Folks this is not only a great guide to lunch but also a piece of Gather history. This document was compiled when Gather was in its infancy with only the one downtown location. All of these restaurants are still open, and they're all still serving the same great recommendations compiled herein. So take a look, and we'll be sure to update this once our productive (and hungry!) Coworkers settle into the new, upcoming City Center location. Bon appetit!
Maddie Shiff, Sustainability Analyst with Temperpack said that one of her FAVORITE places to grab lunch is the Christopher's food cart. They've been "feeding the street since 1985" and doing a damn good job while they're at it! Their cart can be found along Main St between 8th and 12th streets. If you love the food at our Gather Spotlight series then you ALREADY love Christopher's Runaway Gourmay! We are always proud to have their catered food at our events. Try their chicken salad, tuna salad, or shrimp salad!!
Next up, according to Giles Harnsberger, Executive Director at Groundwork RVA... The great places to grab lunch include Christopher's (it's a favorite!), Pop's Market, and Pasture.
Pop's Market is RIGHT up the hill from the office at 5th and Grace, and, according to Style Weekly is an "innovative hybrid of cafe, neighborhood bakery and Italian restaurant. Employing a similar formula to the one that spawned half-dozen Urban Farmhouse Market & Cafe locations, Pop’s serves appealing and affordable bites, ready to take to-go. It’s less of a market and more of an artisanal approach to the fast-casual meal."
Pasture is just a bit further away from our Downtown location than Pop's... It's all the way across the street from Pop's, as a matter of fact! "Locavore Southern fare & craft beers with a small-plates emphasis in an airy, minimalist setting." Pasture is open for lunch from 11:30 - 2:30, check it out!!
Next up we have Mariah Davis, former Conservation Organizer at Virginia Conservation Network. Mariah JUST moved to Alexandria, VA but when she was here she knew ALL the lunch spots. Her suggestions: Cafe Olé, Café Rustica, Capital Ale House, the Christopher’s food carts (check!), Wong Gonzales, Pop's Market (check!), and Secret Sandwich Society.
Cafe Ole is a "storefront cafe turning out burritos, fish tacos & other over-the-counter Mexican eats at lunch." It's also this writer's favorite place to grab lunch! The chips and salsa are great and whether you get a burrito or tacos you'll be in good shape. Cafe Ole is on 6th st VERY close to Main.
^Does this storefront look familiar to you? It should because if you work at Gather Downtown... Cafe Rustica is RIGHT across the street! It's a "cozy, laid-back cafe serving European comfort fare & wines in a storefront with dark-wood decor.
Capital Ale House at 7th and Main is the FIRST in a small chain of very successful restaurants. With a tap selection as broad as the bar is long (note: the bar is very long) and great food to choose from you should definitely pop in sometime!
Nestled between 4th and 5th Street on Grace, "Wong Gonzalez isn’t quite like any place you have been before. A concept born in the hawker stalls of Malaysia’s bustling town centers where all the wonderful and dynamic flavors of South East Asia are found and then raised in the kitchens of small Mexican towns full of rustic culture and mouthwatering aromas. Wong Gonzalez is a rousing and exciting blending of Asian and Latin cuisines."
Located ONE BLOCK AWAY, right up the street at 5th and Grace, Secret Sandwich Society is one of the newer options we Gather Downtown members can choose from. The write-up on Secret Sandwich Society from Richmond Magazine say it all, "Because the Baileys focus on sourcing locally, many of the Richmond location's purveyors vary from those used in West Virginia. The couple searched the city and its surrounding areas for ingredients, especially their bread and meat. Among other local companies, they're working with Thumann's for preservative- and additive-free deli meat, and Local Food Hub to source Virginia eggs. Condiments such as ketchup and spreads are made in-house, as are all of the pickles, salad dressings, and desserts."
Thanks for joining us! If you have a favorite lunch spot that you think needs a shout-out please reach out to us!