Best Nightlife

About 10Best's recommendations for Gainesville's Best Nightlife:

10Best's editors and local contacts have searched all over Gainesville for the best places to find yourself once the sun goes down and have decided that these businesses represent the best nightlife Gainesville, Florida has to offer. Want to relax and unwind at a premier Gainesville nightspot? Let us show you the best places in town to do it!

10 Stubbies & Steins
A German pub in the heart of Gator Nation, this popular night spot is a haven for beer-lovers. With a buzzing atmosphere befitting its college town location, a stellar selection of international beers, yummy German fare and shining customer service, this pub should be on your must-visit list for Gainesville. Also a great place to rub shoulders with the locals, who are regulars at this establishment. (352-384-1261)

9 Gator City Sports Grill
When UF students venture out for an evening of relaxed fun, they often head toward Gator City. This typical college haunt offers front and back rooms, each with its own bar. Up front, big-screen TVs broadcast sports showdowns and music videos while, in the rear, pool tables afford some friendly competition and perhaps a little good-natured wagering among friends. You'll also find video games and a supply of tasty eats. Wednesdays (ladies night) and Fridays attract the biggest numbers of college folks. (352-377-7333)

8 Gator's Dockside
This chain of sports bars has locations throughout Florida, and in Gainesville, the large enterprise is a top gathering place for watching away games on the telly. Filled with tons of TVs (including enormous big-screens), Dockside tries to seat people according to what they want to see, ensuring that patrons are with like-minded folks. Order up a draft, savor some wings or a grilled cheeseburger, and kick back for the evening. Just realize that the place can get crowded and that parking can be hectic, given its enormous popularity. (352-338-4445)

7 Salty Dog Saloon
Casual, somewhat small, and adorned with neon and beer memorabilia, this college bar almost always has a full house. If you're interested in hanging out with friends, it's a good option, and the diverse, substantial beer selection includes domestic and international brands in bottles and on tap. Choose your favorite, and accompany it with some wings or nachos for the table or a burger for yourself. A daily happy hour makes things easier for thirsty folks with financial concerns, and a tequila cantina offers up shots, margaritas and frozen cocktails. (352-375-6969)

6 XS
Set right beside Gator City, this club is a mainstay for folks (especially UF students) who want to dance into the wee hours. Along with a large stage and dance floor, it provides a separate room with sofas where people often take a break and lounge for a few moments. Although XS gets robust business throughout the week, on Fridays the place practically bursts at the seams. It's also a destination for students who want to show off their newly gained independence. Typically, '80s music is the standard. (352-377-7333)

5 08 Seconds
In the mood for some lively two-stepping? How about a little all-hands-on-deck line dancing? If so, 08 Seconds is just what you need. This self-proclaimed "true country experience" pulls in loads of jeans-wearing patrons for its own particular brand of partying. Drink specials, pool tables and dancing lessons give folks extra incentive to have a good time, and on Thursday nights, college students (Greeks especially) inundate the place. Other evenings, the crowd consists mostly of fun-loving locals. (352-384-0888, 352-384-0288)

4 University Club
Frequented often by gay patrons, this fun, lively club welcomes a diverse crowd with a wealth of activities. It also accommodates most anyone who wants an entertaining night out. On various evenings, the UC presents karaoke, drag shows, bands, strippers and great drink specials. These, along with theme events and lots of energetic dancing, keep regulars enthralled and give newcomers a taste of all that this college town can offer. (352-378-6814)

3 Back Stage Lounge
Occupying an old ABC store, Back Stage Lounge (formerly Eddie C's) presents more live music than any other club in Gainesville. Perennially casual and boasting a slightly rough edge, the place is a haven for garage bands, some of which are good and some of which enormously enjoy their endeavors. Open nightly, Back Stage Lounge offers live music almost as often, supplementing the tunes with drink specials and happy hour deals. When the bands break, try your hand at pool, darts or any of the video games available. (352-378-9185)

2 Maude's Classic Cafe
Coffee culture is alive and well in Gainesville, and Maude's is the best place to tap into it. Boasting an alternative vibe, the easygoing cafe is adorned inside with movie and music posters while outside, a fantastic patio takes the Hippodrome as its backdrop. Ofttimes, folks gather to play board games, to chat, to indulge in great desserts and coffee, or to sit in the moonlight and enjoy the Saturday night jazz band. Free WiFi is available for patrons who need to stay connected, and a few romances have even been sparked in Maude's relaxed environs. (352-336-9646)

1 The Swamp
This appealing, two-story enterprise (formerly a professor's home) is both restaurant and bar. It's also a classic Gainesville hot spot and a great hangout by day or night. Outdoor dining is a favorite pastime, and good happy hour specials bolster the already-strong sociability quotient. Monday and Friday nights are perennially busy, and the college contingent comes out in full force. Live music is a frequent perk, and on game days, a big-screen TV is set up outside for fans. Upscale pub food is well-prepared, beers come in draft, bottle and pitcher, and a specialty drinks menu pays due tribute to the Gators. (352-377-9267)

From Our Partners


Maps and Directions

Gator City Sports Grill 10Best List Arrow
Type: Sports Bar
Neighborhood: Gainesville
Gator's Dockside 10Best List Arrow
Type: Sports Bar
Neighborhood: Gainesville
Salty Dog Saloon 10Best List Arrow
Type: Bar
Neighborhood: GAINESVILLE
XS 10Best List Arrow
Type: Dance Club
Neighborhood: Gainesville
08 Seconds 10Best List Arrow
Type: Dance Club
Neighborhood: Gainesville
University Club 10Best List Arrow
Type: Dance Club, Gay and Lesbian
Neighborhood: Gainesville
Back Stage Lounge 10Best List Arrow
Type: Live Music
Neighborhood: GAINESVILLE
The Swamp 10Best List Arrow
Type: Bar
Neighborhood: Gainesville
comments powered by Disqus