Where to Ring in the New Year in Richmond

It’s hard to believe we’re about to welcome 2018, but New year’s Eve is just a few days away. Some of you may have had your NYE itineraries planned for ages, but for those who are doing the last minute scramble, we’ve got you covered!

From where to grab a fancy meal to a few fun local events, here are the top things to do this New year’s Eve in Richmond.

Pre-game with a cocktail (or two!)

You’ve got a long night ahead of you—and if settling in at one venue for the evening isn’t your cup of tea, it’s best to plan ahead. First stop? A fancy cocktail! Once you’ve secured your DD or queued up your Uber app, stop at one of the spots below to get the night started with a craft cocktail:

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  • The “Thyme & Space” at Saison is a fragrant concoction perfect for starting the night, but you really can’t go wrong with any of the specialty cocktails on their menu.
  • Head over to the Rogue Gentlemen for entertainment and a delicious cocktail—their menu is full of creative, humorous cocktail names good for a giggle. Just stay away from the “Vampire Kit to Ward Off Vampires” if you plan on having a midnight smooch.
  • Dutch & Company’s “Earl Grey Vieux Carre” is sure to warm you up as you prepare for your night of fun. If you prefer something a little less dark, the “Basil Smash” has a light, refreshing flavor.

Grab a bite to eat

By this time, you’ll likely need something to eat, especially after a cocktail! Luckily, there are a number of fantastic restaurants in Richmond to help you fuel up for the rest of your night. Make sure to reserve a table or arrive early so you don’t have to battle crowds as you get progressively more hangry.

  • Get a taste of India in downtown RVA at Richmond Magazine’s 2017 Restaurant of the Year, Lehja. This local favorite offers cuisine from multiple regions in India—and you’ll find much more than traditional curries on their menu.
  • Who doesn’t love wood-fired food? Tazza Kitchen has perfected charring a variety of eats, from the standard pizza to taco fillings, salad toppers, and seafood entrees. Bonus: they use locally sourced ingredients, shake up their menu seasonally, and have a little something for every palate.
  • L’Opossum is a spot everyone needs to visit at least once, if not for the James Beard-nominated food than for the outrageously bold decor or creative menu items. Though this restaurant can never be called understated, the loud, bordello-like decor can’t distract from the fact that their dishes are fantastic.
  • NYE is the perfect time to treat yourself, and there’s no better place to do it than Lemaire. Located in the Jefferson Hotel, Lemaire serves up traditional Virginian fare with a hefty side of ambiance. Menu prices are a bit high, but your delectable dinner and VIP service will feel well worth the cost.

Celebrate the coming year with a crowd


If you want to ring in 2018 with dinner, drinks, and a bit of boogying, there are a number of special events happening in Richmond.

  • Casino Night. Get a taste of Vegas on the East coast with this casino-themed party at Good Tymes Restaurant. Craps and blackjack dealers will be there to entertain as you enjoy champagne, a buffet, party favors, door prizes, and more.
  • Masquerade Fundraiser for the Stone Foundation. It’s time to break out your favorite little black dress and put on a fancy mask, for a good cause! The Stone Foundation is hosting a special masquerade dinner and party at Riverfront Plaza to help raise money for those in need while celebrating the new year. Must purchase tickets.
  • New year’s Eve Fiesta. Havana ‘59 is the place to go for delicious Cuban food—and they’re opening up their doors on New year’s Eve for dinner, drinks, and dancing as you celebrate the passing of another year amongst friends new and old. You can salsa across three dedicated floors of dancing while DJ Renzo brings a Latin beat after enjoying a three course meal.
  • New year’s Eve Party at the Urban Roost. Yummy food, champagne, and dancing await at this ticketed event. DJ Mike Murphy will keep the tunes going while you enjoy hors d’oeuvres, a full dinner, and specialty drinks. $10 of each ticket will go to the Ronald McDonald House of RVA.

Not a partier? Welcome 2018 your way

If crowds, fancy dining, or big to-dos aren’t your thing, there’s other memorable ways to ring in the new year. Here are two festive ideas to consider.

Plan a cozy night in. Whether you hope to host an intimate gathering of friends and family or simply want to settle in for the evening with your immediate family, there’s no rule saying you have to go out to celebrate.

  • Stop by Ellwood Thompson’s to grab some munchies, whether you want to craft your own goodies, pick something up from their hot bar, or order sandwiches.
  • If wine isn’t your style, exercise your inner mixologist and craft a special cocktail for the evening.

Watch the first sunrise of the year. More of an early bird than a night owl? Turn in early on the 31st, set your alarm, and plan a morning outing to see the first sunrise of 2018. Bundle up, pack a thermos of hot coffee, grab a snack, and coax a loved one to join you. These helpful Redditors have a list of some of the best views in RVA to watch the sun come up.

Wherever you are and whatever you end up doing, we hope you and yours have a wonderful holiday and a fantastic new year!

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