Do you love America? Do you love beer? If your answer is “yes” to both of these questions, then listen up: here are the best booze joints located in each of the 50 states. Call them whatever you want — pubs, taverns, cantinas, bodegas, saloons, roadhouses, lounges, rathskellers (bet you didn’t know that was a word) — wherever you go, there’s one for you.
1. Alabama: The Nick
Located in Birmingham, The Nick offers live music, cheap drinks, and a whole lot of history — everything you could ever want from a dive bar. Often called the CBGB of the South, The Nick has been open for over 30 years and has had bands like The Black Crowes and The Red Hot Chili Peppers perform on its stage.
2. Alaska: Darwin’s Theory
If you’re looking for an authentic Alaskan experience, then head to downtown Anchorage and stop by Darwin’s Theory. As the name would suggest, Darwin’s Theory is laid-back and quirky. It’s a local favorite, complete with a jukebox and free popcorn. Be sure to order a “Red Hot” when you get there!
3. Arizona: Positano Winecafé
Feelin’ classy? Phoenix’s Positano Winecafé offers an extensive wine list to be enjoyed alongside locally sourced cuisine. Located in a newly renovated 1950s-era post office, Positano Winecafé oozes glamour with its hand-carved bar, communal dining spaces, and candlelit patio.
4. Arkansa: Midtown Billiards
What, exactly, sets this Little Rock favorite apart from the rest of the bars in Arkansas? Sure, it has a jukebox and pool tables and, sure, it’s open until 5 A.M. But what really makes Midtown Billiards so special is its unusual take on interior design. I’m talking about a chandelier made of PBR cans, people — that’s right, PBR cans. It really doesn’t get any more American than that.
5. California: Wilson & Wilson
Wilson & Wilson isn’t just a speakeasy — it’s a speakeasy within a speakeasy. Hidden inside of the famed Bourbon & Branch bar in downtown San Francisco, Wilson & Wilson is detective themed. It has a 1920s, film noir era atmosphere complete with vintage cash registers and menus that look like documents from old court cases.
6. Colorado: My Brother’s Bar
Colorado is filled to the brim with cozy après-ski haunts. Step inside any hotel lobby and you’ll be sure to find mahogany-lined fireplaces and mounted moose heads galore.
If you’re interested in seeing the real Colorado, however, (that is, the state as it exists beyond a tourist’s perspective) then head to My Brother’s Bar in Denver’s Highland neighborhood. As the city’s oldest operating bar, My Brother’s Bar is famous for being a favorite of Jack Kerouac’s and a passionate vendor of Girl Scout Cookies — to name a few.
7. Connecticut: The Spread
Connecticut’s South Norwalk neighborhood (also known as SoNo) has recently undergone a Brooklyn-esque transformation that has resulted in a proliferation of hip restaurants and bars throughout its streets.
The Spread accounts for just one of these new hangouts. Both the menu (designed by Chef Carlos Baez, a native of Mexico City) and the ambience exude an eclectic, playful vibe. The industrial-style dining room is complemented by a breezy outdoor patio, which houses live entertainment several nights a week. The best part: The Spread’s “Liquid Brunch” served on Sundays from 11:00 to 4:00 PM.
8. Delaware: Dogfish Head Brewing & Eats
Got a sweet tooth? Try Dogfish Head Brewing & Eats, located in Rehoboth Beach. Famous for its delicious, dessert-themed cocktails, Dogfish Head makes a mean PB Tini, which consists of peanut butter vodka, Godiva chocolate liqueur, and chocolate syrup. Not weird enough for you? Order an IPA-battered codfish for dinner, complete with hop-pickle tartar service.
9. Florida: Sloppy Joe’s
The Sunshine State is infamous for its Spring Break bars (PCB, anyone?), but you’re more than just a cliché frat bro — you want culture, too. Instead of explaining to your parents how you spent all of your money on a wet t-shirt contest, why not tell them you visited an old haunt of Ernest Hemingway’s?
Located in Key West, Sloppy Joe’s is the best of both worlds: history and booze. During the day, it exists as a quasi-museum, in which people can browse old photos of the famous author and chow down on lunch fare. At night, however, it’s a vibrant bar scene: live music and all the rum your heart could desire.
10. Georgia: Victory Sandwich Bar
There are a lot of options to choose from when it comes to bars worth visiting in Georgia (particularly in Atlanta), but for twenty-somethings, Victory Sandwich Bar takes the cake. It’s the perfect spot for a lunchtime get-together with friends. Sit outside for some fresh air and relaxation, or inside for Ping-Pong and old movies. Either way, the drinks are cheap and the sliders are hot.
11. Hawaii: House Without a Key
It might be cliché, but if you’re in Hawaii and not drinking at a beachside bar, then what are you doing? Most outdoor spots on the Islands are attached to a hotel or resort but, fear not, that doesn’t necessarily make them all cheesy.
Take Honolulu’s House Without a Key, for example: traditional Hawaiian music and hula accompany a warm breeze and ocean views. An offshoot of the five-star Halekulani Hotel, House Without a Key boasts an incredible reputation based on its stellar combination of tropical drinks (order a Mai Tai) and live entertainment.
12. Idaho: Bittercreek Ale House
In Boise? Looking for a good beer? If your answer just so happens to be “yes” to both of these questions, then head to Bittercreek Ale House. This not-so-typical gastropub offers an extensive beer, wine, and cocktail list based on seasonal flavors like dandelion and hazelnut. And it takes its food menu pretty seriously, too. Bittercreek Ale House sources nearly all of its ingredients both locally and eco-consciously.
13. Illinois: The Green Mill
Originally a hangout of Al Capone, the Green Mill epitomizes Chicago with its intertwining thematics of jazz music and organized crime. The uptown bar is a fixture in the Windy City’s nightlife and entertainment scene. Head there on Sunday nights for their famous poetry slams!
14. Indiana: The Blarney Stone
Located in the thriving metropolis of South Bend, The Blarney Stone (a.k.a. Finni’s) is an all-time favorite of students from the University of Notre Dame and other local colleges.
Once a Thursday-night-only spot, Finni’s now attracts crowds on nearly every day of the week. Stop in for great deals on drinks, beer pong tournaments, and DJ selections that will make you party like it’s 2011. The ambience leaves a little to be desired but, when it all comes down to it, Finni’s is sure to leave you with a night you’ll always forget.
15. Iowa: Wellman’s Pub and Rooftop
Wellman’s Pub and Rooftop is situated in West Des Moines and boasts an incredible — you guessed it — rooftop. With a wide selection of food and drinks, It’s the ideal place for spending a summer night out with friends.
The bar attracts a large sports crowd so if you’re looking to watch a game, even better. Wellman’s offers a great boozy brunch deal (unlimited mimosas or bloody mary’s for just $12) so be sure to make your way over there on the weekend!
16. Kansas: Kirby’s Beer Store
In the infamously conservative state of Kansas, North Wichita offers a uniquely counter-cultural gem: Kirby’s Beer Store.
Kirby’s has a long history of attracting politicians and academics alike, as well as hosting a plethora of underground music talent. It’s a quintessential dive bar, but in the best way possible: cheap beer, familiar company, and great music. The ambience is intimate, so if things get too crowded be sure to head to the bar’s outdoor patio in the back.
17. Kentucky: The Silver Dollar
Do the whole, two-birds-one-stone thing at The Silver Dollar, located in Louisville. Kentucky bourbon? Check. Chicken and waffles? Double check. And if you’re not in the mood for bourbon, then try another Kentucky-classic: a mint julep. Whatever you end up choosing, the Silver Dollar is the perfect place to visit if you’re interested in trying out a bit of southern flare.
18. Louisiana: Snake and Jake’s Christmas Club Lounge
Walk through any door on Bourbon Street, New Orleans and you’ll be sure to find yourself in an overcrowded, tourist-infested, vomit-covered bar. If you want a real taste of NOLA, beyond Mardi Gras, stop by Snake and Jake’s Christmas Club Lounge.
A legend amongst the Louisiana dive bar scene, Snake and Jake’s often provides its customers with sunglasses so that they can be adequately prepared for when they leave in the morning. They’re open every night of the year, including Christmas, which explains the name (the giant light-up Santa might also have something to do with it).
19. Maine: Jameson Tavern
Often referred to as the “Birthplace of Maine,” Jameson Tavern was apparently the location in which the pioneers of Maine first declared their independence from the state of Massachusetts. Happy hour starts every day at 2:30, so be sure to try the famous lobster stew alongside one a beer especially brewed for the Tavern. Fun fact: they’re haunted — and by more than one ghost!
20. Maryland: Hard Yacht Cafe
Often called the best kept secret in Dundalk, Maryland (how many secrets does that place have?) the Hard Yacht Cafe is located on Bear Creek, a.k.a the “Redneck Riviera,” and offers Caribbean-style favorites such as conch fritters, fried shrimp, and fish tacos. The drinks are similarly reminiscent of salt water (try a Watermelon Crush or Liquid Sunshine), as is the ambience that features steel drum soundtracks and waterfront views.
21. Massachusetts: J.J. Foley’s Café
Sometimes trendy is good, but in a city like Boston that is rich in history and tradition, it’s better to take a chance on an old faithful like J.J. Foley’s Bar.
Owned by the same family for over four generations, J.J.’s is an authentic Irish-American Pub located in the South End. It offers a prohibition-era bar as well as a seated dining room, so it’s perfect for whatever kind of dining or drinking mood you’re in. A Boston mainstay, J.J.’s often sees the intermingling of college kids, priests, politicians, and pro-athletes.
22. Michigan: Kalamazoo Beer Exchange
Often called the “stock market of beer,” the Kalamazoo Beer Exchange bases its drink prices on supply and demand. If you’re into Wall Street, finance, or gambling, then this is the place for you. And if you’re too drunk to care, it’s still pretty fun.
Cross your fingers for a market crash, which will result in ludicrously low prices. With 28 beers and counting on tap, there’s sure to be something that will make both you and your wallet happy.
23. Minnesota: Able Seedhouse and Brewery
Able Seedhouse and Brewery is the eco-friendly, farm-to-table joint of the beer world. Using only locally-farmed grain, the ingredients in Able Seedhouse beers are made for quality — not quantity. As a whole, the space is cozy. It offers a Douglas fir bar against a charred wood backdrop and an outdoor patio complete with a fire pit.
24. Mississippi: Pig and Pint
Boasting one of the largest selections of craft beer in the state of Mississippi, the Pig & Pint provides its visitors with the ultimate southern experience. Upscale, eclectic BBQ choices (think: pork belly corn dogs and mango jicama slaw) are served outside on the picnic table-covered patio. Combine all of that with a reputation for playing great music, and the Pig & Pint is the ideal destination for casual get togethers in the summertime.
25. Missouri: Scotch and Soda
Scotch and Soda is reminiscent of some of the trendier cocktail lounges one stumbles upon in bigger cities like Manhattan or L.A. The atmosphere is lavish, but not in an intimidating way. Located in Springfield, Scotch and Soda is dark, modern, and sophisticated. It features a variety of seating options including plush couches, booths, and an outdoor patio.
Perfect for beer lovers and cocktail aficionados alike, Scotch and Soda offers an impressive array of dining fare to compliment one’s choice of drink (including a chocolate board — you know, like a cheese board, but with chocolate).
26. Montana: Plonk
Montana’s Plonk, an eclectic wine bar located in both Missoula and Bozeman, prides itself on having perfected the “trinity” of all bar stipulations: good food, wine, and music.
Visitors can stop in for a quick happy hour after work, or settle down for a nine-course meal in Plonk’s private cellar. The ambience epitomizes casual cool: exposed brick, string lights, and a multitude of contemporary art. Plonk is the ideal date night destination.
27. Nebraska – The Berry & Rye
Located in Omaha’s Historic Old Market, the Berry & Rye is a craft cocktail room inspired by the Pre-Prohibition era. Unlike a bar, the Berry & Rye has a seating-only policy, which means that guests are placed at tables by a host (much like at a restaurant). This is in order to ensure consistency in service and atmosphere — it’s perfect for a relaxing night out with friends.
The Berry & Rye’s approach to cocktails is experimental with a culinary twist. Be sure to try their signature drink: the Trinidad Smoke.
28. Nevada: Park on Fremont
Unsurprisingly, Nevada has a lot to choose from when it comes to cool drinking spots. My strategy was to choose the wackiest one as possible, because what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas. Enter: Park on Fremont.
The decor consists mostly of deer heads with guns for antlers and paintings of deranged looking little girls — oh, and a sign in the bathroom that reads “employees must say ‘Bloody Mary’ into the mirror three times before returning to work.” The drinks and the food are supposed to be pretty good, too. So take a break from all of the cheesiness that is Sin City and help yourself to a hearty slice of weird.
29. New Hampshire: Black Trumpet Bistro and Wine Bar
Located in Portsmouth, NH, Black Trumpet Bistro and Wine Bar is a go-to for anyone interested in finding a cozy, intimate setting for a night out on the town.
Overlooking the harbor, Black Trumpet has a historic, Old World feel that blends perfectly with its modern cuisine. Guests may enjoy a full meal in the Bistro’s dining room, or head upstairs for a more lively atmosphere at the Wine Bar.
30. New Jersey: The Stone Pony
Sure, the Stone Pony isn’t technically a bar, but it’s the most New Jersey-est of all New Jersey places ever.
Located in Asbury Park, it’s literally steps away from the boardwalk. Part-bar, part-concert venue, the Stone Pony has seen performers like Bon Jovi and Bruce Springsteen grace its stage. With plenty of booze, and plenty of history, it’s a bucket-list necessity for anyone craving live entertainment and dancing.
31. New Mexico: The 49er Lounge
The 49er Lounge is as Wild West as it gets. Located in the historic El Rancho Hotel in Gallop, New Mexico, it’s as well known for its beer as it is for its margaritas.
Both John Wayne and Ronald Reagan are said to have visited there way back when, while nowadays it’s home to weary travelers and western-aficionados alike. With its southwestern decor, cheap drinks, and friendly bar staff, the 49er Lounge is the perfect pit-stop for anyone making the long haul down Route 66.
32. New York: The Frying Pan
To natives of the Big Apple, this might seem like an obvious choice — but for good reason. From May to October, this docked Coast Guard ship is the perfect place to spend a lazy afternoon or weekend brunch with friends.
So grab a bucket of coronas or a pitcher of sangria and enjoy the view, because the Frying Pan is a rare respite from the hustle and bustle of New York City. Floating on the Hudson on Manhattan’s West Side, the Frying Pan offers cheap drinks and delicious seafood. Life hack: seasickness disappears after a few drinks.
33. North Carolina: Ben’s Tune Up
Asheville is a hipster’s paradise amidst the traditional confines of the South, and with it comes a fountain of cool dive bars and breweries.
What used to be an old auto shop is now Ben’s Tune Up, the outdoor bar and ramen bistro. Guests can wash down tasty japanese food with homemade sake in flavors ranging from apple cider to jalepeno. The atmosphere is rounded off with live music and repurposed decor, including old truck seats.
34. North Dakota: Würst Bier Hall
Würst Bier Hall is a German-style Restaurant & Bar in downtown Fargo, North Dakota. The menu features a wide variety of Oktoberfest classics: brats, pretzels, schnitzel, and all the beer your heart could ever desire. Würst Bier Hall has an industrial and wooden interior, which gives it the feel of a contemporary ski lodge — perfect for North Dakota’s icy climate.
35. Ohio: The Walrus
Like a lot of Columbus, The Walrus is new, hip, and filled with twenty-somethings. Located in the Red Brick District, it offers 30 beers on tap, a lengthy wine and cocktail list, and plenty of comfort food to help the booze go down easy (and by comfort food, I mean lobster pierogies, deep fried deviled eggs, and sweet potato tacos).
The interior feels upscale but familiar, adorned with multiple TVs for sports fans, a stage for live music performances, large booths for bigger groups of people, and an outdoor patio for when you’re in the need for a little Vitamin D. After you’re done at The Walrus, try any one of these Columbus late night spots to satisfy your after hours cravings.
36. Oklahoma: Hodges Bend
Thirsty? Tired? Head to Hodges Bend in Tulsa, which boasts an expansive menu of wine, cocktails and, most importantly, coffee. Seriously: their drink list ranges from Japanese cold brew to something called “Death in the Afternoon” ( made of sparkling wine, absinthe, and sugar cube).
If you’re with a larger group and in the mood for a good time, be sure to order one of their infamous punch bowls, which come with either rum or gin — your choice.
37. Oregon: Spin Laundry Lounge
Once again, Portland is one step ahead of everyone else in the cool department.Spin Laundry Lounge is the city’s part-bar, part-cafe, part-laundromat “it” destination for millennials everywhere. Oh, and did I mention it’s eco-friendly?
While you’re waiting for your delicates to dry (don’t worry: you’ll get a text when they’re done), you can sit back, relax, and enjoy free wifi a glass of vino. And if you’re not in the mood for drinking, there’s always the mini-arcade upstairs.
38. Pennsylvania: American Sardine Bar
Located in Point Breeze, Philadelphia, American Sardine Bar is a neighborhood favorite with a reputation for friendly service. The gastropub offers an ever-changing selection of microbrews alongside a menu of delicious sandwiches.
Best of all, American Sardine Bar serves boozy brunch on Mondays (and Saturdays and Sundays, obviously. But Mondays — that’s a big deal). During warmer weather, head outside to their spacious backyard, complete with string lights and fire pits.
39. Rhode Island: White Horse Tavern
Founded in 1673, Newport’s White Horse Tavern is said to be the oldest bar in the U.S. of A. — now that’s impressive. In fact, it was the go-to spot for Colonists, British Soldiers, and Pirates alike. So make like the Founding Fathers and get your beer on with a side of oysters from the raw bar.
40. South Carolina: The Recovery Room
Located in Charleston, the Recovery Room is a no-frills bar that exudes a humble appearance at first glance. And yet, in spite of that, it’s an all-time favorite for the city’s locals — especially those on the younger side.
Enjoy pinball, darts, pool, or whatever mode of competition your heart desires, just make sure you order it with a side of Tater Tachos, a Charleston staple. Fun fact: the Recovery Room has been nationally recognized for the amount of PBR cans they sell annually. If that’s not an accomplishment, then I don’t know what is.
41. South Dakota: Monks House of Ale Repute
Though this Sioux Falls bar is known mostly for its wide selection of beer, it offers some great cider alternatives as well. Be sure to order the fried green beans (a local favorite) or one of their homemade pizzas. Monk’s House of Ale Repute’s atmosphere is cozy and includes a crackling fireplace and an outdoor patio. The best part? You can bring your dog.
42. Tennessee: Acme Feed & Seed
The Acme Feed & Seed epitomizes Nashville. The multi-level venue features a rooftop patio, ample entertainment space for live performances, southern comfort food, and enticing cocktail lineup. The Acme aims to elevate honky tonk to a more upscale status, and it is undoubtedly successful in doing so. Hell, they even have a sushi bar.
43. Texas: Easy Tiger
Located in the Lone Star State’s hipster oasis of Austin, the Easy Tiger offers a lengthy selection of beers, wines, and craft cocktails. If you’re not in the mood for traditional bar fare, try one of their artisanal sandwiches — or, better yet, pay a visit to their bakery. Pastries and booze — what more could you ask for? The Easy Tiger is set up very much like a beer garden: open air seating, string lights, and ping pong tables abound.
44. Utah: The Viking Yurt
Utah’s drinking laws are, unsurprisingly, a little tricky. So it’s understandable that in order to get to a bar, you have to travel up a mountain via a snowcat-pulled-sleigh. Well, they aren’t all like that, but Park City’s Viking Yurt is. It’s totally worth it — that is, if you’re into drinking booze out of a goblet underneath a dome-shaped, pine tree tent. Because every drinking experience should feel like a medieval Nordic adventure.
45. Vermont: Whetstone Station Restaurant & Brewery
Technically speaking, Whetstone Station Restaurant & Brewery is the hippest spot in both Vermont and New Hampshire. That’s because the state line separating the two runs directly through the brewery — pretty cool, huh?
Located in Brattleboro, Whetstone Station overlooks the picturesque Connecticut River. Enjoy a view of Vermont’s beautiful fall foliage while sipping on one of the brewery’s IPAs with a side of pretzels and beer cheese.
46. Virginia: Epicure Café
Opened in 2010, Epicure Café serves as a creative, alcohol-filled hub for artistic folks from the greater D.C. metro area. Part-gallery, part-bar, and part-cafe, Epicure offers a slew of delicious food (appetizer platters, burgers, desserts — you name it) to go along with a menu of wine, beer, and coffee. Depending on the weather, live entertainment will perform either within the cafe, or upstairs on the star-lit rooftop.
47. Washington: Unicorn
Unicorn is a carnival-inspired bar (not your theme of choice — how about this?) located on Capitol Hill in Seattle, WA. The decor is bright and whimsical, overflowing with ornament, multicolored lights, zebra heads, and mirrors.
Weekly events include trivia, karaoke, live music performances, and “Mimosas with Mama,” Unicorn’s Sunday morning Drag brunch. Wash down your Pegasus Burger with the bar’s most popular cocktail, Unicorn Jizz.
48. Washington D.C.: Café Saint-Ex
Cafe Saint-Ex borrows both its name and its aviation-theme (think: tin roof) from the legendary French pilot, Antoine de Saint-Exupery. Guests can enjoy a pleasant sit-down meal outdoors, or head downstairs to Saint-Ex’s Gate 54, the café’s underground bar. During the day, Gate 54 offers an extensive beer menu, and from 6 to 10 PM, it has great deals for happy hour.
After hours is when the real magic happens: around midnight, Gate 54 hosts a full-on dance party that’s sure to bring visitors back to memories of their school days.
49. West Virginia: Bartini
Located in the extremely youthful city of Morgantown (statistics show that nearly 60% of its population are between the ages of 18 and 34), Bartini has an incredible array of wine, beer, and cocktails to offer its customers.
Try one of their signature martinis alongside a sushi tray to share with friends. Come early and enjoy acoustic performances from 6 to 9 PM. If you’re in the mood to jump around, live bands take the stage around Midnight.
50. Wisconsin: Great Dane Pub & Brewing Co.
A local favorite since forever, the Great Dane has a laid back kind of atmosphere perfect for any group looking for a guaranteed fun night out. Still not Wisconsin enough for you? Gamer or not, you’ve got to try their Big Buck Hunter. Animal lovers: stick to the pool table and shuffleboard.
51. Wyoming: Million Dollar Cowboy Bar
This bar takes the whole Western theme thing to an entirely new level, and for good reason — it’s located in Jackson, the picturesque land of mountain ranges and trail rides.
The inside of Million Dollar Cowboy Bar is completely decked out in rustic decor: swinging saloon doors, knotty pine furniture, Old West murals, mounted steer horns, and dollar bar tops. The stools are even made out of repurposed saddles (apparently they’re more comfortable than you would think).
Come for the beer, and stay for the country performances: Willie Nelson and Waylon Jennings have both graced Million Dollar’s stage.