If your idea of nightlife includes hitting a bar for drinks and socializing, then our St. Louis guide is just what you want. Capitalizing on first-hand experience and extensive research, we've located the best bars in St. Louis for hanging out and kicking back in. From long-lived mainstays like John D. McGurk's Irish Pub & Garden to busy places like Broadway Oyster Bar 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!


Located near Kingshighway on The Hill, this St. Louis favorite attracts plenty of attention with its hearty burgers, fish and chips and outstanding roster of beers. It's a historic structure that's been used in Anheuser Busch commercials. Upstairs you'll find Jack Parker's Fine Art and Antiques, a unique collection of Native American artifacts, rugs and pottery as well as American artwork and furniture from the Arts and Crafts period.

Read more about O'Connell's Pub →

Everyone feels at home at this quaint Soulard pub with its comfortable hardwood floors, exposed brick walls, and soothing sounds of live Irish music. Authentic Irish bands regularly entertain the crowds with their Celtic rhythms. The traditional Irish menu features the house signature potato soup, corned beef and cabbage, and County Cork corned beef and barley soup along with pints of Guinness to wash it down.

Read more about John D. McGurk's Irish Pub & Garden →

Owned by the same folks who run the popular Tony's restaurant next door, this downtown bar does a booming business at lunch time and after work. Great drinks stand alongside a menu that includes burgers, salads, pasta dishes, sandwiches and appetizers. A casual, yet decidedly who's who atmosphere pervades the space.

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Whether they come for the gigantic burgers (tipping the scale at 1/2 a pound) or the spacious outdoor dining patio, folks regularly visit this popular neighborhood bar that serves plenty of beer and reasonably priced food, both at lunch and after work. TVs scattered throughout the place keep patrons abreast of the latest happenings with their favorite sports teams (which decidedly ought to be the Rams and Cardinals).

Read more about Harry's Bar & Grill →

South City

A popular spot among the St. Louis bar scene, the Royale has proved itself with a unique, hand-crafted martini menu and a relaxed scene that seeks to be a community hangout. The humble juicer is much revered behind the bar; the signature cocktail – the Subcontinental – is a wickedly cool blend of Cointreau, Bombay Sapphire gin, and cucumber juice. Pear, lemon, lime, and orange are a few of the other freshly extracted juices employed in the innovative martinis. An enclosed courtyard at the back of the bar is the perfect spot to enjoy something fruity and cold.

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This popular Soulard neighborhood blues bar is housed in a tall townhouse-style brick building and features live music every day of the week. The exterior wall features a broken glass mural with bits of oyster shells, bottle caps, stained glass, and tile that depicts Botticelli's "The Birth of Venus." On the inside, Mardi Gras beads and trinkets along with the sizzling Creole menu further contribute to the New Orleans feel of this fabulous bar. At Broadway Oyster Bar, listen to the best blues, zydeco, and rock musicians St. Louis has to offer.

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Central West End

A taste of Wales is on tap at this Welsh pub, the only one in North America owned and operated by a member of the Bardic Order of Wales. Enjoy a plate of cockles and laver, and wash it down with a Felinfoel Welsh ale. Other options include homemade pretzels with rarebit, shepherd's pie, bangers and mash, and fish and chips.

Read more about Dressel's Public House →

Central West End

Trendy and upscale, Sub Zero offers a NYC type spot in the midst of the Gateway City. A menu offers Japanese-inspired cuisine, wines and mixed drinks as well as the main draw – a large list of ice cold vodkas (over 200 options). A mix of live performers and quality DJs keep things lively several nights a week. Be sure to try some of the sushi that's hand crafted by Sub Zero's resident sushi chef.

Read more about Sub Zero Vodka Bar →