9 Of The Best Cocktail Bars In Richmond, VA
The Richmond craft beer scene is well-covered, and the nearby wine region of Virginia is popular in it’s own right, but what about cocktails? The city also has a thriving cocktail culture for anyone who prefers their drinks with fewer bubbles or grapes. Or for anyone who would just rather change it up every once in a while. Here are our picks for the best cocktail bars in Richmond.
Re-branded from Belle & James, Belle mixes the old and the new. You’ll find half of the menu serving classics, and half serving something more unique. The bar here will use local ingredients (berries from Agriberry Farm, for example) to create cocktails that can’t be found anywhere else. Might we suggest a drink at the bar at Belle, followed by a drink on the rooftop bar, 20 stories directly above?
Can Can’s featured cocktails change with the seasons, so no matter the temperature outside, you’re always going to be in for a very fitting and pleasant surprise. Plus, you’ll get to sip something delicious while sitting at the beautiful, 80-foot-long, made-in-France solid zinc bar. It doesn’t get more French than that!
East Coast Provisions
East Coast is a deceivingly large restaurant in Carytown that has a space to suit your mood, whatever that may be. Enjoy a sunny day and a Cucumber Mojito on the bustling patio, a Black Market Manhattan in the cocktail lounge upstairs, or one of the other 15+ cocktails on the menu with dinner in the main dining room.
Here’s how you know a restaurant is serious about its cocktails: they once sold a Cocktail Passport. At Heritage, the cocktails are so pretty, you might not want to drink them (but we have a feeling you’ll get over that pretty quickly.) Be sure to try the “Does This Spark Joy?”, made with Bombay Sapphire East Gin, Junmai sake, yuzu cordial, ostervit, dry curacao, and melon bitters.
If the owners and bar managers from three acclaimed Richmond cocktail bars came together to create one superbar, what would they call it? That’d be The Jasper, in a throwback to one of Richmond’s original mixologists. Carytown’s most cocktail-focused bar opened in early 2018 with a menu accessible to everyone – craft cocktails (you have to try the Quoit Club Punch with Jamaican rum, brandy, rainwater madeira, lemon, and sugar), appear alongside cheap beer.
Southside Richmond’s Laura Lee’s is a gorgeous, updated version of a local neighborhood spot. You’ll feel right at home in this comfortable bar and restaurant, but you won’t find anything typical about the menu – food or drink. We’re here to talk cocktails, so we’d be remiss if we didn’t recommend The Once Over Twice, which features local Belle Isle Honey Habanero Moonshine, Licor 43, olive oil, lemon, and egg white. See what we mean about not being typical? You won’t regret it!
Maple & Pine
Richmond loves the Quirk Hotel, and we know you’ll love the imaginative cocktail menu at Maple & Pine on the ground floor just as much. Try the Annabelle Lee, made with Vodka, charred lemon juice, grenadine, and herbed simple syrup.
Located in Scott’s Addition, Perch blends Pacific-inspired flavors and Virginia comfort cuisine. While the menu is something to write home about, the cocktails are otherworldly. With a variety of liquors sure to please your palate, you’ll be impressed by the gorgeous presentation and complex combinations that bring out the best in every fresh ingredient.
As a Mexican/Chinese restaurant, Wong Gonzalez’s cocktail menu is heavy on tequila, but the trend here is toward simpler cocktails with 4 or fewer ingredients. Here are two of our picks: the Bare Necessities, made with Old Forrester, cold brew coffee, Demerara, and mole bitters, or the House Margarita, one of the best in town.
Did you know Wong Gonzalez is on Discover Richmond Tour’s Downtown Sip & Savor Tour, too? Every Thursday evening, discover the best of downtown’s food and drink with this moving happy hour!
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