25 Best College Bars in America Slideshow
The 901 Bar, previously named as one of the best college football bars in America, is perfect for both sports fans and those looking for cheap drinks. As great as the “Nine-0” is for watching USC football games and downing 2-for-1 drinks from 4 to 9 p.m., seven days a week, its lack of beer pitchers, shot specials, and distance from campus kept the bar from rising any higher in the rankings.
Chapel Hill’s bar, He’s Not Here, could have made it higher on the list if it served more than just beer, but don’t underestimate the bar just yet. If you are in possession of the famous 33-ounce “blue cup,” you can fill it up for between $3 and $6, depending on the night of the week. The balcony, courtyard full of picnic tables, and the fact that He’s Not Here is a mere 300 yards from fraternity court sets it apart from other college bars nationwide.
He's Not Here
The 22nd best college bar in America comes from a surprisingly place: the middle of nowhere, Ohio. The University of Dayton may not have the same “party school” reputation as other colleges in Ohio, but don’t let that fool you. Timothy’s Bar & Grill has a stripper pole and a killer drink named “The Wall.” Need we say more?
Penn State students get the entire package at Indigo: a club, a college bar, a football bar, and a killer happy hour from 10 p.m. until close. Nightly DJs provide music to dance to as you down your $2 Long Island Iced Tea and watch the big game on one of the 20-plus televisions.
It’s a bit of a trek from the UVM campus to Red Square Bar & Grill, but a little walk doesn’t deter undergraduates from making the bar/club the place to be in Burlington on the weekends. Two dance floors, free entry for college students on Fridays during the academic year, and a front patio provide the quintessential things a good college bar requires.
The mere fact that President Barack Obama has visited The Sink puts this bar on our list. Well that, and the juxtaposition of beer pong, giant jenga, cornhole, and amazing drink specials. Fans of the bar, “Sink Rats,” participate in “Flip night,” on Mondays. The concept is simple: flip a coin to pay either 25 cents or full price for your drink.
Named Playboy’s no. 1 party school in 2012, the University of Virginia had a lot to live up to when it came to the drinking scene. The Cavaliers didn’t disappoint with Coupe’s. Live music and an outdoor patio give this college bar a one-up on some of the other competition.
It started as an underdog in the rankings, but the “Jug” held its own among the larger schools and bars. Always crowded, this classic college bar is known for good music, dancing on any surface (bar included), and general debauchery. Proud Colgate alumni will always have a special place in their hearts for Frank Sinatra’s “New York, New York,” which plays as the Jug closes every night.
Many of the college bars that made the list are not known for their food selection. Hemingway’s Café in Pittsburgh, however, can add food to their list of claims to fame. Along with $2 drafts from 11 a.m to midnight, the café serves food from 9 p.m to midnight, at half price! Nervous to participate in Karaoke on Wednesday nights? Try one of the shot pitchers, and you’ll be ready to belt out your favorite song.
Anyone from Florida knows that the Gators are big on football and drinking. With a wide range of college bars in Gainesville, how could you choose the best? The Salty Dog Saloon, a 50-year old establishment, stands out in the crowd with its jukebox, 50-cent drink happy hour and every Sunday’s 2-for-1 mimosa special. For less than $10, the Salty Dog’s patrons can get the most booze for their buck.
Salty Dog Saloon
Ohio University students certainly aren’t limited in choice when it comes to choosing a bar to down a few (or more) drinks in. Athletes and those in the Greek scene tend to flock to The C.I. to take advantage of the photo booth and killer drink specials. Plus for only $1.75, and an $1 for refills, you can get a draft of beer, AND keep the “Get High With the C.I” cup.
Yes – the one made famous, or infamous, by the cast of the Real World: Austin. If you’re a college student looking to dance on a bar all night long, look no further than the Dizzy Rooster. You can get a jello shot anytime of the day for a mere $2, and maybe you’ll run into co-owner season 15 bachelor, Brad Womack!
Deep in South Carolina country, in Cocky the mascot’s territory, is the busy college bar known as Pavlov’s. Students of the University of South Carolina, a large portion of them Greek, take advantage of the warm, Southern weather on the patio at Pavlov’s. The cheap drinks, like 50-cent shots on Mondays, draw in quite a crowd, but the lines move quickly, allowing everyone to drink, and dance, the night away.
The Hokies do more than football and good food; they also know how to party. The Top of the Stairs, or TOTS, beat out the other nominated Virginia Tech bars for its karaoke, outside bar area, and general popularity among students. After consuming a few “Rails,” their signature drink, a mix of gin, vodka, bourbon, rum, triple sec, and whiskey, you should watch your step. If you can make your way from the “top of the stairs,” down to the street, you should be fine. TOTS is conveniently located right next to campus.
Zuma Grill in Tempe starts the countdown to the top ten college bars in America. Located half a mile away from the main campus of Arizona State University, Zuma Grill is notorious among the student population for “Toxic Mondays,” a night full of music and dancing, and cocktails. With drinks like the “Snorkel,” a "shotgun" drink of a shot of vodka dropped into a Red Bull, and personal cocktail pitchers for $10, there is no question why Mondays are “toxic” or why students love Zuma Grill.
Staffed completely by Georgetown students and alumni, The Tombs knows exactly how to please a college crowd (as well as how to spot a fake ID when they see one). It might not be easy for lower classmen to experience the delicious food or DJ’s tunes on the dance floor that the Tombs offers, but the experience is well worth the wait for that 21-year-old license. Make sure you save your heavy drinking for later in the night; you’ll be less likely to spot a professor or two later on.
College students find the ultimate selection of craft beer at the TApp Room in the mountains of Boone, North Carolina. Beers on draft include Green Man Porter, RJ Rocker’s Son of a Peach, and Dark Horse Scotty Karate. The TApp Room may not seem like much, but you’ll be hard-pressed to find better drink deals. $2 bottles of beer are available to customers throughout the week; and the only thing that the TApp Room is missing is a dance floor!
Iowa City’s Brothers Bar & Grill is a combination of a college bar and a sports grill with all the fixings you need for a good night: dartboards, pool tables, outside patio, and a massive beer selection including $2 Blue Moon drafts on Mondays, and $4 Keystone and Busch Light pitchers on Friday and Saturday nights. Sure, there’s a cover charge on game days, but you’ll make up your money in drink deals, like the $5 mug which you can fill up for $1 each time (and you won’t suffer from FOMO, as this is where a majority of your fellow undergraduates will be during football season).
You can’t attend the University of Wisconsin, or even visit, without becoming a part of beer culture. Kollege Klub presents the ultimate Wisconsin college bar experience, with a location right on campus. The Badgers customers spend their weekends feening for the Klub’s sought-after beer pong tables, “beer-n-shot night” (a free shot comes with your beer), and every Sundays’ “Kountry Night,” where you can bring your own mug and receive drink discounts.
Among Athens, Ga.’s bars lies the infamous Bourbon Street. Underclassmen are known to frequent this spot, chugging through power hours and dancing on slippery tables (be careful — some have been known to fall off). If neither swing dancing nor grinding is your thing, head upstairs for a few rounds of pool and cheap beers.
Since 1979, Bullwinkle’s Saloon has been catering to the needs, and mouths, of the Florida State Seminoles. Bullwinkle’s ranked so high on the list thanks to its convenient location to campus, live rock and roll band, massive dance floor, and outside double deck area. And for $10, students can drink as much as they want during the week. How can you top that drink special?
Jawhawks flock to “the Wheel” to join in on the fun, cheap drinks, and greasy pizza that this no. 3 college bar has to offer. The booths, walls, bar, and columns are all made of wood that are just begging to be written on, so bring a Sharpie to leave a mark that will remain even after you graduate. And if (and when) KU makes it to the Final Four of March Madness? The games are projected on the wall, outside in the patio area, guaranteeing a ruckus time.
A ranked list of the best college bars in America would not be complete without the University of Central Florida’s Knight Library. The general size of the establishment is impressive in itself; students have access to three full bars, a giant dance floor, a patio bar, and even VIP sections. Not a big dancer or drinker? Knight Library has darts, customized beer pong tables, and corn hole boards to get you entertained. Still not impressed? An Island Oasis frozen drink machine is the newest addition to the bar.
And the title of the best college bar in America goes to none other than The Boot, a Tulane favorite. If you’re a broke college student, and only have a couple of quarters to spare, you have enough for a drink at 50-cent drink night at The Boot. The Knight Library was originally tied with this college bar, but in the end, location was the deciding factor. Our panel of college students came to a consensus that the Boot and the city of New Orleans, especially during Mardi Gras, is the ideal place to throw back a few drinks and celebrate four years of relative freedom.
flickr/My Lush Life