We know Richmond’s signature sandwich is the sailor sandwich, but we want to know what Richmond’s signature cuisine is. Philly has the cheesesteak, Memphis has BBQ, New York has pizza — what’s the classic Richmond dish?
Is the Sailor still Richmond’s reigning culinary output? Maybe Richmond’s coffee is strong enough to make the cut. Does Duke’s mayonnaise qualify as a dish?
After we asked our readers what they thought Richmond’s signature cuisine is, we received a wide variety of responses. 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.
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 is a Richmond establishment beloved for its local eats for nearly a century. Located at 2337 W. Broad St., 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? Let us know which Richmond classic you think deserves the crown.