Nightlife in Richmond is underrated. There are so many different experiences to have, from pubs to upscale cocktail bars to nightclubs. There is something for everyone when in Richmond, you just need to know where to look. Here is our list of Richmond bars to go to for your next drink.
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Richmond’s #1 sports bar.
210 Giant Dr | Midlothian | popsrva.com
Looking for a place to watch the next big game? Check out Pop’s Bar and Grill, Richmond’s #1 sports bar.
On Sundays, you can get a $15 bucket of Coronas. What more could you ask for from a sports bar?
You can sit inside or outside on the patio. Pop’s has 63 TVs inside and out, so you won’t miss a second of the game no matter where you sit.
Pop’s also offers a higher-end sports bar menu thanks to Chef Jeremy Burns, with favorites such as the Guinness Beer Bratwurst Sandwich, a Guinness-infused bratwurst with caramelized peppers and onions, served on a warm potato bun, and the Catfish and Chips, blackened or fried filet of catfish served with fries, coleslaw, and cocktail or tartar sauce.
“Went to Pops yesterday for Sunday football… This place is huge, comfortable and has around 65 Tvs- excellent for watching your games on. My friends and I had no trouble finding our team's games and finding comfortable seats… Will definitely return!” - Yelp Review
Rock n roll bar.
221 Brookland Park Blvd | Northern Barton Heights | fuzzycactusrva.com
If you want to rock out, check out Fuzzy Cactus located in the Northern Barton Heights neighborhood of Richmond. Fuzzy Cactus is a rock n roll bar serving unique cocktails, regular bar food, and Mexican eats.
Try the Prickly Pear Margarita, house prickly pear syrup, fresh lime, and mas tequila, with a Carnitas Burrito, seasoned roasted pork, cheddar jack, rice, pintos, poblano sauce, and green chile. Or go for the Psychotic Reaction, Plantation Original dark rum, jagermeister, guava nectar, falernum, lime juice, and Peychaud’s bitters garnished with absinthe, mint, cherry, pineapple, and nutmeg with the Chicken Wings.
Check out their calendar online to see who’s playing when. Happy Hour is Tuesday – Friday 5pm – 7pm, but if you’d rather come later to catch a show, there’s a late night menu for your post-show cravings.
“It's a rocker bar that has shows and serves great drinks. If a beer and a shot is something you like to see at a bar, this place is a must go. If you want reasonably priced interesting bar food, this place is a must go.” - Yelp Review
Burgers and brews in Downtown Richmond.
501 E Grace St | Downtown | secretsandwichsociety.com
No, this isn’t the name of a secret club you made with your friends in the sixth grade. The Secret Sandwich Society is a bar in Downtown Richmond offering burgers, brews, and brunch.
The “secret” is that they use premium beef, pork, and deli meats and all natural chicken breast in their sandwiches. From the Lady Bird, roasted chicken breast, bacon, chipotle mayo, Society pickles, lettuce, tomato, and red onions on a toasted potato roll, to the Truman, turkey, peach jam, blue cheese spread, and crispy onions on a toasted potato roll, who wouldn’t want a bite of one of these delicious sammies?
They also have a variety of burgers including a 100% vegan burger - the Renaissance, an all vegan burger made using a Beyond Beef Burger, Daiya cheese, roasted garlic mayo, jalapeno slaw, and Society pickles on a vegan Roll - and the option to sub a gluten-free bun on any of their burgers.
For drinks, they offer beer, cider, wine, and specialty cocktails like the Definitely Maybe, made with New Amsterdam Gin, Strega, Luxardo, rosemary, and lime.
“All 3 of us decided on the ladybird. Mine differed as I had it on a gluten free bun. Everything tasted great and we left with full bellies. The pricing was just right. I'd love to come back for a third visit!” - Yelp Review
Handcrafted burgers and cocktails.
700 E Main St | Downtown | bellerva.com
Although Belle is another burger restaurant, it couldn’t be more different from the casual dig Secret Sandwich Society. This “new Southern kitchen” offers handcrafted burgers and cocktails. If you want something a little more upscale, opt for this burger place.
The Sweet Heat is the perfect burger with a kick - this 6 oz patty is topped with fried jalapeños, pepper jack cheese, and a sweet jalapeño jam - while the Gold Label Burger is an order for a special occasion - a gold leafed 6 oz wagyu beef patty topped with brie, organic lettuce, tomato, and truffle sauce.
The Bee’s Knees cocktail is, well, the bee’s knees. It’s made up of New Amsterdam gin, lemon juice, honey syrup, and lemon twist. The Sleepy Hollow Fizz is one of Belle’s most unique cocktails - Flor de Caña rum, lemon juice, maple syrup, pumpkin puree, and club soda. This one tastes good all year round, not just during pumpkin season.
“Lovely place with really cute decor, they do not have a big menu but they make the food great. They have wine and cocktails but don't really have much beer choices. Order the jambalaya [it] is full of flavor, jumbo shrimp, big pieces of sausages and chicken.” - Yelp Review
Cozy bar with rotating cocktail menu.
3113 W Cary St | Carytown | jasperbarrva.com
This cozy cocktail bar was voted one of The South's Best Bars in 2020 by Southern Living (ranked #3), one of The Best Places to Travel in 2020 by Tripsavvy, and one of Virginia’s Best Bars by WTVR in 2019, and it has been mentioned in a dozen more news articles - all good things.
Stop by this first-come first-serve cocktail bar for some house cocktails, “Penicillin” shots (blended scotch, islay scotch, lemon, honey, and ginger), Quoit Club Punch (the official drink of Richmond’s most popular 19th century social club), Nitro Bourbon and Ginger, and some small bites.
Is spicy your style? Try the Lucifer in Limbo - mezcal blend, suze, ancho reyes verde, lime, pineapple, and thai chili. Prefer creamy? Opt for the Who is She? - amaro blend, sweet vermouth, Licor 43, bitters, bubbly, and cream. Classic instead? Stick with an Espresso Martini - vodka, house espresso liqueur, and fancy cold brew coffee.
Snack on olives, popcorn, or bar nuts, or dine on something more filling like the Chicken & Pork Terrine or the Pickle Plate.
If you stop in around the holidays, you might be lucky enough to experience Miracle on Cary - a Christmas cocktail pop-up bar celebrated at great bars around the world during the month of December. The Jasper serves a special themed cocktail menu served in festive glassware with accompanying food, and they transform their usual digs into a kitschy and nostalgic holiday bar. Oh joy!
“OMG do we love The Jasper. From the vibe, to the creative cocktails and amazingly knowledgeable and friendly staff and bartenders, there's just nothing else like it in Richmond.
The espresso martini is divine, made with their house-infused spirits. Highly recommend!” - Yelp Review
A taste of Liverpool in Richmond.
421 E Franklin St | Downtown | pennylanepub.com
Want to experience something different from Richmond while in Richmond? Check out Penny Lane Pub, a taste of Liverpool in Richmond.
This pub has a great atmosphere. Whether you are watching a match between your two favorite teams or just grabbing a round of drinks with friends, you are likely to enjoy your time at Penny Lane.
They have English, Scottish, and Irish pints on draft, as well as pint combos, and bottled wine, beer and cider. As for food, we recommend their Fish n' Chips - a British staple served up by true Liver-pudlians consisting of flaky white fish deep fried in their homemade beer batter and served fresh with “chips” - and Banger's and Mash - English sausages with gravy, garlic mashed potatoes, and a vegetable medley - more if you want a real British experience. However, they also have burgers, wings, and other traditional American pub food.
Embarrass yourself at Karaoke Night on Mondays at 9:30pm, or show your smarts at Trivia Night on Wednesdays at 7:00pm. If you have some real vocal talent, consider participating in their open mic night for both musicians and comedians alike on alternating Thursdays at 8:00pm.
“Great English ambiance - truly feels like I'm across the big pond! Sat at the bar and talked with Jeff who never let our glasses sit empty. Great fish & chips - served with a scoop of peas on the side.” - Yelp Review
Richmond’s one and only Tiki bar.
If you are looking for a good time Thursday - Saturday night, look no further than The Jungle Room, Richmond’s one and only Tiki bar.
This bar becomes a full on dance club in the later hours, with live DJs, neon lights, and a throng of dancing bodies.
Try one of their Specialty Tiki drinks like the Xmas in Miami Swizzle, chartreuse, pineapple, lime, crème de cacao, rhum barbancourt blanc, crème de banane, and mint, or the Tuk Tuk Girl, El Jimador Reposado Tequila, pandan syrup, lime, pedro ximenez, strega, and firewater bitters.
Go big or go home with one of their signature Punch Bowls for only $28. We recommend the Jungle Jam Punch, definitely better than the jungle juice that might be coming to mind. It’s made up of Cruzan Single Barrel, Plantation OFTD, Lemon Hart, Son 151, orange juice, allspice honey, lime, mulberry, pineapple, benedictine, and angostura.
“The tiki decor and the drinks are great. When I have gone it has been a chill atmosphere. They played techno music. Also there is a lot of comfortable seating areas. There was a cover when I went on a Saturday, $5 they took cash or Venmo.” - Yelp Review
Meat & vegan pub inspired by the heavy metal band Gwar.
217 W Clay St | Downtown | gwarbar.com
This heavy metal themed bar offers vegan pub fare, something that is not easy to come by. The aptly named Hail Seitan sandwich is a menu favorite, made up of bbq seitan (Gwarbq or Carolina), fennel slaw, onion straws, and hot sauce. The Fried Cauliflower with vegan ranch for dipping is great to share with friends.
As for drinks, they have draft cider and beer, including GWARbeer which is a Champion Pilsner. Stop in during Happy Hour for $1.25 mystery beers, $2.25 High Life, $10 Gansett pitchers, and $3.75 well drinks.
“This place was everything I hoped it would be. Man I bet it was amazing when it was full of people pre-Covid. I had a couple Gwarbeers and a jamo-shot. Wife had a gin & tonic. We bought some merch and took some pictures. Loved it.” - Yelp Review
From handcrafted cocktail bars to pubs that remind you of Liverpool to heavy metal-inspired bars with vegan pub fare, there are so many unique bars in Richmond that are worth a visit. Let us know in the comments which of these bars in Richmond, VA you go to for your next drink!