Finding Richmond’s signature cuisine

We asked, you answered

A sailor sandwich on a plate with fries and a limeade on a white table

A sailor and a limeade from The Continental Westhampton.

Photo by RICtoday

Table of Contents

In early November, we asked our readers what they thought Richmond’s signature cuisine is. As anticipated, you had plenty of opinions.

Sifting through all the answers in our inbox, some trends began to emerge. A significant percentage seemed to focus on the three familiar names. More on that in a moment, but first — some honorable mentions.

  • I vote for Brunswick Stew. Whether it’s from a fire department or American Legion post where the stew is a guaranteed sellout... it’s a local delicacy.” — Campbell D.
  • “Craft beer” — Judy M.
  • “The sailor [sandwich] isn’t celebrated enough IMO... Maybe PBR? ;)” — Katie M.

The big three

The vast majority of the responses focused on one of three brands: Ukrop’s, Duke’s Mayonnaise, or Sally Bell’s.

Ukrop’s classic White House Roll — either as-is or loaded up with chicken salad — was a popular contender. Ukrop’s was also mentioned for its fried chicken and its signature rainbow cookies.

A ukrops white house roll with chicken salad

Ukrop’s White House Rolls with chicken salad were a popular pick for Richmond’s signature dish.

Photo by RICtoday

Duke’s Mayonnaise — Richmond’s favorite egg-based spread — was another top response. Duke’s, which has called Richmond home since it was purchased by by the C.F. Sauer Company in 1929, made the list both on its own and accompanied by a Hanover tomato.

The third finalist isn’t a brand but a Richmond establishment beloved for its local eats for nearly a century. Located at 2337 W. Broad, Sally Bell’s Kitchen has been in business since 1924. Though plenty of its offerings were mentioned individually, the consensus seems to rest on the boxed lunches, which include five components of its history-laden menu.

Have you had any of these local delicacies — maybe all three? It fell to our readers to let us know which Richmond classic deserved the crown. As always, they delivered.

The winner

After we put the question to our readers, we waited for the votes to come in, and they did — lots of them. After aggregating the data, it was clear as day. This was a close race, but Ukrop’s White House rolls with chicken salad had won, taking 38% of the vote.

a pie chart showing white house rolls with chicken salad has 38% of the vote, Sally Bell's boxed lunches 33%, and Duke's Mayonnaise 29%.

Ukrop’s White House Rolls with chicken salad took 38% of the vote, followed by Sally Bell’s boxed lunches with 33% and Duke’s Mayonnaise with 29%.

Graph by RICtoday

The White House Rolls were followed by Sally Bell’s boxed lunches with 33% and Duke’s Mayonnaise with 29%. The numbers don’t lie, folks: Ukrop’s White House rolls with chicken salad are Richmond’s (un)official signature cuisine.

What do you think? Is this well-deserved or a taste bud travesty? We know chicken salad tends to bring out strong opinions in foodies around the river city — that’s why we want your take.

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