Cool Bars to Explore in Minneapolis, MN in 2020 [Top 5]

The bar scene in Minneapolis is full of fun and excitement. But if you’re new to the city, it can also be a little unnerving. Where can you go for the best nightlife and still stick to the safe areas?

It’s a smart question. Every city has its places no one should go to alone. Minneapolis is a giant, bustling hotspot for young and older adults, so there’s no need to head to an unknown area to get to the fun.

Here are five of the top-rated bars in the city that you can feel comfortable heading to for your next day trip or night out on the town.

1. CC Club

Does a bar that built its roots deeply into the history of Prohibition grab your attention?

If so, then the CC Club is where you want to visit at least once before you leave Minneapolis.

This bar has such a solid standing that it’s even immortalized in a song. “Here Comes a Regular” by the Replacements is about the CC Club.

There’s a fascinating oral history you can hear on any tour that tells of the bar’s origins and changes. The CC Club started as the CC Tap after Prohibition ended. Over time, it was the place where you could go to listen to live music and drink the best beer in the five-state area.

Patrons of the club today come to enjoy drinks and a meal with friends or meet up with strangers that will soon become friends. Full menus available for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

Meal specials include breakfast suggestions, Industry Nights, birthday deals, and more. These vary throughout the week, so check their site before you head out.

Designer drinks are also available at breakfast through closing time!

2. Parlour Bar

The Parlour Bar hits the perfect mix of high-class and welcoming. From All-American burgers to sophisticated cocktails, you can find what you’re looking for on the meal and drink spectrum here.

The lounge is in an upstairs, dimly lit alcove with an urban flair. Big windows and strategic table settings create an atmosphere of contemporary elegance.

Book for a private event if you have something special coming up. Otherwise, you’ll find this bar full of energy and excitement every night of the week!

The Parlour Bar also has locations in St. Paul and at the Target Center. You can catch them in their mobile food truck for delicious meals off the menu or for catering events.

Come for the delicious, high-rated food, stay for the vast selection of drinks.

3. The Bachelor Farmer

For a unique atmosphere that you can feel good about, head up the stairs to The Bachelor Farmer, or, as it is more commonly called, the Norsten Bar.

This bar focuses on doing everything possible to reduce its carbon footprint. Because the staff here is already working hard behind the scenes to do the green work, you can enjoy a night out and help the environment at the same time!

The relaxing atmosphere lets you unwind from a stressful day with delicious food and top quality drinks. Hungry patrons can choose from a wide range of meal options.

The menu focuses on northern food,  with season-specific ingredients. What you get one visit might not be there the next. But the food is all sustained from local farmers, so you know you have the freshest produce and meat available.

In addition to the food they source locally, the bar also has a rooftop farm. The entire restaurant runs on Minnesota wind energy. There aren’t too many places you can patronize where you know your fun is supporting the ecosystem, also!

They offer private dining for special occasions as well. You can choose from four different rooms with unique themes, depending on the event you’re hosting. Or, head to the newest “room,” the adjoining Courtyard, for year ‘round outdoor fun.

4. Republic

If you or your friends are true beer lovers, you can’t miss the Republic.  Here you’ll find an incredible selection of draughts that are on tap daily.

Established in 2011, Republic quickly made its name toward the top of the list of the best bars in Minneapolis. Pub meals, trivia nights, and flowing drinks are part of what makes this bar so highly rated among locals and visitors.

Lunch and dinner, happy hours, and brunches are regularly on the menu. You can also reserve the event room for your private celebrations, big and small. Past popular events have included beer pairing dinners, weddings, birthdays, and retirement parties.

If the food is your preference, they cater, too!

5. Merlin’s Rest

Alcohol + entertainment = a night you won’t forget at Merlin’s Rest. This bar creates an atmosphere of British fun in the local pub setting that the country is so famous for. Many bars try to copy this scene, but very few succeed as well as Merlin’s Rest does.

The traditional British pub is the place where everyone is welcome. If you’re looking for good food, great company, or a spot to get away from the world — Merlin’s Rest has it all. The best part about it is that the focus is on people, not television screens.

Fantastic wine and beer selections flow freely from behind the bar. But even tee-to-talers enjoy the ambiance and food found here every day. Daily happy hours, food, and bagpipes are always on tap at Merlin’s Rest.


Visitors to and residents of Minneapolis know that the bar scene is one of the best forms of entertainment in the area. More than just a place to find a drink, the top bars in the city offer culture, history, camaraderie, and adventure.

When you head to the bustling city of Minneapolis, be sure to add these bars to your list of activities. Find the one that speaks to you loudest — or head to all of them!

Aaron Hunt is the property manager for Prime Place Arrow. He can be reached by email at [email protected] or by call or text at 402-858-2858.

About RJ Frometa

Head Honcho, Editor in Chief and writer here on VENTS. I don't like walking on the beach, but I love playing the guitar and geeking out about music. I am also a movie maniac and 6 hours sleeper.

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