Nestled in the heart of Michigan, Grand Rapids stands as a beacon of Midwest charm and vibrant culture. This city, known for its rich history and forward-thinking spirit, also boasts a thriving bar scene that caters to every palate. In this exploration of the best bars in Grand Rapids, we invite you to join us on a spirited journey through a city where craft beer, artisanal cocktails, and welcoming atmospheres converge to create unforgettable evenings. Whether you’re a local looking to expand your list of go-to spots or a visitor eager to experience the city’s hospitality, Grand Rapids has something special to offer. From cozy corner taverns to trendy rooftop lounges, we’ll uncover the gems that define the essence of Grand Rapids’ dynamic and ever-evolving bar culture.
Two James Spirits – Grand Rapids
Two James Spirits is a casual dine-in bar located in Old East End on Michigan St NE and Eastern Ave NE. Two James Spirits is a Detroit-based distillery that specializes in sustainable, eclectic spirits. The Grand Rapids location holds true to the age-old tradition of Two James Spirits’ motto of great spirits made locally. In addition to a great selection of spirits made from locally sourced ingredients, Two James Spirits offers a traditional bar food menu with burgers, sandwiches, and fries.
Meanwhile Bar, Inc.
Meanwhile Bar, Inc is a relaxed, friendly dive bar located in the middle of the East Hills and Baxter neighborhoods of Grand Rapids. Meanwhile Bar, Inc. features classic red dive bar walls, an outdoor patio for the warmer months, and retro arcade games to pass the time. Like any good dive bar, Meanwhile Bar, Inc. features a healthy list of specials. No matter what day you pop in, you’re sure to get a deal. Visit their website to learn more about their daily specials.
Mulligan’s Pub is a traditional Irish pub located between the neighborhoods of East Hills and Baxter. Mulligan’s Pub has a relaxed dive bar feel and features wood accents for a cozy feel during the winter months. Mulligan’s also offers patrons a couple of pool tables and a regular lineup of live music acts.
Billy’s Lounge is a laid-back bar with a lively blues scene located in the Eastown community. Billy’s Lounge is a local favorite for happy hour specials. Drop by the lounge on a weekend night for a lively, energetic scene. In addition to great local drink options, Billy’s lounge offers candle-lit table service and pool tables. I recommend Billy’s lounge for weeknight dates or a boisterous hangout on the weekend.
Brewery Vivant is located in East Hills on Cherry St SE, and Cherry Dr. SE. Brewery Vivant is a LEED-certified microbrewery that specializes in traditional European beers and bar cuisine inspired by local ingredients. Brewery Vivant offers several attractions. You can schedule a tour of the brewery, enjoy a drink on the patio while watching live music, or grab a bite inside with one of Brewery Vivant’s sustainable beers.
SpeakEZ Lounge is located a stone’s throw from the Grand River on Monroe Ave. NW and Trowbridge St. NW in Belknap Lookout. SpeakEZ Lounge specializes in mixing the old with the new. The ambiance has a modern yet timeless feel and the bar features classic cocktails of the best as well as modern mixies. SpeakEZ Lounge also features an eclectic food menu to keep you satisfied on those long nights out. I recommend visiting SpeakEZ Lounge on the weekend for a relaxed night of food and drink. Alternatively, stop in Saturday morning to cure your hangover with their delicious brunch.
Steel Cat Bar is a chill tavern located on Bridge St. NW and Stocking Ave. NW. Steel Cat Bar is known for its ice bar and frosty taps. Combine the ice-cold beer with unbeatable prices, and you have a perfect venue for football games. Steel Cat Bar also occasionally features live events. Check their event calen dar to see what’s coming up.Steel Cat Bar offers a host of drink specials and a daily happy hour from 7 am to 7 pm. I recommend grabbing a bucket of beers with your buddies at Steel Cat Bar if you want to cut loose in Grand Rapids.
SIDEBARGR is an intimate cocktail lounge located on the north side of Downtown Grand Rapids, right next to the Grand Rapids Art Museum. SIDEBARGR specializes in seasonal cocktails crafted from locally sourced ingredients, but they also offer a modest selection of wine and local beer. SIDEBARGR’s ambiance is cozy yet elevated. You can dress casually, but skip the shorts and flip-flops.
Glass House is a sports bar and grill located in Old East End on Michigan St NE and Grand Ave NE. Glass House is super laid back. The decor is minimal, and the ambiance is whatever you make it. Cheap beer and savory comfort food make the Glass House a great place to relax with a drink, catch up with old friends, or watch the game. Glass House also hosts a weekly trivia night on Tuesdays at 7 pm and a karaoke night on Wednesdays.
Logan’s Alley is a casual microbrewery located in Midtown. Logan’s Alley features over 200 micro-brews, making it the perfect watering hole for craft beer nerds. Logan’s Alley has a mellow vibe perfect for light conversation after work or an easygoing get-together with old friends. Logan’s Alley has a quaint outdoor patio, perfect for enjoying the summer and fall months. The staff is friendly, the food is good, and the drinks are excellent. I highly recommend Logan’s Alley.
The Pyramid Scheme is no rip-off. This vibrant pinball bar is located in the heart of the Heartside neighborhood, around the corner from the Harris Building. The Pyramid Scheme is a large bar with a roomy front area that packs out during the weekend. In the back, The Pyramid Scheme features a rock venue that hosts local and national artists.
Why should you trust us?
e use our own local experience and contacts in the city to know which places to include in our lists. We also researched the web and read 6 reputable blogs and websites, including tripadvisor.com, grmag.com, experiencegr.com, movoto.com, jaquarealtors.com and experiencegr.com. So that you can be sure you’re receiving the best of the best. We compiled all the results in one spot and ranked them according to how frequently they were referenced.