Interior of Jake O'Connor's Public House

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Pub Guide

All the Twin Cities pubs in one place.

17 Bar/Clubs found

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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

Burrito Loco

Burrito Loco

418 13th Ave. SE, Mpls., 612-746-5626

Burrito Loco has two equally popular bars: Downstairs is the famous burrito bar, which is always available for dinner or a late-night snack—and upstairs you’ll find a busy bar full of U of M students who, more likely than not, have just finished eating and are eager to wash it down with something. Pool tables and occasional karaoke promise a good time with friends, and the never-ending popcorn supply is a favorite perk. Every night of the week is happy hour, and the deals—such as free nachos with a mug of beer—are unique. Continue Reading

Kitty Cat Klub

Kitty Cat Klub

315 14th Ave. SE, Mpls., 612-331-9800

Dinkytown is synonymous with beer specials and wings, not hip, sprawling lounges, the likes of which you really only see when venturing as far west as the sea. So when you're at Kitty Cat, order a Tilburg's Dutch Brown Ale, a twenty-two-ounce Sapporo, or a PBR in a can, along with an infamous burger—imported from the upstairs Annie's Parlor—and take note of the bohemia-meets-Montmarte décor, with dusty framed paintings, mobile lighting, and exposed stone infrastructure. You'll be equally taken in by the groove of the interconnecting spaces as by the connection going on between bohemian college kids soaking up the free Wi-Fi and BMW-driving boomers scattered about in singles, pairs, and groups. And when the live music—based on the night, it could be jazz, acoustic, rock, electronic, even rockabilly—begins on the café stage nightly, take a cue, kick back, and try a Delirium Tremens or Chimay for a change of beer pace. Continue Reading

Loring Pasta Bar

Loring Pasta Bar

327 14th Ave. SE, Mpls., 612-378-4849

The Loring Pasta Bar is both a great place to eat and, as the evening unwinds, an even better place to drink fine wine, listen to music, and dance until your feet are numb. The Loring feels like an extremely cool Italian bistro run by an eccentric genius, and the food is as creative as the décor. It has the most interesting bathrooms in town as well, so be sure to excuse yourself at least once and have a look at what a little imagination and taste can do. Continue Reading

Nomad World Pub

501 Cedar Ave. S, Mpls., 612-338-6424

Man’s best friend deserves a night out too. And the laid-back folks at Nomad welcome you and your (leashed) dogs any night. The scene varies from night to night, depending on the musical act, but it doesn’t stray too far from its hippie-organic, soccer-appreciating, bocce ball-playing soul. A lot of good vibrations and sincere, save-the-world sentiments get expressed here, to knowing nods. So leash up the dog, throw on your soccer jersey, and try some beer from their long list of options. Continue Reading

Palmer's Bar

500 Cedar Ave. S.,, Mpls., 612-333-7625

Thank goodness for Palmer’s. This misshapen, rough-around-the-edges West Bank staple hasn’t changed in decades, and we like it that way. Located in the Seven Corners neighborhood, Palmer’s welcomes all serious drinkers, from middle-aged Blues enthusiasts after a show at the Cedar next door, to the construction worker, to young, raucous U of M students blowing off steam. The bartenders don’t mince words, the drinks are strong, and the patio is a guaranteed good time, even in the winter. You can buy a pack of peanuts or a couple Slim Jims, but you’d be better off sticking to drinks and gossiping with the bartenders and eclectic cast of regulars. Continue Reading

Republic at 7 Corners

221 Cedar Ave. S, Mpls., 612-338-6146

The rustic-chic atmosphere of Republic attracts the graduate and law-school set from the nearby university, as well as the theater and music crowd. And the food attracts pretty much everyone. Set inside a century-old brick building, Republic adds stained-glass windows featuring flowers of Canada and stuffed heads of bears, bucks, and moose to keep the place whimsical and masculine all at once. The menu steers clear of the furry creatures on the wall, offering instead a hip, substantial mix of burgers, mussels, fish tacos, and other gastro-pub standards. To fit in, pair your order up with a local beer and start discussing transactional law or postcolonial performance theory. Continue Reading

Stub & Herbs

227 SE Oak St, Mpls., 612-379-0555

A staple of the University of Minnesota town scene, Stub & Herbs has been serving up pitchers of beer and above-average bar fare for over 70 years. The recently graduated, the Gopher-rooting family, and the neighborhood’s young and restless can all be found enjoying a noisy, relaxed night here. Continue Reading

The Cabooze

917 Cedar Ave. S., Mpls., 612-338-6425

Anyone who attended the University of Minnesota in the last 30 years knows this West Bank landmark—open since 1974—which packs in fans of modern rock, American roots, jam, hip-hop, and other genres Wednesday through Sunday. While it never had a problem drawing in a music-loving crowd, the recent face lift and disappearance of indoor smoking has made the ‘Booze a more pleasant place to take in local music. Continue Reading

The Corner Bar

1501 Washington Ave. S., Mpls., 612-339-3084

If the Corner Bar were a movie, it would be one of those recent National Lampoon stabs at remaking Animal House. All of the elements are there: Jag bombs and beer buckets; darts, a dance floor, and trivia nights; tacos, nachos, and pizza—everything but the spirit of novelty. Regardless, every college town needs a place where cheap beer and Free Taco Tuesdays aren’t just offered, they’re an institution. Continue Reading

The Joint

917 Cedar Ave. S., Mpls., 612-338-6425

Only in Minnesota could leather-clad bikers, backwards-ball-capped University kids, and bluegrass lovers from The Cabooze next door mingle so amiably. Deep down it’s a joint for regulars: bikers with salt-and-pepper beards and aspiring Town Drunks who leave howling into the night. The vibe isn’t hostile, though—it’s amazingly good-natured and The Joint has some of the most hospitable bartenders in town. So dust off your leather jacket, order up a Bud, and you’ll soon find yourself at home, commiserating with your new best buddy, Lester. Continue Reading

The Library Bar and Grill

The Library Bar and Grill

1301 4th Ave. SE, Mpls., 612-604-1900

There’s some irony in the name, because The Library is the watering hole in Dinkytown for students who would rather party than study. Frat guys and sorority girls alike love this place for mingling. The dark wood floor and bar give the Library a bit of a north-woods feel. The large, open bar downstairs and a smaller bar upstairs are often packed three rows deep with people waiting for drinks. The music is loud, but there is no official dance floor—unless you head downstairs, but this area isn’t nearly as popular as the two upper levels. And, of course, several large TVs allow you to see how the Gophers did on any given night. 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

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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

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

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