Ask Lauren: Holiday hangouts

It’s the Holiday season! Time to hangout with friends, family, loved ones, and do some of that holiday-type stuff!

Now, through the magic of the internet, you too can ask Lauren your myriad food-related questions. Well, technically, you can leave your questions in the comments below, I’ll ask Lauren, and then I’ll let you know what she says. It’s like the three-legged stool of restaurant recommendations.

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Around this time of year, a lot of the questions asked of Lauren go something like “mutter mutter Christmas, grumble grumble family time, sighhhhh so hungry?” And let me just say, we feel you, man, we feel you. The holidays can be overwhelmingly busy, and sometimes there just isn’t time to plan the perfect evening out. Well, that’s why Lauren’s here!

So! Rather than answer your specific questions, here’s a couple holiday-oriented options for you and your loved ones.

Dominion Gardenfest of Lights & Dots Back Inn

What’s more beautiful than a beautiful garden strung with thousands of beautiful lights? Pretty much nothing, I’d say. Maybe, like, the Mona Lisa riding a snowy white centaur princess—but even that’d be a stretch. Lucky for us Richmonders, we don’t have to search for mythical human-animal hybrids, we can just head over to Lewis Ginter’s Gardenfest of lights. Tickets to RVA’s best light show are $11 for adults, $7 for children aged 3 – 12, and children three and under are free!

After you get your fill of Lewis Ginter’s cold, electric beauty, head down Lakeside a piece to Dot’s Back Inn for a home-cooked meal. Something about everything inside Dots Back Inn just shouts: “Welcome to our warm, friendly, neighborhood diner! Would you like to try one of the specials?” And yes, yes you do.

Rappahannock, The Nutcracker, and Pasture

So you want to get fancied up and have a night on the town? Here’s what you do:

Put on your best sparkly duds, head downtown to Rappahannock for a glass of Prosecco—which they have on tap! Wine on tap, what’s next? Beer on tap? Slurp a few oysters, walk the couple blocks to Center stage, and catch Richmond Ballet performing The Nutcracker. First, your mind will be blown, and second, you’ll work up a huge appetite watching all of those lithe folks dance around like maniacs.

Walk those same couple of blocks back the way you came, but this time head to Pasture. Eat a million awesome things, but make sure you order the pimento cheese and the chips and dip. You can even practice your pirouettes while waiting for the restroom.

RVA on Ice & Max’s on Broad

Nothing says holiday cheer like blisters and broken ankles! Just kidding guys, ice skating is tops! It is also really, really cheap: tickets for adults are just five bucks, with children under 10 sneaking in for a mere three dollars! RVA on Ice may also be the only place in town you can watch a crowd of humans huddle around a fire pit delicately balanced on ice skates.

After you wear yourself out, and have presumably avoided a trip to the hospital, put your shoes back on and head over to Max’s on Broad. Opened by the folks who own Tarrant’s across the street, Max’s focuses on Belgian food and drink. Order a round of poutine for the table and warm up with a delicious, high ABV, sour beer.

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Ross Catrow

Founder and publisher of RVANews.

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