Before having kids, eating out on a patio was many things. It was a way to herald the start of warm weather, it was a way to enjoy a glass of wine or cocktails with friends while enjoying Richmond’s scenery, and it was a way to appreciate fun company in a relaxed setting. Then came kids. These days, patio dining has a new set of benefits. Patios are a place where dropped chicken nuggets and applesauce won’t stain a carpet, loud noises aren’t quite so off-putting (and by loud noises, we, of course, mean our kids), and the scenery is a little more engaging for curious little minds.
Now that warm weather has finally settled in for the season, many Richmond area restaurants are opening up their outdoor seating areas, making dining out with a family much more appealing. And of course, summer also brings with it visits from friends and family, special holidays, and a break from school, leaving us all in need of fun, family-friendly dining options.
To make finding the perfect patio a little easier, we’ve taken a look at some of Richmond’s outdoor dining options and chosen five of our favorites. To make our list, the following five patio restaurants had to offer:
- A great patio, of course (i.e., space, shade, and view)
- A menu with a range of options for all ages
- A great atmosphere for families – inside or out
The following five patio dining options met our requirements with ease and if they aren’t already on your summer dining go-to list, they will be soon!
Take a look at our favorite patio dining spots in Richmond below and as always, if there’s one you think should make the list, let us know! You can reach us anytime at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This charming River Road restaurant has been serving the Richmond area for more than 20 years. With their extensive menu featuring “healthy, eclectic world cuisine,” MOSAIC focuses on local and seasonal ingredients to keep their options fresh and varied. Open for lunch, dinner, and Sunday brunch, MOSAIC is a casually upscale dining option, perfect for special events or a Sunday brunch treat. See the full menu here.
The Patio: MOSAIC offers a beautifully bricked front patio with a partially covered area, spacious tables, and umbrellas for extra shade. While the patio is not enclosed (in other words, you won’t want to let little ones run free), it is large enough to allow for plenty of movement, strollers, high chairs, and more. If indoor dining is your preference, however, their dining rooms are large and lovely, making them perfect families anytime.
Location and Contact:
6229 River Road, Richmond, Virginia 23229
If it’s true Richmond ambiance you’re looking for, look no further than Casa del Barco along Richmond’s historic Canal Walk. Perfect for a family lunch outing, a festive dinner experience, or a fun place to take family and friends for Sunday brunch, Casa del Barco provides a colorful, creative, and authentic Mexican food experience in the heart of Richmond. With food and drink specials throughout the week, you’ll find something for everyone on their extensive menus – including a dedicated kids’ menu. See all of their menus here.
The Patio: As mentioned, Casa del Barco sits right along the Canal Walk in downtown Richmond. Housed in the original 1890s Reynolds Metals Italianate building, the patio is an extension of the restaurant’s historic vibe, offering views of the canal, as well as great people watching. Filled with spacious, umbrella-covered tables, Casa del Barco’s patio is great for kids of all ages thanks to an enclosure that lets little ones explore without wandering off. Best of all, if you bring your furry friends along, the patio is also dog-friendly!
As a side note, we should mention that Casa del Barco has a new, second location at Short Pump Town Center. And while it doesn’t have the same patio ambiance as the Canal Walk restaurant, it does offer a fantastically fun rooftop patio/bar. With plenty of open air, tables, and couch seating, it’s a great place for a casual stop-in.
Location and Contact:
320 South 12th Street, Richmond, VA 23219
No stranger to our “Best of Richmond” lists, The Daily Kitchen and Bar is one of our favorite choices for families. Not only do they offer great food for lunch, dinner, and weekend brunch, they are also committed to environmentally friendly standards. They use organic, all natural, local, and sustainable ingredients and offer a wide variety of vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free, and paleo options. But for families, it’s their kids’ menu that shines, featuring everything from fresh guacamole, veggie stir fry, and an organic berry bowl with Greek yogurt and local honey, to kid-classics like burgers, pizza, and quesadillas – all at great prices. See all of their menus here.
The Patio: With two locations, both offering great patios, The Daily Kitchen and Bar provides options that are ideal for families. Their Carytown location may not have the largest patio on our list, but its brightly covered umbrellas and enclosed space makes for great people watching along the busy streets of Carytown. In Short Pump, the patio (also enclosed), provides a slightly more spacious setting that is relaxed and comfortable for families of all sizes.
Location(s) and Contact:
Carytown: 2934 W. Cary St, Richmond, VA 23221
Short Pump:12201 W. Broad St, Henrico, VA 23233
For casual, fun family dining, Legend Brewing takes the cake. While a brewery may not be your first thought for families, trust us when we say that kids of all ages (even the grown-up ones) will love this Southside gem. Their menu is filled with fun pub-style options, including a kids’ menu that, while not large, covers all the kid-friendly favorites. With a relaxed, festive atmosphere, Legend Brewing makes for an easy go-to on weeknights, weekends, and special family nights out. Plus, they’ve got great specials and events happening all the time, so be sure to see their events calendar or simply get a sneak peek at the regular menu here.
The Patio: Set just across the river from downtown Richmond, Legend Brewing offers an expansive patio with tables aplenty, umbrellas, ample space to move around, and best of all, stunning skyline views. If you need to get the kids out of the house for a bit (but want a place that is fun for adults, too) or you simply want to entertain out of town guests with some of the city’s best scenery, Legend Brewing’s patio has just what you’re looking for.
Location and Contact: 321 West 7th Street, Richmond, VA 23224
Pub: (804) 232-3446; Brewery: (804) 232-8871
The Boathouse prides itself on authentic, locally-sourced cuisine, including some of the city’s best seafood, wood-oven fired pizzas, and exclusive entrees. With three waterfront restaurants (at Sunday Park in Brandermill, at Rockett’s Landing in downtown Richmond, and at City Point in Hopewell), you’ll find views that are only matched by the delicious menu offerings. If it’s geographic convenience you’re looking for, keep in mind they do offer a fourth location at Short Pump (sans patio) and each of their restaurants offers a kids’ menu. Best of all, each of these beach-inspired spots provides spacious indoor dining so you’ve got options, no matter where you go. To see the full menus, click here, go to the “Locations” dropdown menu, then select the menu option for your desired location.
The Patio – Sunday Park (Midlothian): Starting with the biggest and best of The Boathouse patio options, the patio at Sunday Park in Brandermill is one of the best you’ll find in the area. The “patio” is a large wooden deck that wraps around the back of the restaurant and offers incredible lake views. With multiple levels, shady trees, umbrellas, and a covered bar with seating, this patio is an outdoor dining dream come true for families with kids of all ages.
Location and Contact: 4602 Millridge Parkway, Midlothian, VA
The Patio – City Point (Hopewell): The second largest patio on our list, the patio at Hopewell’s City Point is also waterfront. But our favorite feature here is the long bar with hightop seats stretching across the edge of the patio, allowing your entire party to dine while enjoying direct waterfront views.
Location and Contact: 4701 West Randolph Road, Hopewell, VA
The Patio – Rockett’s Landing (Richmond): Wrapping up with the smallest of The Boathouse’s three patios, we’ll start by saying that in the case of Rockett’s Landing, it’s all about the view. The second-story patio at The Boathouse Rockett’s Landing may not have as much space as some of the others, but with an elevated vista spanning the James River and the city skyline (think sunset!), this patio is not to be missed.
Location and Contact: 4708 E. Old Main Street, Richmond, VA
Find more great Richmond area entertainment, resources, and family-friendly favorites with our entire Best of Richmond series!