One of my favorite things about living in the Museum District is the close proximity to Black Hand Coffee Company, a locally owned and operated coffee roaster and café. You might assume this is because I’m an avid coffee drinker who can’t refuse a good coffee shop, but that’s not the case — I’ve actually never had a cup of coffee in my life. I know, I know – I get by on tea or a fountain coke if I need a little pick me up. And coffee ice cream is basically my favorite treat in the world. I don’t get it either! So what brings me to Black Hand, you ask? Their breakfast sandwiches are the best I’ve had anywhere in Richmond.
The menu at Black Hand is pretty simple. The sandwiches come on your choice of an English muffin or everything, asiago or wheat bagel and sandwich options include the standard but delicious sausage, bacon, egg and cheese, other add-ons include hummus, cream cheese, pesto or tomato.
My go-to order is sausage, egg, and cheese on an everything bagel with pesto, but I’ve tried a number of different varieties and have enjoyed them all. The breakfast sandwiches are made fresh to order, so if you’re looking for a good instagrammable photo opportunity, Black Hand always delivers, a perfect combination of freshly toasted bagel and gooey melted cheese. Bonus: Black Hand Coffee Company uses bagels from Cupertino’s Bagels to make its breakfast sandwiches, and the boiled New York style bagels take the sandwiches to a whole new level.
Even though coffee isn’t my beverage of choice, I’d be doing Black Hand a disservice to not talk about their coffee selections since it seems to have a cult following around town. The green coffee beans that they use are imported from farms around the world and then roasted here in Richmond. Coffee fans can choose from a beverage menu that includes options like drip coffee, lattes or cold brew. Lucky for me, Black Hand does offer one of my favorite drinks, chai tea, which I almost always order iced and “dirty”, which means along with the chai concentrate and milk is a shot of espresso. I guess I can add that to the list of drinks I indulge in if I need a pick me up.
In addition to a great menu, Black Hand is a good neighbor by giving back to the Richmond community in a number of different ways. They also collaborate with different local breweries like Triple Crossing Brewing Company, Hardywood Park Craft Brewery and Strangeways Brewing.
What to know before your visit to Black Hand Coffee Company
Black Hand Coffee Company is located at 3101 Patterson Avenue and is open daily from 7 a.m. – 5 p.m. It’s pretty busy during the morning hours, but don’t be dismayed if you go and there is a line to the door, it usually moves pretty quickly. Black Hands offers indoor and outdoor seating along with free wi-fi, so it’s a great place to spend an hour or two if you need a spot to work.
It’s worth noting that the coffee shop is super pet-friendly. They have a water bowl outside for dogs and they recently added a dog treat dispenser in front of their building where you use your spare change to get some treats for your pooch!
If you can’t make it to Black Hand’s Museum District location, don’t fear: in the past few years, Black Hand expanded into the wholesale market and they now sell their coffee online and also at additional retailers throughout the region. The most important thing to do if you visit? Get a bagel sandwich. Trust me on this one.
What’s your favorite place to grab a quick breakfast in RVA?