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The 50 Best Richmond Restaurants

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Of the 500 or so restaurants in Greater Richmond — and that's not counting the franchises — we've challenged our food critics to name their favorite 50, representing a range of styles and prices.

The most difficult part of this months-long process is leaving out worthy contenders, and there are many. It's especially difficult as other excellent restaurants crowd in — 14 restaurants, marked by asterisks, are new to the list this year.

But even if you disagree with these choices, you have solid evidence that Richmond is becoming quite a food town, with a spectrum of ethnic fare to complement the regional classics.

Many dedicated chefs and solid line cooks are just hoping you'll venture into their places for a new dining experience. * Denotes restaurants new to this year's list.

Amici Ristorante Fine Northern Italian, intimate and authentic. 3343 W. Cary St., 353-4700.

Azzurro Charming, upscale Italian with pizza and desserts. 6221 River Road, 282-1509.

Buz & Ned's Real Barbecue Stellar ribs, brisket, pulled pork and sides. 1119 N. Boulevard, 355-6055.

* Café Gutenberg Creative lunch, dinner, coffee and dessert with a view. 1700 E. Main St., 497-5000.

Can Can Brasserie Landmark for versatility and scene. 3120 W. Cary St., 358-7274.

* Chez Foushee Divine lunch, First Friday suppers. 203 N. Foushee St., 648-3225.

Comfort The best at real-food cooking, lively scene. 200 W. Broad St., 780-0004.

* Coppola's Deli sandwiches such as The Industrial are a strong point. 2900 W. Cary St., 359-6969.

Croaker's Spot Fish fried to perfection in bustling café. 119 E. Leigh St., 421-0560.

* Da Lat Vietnamese in low-key, friendly setting. 9125 W. Broad St., 762-9330.

Davis & Main Reliable Fan classic for grilled fare. 2501 W. Main St., 353-6641.

Dining Room at The Berkeley Hotel Chef Michael Hall rules in a classic setting. 1200 E. Cary St., 225-5105.

Dogwood Grille & Spirits Memorable cuisine served with cheer. 1731 W. Main St., 340-1984.

* Edible Garden Locally grown items, freshly prepared. 12506 River Road, 784-2011.

Edo's Squid Nuanced Italian in popular upstairs spot. 411 N. Harrison St., 864-5488.

* El Caporal Mexican fare that's reliably flavorful. 1417 E. Ridge Road, 673-1090.

* Enoteca Sogno Classic wine bar, tasty cuisine. 2043 W. Broad St., 355-8466.

* Europa Tasty tapas, festive scene, busy bar. 1409 E. Cary St., 643-0911.

Fox Head Inn Fine, seasonal cuisine in classic Goochland County setting. 1840 Manakin Road, 784-5126.

Full Kee Dim sum, authentic Chinese, a foodie favorite. 6400 Horsepen Road, 673-2233.

* Havana '59 Theatrical, bustling, tasty Cuban cuisine. 16 N. 17th St., 780-2822.

Helen's A Fan classic, reliable fare and busy bar. 2527 W. Main St., 358-4370.

Ichiban Superior sushi in the far West End. 10490 Ridgefield Parkway, 750-2380.

Ipanema Café Bohemian mostly-vegetarian hideout. 917 W. Grace St., 213-0170.

Julep's New Southern Cuisine Romantic, delicious. 1719 E. Franklin St., 377-3968.

Kuba Kuba Lively scene, zesty fare, great desserts. 1601 Park Ave., 355-8817.

La Grotta Shockoe Slip standout, fine Italian fare. 1218 E. Cary St., 644-2466.

Lemaire The Jefferson Hotel's luxury dining room. 101 W. Franklin St., 649-4644.

Mamma 'Zu Expect to wait for delectable Italian. 501 S. Pine St., 788-4205.

Mandarin Palace Longtime Chinese favorite in Stratford Hills. 2811 Hathaway Road, 272-8020.

* Mary Angela's Pizza and Subs Affordable N.Y.-style standards. 3345 W. Cary St., 353-2333.

Mekong Beloved Vietnamese spot with wide-ranging menu. 6004 W. Broad St., 288-8929.

Michelle's at Hanover Tavern Traditional fare, historic setting. 13181 Hanover Courthouse Road, 537-5050.

Millie's Diner Ultimate in fun and deliciously inventive. 2603 E. Main St., 643-5512.

* Nile Ethiopian Restaurant Expertly prepared, healthy fare. 309 N. Laurel St., 225-5544.

1 North Belmont Top-notch French from Chef Frits Huntjens. 1 N. Belmont Ave., 358-0050.

Patina Grill Brilliant, creative dishes, smart setting. 3416 Lauderdale Drive, 360-8217.

* Pegasus Old-school Mediterranean with loyal following. 5604 Patterson Ave., 282-3719.

Perly's Classic breakfasts, simple lunches are beloved. 111 E. Grace St., 649-2779.

Pescados Fun with seafood, Latin influences. 13126 Midlothian Turnpike, 379-7121.

Pomegranate Euro Bistro Chef Kevin La Civita's inventive cuisine. 1209 E. Cary St., 643-9354.

Rowland Fine Dining Delectable low-country-inspired fare. 2132 W. Main St., 257-9885.

Sensi Like Franco's, always delicious and chic Italian. 2222 E. Cary St., 648-3463.

Shackleford's Restaurant Diverse menu, family friendly. 10496 Ridgefield Parkway, 741-9900.

Six Burner Restaurant Innovative and personable. 1627 W. Main St., 353-4060.

* Tarrant's Affordably tasty fare adds coziness downtown. 1 W. Broad St., 225-0035.

The Track Consistently fine fare in a classic setting. 2915 W. Cary St., 359-4781.

* Twenty-seven Refined Mediterranean in gorgeous spot. 27 W. Broad St., 780-0086.

Zeus Gallery Café Varied, flavorful, bustling. 201 N. Belmont Ave., 359-3219.

Zuppa Bigger and better, full range of fresh options. 101 N. 18th St., 249-8831. S

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