Best Bars in Boulder

Eat, Drink and Be Merry: The Finest Bars Boulder Has to Offer

Boulder bar are as unique and eccentric as it's people. Microbreweries, pubs, dance halls, pool halls, and live music venues are just a few of the awesome locations for eating, drinking, and making merry at the base of the Rocky Mountains. For a traditional pub style atmosphere complete with live music, game night, and dancing visit Conor O'Neils on the late night. For something slightly more elegant and refined, SHINE Restaurant and Gathering Space serves extravagant cocktails and healthful elixirs you won't find anywhere else.

For more of the college scene (Boulder is a college town, after all), try Pearl Street Pub or The Walrus Saloon where you'll find cheap beer specials, dart boards, and the general feel of youth and reckless abandon.

However, if you're one of the thousands of people who come to Colorado each year with beer on their mind, visit one of the best taphouses in Northern Colorado at Avery Brewing Company or grab a burger at Mountain Sun Brewery on Pearl Street. Both of these bars are local favorite, offer the best microbrews for miles around, laid-back atmosphere's indicative of the Colorado away of life, and killer food.

Perhaps it's because they're always hiking, running a marathon, or biking, but for whatever reason, Boulderites love to drink and, as such, there's plenty of places for you to join in the fun during your visit.


As the name suggests, the night at this downstairs Pearl Street club kicks off starting at 10pm but doesn't hit high gear until "round midnight." Live music is featured on the weekends and includes acid jazz, funk, rock, hip-hop, Latin, and reggae. A DJ keeps things hopping during the week. The extensive beverage menu features more than 50 varieties of single malt scotches and more than 40 beers to give you that shot of liquid courage. There's no cover charge, the drinks are rumored to be strong, and the atmosphere is alive and kickin' into the wee hours of the mornin'

Recommended for Bars because: Round Midnight is edgy and exciting, offering live music, great drink specials and a change of scenery from some of the more upscale Boulder bars.

Hope's expert tip: Get down to jazz, fun, rock, hip-hock, Latin and reggae music at Round Midnight.

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The Walrus Saloon

The Walrus Saloon offers a unique, subterranean feeling in the heart of downtown Boulder. With live music, killer drink specials, and Reggae night you're sure to have a ball at The Walrus. A variety of local DJs frequent the Walrus to bring you the best of their jams and the open floor allows for plenty of room to get jiggy-wit-it. Weekly Reggae nights invite you to let out your inner Rastafarian featuring eclectic artists from all over the world, including the Sudan, Ghana, and Zimbabwe. So lively up yourself, Bob Marley style, and dance to the rhythms of the Walrus.

Recommended for Bars because: An excellent selection of local and traveling musicians and cheap drink specials make this bar a fun place for all.

Hope's expert tip: Be sure to stop in for Reggae Night.

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Bohemian Biergarten is a new, hip, and unique bar in downtown Boulder featuring German-style food, beer, and atmosphere. The main room and bar area offers long, picnic style tables which allow for large groups to eat, drink, and be merry. Speaking of eating, the Biergarten serves hardy, delicious German food such as a verity of sausage and meats and beer pretzels. Need a rowdy place to watch soccer? The Biergarten, true to its European heritage, shows soccer games all season with plenty of fans to celebrate or cry with. Biergarten is also located in the heart of downtown, in close proximity to entertainment and shopping.

Recommended for Bars because: The Biergarten offers amazing food, a fantastic beer selection, and a variety of entertainment all in the heart of Pearl Street's downtown.

Hope's expert tip: Don't just go for the beer. Biergarten also offers amazing German-style food, including their beer pretzels.

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The Attic

The Attic offers excellent pubfare, dancing, and karaoke every week. Local bands keep the atmosphere hoppin' and a hardwood dance floor, offering seating during the day, is cleared for all of your dancing escapades in the evening. Take a break and enjoy their free pool tables or grab a drink at their ornate and fully stocked bar. Famous for The Fat Albert, ask for this purple concoction that packs quite a punch if you need a little encouragement getting to the dance floor. A variety of music is represented at this Boulder favorite, so you the dancing machine within you is sure to be satisfied.

Recommended for Bars because: Karaoke nights, pool tables, and great food make The Attic a one-stop spot for all your bar crawling needs.

Hope's expert tip: Karaoke and dancing are the highlights of this local favorite.

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Conor O'Neill's

This lively and feisty traditional Irish pub is one of the most exciting ways to spend and evening in downtown Boulder. Lagers, Ciders, Ales, and Stouts abound, including Guinness on tap because what Irish pub is complete without it? In addition, several tasty micro-brews are available. Weekly live music is a staple at Conor O' Neills and includes slots for collaborative bluegrass pickin'. With plenty of space to dance, you'll be tapping your toes or doing an Irish jig. If you're a little rusty on your Lord of the Dance skills, the bar also offers classic rock to rock your body. A fan of Irish Carbombs? This bar makes a mean one that won't break your bank.

Recommended for Bars because: A unqiue selection of local bands, game nights, and traditional Irish decor earns Conor O Neill's a spot on our list.

Hope's expert tip: Grab a Guinness and sit back for some of Boulder's local bluegrass pickers.

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West End's motto of "Definitely Not Your Daddy's Tavern" rings true. Take in a beautiful Rocky Mountain sunset or enjoy an evening under the stars on the cozy rooftop patio at this popular and local spot. The interior is comfortably designed with brick and natural wood. The menu burgers, wings, and other traditional pub fare are exceptional. But let's get to the exciting parts. The West End prides itself on turning its staff and patrons into beer geeks by featuring unique and rare craft beers. Need something with more punch? This tavern-done-right features the largest bourbon list in Colorado including 75 varieties and 4 single barrel bourbons.

Recommended for Bars because: A small intimate taproom, exceptional service, and delicious food makes Avery one of the best bars in Colorado.

Hope's expert tip: Enjoy a swig of bourbon from the West End's extensive list, which just happens to be the largest and most comprehensive bourbon collection in all of Colorado.

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This high-energy bar is a favorite of sports fans, especially on football weekends. Live, local music gives this pub its signature hole-in-the-wall, "where everybody knows your name", feel. Best of all, Boulder "regulars" abound but newcomers are always welcome, making a visit to this one-of-a-kind pub the perfect way to mingle with the locals and get a true feel for the Boulder way of living, drinking, and dancing. Often down below the street floor, you can find people swaying their hips as they cozy up in the nooks and crannies of this unique bar. And, as is typical of Boulder, local musicians are there to help you dance the night away.

Recommended for Bars because: A multilevel hole-in-the-wall atmosphere makes this pub unique, quaint, cozy, and fun.

Hope's expert tip: Snuggle into this cozy pub with a pint of local beer, exceptional pub grub, and plenty of pool tables to keep you busy for hours.

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Avery Brewing Company

Hands down, one of the best breweries you'll ever visit; Avery Brewing Company offers an escape from the bars and pubs of downtown. The lively atmosphere immediately invites you to snuggle up with your honey, cheers with your friends, or just relax solo and sip in some solitude. A few of their signature brews include the hoppy India Pale Ale, the light Belgian-style White Rascal, and the nutty, savory, Elle's Brown Ale. Avery's new brewhouse is located on the outskirts of Boulder and offers a taproom downstairs, brewery tours, and an elegant dining room for those who prefer to sip their brew in a more intimate and quiet setting. Watch for release parties and special tappings throughout the year.

Recommended for Bars because: With their amazing release parties and new location, Avery Brewing Company is the best place to drink in town.

Hope's expert tip: Grab a pint of Avery's out-of-this-world, Out of Bounds Stout.

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Known by locals as "The Downer" this hole-in-the-wall bar makes its home on Pearl Street and is the perfect spot for throwing back cheap PBR, shooting some pool or darts, and tucking yourself away with friends in a dark corner to play quarters or gossip. While other bars in Boulder exude a "classy" ambience, the Sundown Saloon is anything but in a wonderfully grungy and subterranean kind of way. Those who prefer the suit and high-heels kinda place need not appeal. Tattered blue jeans, cheap sundresses, and t-shirts work just fine for this crowd. Sundown Saloon is also known for having sold the most PBR in the world in 2012 and 2013, so you're certain to have a full pint at this dive bar.

Recommended for Bars because: While many of the bars in Boulder cater to a refined crowd, "The Downer" is for salt-of-the-earth roughnecks or students who wanna mix it up.

Hope's expert tip: The Downer offers an extensive selection of Bourbon known to be one of the best in town.

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Claiming to serve cocktails with "passion, not pretense" the Bitter Bar is an elegant, albeit slightly trendy, bar located just off of Boulder's famous Pearl Street Mall. Tucked away on Walnut, Bitter Bar offers patio seating for some sunbathing during the day and invites you to bask in the soft glow of outdoor lighting in the evening. From plush booths for snuggling with your honey or gossiping with friends to community tables perfect for standing or sitting while enjoying the company of a large group, the Bitter Bar is a wonderful space for a Girl's Night Out or for celebrating a special event. Not to mention, their macaroni and cheese is to die for and they make a mean Old Fashioned.

Recommended for Bars because: The Bitter Bar offers an elegant and lively atmosphere, one of the best Happy Hours in town, and is the perfect setting for large parties.

Hope's expert tip: Bitter Bar boasts one of the best Happy Hours in town. From 5pm-8pm, guests can sip on $5 cocktails and $4 draft beers whilst nibbling on marinated olives and cured meats.

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Meet Hope Gately

Hope Gately should have a bumper sticker proclaiming "Not a Native...But I Got Here as Fast as I Could!" A transplant from the Midwest, Hope has fallen in love with Colorado's mountains playing...  More About Hope