Getting to know the Hill

Our neighborhood

Church Hill is the ultimate small-city neighborhood: its walkability to shops and restaurants is excellent, the food scene is more celebrated than many much-larger locales, and its views of the Richmond skyline are unparalleled. Neighbors know each other and greet each other on the sidewalk, our proximity to the river and to hiking and cycling trails is a balm for the outdoorsy types, and it’s so green with trees and foliage that it almost feels like not being in the city at times. What we’re saying is while it’s the best of both worlds for anyone who feels torn between city and country life, there’s something here that just about anyone can enjoy.

If you live here, you already know all this. If you’re looking to visit, we officially welcome you to the neighborhood and hope you’ll have a great time here sampling all it has to offer, while contributing to the neighborly vibe we’ve all grown to love.

While you’re here, don’t forget to sign up for our emails so you can get periodic updates on all the Church Hill news and events.

Our history

Richmond began in Church Hill: when the city was founded in 1737, it was named “Richmond” because the view of the James River from Libby Hill is nearly identical to the view of the Thames from Richmond Hill, London. After this, the city grid was laid out and the first church in town was constructed—St. John’s Church, completed in 1741, whose striking white steeple you’ll see as you come up Broad from Downtown. In 1775, Patrick Henry gave his famous “Liberty or death” speech during a Second Virginia Convention meeting in the church. From this central point, Church Hill grew. It’s the oldest residential neighborhood in the city that still survives, and was the first area in Richmond to be named an Old and Historic District (1957).

Of course, there is way too much that’s happened in Church Hill during the past 285 years to encapsulate here, so we’ll let some of these deeper resources speak for themselves:

Our architecture

More to come here about the unique architecture you can see all over the neighborhood.

Resources

Our food

With over 20 restaurants in the Church Hill area and counting, there are plenty of choices for your dining pleasure.

For the classic Church Hill experience, head for the Hill Cafe or Millie’s. For fine dining, try the Roosevelt, Grisette, or Alewife. Pizza tonight? Go to 8 1/2 or Pizza Bones. For good coffee and baked goods, it’ll be Sub Rosa Bakery, Riverbend Roastery, or Whisk. Craving barbecue? Find it at Alamo BBQ or Inner City Blues. And if you’re just looking for a spacious patio to set up camp on, you can try most of the places already mentioned plus Union Market, Rise Cafe, or Kahlo’s Cantina. But there are many more! Take a look at the Restaurants and Bars on our map for a full list.

Press

Our schools

Our schools make up a vibrant, unique community that is always coming together to celebrate and improve our kids’ education. On top of regular instruction, there are lots of additional resources like the Lit Limo bookmobile, and fun things to get involved in for the whole community, like Chimbochella (Chimborazo’s outdoor concert and art festival).

Most of the schools have an active PTA and allow regular school tours, so reach out via the contact methods on their web sites to schedule a time to come check them out. It’s really worth walking around a school, talking to teachers and families, and seeing the learning environment for yourself to get an accurate feel for it.

Elementary schools

Middle schools

High Schools

Explore Our Map

Check out our Explore Church Hill map that shows you all the hot spots: local parks and playgrounds, restaurants, shops and salons, schools, childcare, museums, and cultural points of interest. Hover over the box icon at the top right of the map to open in a larger view, where you can uncheck any group of locations to remove that from your view and focus on only what you’re interested in.

Got a suggestion for the map? Email us.

How far is…?

Travel estimates from Church Hill proper (let’s say Broad and 25th St.):

Neighborhoods

  • Shockoe Bottom: 3-minute car ride, 10-minute walk
  • Shockoe Slip: 4-minute car ride, 18-minute walk
  • Varina (Rocketts Landing): 4-minute car ride, 26-minute walk
  • Downtown: 5-minute car ride, 19-minute walk
  • Carytown: 10-minute car ride
  • Northside (Ginter Park): 10-minute car ride
  • Short Pump: 23-minute car ride
  • Midlothian: 23-minute car ride

Nearby outdoor attractions

Transportation