Much of Virginia’s history began in bars. From the Revolutionary days, in which would-be radicals whispered treason against the king, pubs, taverns, and bars have played an integral role in our society. Today, Virginian’s keep the tradition alive with bars all over the state providing places to meet, drink, and be merry. While treason isn’t on the lips of most bar crawlers these days (we hope), the huge variety in atmosphere and beverages keep customers coming back again and again. Check out 10 of our favorite locations below.
Topgolf in Virginia Beach, Virginia, is more than just a bar: It’s a full-service driving range and entertainment center. The facility is huge and gorgeous, with 65,000 square-feet of space conveniently located just off Interstate 264. Topgolf is still new to the area, but offers a one-of-a-kind dining and golfing experience.
Park Lane Tavern has two locations, one in Hampton and one in Fredericksburg, Virginia. Both take their cues from European-style taverns and pubs. The atmosphere feels like the old world with a modern spin by incorporating architectural details you might see in Europe (or in a movie). With a full menu providing both American and European fare, along with draughts from all over the world, Park Lane Tavern is not to be missed.
Gershwin’s is a classy piano bar in downtown Norfolk, Virginia. The owners describe Gershwin’s as “an upscale, slightly sophisticated bistro with live entertainment every night” with one of the largest bars in town. The servers wear tuxedos as a matter of course. Transport yourself to the turn of the twentieth century while sipping custom cocktails and listening to smooth piano while enjoying a night out at Gershwin’s.
Babe’s of Carytown is one of Richmond’s premier gay and lesbian bars, but is accepting of everyone. Babe’s has been in business for over 30 years. Known for their burgers and drag shows, Babe’s is a great dive bar choice for the more open-minded in your group.
The Camel has live music regularly, offering local bands the chance to get their name out. While the Camel offers brunch options, it’s best enjoyed at night when a live band is playing and you can sample their craft beers.
The Whiskey Jar’s slogan might be “Nothing Fancy,” but we beg to differ. The food is fantastic, but the primary reason to stop by this packed space is for the whiskey. With over 125 different options of rye, bourbon, scotch, Irish whisky, and whiskeys, you could come in every day and not sample the same drinks twice. Their whiskey flights let you try three whiskeys at once; perfect for the whiskey aficionados of the world. Come early and expect a wait.
B Side is one of the most memorable cocktail bars in Fairfax, Virginia. Northern Virginia Magazine lists it as one of the top cocktail bars, rightly saying it “exudes cool.” The dinner menu is straight forward, but the real attraction is the cocktails and atmosphere. Vinyl records play classic hits over the radio when there isn’t a live band and the ten unique cocktails are each worth a trip in and of themselves. The beer menu is nothing to scoff at, either.
Galaxy Hut may have video games, but no kids are allowed. This 21 plus only bar operates daily from 5 p.m. until 2 a.m., offering live music, karaoke, vegetarian menu options, and 28 constantly changing taps. Up and coming bands make it a priority to stop by the intimate, D.C. area venue.
Parallel Wine Bistro is unparalleled in their selection. Voted “Best Wine Bar” five years in a row by Northern Virginia Magazine, Parallel boasts over eighty bottles of wine, one hundred craft beers, and one hundred seventy bourbons and whiskies. The menu is refined, as is the atmosphere. Live acoustic music plays three nights a week. Check the menu for regularly updated specials and Happy Hours.
Looking for a sports bar? You can do no better than Jimmy’s Old Town Tavern. Jimmy’s has a mix of modernity and vintage cool. The building was built in 1897 and operated as a general store before opening in 1997 as in its current iteration. Walter, the friendly ghost, is said to reside on the premises. Jimmy’s has become an integral part of the Herndon community, and is well worth a visit.