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Ipanema

  • Veg-friendly
    ( 24 reviews )
Contact 804-213-0190
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917 W Grace St, Richmond, Virginia, USA, 23220

Serves meat, vegan options available. Small menu, usually one fish dish but all else vegetarian and vegan. Located below stairs, full bar in the evening and booths. Est. since the mid-2000s.

Category: Vegan-friendly, American, Beer/Wine, Take-out, Non-veg

Reviews (24)

First Review by 441dave

We got delivery- Good food! - Edit

We actually got delivery from Ipanema, so I can only review the food, but it was really good. Everyone liked what they got. I had the chicken-fried tempeh. It was good, I would definitely recommend it for someone who isn't sure if they like tempeh but wants to give it a shot or another shot- I thought this was a good use of it.

Delivery was cash only.
Updated from previous review on Friday November 13, 2015


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came for the slider special- great meal! - Edit

We love Ipanema! This week is sandwich week in Richmond. The tofu slider special was great. My daughter had the jackfruit bbq which is always good. My wife had the chick pea humus wrap which was very very good. The star of the show was the chocolate creme brûlée! Awesomeness.


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Laid Back Dining - Edit

Ipanema is a little restaurant that sits unassumingly among other buildings and shops on W Grace St. It's tucked away on the sub-level of a historic building. Though modest in appearance, the food and beverages are quite remarkable.

Their daily menu is written on a chalk board when you first walk in. They do offer certain dishes on the regular, even if you don't see them on the board. There is something comforting in having a menu that changes with the seasons - I suspect this is the reason they are able to keep their prices so reasonable.

I usually get the hummus and tofu sandwich with sweet potato fries. It's amazing! If you like tea, they have a large selection and brew some of the best by the pot.

With it's low hanging ceilings and very dim lighting, the place has a cozy feel. Indoor and outdoor seating is available. The staff is very friendly and knowledgable about their menu. If you have an allergy or want somthing prepared a certain way, they will work with you to get it right! Instead of staring at you blankly when you mention words like 'vegan' or 'gelatin.'

Pros: Vegan friendly; easy ordering, Quality food, Reasonalbe prices

Cons: Serves fish


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Hit or miss, but still a favorite - Edit

This place used to be a bit of a gamble, mostly with seasonal dishes. The mainstays are always good, but something new could be pretty bad - too salty, overcooked, too sour, or just way too many ingredients. However, I feel that lately they have gotten more consistent, and my last two meals here were great. They have also turned down the music during dinner, which is much appreciated. The service is always very nice here, despite the hipstery clientele. I also enjoy just coming here to drink or listen to music, as their bartenders are usually professional and the wine selection is excellent.

The desserts deserve a separate mention because they are superb, with several vegan options. I often get a salad and a pie for dinner.

Pros: Delicious, Friendly service, Cool atmosphere

Cons: Can be busy on weekends, Getting new items is risky


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Very nice, relaxed place - Edit

This place seems geared towards students. It is located in what looks like a bar, and has a relaxed atmosphere. The food is mostly vegetarian or vegan (with only a few fish dishes). The pricing is reasonable, food is generally good, and the service was excellent, with knowledgeable waiters.

Pros: Good service, relaxed atmosphere, good tasting food

Cons: not gourment


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Great people watching outside - Edit

I love this place because the food is always creative, well priced and near an interesting street with lots of pedestrians. This combination is pretty hard to beat. I truly enjoyed the jackfruit bbq sandwich. The vibe is pretty chill. You can go for cozy seating indoors or fresh patio dining with a side of people watching.

Pros: Food is always well done, Prices are great, In a lively part of town


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What good vegan food tastes like - Edit

I'm visiting Richmond to look for local apartments for the up-in-coming semester. Being a vegan is very difficult in my hometown. With the help of this website I managed to find this hidden gem and I fell in love before I even walked in. Seating outside, awesome tavern feel, very nice bar arrangement, local drafts, and very polite employees. I waited for about five minutes for my vegan Reuben and the first bite made my heart sink. The sweet potato fries that came with the sandwich were cooked really well with the ideal amount of salt. Even the side salad was great! I absolutely loved this restaurant and I'm very glad I choose it. Is suggest this as a "must go" to any vegan passing through. I can't wait to move here!!

Pros: decently priced for great food, awesome atmosphere, very friendly employees


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A must when in Richmond - Edit

Great vegan/vege options. My wife loves the portabello feta. I have enjoyed the BBQ and the vegan reuben. Nice little side salad and GREAT sweet potato fries with the dishes. As mentioned in other reviews the menu is on a chalkboard at the entrance. Good microbrew selections as well. We always love to get desert as well!
Updated from previous review on Friday February 01, 2013

Pros: Great food, Love the vegan deserts, Good beer selection on tap

Cons: Menu only at entrance (not a real prob)


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Best vegetarian meal I've had in a while - Edit

My wife is an incredible cook - outside of our kitchen and The Chicago Diner, this is the best vegetarian meal I've had in a long, long time. Great service, creative menu, perfectly prepared and very fresh ingrediants. I will come back every time I'm in Richmond even though parking is a pain!

Pros: quality, creativity, fish options for non-veg

Cons: parking, nothing but parking


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Fantastic Caesar salad! - Edit

Mostly vegetarian but they do serve fish. My favorite is the vegan Caesar salad with grilled tofu. But everything I've had has been great. They have a nice selection desserts too with vegan ice cream. The place is in like a finished basement and I love it! It's really neat. It's small though so if you go during the busier times then plan to wait.

Pros: Vegetarian, Yummy, Desserts

Cons: Serves fish, Small


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Unique environment, great food - Edit

I keep coming back for the BBQ tofu. That with the greens is one of my favorite meals in Richmond.

The deserts are killer, too - the pies are as good as any pies anywhere.

The outside seating is great at the right times of the year, and when there aren't too many smokers.

Pros: deserts, beers, friendly staff


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Prices high, and food disappointing - Edit

The menu is only written on a chalkboard as you walk in, so study it carefully. If you can't make up your mind after talking to the waitress at your table, you'll have to walk back up to the front and look at it some more.

We ordered the Cheese Plate appetizer for $7.95. This was a good deal and included 3 or 4 different types of cheeses, along with lightly toasted bread, some almonds and dates.

I ordered the Kung Pao Tofu for my entree. The other choices on the menu were too strange-sounding for me. After talking to the waitress about the other choices, I settled on the tofu dish. When she placed it on the table, I was immediately disappointed. There were some tofu cubes, carrots & broccoli served over brown rice, but it was all swimming in a sauce that I would describe as teriyaki-like, and nothing like I've ever gotten in a Chinese restaurant. The whole thing was just a soupy mess. I asked the waitress for a small plate of brown rice, and then I lifted off the tofu and veggies that were saturated in this sauce and put it over the plain brown rice. I could not believe this dish costs $14.95, especially considering how little it costs to prepare, let alone the presentation.

I was dining with a friend who is not a vegetarian, and he ordered the salmon which came with potatoes and snowpeas. He said the salmon was cooked perfectly, and he was completely happy with his meal. This is the same thing that typically happens in a non-vegetarian restaurant; the meat-eating diners get great meals and the vegetarians get something that's uninspired at best. For a restaurant that serves vegetarian food with only a fish alternative, I was expecting more.

My friend also ordered a cocktail that was on the table card and it cost $10 (small cocktail). Wow; I never thought Richmond, VA could support such high drink prices!

I ate here a couple years ago, and the food wasn't that memorable. I thought I would try it again as I was looking forward to a healthy meal, but I was let down again. Twice was enough for me. I'm rating this restaurant as 3 stars (fair) only because my friend said his fish meal was great. If I had eaten alone, I would only have given 2 stars (needs improvement). The prices are high for what you get, and the presentation and flavors were below average on the vegetarian meal.

Pros: Nice staff, Brown rice

Cons: Food wasn't good, Prices high, Parking difficult


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Great Food - Edit

In Richmond shopping, and decided to have dinner at Ipanema. I arrived just as they were opening for dinner. Very laid back atmosphere, and friendly waitress. As someone else said in an earlier review, the only menu is on a chalkboard. I ordered enchiladas, which were not vegan (included dairy cheese and sour cream), but when I asked, the waitress quickly said they could veganize using vegan cheese, and just leave out the sour cream. Dinner was fabulous, and too much for me to finish. I'd seen others comment on the desserts, and after hearing the list of many vegan desserts offered, I decided to take a piece of chocolate cake with peanut butter and chocolate icing home. It was also delicious. I will definately be visiting again the next time I am in Richmond and hungry.
Dinner and dessert, with tip was about $25. Not cheap, but it was delicious, and a joy to have such a fabulous vegan meal that I didn't have to make myself.


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For everyone - Edit

My husband, not even a vegetarian, will eat here and he loves it. I, a vegan, eat here and love it. They usually have vegan desserts too.

I wanted to give it FIVE stars/cows, but Happy Cow won't let me b/c they serve fish.


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Local favorite, great Vegan food. - Edit

I visited Ipanema yesterday, it was the second time I had been there, but first time visiting looking for dinner. As everyone has noted already, the atmosphere is great, and the wait staff is nice. They don't have menu's, just the chalkboard which is annoying but eh...a mild irritant (call it part of the ambiance if you will). One complaint though, I was sitting for a good 10 or 15 minutes before I decided no one was coming to see if I wanted anything, and therefore had to go up to the bar to order the food (don't know if this is standard though, not a local myself, but I don't think it is)

The food though.... phenomenal

I got some sort of homestyle plate of bread, collards, mac'n'cheez, and bbq seitan. It was really really really good. The plate was shining porcelain before it was taken away. I was slightly confused as to why my dinner was going to cost $12 beforehand, but my confusion was quickly eradicated...it was worth every penny. The best meal I have ever had as a Vegan in Richmond, VA. Trailed closely by my tempeh artichoke sandwich at Harrison St. Cafe.

Pros: Atmosphere, Excellent food

Cons: Not for a budget meal


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I wish they'd get rid of the fish - Edit

This place, located in a basement, has great atmosphere. From the booths to the lighting to the cool screenprinted art on the walls it's a very cool lookign place. The waitstaff is all very friendly and helpful in answering questions about ingredients. I was told by my dining companions that the beer list was extensive without being exhausting and was filled with great picks. The menu has plenty of vegan options, but it also, disgustingly, has a fish item. Other than the fish the only downside was the lack of menus. Diners are required to go look at the chalkboard by the front door to review the menu. Great place. It would be a 5 if they got rid of the fish. I wish we had something like this in my city.

Pros: alcohol

Cons: fish


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very cool! - Edit

great place.....a nice oasis for a traveling vegan (though not just for vegans!).....comfortable "cellar-type" feel to this place....wait staff very warm and friendly...excellent selections on menu, which appears to change often, perhaps seasonally....the deserts were amazing as well...reasonably priced....i will ABSOLUTELY visit again next time in richmond


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Flavor wonderland - Edit

I love this restaurant. It's so perfect, especially during the dark winter months when you can duck down into it's basement-like atmosphere, with a cozy bar area, and tucked away seating area.

They have this chalkboard where you can read the specials on the menu for the night. Expect unusually awesome meal ideas. Typically very different, but you'll be super impressed with the deliciously unique combos and maybe even thinking "I wish veggies always got this much attention".

The ever rotating local art on the walls is a nice way to start a conversation with your date, if you brought one. The place is definitely good for dates or enjoying friends and long conversations.

Pros: Uniquely Great Food!, Quaint and rustic atmosphere, Nice staff

Cons: unusual hours, quite small


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Reviewer Avatar

should be 5 cows - Edit

I consider Ipanema a vegetarian restaurant dispight its one fish dish. Call me flexible.
With that said I give this place 5 cows!
It is amazing! One of my all time favorite places for dinner. Staff is friendly, drinks and food are great!
I suggest anything made out of Seitan on the menu. They make it right.
Have your meal with a Richmond Red and you are living the good life my friend.

Pros: excellent food

Cons: smokey after 10pm. Remember you're in RVA


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Great place - Edit

Not only is the food good and creative, the staff is also very friendly. Great beer and wine to drink also and desserts! It has a nice funky atmosphere. Highly recommended.

Pros: food, atmosphere, staff

Cons: not too cheap


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Not cheap, but worth the drive! - Edit

My BF and I went to a concert in Richmond last night (we live 1.5 hrs away), and stopped by Ipanema beforehand. The place was full of pretty people--the waitress said we could wait for a booth, but we accepted a small two-top in a back corner. Our dinner was delicious (lentil soup, vegan caesar salad, hummus & oven dried tomato sandwich with sweetpotato fries), and we both enjoyed the rhubarb strawberry pie for dessert (it was almost as good as the one my grandmother makes!). Some of the entrees were a touch more expensive than we were expecting, but our bill ended up being pretty reasonable. They had some great organic teas/wines on the menu that we'll have to try next time!

Pros: Great vegan desserts!, Funky/nice atmosphere, Good portion sizes

Cons: Initial order took a while..., Entrees were a touch expensive, Small soup portions


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Save Room For Pie - Edit

The entree's are really excellent, but the vegan pie crust is excellent. It rivals any pie crust regardless of ingredients (I'm talking to you, lard.) Comfortable atmosphere. Friendly staff.

Pros: pie


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