The 15 Best Bars in the Twin Cities For Dates, Out of Town Guests, and Happy Hours

Updated February 13, 2019
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Minneapolis and the Twin Cities as a whole are home to a lot of fantastic bars. If you were to randomly ask Twin Cities residents on the street where their favorite watering hole is, you’d probably get a lot of different answers. Everyone has a style of bar that they prefer over others. Luckily, the Twin Cities has such a great variety of bars, that whether you prefer a classy, cocktail bar or a hole in the wall spot, you’ll find one here.

Depending on the occasion that you’re heading out for is also a big factor in terms of deciding on a bar. To help you find the best spot for you, here are five of the best date night bars, five bars to take an out of town guest, and five great happy hour bars!

Date Nights

With our date night selections, we compiled a mixture of more laid back environments vs. romantic spots. So, whether it’s your 1st date or 10th, here are five great date night bars in the Twin Cities

Cafe & Bar Lurcat

1624 Harmon Pl, Minneapolis, MN 55403


Starting this list off with a bang, Cafe & Bar Lurcat is one of the classiest date night spots you can find in the Twin Cities. Their romantic dining room is the perfect venue to wine and dine your significant other, and their expansive bar is ideal for cocktails and la carte bites.

Marvel Bar

Courtesy of Marvel Bar


50 N 2nd Ave, Minneapolis, MN 55401


As a speakeasy, Marvel Bar is hard to find (hint: look for the plain grey door), but once you’re in, the bar is filled with great energy and is known for its incredible atmosphere and service. If you and your date are new to cocktails, this is the perfect starting point. Knowledgable bartenders will help find the perfect drink for you and your date.

Handsome Hog

203 6th St. E, St Paul, MN 55105


Some of the best food in St. Paul is found at the Handsome Hog, which includes their “Meat Bar,” which is adjacent to their main drinking bar. At this bar, you’ll taste meats from around the world, including Benton’s Tennessee Country Aged Ham. Yum!

Bryant-Lake Bowl

810 W. Lake St., Minneapolis, MN 55408


Bryant-Lake Bowl is a very popular date spot, especially with their Cheap Date Night (Mondays from 6 pm – midnight: 2 special entrees, 1 bottle of wine or 2 tap beers each, 1 round of bowling for $28). For a fun, more relaxed date night, this is a great spot.

Up-Down Minneapolis

3012 Lyndale Ave S, Minneapolis, MN 55408


The Up-Down bar in Minneapolis is a great bar for mixing things up. When you’ve had enough of the typical sitting and chatting dinner dates, head to this arcade bar that has basically any game you can think of. Oh, and they also have a great selection of drinks!

For Entertaining Guests

We’re focusing on food with this list, as everyone likes to show-off the best eats to out of town guests.

Parlour Bar

Courtesy of Parlour Bar


267 W 7th St, St. Paul, MN 55102


Dubbed by many as the best burger, the Parlour Burger is a combination of ribeye, chuck, brisket, and white American cheese and is a must-have for anyone visiting the Twin Cities. And, if you’re in Minneapolis and don’t want to make the trek across the river, then check out their original location in North Loop.

Blue Door Pub

1811 Selby Ave, St Paul, MN 55104


The Blue Door Pub may not have invented the Juicy Lucy, but they’ve taken it to new heights with their large variety of “Blucy” burgers. Their tater tots are also a fan favorite, and their chicken wings are nothing to sneeze at either. It’s a great spot to take a guest to show them a Minnesota staple.

Town Hall Tap

4810 Chicago Ave, Minneapolis, MN 55417


Whether you get the burger, cheese curds, or their stuffed pretzels and pub sauce, you’re in for quite a treat from the Town Hall Tap. The bar, ranked as one of the top spots for bar food in Minneapolis by review sites, is a great place to entertain a friend.

Sporty’s Pub and Grill

2124 Como Ave SE, Minneapolis, MN 55414


Sometimes you just need to have a few rounds and dive into some high-quality bar food when catching up with a friend. Sporty’s is the perfect spot for that. Nothing too fancy, and rated as the #1 dive bar in Minneapolis by Foursquare, Sporty’s keeps things simple and delivers on the food that keeps patrons raving.

Sweeney’s Saloon

Courtesy of Trip Advisor


96 Dale St. N, St Paul, MN 55102


Some of the best wings in the Twin Cities can be found at Sweeney’s Saloon. While Sweeney’s is quite a popular place, especially in the summer, it’s well worth the wait for a seat to try out their food.

Happy Hours

Get ready to save some money and enjoy an evening with friends at these Twin Cities happy hours.

Groveland Tap

18343 St. Clair Ave, St Paul, MN 55104


For $3 you can get any Freehouse Tap, which pairs perfectly with their reasonably priced beer snacks. A great venue and atmosphere in which all are welcome, Groveland Tap is the epitome of a  happy hour.

Stanley’s Northeast Bar Room

3461, 2500 University Ave NE, Minneapolis, MN 55418


A Sunday night happy hour may not sound ideal, but it is definitely worth it at Stanley’s Northeast Bar Room. A few of the drink deals you’ll find are $5 sangrias, $2 spiced jag, and $3 Grainbelt pints. Oh, and did we mention bingo that includes a $1000 cover all jackpot?

Red Cow

Courtesy of Cravi


393 Selby Ave, St Paul, MN 55102


Red Cow is known for their burgers but their $7 starters happy hour menu is one of the best in the area. Poutine, scotch eggs, Wisconsin cheese curds, and wings are all found on the menu. Oh yeah, and they have $4 bottles of wine. Need we say more?


925 Nicollet Mall, Minneapolis Mn 55402


This lively destination offers happy hours from 3 to 6 pm Monday through Friday. We recommend the $10 tequila flight or the $6 Barrio margarita, as well as any of their $2 off tap beers and sangria.

Mercy Bar and Dining Room

Courtesy of Mercy Bar and Dining Room


901 Hennepin Ave, Minneapolis, Mn 55403


For something a little different, check out the Mercy Bar, located at the base of Le Meridian hotel. Their $6 margaritas and $10 calamari during their 3 pm – 6 pm happy hour are as good a deals as you will find in the Cities.

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