Are you looking to discover the best bars in Richmond?
Then we have you covered!
On this page, you’ll find the official shortlist of all the bars in Richmond. (More in-depth further below). And, each with why it’s best to go.
Feel free to check out each bar’s official profile to find out more and to find out which is best for you.
We’ve also created separate shortlists for each genre you might like to visit on your time out.
So check out these articles as well:
- The Best Cool Bars in Richmond
- The Best Unique Bars in Richmond
- The Best Cocktail Bars in Richmond
- The Best Most Fun Bars in Richmond
- And finally: Our Complete Guide to Richmond’s Nightlife
Furthermore, you can get on the guest list or book a table with bottle service on some of the more exclusive bars. We are happy to help you out with either.
11. Rosie Connolly’s
Rosie Connolly’s is a snug gathering place providing draft beer, traditional Irish comfort food, music sessions & karaoke. Rosie Connolly’s, an Irish bar in Shockoe Bottom, will make any Irishman feel at ease. This is the spot to go in Richmond for the greatest Guinness pour and other Richmond favorites like Harp, Smithwicks, and Newcastle. A selection of single malt scotches and Irish whiskeys are also available. Expect to make at least one new acquaintance at Rosie Connolly’s. A tour of the “greatest bars” would be incomplete without a stop at an Irish pub. Rosie Connolly, Richmond’s premier Irish bar, is just what you’re looking for. The bar has a distinct Dublin ambiance and serves Guinness beer, fine whiskeys, and single malt scotches. The venue is busy and well-known for its lively atmosphere, making it ideal for a night out with friends.
Would a list of the top bars ever be complete without an Irish bar? Rosie Connolly’s, the city’s most incredible Irish bar, is the place to go for a fun night out with friends. Guinness, single malt scotches, and whiskeys are available as if you were in Dublin. It’s a noisy bar with a lively vibe – hardly the place for a quiet date. Rosie Connolly’s desire as a young Colleen growing up in the lush pastures of Ireland was to add a taste of the Emerald Isle to the pub-less wasteland known as the States. Here, she’d establish the warm, friendly meeting place she’d become accustomed to, where beers and talk flowed freely, and even a passing stranger felt like a regular. Unfortunately for America, Rosie never made it through the busy port of Liverpool.
Fortunately for us thirsty Americans, her traveling grandson Tommy did. The trek, though, put the determined Liverpudlian to the test. The Big Pond was a mere dream compared to the roaring torrent unleashed by Tropical Storm Gaston on Richmond’s Shockoe Bottom on August 30, 2004. This was the day Tommy Goulding was supposed to take over his bar. Rosie Connolly somehow escaped from the muck and mire. She is now shining and proud, a classic Irish bar with a Mersey splash. So come on out and toast, Rosie. It’s been a long journey from her hometown, but you’ll feel closer with each pint. So, this bar is one of the best Irish Bars Richmond offers. Visit it today if you are in the city!
Saison is a hip hangout with a chill atmosphere & New American classics, plus unique beers & seasonal cocktails. Saison owners Adam Hall and Jay Bayer have imagined a unique style of food and drink through a blend of southern American and Central American flavors. Try one of the creatively named cocktails, like A Dutchman in Milan – a blend of gin, fresh lemon, Campari, and celery shrub. Alternatively, try the Baby Alpaca, a modern take on the classic pisco sour. The cocktail list is constantly rotating, but the knowledgeable mixologists are always happy to create a custom-made wonder or an old favorite. This Marshall Street gastropub is where the American South meets South America, with a cocktail menu offering Latin American variations on traditional cocktails and a youthful drink-savvy audience.
A Mezcal Mule, a Negroni Libre with white rum, amaro ciociaro, sweet vermouth, vanilla, and lime bitters, or one of the numerous versions of the traditional Peruvian Pisco Sour can’t go wrong. The food selection inside the pub reflects the same marriage of the Americas, with dishes like Pollo a la Brasa appearing alongside a standard fried chicken sandwich. This hipster hole-in-the-wall combines a wine bar, a café, and a restaurant. A variety of small dishes (many vegetarian), burgers, and more gourmet cuisine are available, as are creative cocktails, artisan beer, and local wines. We suggest coming here for beverages rather than meals. Sunday through Thursday, 10 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, 11 p.m. Saison was born from their travels & heritage, where they found harmony in the honest & delicious food of the American South, Central America, and the Caribbean.
Five years in, they pushed beyond the Americas to explore and honor foodways worldwide. We maintain a foundation in Southern & Mid-Atlantic food but see a reflection of this new South and the Mid-Atlantic reflected in so much more and so many more. They aim to bring that reflection to the plate, table, and glass. We hope you find their food and beverage fresh, seasonal, and an expression of the dynamic world they all find themselves in. After beginning his culinary career at Richmond’s beloved, albeit now defunct, The Black Sheep, Marc helped open Saison as its first Sous Chef. In its exciting infancy, Saison expanded Marc’s horizons of food and beverage possibilities in a restaurant setting, sparking a desire to see what else the country had to offer.
9. Southern Railway Taphouse
Southern Railway Taphouse is a Clubby gastropub presenting a long list of craft beers, American eats & live music. Southern Railway Taphouse’s beer selection matches any pub, with a changing roster of 40 beers and more than 100 artisan bottles. Since it is constantly updated, check their website to see which draughts are accessible on any given day. The vast bar room is a high-energy late-night gathering spot, and the outside terrace overlooking downtown Richmond’s canal walk is ideal for the summer. Southern Railway Taphouse is a terrific spot to taste some fantastic beers. The bar can serve over 40 great draughts and a wide range of fantastic craft bottle beers. It is also ideal for anyone who likes American food and live music. This location is popular with young, trendy people who enjoy partying till late at night.
The Southern Railway Taphouse is well-known for its fantastic beers on tap. The bar has up to 40 draught beers and even more artisan bottle beers at any given moment. It serves good American meals and frequently hosts live music evenings. The pub attracts a youthful, hip audience and stays open till late at night. A fascinating location with excellent, friendly, and professional employees. Great beer variety and an excellent, simple menu of essential pub cuisine. We were exploring universities when two waiters and the manager dropped by to share their impressions of Richmond and its schools. The area transforms into a dance club at night; we were given a pre-chaos tour. We searched for good food, beer, and lovely people, and we found all those things and more.
Terrific spot! One of the best places to burn your calories to the vibrant music on Friday and Saturday nights. This place is a killer from 10.00 pm till 2.00 am on Friday and Saturday nights. The security staff are very vigilant, keep the perimeter secured, and ensure they keep their guests safe. One suggestion is they could add a little more late-night food menus. We enjoyed all the yummy finger foods provided! Coconut shrimp, mojitos, wings, and those little quiche bites were terrific! Also, we should go out to the bartender. Our agents kept you busy! You stayed on top of it all! So thank you for your fast service! Every drink was made carefully, and the food was just over the top! We will be back. So, this bar is one of the best Richmond has to offer.
Toast is an open, relaxed eatery featuring burgers & comfort food with a global twist, plus beer & wine on tap. Every day, Toast has eight different types of wine on tap. There are also 17 beers on tap, several of which are local. Toast has become a Richmond institution, serving southern classics “with a twist.” Toast offers numerous tasty gluten-free beverages and snacks on offer for individuals who are allergic to gluten. Order a bucket of the incredible sweet potato tots or the Parmesan truffle fries. This bar is an American Gastropub featuring reinvented bar foods and classic dishes with a twist. It was established in 2012. So, it opened on August 15, 2012. It reopened on February 15, 2020, after a four-month renovation following a fire in October 2019.
Although this is Jessica and her husband, Josh’s, first restaurant, she is no stranger to the Richmond restaurant scene. Jessica and Josh can be found most nights in Toast, visiting with guests and meeting the neighbors. This is a long-time dream for both of them, and they look forward to serving you. I’d wanted to try Toast for a while, and I just had the opportunity to do so with some friends. This is a fantastic restaurant with a wide variety of meal options depending on your mood. They also carry a large selection of beer and wine. I drank a glass of cabernet sauvignon, which was delicious. We were four people, split the Brussel sprouts and pimento cheese wontons, yum! I had a cup of she-crab soup, and it was delicious. For dinner, I had the pesto panini sandwich and added the portobello mushrooms to it.
I added the sweet potato tots as my side. It was all quite delicious. I like the vibe as well. It’s a neighborhood pub and very fun. Best sandwiches. We stopped by accidentally, and we LOVED every bite of our meals. And I must say that it is hard to please us regarding food. Especially recently, we had pesto chicken ciabatta (for pesto lovers, pretty light, tasteful, and just delicious) and Nashville chicken sandwich (much heavier but delicious, a little spicy and flavorful). So good! We recommend it! So, this is one of the best bars and restaurants Richmond has to offer you! If you are in the city, we recommend you visit this spot at least once. Go with your family, friends, or loved ones!
GWARbar is a meat & vegan pub inspired by the heavy metal band Gwar. Fake blood-splattered bar offering meat & vegan pub fare inspired by the heavy metal band Gwar. This heavy metal-themed establishment serves vegan pub grub, which is hard to come by. The Hail Seitan sandwich, composed of bbq seitan (Gwar Bq or Carolina), fennel slaw, onion straws, and hot sauce, is a menu favorite. The Fried Cauliflower with Vegan Ranch Dipping Sauce is ideal for sharing with guests. They feature draught cider and beer on tap, including GWARbeer, a Champion Pilsner. During Happy Hour, $1.25 mystery beers, $2.25 High Life, $10 Gansett pitchers, and $3.75 well-drinks are available. This bar was everything I had hoped for. I’m sure it was great before Covid when it was packed with people.
I drank two Gwarbeers and a jamo shot. The wife drank gin and tonic. We purchased some merchandise and took some photos. It was fantastic. There are so many exciting bars in Richmond that are worth a visit, from artisan cocktail bars to pubs that remind you of Liverpool to heavy metal-inspired bars with vegan pub grub. GWARBAR is a hit with us! The food is excellent. The seating is very relaxed, with lots of GWAR memorabilia. Service is usually very swift. There is no table service. You can see the menu posted at the front window, scan a QR code to pull it up on your phone, then order at the bar, and food will be brought to you. Of course, they have a full bar.
If you were going to see GWAR live in the late 80s and early 90s, like I was, this place brings back many memories of fun times I had with friends. Don’t leave without checking out the restrooms and looking around. Gwar, who doesn’t love them and their music as well as extreme stage performance, but they have a bar too, and is it just as awesome as they are? Hell, yes, it is! Coming here has been a long time since I didn’t make it to this part of the county as much as I’d like to, so this was a treat! Overall super excellent place, with good vibes and good food, and it was so Gwar it is for that. I hope to get here again at some point because this place rocked in more than one way!
6. Bingo Beer Company
Bingo Beer Company is a terrific alternative for arcade fans, beginning craft beer consumers, and knowledgeable beer snobs and is a perfect match for Richmond’s Scott’s Addition neighborhood’s brewery nirvana. This brewery-restaurant-arcade combination focuses on lagers and mixes on-site brewing with old-school arcade staples like skeeball, pinball, and ping pong. Along with beer, wine, cocktails, and non-alcoholic house-made ginger beer are available. Bingo beer co is a lager-focused brewery in Scott’s addition. The rest is all food, fun, and games! Bingo Beer Co is a lager-focused brewery on Broad Street in Scott’s Addition district of Richmond. They worked hard to make this area a combined brewery, bar-restaurant, and arcade, a place where everyone, new and old, may enjoy excellent company.
Their trips and experiences have shown them how excellent beer is at bringing people together, but covid-19 is forcing us all to pause sharing with everyone they want they could. Their Lager approach looks for new creative spaces while being steeped in European culture. “Modestly contemporary, traditionally crushable!” says the can. Though driven by tradition, their lagers, IPAs, farmhouse beers, fruited sours, and barrel-aged beers celebrate the restless ingenuity of American craft brewing. Regardless of the beers you find in your hand; drinkability is a hallmark of us and their brewing practices. They hope you find them balanced and pleasing and that they find you in the safe company of those you care about. It was a fantastic place, and there were some arcade games here.
Pretty loud; we got lucky with three seats at the bar. We ordered a flight of 4. They were out of 3 of their beers for a tap of 10. This is more of a bar scene vs. a brewery vibe. They have ample indoor and outdoor seating areas with loud music. They had a food menu, and we ordered the Honey BBQ wings, which were good. Very flavorful. Their food is good, and it’s cool that they had an arcade—a great place for (relatively) cheap drinks and a good time in Scott’s Addition. If you want to club it up, the inside is fantastic and has DJs and arcade games. They get pretty lit on a Friday night. Alternatively, if you wish to be more relaxed, they got a back patio complete with little firepits. It’s pretty nice. So, Bingo Beer Company is one of the best bars Richmond has to offer you. Go and have fun!
5. Penny Lane Pub
Penny Lane Pub is an English pub that has borrowed the Liverpool Football Club’s tagline, “You’ll never walk alone.” The basement pub atmosphere is laid-back and ideal for sampling classic British food like fish and chips, steak, and Guinness pie. If you need a more vibrant atmosphere and want to play billiards or darts, head to the upper bar. The Penny Lane Pub is another excellent Richmond establishment. It’s a Liverpool-themed tavern where you can sample elegant British fares like buttie rolls, fish ‘n’ chips, sirloin, and Guinness pie. It’s also a fantastic spot to sample some excellent brews. It’s a great place with some classy decor, a bunch of Union Jacks, and a relaxing atmosphere. The Penny Lane Bar is another pub to add to our list.
It is an English-themed pub, or more precisely a Liverpool-themed pub, that serves British staples like buttie rolls, fish ‘n’ chips, and steak and Guinness pie to go with its beer selection. It has a typical, friendly pub atmosphere decked up with Union Jacks. Finally, no beer scene is complete without at least one good bar. This spot-on English pub is located in downtown Richmond, and it seems like an island of refinement and comfort in a neighborhood devoid of fantastic bars. This restaurant, founded by a Liverpool native and in business since 1979, is an absolute fixture, and not even the epidemic could derail it. Inside, there’s an excessive amount of British memorabilia covering every available surface. There is a menu that serves spot-on versions of all the genre’s anticipated mainstays.
From fish ‘n’ chips and chicken curry to cottage pie, Cornish pasties, and bangers and mash. Meanwhile, the beer list pays homage to an era of the American beer bar that has long since passed, featuring Old Speckled Hen on nitro and Fuller’s famous British pale ale/porter. There are Scottish ales and Guinness (of course), a few European imports, and a few American craft selections to round things out. If you are not in the mood to drink beer, there’s enough cider and scotch whiskey to satisfy your thirst. Genuine locations like Penny Lane are becoming increasingly rare with each passing year. Therefore we owe it to ourselves to preserve everything we can. So, Penny Lane Pub is one of the best bars Richmond offers. If you are in the city, we recommend visiting this spot at least once with your friends or loved ones!
4. The Jasper
The Jasper is a cozy bar with a rotating cocktail menu. In 2018, a collection of Richmond’s best-known mixologists launched this speakeasy-style cocktail bar to great acclaim in the city’s thriving Carytown area. The list includes Mattias Hägglund, Thomas Leggett, Brandon Peck, and Kevin Liu. The bar’s menu contains classic drinks such as the Hailstorm Julep, created with Laird’s Smith & Cross rum, apple brandy, port, mint, bespoke cocktails, beer, and wine, and a snack menu utilizing bread that is freshly baked at Carytown Cupcakes next door. What would be the name of a Superbo created by the owners and bar managers of three prominent Richmond cocktail bars? That’s The Jasper, named for one of Richmond’s earliest mixologists.
Carytown’s most cocktail-focused pub launched in early 2018 with an approachable menu that includes creative cocktails (try the Quoit Club Punch with Jamaican rum, brandy, rainwater Madeira, lemon, and sugar) and inexpensive beer. This tiny cocktail bar was named one of The South’s Best Bars in 2020 by Southern Living (rated #3), one of The Best Places to Travel in 2020 by Tripsavvy, and one of Virginia’s Best Bars by WTVR in 2019, among other accolades. It has been referenced in a dozen more news pieces – all excellent. Stop by for some house drinks, “Penicillin” shots (blended scotch, islay scotch, lemon, honey, and ginger), Quoit Club Punch (the official drink of Richmond’s most prominent 19th-century social club), Nitro Bourbon and Ginger, and small nibbles. Is spiciness your thing? Try the Lucifer in Limbo, which combines mezcal, Suze, ancho Reyes Verde, lime, pineapple, and Thai chili.
Do you like creamy? Choose Who Is She?, which has an amaro mix, sweet vermouth, Licor 43, bitters, bubbly, and cream. What about traditional? Stick to an Espresso Martini, which combines vodka, espresso liqueur, and expensive cold brew coffee. Snack on olives, popcorn, or bar nuts, or eat something more substantial, such as the Chicken & Pork Terrine or the Pickle Plate. If you visit during the holidays, you can be lucky enough to witness the Miracle on Cary. A Christmas cocktail pop-up bar celebrated in famous worldwide bars throughout December. The Jasper features a unique themed beverage menu with matching cuisine served in festive glassware, and they change their typical digs into a kitschy and nostalgic Christmas bar. Oh, delight! OMG, we adore Jasper. There’s nothing else like it in Richmond, from the ambiance to the inventive drinks and the incredibly knowledgeable and polite staff and bartenders.
Alewife is a bright, acclaimed eatery offering sophisticated dishes based on Mid-Atlantic seafood & cocktails. The Sea of Cortez, prepared with rye, Dolin Dry, creme de banana, and coconut vinegar; and a delicious Pink Tequila Tonic created with tequila, Cocchi Rosa, grapefruit, tonic, rose water, and lime oil is one of Richmond’s most imaginative and distinctive cocktail menus. There’s a good possibility you’ll have to wait for a table here, but trust us when we say you’ll be pleased to pass the time at the bar. It is Mid-Atlantic seafood, influenced by the Chesapeake bay & foodways of Virginia. Alewife’s Beverage Director/Bar Manager is Andon Whitehorn. Notably, Andon began his career as a cook at restaurants. Among other things, Andon started a supper club called Nani, the first of its type in Oklahoma City.
This endeavor earned him a spot in Eater’s 2015 Young Guns Class. His bartending career began in 2015 when he managed the cocktail program at Oklahoma City’s O Bar (2015-2017). Andon subsequently relocated to Vermont, managing The Arcadian bar/beverage program. Andon’s creativity and focus on sustainability have earned him numerous awards throughout his career. Andon has been named the 2022 DC-Chesapeake StarChefs Bartender Rising Star. Lee Gregory is a three-time semifinalist for the James Beard Foundation Award for Best Chef Mid-Atlantic and a StarChef Rising Star. Chef Gregory was reared in South Carolina but had a strong culinary background in Virginia, having worked for five years under chef Dale Reitzer at Acacia in Richmond before transferring to Six Burner, then Mockingbird in Staunton, and Blue Light Grill in Charlottesville.
Lee returned to Richmond in 2011 to co-own and serve as Executive Chef at The Roosevelt on Church Hill, where he worked from 2011 until 2018. In 2014, he helped create Southbound, a Bon Air favorite, where he is now co-owner and chef. Lee’s first solo project is Alewife. Chef de Cuisine at Alewife is Bobo Catoe. Bobo has found cooking in Virginia to be a fantastic experience. “The state’s emerging growers produce a wide range of excellent goods.” People are enthusiastic about working in the fields, making putting superior produce on tables much more straightforward.” Bobo’s objective as a chef is to serve simple, excellent cuisine while engaging in conscientious sourcing and purchasing procedures, allowing both organizations to flourish while giving back to the community. Bobo was named the 2022 DC-Chesapeake StarChefs Rising Star. You have to visit this bar today!
2. Fuzzy Cactus
Fuzzy Cactus is a Rock n Roll bar. Fuzzy Cactus is a dive bar that knows how to have a good time. This self-described “rock ‘n’ roll bar” is if your favorite Tex-Mex restaurant married a punk rock venue. Cocktails are easy, inexpensive, and take a quirky spin on watering hole classics, such as an Oaxacan Old Fashioned with mezcal, a flaming torch, and a vegan White Russian. Dive classics like PBR are available, but your fewer rockabilly pals may also choose from a vast assortment of hard-to-find artisan beers and natural wines. They are a neighborhood Rock -n- Roll bar and restaurant located at 221 Brookland Park Blvd, Richmond, VA 23222. They serve urban cowboy fare, dressed-up lowbrow cocktails, and beers for all palate types. The Fuzzy Cactus is committed to being a safe place for its customers and staff.
Racism, sexism, homophobia, transphobia, violence, and all other hateful behaviors are not tolerated here—a MUST-GO-TO restaurant in Richmond. Fuzzy Cactus feels SO RVA. There isn’t a finer restaurant that captures what makes Richmond hip. Fuzzy’s vibe isn’t the only thing amazing here. The food is divine! They know what to do with their chicken here. Crispy and tender! Best Wings in Richmond! Their drinks are strong, and they have a great cocktail selection too. I highly recommend the Fuzzy Paloma. I also can’t rave enough about the Honey Old Bay Wings. Brookland Park has plenty of great businesses, and this is one of the best there. I like Fuzzy Cactus so much that I had art commissioned with it!
You won’t be disappointed with any chicken dish you get here. Their waffles and biscuits are both fluffy and mouth-watering. I haven’t been to one of their live shows yet, but I’ve heard great things about them. Parking is easy here too. At Fuzzy Cactus, you’re sure to have a good time! We came here before a pottery lesson and enjoyed everything about it! From the unique wall design to the outstanding service and, most importantly, the fantastic meal! They have a small stage, and bands come to play. They also have a pool table, pinball machines, and creative beer/shot combos such as the “Colorado Kool-aid,” a Coors Banquet, and a shot of rum. They have great happy hour specials, and there are so many things I want to try, so we’ll be back! So, this is one of the best bars in Richmond!
1. Bar Solita
Bar Solita is a stylish Mediterranean choice offering comfort food, tapas & weekend brunch, plus cocktails. A Mediterranean tapas bar in Richmond’s vibrant Arts District, Bar Solita’s cocktail menu features inventive drinks with influences from Italy, Greece, and North Africa. Sip on the Holiday in Catania, crafted with vodka, pomegranate liqueur, honey, and lemon, or the Boomslang, featuring rum, Madeira, curacao, and cinnamon. Those looking to transport themselves to a Greek island will have no shortage of Mediterranean favorites to select from the bar’s food menu, including a wood-fired Capocollo and arugula pizza with olive oil and crumbled feta. The lively vacation-style restaurant features flavors from Italy, France, Greece, Northern Africa, and the Middle East.
There are wood fired pizzas, tapas, entrees, kinds of pasta, and an inventive cocktail menu with a large selection of draft beers and unique wines. Great decor with private dining options. Impressive bar area. Great happy hour Monday-Friday 5-7. Private dining with incredible service & hospitality. Social spot with unique foods. They are locally owned. Woman-owned. Great date night spot with chic decor. Locals favorite. A bar large enough to fit all your friends. They have an impressive selection of beer, wine, and cocktails. Want something that’s not listed? Feel free to ask the bartender to make something special for you. Who needs a large dish when you can fill your stomach with multiple tapas? Grab a few friends and share some of their favorites, like the Empanadas or Papas Brava. They also provide vegan and vegetarian choices to their customers. They have something for everyone’s taste.
Their wood-fired pizzas are unrivaled in the arts area. Pizzas are small enough to be enjoyed alone or with others. Your attitude instantly improves when you walk inside Bar Solita on West Broad Street in the city’s Arts District. The environment is lush and verdant, with walls that are a zephyrous palm green and soaring windows that let in light that fills the long, spacious chamber. To the left, a mural of figs, tropical birds of paradise and palm, and lemon trees can be found. The restaurant’s décor symbolizes the “glow of a vanished Paradise of plenty and splendor” described by British culinary writer Elizabeth David of Mediterranean cuisine, which she is credited with bringing to the Western world. Though Richmond is a long way from postwar England, we may all benefit from a little “light of a lost Paradise” in our lives.