Interior of Jake O'Connor's Public House

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Pub Guide

All the Twin Cities pubs in one place.

200 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

Blue Door Pub

Blue Door Pub

1811 Selby Ave., St. Paul, 651-493-1865

Word on the street—this St. Paul pub makes a good juicy lucy, and the Blue Door has become an instant neighborhood classic. The cost of its runaway popularity can result in lots of people waiting in line for not so many seats, but patience is an easier virtue when combined with the bar's proud Minnesota-flavored tap that stocks local favorites from Surly, Lift Bridge, and Summit. Continue Reading

Blue Nile

2027 Franklin Ave. E., Mpls., 612-338-3000

Enhanced with colorful East African décor and friendly service, the Blue Nile remains a hip, multicultural nightlife spot despite its relatively low profile in the Twin Cities. Patrons love the spicy Ethiopian and Mediterranean fare, especially when accompanied by the long list of beers on tap (including Surly, Bells, Sam Adams, and several imports). Located in Minneapolis's Seward neighborhood, the Blue Nile also features a nice outdoor patio and a dimly lit lounge, which houses live international music and dancing most nights of the week. Continue Reading

Blue Point (Wine Bar)

739 E. Lake St., Wayzata, 952-475-3636

Nestled on Lake Street in Wayzata, this New England-style restaurant features green and white checkered tablecloths and a cozy vibe with lake views and a warming fireplace. Don’t be fooled into thinking this is a snoozy suburban bar, because come happy hour you'll be lucky to find a table. Double pours on wine and rail drinks, tall beers for the price of normal beers, and an excellent bar menu is what sets this suburban outpost apart. The mussels and Blue Point Oysters are a must as well. Continue Reading

Bolt Underground

513 Washington Ave. S., Mpls., 612-338-0896

The Bolt is an industrial-themed video bar that is proudly gay owned and operated. On the weekends, the Bolt Underground opens for dancing. Located next to the adjoining Minneapolis Eagle, the Bolt offers the opportunity for counter-cultural mingling of every persuasion. Continue Reading

Bradstreet Crafthouse

Bradstreet Crafthouse

601 1st Ave. N., Mpls., 612-312-1821

Located in a dark room on the first floor of the Graves Hotel, Bradstreet specializes in truly classic cocktails, as well as dozens of creations you won't find anywhere else, because Bradstreet's bartenders (ahem, mixologists) made them up. In many cases, they also invented the ingredients that go into the drinks (custom syrups, bitters, spiced liqueurs, etc.). There are four distinct seating areas in the bar to accommodate just about any mood. Try a Black Walnut Old-Fashioned made from in-house bitters and specially developed syrup. Then lean back and enjoy the cozy, classy surroundings. quality drink in hand and order up a few items from the inventive menu of sandwiches, sliders, and gourmet appetizers. It's hard to go wrong here, so enjoy. Continue Reading

Brit's Pub

Brit's Pub

1110 Nicollet Mall, Mpls., 612-332-3908

After a long day as a cog—an important cog, but a cog nonetheless—in one of downtown's many corporate wheels, all the crowd at Brit's wants is a pint, a Scotch egg or two, and a game of lawn bowling or Cosgrove Trivia Challenge before retreating to one of the pub's many dark corners to watch a football match. Continue Reading

Brothers Bar & Grill

430 1st Ave. N., Mpls., 612-339-4240

Brothers is the place where your brother—the one who wears his hat backwards and never moved out of the suburbs—went to get hammered on his twenty-first birthday. Four years later, he and his buddies, hats still backwards, travel down from the suburbs every couple months to slam some beers and Jäg-bombs and hit the dance floor, singing along to the dance version of a Rascal Flatts song. Continue Reading

Bryant-Lake Bowl

Bryant-Lake Bowl

810 W. Lake St., Mpls., 612-825-3737

Bryant-Lake Bowl isn't just a bowling alley (and serious gamers who come to roll strikes and spares may find themselves disappointed). But if a forty-three-bottle globetrotting wine list that includes Minnesota wines, a contemporary American menu served past midnight, or the adjacent theater-cum-performance space appeals to you, this might be a fit. And if you just want to fling ten-pound balls down the rough and tumble lanes with a knowing irony, or at least hyper self-awareness, that's okay, too. Where else can you enjoy a Belgian Trappist ale and ill-fitting rental shoes? Continue Reading

Bunkers Music Bar & Grill

761 Washington Ave., Mpls., 612-338-8188

Where local rockers, including Mick Sterling, G. B. Leighton, and Kip Blackshire, play to a crowd. There's music nightly; on Monday, come out to catch funk/rock group Dr. Mambo's Combo. See Solacious on Tuesdays and Smart Mouth on Wednesdays. Continue Reading

Burch Steakhouse and Pizza Bar

1933 Colfax Ave. S., Mpls., 612-843-1515

With bars upstairs and down—one with a view of the well-dressed scene, one with a view of the pizza oven—a prodigious wine list, and a host of specialty cocktails, you'll never be bored. 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

Cafe Latte

850 Grand Ave., St. Paul, 651-224-5687

While known for fantastic desserts and a good quick lunch, Cafe Latte has a little wine bar in the back that has a life of its own. With twenty-five wines by the glass, there’s something for everyone. The fairly standard list is approachable, but not as interesting as some. No flights or tastes are available, but you can ask to try a wine before ordering it. The crowd includes families, girls on a night out, and couples too. The sound level mitigates against intimate conversation. Food is fresh and fun: salads, pizza, and sandwiches. It’s a great stop for dinner or just a glass of cabernet and a huge piece of chocolate cake. Continue Reading

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Café Maude

5411 Penn Ave. S, Mpls., 612-822-5411

Enjoy an inventive cocktail or glass of wine in this South Minneapolis neighborhood gem, which goes by the tagline "civilized leisure." The happy hour or “Leisure Time” is only an hour, but it happens seven days a week. There is a comfortable bar area with a special corner set aside for live music on Tuesday and Wednesday nights—usually jazz. Wednesday nights are often busy with locals, regulars and newcomers. Continue Reading

Cardinal Bar & Tavern

2920 E. 38th St., Mpls., 612-724-5837

They may not scream “NORM!” when you walk in, but the Cardinal Tavern feels like a pub where everybody knows your name. Located off the 38th St. Light Rail stop, the Cardinal has all the necessities of a good neighborhood bar: regular clientele, cheap beer and wine, a large menu of greasy food and plenty of pool tables and dart boards. The cozy Longfellow location may not look like much, but whether you’re cheering the Twins or competing in the bar’s karaoke contests, the Cardinal Tavern is a reliable place to make a few new friends. Continue Reading

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Casper & Runyon's Nook

492 Hamline Ave. S., St. Paul, 651-698-4347

The sign hanging outside this quaint St. Paul hangout reads "Casper & Runyon's Nook: A Small Place with Big Burgers." Certainly, the burgers are what bring in the business—the place is regularly noted as one of the best burger joints in the Twin Cities—but Casper & Runyon's is also a great place to grab a drink and catch the big game. Sports memorabilia lines the walls, there are nightly happy hour specials, and plenty of TVs put you in the mood to cheer on your favorite team. Continue Reading

Caspers & Runyons Shamrocks

Caspers & Runyons Shamrocks

995 W. 7th St., St. Paul, 651-228-9952

Who needs four-star restaurateurs when you’ve got Ted Casper and Mike Runyon, the barely-old-enough-to-drink-their-own-beer boys behind St. Paul’s Shamrocks and the legendary burger haven The Nook? Shamrocks serves the same great beer and burgers as it’s well-known sibling, but the Sham gives its typically younger crowd a chance to shimmy with regular live music and DJs. Burgers, beer, and booty shakin’—now that’s a lucky charm. Continue Reading

CC Club

2600 Lyndale Ave. S., Mpls., 612-874-7226

Since prohibition ended, the CC Club has been abetting local inebriates from Tom Arnold and The Replacements to your overweight uncle and that creepy neighbor kid with the punk hairdo. People don’t go to the CC Club for fancy drinks (don’t try to order no fernet and coke), they go for the people. Whether you join the middle-aged crowd at the bar, or the artist’s palette of characters in the back rooms, someone at the CC Club will be waiting for you with a smile and a smart-ass comment. One day, that someone might be you. Continue Reading

Chatterbox Pub

Chatterbox Pub-Linden Hills

4501 France Ave. S., Mpls., 612-920-3221

We're so glad the Linden Hills neighborhood now has a place to gather for family game night. Chatterbox is no Chuck E. Cheese or Dave & Busters, it serves creative pub fare, homemade brews, all sorts of fun non-alcoholic drinks for the kiddies, and has a large selection of games to play at your booth. Perfect for a rainy afternoon… or heck, a sunny one. At night, its perfect for friends looking to add a little competition, without the drinking games. Continue Reading

Chatterbox Pub - South Minneapolis

Chatterbox Pub-South Minneapolis

2229 E. 35th St., Mpls., 612-728-9871

The original Chatterbox is a little grittier than its newer counterparts in St. Paul and Linden Hills, but the key elements are all there: homemade brews, classic board games, and, if you're lucky, a spot in front of a Super Nintendo or Atari. Continue Reading

Chatterbox Pub

Chatterbox Pub-St. Paul

800 Cleveland Ave. S., St. Paul, 651-699-1149

A little slicker than the original in Minneapolis (with amenities such as flat-screen TVs) the St. Paul Chatterbox Pub location nevertheless evokes Gen X and Millennial childhoods, with its great selection of board and video games (Battleship, Super Mario Bros.). It also boasts a full menu and bar, which makes it a perfect hangout in the Highland Park neighborhood. Continue Reading

Chiang Mai Thai

Chiang Mai Thai

3001 Hennepin Ave. S., Mpls., 612-827-1606

Although it’s smack in the middle of Calhoun Square, Chiang Mai manages to feel underground. The low, warm lighting and sinuous layout contribute to the subterranean feel, and the “black market” wine steals during happy hour are another indication that you’ve entered a cultural netherworld populated by smartly garbed Uptowners. Kitsch posters in Thai for classic American films adorn the walls, and when the place’s really kicking, a second bar opens in the back room lounge. Continue Reading

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Chino Latino

2916 Hennepin Ave., Mpls., 612-824-7878

You know it by the gold, sparkling, nameless facade. It’s been open since 2000, and the food, wait staff, and drink names—Orgasmo anyone?—are as hot and sassy as day one. We are constantly giving the place props for the long and generous happy hours (and these days, who doesn't LOVE a happy hour?). Continue Reading

Club NY

10 S. 5th St., Mpls., 612-333-5055

Follow the red carpet and velvet ropes from the 5th Street sidewalk into the historic Lumber Exchange building, drop off your jacket at coat-check, and step past the headset-bearing bouncer to find a posh, three-level nightclub—the kind of club that should garner a chic, young crowd. And at times, it does. Spin owners bring in famous DJs and celeb guests (DJ Skribble, Nick Lachey, Hilary Duff, Lauren Conrad, and P. Diddy have all graced the VIP lounges) but the typical crowd consists of suburban bachelorette parties and just-turned-21 coeds. But if what you’re looking for is pounding dance beats and top-forty remixes, strong (slightly pricey) drinks, scantily clad go-go dancers, and a contemporary club interior (don’t miss the cool fogged-door restrooms), then Club NY's the place to be. If you’re lucky, you’ll nab a spot in the exclusive VIP Red Room, where bottle service and big spenders add cachet to the NY experience.

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Club Underground

Club Underground at the Spring Street Tavern

355 NE Monroe St., Mpls., 612-627-9123

Club Underground might be off of Northeast’s main drags, but the place seems to prefer it that way. If it were too easy to find, after all, it wouldn’t be very underground, would it? Connected with the Spring Street Tavern and located at the corner of Monroe Street and Spring Street, the nondescript building in which it hides only enhances its aura of eclectic iconoclasm. And don’t feel bad if you feel out of step with the crowd, because this is a crowd that prides itself on being out of step. All manner of alternative lifestyles and aesthetic sensibilities are welcome here, and DJs and bands play most every night, often sharing the same stage. If you’re into rockabilly, house, punk, or drum and bass, and are haunted by a vague feeling that you don’t quite fit in anywhere else, chances are you’ll feel slightly less alienated here. Continue Reading

Clubhouse Jäger

Clubhouse Jäger

923 Washington Ave. N., Mpls., 612-332-2686

Jäger is a much-needed neighborhood pub for all those condo owners in the North Loop. It's not a restaurant, or a dive like Cuzzy’s, or a roadhouse like Bunker’s. It’s a nice, classy pub where grownups can order a cocktail and enjoy quiet conversation surrounded by a tasteful amount of wood and glass. Seems simple, but it’s something many neighborhoods in our city are sorely lacking. And although Jäger sells plenty of the black German ick-meister, it turns out the place isn’t named after the stuff. Which is good, because we already have plenty of places where the bartender knows his way around a Jäg–bomb, but we have far too few Jägers. Continue Reading

Cocina del Barrio Edina

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

Like its Minneapolis sister bar, Barrio Edina is all about tequila. Continue Reading

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

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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

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Cosmos

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

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. The handsome warm-wood-and-exposed-brick interior, superb American wine list, and bargain happy hour grub draw a sophisticated after-work and late-night crowd in addition to the jazz aficionados who've been coming to the Dakota for decades. Owner Lowell Pickett lures national names early in the week and local favorites on weekends. So slide into a banquette early, order a glass of red, and await the show in what is arguably one of the country's best jazz venues. 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

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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

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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

Envy

400 1st Ave. N., Mpls., 612-673-9694

Dance and techno beats keep the crowd happy at this fairly upscale dance club on First Avenue. Young professionals gravitate here, with women in heels and guys in button-downs dancing to top-40 hits and techno remixes. The bright bar serves high-end cocktails and other pricey drinks. Clubbers dance in the bar area and in a large dance area hidden behind the bar area—which is also equipped with a stage. White is the club’s theme color, but it’s combined with a dark atmosphere, making Envy feel cool and hip, which it is. Continue Reading

Epic Nightclub

110 N. 5th St., Mpls., 612-332-3742

Epic isn't your typical nightclub, rather a space that opens for parties, events, and concerts featuring some of the best R & B, rap, and DJ-ing talent in the world. Not the country...the world. Continue Reading

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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

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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

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Fuji-Ya

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

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Glockenspiel

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

Gluek's

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

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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

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Hell's Kitchen

80 9th St. South, Mpls., 612-332-4700

Walking into Hell’s Kitchen, you do feel as though you are underground, because you are—but don’t fret, the atmosphere is friendly. Black is the dominant color here, but there are lively Ralph Steadman drawings on the wall to liven the place up. There is free live music most evenings, and late night shows Thursday-Saturday. Breakfast and late-night dining are where Hell's Kitchen shines. In fact, you can get both on the excellent late-night food menu: the late-night American breakfast and monster caramel roll are favorites. Continue Reading

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Hexagon Bar

2600 27th Ave. S., Mpls., 612-722-3454

Serving up a mean drink since approximately 1932, the Hex has become a hot spot for hipsters and neighborhood regulars alike. Boasting a Surf Night, Country Jam nights, and regular booking of up-and-coming local bands, this dive is as hot for its happy hours as its music. Plus 75-cent pool, dart leagues, meat raffles, and more. Continue Reading

Honey

Honey

205 E. Hennepin Ave, Mpls., 612-746-0306

The smells coming from upstairs at the Asian fusion eatery Ginger Hop are alluring, but the cavalcade of sexy coming from its neighbor below is even more tempting. An underground bar in the vein of hip New York City dance clubs, Honey’s chic, candle-lit lounge is a great place for a first date, a chance encounter, a secret affair, or any other romantic excursion you can think of. Some of the Twin Cities' finest jazz musicians and chanteuses play here, but check the music calendar, because they often start cranking hip-hop and club music after 10 p.m. Continue Reading

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House of Comedy

Mall of America, Bloomington, 952-858-8558

Lightening up the mood on the MOA’s fourth floor since July 2009, the House of Comedy is a solid destination if you’re looking for some laughs with your beverages or if you’re, you know, just bummin’ around the mall at night. And with some big names gracing the marquee, you won’t spend the whole act sipping your drink (the usual stable of beers, wines, and liquors) or spiked milkshake with a raised eyebrow while crickets chirp in the background. Continue Reading

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Hubert's Bar

600 1st Ave N., Mpls., 612-767-2960

Hubert’s is the de facto Twins/Vikings bar, since it’s just a line drive from the Metrodome’s F Gate. In the winter, Vikings fans pour in for a brew or two before the game, and those who couldn’t score tickets (or wanted to save their money for important things, like nachos) stay well into the fourth quarter, drowning their sorrows in PBR. Twins fans get the advantage of the three-season back patio, where they grill up brats and serve oversized cans of domestic and imported beer. Arrive early on game days if you plan on scoring a seat. And a warning: no game tends to equal no crowd, so you might want to get to Hubert’s before the slew of new stadiums are finished. Continue Reading

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Ike's Food and Cocktails

50 S. 6th St., Mpls., 612-746-4537

Ike's Food and Cocktails has been one of our favorite downtown bars since its debut in 2003. With the retro booths, antique wood bar, and memorabilia-clad walls, this supper club–style restaurant is almost out of place among the skyscrapers and modern businesses. Strong drinks, delicious small plates, and some of the best burgers in town make this a great place to congregate with friends. Ike's is also one of the only downtown bars to offer ice cream drinks and shakes. Continue Reading

Jake O'Connor's Public House

Jake O'Connor's Public House

200 Water St., Excelsior, 952-908-9650

This genuine Irish pub was a welcome addition to the small lake suburb of Excelsior. Since its opening in December 2006, Jake O'Connor's has been bustling with patrons of all ages. Owner Dermot Cowley, a native of Ireland, has been in the restaurant industry for most of his life (he also owns O'Donovan's in downtown Minneapolis). His newest venture boasts a menu of traditional and contemporary Irish fare, plus a full bar complete with Irish favorites like Guinness, Smithwick's, and Jameson. If you prefer wine, choose from more than 200 varieties on the impressive list. Jake O'Connor's has an authentic pub ambiance, created from the mahogany-wood bar and other furnishings that were designed in and shipped directly from Ireland.Photo Credit: Sarah Cameron, Acappella Portraits Continue Reading

James Ballentine VFW 246

2916 Lyndale Ave. S., Mpls., 612-823-6233

You won’t find a more mixed crowd than the one at the Uptown VFW. But if you’re strapped for cash and craving a way to unwind, karaoke at the VFW—Thursday through Sunday nights—is a surefire way to have fun on the cheap. The secret is out, though, so get there early to secure a table. Continue Reading

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Jax Café

1928 University Ave. NE, Mpls., 612-789-7297

One of the oldest bar/restaurants in Minnesota, this classic Midwestern steakhouse has been serving Twin Citians for more than 75 years. The knowledgeable bar staff mix fantastic drinks and the stained-glass windows and wood-paneled walls provide a warm old-world feel. There is ample bar seating, as well as comfortable booths and tables. When the weather allows it, their outdoor patio is complete with a fireplace and running streams. Continue Reading

Jetset

Jetset

215 N. 1st St., Mpls., 612-339-3933

You're in a gay bar in a state that's the unofficial home of 10,000 sports bars. Luckily, this place skips the drag queens, 3-for-1 drinks, and tacky chaos. Continue Reading

Keegan's Irish Pub

16 University Ave. NE, Mpls., 612-252-0880

You don't have to fly to Ireland for an authentic pub experience. 
You don't have to fly to Ireland for an authentic pub experience. With a bar that was constructed in (and transported from) the Irish homeland, a wide selection of Irish brews, whiskeys, and grub, plus the presence of live Irish music, Keegan's is a great spot to find true pub culture. In fact, it's the only Irish Pub Concept (IPC) pub in the state, a guideline developed by Guinness Brewing Company. Keegan's also features twice-a-week trivia games and late-night weekend breakfasts. Continue Reading

Kieran's

Kieran's

600 Hennepin Ave., Mpls., 612-339-4499

One thing's for sure: you'll always feel welcome at this lively downtown bar. Serving up Irish favorites such as Guinness, Jameson, Harp, and Finnegan's, plus a slew of specialty pints such as Black and Tans (Guinness and Smithwicks) and Snakebites (Harp and Cider), Kieran's may be one of the best pubs in the Cities. Need something to munch on with your Guinness? Try some corned beef and cabbage, a shepherd's pie, or Kieran's "world famous" fish and chips. The Irish menu is authentic and extensive. A hot spot during happy hour (the patio attracts a crowd in the summer) and on Vikings and Twins game days, Kieran's is also the place to be in Minneapolis when St. Patrick's Day rolls around. Continue Reading

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King's Wine Bar

4555 Grand Ave. South, Mpls., 612-354-7928

Nestled in the Kingfield neighborhood, one of King’s biggest draws is that it features happy hour everyday from 3 to 6 p.m. The dark wood interior and white Ikea furniture make for a clean, almost antiseptic atmosphere, but you won’t be disappointed with their carefully chosen craft beers and lengthy wine list. Plenty of local brews are on tap, as well as some interesting international brews, and the wine list is quite lengthy and sophisticated. If you want to know more about the wine you're about to order, whip out your phone and check their website: all their wine offerings are explained there in impressive detail. Surprisingly, they also have a great selection of sakes. Continue Reading

Kip's Irish Pub

Kip's Irish Pub

9970 Wayzata Blvd., St. Louis Park, 952-367-5070

Kip’s wanted authenticity—so they had their interior built in Dublin, disassembled, shipped over, and reassembled by four Irishmen and one Irishwoman. The results are several beautiful rooms of wood and stone, adorned with whiskey barrels, a hand-painted ceiling map of Ireland, and, above the bar, a large copper keeve of the sort used for brewing spirits. As Kip’s sits adjacent to the Marriott in St. Louis Park, its clientele is about half hotel guests and half anyone interested in sipping some Jameson or Smithwick’s in a hospitable setting, especially during the twice-nightly happy hours or when live music’s playing. 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

Knight Cap Lounge

1500 4th St. NE, Mpls., 612-789-5233

Home of the meat raffle and Tuesday bingo, the Knight Cap is through and through a neighborhood, corner bar. Not a place to see and be seen, the bar has an air of Blue Velvet about it. Women in baggy sweaters debate taxation (conclusion: “we’re getting screwed”), a peanut gallery of middle-aged men discuss every Clash, Tom Waits, and Tom Petty song that plays, and three screens of football act as fixtures at the Knight Cap. Bud light, Coors light, and a Summit Extra Pale Ale are on tap waiting to be paired with some seriously fried onion rings or corn dogs. Don’t let the regulars scare you, they’re all there for the same reason you are: to unwind after the nine-to-five. Continue Reading

La Belle Vie

La Belle Vie

510 Groveland Ave., Mpls., 612-874-6440

At once perfectly sophisticated—with low-lit crystal chandeliers and chaise lounges—and put-your-feet-up cool—with unpretentious bar menu and old-school cocktails list—the bar at La Belle Vie is the perfect place to celebrate your beautiful life together. Try Chef de Cuisine, Michael DeCamp's fare, and make sure to share a selection from Bill Summerville's wine list. Continue Reading

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LAB Theater

700 North 1st Street, Minneapolis, 612-333-7977

The LAB Theater is a 6,000 square-foot warehouse, originally built by The Guthrie Theater as a "laboratory" space for experimental and unique works. 20-some odd years later, the theater has become home to a number of independent productions, ranging from live theatre, concerts, the Minnesota Fringe Festival, cabaret and elaborate full-scale theatrical productions. Located in the trendy Warehouse District/North Loop neighborhood of downtown, it is a perfect venue for audiences seeking bold new theatre and dynamic sightlines, seating and comfort. Continue Reading

Lee's Liquor Lounge

101 Glenwood Ave. N., Mpls., 612-338-9491

Cheap retro at its best, Lee’s offers lots of bang for your buck, with free live, local country, rockabilly, and pop bands Monday through Thursday and cheap covers—and beer—on weekends. Oh, and a GLBT barn dance every Sunday. Continue Reading

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Legends Bar and Grill

825 Hennepin Ave. E., Mpls., 612-331-8781

This Northeast haunt is a good casual place to gather with friends over a beer or take advantage of regular drink specials. The unassuming ground floor of Legends features a circular bar, and tables in the restaurant and bar area serve up standard bar fare. Those who are there for the nightlife head down to the remodeled basement, where a separate bar serves those looking to get a little rowdy, and pool tables are there to entertain them. The downstairs area does not have much in common with the quiet upstairs, but that’s where you’ll find high-decibel top-40 music and Legends’ semi-legendary karaoke stage. Continue Reading

Liquor Lyle's

2021 Hennepin Ave. S., Mpls., 612-870-8183

Come for the beer, stay for the breakfast (where you can get more beer!). Lyle's, which refers to itself as a “world-famous dive bar” is the appropriate beginning to any decent Uptown Bar crawl, with the limitless 2-4-1s starting every night promptly at 9 p.m. Whether you sidle up to the bar or slink into one of the red-pleather booths, you’ll find yourself surrounded by the usual Uptown crowd—hipsters, ne’er-do-wells, and preps who like to pretend they are hipsters and ne'er-do-wells on the weekends. Note: Don’t be put off by the retro-punk dive-bar persona—all are welcome. Continue Reading

Lone Tree & The Annex

528 Hennepin Ave., Mpls., 612-338-1730

Young bargoers love the Lone Tree & The Annex for the free-drink happy hours on Friday and Saturday nights.  And with two very different clubs under one roof, there's something for everyone: food, TV, and a more laid-back crowd upstairs at the Lone Tree, and a wilder group of  shoulder-to-shoulder dancers downstairs in The Annex.  Music ranges from Top-40 to hip-hop to classic '80s hits. Check out The Annex's new Liquid Lounge, an upscale VIP section with bottle service, custom lighting displays, comfortable seating, and a private bar. Continue Reading

Loon Cafe

Loon Cafe

506 1st Ave. N., Mpls., 612-332-8342

“Loon soon!” is code for “Let’s grab happy hour” to many 1st Ave. workers. Of the slew of 1st Ave./Warehouse District bars, this bar draws the most urban crowd—but Playboy did rate it one of the best singles bars in the country, so that tells you a little about the scene. On the other hand, former Chicago Bears QB Jim McMahon told Newsweek that the Loon serves “The Chili of Champions.” We’re not really sure what that’s supposed to tell you—but if you’re one of the singles, it might help to stay away from the chili. Continue Reading