If your idea of nightlife includes hitting a bar for drinks and socializing, then our Indianapolis guide is just what you want. Capitalizing on first-hand experience and extensive research, we've located the best bars in Indianapolis for hanging out and kicking back in. From long-lived mainstays like Claddagh Irish Pub to busy places like Nicky Blaine's that get lots of 10Best reader approval, we present the top bars in town and offer details about them all. What's the energy like? How do the bartenders pour? Are most bars located in the Downtown area? No fear - we share all the facts!

War Memorial Plaza Historic Dist
Nicky Blaine's Cocktail Lounge


Wood-paneled walls, luxurious carpeting, and cozy sofas and wingback chairs envelop you with casual elegance in this welcoming establishment. Many patrons enjoy hanging out at Nicky Blaine's for good conversation, mouth-watering appetizers, and...  Read More

Red Key Tavern


This family-run establishment is a great place to go for a calm evening out with friends or family. Enjoy the retro '50s-style decor and the antique pinball machine while you and your buddies catch up on the week's affairs. The menu includes a...  Read More

Alley Cat Lounge


Come party with the diverse crowd that hangs out in this stylish dive. Pierced body parts, tattooed flesh, and relaxed attire are what you will most likely find here. From your rowdy college student to your typical Harley Davidson enthusiast –...  Read More

Broad Ripple Brew Pub


"Leisurely brewed" read labels adorning the homemade suds at Broad Ripple Brew Pub. The philosophy of relaxation permeates every aspect of this casual, low-slung hangout, from its weathered patio to dim lighting and a distressed tin ceiling...  Read More



You might think you've stumbled into a pub from the Old Country when you walk through MacNiven's door. Darkened woods, quiet conversation, and the sound of clinking mugs raised in toasts set the mood. The imported beer selection is impressive,...  Read More

Rock Bottom Brewery


Whether you're a die-hard Indy sports fan or a business professional from the nearby offices, you'll find a scene that suits you at Rock Bottom. Pacers and Colts fanatics can catch all the highlights on TVs in the dining area, while patrons...  Read More



Appointed with decorative items shipped from Ireland, this popular pub boasts a cozy interior, and friendly staff put folks immediately at ease. The pub prides itself on following the tradition of the public houses of old, being centers of the...  Read More

The Ball & Biscuit
Photo courtesy of Ball & Biscuit


Pull aside the heavy black drapes and enter a seductive world of Prohibition-era cocktails and sophisticated socializing at this modern-day speakeasy in downtown Indianapolis. Surrounded by exposed brick walls, cozy leather chairs and vintage...  Read More

Fountain Square
The Brass Ring Lounge


For a casual dinner on a peaceful outdoor patio or a late night of Rat Pack-style partying, this hip yet welcoming bar in Fountain Square is simply unbeatable. As sultry Sinatra and silent classic films set the mood, visitors kick back with a...  Read More

Tomlinson Tap Room


Sixteen constantly rotating taps of local brew make Tomlinson Tap Room one of the most beloved beer bars in Indianapolis. Located on the second-floor mezzanine of the City Market, this one-of-a-kind watering hole features large tables crafted...  Read More