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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Lush Food Bar

990 Central Ave., Minneapolis,

Don’t let the name fool you—they’re not encouraging you to pound the drinks and get crazy. Instead, Lush Food Bar offers a more relaxed, “luscious” experience. With 24-foot ceilings, this garage turned gay bar offers a spacious feel. And the three once-garage doors are now giant windows, one of which still opens, letting fresh air in during the summer. Stainless steel tables, maple booths and a large marble bar give this sleek venue a modern industrial feel. Continue Reading



918 Hennepin Ave., Mpls., 612-333-7268

Spending the night in the Hennepin Theatre District? Those in-the-know head to this Scottish pub, where you can often find actors and performers unwinding over the ever-changing imported beers and a game of pool. Plus it's a pretty convenient place to head for a drink during intermission. Continue Reading

Mac's Industrial Sports Bar

Mac's Industrial Sports Bar

312 Central Ave. SE, Mpls., 612-379-3379

Mac’s is a protean place—part jukebox watering hole, part sports bar—and with Surly and Rush River microbrews on tap—part haven for beer aficionados. At Mac’s, all these folks squeeze into a relatively cozy space, so be careful walking around or someone might poke you with a pool cue, or you might catch an elbow from a Big Buck Hunter addict. It’s best to find a seat and schmooze at the wide island bar with cheery locals or the Aveda girls getting out of class. Continue Reading

Majors Sports Cafe

Majors Sports Cafe

8307 Normandale Boulevard, Bloomington, 952-835-8308

Majors is a national sports bar chain with suburban tendencies whose scattered, sterile locales surround the Twin Cities like the beginnings of an all-too-devious Poisson distribution. Pleasant employees try, but betray a cog-in-the-system interchangeability. Still, if you’re looking for great drink deals and want to scratch at pull-tabs, you’ll find all you need at Majors. Continue Reading

Manny's Steak House

Manny's Steak House

821 Marquette Ave., Mpls., 612-339-9000

A little disclaimer: We are at no point suggesting you can actually snag a spot at this wildly popular bar inside the wildly popular steak house in one of the TC's hottest hotels. There are only a handful of stools, since the bar's main function is to shake up some of the best martinis in town for people smart enough to grab a reservation for dinner. But if you are lucky enough to score a seat on a Friday or Saturday night, you are in for quite a treat. Continue Reading

Mario's Keller Bar at Gasthof

2300 University Ave. NE, Mpls., 612-781- 3860

If your definition of charm isn’t sausage-eating men in lederhosen or yodeling blondes in dirndl, check your coat at the door of Gastof's and head downstairs. Mario’s Keller Bar, in the basement of Gasthof zur Gemütlichkeit, serves up an array of southern German beer staples by the half liter, liter, or two-liter “boot.” This is the only place in town where you can pop a snuff board, drink from a boot, and swig apple schnapps while dancing to polka in the early evening and hard, sometimes very alternative rock after midnight. Continue Reading

Bartender Pip Hanson at Marvel Bar

Marvel Bar

50 N. 2nd Ave., Mpls., 612-206-3929

Wander down the back stairs and find a dimly-lit temple to the cocktail gods. Continue Reading



1070 Nicollet Ave, Mpls., 612-338-6272

The crisp white and orange glow inside this downtown contemporary Mexican restaurant is an unexpected gift from the D’Amico group. The bar is located off the dining room in a pleasant space perfect for sipping a margarita or, if you want to go more authentic, any of several premium blue agave tequilas. The margarita options are refreshing, as are the cocktails especiales. Watch the flat screen at the bar or drink with friends at a side table, and enjoy the dressed up Mexican ambiance. Continue Reading

Matt's Bar

Matt's Bar

3500 Cedar Ave. S., Mpls., 612-722-7072

Matt’s Bar has only one claim to fame: According to legend, it in this establishment’s hallowed kitchen that the famous cheese-stuffed ode to arteriosclerosis known as the Jucy Lucy hamburger was invented (and yes, that’s how they spell “Juicy.”) Indeed, Matt’s official motto is: “Fear the cheese!” For this reason, and this reason only, Matt’s has become a south Minneapolis icon, a place where late-night carnivores gather to sample the original JL and swig it down with a pitcher of MGD or Bud. Inside, Matt’s is a bar that looks like it was furnished in the Twilight Zone, with red naugahyde booths, fat-cushion bar stools, cafeteria-style tables, plenty of neon beer signs, and a plastic mustard squirter at every table. Beer and food is all they serve, and it’s one of the cheapest places in town—so go hungry and go with friends, if only so that you can say that you too have visited this historic gastronomical landmark. Continue Reading


1428 NE 4th St., Mpls., 612-789-9862

A dive bar is a dive bar is a dive bar, unless it’s Mayslack’s. In 1955, former professional wrestler Stan Myslajek started serving what has become the establishment’s legendary roast beef sandwich. If the taste doesn’t do it for you, then you’ll be satisfied with what lifting it can do for your physique. Take your friends and disappear into one of the many cavernous wooden booths, or come for the meat raffles every Wednesday and Saturday. A popular hangout for young, irony-tinged Northeast locals, Mayslack’s turns its small stage over to area musicians on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday—often with a cover—and trivia every Wednesday. Continue Reading

McCoy's Public House

McCoy's Public House

3801 Grand Way, St. Louis Park, 952-224-9494

McCoy’s is sleek and pretty. It has a sleek, pretty bar in a sleek, pretty room filled with sleek, pretty professionals who occupy the shiny condos on Excelsior and Grand. The crowd is also pretty tame, made up mostly of people grabbing a drink after work—or on the weekends, those who wanted to get dressed up for downtown but decide to skip the cab ride. The drinks and appetizers are pretty standard pub fare, the highlights being the five house brews from McCoy’s original Kansas City location and a raspberry-infused vodka. Continue Reading

Minnesota Music Cafe

499 Payne Ave., St. Paul, 651-776-4699

Your blues and soul headquarters. This venue, decked out with Minnesota music memorabilia, hosts performances seven nights a week. Continue Reading


Minnetonka Center For The Arts

2240 North Shore Drive, Wayzata, 952-473-7361, ext. 16

In the belief that the visual arts are indispensable to a healthy community, it is the mission of the Minnetonka Center for the Arts to provide teaching excellence, quality exhibitions and cultural enrichment for people of all ages, interests and abilities. Continue Reading

Monte Carlo Bar & Cafe

Monte Carlo

219 Third Ave. N., Mpls., 612-333-5900

The Monte Carlo is one of the oldest establishments in Minneapolis’s warehouse district, and it wears its vintage status with pride. The bar is old-school copper-and-brass, the back wall is nothing but liquor bottles stacked to the ceiling, and photos of famous people and local celebs who have dined and drunk there are everywhere. A favorite of the after-work business set, the atmosphere in the bar tends to be one of civilized fun. Just about anyone can hoist a few here in comfort and class, and the bartenders are especially well known for their martinis, of which they have an impressive variety. Continue Reading


2001 Lyndale Ave. S, Mpls., 612-872-1688

Mortimer's is a no-nonsense, working-man's bar with cheap, strong drinks and not a whole lot else. It's a dive bar, pure and simple, especially if what you want to dive into is a spirited game of foosball, darts, or other arcade games. Although it has a large bar and a dining-room the space, it fills up easily on the weekends. You've gotta love a place that has $1.50 shots at the top of each hour past 10 p.m. Unless you don't like that sort of place at all, in which case Mortimer's is not for you. Continue Reading

Moscow on the Hill

Moscow on the Hill

371 Selby Ave, St. Paul, 651-291-1236

Nostalgic for the Old Country? Located in the shadow of the elegant St. Paul Cathedral, Moscow on the Hill offers all the best of Eastern European dining: borscht, vareniki, caviar, and, of course, crisp, smooth vodkas to lighten the meal in a lively atmosphere (don’t miss the accordion music on Friday and Saturday night). Head to the funky, eclectically outfitted lounge side for a drink. Try their house-recipe, horseradish-infused vodka distilled in Wisconsin, but don’t be surprised to find yourself tempted by the food. Continue Reading



2940 Lyndale Ave. S., Mpls., 612-821-6262

From the owner of the Herkimer comes the first sake brewpub outside of Japan. Made in house, the delicious sake (served cold, hot sake is for amateurs) is a bonus to the bar's sleek design, hip Uptown crowd, and a menu that is filled with fantastic Asia street food ranging from $2-$12. The perfect place to sip (try the tasting menu if you are new to sake) and nibble the night away. 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


Northeast Social

359 13th Ave. NE, Minneapolis, 612-877-8111

Settling into a seat at the Northeast Social feels like settling into an old leather chair: comfortable, classic, and inviting. The dark green hues, low lights, distorted portraits on the wall, clean interior and low-key-yet-classy atmosphere make the place feel like a contemporary hideout for the Victorian crowd. The Northeast Social lives up to its name, as it is a perfect place for an intimate evening with no distractions. Music pipes quietly out of the stereo, just enough to provide some background beats without ever overpowering the conversation. The patrons are a mix of ages and styles, and the friendly staff welcomes all. The menu offers a modest selection of seasonal, contemporary American dishes with European influences, making the Northeast ideal for a dinner date or appetizers and a drink. The Northeast serves quality beers and hard-to-find wines–no liquor–and for the teetotalers, there are Orangina and Mexican Coke (you know, the kind with real cane sugar) among other unusual and tasty selections. Continue Reading

Nye's Polonaise Room

Nye's Polonaise

112 Hennepin Ave. E., Mpls., 612-379-2021

There is someone wandering the streets of Nordeast, holding a copy of Esquire's 2006 edition of Best Bars in America, looking for the beautiful, brightly emblazoned sign reading Nye's Polonaise, a holy marker of what a bar should be. This place, they expect, will change their lives. They'll find hope in a lackluster nightlife scene. They'll find originality among the cookie-cutter culture of clubs. But, of course, in reality they will find a half-supper club/half-dive-bar concoction where patrons of just about every age, make, and model ignore the Formica tables and flowered carpet for the sounds of Ruth Adams' Most Dangerous Polka Band. This person, Esquire in hand, will find themselves looking quizzically around the room, along with other first-time patrons, asking himself, "This is the infamous Nye's?" Yes, it is. In all of its kitschy glory. Enjoy. Continue Reading


Oceanaire Seafood Room

50 So. 6th Street, Mpls., 612-333-2277

The Oceanaire Seafood Room is regarded as one of the best seafood restaurants in the Twin Cities, a reputation that spills over into the fabulous oyster bar and appetizers. The bar a popular gathering place for hotel guests and convention-goers, so there are a lot of people in suits, but the urban professional clientele also means that the bar area doesn't get to boisterous. It's a great place to go for a quite, classy drink, or to celebrate a special occasion. Continue Reading

O'Donovan's Irish Pub

700 1st Ave. N., Mpls., 612-317-8896

No need to hop on a plane to get a taste of the Irish life, feel like a true Celt at O’Donovan’s. Some eats are imported, like Glatee Black Pudding and Banger. But if the names alone scare you off, there’s still plenty of corned beef, salmon, and potato soup to please the crowds. Continue Reading

O'Gara's Bar and Grill

164 Snelling Ave. N., St. Paul, 651-644-3333

When O’Gara’s opened in 1941, you could grab a pint of beer and get a haircut at the same time. The barbershop of Carl Schulz (father of Peanuts creator Charles Schulz) occupied what is now the game room at O’Gara’s. You can no longer get a buzz at O’Gara’s . . . well, OK, you can. You can’t get a trim, but if you like the idea of listening to live jazz, big band, or local music while sipping freshly brewed beer from the O’Gara’s Brew Pub, this is the place. Continue Reading

Old Chicago (Uptown)

2841 Hennepin Ave., Mpls., 612-870-1918

Uptown’s Old Chicago offers an everyman’s escape from the trendy self-consciousness of Hennepin Avenue.  Inside, you’ll find a comfortable, generic sports bar where you can knock down a grape ape with the locals, watch the sports of the season, or chat with the friendly servers. OC is great for football Sundays, especially if you like bickering with Cheeseheads.  In the summer, ample patio space lets you watch the scene on Hennepin Avenue from a safe distance. Continue Reading

Open Book

1011 Washington Avenue South # 301, Minneapolis, 612-215-2650

Otter Saloon

Otter's Saloon

617 Central Ave. SE, Mpls., 612-331-4169

Karaoke in a tiny neighborhood bar is a hazard—everyone just might know your name, so you can’t sink into relative obscurity after a particularly bad melody mangling—but it’s also a boon. After all, there’s plenty of moral support at the Otter because patrons know that by stepping through this Northeast bar’s doors on any given night, they’re going to hear a range of talent. It’s OK if you can’t find middle C. The audience might not be able to either—and they’ll love you anyway. 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

Park Tavern

3401 Louisiana Ave. S., Mpls., 952-929-6810

An apocryphal tale claims that St. Louis Park’s Park Tavern provided inspiration for Ethan and Joel Coen’s The Big Lebowski—and indeed, you can imagine Gary the Bartender offering up his sympathies from behind the alley bar to any of the myriad personalities who come by for a pint, or just to roll. More than a bowling alley, the Tavern offers a dining room with a bar, and yet a third bar with darts and billiards in the appropriately-named eleventh frame. Nightly specials—including free bowling Monday nights and a bargain happy hour—keep the place hopping all week long. Continue Reading

Missy Kissling behind the bar at Parlour


730 N. Washington Ave., Mpls., 612-354-3135

Lead barman Jesse Held shakes up heritage liqueurs, house made syrups, and top-notch service in Borough's downstairs cocktail den. The burger ain't bad either. Continue Reading

Patrick McGovern's

Patrick McGovern's

225 W. 7th St., St. Paul, 651-224-5821

Patrick McGovern’s is the kind of place where you have to fight for a drink. The upstairs gets PACKED with Wild fans and concertgoers who have made McGovern’s the Mecca of pre- and post-Xcel event rowdiness. Bartenders and servers are often overwhelmed, and the imported tap beers and bottles of whiskey have been known to run dry on the busiest nights. But if you’re looking for a crowd—the kind of place where any open space can turn into a makeshift dance floor past midnight, and inebriated guys in Wild jerseys pass out wedding proposals along with free shots—McGovern’s is the place. If you want a more peaceful pub scene, check the Xcel’s event calendar before heading out; on off nights, McGovern’s is just another neighborhood Irish pub. Continue Reading

Plum's Neighborhood Bar & Grille

480 Snelling Ave. S., St. Paul, 651-699-2227

A favorite hangout for the college crowd (St. Kate’s, Macalaster, and St. Thomas are all within a mile radius), Plum’s usually has a line flowing out the door on Thursdays through Saturdays when school is in session. Things slow down considerably in the summer, though the patio scene attracts its share of summer-schoolers. Saturdays are DJ night, and mainstream rock from various decades is usually the playlist of choice, but local rock bands play there occasionally as well. The décor features plenty of wood, a few booths, and mostly small bar tables. Burgers and sandwiches are available in all the familiar configurations, and the beer and drink selection is adequate to wash it all down, but not much more. Continue Reading


Pracna on Main

117 SE Main St., Mpls., 612-379-3200

Pracna on Main bills itself as the "oldest continuously running restaurant on the oldest street in Minneapolis,” and it’s one of the best places to enjoy a spectacular view of the Mississippi River. Sip a cocktail outside on the cobblestone sidewalk while taking in the vitality of St. Anthony Main in the summertime. Head inside when the weather is cold to warm up with an appetizer, such as Pracna’s signature baby corn dogs, or one of the twenty beers on tap. The cozy atmosphere, dark wooden bar, and historic photos will bring you back to a time when riverfront life was much simpler. Continue Reading



821 Marquette Ave S, Mpls., 612-597-2413

Feeling swanky? Head up to the 27th floor at the Foshay, and you'll be in good company. Pink sconce lighting guides your way into the nooks and crannies of this dimly lit, modern-chic bar. Don't forget your suit and tie, or stilettos and micro-mini dress. Drinks can be on the expensive side individually, but Prohibition also invites its clientele to spread the love. Some drinks on the menu are meant to be shared with two or more people, and always get a reaction when they bubble and fog up with dry ice. Continue Reading

Psycho Suzi's Motor Lounge

Psycho Suzi's Motor Lounge

1900 NE Marshall St., Mpls., 612-788-9069

Tropical décor, tropical drinks, beers you’ve never heard of, and a full menu until 1:20 a.m., make this kitschy Northeast tiki joint as comfortable as a beach shirt and a pair of flip-flops. It’s dark and always packed inside, but don’t let that deter you: There aren’t many places in town that have more character than this huge converted church space, or more tatooed pin-up attitude. And during the summer, Psycho Suzi’s sprawling patio along a quiet stretch of Mississippi is as good as it gets. Continue Reading

Red Stag Supperclub

Red Stag Supperclub

509 1st Ave. N., Mpls., 612-767-7766

If you're looking for a place to take your in-laws from Wisconsin and your card-carrying Green Peace sister, Red Stag should have you covered. As a "Supper Club," it harkens back to a time when we didn't worry about carbon footprints or where our food was coming from, but as the first Gold LEED-certified restaurant and bar in Minnesota, it respects our earth and the times that we live in. But what really matters, as a bar patron, is that the space looks great—carved wood bar, red and black carpet, low beams, an interesting montage of art (most of it salvaged and reused)—and the drinks are everything you would expect at a supper club. Continue Reading


Redstone Grill

8000 Eden Rd., Eden Prairie, 952-903-9500

Don't mistake the scene at Redstone's suburban outposts as desperate. The women are Botoxed and the men brag about their money, but it is still the place for the suburban over-forty to find love. Or at least love for the night. Eden Prairie's raucous seen-and-be-seen mix of quixotic babes and boys from the boardroom creates the decor, and decoration is frivolous. Though at times a bit manic, it's suburbia's hottest scene. 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

Restaurant Alma

528 University Ave SE, Mpls., 612-379-4909

Led by head chef and Brasa owner Alexander Roberts, Alma offers neighborhood chic dining in an airy, modern space. Known for their seasonal tasting menus that make good use of local ingredients, and their extensive wine list, Alma is a classy place to take a date or pop in for a casual drink. A caveat: the wine bar is only available for waiting diners on crowded nights, but making a meal of it a Alma wouldn’t be the worst idea you ever had. Continue Reading

Restaurant Max

215 S. 4th St., Mpls., 612-340-2000

There's something sexy about Restaurant Max. Maybe it's the fuchsia glow coming from the futuristic, artsy pods that surround large marble columns left over from the space's former life as a bank. Maybe it's the cute, young waitstaff who have smiles that can wipe away the stress of a long downtown day. Maybe its the addictive tangy-sweet flatbreads or the cute professionals who plop down in the lush seating. Whatever it is, the bar at Restaurant Max has given that nightlife-deprived section of downtown Minneapolis something to get excited about. Continue Reading

Rock Bottom Brewery

Rock Bottom Brewery

825 Hennepin Ave., Mpls., 612-332-2739

Located on Hennepin Avenue in the middle of the theater district, Rock Bottom Brewery is a popular happy-hour spot for both the after-work crowd and the pre-theater crowd. Getting a seat on Friday evening is next to impossible, but there are plenty of pool tables to hang around in back, and the servers will track you down wherever you decide to plant your feet. For drinkers, the main draw is the beer, micro-brewed onsite in varying levels of transparency and heft. All are more interesting than the suds on tap at most places in town, and the eats you can order with them (it’s also a full-service restaurant) are tasty as well, with no skimping on portions. The décor is standard-issue corporate brew-pub, but the atmosphere is friendly, and if you’re headed to the State, Orpheum, or Pantages theaters, the location couldn’t be more convenient. Continue Reading

Rouge at the Lounge

411 2nd Ave. N., Mpls., 612-333-8800

A lush and cozy couch-filled interior, exotic animal skin accents, and velvet pillows have made Rouge the lexicon of cool for more than a decade, attracting the beautiful people, the best DJs, and even Prince. It’s a shame it’s so dark—you have to squint to see the pretty people as they sip fancy ’tails and dance to the global sound of the rotating DJs. Continue Reading


107 N. Washington Ave.,, Mpls., 612-332-7158

Located in the North Loop of Minneapolis, this quiet sports bar is the sort of traditional, non-descript establishment you can find in any city in America. Continue Reading


Salut Bar Americain

917 Grand Ave, St. Paul, 651-917-2345

Approchez-vous Grand Avenue for a taste of ze French life! Decorated with frogs and curly mustaches, Salut is the perfect place to sit down with a glass of wine and order Le Cheeseburger Royale. Sit down at ze Frog Bar for some hearty meat dining and a wide variety of wines and beers. The summer patio scene is one of the best in St. Paul, with plenty of umbrellas and twinkle lights to create that distinctive piazza-like atmosphere. Continue Reading


Seven the Steakhouse

700 Hennepin Ave., Mpls., 612-238-7777

The stylish and sexy Seven Sushi (above the sleek Seven the Steakhouse) has become a haven for the TC elite who are looking for a place that everyone else hasn't found—yet. Seven also has one of downtown's best patio scenes, complete with a fabulous rooftop view of the skyline. Don't go for the sushi, go for the scene. Continue Reading

Sneaky Pete's

14 N. 5th St., Mpls., 612-333-8820

When watching MTV no longer fulfills and you’re looking for the closest thing in real life to a music video, Sneaky Pete’s awaits, dance floor packed, poles erected, booties being shaken on the bar. The staff tries to maintain a vibe of beach-chic sexy and friendly, Dionysian fun. A disco ball keeps it dizzy, and when live bands aren’t rocking the place, DJs are mixing it up from the booth. Continue Reading

Social House

2919 Hennepin Ave, Mpls., 612-824-6300

Orange backlighting and Japanese lanterns are the inspiration for this new Uptown bar and sushi lounge. Sit at a table, the bar, or comfortable lounge couches as you enjoy one of the specialty mojitos, some sake, or whichever form of sushi you prefer. Relaxing and dignified, Social House has all the hand-crafted cocktails and exotic appetizers you didn't know you were craving. Continue Reading



900 Hennepin Ave., Mpls., 612-338-0062

Enjoy plates of Chef Jorge Guzman's tapas with queso, grilled pork sausage, and beef pintxos at this Hennepin Theatre District art nouveau bar and the rooftop patio. Seemingly bereft of any sharp angles, the flowy design is ornamented with tile mosaic on the tables and the floor. And, if you do tire of undulating to whichever DJ is tucked away in the corner and need a late-night pit stop, you won't be forced to go to Block E. In the summer, don't miss the rooftop bar that hosts DJs, movies, and more. Continue Reading

Spill the Wine

901 W. Lake St., Mpls., 612-339-3388

Spill the Wine has relocated to Lake Street, with raw reclaimed wood inside and out for a cozy, classed-up atmosphere Uptown. The interior features a full service dining room and wine bar on one side, and a comfortable lounge area with a wine wall-display on the other. With the relaxed ambiance, small plate menu, and affordable wine flights, this locale is a becoming a popular pick for happy hour goers. Continue Reading

Stella's Fish Cafe

1400 W. Lake St., Mpls., 612-824-8862

Shimmy up to the raw bar for fresh oysters and ceviche, or take a seat at the regular bar for two-for-one cocktails during a twice-nightly happy hour. Stella's is more than a fish cafe. It's a top destination for young nine-to-fivers looking to unwind, especially on temperate nights when the slow-moving elevator brings patrons up to a beautiful rooftop deck. Come nightfall, the clientele gets younger and the bar more crowded, but Stella's remains a relaxed place to schmooze over seafood and spirits. 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


Sushi Tango

3001 Hennepin Ave., Mpls., 612-822-7787

Tango is the type of place you go to meet people, a place where people know the chefs and servers by their first name and play Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon with JD behind the bar. Once you sidle up for sushi, you’re automatically BFF with the rollicking chefs wielding shots along with the sashimi. Led by owner Teng “Tengo” Thao, the Sushi Tango crowd trends toward younger, hipper couples and groups grabbing a bite before or after hitting some other Uptown spots. For first timers, ordering a Demon Releaser (saki, quail egg, and an oyster) is the Asian equivalent to ziggy, zaggy, ziggy, zaggy, oi, oi, oi—and after taking down the shot, newbies have been know to, well, release a few demons before buying a batch for their unsuspecting neighbors. Continue Reading

Sweeny's Saloon and Café

96 N. Dale St., St. Paul, 651-221-9157

For 30 years Sweeney’s has been a popular watering hole for neighborhood folks in St. Paul looking for classic bar cuisine and a wide selection of beer. The 19th-century brick facade sets the tone for the saloon’s wooden booths and long narrow interior. When the weather cooperates, there's a large patio with it’s own full bar and a stone fireplace. If you prefer the hard stuff, try the ginger-infused Jameson they make onsite. And if it's munchies you're craving, try the killer nachos. Continue Reading

Terminal Bar

Terminal Bar

409 E. Hennepin Ave., Mpls., 612-623-4545

Everyone these days seems conflicted about Terminal Bar. The thumbnail history is that Terminal used to be a hangout for the old Northeast crowd, but then punks moved in, and the punks were eventually squeezed out by the new Northeast condo crowd. But the fact of the matter is that Terminal Bar is an everyman’s place that caters to an eclectic crowd and has bands most every night, featuring music of almost every kind. The Monday night open mic is particularly popular with the regulars, and the cover never runs much more than $5. The drink prices have gone up over the years, but then, Terminal wouldn’t be quite the same if there weren’t something to gripe about. Continue Reading

The Brass Rail

422 Hennepin Ave, Mpls., 612-333-3016

If male dancers and great drink specials are up your alley, then head to The Brass Rail Lounge in downtown Minneapolis. The interior was recently remodeled, upgrading the décor but maintaining the place's almost uncomfortable intimacy (again, the phrase "male dancer" is what makes the Brass Rail "experience" unique). The lighting is dim and the food menu isn't particularly imaginative, but the lounge offers nice VIP rooms, and you can’t go wrong with $3 domestics every day during happy hour. Continue Reading


The Bulldog

2549 Lyndale Ave. S., Mpls., 612-872-8893

Open the heavy wooden doors open and it’s clear that The Bulldog has been around for a while. The Uptown Bulldog isn’t as hip as its Northeast sibling, but the no-nonsense atmosphere somehow makes it seem more authentic. Or maybe it’s because the faint scent of burning cigarettes is permanently embedded into the furniture, and the dim glow of neon beer signs unlocks a Pavlovian response for bar food and brew, (the two main reasons to go here). The place is so down-to-earth that ordering a gin and tonic could sound pretentious. It would be silly, too, when the bar boasts such an impressive menu of high-end Belgian ales. Continue Reading


The Bulldog (Lowertown)

237 E. 6th St, St. Paul, 651-221-0750

The beer list is the big draw here, impressively long and full of import and local brews. You can even opt for a flight of beer to sample more than one. Perfectly located for a night of downtown bar-hopping, Bulldog has a neighborhood feel with a lively vibe, and if you manage to snag a table, the bar-food-gone-gourmet menu will give you a reason to stay. Pastrami, bratwurst with sauerkraut, and burgers topped with Stilton cheese and roasted garlic—all make a fine meal, whether it’s en route to another bar or the main event. Continue Reading


The Bulldog NE

401 Hennepin Ave. E., Mpls., 612-378-2855

Always bustling on weeknights and weekends, The Bulldog NE is a high-class sports bar, serving up mouthwatering burgers, tempting Tater Tots, and a great selection of beer and specialty drinks. With several flat-screen TVs and plenty of hightop tables, this neighborhood haunt is the place to go in Nordeast for watching the big game (if you don't mind a somewhat noisy crowd). Continue Reading


The Butcher Block

308 Hennepin Ave. E., Minneapolis, 612-455-1080

It used to be Fugaise, so it would be easy think you’ve come to the wrong place for a cheap drink and a heaping plate of chicken wings. Never fear, this is it. No fewer than 29 flavors of wings grace the menu ranging from a traditional Frank’s Red Hot to the White Trash wing smothered in mashed potatoes, slow-roasted pork, and topped off with crunchy potato chips, or sweeter glazes like the Blackberry Red Wine or Maple Brown Sugar. Authentic Italian fare and grass-fed, sustainable meats make this a great choice for an intimate date night or celebratory dinner. The real kicker is that this place is open ‘til the wee hours of 4 a.m. with food for the post-bar crowd. 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 Freight House

305 S. Water St., Stillwater, 651-439-5718

Nestled on the St. Croix riverbed in historic Stillwater, it’s long been a favorite spot among families for daytime eats, but The Freight House also boasts an evening happy hour with cheap drinks and appetizers, a picturesque deck (the perfect setting for sipping a beer in summer months), a gazebo bar, and a fun late-night atmosphere. The building was originally slated as a freight depot in 1883 and is now recognized on the National Registry of Historic Places. Historic black-and-white images and wooden-plank floors give the interior a nostalgic charm, but it’s the outdoor view that really draws the crowd. Continue Reading

The Gay 90s

408 Hennepin Ave., Mpls., 612-333-7755

Wait, is it still the 90s? I've spent so much time dancing to trance-induncing techno at the 90s I've lost all sense of time. The largest GLBT complex in the upper Midwest, The 90s (yes, also known as The Gay 90s) is everyone-friendly. By far its busiest night is Sunday, when it’s 18+ and all three dance floors are packed. The two dance floors downstairs are polar opposites—one playing techno and the other pumping out rap hits. Head upstairs to the La Femme Lounge for the best drag show in the Cities, with performances Wednesday through Sunday. Hit the Retro Room upstairs to dance to everything from Britney to Madonna and then some. The six bars serve strong drinks, and get ready for a shock or two—you’ll see a little bit of everything here, whether you want to or not. Continue Reading

The Halftime Rec

The Halftime Rec

1013 Front Ave., St. Paul, 651-488-8245

Old-timers will tell you that the Halftime Rec, once the bar for live Irish music in the Twin Cities, lost some of its soul when it converted its back music room to a country-western theme. Others—namely those who like country music, blues, and bluegrass—will tell you the scene has never been better. Continue Reading

The Happy Gnome

498 Selby Ave., St. Paul, 651-287-2018

With more than 72 beers on tap and over a 100 in the bottle, the Gnome's tap never runs dry. But it's not the booze that makes the Gnome one of Pig's Eye's hottest spots, it's that "everybody knows your name," feeling when you walk in the door. It's the buzz from the dining room, full of families, colleges students, and young professionals munching on game burgers, 21-day aged New York strip, and dark chocolate torte. It's the laid-back, welcoming vibe you get from the wait staff, whether ordering an imported beer or a good-old Miller. It's knowing that a Wild or Twins game will always be on the TV. And yeah, it's about that creepy little gnome. Continue Reading

The Hat Trick Lounge

134 E. 5th St., St. Paul, 651-228-1347

Located deep in the heart of downtown St. Paul—so deep that there isn’t much else going on around it—The Hat Trick Lounge is a no-frills watering hole catering to the hockey and slow-pitch softball set. On Friday and Saturday nights, however, one of the place’s neatest “tricks” is that it books some surprisingly good local music acts in a variety of genres, from blues, funk, soul, R & B and psychadelia to bluegrass, Texas swing, and the occasional acoustic fingerpicker or guitar-strumming troubadour. The beer selection leans toward the cheap and watery, and the food is either fried or grilled, but the vibe is friendly and there’s always a game to watch. Continue Reading

The Herkimer Pub & Brewery

2922 Lyndale Ave. S., Mpls., 612-821-0101

What's not to love about a real bar, with deep dark booths, that serves its own beer and offers miniburgers to boot. And by "brews their own beer," we mean "brews super good beers that run the gamut from light to dark so don't be the jerk who tries to order a Coors Light." Continue Reading

The Imperial Room

The Imperial Room

417 1st Ave. N., Mpls., 612-376-7676

With its faux-marble bar up front and goofy, cubistic paintings hanging above the faux-leather sofas in back, The Imperial Room caters to a more relaxed Warehouse District crowd than its rump-bumping neighbors. Nevertheless, when DJs play, the tiny dance floor fills up. The upstairs lounge, which opens on Tuesdays and weekends, offers more sofas and a pleasant, almost-chic environment that’s nice for meeting new people. Frequent drink specials make the Imperial one of the best deals in town for a faux-classy night out. 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

The Liffey

The Liffey

175 W. 7th St., St. Paul, 651-556-1420

Step into downtown St. Paul’s The Liffey, Kieran Folliard’s pub named after an Irish river, and absorb the authentic Irish spirit. The interior comes straight from “back home,” with a 100-year-old wood floor salvaged from Irish buildings, Irish-handcrafted woodwork and painted glass, and horseshoe-shaped bar. Snug booths and hightop tables make the place perfect for toasting friends, or a date, with Jameson or Guinness. On weekends, bands such as the Saint Dominic’s Trio and Wild Colonial Bhoys serenade the crowd—patrons hear U2 and Van Morrison, as well as the tin whistle. The beautiful terrace is open May through October, weather permitting, and happy hour is more accurately called happy hours—specials run from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. The Liffey’s not just for the Irish, and not just on St. Patrick’s Day, luckily. Continue Reading

The Living Room

9th & Marquette, Mpls., 612-597-2413

It may seem a little odd to have a club in the middle of a hotel lobby, but at the W, that's nothing. Head over to the Foshay Tower's main entrance to get a direct view of the Minneapolis club scene. You'll feel out of place if you aren't dressed to impress. That means suits and ties for men, and short dresses and pumps for the ladies. Roam around the designated area to find the modern bar, hanging crystal beads, and numerous lounges throughout. This is not your average hotel lobby—it’s way, way above average. Continue Reading

The Local

The Local

931 Nicollet Mall, Mpls., 612-904-1000

For four years running, The Local has poured the largest volume of Jameson Irish Whiskey in the world. If that doesn't tell you what kind of fun you'll have at this downtown Irish pub, we don't know what will! Head there for happy hour and you'll find numerous young professionals (ahem, Target employees) enjoying the carved wooden scenery and a nice, refreshing pint. During the summer, the outdoor patio is a prime people-watching spot, so getting a seat can be a challenge. Those with patience will however be rewarded. Continue Reading

The Loop

The Loop

606 Washington Ave. N., Ste. 100, Mpls., 612-340-0010

Yeah, the guy with the faux hawk and designer jeans is watching you dance. But you're checking out the well-groomed guy behind him, who—unfortunately—is more interested in watching the miniskirt-clad twentysomething by the bar. But it's OK. You couldn't possibly start a conversation over the DJ's pounding mix of top-40 hits anyway. So you keep moving along to the pulse of the overcrowded floor and just dance—that's why you're at The Loop in the first place. Continue Reading


The Lyndale Tap House

2937 Lyndale Ave. S., Mpls., 612-825-6150

One of the latest additions to the neighborhood, it’s already a favorite among jocks and hipsters alike. Teeming with a “down home” feel, pair a brew with the restaurant’s specialty: Baltimore-style pit meat. Pinup-style portraits of women with livestock on a central Minnesota farm cover the dark wooden walls. Continue Reading

The Muddy PIg

The Muddy Pig

162 Dale St., St. Paul, 651-254-1030

If you’re looking for a place to catch the game, break the ice on a first date, or simply have a beer with some friends, the Muddy Pig has got you covered. This Selby-Dale mainstay teams with locals, boasts one of the largest craft-beer menus you’ll ever flip the pages of, and it has some decent food too. The service can lag sometimes—but don’t cross the Pig off your list for it. Go, relax, drink, enjoy—in an all-purpose establishment that appeals to just about everyone. Continue Reading


The News Room

990 Nicollet Mall, Mpls., 612-343-0073

A great place for a quick drink with your coworkers, this newspaper-inspired restaurant is one of the best-decorated downtown spots. The walls are covered with blown-up black and white news articles, and each room is organized by section (Business, Sports, Entertainment, etc.). Select tabletops hold old wooden-type letters, and the center bar is constructed to look like an old ship, complete with a newspaper-reading mermaid at the front. With a wide selection of beers, wines, and appetizers, it's no surprise that happy hour is usually hopping. Stay for dinner and choose from a full menu of pastas, sandwiches, soups, and salads. Continue Reading


The Rail Station Bar & Grill

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

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

The Record Room

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

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


The Red Sea

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

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

Exterior of The Saloon bar in downtown Minneapolis

The Saloon

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

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


The Shout House

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

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

The Ugly Mug

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

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


Toast Wine Bar

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

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


Town Hall Brewery

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

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

Triple Rock Social Club

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

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

Tuggs Tavern

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

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

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

Turf Club

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

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

Varsity Theater

Varsity Theater

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

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

Vegas Lounge

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

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


Vic's Dining and Restaurant

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

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

W.A. Frost

W.A. Frost

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

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

Whiskey Junction

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

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

Whitey's World Famous Saloon

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

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

Wild Onion

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

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

Williams Uptown Pub & Peanut Bar

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

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

wxyz bar

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

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


Zahtar By Fhima

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

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



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

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