I love exploring and finding new dining venues when I am traveling. I spend so much time on business travel that I adore finding local favorites which allows me to immerse myself in the local culture.

On a recent brief trip to Richmond, Virginia I wanted to try some great southern cooking so I went to Mama J’s Kitchen in the historic Jackson ward in Richmond. Jackson ward was once one of the centers for black commerce, entertainment and religion in the south.
Mama J’s Kitchen was opened by Velma Johnson (Mama J as called by her family) in 2009 to assist in the redevelopment of Jackson ward by bringing commerce back to a once thriving downtown area.

Mama J’s is a fantastic local place with a familiar home vibe and great southern/soul food. It’s a small restaurant with seating for 32 and bar area where you can dine as well. When I arrived there was no waiting in line since no reservations are taken but all the tables were taken so we ate at the bar. The staff is friendly and you feel at home at this small dining venue.

Once I got a hold of the menu I had a real challenging time making up my mind because the delicious smells coming from the kitchen were intoxicating. I ordered the blue crab cakes, ribs, candied yams, macaroni and cheese and hand cut French fries. Each item was better than the next. The candies yams are like a dessert!

Once I ate my main course and sides the chocolate cake was staring at me so I had to have a piece along with the fresh peach cobbler. I left totally fulfilled and so glad that I came to Mama J’s for the great food, ambience and slice of history!