The Hot List is out! These are the Richmond restaurants you must try this month

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I get one question asked of me every single day: Where should I eat right now? Richmond wants to know where to eat and what’s hot in Richmond dine or on the cusp of being too busy to get a reservation. Here ya go, Richmond. Here’s your hot Richmond restaurants for March.

This month, as we dive into the newest and hottest, we are going to keep a few of last month’s HOT restaurants on the list because they still are on fire.

From the individuals that brought you Sergio’s, the busy pizza and beer spot in Brandermill, comes Fire & Hops. You guessed it, more pie and brews. This time in the Museum District taking up residence in the another pizza spot’s (Stuzzi) old digs at 1 North Belmont. You can expect great pizza — the owner Joe Conigliaro went to study the stuff under a 13-time pizza champion in Las Vegas. You also can expect great beer, over 25 taps of the good stuff.

More vegan, now with a splash of gluten-free. Mind Your Belly Deli from owner Halini Brune opened quietly in January. The Short Pump location is just barely keeping the plant-based food in stock. Think cashew cheese Philly Cheese”steaks” and chickpea-based “chicken” salad.

The name says it all Hot Chick. It’s Nashville hot chicken inspiration by the Eat Restaurant Partners, the individuals behind Fat DragonWong Gonzalez and soon to be open Fatty Smokes. The restaurant sits alongside the new renovated 17th Street Market and serves dishes like the bad mutha clucker. That’s TWO Nashville hot chicken breasts, slab bacon, ranch slaw, spicy ranch, smoky honey mustard, pickles, and muenster cheese. Share with someone, please.

Richmond loves little more than a midday meal. Brunch, in the old Star-lite building, has fresh paint (inside and outside) and a bold (and HUGE) breakfast-centric menu. Think bowls of grits, eggs and potatoes. Or make your way through egg Benedict with house-made English muffins from pork loin to portobello. The communal cocktail (read: a table-sized drink for sharing) list is worth your eyeballs and tastebuds as is the Monday-Thursday only “Chicken and Bubbles” — four cans of Prosecco and six pieces of fried chicken.

All vegan, all the time. Hang Space in South Richmond is brought to you by the folks behind YummVees Catering, Tracy Flitcraft and the individuals who own GoGoVeganfood truck, April Viar and Dave Witte. The goal? To bring more accessibility (and fun!) to vegan cuisine. Not to miss is their take on a classic Chick-Fil-a chicken sandwich, the Philly Cheesesteak or anything sweet and chocolate.

In Richmond’s southside, Abuelita’s quietly opened and for those in the know, it’s the place to go right now for authentic Mexican food. The menu changes daily, but you can always expect fresh house-made salsas —sometimes up to seven different types — and corn tortillas made on-site. Try one of the “guisos” or stews like the pork ribs with an addicting green sauce and an aqua fresca.

Eat It, Virginia! with Scott and Robey is a podcast driven by food. We discuss Richmond restaurants and food events, answer your most pressing food-related questions, and share listener-submitted dining suggestions