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The Best Bars for Foodies in Richmond

A photo of Red logo
by The OpenTable Team
Updated February 26, 2020

Richmond, the capital city of Virginia, straddles the north and south, offering a blend of warm southern hospitality with a fast-paced Yankee culture. After the hustle and bustle of the day, locals unwind in the standout bar scene. Richmond boasts countless watering holes serving unforgettable cocktails and small bites with opportunities for socializing. But how do they decide which bar to check out when in town? Check out our Tastemaker List of the best bars in Richmond. We’ve pulled data from thousands of bars to find the top spots among OpenTable's most expert, seasoned locals. Pick a bar that suits your taste or cravings, then book a table to discover the best hangouts in Richmond.

A photo of The Tobacco Company Restaurant restaurant
4.6
4.6 (3919)
$31 to $50
American
Richmond
About the restaurant
One place with an excellent bar in Richmond Is the Tobacco Company. It doesn’t get more classic Richmond than the Tobacco Company, with old-style wood and leather interiors and a distintly “old-man” feel. This upscale eatery has perhaps the best bar in Richmond because the drinks are strong and the atmosphere feels upscale and special. (it is a good spot for a first date or a special event). The first floor bar here also has its own food menu to enjoy while sipping on cocktails. The menu has small plate items like fried oysters, spinach and artichoke dip, and a crab stack. The Tobacco Company has been located (and thriving) on the Downtown Shockoe Slip since 1973.
Top review
AngelaQ
Dined 5 days ago
Richmond tradition! Great food, service and atmosphere. Perfect place to dine and have pleasant conversations! We enjoyed it!
A photo of Bar Solita restaurant
4.4
4.4 (1193)
$30 and under
Fusion / Eclectic
Richmond
About the restaurant
Bar Solita has the word bar in its name because it is an establishment that is focused on the fine cocktail. This beautiful eatery showcases the bar, which spans an entire wall, and the staff knows how to mix a mean, unforgettable drink. The menu here is focused on Mediterranean cuisine, so the cocktails have their own Mediterranean flair, too. In addition to cocktails, the restaurant has an excellent wine list. So visitors can choose to order by the glass or by the bottle. Bar Solita gets particularly busy during happy hour, which takes place Monday to Friday and offers ½ off pizzas, set prices for 2 people, ½ off bottles of wine, and more, depending on the day of the week.
Top review
RVAtheatreBuff
Dined 2 days ago
First- a couple of suggestions. When I reserve, I always say “no high-tops,” but I am always taken to one and have to ask again. I realize that most tables here are high-tops, but if I can not reserve differently, please let me know when I make the reservation. Secondly- the crispy Brussels sprouts which previously were great, were a disappointment last night- just very dark leaves with too much balsamic. Now the great things- wait service was outstanding- friendly, attentive, efficient, pleasant but not intrusive. Salmon fritters & sauce were enjoyed by all 3 who ordered. Mediterranean chicken bowl was delicious and quite generous. Overall a very good experience!
A photo of Rappahannock - Richmond restaurant
4.5
4.5 (2501)
$31 to $50
Seafood
Richmond
About the restaurant
Rappahannock is a farm-to-table restaurant that offers comforting food a dark, wood rustic interior. This warm and inviting neighborhood joint has one specialty of the house: Oysters. Open since 2011, the joint is known for its raw bar, and they also have great cocktails that can help you wash down that delicious, fresh, ice cold seafood. The bar at Rappahannock is front and center, so grab a seat there to be in the center of the action. Order a cocktail that the bartender can mix up like a show, or choose a glass of bubbly, which pairs perfectly with fresh oysters.
Top review
PB1111vip
Dined on Jul 5, 2024
Fantastic fresh oysters and sea food from the region. Service was great, but you pay for quality so don’t be surprised by the prices.
A photo of Grandstaff and Stein Book Sellers restaurant
4.6
4.6 (930)
$30 and under
Contemporary American
Richmond
About the restaurant
Grandstaff and Stein Book Sellers is an old-fashioned themed restaurant with a speakeasy twist. The restaurant part of Grandstaff and Stein offers prohibition era food in an authentic-feeling atmosphere that might just make visitors feel like they stepped into a time machine. The bar at Grandstaff and Stein might just be the best part of the establishment. Called the Juice Joint, the watering hole is a legitimate speakeasy, and visitors have to have the right password to get in. (They change it regularly on their website so people can get in if the do the legwork to find what they need). Grandstaff and Stein is perhaps the best bar in Richmond for anyone looking for a fun, entertaining themed night out.
Top review
Peyton
Dined 4 days ago
Had such a great time here! Drinks were great, there’s a TON of options. Food was even better. The crab dip w pita chips is a must have, and the previous times we have been here we have always ordered it. Coming in the middle of the week was also a great idea because there was very few people there. It made for a very nice and quiet evening and our waitress Kailyn was super kind and attentive.
A photo of Cooper's Hawk Winery & Restaurant - Richmond restaurant
4.4
4.4 (6648)
$30 and under
American
Richmond
About the restaurant
Sports bar lovers will absolutely love Cooper’s Hawk Winery and Restaurant. Despite its name, Cooper’s Hawk is not actually a winery. It is a warm and casual sports bar where people come to eat delicious food and watch their favorite team play. Cooper’s Hawk is a chain, and the location in Richmond does not disappoint. Visitors can enjoy a glass of wine or their favorite cocktail, or they can order their favorite beer on tap, since there are many on tap. For visitors coming to see a specific game, saddle up to the bar and ask the bartender or server to change the channel. They’ll be happy to oblige while their guests root in style. Cooper’s Hawk is technically in Short Pump.
Top review
OpenTable Diner
Dined 2 days ago
Great experience! I can’t wait to revisit in the near future.
A photo of Brenner Pass restaurant
4.8
4.8 (1867)
$30 and under
Contemporary European
Richmond
About the restaurant
For diner who love to hang out in a bright, airy feeling space that has a Scandinavian vibe, there is Brenner Pass, one of the cutest and most popular bars in Richmond. Named after a part of the Alps, Brenner pass is stark white and beige inside—perhaps reflecting the cold color palette of the snowcapped mountain range. Those who come to Brenner Pass to drink can enjoy a glass of wine from the extensive menu from the Alpine region (selected by wine director Nathan Conway). Alternatively, they can get a suggestion from bar director James Kohler, who heads up a craft cocktail program and helps diners learn more about amari, brandies, sherries, and his love of cane spirits.
Top review
Jackievip
Dined 3 days ago
The folks at Brenner Pass went out of their way to make our anniversary dinner special, including a handwritten card and a gorgeous table. It was great!
A photo of Lemaire at The Jefferson Hotel restaurant
4.8
4.8 (4160)
$31 to $50
Contemporary American
Richmond
About the restaurant
Sometimes hotel bars are lame and overpriced. This is not the case with Lemaire at the Jefferson Hotel, since many consider it to be the best bar in Richmond. This new restaurant offers diners inventive, fresh American cuisine, and they also mix up a huge list of innovative cocktails, with only handcrafted, fresh, local ingredients. The wine list at Lemaire is extensive, with more than 200 offerings. So, whether a visitor is in the mood for a glass of wine or they want to try something a little stronger, Lemaire is definitely a spot for them to consider visiting. The Jefferson Hotel is a destination in the heart of Richmond, so come visit this famous tourist attraction, then stop for a refresh at Lemaire.
Top review
OpenTable Diner
Dined on Jul 1, 2024
Ashley was an excellent Server - Very professional and attentive. Enjoyed the meal and the ambience.
A photo of The Boathouse at City Point restaurant
4.5
4.5 (2350)
$31 to $50
Seafood
Richmond
About the restaurant
There is a serious of bars and restaurants in Richmond called the Boathouses. Located in waterfront locations, the Boathouses offer trendy bustling atmospheres, delicious food options, and strong drinks to help people unwind and have fun. The Boathouse at City point is particularly trendy and stylish inside, with distinctive mod and art déco interior design features. The menu here has coastal dishes, with seafood as the star. One real draw is the bar, which is outside. When the weather is nice, people gather at the bar and on the patio to stare out at the water and sip on their delicious libation. For some of the best outdoor drinking in Richmond, this is definitely the spot.
Top review
OpenTable Diner
Dined 4 days ago
Prompt service. Great view. Great food. All of my expectations were met.
A photo of The Boathouse at Rocketts Landing restaurant
4.2
4.2 (5246)
$31 to $50
Seafood
Richmond
About the restaurant
Another location of the Boathouse is at Rocketts Landing in Richmond. Much more low key and less trendy than the Boathouse at City Point, the Boathouse at Rocketts Landing is a family friendly, casual place where visitors can refuel after a long day in the city. The views at Rocketts Landing are gorgeous, and diners can see them from inside at the bar. Enjoy the view while enjoying delicious food and a well-crafted cocktail or ice cold beer.
Top review
tamarag
Dined 2 days ago
Very nice dining experience. Our server was attentive and the view was beautiful. The food was delicious as well.
A photo of The Boathouse at Sunday Park restaurant
4.2
4.2 (4171)
$31 to $50
Seafood
Midlothian
About the restaurant
A third popular location of the Boathouse in Richmond is at Sunday Park. This Boathouse outpost has indoor and outdoor seating options, where diners can sit an enjoy waterfront views. The menu here features local, seasonal ingredients, and diners rave about the food. But, because it has one of the best bars in Richmond, some people just come here to drink and relax, and people can enjoy summery, beachy cocktails in the Virginia sun. Sunday Park is located in Brandermill, which is technically in Midlothian.
Top review
OpenTable Diner
Dined 6 days ago
Excellent choice for dinner. Service was very good.
A photo of The Hard Shell - Bellgrade restaurant
4.7
4.7 (2628)
$30 and under
Seafood
Midlothian
About the restaurant
Seafood lovers who also love a nice bar will love the Hard Shell. This seafood-centric eatery features an upscale menu with a fine dining vibe (with white table cloths and impeccable service). People who come here to sit at the bar can enjoy ordering from the menu while in a more casual, laidback atmosphere. Make conversation with the bartender while sipping on a delicious glass of wine.
Top review
Johnvip
Dined 2 days ago
Food was excellent and served hot. The service was great and we always look forward to Friday evening dinner.
A photo of Tarrant's Downtown restaurant
4.3
4.3 (3241)
$30 and under
American
Richmond
About the restaurant
Tarrant’s Café is a Richmond Classic. Some also consider it to have the best bar in Richmond. This historic location (West Broad and Foushee) has long held an important Richmond business. In 1883, it became home to a famous drugstore, which eventually was renamed Tarrant’s, which is where the restaurant got its name. Tarrant’s touts its beautiful interior and fun dining vibe. This is one of the best spots in Richmond for anyone who loves a good martini. There are more than 7 options on the menu that bartenders can customize to visitors’ likings.
Top review
OpenTable Diner
Dined 7 days ago
Nice atmosphere and quick service. The food was delicious and good proportions.
A photo of Stella's - Richmond restaurant
4.9
4.9 (2876)
$30 and under
Greek
Richmond
About the restaurant
Stella’s is a popular rustic Greek restaurant in Richmond. It is also home to a popular bar. The menu features its own cocktail list, each inspired by Greek or Mediterranean ingredients. Sidle up to the bar and order something like the Onassis (champagne, fresh mint, lime, housemade syrup, and float of rum), or the Santorini (tito’s, blueberries, ginger, lemon and pomegranate). For flavorful, ethnic food and inventive cocktails to match, Stella’s is a great option in Richmond.
Top review
SarahG
Dined 3 days ago
Stella’s is a Richmond mainstay in the restaurant scene- whether you go for lunch or dinner- your meal will always be incredibly fresh and delicious!
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