worth a trip for the unique setting alone. A perfect spot for client lunches and dinners,  Tobacco Company really shines as a great place to enjoy live music in a relaxed, yet chic atmosphere; grab a cocktail table or sit at the bar to enjoy live music most weekends. 

First Freedom Center

For a quick bit of history squeezed in during your lunch break, pop into the Valentine Museum’s First Freedom Center in Shockoe Slip (connected to the Courtyard Marriott) for a free exploration of the past, present, and future exploration of religious freedom in America as first imagined by Thomas Jefferson when he drafted the Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom in 1777, paving the way for the First Amendment. 

Tyler Potterfield Bridge

Affectionately called T. Pott, the T. Tyler Potterfield Bridge offers some of the best views in the city and is the perfect way to kill time before an event on Brown’s Island, or to stretch your legs during lunch. Completed in 2016, the bridge connects Manchester to Brown’s Island while offering pedestrians and cyclists an up-close view of the skyline and the river below. The original section, located immediately off of Brown’s Island, also includes the installation, “Three Days in April 1865,” chronicling the fall of Richmond during the Civil War. 

Mis En Place

The perfect date night activity, this Shockoe Slip-based cooking school offers a variety of cooking classes for budding chefs of all skill levels. Mis En Place classes range from food-focused topics including French Bistro Classics, Cozy Comfort Foods, and Fermented Hot Sauce to technique-oriented classes. Selected classes are also offered online. 

Wick & Sip Candle Lounge

Looking to meet up with the girls after work? Check out the brand new Wick & Sip Candle Lounge. The perfect combination of self-care, at Wick & Sip you’ll get to create your own candle – selecting everything from the jar to the scent, while enjoying wine, music, and good vibes. 

Fountain Bookstore

Cozy and charming, this locally-owned bookstore is everything a classic bookstore should be. Well-stocked with the latest titles, Fountain Bookstore is the perfect place to pop in to pick up a book during your lunch break, or before grabbing dinner. 

Urban Farmhouse

From a quick coffee to a glass of wine, scones to sandwiches, Shockoe Slip’s Urban Farmhouse is the place to pop in for a quick bite while out and about downtown. They offer a Happy Hour Monday through Friday and occasionally feature live music.