We continue to be delighted with the restaurants in Richmond, Indiana. Every time we visit, we discover more culinary gems. Here are seven that we tried—and enjoyed— during our latest Richmond visit. They range from small cafes and casual pubs to fine dining.
Disclosure: Visit Richmond/Wayne County, Indiana, hosted our visit to the area. Meals were complimentary; however, all opinions are our own.
Red Front Pizza & Grill
With a huge selection of burgers, sandwiches, salads, pizza, and adult beverages, there’s plenty to choose from at Red Front Pizza and Grill. Since the restaurant’s specialty is pizza, that’s what we went with. We like that they offer a 6-inch pizza, so we could each order our preferred toppings. The crust is medium-thick, has plenty of sauce, and loaded with plenty of toppings and cheese.
We were surprised there were still quite a few guests dining when we visited later on a Monday evening. I imagine it’s the place to be on the weekends.
Sweet Blessings bakery has been open about two years, but owner Connie Ropp had been selling her cookies, breads, and other baked goods at the local farmers market for 17 years before opening the brick-and-mortar bakery. Besides plenty of sweet goodies, Sweet Blessings offers savory options for breakfast and lunch. Breakfast dishes range from egg, cheese, and meat sandwiches to a big breakfast of biscuits-and-gravy, eggs and meat. The colorful, flavored thumbprint cookies were too tempting to resist purchasing some to munch on later. (Thumbprint print cookies are a Richmond tradition.) I especially enjoyed the cinnamon-flavored thumbprints.
Although Little Sheba’s has been a mainstay in Richmond since 1990, current owners Moises and LaVon Zacatelco took over the reins in 2019, just before the pandemic hit. They were able to hang on during lockdowns with curbside and carry-out orders, and we’re glad they did.
I had checked the menu in advance and intended to order the John Boy (ham, turkey, roast beef, feta, banana peppers, tomatoes, lettuce, onions, and Gold Italian dressing on a grilled bun). But not hungry enough for a sandwich after having breakfast at Sweet Blessings, both Skip and I decided on salads instead. He chose the Greek Salad, and I had the Chef Salad. We ordered the “small” versions, which were still plentiful, tasty, and served with a soft breadstick. I’ll have to save the “John Boy” for another time.
Old Richmond Inn
In business over 26 years, the Old Richmond Inn is another Richmond tradition. Judging by the number of celebrations we noticed on the weeknight we visited, the fine-dining restaurant seems to be the place to dine for family special occasions.
Usually I look forward to the steak or seafood, and the sides served with the entrée are just okay. So, I was pleasantly surprised that, besides perfectly-prepared proteins, sugar-snap peas, one of my favorites, were the veggie of the day. I also chose the potato rounds, and quite honestly, I expected something like Tater Tots. Instead, I was served big fluffy pillows of potatoes, breaded and seasoned with Parmesan. Absolutely no comparison to Tater Tots.
AJ’s Main Street Diner
AJ’s Main Street Diner is your typical small-town diner, serving delicious fare at a reasonable rate. Take a booth along the wall or grab a stool at the long dining counter.
We stopped in for breakfast and were surprised to find that the sausage gravy is non-dairy. Even though Skip had biscuits-and-gravy the morning before at Sweet Blessings, he wanted to try this one too. His comment was that he couldn’t tell the gravy is non-dairy. Comparing the two? Both different, he said, but both very good.
For my breakfast, I chose an omelet that oozed with gooey cheddar cheese. Yum.
Legends Southside Bar & Grill
The oldest continuously-operating bar in Wayne County, and the second-oldest in the state, Legends Southside Bar & Grill has been in business since 1858. The walls are filled with nostalgic memorabilia of entertainment legends, while the menu contains a legend of its own.
The menu’s legend is the Kaler’s Penguin Tenderloin, named for a former fast-food chain famous for its tenderloin sandwiches. At one time the Kaler family owned several Penguin Point locations in Richmond. The chain closed the Richmond locations years ago. However, when the new Legends owners went into business, Mrs. Kaler taught them her method of making the tenderloin sandwich.
Another legend is turtle soup. It’s no longer on the menu, but story has it that the turtles for the soup were kept live down in the basement.
Of course, one of us had to try the tenderloin sandwich. It’s huge! And very good, too. I enjoyed the brie burger, as well. I’m not a big fan of brie cheese, but the blackberry jam on the sandwich sweetened it up to make a sweet creamy texture that contrasted nicely with the crisp bacon and sautéed onions on the burger.
The Cordial Cork
Our final meal in Richmond was at the Cordial Cork, a wine bar. We started off sharing a wine flight. With several wines to choose from, we opted for two dry and two sweet. The flight portions were plentiful enough that we didn’t need anymore.
As for food, we first thought about just an appetizer, something like Breakin’ Bread. According to the menu, Breakin’ Bread is a French baguette stuffed with mozzarella cheese and Italian herb butter. It’s served with olive oil, house-made beer cheese, or a melted mozzarella and smoked gouda blend. That sounded so very good to me.
But, eating later than usual, we were both hungry for more than an appetizer. I went with a BLT with an egg on it. Messy, but tasty. Skip had a burger, and we both had a side of creamy oh-so-delicious mac and cheese.
The Cordial Cork is located in the Depot District, in part of a former textile factory. As we were chatting with our server, she related several stories of ghosts in the restaurant. The spirits are often little children, with whom children of restaurant staff sometimes interact. One incident occurred in which someone had locked themselves in the women’s restroom and stayed there for hours. If someone knocked, the person answered, “Someone’s in here.” Finally, staff used a knife to get the door unlocked. No one was in there. Spooky.
Restaurants in Richmond Connection with Indiana Foodways Alliance
Several of the restaurants in Richmond where we dined belong to the Indiana Foodways Alliance. The alliance is a not-for-profit organization that promotes the state’s food culture. It includes 26 “trails” of food categories.
Here is a list of the Richmond Restaurants and the food trails they participate in.
- AJ’s Main Street Diner
- Rise N’ Shine
- Between the Buns Burger Trail
- Just Cruisin’
- Legends Southside Bar
- Tasty Tavern Trail
- Tenderloin Lovers
- Between the buns Burger Trail
- Little Sheba’s
- Hoosier Pie
- Tenderloin Lovers
- Soup, Salad, & Sandwich
- The Cordial Cork
- A Cut Above
- Wine, Wine Anytime
- Cultural Cuisine