Helen's

4.4
278 reviews
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$30 and under
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Contemporary American
Helen's Restaurant is located in the heart of Richmond, serving brunch and dinner. We hope you enjoy Helenʼs Southern gothic history and our nouveau southern cuisine.
What 278 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.4based on recent ratings
4.4
food
4.3
service
4.4
ambience
4.3
value
Noise · Moderate
93% of people would recommend it to a friend
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JN
Washington DC
2 reviews
Dined 6 days ago
Overall 3food 3service 5ambience 3

This is not for kids. I brought my teenagers here and there were not great options. Certainly no kids menus but I don't think that is what they are going for. Me and my husband, YES! my kids, No.

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LR
Richmond
5 reviews
Dined on February 8, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 5

Love the way they serve calamari! Lots of thinly sliced rings with garlic and slivered bell pepper. The cooks seem to really enjoy what they are doing and it tastes like it!

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KF
1 review
Dined on February 3, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Delightful evening with a friend. The sauteed calamari was amazing, as well as the roasted cauliflower. I ordered the rockfish and was able to swap out the bed of rice with butternut squash puree to suit my Paleo needs. Great combination!

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M
Richmond
2 reviews
Dined on January 30, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Reservations for 4 were at 6:30 and we were seated promptly. Claire delivered our Barbera d'Alba as we pondered over the menu and specials. We all agreed that the Shrimp and Grits (see photo) was perfection as was the pork special, followed by a brûlée that you just won't want to miss. Service was prompt, friendly and courteous.

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CJ
Richmond
4 reviews
Dined on January 30, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 4

This was my third visit, I love bringing people to this little gem. The food you get far exceeds the expectations you have going in.

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NA
Washington DC
8 reviews
Dined on January 27, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We had divine mussels, gnocchi, and creme brulee. The cocktails were interesting and tasty. Great vibe, friendly service, good music that was not so loud you couldn't carry on a conversation at normal volume. We were visiting Richmond for the first time and the waitress gave us lots of great recommendations of things to do and places for meals.

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DT
Richmond
6 reviews
Dined on January 26, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Helens has always been a favorite for my wife and I. The food is excellent and the staff is always friendly and attentive. I highly recommend.

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JK
Richmond
1 review
Dined on January 26, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 3ambience 4

Our entrees were great we had the shrimp and grits and the rockfish and both were great. Service was a little off but overall very good experience

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T
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on January 18, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 5

My friend and I both had the special which was a pork shank with a sauce to die for. Brussel sprouts were cooked perfectly service was great and we could hear each other!!! we both just loved it

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BH
Richmond
1 review
Dined on January 11, 2019
Overall 1food 1service 4ambience 4

Food was cold & this is the second time it’s happened. We won’t be going again :-(

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G
Richmond
27 reviews
Dined on January 11, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 3ambience 3

Overall food, service, and seating was very good. We like going back. For this most recent visit my spouse's ribeye was not up to Helen's standards--it was just moderately tough. The creme brulee dessert was excellent!!!

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L
Richmond
121 reviews
Dined on January 10, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

Burgers and Brunch are my fave at Helen's. Brunch is amazing and very fresh. I tried the crabmeat eggs benedict and don't want to go anywhere else for a benedict. The burgers are very good, especially with bacon onion marmalade to top it off!

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TS
Richmond
6 reviews
Dined on January 5, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

We really enjoyed our evening at Helen's. I enjoyed a well made Old Fashioned while perusing the menu, deciding on the special of the night which was apple cider braised pork shank served over polenta with roasted sprouts. The pork was fall apart tender and the sides delicious. The ambiance is cozy and just as we remembered from the Helen's of years ago, Christmas decorations made it even better! We sat at a booth and enjoyed friendly and attentive service. We will definitely go back!

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BK
Richmond
2 reviews
Dined on January 4, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Never disappointed with Helen’s. This has become “our” place to go for special occasions. We’ve never had a meal that either of us wouldn’t order again.

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R
Richmond
29 reviews
Dined on December 29, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

A perfect evening. The food was amazing. I had the Butternut Squash soup and the scallops. A perfectly sized meal. The seasonings were unusual and delicious.

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P
Richmond
9 reviews
Dined on December 29, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 3ambience 4

You can't fake an old restaurant and this is an old restaurant, with the right feel. BUT, it has modern food, and good modern food, at that. Helen's doesn't focus on beer, unlike the 3,408 other places in town that serve beer. That is not a complaint.

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E
Richmond
2 reviews
Dined on December 20, 2018
Overall 3food 4service 3ambience 3

We went with my wife for an early meal on a rainy Thursday evening so the place was relatively quiet which suits us fine. It is casual with an open kitchen. Food was creative and excellent. Nice selection of small plates.

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S
1 review
Dined on December 8, 2018
Overall 3food 5service 2ambience 3

The shrimp and grits was the best I've ever eaten. But the meals were expensive and no bread or salad included. The waitress did not ask us if we wanted an appetizer, and she never asked me if I wanted another drink though she asked the two men at our table twice. the waitress brought our bill without asking if we were ready and then said she couldn't use our coupon if we split the bill. she worked it out, but it felt like she wanted us to hurry and leave even though our bill for 4 people was almost $200. I probably won't plan to go back.

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RF
Richmond
17 reviews
Dined on December 8, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

Love Helens but thought the new menu was a downgrade from the former one - and the Rockfish dish we ordered, while good, was not as tasty as the cobia dish that was on the former menu.

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RA
1 review
Dined on November 28, 2018
Overall 3food 4service 3ambience 2

Lost its bistro cache. Food still good but very short menu. Gone over the top bohemian.
Ray Anderson
Williamsburg

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RV
Richmond
31 reviews
Dined on November 28, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Helen's is and always has been spot-on. Richmond is at its best with Helen's. It is a true G-E-M and we are always amazed with the specials and the standards. This is were we bring our friends and this is were we come for our romantic special spot.

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h
Richmond
11 reviews
Dined on November 28, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great as always. Good menu with great food. Try it, you'll love it.

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D
Richmond
10 reviews
Dined on November 18, 2018
Overall 3food 2service 5ambience 3

Service was A++. I like the cozy/intimate atmosphere of Helens. I was not impressed with any of the food we ordered. Started with the sweet potato soup (special of the day). It was alright...had a hint of heat and sweetness. But it was just that one note at the beginning with no follow up. For entrees we had the duck and pork chop. Both were cooked well and a good size portion. Where it failed was that everything was sweet, crust on pork chop was sweet, glaze on duck was sweet, celery root purée was sweet. I appreciate some sweetness to a meal. But this just seemed like sugar was in every part of the dish. It really needed balanced out with savory and/or spicy. I do t dissuade people from going to Helens. I just hope the kitchen and chef get the message that they can tone down their sugar scoop and it will greatly enhance the food.

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h
Richmond
11 reviews
Dined on November 18, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

great as always - never disappoint - creative entrees

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HE
1 review
Dined on November 16, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 3

Twenty plus years ago I was visiting Richmond and stumbled on Helen's and just loved, loved it .. the food was so scrumptious and we were treated like VIPs

So I finally got back last Friday and you lived up to my memories

My brother in law said it was the best steak he ever had. My sister enjoyed the duck and I had the very tasty scallops

Hope it isnt another 20 years!

Let me know if you open a restaurant in Las Vegas or Wisconsin

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BK
Richmond
2 reviews
Dined on November 10, 2018
Overall 4food 3service 3ambience 4

We were disappointed by the selections for dinner. We had been there 2 other times and enjoyed it very much.

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C
Richmond
1 review
Dined on November 9, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

It was my first visit and I loved it. Every dish we tried was delicious: the mussels, carrots, and shrimp & grits. I’d order it again!!

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TM
Richmond
12 reviews
Dined on November 7, 2018
Overall 3food 3service 3ambience 3

Food quality has went down and service was ok but the prices were high for what we ordered here

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MC
Washington DC
12 reviews
Dined on November 3, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Fun neighborhood spot in the Fan. Lots of options on the menu to keep my family (including one vegetarian) happy. It was a bit loud but we all enjoyed our dinners. Good service and ambience.

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SF
Richmond
12 reviews
Dined on November 2, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

I truly love Helens! I don’t make it there too often but when I do, the food is ALWAYS fresh and on point. The way the chefs marry the flavors in their food is unlike any other I’ve ever had. Highly recommended!

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NK
Charleston
18 reviews
Dined on November 2, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Helen’s was amazing. We had been wanting to try it but live over 30 minutes away. It was well worth the trip! Our waitress was wonderful and had great recommendations. Drinks were perfect, and we loved the beets & burrata and sautéed calamari appetizers. For our entrees we each got a burger (me the dusty burger and my husband the Helen’s burger). We both think these were the best burgers ever. Cooked perfectly with a fantastic blend of flavors. We will return!!

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RV
Washington DC
21 reviews
Dined on October 28, 2018
Overall 5food 4service 4ambience 5

I just really like this place. What it lacks in perfection it makes up for with personality and so many great taste sensations. I had the mussels in a broth. Helen's mussels are alway outstanding. The NY Strip was a basic order, but I'm really picky about my some things and this just hit the spot - cooked perfectly. Usually, I go for the gnocchi which are always great.

Helen's is a neighborhood mainstay and great spot to go to.

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LV
1 review
Dined on October 27, 2018
Overall 3food 5service 1ambience 5

Our reservation was at 7:45, we stood there for 20 minutes before being seated, while there were about 10 tables open.

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DT
Richmond
6 reviews
Dined on October 27, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Had dinner at Helen's Saturday evening. As always the food was great and the staff was welcoming and friendly. Always consistently excellent, menu changes often to keep things interesting.

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k
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on October 26, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Food exquisite
flavors bountiful
presentation perfected
most talented chef and serving staff

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KH
Richmond
14 reviews
Dined on October 26, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 5

Came for restaurant week, very cute small local place, wonderful service. Warm and romantic inside. Food was excellent.

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DB
Richmond
2 reviews
Dined on October 25, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We were a party of four during restaurant week. Each of us was impressed with the items we chose to eat. Two of us had a Porkchop that was very thick and big and cooked to perfection as well as seasoned and garnished very creatively. I found out later it was had been brined initially. The appetizers were very creative and delicious and I enjoyed the fact that they were vegetarian . My roasted beets with burrata, grapes, cashews and a touch of orange probably in the vinaigrette was simply amazing I could eat it as a full course meal. I believe this is the hidden gym which doesn’t get enough Presse . Their brunches are delicious as well

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OD
Richmond
1 review
Dined on October 25, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Since it was restaurant week they were serving items that are usually not on their menu, and they were fabulous. Their regular menu is great too.

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G
Richmond
7 reviews
Dined on October 25, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

My Helens experiences are always positive. The food is always so much better than you might expect from a slightly dive-y local bar. LOVED the leek sausage in my squash soup. Great vegetarian and gluten-free options.

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BK
Richmond
3 reviews
Dined on October 23, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 4

Helen's is one of our favorite restaurants in Richmond. The food is always incredible, I can honestly say that we've never had a bad meal or that I've had something that I wouldn't order again.

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