Interior of Jake O'Connor's Public House


Pub Guide

All the Twin Cities pubs in one place.

197 Bar/Clubs found

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Conga Latin Bistro

501 Hennepin Ave. E., Mpls., 612-331-3360

You don't have to be a pro to brave the dance floor at Conga, but don't expect the twirling Latin lovelies at this salsa club to pity you or either of your left feet. Maybe you should just hang back, grab a table near one of the massive conga drums at the entrance, sip on a rum cocktail, and wait and wait for somebody to ask you to dance. And maybe take a flyer on group lessons on your way out. Continue Reading


Cooper Irish Pub

1607 Park Pl. Blvd., St. Louis Park, 952-698-2000

From the guy who brought you the Local and the Liffey comes an Irish Pub for the suburban set. Located just off 394 in St. Louis Park, Cooper Irish Pub is already becoming a local hot spot, due in part to the free heated underground garage parking and the popular tomato soup. Happy hour could be better described as happy long afternoon, and with food all day and late-night appetizers, it's a great place to grab a beer and a bite without heading downtown. Continue Reading

Cork's Irish Pub

175 10th St. E, St. Paul, 651-224-5111

A slight walk out of the way from downtown St. Paul’s night scene, Cork’s Irish Pub offers a calmer take on the night out. Because it shares space with an Embassy Suites Hotel, it can feel a bit like a lobby bar—but the old gas light fixtures and the marble and wood bar add enough charm to help you get past that. With great party spaces, an extensive (if somewhat pricey) dinner menu, and an even better list of Scotch and whiskey, Cork’s is a nice change of pace. Be warned, fish and chips actually means fish and chips; you have to ask for fries. Continue Reading



601 First. Ave. N, Mpls., 612-312-1168

Housed in the Loews Hotel on the second floor, this sleek contemporary bar features a wall of liquor bottles that will have you reaching for an extensive list of specialty cocktails and martinis. The downtown vibe invites dressed-up locals and guests alike. Warm wood, carefully adjusted mood lighting, and candlelight in the seating areas all make intimate conversations possible. At the same time, the large space is great for a group event. Continue Reading

The patio at Cuzzy's in North Loop, Minneapolis


507 Washington Ave. N., Mpls., 612-339-6211

Sign your dollar, stick it to the wall, take your no-frills boilermaker, and chow down on your Friday night ghost pepper quesadilla without a shred of irony. Continue Reading

Dakota Jazz Club & Restaurant

Dakota Jazz Club & Restaurant

1010 Nicollet Mall, Mpls., 612-332-1010

Now that locals and tourists can actually find the Twin Cities' top jazz club, don't be surprised if you swing by for a nightcap only to be turned away by a packed house. Continue Reading

Dan Kelly's Bar & Grill

212 S. 7th St., Mpls., 612-333-2644

Dan Kelly’s sounds like an Irish bar, and it might be, but only if serving Guinness and tacking a shamrock or two on the wall makes it so. What Dan Kelly’s really is is a comfortable, middle-of-the-road watering hole/burger joint that does a killer happy-hour business because of all the nearby office buildings and thirsty workers therein. The action tapers off after the dinner hour, when it becomes an odd and rather subdued oasis in a part of town where there isn’t much action after 7 p.m. It’s also a popular rallying point before and after Vikings and Twins games at the Dome. The burgers and sammies are tasty, the appetizers huge, the prices reasonable, and the staff friendly—so if you’re in the mood to just drink, eat, and talk, DK’s will suffice. Just don’t ask for much more. Continue Reading

Dixie's on Grand

Dixie's on Grand

695 Grand Ave., St. Paul, 651-222-7345

Dixie’s is a restaurant/bar that bills itself as specializing in “Southern hospitality,” which means they’ve got ribs, steaks, chops, and coconut shrimp on the menu, and plenty of bourbons and whiskeys behind the bar. When the dinner crowd clears out after 10 p.m., a relatively civil crowd settles in on Saturday nights to listen to an eclectic mix of live rock, jazz, blues, and R & B, depending on the band. Thursday night is karaoke night, and every Friday is live salsa night—so pick your poison. Like nearby Billy’s, the outdoor patio scene at Dixie’s can be lively on weekend nights, especially those warm, sultry evenings that remind everyone of life down on the bayou—whatever that means. Continue Reading

Donny Dirk's Zombie Den

Donny Dirk's Zombie Den

2027 N. 2nd St., Minneapolis, 612-588-9700

The lady behind Psycho Suzi's and Saint Sabrina's resurrected the old North Minneapolis favorite Stand Up Frank's into this kitschy new club. Come on, vamps and zombies are all the rage right now. Continue Reading

Driftwood Char Bar

4415 Nicollet Ave. S, Mpls., 612-354-3402

Driftwood is the ultimate hole-in-the-wall joint where people come to relax, have a drink and enjoy one another’s company. There's live music almost every night, from an eclectic range of local musicians. Juicy burgers, big sandwiches, plenty of great wine and beer—what’s not to love? It's easy to hang out here all night, and many people do. Play an arcade game, shoot a round of pool, catch a football game on one of several TVs. Continue Reading

Dubliner Pub

2162 University Ave. W, St. Paul, 651-646-5551

This modest St. Paul pub is known to pour some of the best Guinness in town, and can be a lively place to have a drink, especially on St. Paddy's Day. They host a variety of Irish folk music groups pretty much every night, and even have Irish dancing on Wednesdays. Many of St. Paul's so-called "Irish mafia" hang out here, but they don't look any different from anyone else—except that sometimes they're friendlier. If you're looking for a casual, authentic Irish experience, you could do worse than the Dubliner. Continue Reading


Dulono's Pizza

607 W. Lake St., Mpls., 612-827-1726

Come Fridays and Saturdays for the no-cover bluegrass and acoustic, stay for the hot pizza and cheap beer, plus imported beer and wine. Continue Reading

Eagle BOLT Bar

515 Washington Ave. S., Mpls., 612-338-4214

The Eagle is a gay bar favored by professional men in their thirties and forties. The Eagle hosts one leather event every third Saturday of the month. For those who want to dance or mingle with a younger, glitzier crowd, The Eagle shares an interior door with The Bolt. Continue Reading

Eagle Street Grille

Eagle Street Grille

174 W. 7th St., St. Paul, 651-225-1382

Eagle Street Grille is clean place with a nice urban décor and decent menu that hearkens back to St. Paul’s notorious '20s and '30s, when bars were filled with gangsters and mob bosses. Today, the only mobs you’ll see will be the Wild jersey–wearing kind, as the bar sits kitty-corner across Kellogg Avenue from the Xcel. It’s a fine place to grab a brew or two before the game. Continue Reading


Eli's Food and Cocktails

1225 Hennepin Ave., Mpls., 612-332-9997

Small and hardly singular, Eli’s is your vanilla nightlife spot—and that’s not such a bad thing. While the low-key atmosphere makes it a good place for mom and dad, or the right spot for a business lunch, Eli’s is first and foremost a place to relax. The beer selection might be standard and the fare American, but a cocktail and the “Black and Blue” burger are tough to beat, especially outside in the summer. Continue Reading

Elsie's Restaurant, Bar, & Bowling Center

729 NE Marshall St., Mpls., 612-378-9701

Never let it be said that Elsie’s doesn’t have something for everyone. One of the few places where you can eat, drink, bowl, and sing karaoke in a single night, this Nordeast stalwart has a kind of irreducible authenticity, mainly because of it unaffected style, or lack thereof. Inside, Elsie’s is a time machine of sorts, which is why it’s not uncommon to be rubbing elbows with boomers, students, and scenesters all singing “Summer of ’69” on a Friday night in the twenty-first century. Glow-in-the-dark bowling is always a hoot, and everything is reasonably priced, so a lot of fun can be had for relatively little money. Continue Reading


Fine Line Music Cafe

318 1st Ave. N., Mpls., 612-338-8100

The Fine Line Music Café is a club dedicated to live music (as opposed to a club with music). Indie rock, prog-rock, jazz, blues, funk, R & B, and world music are the mainstays, but just about every type of music has been featured here at one time or another. A different live act is featured every night, from up-and-coming local bands to national headliners, and the crowd changes with the music. No two nights are the same, and the cover charge fluctuates according to the drawing power of the band. Tickets to see national headliners are around $30 for the main floor and $60 for mezzanine.Seating is first come, first serve, unless you buy an X-Gold ticket for an extra $50, which guarantees a primo seat on the upstairs rail. The club has two levels and a dance floor, and all shows are either 18 or 21+.  It’s all about the music here, so there aren’t many frills—just top-notch sound in a great setting for listening, and moving, to some great grooves. Continue Reading

Wall outside First Avenue in Minneapolis

First Avenue

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

There's no denying that First Avenue has played an integral role in the history of Twin Cities music. First opened as The Depot in 1970, the notorious club brought in DJs, disco, and performances from Tina Turner, Frank Zappa, and B. B. King, to name a few. It wasn't until 1981 that the venue became known as First Avenue. Continue Reading



600 W. Lake St., Mpls., 612-871-4055

The sleek neon illuminating the sushi and liquor bars in the open interior of Fuji-Ya might make you think you’ve entered the future, or come to Japan. This is as close to an authentic Japanese sushi bar as we come in the Twin Cities, and the sake does indeed flow here, especially during happy hour. The crowd’s age varies along a bell curve that tops out in the mid-forties, and the vibe is more laid-back Lyn-Lake than snappy Hennepin. Thursdays and Sundays a DJ hosts a great late-night happy hour, conjuring a hypnotic atmosphere for sipping hot sake and forgetting for a while that you’re in Minnesota. Continue Reading



605 W. 7th St., St. Paul, 651-292-9421

The Glockenspiel is a German restaurant that also happens to have attached to it a cozy little bar that looks and feels as if it was air-lifted from Bavaria. Most of the time, the bar serves as a quiet neighborhood sanctuary, but it is also a prime destination for serious beer lovers, because it’s got the best selection of German beers in the Twin Cities. Start with a Weihenstephaner Dunkel Weiss, from the oldest brewery in the world, then move on to a Bitburger, Piraaat Ale, or Celebrator. There are plenty more brews to choose from, all of them interesting international diversions. Continue Reading


16 N. 6th St., Mpls., 612-338-6621

Its rich history and century-and-a-half-old beer recipes are what draw the crowds to Gluek's. This charming German-style pub dates back to 1857, when Gottlieb Gluek began brewing beer in Minneapolis. To this day, Gluek's continues to be a hot spot for live music, good food (including brats, spaetzle, walleye, and burgers), and big mugs of housemade beer. Continue Reading

Goby's Grille & Pub

472 Snelling Ave. S., St. Paul, 651-690-5731

Cheap beer and big, tasty burgers are the main draws at Goby’s, which appeals to a clientele underserved by most other establishments in the St. Paul’s Mac-Groveland area—namely people who are interested in cheap drinks and foods that ooze. Goby’s management has never met a piece of sports memorabilia it didn’t like, and the place is always relatively dark inside, even during the day. Beers are two dollars on Monday and Thursday nights, so people with less than ten dollars in their pockets head to Goby’s to make the best of it. On weekends, college students who can’t get into nearby Plum’s spill over and turn the place into an interesting social-science experiment. If you want to fit in, wear jeans and a John Deere hat. Continue Reading

Great Waters Brewing Company

426 Saint Peter St., St. Paul, 651-224-2739

With great pub food, flavorful hand-crafted beer, and a beautiful patio in downtown St. Paul, Great Waters Brewing Company is an ideal spot to unwind after a hard day’s work. And since its walking distance from Xcel, RiverCentre, Roy Wilkins, and the Ordway, you'll never be too far from the action. Located in the Historic Hamm Building, Great Waters opened its doors in 1997, and has since produced more than 115 different beers, including the Gold Medal–winning Old Bastard Ale. Continue Reading


Groveland Tap

1834 St. Clair Ave., St. Paul, 651-699-5058

Easily the friendliest beer-and-burger joint in St. Paul’s Mac-Groveland neighborhood, The Groveland Tap is kid-friendly, family-friendly, buddy-friendly, ball-game-friendly—well, you get the idea. Young parents with kids pack the place during the afternoon and dinner hours, but after they’ve left the Tap becomes a great place to unwind, watch a few innings of the Twins game, toss darts, or shoot a rack of pool. They’ve got fourteen different brews on tap, and the full menu of burgers, sandwiches, and appetizers is available until midnight, including the famous Juicy Lucy and its zesty cousin, the Cajun Lucy. Continue Reading

Grumpy's Bar

Grumpy's Bar Downtown

1111 Washington Ave. S., Mpls., 612-340-9738

This Washington Avenue haunt is much like its infamous menu item, the Mac N Cheese Bites: at first, you’re not quite sure what you’re going to get. (How exactly do they get the heterogeneous mixture into perfect little bites?) The crowd is a mix of bikers and pre- and post-game Mauer-jersey–clad Twins fans and Purple People Eaters. The décor is somewhat retro, somewhat divey, with neon beer signs at every turn. But with the oddly jovial staff, full bar, heaping baskets of tater tots, and adjacent karaoke joint, the place grows on you—and the Mac N Cheese Bites are killer. Continue Reading