My first year and a half at Richmond I was stuck eating Jimmy John’s and Subway to satisfy my sandwich cravings. Being from the New York Metropolitan area, my biggest complaint about Richmond was the lack of Italian delis. I dreamed of sandwiches made with homemade mozzarella and cured meat hanging from the ceiling.
But my search to find a great deli in Richmond is finally over. I recently visited a café that finally served me a sandwich that reminded me of home.
Olio is a small café located on W. Main Street in the Fan and E. Main Street Downtown that serves sandwiches, salads and more using ingredients from local Richmond farms and producers in Western Europe. Olio is a gourmet bistro, market and catering service that makes delicious and fresh cuisine. The atmosphere is calming and reminds me of a café that would be located on the streets of Rome.
Olio has a variety of different sandwiches and salads, as well as prepared food you can choose from. Everything they serve is delicious… I honestly think I could throw a dart at their menu and I would be satisfied. Olio also has a variety of local and foreign wines that pair perfectly with different sandwiches (if you’re 21, of course).
All things aside, the fresh mozzarella itself is worth the visit. I ordered the Prosciutto di Parma and immediately felt that I had found my craved Italian sandwich. At the sight of mozzarella, prosciutto, red peppers and balsamic on ciabatta, I was drooling.
I also ordered the Arc de Triomphe, a sandwich on a French baguette with roasted turkey, brie, smoked bacon and garlic aioli. The baguette was warm with the perfect crunch as I bit into it.
Finally, I tasted the Italian Picnic. The roasted turkey, Tallegio cheese, fig jam, granny smith apples and aioli on baguette did not disappoint. Olio serves freshly baked sandwiches that are exquisite and their sandwich combinations are to die for.
Not only is the food amazing, but the atmosphere also provides a perfect place for students to study in peace. There is a variety of tables and chairs, which makes it easy to find seating. While there, I saw customers working on laptops while enjoying their seemingly “usual” sandwiches and espressos.
Olio is one of a kind in Richmond and a café everyone must check out. They offer gluten-free bread and they deliver. The food, atmosphere and friendly servers are worth a visit.