In the midst of the construction and development surrounding Scott’s Addition, one aspect, The Dairy Bar Restaurant, has remained unchanged. The Dairy Bar is a family-friendly restaurant that serves breakfast and lunch, Monday through Sunday. It is best known for being the home of “Richmond’s Best Milkshake.” Once you open the door, you receive a warm greeting by the owners and their superb staff. The restaurant has many frequent customers, including myself. The owners recognize almost everyone that walks in the door, even if the customer has only been to the restaurant once or twice. The Dairy Bar is usually fairly busy; however, everyone is seated as quickly as possible, and I have never had to wait more than ten minutes to get a table. The service is impeccable every time, allowing you to get in and out of the restaurant in about 30 minutes.
While there, I tried three different lunch entrées. The Carolina Pork BBQ, the Chicken Melt, and the Classic Club. All three are sandwiches, yet each one will make your mouth water in its own way. The Carolina Pork BBQ was smoky, tasty, and a little spicy. The sandwich was made up of pulled pork, coleslaw, and topped with a tangy BBQ sauce. It was accompanied by two pickles and your choice of chips or onion rings. Either way, you cannot go wrong. The pork was not like most, where you chew until your jaw is tired. This pork was encompassed by so much BBQ sauce that it simply melted in my mouth.
Next, I tried the Chicken Melt, a grilled chicken breast on your choice of bread with cheese and onion. Although it is quite difficult to incorrectly cook a chicken breast, the cooking staff at the Dairy Bar has the ability to cook the chicken to the perfect amount of crispness. The chicken was seasoned with rosemary and garlic powder, which was engulfed by cheese, allowing each new bite to remain just a delicious as the first.
Finally, I tasted the Classic Club sandwich. This dish is exactly what it sounds like: a classic. Normally composed of ham, turkey, bacon, American cheese, lettuce, tomato, and mayo, the restaurant is extremely flexible in adjusting to your tastes. If you prefer to have roast beef on your club rather than ham or turkey, they are more than willing to make this change.
Along with trying three different meals, I was able to sample three different milkshakes: a Chocolate Milkshake, a Peanut Butter Milkshake, and a Cookies and Cream Milkshake. It may take a long time for you to get your milkshake; however, their thick and creamy milkshakes are hand-spun the old fashioned way every time. We all hate milkshakes that taste like really cold chocolate milk or the milkshakes that are so thick you cannot even drink it through your straw. However, no need to fear! The Dairy Bar milkshakes are here! The Dairy Bar milkshakes are the perfect thickness, allowing you to drink it out of a straw or use a spoon, if that is your preferred method. The milkshake trickles down your throat, giving you a similar sensation to that of drinking iced lemonade on a hot summer day.
Everything on the menu is reasonably priced. The Carolina Pork BBQ, the Chicken Melt, the Classic Club, and three milkshakes came to a total of around $35, which would buy you about three and a half burrito bowls at Chipotle. The well-priced meals are absolutely worth the visit not only because they are cheap, but because they are savory and delicious.
While there are few things to complain about when visiting the Dairy Bar, one issue is parking. If you are not a savvy parallel parker, you may have a problem actually getting into the restaurant due to the lack of parking spots.
Despite mild parking complications, there is one aspect that makes up for the parking trouble: the cow drawings on the wall. When you enter the restaurant, you immediately notice the walls covered with oodles of colored cows. The walls are decorated by drawings the customers created, giving it a homey feel that you cannot find at most other restaurants. Even as a high schooler, I’m excited to color a cow picture when I visit The Dairy Bar.
The Dairy Bar is a delightful restaurant to go to for a lunch break during the week or even on a Saturday or Sunday morning or afternoon. I would suggest visiting this restaurant to anyone that has not been there before.
All photos by Olivia Hess.