Hard Knox Cafe

When we find ourselves anywhere west of the fog line and hankering for chicken and waffles, grits, and mac and cheese, we head to Hard Knox Cafe. This Richmond spot churns out soul food classics that make you feel right at home. Step inside and you’re hit with a mishmash of retro street signs, license plates, and beer ads, plus red booths with metal siding that teleport you to a bygone time (likely to an era when free coffee refills were plentiful and Big Milk was still everywhere). While the food won’t blow your mind—the spicy chicken and waffles don’t have a kick and the grits are unremarkable—the corn on the cob and mac and cheese are hearty and buttery, and the energy is perfect for a low-key brunch. Also, try the fried-doughy goodness that is the beignets and the crispy crab cake benedicts.

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