Feeling a touch Blarney? This downtown Melbourne pub is as Irish as they come, from the St. Patty's pot pie down to the tall, cold glasses o' stout. The authentic menu boasts Irish classics, including corned beef and cabbage and bangers and mash. Or try your luck and ask about the Fisherman's Catch of the Day and the new Butcher's Cut of the Day. Great happy hour specials (starting as early as 3 p.m.) and frequent live entertainment are boons, as well. Snag $5 Car Bombs and Irish coffees all day, every day. During football season, the pub is especially crowded on NFL Sundays and Mondays.
Rarely can a restaurant offer such a wide selection and not feel diluted, but Matt's Casbah in Melbourne, Florida, manages to expertly juggle fine dining with the hip after-hours crowd, as well as global food with a homey, Florida feel. The varied menu here has a reputation for its great sushi. (In fact, it claims to have the "best sushi in Brevard County.") Enjoy your meal in the fashionable dining room, decorated with art that is available for purchase, at the sushi bar or outside on the patio. Swing by after work and you're sure to meet a vivacious crowd, live music on the patio most nights and live DJs on weekends. Enjoy lazy Sunday afternoons with jazz on the patio and a cocktail, or a glass from the wine cellar.
A local, casual favorite, Squid Lips is all about freshness. But it's more than the typical beachfront grill. Food here is grilled over an open oak-wood fire, and nothing is pre-breaded or pre-made. Start with the Cajun bacon-wrapped scallops, which will prepare your tongue for the signature black cherry pepper pork. The crab cakes are another favorite. If you're looking for some beachy entertainment with your meal, you can often hear live music here, too. Find two Squid Lips in the state, one in Melbourne and another in Sebastian. Arrive by boat, if you want the quintessential Space Coast experience.
This is a combo you don't see every day. Stemz is a wine bar, bistro and florist, all in one location. This brings a fresh vibe to the Space Coast's already excellent music scene. Pack your dancing shoes; the dance floor here can be pretty fun. Here, you can enjoy delicious, fresh food by day and hear live music at night. Choose from appetizers, like a cheese platter, to sandwiches, salads and flatbread pizza. Stemz features a lengthy wine list with bottles from around the world, as well as beer and a coffee menu. Look for a new dinner menu soon. On Sundays, don't miss brunch. You can often find other eclectic activities here, too, like wine and paint parties, dance classes and even an Elvis impersonator.
The Neptune Bar and Grill has experienced a major facelift since it was known as The Cove. It's barely recognizable as the same establishment, in a good way. The bar has been renovated, from the decor to the menu. You'll find comfort food, like meatloaf and clam chowder, all homemade and delicious. Relax under the tiki bar, or listen to live music every weekend in the indoor lounge with a stage. Wednesday is karaoke night. On occasion, you can even find dancing and dance lessons here. The food is better than you'd expect for a bar, which is what makes the new and greatly improved Neptune Bar one of our top spots in town.
Off the Traxx is a sports bar – to the extreme. This Melbourne-based bar is huge, with more than 40 TVs and screens (including one oversized screen) that stream everything sport, including the NFL Sunday Ticket, the full DirecTV Commercial Choice Plus line-up and more. Bottom line: If your team is playing, you can watch it here. Off the Traxx has more than 350 seats and features surprisingly delicious food. Try the pizza. This bar also organizes interactive, fun games, including putting challenges, corn hole, pool, darts, video games, a dance floor, stage and other activities. Head out back, where you can find an outdoor bar that takes advantage of the Florida warmth. Off the Traxx also organizes parties, special events and contests (from breakdancing to bikinis).
The Sand Bar Sports Grill in Cocoa Beach has sports mastered. Sip the signature drink, the Hurricane, and munch on fish tacos while watching sports on the 20 high-def TVs scattered throughout the bar. The bar – actually two, because Sand Bar has double bars – is subscribed to a variety of premium channels, so you can catch almost any major game here. If it's not streaming, just ask. Looking for a different kind of sport? Watch surf flicks on the TVs when sports aren't on. In between games, listen to live music. After you fill up in the full kitchen, go on a warm walk to the nearby park. Looking to cool off? Try a smoothie. Is your belly growling? Fill up and then some with Sand Bar's massive, five-pound burrito. It's not dinner; it's a dare.
The younger crowd enjoys the good times served at Coconuts. From live music and world-famous bikini contests to breathtaking views of the Atlantic and great specials on specialty drinks, this oceanside bar is sure to rank high on your list. Stop by early and enjoy a fried shrimp platter, Bahamian lobster tails or even a flat iron steak. Afterward, it's off to the party deck, to enjoy the night's entertainment and mingle with friends old and new. Want to see for yourself how fun Coconuts is? Check out the live webcam on the bar's website, and prepare to get jealous!
Open Mike's is one of the coolest, most interesting places to hear live music on the Space Coast. This intimate lounge is located inside Florida Discount Music, where you can buy guitars and other instruments, as well as audio gear, so it's a hub for music-lovers all times of day. Even enjoy a free group music lesson once a month. Open Mike's also serves up organic coffee – one of the few all-organic cafes in the region – down to organic sugar, flavors and dairy products. In the evening, kick back with craft beer and wine. Hear local bands here almost every night, and plan on arriving early, because the venue fills up quickly. When it's not booked, you can rent this space for private parties, too.
Right on the beach just off A1A, you'll find this popular blues bar that rocks with live music seven nights a week. Here, not only will you find quite possibly the longest happy hour in existence (from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.), but also people-watching at its best. Lou's Blues is funky and full of character; beware of the "Special Dirty Bingo Wingo Menu," featuring drinks with the naughtiest of names. Before the bands start playing at 9:30 p.m., you can also often participate in (or laugh at) karaoke, and catch a decent dinner. The peel-and-eat shrimp are reasonably priced and the bacon blue cheese sliders are, well – talk about a naughty indulgence!