Whenever someone is looking for restaurant recommendations in Richmond, Tarrant’s Cafe is almost always one of the places I name. There are a number of reasons why this downtown restaurant, at the corner of Broad and Foushee, is on my go-to list: it’s cozy, full of character, the service is always great and the food is worth writing home about.
The expansive menu at Tarrant’s is suitable for the pickiest of eaters and if the standard menu isn’t enough for you to choose from, they have daily menu specials. If you’re ever at Tarrant’s and you see the watermelon salad with strawberries, mint, feta and balsamic glaze on the specials menu, order it. If you’re anything like me, you’ll try to recreate it at home afterwards but it will never be as good and soon you’ll find yourself back at the restaurant, ordering it again.
But wait, there’s more: Tarrant’s offers free parking AND they serve complimentary garlic bread before dinner and cinnamon rolls before brunch – these babies are good. If you ask nicely, your server will bring you a second plate – and that my friends is the number one reason I have leftovers every time I leave this restaurant.
The cherry on top? Tarrant’s happy hour is one of my favorites in Richmond.
The Details: Tarrant’s Happy Hour
If you’re planning to visit Tarrant’s for happy hour, here’s what you need to know:
- Tarrant’s happy hour is offered Monday through Friday from 11 a.m. – 7 p.m at the bar.
- Drink specials during happy hour include $2 off draft beer and wine by the glass, select cocktails for $6 and select martins for $5.50.
- The food specials consist of more than 10 appetizers ranging from $3 – $7 as well as a 10-inch cheese pizza or white pizza for $6, with an additional cost for extra toppings. You can take a look at the happy hour food menu here.
Taylor and I met at Tarrant’s after work on a recent Wednesday evening around 6 p.m. and we walked in to find the bar area busy but not packed and we grabbed two seats near the window. The “Prescriptions” sign above the bar always catches my eye and is one of the ways the restaurant pays homage to the building’s history – in its former life, the building was a local drug store owned by William G. Tarrant.
We ordered two cocktails: the Beau Collins, a refreshing drink with vodka, blood orange syrup, solerno blood orange liqueur, lemon juice and soda water and the O.G. Sour, Tarrant’s take on a whiskey sour. We ordered a few things to share off the food menu, including fried green tomatoes, pizza and a fish taco – all items that are some of my favorite at Tarrant’s whether it’s happy hour or not.
Tarrant’s fried green tomatoes are on point – they come topped with horseradish sauce, diced red onion and mixed greens and they’re served with house-made potato chips on the side.
Their version of a white pizza is called a Bianca pizza and comes topped with ricotta, olive oil and mozzarella. We added fresh garlic and bacon to it and it made for a a delicious combination of flavors. (Shocking, I know.)
Though we just got one fish taco to share on this visit, if you’re a fan of fish tacos, you don’t want to miss the fish taco entree on their regular menu, which includes two tacos with grilled mahi-mahi, pepper jack cheese, corn relish, guacamole and a side of rice and beans.
There’s no doubt we’ll be back soon. I’m already wishing we could have also gotten the risotto and she crab soup — two of my other favorite menu items at Tarrant’s.
If you’re looking for a spot to enjoy happy hour in Richmond, definitely add Tarrant’s happy hour to your list! If the second Tarrant’s location, Tarrant’s West, is more convenient for you, you’ll be glad to know they offer similar happy hour specials, Monday through Friday from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Do you have a favorite happy hour spot in Richmond? Let us know in the comments.