Time For A Richmond Pizza Date!


Over the last decade Richmond has become a proper pizza town. Local pizzerias dish up a variety of styles at every price range. Pizza is the food of the people so naturally it makes a great date. You can learn a lot about a person across a slice. Are they a folder? Blotter? Do they use a knife and fork. Red flags over ketchup? Green flags of fresh basil? The perfect pizza date can be a tell. Here are a few Richmond options for the lovers of Virginia.

8 1/2 Pizza in The Fan (ed. note: Sorry, couldn’t find a photo of white bean and broccoletti pizza)

Hidden Garden Garlic Girl:

8 1/2 Fan, Boo Thang, and a blanket at Scuffletown Park. Give in to your garlic girl. Call in a pizza order to 8 1/2. I LOVE the garlicky white bean and broccoletti pizza, but you can’t go wrong with their menu. 8 1/2 is known for quality ingredients put together with skill. Pick up your pizza along with two sfogliatelle, a couple of Chinottos from the cooler and some extra napkins. Then head through the alley to Scuffletown Park tucked behind the row of houses across the street from 8 1/2. Sometimes you can catch a busker or concert there. Elevate your date with some local craft beer, wine or breath mints at Strawberry Street Market. Or visit Scoop for a big sweet serving of coconut ice cream on a waffle cone to help cleanse your palate after the garlickining. After dinner enjoy a stroll through the historic Italianate architecture and adorable front yard gardens of the fan. Or be responsible and wash and fold a load or comforter at Neighborhood Laundromat while-you-date.

Jo-Jo’s Pizza Downtown Richmond

Flirty High Finance OR Cuddling at the Capitol.

Jojo’s: Weekdays only. Richmond’s authentic New York style slice shop, with a crispy hand-stretched crust, zesty sauce and classic low-moisture mozzarella. It’s a favorite of folks working in the capitol/financial district, especially during the General Assembly. Star-crossed lobbyists meet for lunch rendezvous, bankers meet their bae and even Governor Youngkin was spotted there recently. Maybe he grabbed a slice and a coke for Suzanne. This is a non-partisan slice shop. Pizza is for everyone.

Grab two slice specials at JoJo’s and meet your date two blocks away at the fountain and Bell Tower at the southwestern corner of Capitol Square, at the intersection of Ninth and Franklin Streets. This time of year trees and flowers are in bloom and the wheels are turning at the Virginia state capitol. 2024 marks the 200th anniversary of the red brick Bell Tower at this corner. It was once used for a guard house and the bell warned of fires. During the Civil War, the bell sounded when Federal troops approached the city. It is now the visitors center for the Capitol. Take a long lunch outside. It is spring.

Hop Craft Pizza & Brew in The Fan

Carytown Canoodlers

Richmond’s historic shopping district has seen many a pizzeria come and go over the years. With over a dozen pizza options in this area currently, it is unofficially the official “Pizza District of Richmond.” Carytown’s current pizza roster includes award-winning pizzeria Zorch, the long-loved Mary Angela’s, The Daily, Anthony’s, Mellow Mushroom, and Domino’s on the main drag. Not far are Fire & Hops, The Hop Craft Beer and Pizza, Pizza and Beer of Richmond and Benny Ventano’s. You can also find take-n-bakes, frozen and hot pizza and slices at the deli at Kroger, Fresh Market, Publix and 7-11. Elwood Thompson’s is THE spot to find coveted local brand, Udderless, dairy-free frozen pizza. The “Pizzaiola” sub stands alone at Coppola’s Deli.

Find a pizzalicious moment at one of these spots then take your lover to the Byrd Theatre for big screen classics. May’s schedule includes The Land Before Time, Indiana Jones, the Hunger Games, the Man Who Knew Too Much, Toxic Avenger and lots more nostalgic 90s flicks and second runs at Richmond’s historic landmark movie palace built in the 1920’s. They even have some sensory-friendly screenings for the neuro-divergent date. The Byrd’s real gem is Bob Gulledge on The Mighty Wurlitzer organ before each show. Gulledge is a living legend of Richmond and he has filled the theater with beautiful music, dazzling disco ball light and romance for over 40 years.

Rick’s Pizza in VCU Area

Pizza Love in VCU-land

College towns have no shortages of pizza and VCU is filled with choices from chains and indie spots alike. You can find Pizza Hut Express, Papa John’s, Domino’s and Chanello’s near campus but if you are looking for local flavor check out Christian’s, Rick’s, Hot for Pizza, or Aladdin Express.

Christian’s: Originating in Charlottesville, they came down the mountain to create the best slice shop in Richmond. Fast, affordable and open for lunch, dinner and late nights. Pick a premium slice from the beauties lined up in the window or go cheap and classic with the $3 slice special. Grab a couple slices and take a cute picnic on the hidden rooftop garden at the Pollack Building

Rick’s: This family owned pizzeria on Grace Street is highly rated and unpretentious. A delicious, straightforward and affordable pizza spot. A unique stand-out here: curry sauce is among their multiple sauce options. Hit up Rick’s before/after a game at the Siegel Center. (Vegan options)

Hot For Pizza: Specialty hand-stretched pizza with sourdough crust and robust sauce in the Carver neighborhood behind VCU. This intimate and interesting spot is a great place to catch a great local DJ, a cheap boilermaker and a babe. If you’re looking to impress your date or if you are introducing your bae to the parents head to Hot For Pizza for a more gourmet experience in their iconic dining room. (Vegan options)

Aladdin Express: Since 1993 this has been THE late night spot for VCU. Part restaurant, part pizzeria, park hookah bar & head shop. Open til 2:30 AM this is where you and your “twin flame” find a spot to sober up and wind down with a surprisingly nice slice. (Veg and Halal options)

Pizza Bones in Church Hill


Pizza Bones: Take your date out for pizza and movies at Pizza Bones. This last Monday Movie Night feature is Back to the Future. Pizza Bones serves 14” hand-stretched sourdough pizza with freshly milled flour from Sub Rosa. They have a spectacular rotation of seasonal offerings, pastries and specials. The bar features a fantastic wine selection and easy going vibe.

Zombie Pizza in Forest Hill

South Side Snugglers

Zombie Pizza: This Forest Hill neighborhood favorite features middle eastern/Mediterranean style pizza as well as gyros, Stromboli, calzones, subs, salads, desserts and more. Head to the Fonticello Food Forest at Carter Jones Park for a day of volunteer gardening and community service then reward yourselves with a pizza on the way home. (Halal and vegan options)

Maldini’s: This well loved Westover Hills Italian restaurant boast a huge Italian/sicilian menu. Pizza-wise they offer hand-tossed New York style pizza AND brick oven style pizza with their take on classic Italian pizza preparations like the Quattro Stagione, and Sicilian style Sfincione. Yum. Hike the beautiful Forest Hill Park loop down to the lake and back with a pizza party picnic from Maldini’s. Or grab a pie on the way to a day with bae at the river. (Gluten-free options)

And there you have it—your insider’s guide to nailing the perfect pizza date in Richmond. From cozy corners in Scuffletown Park to the bustling streets of Carytown, Richmond’s got your cravings covered. So, the next time you’re itching for a slice, skip the usual and dive into what this saucy city serves best. Trust us, whether it’s a date night or a solo slice escape, Richmond’s pizzerias are sure to spice up your pizza game.

Story by Lauren Vincelli
Photo by Rob Hinkle @rob_hinkle37

RVA Staff

RVA Staff

Since 2005, the dedicated team at RVA Magazine, known as RVA Staff, has been delivering the cultural news that matters in Richmond, VA. This talented group of professionals is committed to keeping you informed about the events and happenings in the city.

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