The Best Bars in Virginia Beach

Virginia Beach is full of great places to party or simply enjoy a cocktail with a view. Local Alexandra Sheehan knows just the drinking spots from oceanfront bars to craft beer bottle shops.

Virginia Beach is known for its coastal charm. The boardwalk spans three miles along the Atlantic Ocean, where visitors can relax on the white sand and watch surfers hit the waves. It’s also home to beach bars, restaurants and tons of live music.

When the sun sets, slip out of your bikini and into something less revealing before hitting the bar scene. From beach parties to craft beer, sophisticated intimacy to local dive bars, there’s a way to see every side of Virginia Beach.

To nurse the inevitable sore head come morning, make the plush and comfortable Oceanaire Resort Hotel your base during your stay.

PARTY AT LUNASEA

  • Recommended for: beachside bar, DJ sets, dance floor, Sunday brunch, Drinks specials, outdoor dining
  • Address: 206 22nd St, Virginia Beach, VA 23451, USA
  • Opens: Tuesday to Sunday 5:30 p.m. — 2 a.m.
  • Price Range: $11 — $30

For an energetic night-time beach vibe, visit Lunasea on 22nd Street. The oceanfront bar and restaurant is known for its variety of margaritas that are especially welcome after soaking in the sun on the beach all day. Play corn hole outside on the sand, dance to the DJ’s set list on the dance floor, or escape the crowds in the outdoor area in front. Get more bang for your buck with their buy-one-get-one specials — and then relive the night’s excursions over one of the best Sunday brunches in town.

DRINK ORANGE CRUSH AT WATERMAN’S SURFSIDE GRILLE

Photo Credit: Waterman’s Surfside Grille

  • Recommended for: Landmarked cottage serving Chesapeake seafood and grill fare with beach views.
  • Address: 415 Atlantic Ave, Virginia Beach, VA 23451, USA
  • Opens: Monday to Thursday 11 a.m. — 11 p.m., Friday and Saturday 11 a.m.- 2 a.m., Sunday 9 a.m. — 11 p.m., Happy Hour: 3–6 p.m.
  • Price Range: $11 — $30

Another nighttime hotspot, Waterman’s Surfside Grille is popular among tourists and locals alike. While it’s great for families during the day, it turns into a party at night. They recently renovated the oceanfront outdoor patio and there’s a space inside where live bands perform. And while Virginia Beach may be a summertime destination for most, Waterman’s keeps the party going all year long. Order one — or five — of the famous Waterman’s Orange Crush drinks. It will not disappoint.

DAILY HAPPY HOURS AT CALYPSO BAR AND GRILL

Photo Credit: Calypso Bar and Grill

  • Recommended for: Beachside venue with a casual American menu, plus a patio, ocean views & live entertainment.
  • Address: 1101 Atlantic Ave, Virginia Beach, VA 23451, USA
  • Opens: Monday to Friday 11 a.m. — 2 a.m., Saturday to Sunday 9 a.m. — 2 a.m., Happy Hours: 2–9 p.m.
  • Price Range: $11 — $30

Calypso Bar and Grill is a great spot for night owls, especially if you’re hungry; they serve dinner until 1:30 a.m. every night of the week. Don’t be surprised to see locals partying at all hours. The oceanfront bar has horseshoes and airs NFL games during the season. And, as is the norm in Virginia Beach, Calypso has regular live entertainment and an outdoor patio with great views of the Atlantic. Be sure to check their website for daily happy hour specials from 2–9 p.m.

SPECIALITY COCKTAILS AT CROC’S 19TH STREET BISTRO

Photo Credit: Croc’s 19th Street Bistro

  • Recommended for: Eco-friendly Mediterranean and Middle Eastern bistro with an outdoor deck and drag shows at brunch.
  • Address: 620 19th Street, Virginia Beach, VA 23451, USA
  • Opens: Monday to Wednesday 5–10 p.m., Thursday to Saturday 5 p.m. — 2 a.m., Sunday 10:30 a.m. — 4 p.m., 5 p.m. — 9 p.m.
  • Price Range: $11 — $30

Slightly more sophisticated but certainly not snooty is Croc’s 19th Street Bistro. The food emphasizes fresh, local and organic ingredients. But when dinnertime is over, Croc’s remains a must-visit for late-night drinks. Sample from the massive collection of fine wines, or sip on a specialty cocktail. If you overindulge, you can always cure your hangover at Drag Brunch on Sundays.

DRINKS AND FISH TACOS AT BAJA CANTINA

  • Recommended for: Casual Mexican joint known for fish tacos with a lively happy hour, sidewalk tables and relaxed beach vibe.
  • Address: 206 23rd Street, Virginia Beach, VA 23451, USA
  • Opens: 11:30 a.m. — 2 a.m. everyday
  • Price Range: Under $10

If you’re looking to go easy on the wallet, check out Baja Cantina’s cheap fish tacos or nachos. This dive bar, located on 23rd Street, is a favorite among locals. Prices are cheap for drinks too. Enjoy a game of pool or people watch if you prefer. There’s plenty to see and keep you entertained here.

CRAFT BREW BEER AT MIX IT UP

  • Recommended for: A wide selection of 50 different craft beers, pet-friendly.
  • Address: 2973 Shore Drive #103, Virginia Beach, VA 23451, USA
  • Opens: Monday to Friday 11 a.m. — 11 p.m., Saturday 10 a.m. — 12 a.m., Sunday 11 a.m. — 8 p.m.
  • Price Range: $10 — $20

Craft beer enthusiasts should venture further from the beach and visit Mix It Up on Shore Drive. It boasts a 50-tap growler bar. Yep, five-zero. And that doesn’t even touch the number of bottles and cans the bottle shop/tasting room has to offer. Even the most frequent patrons can expect something new to try every visit. Bring your dog along, or befriend the shop pup. Though this may sound strange, make sure you check out the floors in the bathroom.

7TH STREET STAGE AT MAHI MAH’S SEAFOOD RESTAURANT & SUSHI SALOON

Photo Credit: Mahi Mah’s Seafood Restaurant & Sushi Saloon

  • Recommended for: Beachfront seafood eatery at the Ramada Hotel with a big deck and steamer buckets for boardwalk concerts.
  • Address: Ramada Virginia Beach Oceanfront, 615 Atlantic Avenue, Virginia Beach, VA 23451, United States
  • Opens: Monday to Thursday 7 a.m. — 12 a.m., Friday to Sunday 7 a.m. — 2 a.m., Happy Hour 3–6 p.m.
  • Price Range: $11 — $30

It might be surprising considering Mahi Mah’s is known for their sushi, but don’t miss out on the year-round happy hour specials from 3–6 p.m.: 50 cent wings, clams and oysters. The oceanfront restaurant transforms into a party at night. Check the schedule to see what entertainment they have in the works on their 7th Street Stage and join in on a game of corn hole.

DJS ON THE OUTDOOR PATIO AT CATCH 31

Photo Credit: Catch 31

  • Recommended for: Beachside Hilton Hotel restaurant offering upscale seafood and raw bar items with a seaside patio with a DJ schedule at night.
  • Address: Hilton Virginia Beach Oceanfront, 3001 Atlantic Ave, Virginia Beach, VA 23451, USA
  • Opens: Monday to Friday 6 a.m. — 2 a.m., Saturday and Sunday 7 a.m. — 2 a.m.
  • Price Range: $31 — $60

Conveniently next to another outdoor entertainment venue in Virginia Beach — 30th Street Stage — you’ll find Catch 31. The food is delicious, the outdoor patio is perfect, and the drinks are on point. The late-night and happy hour menus offer great deals at all hours. Partiers can also check out the DJ schedule on Facebook to find the perfect night to visit.

THE RELAXED BEACH BAR PACIFICA

Photo Credit: Pacifica

  • Recommended for: Cosy, contemporary bistro with globally inspired tapas, with many speciality cocktails and a fireplace.
  • Address: 214 40th Street, Virginia Beach, VA 23451, USA
  • Opens: 5 p.m. — 2 a.m. everyday
  • Price Range: $11 — $30

The fireplace in Pacifica is cosy all year, but especially so during the winter months. The oceanfront tapas bar has an extensive cocktail menu, catering to nearly every taste. The intimate feel is perfect for a more relaxed night out or a first stop on an all-night bar-hopping tour and the seasonal menu keeps diners intrigued. It’s truly a unique venue to visit in a town full of beach bars.

TASTE THE GRINGO CERVEZA AT BACK BAY BREWING CO.

Photo Credit: Back Bay Brewing Co.

  • Recommended for: Craft brewery since 1938 specialising in red ale with a beach-rustic tasting room open most nights.
  • Address: 614 Norfolk Ave, Virginia Beach, VA 23451, USA
  • Opens: Tuesday to Thursday 3 p.m. — 10 p.m., Friday and Saturday 12 p.m. — 12.a.m., Sunday 3 p.m. — 10 p.m.
  • Price Range: Inexpensive

Virginia Beach has joined the microbrewery destination list, and while it’s hard to choose just one to feature, Back Bay Brewing has a prime location and tasty brews. Its roots are humble; a group of local guys got together over their shared passion for beer and, unsurprisingly, founded the brewery in 2011. The Gringo Cerveza is a perfectly refreshing beach beer, but hops lovers will have no problem finding something more adventurous to taste.

Have a favourite drinks spot in Virginia Beach? Tweet us @travioor or post a comment on Travioor’s Facebook page and tell us about it.


Originally published at www.travioor.com.

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