Exploring the Center of Downtown Richmond’s Community and Culture
As one of the oldest neighborhoods in Richmond, VA, Shockoe Bottom has been a staple in downtown Richmond since the 1800s.
Despite its age and cobblestone streets, Shockoe Bottom continues to be a vibrant neighborhood flowing with culture and life. Many old warehouses and buildings have been turned into apartment complexes and store fronts.
The Shockoe Bottom and Shockoe Slip we all know and love today have many local restaurants, cafes, boutiques, small businesses and more for all to enjoy.
Here’s a deep dive into everything you can experience when you dig into the downtown scene.
Looking for a bite to eat? You can for sure find something in Shockoe Bottom. There are tons of refined restaurants and bubbly bistros with mouth-watering food to sink your teeth into. You can find both local mom-and-pop establishments and larger chains serving breakfast, lunch and dinner. Here are some of our favorites:
- Bookbinder’s: Seafood and steakhouse great for a date night
- Oak & Apple: Savory BBQ for your Southern cravings
- Lulu’s : A trend-setting hotspot known for its gourmet brunch
- Bottoms Up Pizza: Family-friendly pizzeria with specialty pies
- Station 2: Classic burgers and brews
- Urban Farmhouse Market: Fresh, local and organic ingredients
- Grandstaff & Stein: For your Roaring ‘20s enthusiast
- Havana 59: Cuban-inspired cuisine with decor to match
If you’re searching for something to do on your time off, RVA’s Shockoe Bottom has plenty of opportunities for you to get out there and explore the area. The cobblestone streets are rich with history and culture – there are lessons and leisurely activities around every corner.
Spend your day seeing all the city has to offer:
- Museums: Explore the Poe Museum and the Virginia Holocaust Museum to learn more about our history.
- Richmond Slave Trail: Walk through downtown Richmond, learn about the history of the slave trade and visit local slave market sites.
- Kanawha Plaza: Join in on family-friendly community events, or view the fun architecture on your own.
- Virginia Capital Trail: Run, walk or bike along the James River. The trail takes you all throughout the city, but you can start the adventure at Shockoe’s access point.
- 17th Street Farmers Market: Support our Richmond community by visiting and buying from local vendors every weekend.
Fun for Over 21
There’s nothing as exhilarating as a night out on the town. Shockoe Slip is home to many bars, breweries and nightclubs for those 21 and over. Some establishments have been around for decades – providing enjoyment for generations of Richmonders.
To name a few:
- Sine Irish Pub: Authentic Irish Pub that hosts DJs and good times
- Southern Railway Taphouse: Pleasant dining, drinking and dancing on the weekends
- Canal Club: Hole-in-the-wall club known for live entertainment from local bands
- McCormack’s Irish Pub: A dive bar for the whiskey worshipers
- Wonderland: A local grunge dive bar where eclectic meets punk
Park and Play While You’re in Richmond, VA
Whatever the reason why you’re visiting downtown Richmond – eating brunch with your besties or taking the kids to explore the James River – don’t let Shockoe slip your mind.
Even if you’re just going out for a few hours, it’s helpful to know a reliable location to park your car. Every city has its parking problems, and Richmond is no exception. If you want to explore the area but are hesitant with the narrow roads and complicated street parking, CityParking has several lot locations you can try.
CityParking’s Shockoe Bottom parking options include:
- Lot 801: 18th & E. Main St.
- Lot 160: Lovings Parking (1604 E. Franklin St.)
- Lot 180: 18th & East Grace
- Lot 127: S. 17th St. (13 S. 17th St.)
- Lot 141: 14th & Cary Parking Deck
- Lot 15: 15th & Main St.
- Lot 222: 17th St. & Amber
- Lot 31: Cary & Dock, between 15th & 16th
- Lot 125: Dock Street
Don’t let crowded streets and parallel parking paranoia make you miss out on exploring Richmond’s oldest, most exciting neighborhood.