1. The “Upwardly Mobile” Bar
With their $7 special on picklebacks and overly intricate taco dumplings, this is where you go if you’re interested in spending a decent amount of money for a very mediocre time.
The upwardly mobile bar will always place aesthetics over comfort and convenience, so the population density will likely render you immobile amidst an endless crowd of plaid. The place may not let in sneaker-wearers, and about 50% of the people there will look like they just sold an app.
2. Frat Party 2.0
Between the sticky floors, mass of humans going nuts over We Can’t Stop, and possible vomit in the bathroom, you’re about 3 months away from completely outgrowing this place.
Yet, the last bastion of binge drinking will make an obstinate stand, reminding you of the fact that this is probably the last time you’ll ever be able to pull off your college go to, the Dance Floor Make Out.
Miserable when sober, but admittedly pretty fun when properly lubricated.
3. Overpriced Club That’s Either A Hotel Or Has A Singular Name
A good time, sponsored by elitism and the exorbitant amount of money this place expects you spend. Dressy, beautiful people, and a rooftop that attempts to convince you that you are having the greatest time of your life.
Lines for the bathroom, lines in the bathroom.
4. The Carrie Mathison/Scarlett Johansson in “Lost In Translation”
For when you’re on a business trip, and need to unwind. Complemented by passive jazz music and the thrill of sitting at the bar alone. Maybe you’ll even eye and attractive older person who’s doing the same thing on the other side of the bar. That’s how it works, right?
5. The Hometown Hero
AKA, the place everyone goes to the night before Thanksgiving and slightly embellishes how well they are doing. A 20-something mainstay.
6. Dive Bar That Isn’t Really A Dive Bar
They try and sell you on things like Hee-Haw Specials and a name that suggests the owner is good friends with Matthew McConaughey’s character in Mud, but the price points and unfriendly service inform you that this is all a sham. All in all, this place is rooted in an authentic commitment to inauthenticity.
7. The “Is There A Dead Body In The Back?” Bar
The actual dive bar.
In addition to priding themselves on a number of inefficiency quirks (i.e., a constant 45 second gap in music while the lone bartender chooses the next song), this place is known for its stale beer, $2 this definitely isn’t meat cheeseburgers, and a bathroom that appears to be boycotting its own filth.
Nobody has any idea how this place is still actually in business, but that’s part of the charm.
8. The Local Non-Local Bar
A bar in a city that is dedicated to another city. There is nothing too distinguishing about these places, other than the fact that (a. your friend from that city will think this place is extraordinarily better than it really is, and (b. as a non-resident, it’s pretty terrible to go to one of these places when a team from that city is playing in a big game.
9. Pitchers! And Sports!
Coors Light Pitchers, endless TVs, and too many buffalo wings.
Pretty much all guys, except for that one girl who likes to talk loudly about how terrible the team’s pitching staff is.
10. Craft Beer Emporium
If you’ve ever craved a $14 chocolate beer with a hint of chili peppers, this is your jam. The quality beer won’t breed total classiness, but it’ll certainly breed a more chill, sitdown environment.
The primary customers here are groups of single guys who have run out of things to say to each other, but aren’t drunk enough to start hitting on the girls the next table over.
11. GIRLS HBO
This place is a warehouse that was converted into a strip club, that’s now been converted into a bar/club fusion.
We’ve got a semi-grimy dance floor with a birds-nest DJ booth, and an outside patio area dedicated to smoking cloves and talking about pursuing creative passions. The drink of choice is beet-infused vodka.
12. The Wine Bar
Complete with some hummus, triscuit looking crackers, and a struggling musician playing Wonderwall in the background. A refreshing change of pace.
“I’m glad we did this. We should do it more often,” says someone in the group.
13. Comforting Bar That Smells Like A Bar
Ideally this is the place right downstairs–the bar that isn’t gonna give you the time of your life, but is always going to give you the relaxing evening you needed. It’s the place where you’ll catch up with old friends, have good conversation with the bartender, and stay way longer than anticipated.
You’ll end the night with some free shots, which you’ll even out with a great tip. This place deserves it. This place is decidedly your spot.