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821 Cafe: A popular choice for students and locals

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A brick building with a small red door at the entrance, 821 Café offers more than meets the eye. Upon entering, patrons are greeted with booths on both the left and right of the restaurant, tables down the middle, and a bar at the far end. It looks like a cozy old-time diner with a twist, as many people who frequent 821 Café are local Virginia Commonwealth University students. The restaurant, located at 825 W. Cary St., is situated right outside of VCU campus.

The restaurant has a wide variety of food items ranging from breakfast, which is served all day, to burgers and sandwiches and even pasta dishes. All of the items are priced affordably, allowing for patrons to receive a good amount of food at a fair price.

Some popular dishes include the sweet potato and black bean burger ($7.25), the vegan chili ($5.50), or the nutella stuffed French toast ($6). Breakfast items are served with a choice of rosemary potatoes or grits, fruit, or some type of bread. Lunch and dinner items are served with a choice of vegan chili, fresh fruit, potato chips or French fries, coleslaw, or herbed orzo.

Because 821 Café serves cheap and delicious food items, it is often crowded, and you may have to wait for a little while to be seated. The restaurant can be loud at times, especially in the middle of the day during the lunch rush. But get there early enough and you'll be treated to some great food at a pretty great price.

And don't forget to check the chalkboards located right inside by the door for daily specials, desserts, and beverage choices. In addition to regular sodas, coffee, tea, and water, 821 Café has a wide selection of beers and the perfect mimosa to go with your brunch.

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