50 Best College Bars In America 2015

For the second year, The Daily Meal took on the challenge of compiling the country's best college bars. This time around, we doubled our winners, naming 50 of the best college bars in America. To discover this year's ranking, we asked readers to tell us which college bars were the best and why.

What makes a college bar worthy of a place on The Daily Meal's list? We asked readers to consider factors like drink deals, dance floors, and school spirit, of course!

There were several colleges that were no strangers to the list, like The Tombs at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C., coming in at No. 2; and the Salty Dog Saloon at the University of Florida in Gainesville, Florida, at No. 9.

Newcomers to this year's list include Cain & Abel's at the University of Texas in Austin and Kilroy's at Indiana University in Bloomington, Indiana.

Stealing all of the top five spots on the list, the South destroyed its competition. They're loud, proud, and full of school spirit. 

This year's winning college bar was Knight Library, located in Orlando, Florida making a huge jump from number No. 24 on our previous list. 

For the second year, The Daily Meal took on the challenge of compiling the country's best college bars. This time around, we doubled our winners, naming 50 of the best college bars in America. To discover this year's ranking, we asked readers to tell us which college bars were the best and why.

What makes a college bar worthy of a place on The Daily Meal's list? We asked readers to consider factors like drink deals, dance floors, and school spirit, of course!

There were several colleges that were no strangers to the list, like The Tombs at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C., coming in at No. 2; and the Salty Dog Saloon at the University of Florida in Gainesville, Florida, at No. 9.

Newcomers to this year's list include Cain & Abel's at the University of Texas in Austin and Kilroy's at Indiana University in Bloomington, Indiana.

Stealing all of the top five spots on the list, the South destroyed its competition. They're loud, proud, and full of school spirit. 

This year's winning college bar was Knight Library, located in Orlando, Florida making a huge jump from number No. 24 on our previous list. This year was an exciting year for college bars, and congratulations to everyone that made the list!

#50 Green Leafe Cafe, College of William & Mary, Williamsburg,Va.

Just because it's last on our list doesn't mean it's not a great spot for college students to hang out and get a drink. The Green Leafe Cafe offers a wide range of atmospheres. Whether you're looking for an extensive wine list, lunch, or a rowdy night out with William and & Mary students, this place has you covered.

#49 Zuma Grill, Arizona State University, Tempe, Ariz.

If you want to sit down for a calm evening and hit the hay at an early hour, this isn't the bar for you. Zuma Grill has a DJ performing every night of the week except Wednesdays and Sundays. This place also offers "Toxic Mondays," providing featured drink specials all throughout the night. Food is only served until 9 p.m., so come in quickly if you're looking for a bite to eat! 

#48 Dixie Chicken, Texas A&M University, Bryan, Texas

Serving true Texans since 1974, Dixie Chicken has always been a popular place for country music lovers. If you're looking for a soul-swinging good time and a double meat hamburger with a basket of fries, Dixie Chicken is ready for you seven days a week. We only wish that this bar offered live country music.

#47 Proud Larry’s, University of Mississippi, Oxford, Miss.

Students go to Proud Larry's for the music, but they stay for the good time. This place gives students the option to eat lunch and dinner, and watch a killer music line-up that changes on a weekly basis. These are real concerts, so you have to buy tickets! If you like to enjoy your music with a side of snacks, there is a full menu with snacks and starters included. Try some toasted ravioli, you can't get those just anywhere!

#46 Bullwinkle’s Saloon, Florida State University, Tallahasse, Florida

From $1 drafts to $3 pitches — this FSU bar offers drink specials Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday. Make sure to stop by Friday and Saturday for their infamous "Top Shelf Party," offering bottomless top shelf mixed drinks and draft beers from 8p.m. to 1a.m.

#45 The TApp Room, Appalachian State University, Boone, N.C.

The TApp Room is a casual, Appalachian State University Bar that prides itself in offering a low-ley atmosphere and a bunch of beers on tap. This place always has 12 different beers on tap including domestic, craft and imported beers of all kinds.

#44 Houndstooth Sports Bar, Tuscaloosa, Ala.

The Houndstooth has been a spot for dedicated football fans to gather for the big game for over 25 years. Offering a fun, comfortable atmosphere and "the coldest beer in town," Houndstooth has been around forever. By the looks of it, it's not going anywhere anytime soon. 

#43 Ugly Tuna Saloona, The Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio

Buckets of beer, fish bowls, $3 pitchers — you name it, Ugly Tuna Saloona has got you covered. OSU students and fans are serious about their football, so it's no surprise that an OSU bar would only offer biggest bang for your buck in drink deals.

#42 Kam’s, University of Illinois, Champaign, Ill.

Kam's happy hour drink list includes $1 drafts, $1 bottles, $4 pitchers, and depending on the night, many more! This sports bar really carters to the "broke college kid" aroma that keeps University of Illinois coming back for more. Follow their Facebook feed for an update on the latest happy hour deals.

#41 Milano’s, New York University, New York City

This small but cozy bar in the hub of Nolita is full of character and a main hub for NYU students. Grab a barstool or snag a seat at this crazy decorated place and enjoy cheap drinks with both students and locals. Fun fact? This joint has been serving drinks since 1880.

#40 Old Stone Jug, Colgate University, Hamilton, New York

Nicknamed "The Jug", this quaint and cozy Colgate hang out guarantees a good time. John Jug — the father of Old Stone Jug — hangs around the bar more often than most business owners. If you wander into this bar on a random night, prepare to be stars struck, because Father Jug himself will most likely be there.

#39 Coupe DeVille's, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, Va.

Restaurant by day, bar by night, "Coupe's" is known for its solid food selections and impressive live music. This bar provides a bite to eat, (like nachos, chicken fingers, and fish tacos), along with a show to watch. What more could a college kid ask for?

#38 Brick Street, Miami University, Oxford, Ohio

From Taco Tuesdays to Country Night, this Miami University bar features a different food, drink, or music special every day of the week. It doesn't matter if your exam is on a Monday or a Friday — you can throw down your books and head to Brick Street and party seven days a week.

#37 The All-American Rathskeller, Pennsylvania State, State College, Pa.

To say that this bar has been serving up a good time since day one is an understatement. "The Skeller" opened its doors just three days after Prohibition was repealed in 1933, making it the longest continually operating bar in Pennsylvania. Forget the textbooks, this is the kind of history we love! 

#36 Cafe 210 West, Pennsylvania State, State College, Pa.

This bar is located on College Avenue in a town named State College. In our opinion, it doesn't get much more college than that. Their discounts on all Buffalo items and $6 pitchers of beer help too, though.

#35 Taylor's Bar & Grill, University of Oregon, Eugene, Ore.

With a brew deal that offers $1 for all microbrews on tap, Taylor's is the perfect place for college students to keep their thirst quenched without emptying their wallets. Seriously, all you have to do to get a "dolla" beer is pay a $1 cover charge. Be sure to use your time wisely, because once the bell rings at 10:30 p.m. the deal is over. 

#34 The Union Bar, University of Iowa, Iowa City, Iowa

DJ beats, $2 well drinks and shots, and $6 pitchers make The Union Bar a go-to hot spot for University of Iowa students. This is also one of the biggest bars in Iowa City — which means the dance floor is massive. Who's ready to get down? 

#33 Cornerstone Grill & Loft, University of Maryland, College Park, Md.

Established in 1997, Cornerstone Grill & Loft is the perfect place to watch sports. This hangout features 14 high-def TVs on the main level and another 13 upstairs. It also offers 12 draft beers, along with tons of bottled brews for University of Maryland students to sip while they cheer for their beloved Testudos.

#32 Knights Pub, University of Central Florida, Orlando, Fla.

Who's up for ladies night? Unlike most bars, Knights holds its version, featuring free drinks and drafts, on Mondays. The pub also features Twisted Tuesdays with a $5 cover, Top Shelf Wednesdays with free top shelf well drinks and draft beers, and Thursday happy hour with $2 bottled beer and $3 Fireball shots.  

#31 Smokey Joe's, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pa.

What could be better than cheap beer? Well, cheap beer with pizza, of course! Smokey Joe's is partnered up with Pitruco Pizza Company, creating the ultimate fusion of drunk  munchies and beers on tap: Enjay's Pizza at Smokey Joes. They have everything you need under their roof — it's genius!

#30 Josie Woods Pub, New York University, New York City

This NYU hangout has been described as "a feel-good bar that could be as cheesy as an REO Speedwagon song." The drinks are cheap, the burgers are big, and the atmosphere is as happy and uplifting as it gets at this comfortable bar. Who's ready to scream some Journey?

#29 Trappeze Pub, University of Georgia, Athens, Ga.

A lot of college bars could be considered dive bars, so it's unusual to name an award-winning restaurant and pub as one of the best of the lot. Nevertheless, with its intimate table settings and quality food combined with a lively atmosphere, Trappeze Pub is an exception. This bar offers a classy brunch featuring waffles, a veggie omelet, and two flavors of mimosa to choose from. Which would you prefer, grapefruit or orange?

#28 Mickey’s Irish Pub, Iowa State University, Ames, Iowa

Mickey's is a quirky and fun spot that offers a bottomless bowl of Dum-Dum Pops and a self-serve hotdog station. As if that weren't enough, this pub has karaoke on Tuesdays. Grab a group of friends and sing your heart out at this Irish pub.

#27 War Eagle Supper Club, Auburn University, Auburn, Ala.

Located in the outskirts of Auburn, War Eagle Supper Club is a hotsport for Auburn students and locals alike. This building has housed a bar of some sort since 1937, serving generations and generations of dedicated AU fans. We're just confused about one thing: why don't they serve supper?

#26 El Hefe, Arizona State University, Scottsdale, Ariz.

Authentic Mexican food, burgers, and beer by day — dance club by night. El Hefe has quickly morphed from a restaurant into one of the best-known nightclubs in Scottsdale. It's a pretty big space, and that being said — it's one of the bars on our list with the best dance parties in the U.S.! 

#25 The Thirsty Scholar, New York University, New York City

Providing one of the best happy hours in the Village, this unique spot is conveniently location near NYU, allowing it to appeal to both bookworms and party people. This long, narrow, and comfortable bar provides cheap drinks and some good old-fashioned music for customers to sway to. Is it a club? No. Does it have character? Absolutely. 

#24 Eskimo Joe’s, Oklahoma State University, Stillwater, Okla.

If you're in the mood for a pile of cheese fries, come to Eskimo Joe's, which is famous for them. Cheese fries isn't all they have to offer, of course. They also offer the bar food basics, such as soups, salads, and burgers. There's live music every Wednesday and ladies night every Thursday. Over the years, Eskimo Joe's has become quite popular with tourists looking to collect Eskimo Joe's memorabilia. These items feature a cartoon picture of the well-known Eskimo Joe himself grinning from ear to ear. 

#23 Delilah’s Chicago, DePaul University, Chicago

It's all about the booze and the tunes at Delilah's. The musical line up here includes rock, soul, R & B, and basically anything else you can think of. Delilah's also offers more than 300 varieties of whiskey and movie nights throughout the week. Head to Delilah's for some cheap drinks, swaying sounds, and plenty of entertainment. 

#22 Bull Run Tap House, Bucknell University, Lewisburg, Pa.

$5 Red Bull vodkas, $3 Shock Top pints, half-price appetizers, and $2 mixed drinks — the list of crazy deals goes on and on. And not only does Bull Run Tap House serve up drink deals, it also offers a food menu with a ton of options, from crab bites to grilled salmon to assorted pastas. This isn't the kind of food you come across at your average college bar, but we're not complaining.

#21 Touchdowns, Clemson University, Clemson, S.C.

Touchdowns claims they provide "the classic Clemson experience." What does that entail, exactly? A super big space with outdoor seating, cheap drinks on tap, and a ridiculously low-priced menu. On Mondays, Clemson employees get 10 percent off everything, and they offer all-you-can-eat wings for $11.95. And it doesn't stop there — there's a dine-in special every night of the week. Round up a group of buddies and head to "T.D.'s" for a cheap and hearty meal, along with a good time.

#20 AC’s, College of Charleston, Charleston, S.C.

If there's one thing this bar is known for, it's the late-night grub. Sure, plenty of the bars on our list provide tasty grub, but a majority of them close once things start to get crazy. This isn't the case at AC's — their kitchen is open till 1:30 in the morning. AC's also has pool tables, and chalkboards line the bathroom walls — signs that this is a true dive bar (in a good way).  

#19 Tin Roof, University of Tennessee, Nashville, Tenn.

Tin Roof is a "live music joint" that wears many hats: a concert venue, a bar, and a retro diner like you see in the movies. Besides the live music, there are special evenings such as Thirsty Thursdays with $4 domestic beers all night, and Beer, Bands, and Bingo on Tuesdays, featuring just what it sounds like. And in case you were wondering, yes — it actually has a tin roof.

#18 Kilroy’s, Indiana University, Bloomington, Ind.

Anybody up for some late night trivia? Kilroy's hosts trivia every Wednesday starting 11 p.m. They also feature T-Shirt Thursdays and After-Class Fridays that offer a wide array of food and drink specials — like $2 pints and free chips and salsa — to IU students. "KOK" — for "Kilory's on Kirkwood" — has a massive outdoor patio, perfect for pre-game tailgating and weekend day drinking. Over time, throwing a couple back at Kilroy's has become a Bloomington tradition.

#17 Brother’s Bar & Grill, University of Iowa, Iowa City, Iowa

Brother's Bar & Grill has a lot to offer when it comes to space — it's one of the largest bars in the Iowa City area. It also has an outdoor patio, pool tables, and a pretty big dance floor. Then there's the awesome list of specials, including Thursday night's Mug Club: for $5, you get a mug untitling  you to refills — in the mug — on Long Island ice teas, well drinks, and Keystone and Busch Light beers for $1.

#16 Cain & Abel’s, University of Texas, Austin, Texas

Located in West Campus at the University of Texas, Cain & Abel's has been part of UT tradition since the early 90's. Considering that it serves classic American pub food and offers a huge outdoor patio for game-watching and beer-sipping, your first impression of this bar might be that it's actually more of a restaurant. Nevertheless, it has an insane happy hour (featuring $2 burgers and $7 "Texas Teas") and super cheap "Sunday Funday" deals, offering drinks made with Deep Eddy or Tito's vodka or Dulce Vida tequila for only $2.50.

#15 Indigo, Pennsylvania State University, State College, Pa.

As we get closer to the top of our list, we're covering spots that really have it all — and Indigo is no exception. This place is a little bit of everything: a spot to watch football, nightly DJs, a club-like dance floor, and crazy cheap $1 Long Island Iced Teas every Thursday. Find your friends, grab a tea, and head to the massive dance floor at Indigo if you're looking for a good time.

#14 901 Bar, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, Calif.

The dedicated students of USC must have been eager to bring their favored "Nine-o" closer to the top this year; their votes helped it jump nearly ten spots from our previous list. Maybe that's partly because the bar has really stepped up its food game, now featureing the famous Rocco's New York style pizza to enjoy with your ice cold pint of beer (which you can conveniently refill every Tuesday for only $2).

#13 The Sink, Colorado University Boulder, Boulder, Colo.

At 93 years of age, The Sink, located in the basement of an ancient fraternity house, is the oldest bar and restaurant in Boulder. There are plenty of notable items on its food menu, like the Farmers Market, grass-fed burger made by executive chef Dave Davis. There's plenty of beer here, of course, but if you want to sip on something more than a cold brew, the Sink offers seasonally changing cocktails, like Billy's Chilies Bloody Mary (a traditional Bloody Mary spiked with local Twisted Pine Brewing Co.'s Billy's Chilies wheat beer).  

#12 Kollege Klub, University of Wisconsin, Madison, Wis.

Situated right on campus, this University of Wisconsin bar really embraces the beer culture of its city. With beer pong tables, Beer-n-Shot Nights (when a free shot comes with your beer), and a "Kounrty Night" every Sunday, we're surprised Kollege Klub didn't make it higher on our list.  

#11 The Swamp Restaurant, University of Florida, Gainesville, Fla.

The building where The Swamp resides was originally constructed in 1914 as a University of Florida professor's house. In 1993, it was nearly destroyed in a massive fire, but after being renovated it was converted into a bar in 1994 and The Swamp was born. Over the years, it has morphed into a full blown restaurant by day and bar by night. The food menu is strong on sandwiches to soups, and the drink choices include mojitos and a Moscow mule, among many others.

#10 The Boot, Tulane University, New Orleans, La.

The Boot, which placed first on our list last year, remains Tulane's most popular for emptying out the pocket-change — literally: The Boot offers a 50-cent drink night every Tuesday. If you really want to join the party, head south and celebrate Mardi Gras at The Boot.

#9 Salty Dog Saloon, University of Florida, Gainesville, Fla.

Everyone knows that the Gators are dedicated football fans who love to drink. With so many bars in Gainesville to choose from, The Salty Dog Saloon consistently remains one of the most popular. This establishment is one-of-a-kind for a number of reasons: it's over 50 years old, it has a funky jukebox (so don't forget your dancing shoes), there's a 50-cent happy hour, and every Sunday there's a 2-for-1 mimosa special.  

#8 The Wagon Wheel, University of Kansas, Lawrence, Kan.

Jawhawks flock to "The Wheel" to get in on the cheap drinks and greasy pizza this bar has to offer. The booths, walls, and columns are all made of wood, and writing on them is encouraged — so bring your Sharpie. If and when KU makes it to the Final Four of March Madness, each game is projected on the wall outside in the patio area, guaranteeing a rowdy timeas KU fans going absolutely nuts every time their team scores.  

#7 Hemingway's Cafe, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pa.

Hemingway's Café offers $2 drafts from 9 a.m. to midnight, but its main claim to fame is its food selection, served from 9 p.m. to midnight for half-price. Hemingway's also offers karaoke every Wednesday night, and if you're feeling stage fright, try a couple of their Mason jar cocktails or order one of their special shot pitchers, and you'll be singing your heart out in no time. 

#6 Pavlov's, University of South Carolina, Columbia, S.C.

Pavlov's is one of the busiest bars in South Carolina. It's particularly popular with University of South Carolina students because of its spacious patio, which allows them to take full advantage of the mild Charleston weather. On Mondays, Pavlov's offers 50-cent shots — so you know that's one of the most popular nights of the week here. Pavlov's, then, starts preparing students for the weekend when the week has hardly begun — and saves them money, always a plus for college kids. 

He's Not Here, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, N.C.

He's Not Here probably would have made our top three if it served more than just beer, but that's okay — because they have a famous trademark that makes up for it. If you buy one of the bar's famous quart-zise Blue Cups, you can fill it up for $3 to $6, depending on which beer you choose and the night of the week.  

#4 Bourbon Street, University of Georgia, Athens, Ga.

One of the most celebrated bars in Athens is Bourbon Street, a main attraction for underclassmen (of age, of course), drinking their way through power hours and truly embracing the college experience. If dancing on tables and drinking the night away isn't your thing anymore, you can head upstairs for a few rounds of pool and cheap beers. That's why this bar is so high on our list: no matter what mood you're in, Bourbon Street will provide you with a good time.

#3 Top of the Stairs, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, Va.

Football, food, and partying — The Hokies have got the college lifestyle down pat. The Top of the Stairs — or "TOTS" — garnered an impressive number of votes, at least in part for its outside bar and lively karaoke scene. The signature drink here is The Rail, which consists of gin, vodka, bourbon, triple sec, rum, among other things. Some would call the Rail a one-way ticket to a hangover, but Virginia Tech students only see it as a good time — and anyway, TOTS is conveniently located right next to Virginia Tech, so as long as you can wobble from the "top of the stairs" and down the street, you'll always make it home safely.

#2 The Tombs, Georgetown University, Washington, D.C.

The Tombs knows exactly how to please its college crowd for one good reason: this bar is completely staffed by Georgetown students and alumni. Another thing that's unique about The Tombs is unlike most college bars, it's hard for underclassmen to get into. We're assuming the upperclassman aren't too mad about that, because this way, The Tombs avoids being a reckless place where underage drinkers go crazy. The Tombs offers brunch, lunch, and dinner, along with a respectable beer list (including the original Tombs Ale) and a happy hour featuring a different drink each night of the week.   

#1 Knight Library, University of Central Florida, Orlando, Fla.

Gaining our number-one ranking this year is Central Florida's Knight Library — time and again hailed as one of best in college bars America. The scale of this bar is impressive: students have access to three full bars, a massive dance floor, a patio bar, and VIP sections. If dancing isn't your thing but you still want to be social, have no fear — Knight Library also offers darts, beer pong tables, and cornhole boards to keep everyone entertained. Extra points for the Island Oasis frozen drink machine at the bar.