This joint rules the Twin City music scene. As a converted bus depot, the large two-story room offers excellent acoustics and sight lines. If live music is on the agenda, get there early and grab a table on the balcony. The music runs the gamut from reggae to punk to rock to country. If a local or national act is not scheduled to play, a DJ takes over and gets the dance floor jumping. Pool tables, pinball machines or video games offer quieter amusement.
Nothing beats the combination of fresh, healthy American food and an array of American beverages and drinks specials. Icehouse, which is a deli located in Whitter, offers just that and much more for the fun loving foodies. The atmosphere is casual and friendly, just what you'd expect from a deli. However, the popularity of this eatery is due to the range of scrumptious delights which are made exquisitely from scratch by the expert chef. This includes the small plates delicacies like foie gras burgers and scallops, as well as the special brunch items like Po Boy sandwiches and pastrami and eggs. In the end, you can wash it down with the drinks specials like Mothership Rita and Butterfly Kiss, or a glass of Cedar Ridge Bourbon or George Dickel 12 year from its splendid whiskey bar. Jazz and rock bands pack a punch with their performances every night, so make sure you reserve your table at Icehouse in the evening, to enjoy a satisfying American meal.
Matt's Bar is a neighborhood favorite boasting one particularly famous and beloved specialty: the Jucy Lucy. This Minneapolis favorite is a cheeseburger with the cheese stuffed on the inside of the burger instead of melted on top. Matt's has been featured on the Travel Channel's hit show, Man vs. Food, with the spotlight on, you guessed it, the Jucy Lucy. This dive bar has been a favorite of locals and visitors alike for over 25 years. If you are looking for the opposite of a stylish, swanky bar and food experience, Matt's is your ideal place for a bite and a beer.
This classy bar and grill has been a pioneer among local restaurants by offering regional, home-produced food. This casually chic establishment has evolved into the best place to hear local and national jazz acts. An intimate stage separates the bar from the dining room. The acoustics are considered some of the best in the Upper Midwest. The menu features trout from a Wisconsin farm and local game fowl, mushrooms, and wild rice. It is all put together with the utmost care and a lot of imagination. The wine (including some by local wineries), beer and liquor selection is impeccable.
The Summit Brewing Company has come a long way since it first came into business in 1986 - its beers are now some of the most popular in St. Paul. Some are seasonal (such as the Summit Maibock and the Summit Oktoberfest), while others are available all year round. You can tour the brewery from Thursday to Saturday, but reservations are required for group weekend tours.
This nightspot is considered by many to be the top rock club in the Twin Cities. The best of the local talent and many national acts headline each and every night. By the shape of the building, which looks like a large caboose, you would think the acoustics would be poor. Quite the contrary, as the overflow crowds will attest. Along with a great beer selection, wine, liquor and soft drinks are served. Stick with the burgers or appetizers to satisfy your hunger. Pool tables, foosball and darts provide a definite working-class atmosphere. Arrive early for local bands and even earlier for the big acts, otherwise you will be standing or miss getting in at all. Advance sale tickets are available at select locations. Price varies according to act. Doors generally open an hour or two before showtime.
Formerly The Ace Box Bar, this pub has come a long way from its blue-collar roots. The old sign still hangs in the back, and the beautiful art deco bar is still there, but that's where the similarities end. Come in the afternoon and you're likely to witness a practice session of Riverdance-type Irish dancing. The secret is out, and this pub now draws patrons from both Minneapolis and St. Paul. Irish and non-Irish pack the small establishment for happy hour. Melodious Irish folk singers grace the small stage in the evening. Dance an Irish jig or relax with a game of darts or pinball. The beer always flows freely with the pints being the primary beverage of choice for most. Munch on the free self-serve popcorn or get peanuts, chips and pretzels from behind the bar.
Surly Brewing Co. is counted among the most renowned breweries in the city. The brews from here, that have garnered a lot of praise include, Coffee Bender, Furious, Surly Hell and many others. The brewery is one of the best in the city, providing tours to all beer enthusiasts, giving a detailed account on how their delicious beer is prepared. There is a restaurant housed within the campus of the brewery, offering sandwiches, pretzels, BBQ dishes as well as toothsome desserts. Take time out to visit Surly Brewing Co. and spend time relishing some of the best beers, in town.
One of the best Irish bars in town, Merlins Rest gives plenty of reason to visit. Whiskey enthusiasts will be impressed by their exhaustive list of Scotch and Irish whiskeys, while beer lovers can gurgle on a fine Irish beers. There is also a selective list of wine and signature cocktails. Tipple on happy hours and nosh on tasty Irish pub bites. There is no dearth of entertainment as well with kilt nights, live music, scotch tastings and more.
If you are in the mood for some South American or Spanish delicacies, Sonora Grill is a nice option to choose. The restaurant is especially known for its amazing tacos and the wide variety of award winning craft cocktails, especially those with a tequila base. You can drop in for some amazing Latin American breakfast which includes everything from Grilled Cheese sandwiches to the typical Mexican Huevos Ranchos or come by for dinner with the family.
This bar is a typical shot and beer joint. Darts, foosball, pool and video games keep the regulars in line on Sunday through Wednesday nights, mainly a singles crowd of all ages. On Thursday through Saturday nights the place rocks to live music and the crowd has been known to get rowdy. During warmer days, you are bound to see a line of shiny, chrome plated machines parked out front. Grab a table or lean on the bar. Your beer or cocktail order will be brought to you, pronto.
Unlike most eateries in and around the University area, Bar Luchador focuses on a more upscale, innovative cuisine. The restaurant offers a wide array of Mexican dishes along with a variety of zippy craft cocktails. Try out hearty Mexican dishes like Shrimp Tostadas, Pork Tacos, Luchador Nachos as well as American takes on Mexican food like the Footlong Sonora Hot Dog. If you are designated driver for the evening, you can also choose to sip on some House Tamarind Soda or Mexican Coke.