Raise Your Glasses

3343 W Cary St, Richmond, VA 23221


Cary TownOptical AboutUs

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Virginia State Licensed Optician, Cynthia Allen personally guarantees an affordable, high quality option for eyewear enthusiasts in and around Richmond. Our focus is on your complete satisfaction, and we strive to build lasting relationships, with service to each individual client. Don't take our word for it, read the reviews our our valued clients.

The online reviews about Carytown Optical Shoppe below can be found on Google.com, Yohoo.com, Richmond.com, CitySearch.com, Superpages.com, yellowpages.washingtonpost.com, Insider Pages and more...!


June 2020, Sarah S. (Rating 5 stars)

Cynthia was so helpful and helped me track down a hard to find pair of sunglasses as a gift that she was able to quickly ship out across the country. The customer service here is amazing and I would highly recommend it!

October 2020, Mark L. (Rating 5 stars)

Many thanks to Cynthia/Carytown for resolving many issues around my broken frames. Cynthia is both expert in all things optical and committed to customer service! She went WAY out of her way to help me get a broken frame replaced, working with lab and the vendor to deal with several issues - none of them Cynthia's fault. She helped me identify new Swissflex frames and ensure a difficult new script was right the first time......

I love my Swissflex frames - very light and durable! thanks for turning me on to them. I could have worked with someone much closer, but it is worth time and effort to work with a professional like Cynthia Allen and Carytown Optical.

October 2020, Beth M. (Rating 5 stars)

Oh my gosh I cannot recommend this place highly enough I live in Alaska, and had been searching for a particular Anne et Valentin frame. Not only was Cynthia able to get this frame for me (with a choice of colors!) when no one else could- she was incredibly helpful and responsive with all my questions. Took the time to find it and get it sent out really fast Lovely to deal with, I wish I lived closer so I could visit the shoppe. Great place!!!!

May 2019, Lila R. (Rating 5 stars)

Carytown optical made picking out glasses so easy. I've worn glasses all my life and this by far was the best experience picking out frames. The staff is incredibly friendly and are experts in knowing what makes you look and feel your best. They even redid my lenses because of a prescription change.

October 2018, Janet Borges (Rating 5 stars)

Best eyewear-shopping experience ever, with very kind, funny and sincere professionals who will ALWAYS make sure you are happy with your choices. Would not dream of going anywhere else in RVA for my optical needs!

March 2018, Christian Schick (Rating 5 stars)

Wonderful experience. I appreciate how they give you their input on what they think looks best. It isn't very easy to see for yourself what you look like when you put on demo glasses. Their opinions were a lot better guide than the way I typically squint at myself in the mirror when I have visited other establishments (I even once picked out ladies’ glasses back in High School and didn't realize it. It was a little embarrassing).

February 2018, Sharon Faith Graves (Rating 5 stars)

I love eyeglasses, and this shop has some of the most exquisite and beautiful eyewear in the area. The selection is unique, and the brands are top of the line. The LaFont and the Ann et Valentin lines are my favorites in the shop. The optician, Beth, is professional, skilled, and very knowledgeable. It was a joy to work with her. I've never been more excited about my eyeglasses!

December 2017, Alexander Soulas (Rating 5 stars)

Great customer service!!

November 2017, Paul Zayas (Rating 5 stars)

The friendliest shop you can go to. Great selection of lenses and the staff will help you find the perfect pair of lenses to suit your style. Loved the whole experience. One of Richmond's true gems. They have a customer for life.

October 2017, Lou Ann (Rating 5 stars)

I have been going to Carytown Optical for about 20 years now. This shop is like the type of optical shop you would expect to find in Soho or the Village in NYC. Cynthia is always on top of the hottest new trends. And she has a lot of patience because I seem to love every frame she has. But please check this shop out. She is the only shop I know that actually carries Vinylize. Yes! Glass frames made from vinyl.

June 2017, Curtis Grimstead (Rating 5 stars)

I picked out a spectacular frame made out of vinyl records. It is very solid, and the shape is a perfect fit. Thanks to Beth, Pat, and Cynthia's recommendation. I highly recommend purchasing your glasses from Carytown Optical if you want to support a great local business and get quality service.

April 2017, Sean Murray (Rating 5 stars)

Best experience I have ever had selecting frames. They really took the time to help me pick the right pair and weren't shy about letting me know when my picks did not work on my face. You're in excellent hands here.

March 2016, Ted Fogarty (Rating 5 stars)

Best customer service experience I have ever had. I learned more about quality products and how newer technology in eyes glasses just isn't typical available through "insurance shops". My overall eyesight is GREATLY improved, as well as my comfort and confidence that if anything isn't just right, these guys will make it right. Go here - you're welcome!

January 2016, Caleb Hill (Rating 5 stars)

Beth couldn't have been more helpful!

October 2015, Karen Long (Rating 5 stars)

The best experience I have had when buying glasses. I am not terribly good at fashion choices, so I appreciated the sincere and tasteful suggestions for frames that seemed to fit my face structure the best and made me feel pretty. I felt confident in the glasses I purchased because Cynthia did not encourage me to just look at the higher priced frames, in fact the ones she felt looked best (and I purchased) were in a very comfortable price range for me. Also, Cynthia and the whole shoppe are hip and fun! The lightweight lens felt great after a slight adjustment. I highly recommend Carytown Optical if you love lots of lovely frame choices and/or are fashion challenged like me and need to rely on advice you can trust.

June 2015 T Burke (Rating 5 stars)

The service at Carytown Optical was outstanding! Cynthia's knowledge, advice, and expertise were phenomenal - she spent a lot of time helping me by reviewing the best choice of lenses, advising on frames, and adjusting sunglasses i had purchased elsewhere. I am a first time customer at Carytown Optical, and my decision to go there was based on the stellar reviews i had read - i must say that those reviews were correct. Friendly/unhurried/high quality service - what a great concept! Based on my experience I would say that you can't go wrong by taking your eyewear/optical needs to Carytown Optical.May 26, 2015: I went back today for new sunglasses. Beth assisted me and provided the same friendly and high quality service as I experienced during my 1st visit. Outstanding! Carytown Optical continues to provide 5-star service.

February 2015, Terry Caserta (Rating 5 stars)

Carytown Optical fitted me with a pair of glasses to use specifically for working on the computer. I was constantly struggling with my bifocals to focus on the computer screen and experienced a sore neck also from tilting my head back. I can’t believe the difference that the new eyeglasses make. I wish I had known about this option sooner. Carytown Optical fitted me with a really cool looking pair that I keep at work only. They were so helpful in explaining the difference this prescription would make. I love their selection. They offer a boutique selection you won’t find in any other optical store in Richmond. The pricing is reasonable and the personalized service was great.

February 2015, Sebastien Louis (Rating 5 stars)

What a wonderful place to go shopping to! Cynthia the owner and her staff are very knowledgeable, friendly and offer an outstanding customer service. The product selection is impressive and offers plenty of fashionable items to choose from. There is a lot of space to park which is a big plus. Best in town in my opinion.

November 2014, Annie Norman (Rating 5 stars)

We had an awesome experience picking out prescription Rayban sunglasses for our 93 year old Daddy. What a fun place. Daddy sports his cool shades every day. He insisted on aviator sunglasses like he wore his 25years in the navy. He's a lot smaller now and none fit but Cynthia special ordered a small small size with long temples. We Colohans greatly appreciate her attention to detail and TLC.

November 2014, Haley Yates (Rating 5 stars)

About a year ago, I went to Cary Town Optical to talk about getting my first pair of contacts. After I was informed of the different options I went up to Dr.Gates's office to get my eye exam. Before contacts I was very squeamish when it came to my eyes so I was a difficult patient, but he was very nice, and we finished the exam quickly. Then Dr. Gates pulled out a box of lenses for me, sat me down in his office and informed me on how to use the contacts. He was very helpful but i just got tired of continuously poking my eye with no results, so Cynthia from Cary Town Optical helped me. It turns out that before owning the shop, she used to help small children that needed contacts learn how to use them. Miraculously she was able to put my contacts in for me. I was happy with that but they all said that they needed to make sure I could put them in myself so Dr.Gates and his assistant put on my favorite song and eventually I was able to do it all on my own. Everyone was so kind and really seemed to care about me. I will definitely go there again.

November 2014, Deron Yates (Rating 5 stars)

I've been going to Carytown Optical since it first opened. Now living in Florida it is still the only place I go for eye ware. Cynthia, Beth and the rest of the staff are awesome. I was torn up when her shop was destroyed by fire several years ago. Thank you Cynthia for rebuilding. You're shop is even better than before. And tell Dr. Gates he's awesome too.

January 2015 Clifford Barcliff (Rating 5 stars on Facebook)

Best place in Richmond! Excellent customer service and great line of products. Easy parking. Highly recommended!

November 2014, Joe Reyes (Rating 5 stars)

Cynthia is awesome, they are very personal, working with you to find the best frames and lenses, don't go anywhere else! truly a great experience!

October 2014, David L. Robbins (Virginia writer) (Rating 5 stars)

I received every bit of service, attention and expertise expected from a boutique, at Carytown Optical. Cynthia and her staff are friendly, knowledgeable, patient and organized. If you're looking for stylish glasses and a great selection, to be honest, those are available lots of places. But for personalized attention, followup after the sale, fair pricing, and just plain friendliness and a sense of value for your money and time, don't bother looking elsewhere than Carytown Optical. And this isn't false enthusiasm; I write this because they really did make my buying experience a pleasant part of the transaction of getting new glasses.

March 2014, Thomas Zmudka (Rating: 5 stars)

From my first step into Carytown Optical, I knew it wasn’t your everyday eyeglass store. It has a small town feel combined with the comforts of home and the classiness of a New York designer store. There is an incredible selection of high quality eyewear at surprisingly affordable prices. I have nothing but praises for the staff that are helpful and very knowledgeable and they provided very personal service. I recommend Carytown Optical to anyone looking for a new eyeglasses or a pair of stylish sunglasses.

June 2015 T Burke (Rating 5 stars)

I've been going to Carytown Optical since it first opened. Now living in Florida it is still the only place I go for eye ware. Cynthia, Beth and the rest of the staff are awesome. I was torn up when her shop was destroyed by fire several years ago. Thank you Cynthia for rebuilding. You're shop is even better than before. And tell Dr. Gates he's awesome too.

March 2014, Farouk Chaabi (Rating: 5 stars)

I have purchased eyeglasses through Carytown Optical Shoppe. The staff was helpful. I got my eyes checked upstairs and I ordered my glasses downstairs. What a wonderful experience. She offers great prices for fashionable eyeglasses. I really recommend her.

February 2014, Joanna Longo (Rating: 5 stars)

Best place in Richmond for eyewear and eye care. Cynthia and her team make choosing glasses and contacts easy, expedient and fun. Their customer service and professionalism is evident throughout the process and beyond. While out of state for a wedding, I realized that I'd left my contacts home. Cynthia was able to "contact" another business in the area and I was able to get another pair just in time. Simply the best!

February 2014, J.L. (Rating: 5 stars)

Best place in Richmond for eyewear and eye care. Cynthia and her team make choosing glasses and contacts easy, expedient and fun. Their customer service and professionalism is evident throughout the process and beyond. While out of state for a wedding, I realized that I'd left my contacts home. Cynthia was able to "contact" another business in the area and i was able to get another pair just in time. Simply the best!

February 2014, Anonymous (Rating: 5 stars)

This store has the best selection of eyeglass frames in Richmond. Go there so you can see what really nice frames look like before buying junk at the mall or online. The lady who works there knows her sh--!

February 2014, Marjorie (Rating: 5 stars)

Thanks so much for giving me new sight in 2014! The glasses are a SMASHING hit and I give you permission to use this photo as needed to promote the fine work of your company and the awesome "styles" that you just can't find anywhere else; thanks again!

October 2013, Seth Stolz (Rating: 5 stars)

Carytown Optical in Richmond Virginia is amazing, the coolest, funniest staff ever! Incredibly knowledgeable of both the fashion side and technical side of optical to bring you the best in your new pair of glasses; they have some of the most unique, fun, fashionable eye wear that Richmond has to offer. It is a really relaxing atmosphere, great energy, great spirit. You will absolutely love your next experience at the eye doctor, and getting that fresh new pair of specs if you go here, trust me!

September 2013, Tom F (Rating: 5 stars)

I am very pleased with my Swiss Flex glasses from Carytown Optical. Cynthia showed me several other frames I liked, but the Swiss Flex frame was just too comfortable. I am a building contractor and tend to be hard on my eyeglasses, but have been surprised at how durable the Swiss Flex are. For me, these are the best glasses I have worn. Thanks, Cynthia!

May 2013 - Frederick Hefer (Rating: 5 stars)

The staff at Carytown Optical Shop provides great service and definitely deserves 5 stars. I am extremely satisfied with my prescription eye and sunglasses. They did a great job assisting me with my frame selection, positioning and adjustments. Throughout my years, I have gone to several optical shops but found Carytown Optical to be the best. The staff is chivalrous, clued-up, cool and very friendly. My total experience was terrific and I highly recommend them.

February 2013, Elli Morris (Rating: 5 stars)

LOVE the shoppe: excellent selection, very patient & helpful staff! Took me what felt like forever to decide on the right frames but Cynthia and Beth were so friendly, helping me narrow down the choices that looked good on me - and why those were the right frames. The shoppe has more variety of cool frames than any store within hundreds of miles, including DC. Amazing!

January 2013, Kent Morse (Rating: 5 stars)

I recently picked up my first pair of no line multifocal lenses in November. Cynthia advised me to make the change from my line bifocals. She also updated my look with a really cool lightweight rimless frame by Swissflex. The adaption to the no line lenses took about two weeks but now I am so glad that I was advised and helped to take the leap. The frame is absolutely amazing. I've never worn anything so comfortable and I love the polarized clip on too. From order to pick up I had them in a week. I can highly recommend Caytown Optical. You won't find anything like Swissflex at a Lenscrafters or Pearle or the like. Carytown Optical is such a relaxing place to go too, another thing I really like.

December 2012, A Google User (Overall 3 / 3)

Best selection of frames in Richmond and phenomenal knowledge and service. While living in London, I became a fan of distinct glasses and have continued to use the same optician there for 14 years because of their frame selection and service. On a recent trip, I bought a new pair of glasses and came home to find that I needed a small adjustment. When I contacted Lafont (company who made the glasses) they told me that the nearest dealer was in Richmond. When I visited the store, I realized that I could/should have bought my frames here, but didn’t know that it was possible.

I’ve found that the selection of frames in most places is limited because opticians and national chains just carry the same set of basic frames as all the others. Carytown Optical is different in that they carry an amazing set of boutique brands and also have a huge selection of Oakley frames. All at prices that are lower than I’ve seen in London and NYC. It’s also clear that Cynthia has great knowledge and passion for her customers and store. She took care of my adjustment in 2 minutes. An unbeatable combination of selection and service is what makes Carytown Optical Shoppe my favorite optician in RIC and I suspect that after you first visit, it will be yours also.

December 2012, Steve (Rating: 5 stars)

I wouldn't go anywhere else for my eyeglasses. I went to Carytown Optical at least three times for adjustments on eyeglasses that I didn't even buy there and I was treated so kindly and well and like a person that when I needed a new pair that Shoppe was the only store that came to mind.

Since then I can say I've gotten more compliments on my glasses than I ever had in my whole life of wearing glasses and they feel good and all of that makes me feel like a million bucks. And I never have to get them adjusted except when my neice got a hold of them and I was glad she did so that I could go back in to see Cynthia, Thanks to the ladies at Carytown Optical, Steve.

July 03, 2012 by Lee S. (Rating: 5 stars)

Looking for glasses? Without a doubt, Carytown Optical is the place to go! Between the excellent and knowledgeable staff, phenomenal customer support, and support for military and others, Carytown sets the standard that others only hope to emulate. I have been wearing Swissflex glasses for years. Something everyone should know is that it doesn’t take weeks to get them; I had all three pairs of Swissflex in less than a week, not the several weeks to two months it had taken elsewhere. If you want glasses, support, friendly atmosphere, and outstanding service, Carytown Optical is the place to wisely spend your hard earned money!

Jan 25, 2011 by Guest46982 (Rating: 5 stars)

I just got a new pair of eyeglasses from Carytown Optical. The frame is solid and really nice and wide enough for my head. They are John Varvatos. I am really really happy with the Zeiss lenses. I have had no problems with my first pair of progressive except for taking a day or so to get used to all the extra clarity.

The most amazing thing was working with the owner, Cynthia who was so pleasant and funny and genuinely concerned about taking time with me and this was AFTER having gone through a fire! I went to their temporary location which is right by the original shoppe (which I had found on line… I like her other reviews) I expected the temporary location to be very “sad” after a fire but It was bright and fresh and upbeat and I thought, ”Wow! Go see Carytown Optical for your eyeglasses; you’ll be glad.”

July 21, 2010 by Jimmy (Rating: 5 stars)

Carytown Optical is a real find. Wow, what a treat compared to going to a box optical store. I got my first pair of Silhouette rimless frames. The help available to me to go through all of the many many choices in lens shapes and frame styles was very welcome. It’s a small shoppe but packed full of funky frames. There were lots of chunky black frames and tortoise frames but the Silhouette frames won out for me because of comfort.

I also like the Silhouette rimless eyeglasses because I don’t see a dark border or frame. Carytown Optical feels like a little European type shop. At least check it out before going to the same old same old. My brother was with me and picked up a great pair of Wiley X sunglasses that have a spongy insert to keep the wind out. We hadn’t seen anything like it at the mall.

June 26, 2010 by Tom S., Richmond, Virginia (Rating: 5 stars)

Fantastic pair of prescription Oakleys I went online to Oakleys website and got a little overwhelmed with information about the prescription lenses available. I found Carytown Optical through the dealer locator on the Oakley site and was very glad that I did!! The owner of the shoppe was great at helping me through the choices. I needed my prescription Oakley’s to be bifocal and I wanted the right color for golf.

The frame that Cynthia helped me pick out fits close to my face with a full wrap and my vision is very sharp even with the curved frame. I was told by other opticals that my prescription couldn’t be made in a wrap frame. I would recommend Carytown Optical for your sports sunglasses and definitely recommend the Oakley VR28 polarized lenses. I got a second set of G30 lenses and can change them into the same frame. They are two great lenses for golf and driving. I’m only sorry that I waited so long to buy them.

Tony L. Posted on 06/26/10 (Rating: 5 stars)

Had been looking for some Oakley’s – prescription – and ended up buying 2. The service is impeccable. Even after I bought them Mrs. Allen herself took time out for tips & some adjustments I needed after purchase. She emphasized I could always go back or call and would personally take care of any problem; not that I expect any. Also, the price was the best I could find!

Kevin L. Posted on June 21, 2010 (Rating: 5 stars)

I found Carytown Optical Shoppe fantastic. I’ve ordered several pairs of prescription Oakley sunglasses there and the personal service they provided was spectacular! I would highly recommend them for any one looking for Oakleys, prescription Oakleys or any other name brand glasses.

A Yahoo! Local user Posted on 06/12/10 (Rating: 5 stars)

I recently purchased a pair of glasses from Carytown Optical Shoppe. I called Cynthia, the owner, and told her that i was coming down from Blacksburg to pick up my glasses and that I’d be there before closing. But there was a detour and i was delayed about 30 minutes. I called Cynthia and told her I wouldn’t be able to make it, but she told me that she was more than happy to wait for me.

She waited 30 minutes after closing just for me, and I’m not even a regular customer. The warm environment and personal attention you get makes getting glasses an easy, fun experience. I would recommend this shoppe to anyone that’s thinking about contacts, glasses, or sunglasses. Why else would I travel all the way from Blacksburg to Richmond?

May 20, 2010 by Guest07926 (Rating: 5 stars)

Amazing, simply amazing. Carytown Optical has the best customer service and satisfaction a person could ever ask for. 5 stars!!

K.C. Posted on 03/14/10 (Rating: 5 stars)

I recently purchased some glasses from Carytown Optical. Cynthia (the owner) was extremely helpful. Not only did I purchase some amazing glasses on sale with a fantastic discount, but she also made sure that I was extremely happy with my purchase in every way. She provided honest opinions about the frames I tried and has a very good eye for what looks good. I definitely recommend getting your glasses here. It takes longer than Lenscrafters, but you get personalized service, unique frames, and a great price. Definitely come here to get your glasses!!!!

Jan 21, 2010 William j. Posted: Friday, 9:10pm (Rating: 5 stars)

I found Carytown Optical on line when I searched for an Oakley prescription dealer. I wasn’t crazy about the idea of traveling to Richmond from Williamsburg but I read a lot of other reviews about Carytown Optical and they all seemed to be good.

I had had a horrible experience with some Oakley’s that I had made elsewhere, locally. The optician put non-Oakley lenses in my wrap Oakley’s and the distortion was terrible and they popped out of the frame at the top.

I traveled to Richmond to check out Carytown Optical. The Oakley store at Stony Point fashion mall gave the shoppe an ‘A-plus’ and said I should go there and no where else so on my next trip up to Richmond, I did. It was so refreshing to talk to a professional who knows her stuff. Every question I had was answered. Then she asked me questions about things that I hadn’t thought about. I ended up ordering a pair of multi focal polarized Oakleys.

They were ready in about a week and a half and the owner stayed late for me to pick them up. The next morning driving to work in my wrap Oakleys was amazing. The clarity is like I have not seen in any other pair of lenses. My side vision is awesome and I can see my dashboard, my cell phone and distance. The lenses were made at Oakley like they should have been my first try. I wore them the next week on the water and they are the ticket. Thank you Carytown Optical. Keep it up. I’ll see you for my next pair!