Vegan Restaurant Review: 821 Cafe

Near the bustling campus of VCU on Cary Street in downtown Richmond is 821 Cafe. It’s a small restaurant with an eclectic feel. In other words, just the kind of funky place you’d hope to find near an artsy school like VCU! 

I’ve eaten there a few times now, and I’ve always received great service and amazing food! With a variety of choices to make both vegans and omnis happy, it’s a great place to satisfy all diets.

The last time I dined here was with my younger daughter after a trip to the VMFA. We ate inside, and the tables were spread out well to remain compliant with Covid guidelines. I was a bit overwhelmed with all the vegan items on the menu! After our server offered the suggestion and a sample, I ended up getting the vegan curried chicken salad sandwich with fries and a slice of vegan cake for dessert, which my daughter and I shared. My meal was absolutely delicious!

The curried “chicken” salad sandwich and fries. Seriously one of the best sandwiches I’ve ever eaten, and their fries are perfect!

This trip, both my daughters joined me! We decided to eat there to celebrate my older daughter getting her second Covid vaccine, hoping to finish dining before she started feeling the immune response from the second dose. We dined in their outdoor space, which was small, but lovely. It was a bit chilly with so much cloud cover yesterday, and we were regretting out choice to not go back to the car for jackets, but we were warm enough when the sun was out. 

Vegan chai French toast, which was not overwhelmingly spicy, and the home fries.

We all ended up ordering from the brunch menu, although we were all torn between sweet and savory. To solve this dilemma, I ordered the vegan chai French toast for the sweet and home fries for the savory. I would have tried their vegan special, which was biscuits and gravy, but they had sold out! My older daughter ordered the lemon curd stuffed French toast, while my younger daughter got the regular brunch special: smoked Gouda grit cakes with eggs. Both vegetarian meals. We were very happy with our choices! We also got a slice of vegan cake to go. All of their vegan cakes are made by Buttermilk Bake Shop in Petersburg. They had sold out of every variety but the cotton candy cake. It was very good, and very sweet, but definitely tasted like cotton candy. 

The Cotton Candy cake. Big enough to share!

I highly recommend 821 Cafe, especially if you are going out to dinner with a crowd with mixed diets. It’s often that I sacrifice vegan options to please the rest of my family when we dine out, but that is definitely not an issue here. With plenty of vegan choices on the menu, you can never get bored! We will definitely be back!

Are you in the Richmond area? Have you ever eaten at 821 Cafe? As always, I hope you all are safe and healthy.

Published by annecreates

I am a physical therapist, wife, mom, runner, artist, and vegan. I'm passionate about helping others find wellness, speaking about the human experience, and in fighting for social justice. Assistant Coach for the Sports Backers Marathon Training Team. Current ambassador for: Boco Gear, SaltStick, SPIbelt, Goodr, Noxgear, and Switch4Good.

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