Interior of Jake O'Connor's Public House

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Pub Guide

All the Twin Cities pubs in one place.

201 Bar/Clubs found

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318 Café

318 Water St., Excelsior, 952-401-7902

While it's a café/coffee bar by day, Excelsior's 318 is a lively music venue and wine bar by night. Local and national artists play music in the intimate 54-seat setting every Wednesday through Saturday. If you're searching for a cozy spot outside the Cities with consistently great made-from-scratch food, a good wine selection, and top musicians, 318 is your answer. Continue Reading

331 Club

331 13th Ave. NE, Mpls., 612-331-1746

In 2005, Northeast’s neighborhood bar got a makeover—a coat of paint and a slew of other improvements. It was time, since it’s been a fixture since 1899. But the 331 Club remains a cozy, railroad–style watering hole: narrow enough to keep things intimate, but not so cramped that the furniture kills elbow room. Continue Reading

508 Bar

508 1st Ave. N., Mpls., 612-339-0036

The people behind North Loop hotspot The Loop snatched up the former Old Chicago space on First Ave. and slapped up 508, following The Loop’s successful formula—a sleek interior, plenty of Red Bull/vodkas, a dance floor, and some pretty girls thrown in for good measure. This space has two levels and is much larger than the tiny Loop space, so hopefully patrons can spend a little more time inside and a less time waiting outside behind the velvet rope. Continue Reading

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7th Street Entry

701 1st Ave. N., Mpls., 612-332-1775

Some of the most influential and revered bands of all time have rocked the stage at the Entry—before hitting it big. With that in mind, any show at First Avenue’s minor-league stage has the possibility to turn into tomorrow’s lore. Other than the chance at witnessing history in the making, the Entry is the quintessential box where local and national acts cut their teeth in a club the size of a walk-in closet. The scene can be physically uncomfortable or inspiringly intimate, depending on why you’re sweating and who you’re sweating next to. But there are those special nights, when that band you’ve never heard of kicks into high gear and the roof starts to levitate, and you suddenly feel like you’re part of something bigger than yourself—because you’ve stumbled on the Next Big Thing before anyone else, and can’t wait to tell the world about it. Just being able to say, “I saw these guys at the Entry,” will give you street cred for a year. Continue Reading

Acadia Cafe

329 Cedar Ave. S., Mpls., 612-874-8702

When you stop by for a beer and some tunes, don’t expect to hear any Beatles tribute bands or Stairway to Heaven covers. Acadia only books artists who perform original songs, most of which are local acts and often come back multiple times. The menu is by no means stingy either. Everything from breakfast favorites to salads and burgers are reasonable and diverse. The beer is where Acadia really shines, however. Tap selections of organic local ales and Irish stouts from Cork complement both the innovative music and neighborhood atmosphere. Continue Reading

Acme Comedy Company

708 N. 1st St., Mpls., 612-338-6393

Some nights you may be more in the mood for a laugh than a look. On a show night, walk down the flight of stairs into Acme's bar and there's an energy that can't be found at any other nightclub in town. Local comedy stars such as Last Comic Standing's Josh Blue, Bil Dwyer, and Ty Barnett can be seen sitting in the corner talking to owner Louis Lee, laughing along with whichever national headline act is performing. Thanks to Lee's attention to detail—he does everything from booking the shows to coming up with the menu (try the homemade potato chips)—Acme is one of the top clubs in the country. The Monday night open-mike show at Acme comes closer to what a Monday night in New York feels like than any glitzy dance club in town. Continue Reading

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Al Vento (Wine Bar)

5001 34th Ave S, Mpls., 612-724-3009

The candlelight in this South Minneapolis Italian cucina creates a golden glow that'll remind you of Tuscany, and its extensive list of Italian red wines will get you that much closer. At the bar, you can snack on bruschetta while you while sipping a glass of red, or go for a designer pizza—the smoked salmon and goat cheese, perhaps. Continue Reading

Alarys

Alarys

139 E. 7th St., St. Paul, 651-224-7717

Alarys is a bit like Hooters, but not quite as classy. So there are a LOT of dudes, and a lot of cops—the bar is dedicated to the Boys in Blue and decorated with cop memorabilia from around the country. It is also, oddly enough, the only Chicago Bears bar in the city, so on game day, refugees from Chi-town have a home here. So to recap: boys in blue, booze, and Da Bears. Also, word on the street is that the servers don’t put on “the outfits” until 9 p.m., so plan accordingly. Continue Reading

Amore Victoria

Amore Victoria

1601 W. Lake St., Mpls., 612-823-0250

Amore is the perfect place to start or end a first date. The quaint little bistro is just off Uptown’s beaten path and draws a quieter crowd than most of its surrounding sibs. It’s not a place for a guy’s night out, but it’s perfect for unwinding over a glass of wine and an appetizer or two. Summer brings great outdoor sidewalk seating, where the buzz from nearby Barbette provides the background to your conversation over crème brûlée. That’s amore. Continue Reading

Aqua

400 1st Ave. N., Mpls., 612-232-3232

Known for its celeb-spotting appeal (mostly because the club pays D-listers to come drink for a night), high style, and plenty of skin, plus themed weekend nights and cheap drinks that make for a classic clubbing experience. Finding a way to get free cover isn’t difficult either—from multiple ladies nights to coupon promos, Aqua lets you save your money for the bar. Continue Reading

Bank

Bank

88 S. 6th St., Mpls., 612-656-3255

Though the vault at the old Farmers & Mechanics Bank on 6th and Marquette now holds wine, the lobby, reincarnated as Bank Restaurant and Bar, is still filled with money. Bank's booths and lush couches cater to a crowd that loves to hit happy hour after a long day of wheeling and dealing, but doesn't need the drink specials or free buffet. Instead, the business class comes in for mojitos, cosmopolitans, and martinis that don't skimp on the top-shelf liquors and that are—at $10 a pop—a relative steal. Continue Reading

Bar Abilene

Lagoon and Fremont, Mpls., 612-825-2525

The southwestern-themed bar and grill calls itself the “Texas Margarita Grill”—though it should take a cue from the Lone Star State and adopt the slogan, “Bar Abilene is for Lovers.” It’s the kind of place that gets wild after 9 p.m. on the weekends—the DJ warms up, the dance floor gets packed with tequila-shooting partiers (the place offers just about every tequila imaginable), and suddenly, you’ve met the love of your life (or some alternate duration). If you are offended by PDA, head to Stella’s down the street. Continue Reading

Bar Fly

711 Hennepin Ave., Mpls., 612-333-6100

Despite its prominent location on the Hennepin strip in downtown Minneapolis, Bar Fly hasn’t been the hottest spot to drink or dance in a long time.  The ongoing exodus to newer, hipper clubs has left Bar Fly looking dilapidated and mediocre, which it mostly is. Inside, the place is a kind of time capsule for Hennepin Ave.’s seedier side—you know, the side the city is trying desperately to eliminate. Still, on an occasional Saturday night when drink deals are on, the floor can draw a crowd, and if you are in the mood for some retro grunge, Bar Fly might be your place. Then again . . . Continue Reading

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Bar La Grassa

800 N. Washington Ave., Mpls., 612-333-3837

Sister restaurant to the delicious 112 Eatery, this award-winning restaurant/bar is buzzing with life in an open-concept, warehouse-district space that features brick walls, wood paneling, and elegant wine-rack partitions. It’s like sitting in a chic wine cellar with people who know their grapes. And they do, so ask for recommendations. There's a large selection of wines by the glass, in addition to the full bar. A wide array of inventive antipasti and bruschetta can also be snacked upon. For a special treat, try the soft eggs and lobster bruschetta. Sounds weird, but it's great, trust us. Continue Reading

Bar Lurcat

Bar Lurcat

1624 Harmon Pl., Mpls., 612-486-5500

The hipster clientele wandered down the block to Nick and Eddie, leaving the groups of ladies from the Hills and the Lakes to gossip and giggle among the foodies and downtowners who mingle around the curved bar—there for the edgy comfort food and Italian–rustic-meets-Italian–contemporary décor. While the bar still attracts plenty of groups, the wall of windows and view of Loring Park makes for one of the most romantic settings in town. Continue Reading

Barbette

Barbette

1600 W. Lake St., Mpls., 612-827-5710

This lively Bohemian bistro may be best known for its simple French fare, including, of course, its salade Niçoise. But it's also great for after-work cocktails or late-night eats. The hip atmosphere fits right in with its Uptown location. Brightly colored decorations and framed photos of old circus acts reflect the reason behind the restaurant's name (Barbette was a famous circus aerialist in the early 1900s). An extensive wine list is available (and easily paired with Barbette's fabulous fare), plus a full bar. Come early on Wednesdays to grab a seat for the free late-night music series. Continue Reading

Barley John's

781 Old Highway 8 SW, New Brighton, 651-636-4670

Tucked inconspicuously amid a twirl of suburban freeways, in the shadow of the Golden Arches, this modest brewpub meddles in alcoholic alchemy. In addition to more standard ales and porter, the owner, a former brewer for James Page, offers seasonal barrel-aged brews, multiply fermented, which stretch the definition of beer itself by packing a punch of up to 15 percent alcohol. The endearing staff are happy to answer brew and non-brew-related questions alike, and the cozy interior, even if it feels more like a pizzeria than a pub, provides a comforting place to drink whatever comes out of the taps. Continue Reading

Barrio

Barrio

925 Nicollet Mall, Mpls., 612-333-9953

Did somebody say "tequila"? The brains behind Barrio sure as heck did, 145 times. Yup, 145 tequila selections line the wall at this tiny bar, which is stumbling distance from other hot destinations on Nicollet Mall. Not only will the drinks warm you, but so will the company of the 20- and 30-somethings who are packed into this two-level slip of a space. Must try: The tequila-accompanying comadre drinks and made-to-order guac. Spicy. Continue Reading

Barrio Edina

5036 France Ave. S., Edina, 952-920-1860

Like it’s Minneapolis sister bar, Barrio Edina is all about tequila. With 154 choices available, there is no doubt Barrio is the reigning champion of the tequila scene in the Twin Cities. With a late-night happy hour six days a week and a kitchen that operates from lunch until midnight, Barrio is a great choice any time of the night. Different cocktails go on special each night of the work-week for happy hour, along with daily specials on tap beers and rail drinks. Caliente. Continue Reading

Barrio

Barrio St. Paul

235 E 6th St., St. Paul, 651-222-3250

Like its Minneapolis sister bar, Barrio St. Paul is all about tequila. With 154 choices available, there is no doubt Barrio is the reigning champion of the tequila scene in the Twin Cities. With a late-night happy hour six days a week and a kitchen that operates from lunch until midnight, Barrio is a great choice any time of the night. Different cocktails go on special each night of the work-week for happy hour, along with daily specials on tap beers and rail drinks. Caliente. Continue Reading

Beaujo's Wine Bar

4950 France Ave. S., Mpls., 952-922-8974

Beaujo’s is casual, fun, and slightly hip. There tend to be a lot of ladies, which could bode well for smart men who like wine. It’s small, but not cramped, and the food is as good as the service is friendly. Beaujo’s offers half-glass pours, so you can try several wines. The menu is restaurant-style, meaning short in small plates and items built for sharing. The wine list is basic with a few gems so ask for a recommendation. This is one of the most expensive wine bars in town, but consider the neighborhood. Continue Reading

Bev's Wine Bar

250 3rd Ave. N., Mpls., 612-337-0102

Tucked away in the Warehouse District, this spot is classier than many of its neighbors and carries a wide array of bottles for the choosey wine lover. Food here isn’t the main draw—the menu is small, but works well with the wine selection and includes cheese plates and other wine-friendly appetizers. Sit outside on the patio and enjoy the weather while you can, but beware the often heavy and loud local traffic. Continue Reading

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Biff's Billiards Sports Bar & Grill

7777 NE Highway 65, Spring Lake park, 763-784-9446

At the northern edge of the second-ring suburbs, two bright-red billiard sticks shoot like alien antennae toward the heavens. Welcome to Biff’s, a large, well-built pool hall-cum-sports bar popular for its darts and billiards leagues. The regular denizens tend toward well-made-up college-age gals and somewhat older guys with curious patches of facial hair. If you find yourself there on a Tuesday, a tiny crew of karaoke aficionados will high five you even after you defile Fleetwood Mac’s “Go Your Own Way.” Continue Reading

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Billy's on Grand

857 Grand Ave., St. Paul, 651-292-9140

Billy’s is a family-friendly restaurant for burger and rib lovers during the day, but as the night wears on and the kids go nighty-night, it turns into a friendly neighborhood sports bar—the sort of place where Vikings and Packers fans alike can share their joys and drown their sorrows. Inside, there are three separate bars with thirty-five televisions, six plasma screens, and two large screens, so the onscreen action is never very far away.The clientele is more eclectic and boisterous during the summertime, when the Billy’s patio scene kicks into high gear. Weekend evenings are especially crowded, but if you like beer, cheap eats, lots of bustle, and no frills, head to Billy’s. Continue Reading

Black Forest Inn

Black Forest Inn

1 E. 26th St., Mpls., 612-872-0812

An Eat Street institution since 1965, everyone seems to have a story that begins with: "One time at the Black Forest Inn . . ." The restaurant features variations on the German meat and potatoes theme, and the helpings are generous enough to split three ways. Indoors, the atmosphere is appropriately dark, but the Black Forest really gets going during the summer, when its outdoor beer garden is in full swing. Beers from all over the world are available from the bar, and the occasional live band keeps the conviviality going all through the night. Continue Reading