Interior of Jake O'Connor's Public House

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Pub Guide

All the Twin Cities pubs in one place.

197 Bar/Clubs found

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The Rail Station Bar & Grill

3675 Minnehaha Ave., Mpls., 612-729-3663

The Rail Station is just an all around great neighborhood bar. Yes, it’s a sort of dive, but it’s also our pick for the best dive bar in Mpls./St. Paul, thanks to its mix of neon signs, Longfellow regulars, and cheap, stiff drinks, 40 beers on tap (including all the local stuff you could want), and legitimate food selection. Continue Reading

The Record Room

701 First Ave, Mpls., 612-332-1775

Prince’s Purple Rain helped make First Avenue the music icon it is today. In turn, the allure of First Ave. gave birth to a tiny punk club inside its walls known as the 7th Street Entry, which has since grown into an established, albeit cramped, venue consistently featuring up-and-coming acts from around the world. Lost in the shuffle, unfortunately, is its upstairs dance club, The Record Room. Formerly dubbed the VIP Room, The Record Room plays host to highly affordable dance shows that run the gamut from hip-hop to dubstep to drum ‘n bass to anything thing under the sun that gets your feet moving and your booty shaking. Continue Reading

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The Red Sea

320 Cedar Ave. S., Mpls., 612-333-3349

Tired of just eating burgers with your beers? Sure, you can still get the typical chicken and fries meals at The Red Sea, but when there’s a selection of authentic African treats, why bother? Spicy, saucy meats and colorful vegetarian dishes complement the Ethiopian wines and beers. Or go for a classic domestic or imported beer for just $2.50 during Happy Hour. The music is about as varied as possible—from hip-hop to ethnic grooves—but the atmosphere is consistently comfortable and welcoming. Continue Reading

Exterior of The Saloon bar in downtown Minneapolis

The Saloon

9th St. & Hennepin Ave., Mpls.,

In a class all its own, this gay bar features some of the strongest drinks in town, boys dancing in undies on the bar, a shower, and four bar areas. The main room features a long bar and a large dance floor, complete with boxes for those who want the world to see their moves. Continue Reading

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The Shout House

110 N. 5th St., Mpls., 612-337-6700

Dueling pianos take center stage at this raucous downtown bar where the drinks are big and the food is Southern tavern fare: chicken wings, shrimp and grits, po' boys and the like. Reservations are suggested, some nights there is a cover, and after the pianos start it's 21+. Continue Reading

The Ugly Mug

106 N. 3rd St., Mpls., (612) 343-5930

Remember Harvey's? Known around the world for having practically free drinks practically all the time? Well know it's called The Ugly Mug, and the drinks (whatever you want from the well, plus a good list of microbrews) aren't free, but with a different special each night, they get pretty close. Continue Reading

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Toast Wine Bar

415 N. 1st St., Mpls., 612-333-4305

The smallish, L-shaped wine bar is close, but not cramped. The list has some interesting choices, with a few things you haven’t heard of or tried before. The bar staff is great and helps pair wines with the food. The menu is limited, but there is an extensive crostini selection. The ingredients are fresh and well-chosen. Continue Reading

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Town Hall Brewery

1430 Washington Ave. S., Mpls., 612-339-8696

One of Minneapolis’s few true brewpubs, Town Hall is about the beer. Their specialty is ales—golden, pale, and scotch are tap regulars—and they also concoct a hearty stout. Settle on a stool at the beautiful oak bar or nestle into a big chair by the fireplace, and wait to sop up what the kegs have to offer. You won’t be disappointed. Continue Reading

Triple Rock Social Club

629 Cedar Ave., Mpls., 612-333-7499

The Triple Rock has to be the most sophisticated punk rock club in the lower forty-eight. Maybe it's because its co-owner, Dillinger Four guitarist Erik Funk, learned after years of touring that the creed of a punk rock club is a noble thing but playing, drinking, and eating in them can suck. So the T-Rock serves up great bar food (with good vegan and vegetarian options), the bartenders, fully sleeved with tats, are polite, and the place is clean. This is a punk bar you can feel comfortable popping into (even with nice clothes on), with no worry that someone might call you a square or beat you up. Nevertheless, both the bar and the venue are full of attitude. Continue Reading

Tuggs Tavern

219 SE Main St., Mpls., 612-379-4404

Young bargoers and college coeds venturing outside their Dinkytown haunts love Tuggs for its “beer rockets” (tabletop beer towers that dispense half a dozen glasses of brew), cheap starters, and weekday specials—not to mention the beautiful view of Minneapolis’s skyline and the sparkling Mississippi River. If a tower of beer doesn’t tickle your fancy, sample one of the refreshing Deckside Sippers, including a hand-squeezed lemonade drink that’s infused with fresh strawberries and Bicardi Limon. And during summer months, Tuggs offers the best seat in the house for St. Anthony Main’s Summer Music Series. Continue Reading

White Russian on the bar at the Clown Lounge in St. Paul

Turf Club

1601 University Ave., St. Paul, 651-647-0486

No matter how many cheap beers you've had, one look at the sweet face and permanently stocking-capped skull of Dave, the Clown Lounge bartender, and you know you're going to make it up those stairs, out of this place, alive. Continue Reading

Varsity Theater

Varsity Theater

1308 SE 4th St., Mpls., 612-604-0222

While other clubs in the city might consistently book better-known acts, the Varsity nabs the occasional big show—Icona Pop, The Bravery, Regina Spektor—and is earning a well-deserved reputation for its increasingly prescient musical programming. Both classy and sweaty at the same time, you can dance the night away while a national DJ spins, or lounge comfortably over drinks listening to contemporary crooners. Some might be put off by Dinkytown location (too many students), but the Varsity crowd changes according to who is playing onstage, and shares a similar sensibility with neighboring sibling nightlife spot Loring Pasta Bar, which is owned and operated, very well, by the same people. Continue Reading

Vegas Lounge

965 Central Ave. NE, Mpls., 612-378-1873

The tiny, quintessential dive bar in Northeast Minneapolis that is the Vegas Lounge has won our hearts for its stubborn refusal to update its décor or make any other concessions to the twenty-first century. The gruff but charming bar staff make it easy to see why the regulars here haven’t left their stools in years. Plus, there’s karaoke nearly every night. Continue Reading

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Vic's Dining and Restaurant

201 SE Main St., Mpls., 612-312-2000

Vic’s is the upscale answer to next door’s coed-heavy bar, Tuggs. Inside the riverfront locale, a sleek, curved bar serves up everything from beer to specialty martinis, plus wine off an always-expanding list. The kitchen cooks up steak, chops, salads, and pasta, but the best deals are found during happy hour on week nights: appetizers are just $5, while martinis and glasses of wine are $4. Local music favorites, with genres ranging from acoustic rock to gypsy jazz, perform inside Vic’s during winter months. And between June and August, live music can be enjoyed from high-top tables on the restaurant’s outdoor terrace. Continue Reading

W.A. Frost

W.A. Frost

374 Selby Ave., St. Paul, 651-224-5715

You met in one of Grand Avenue's crowded coed-dominated bars more than twenty years ago—he was fresh out of St. Thomas business school and you were a fledgling philosophy student at Macalester. Now your nights out don't have to be about the noise and crowds—a cocktail and conversation, coupled with some of the Twin Cities' best bar bites, is enough to rouse you from your Highland Park home. Luckily, St. Paulites have one of the Cities' classiest, coziest institutions at their fingertips. What you'll find: Other couples out for a quiet night, wine and premium cocktails, cheese plates and escargots, plush booths, a carved oak interior, and soft lighting. The perfect ingredients to create your own heat. What you won't find: Twentysomethings who have had one too many. Continue Reading

Whiskey Junction

903 Cedar Ave. S., Mpls., 612-338-9550

Whiskey Junction offers a campier take on the biker-bar experience than its earnest neighbor, The Joint. Blues bands frequent its stage, at times requiring a cover to enter the large, open space lined on one side by booths and the other by the bar, while the adjacent room houses tables for chowing pizza. In 2007, new owners cleaned up the place and vowed to improve the service at this light-rail stopover for Harley owners who don’t necessarily live and die by the bike. Continue Reading

Whitey's World Famous Saloon

400 Hennepin Ave. E., Mpls., 612-623-9478

This warm corner bar was a favorite among Nordeast residents long before the neighborhood's revival. A great selection of bar food (including a mean burger), all your favorite beers, and a friendly staff make Whitey's a great place for a casual hangout. Be sure to check out the pseudo-secret pool room in the basement, and come back after the sun rises for some of the tastiest morning-after grub in town. Continue Reading

Wild Onion

788 Grand Ave., St. Paul, 651-291-2525

The Wild Onion is a casual eatery for all ages during the day, but by night, the Chicago-style tavern becomes a hot spot for St. Thomas coeds and other just-turned-twenty-one bar hoppers. Stop by on a weekend night and you'll find a packed house. The same goes for Tuesday nights, when boys and girls celebrate their birthdays with free mug pours and hot wings, plus a display of dance moves on the small-but-crowded dance floor. The best time to frequent the Wild Onion is during the afternoon happy hour, every Monday through Friday, where you'll find beer, mixed drinks, house wines, appetizers, and top-shelf martinis at discounted prices. Continue Reading

Williams Uptown Pub & Peanut Bar

2911 Hennepin Ave., Mpls., 612-823-6271

Boasting one of the largest selections of beer in the Twin Cities, Williams Uptown Pub & Peanut Bar is a frill-free weekend hot spot with a fun-loving crowd that's always up for a game of pool, darts, or pinball. This also means that on any given Friday or Saturday night, Williams is at high volume and high noise. The trendier, more mature crowd stays in the upstairs pub, seated on multicolored bar stools, while the college-aged fraternity types take over the downstairs peanut bar. Check out Williams' daily specials, including Monday Pitcher Night, Two-for-Ones on Tuesday and Thursday, Friday Pint Night, and dollar burgers or dogs on Saturday and Sunday. Continue Reading

wxyz bar

900 Washington Ave. S., Mpls., 612-455-8400

The lobby bar of the sleek and sexy Aloft (a vision of W Hotels, incase you haven't heard) is filled with modern furniture and a buzzy vibe. You don't have to be a guest to call this slick spot home. Continue Reading

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Zahtar By Fhima

615 2nd Ave. S., Mpls., 612-752-9595

Gone is the 90s-inspired blue and magenta tinge of Martini Blu. It's been replaced with the sleek, updated bar, white tablecloths, and Mediterranean air of David Fhima's new concept Zahtar by Fhima. Located in downtown Minneapolis's Grand Hotel, the restaurant finally feels like, well, a downtown bar, complete with a fantastic happy hour featuring a mix of fun appetizers and sushi rolls and $3 tap beer and wine. Continue Reading

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Zelo

831 Nicollet Mall, Mpls., 612-333-7000

Zelo is first and foremost a fine Italian restaurant, but the separate bar area is an exceptionally nice place to have a drink with colleagues and nibble on appetizers. In the early evenings the single professional crowd packs the place, but the turnover is quick because half of them end up heading into the restaurant. There are a few spacious booths in the bar area, but most of the seating is along the bar itself and at small tables. The bar is well stocked and the wine list is impressive, especially in the area of Italian reds. High, vaulted ceiling make for an elegant, airy atmosphere, and the service is crisp and professional. Continue Reading