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Where to Grab Drinks in Lincoln Tonight

Nebraska’s Star City provides many places to explore, like Maxwell Arboretum and the Sunken Gardens. Moreover, it features a thriving nightlife scene catering to students and the public at large.

3 women enjoying drinks at one of the best bars in lincoln nebraska

This capital city has a little of everything, from neighborhood sports bars and historic venues to high-end joints with hand-crafted cocktails.

Having visited as many of them as I could find, I’ve compiled a list of the best bars in Lincoln, Nebraska, that are well worth checking out.

Duffy’s Tavern

1412 E O St, Lincoln, NE 68508
Phone: (402) 474-3543
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In the heart of Downtown Lincoln, folks head to Duffy’s Tavern, a block away from the Nebraska History Museum.

The building’s rustic brick face walls give an industrial feel to the space, setting the mood for the live music played at the bar.

If you visit Duffy’s, try one of their famous fishbowl drinks. My favorite was the Russian Red Snapper with peach schnapps, amaretto, and cranberry.

The Other Room

824 P St, Lincoln, NE 68508
Phone: (402) 261-4608
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The Other Room is a downtown neighborhood bar in Historic Haymarket Square. This bar has lots of character, with prohibition-era decor creating a vibrant yet relaxing vibe.

A perfect place for a romantic evening, The Other Room specializes in handcrafted cocktails. The hidden gem also offers a wide selection of other spirits but no food, so eat before heading out.

The Tam Restaurant & Pub

105 S 25th St, Lincoln, NE 68510
Phone: (402) 474-2394
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If you want a beer and a meal, head to The Tam Restaurant & Pub in the Woods Park neighborhood. A lowkey spot furnished with billiards and pinball machines, The Tam is a cozy spot with a fun atmosphere.

Drinks here a pretty standard, but the food is standout, especially the Bourbon Bacon Jam Burger, which I highly recommend.

The Watering Hole

Multiple Locations
Phone: (402) 438-3054
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The Watering Hole is a beloved local chain operating locations near the capital and across the state. I visited the Downtown location for lunch, though I recommend dropping by during happy hour for great beer deals.

The decor here is rustic, complete with a mounted buffalo head over the bar. However, the engaging atmosphere isn’t the only draw.

This spot also serves great wings, making The Watering Hole a Nebraska favorite.

Zoo Bar

136 N 14th St, Lincoln, NE 68508
Phone: (402) 435-8754
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Everything in the Zoo Bar looks a bit weathered, but that’s to be expected in a bar with nearly 50 years of history. What makes this bar so special is that it doubles as a live music venue for blues & jazz.

I recommend grabbing a drink of your preference and taking in the nightly performances at Zoo Bar. Enjoy the moody atmosphere and some incredible music.

1867 Bar

101 N 14th St #6, Lincoln, NE 68508
Phone: (531) 289-1724
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1867 Bar has a prime location downtown in the University Square Garage. More than just a bar, 1867 is a local hub with live music, bar games, and lots of space to spread out.

Local brews and spirits are often highlighted on the menu, sometimes at a discount. My favorite drink of the evening was the cranberry moscow mule at this friendly spot.

The Old Pub

420 S 11th St, Lincoln, NE 68508
Phone: (402) 477-5671
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Another Downtown favorite a short distance from the capital, The Old Pub, provides another vibrant music venue with pops of colorful art.

A local hotspot, this bar keeps it simple in an area known for its high-end establishments. The Old Pub has an excellent selection of drinks and offers popcorn for snacking while enjoying live music.

McKinney’s Irish Pub

151 N 8th St, Lincoln, NE 68501
Phone: (402) 477-0021
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Find McKinney’s Irish Pub across from the Historic Haymarket downtown. The pub offers an extensive whiskey list, but if you visit this spot, I recommend trying their perfectly poured Guinness.

With lots of filling favorites and some Irish dishes, McKinney’s is an excellent spot for a drink and a bite with many filling favorites and some Irish dishes.

Starlite Lounge & Banquet Room

247 N 8th St, Lincoln, NE 68508
Phone: (402) 475-8822
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Head a block north of McKinney’s for a different experience downtown. Take a step back in time at the Starlite Lounge & Banquet Room with retro decor in a complementary color palette of blue and orange.

Stop by Starlite on Fridays for their three-hour-long happy hour. If you stop by the lounge, try one of their signature specialty martinis.

Cappy’s Hotspot Bar & Grill

5560 S 48th St, Lincoln, NE 68516
Phone: (402) 421-1424
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If you’re looking for one of the best bars Lincoln, Nebraska, offers outside of Downtown, I recommend Cappy’s Hotspot Bar & Grill.

This bar in the capital city still has a small-town vibe but tons of amenities like pool tables, darts, trivia, and live music.

With cold beer and a huge menu full of homemade options, Cappy’s is worth the trip!

WC’s South Sports Bar

2109 NE-2, Lincoln, NE 68502
Phone: (402) 421-2186
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WC’s South Sports Bar is a cute dive near the Star City Shores public pool in southern Lincoln. This is an excellent spot for anyone who loves a casual, friendly atmosphere.

They offer a few options for snacks, and I recommend the tacos. While the recipe was simple, it went down great with a cold beer.

JJ Hooligans

826 P St floor 3, Lincoln, NE 68508
Phone: (402) 261-4874
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Back downtown, JJ Hooligans offers an energetic atmosphere and a mixed clientele of college students and an older crowd.

The dive bar hosts beer bong tournaments, shows every game, and even offers vapor shots!

Since it’s hard to find, I had to try a “vape shot” while I was there, but I recommend only doing so if you have a designated driver since they hit hard.

Tack Room

1445 Cornhusker Hwy, Lincoln, NE 68521
Phone: (402) 435-9170
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Find Tack Room north of Oak Creek in the Belmont neighborhood. A darkly lit dive with a small-town vibe, Tack Room offers several beers on tap, a few bar favorites, and a nice selection of spirits.

The atmosphere, with live music and opportunities for karaoke, brings most people to this bar. I recommend this spot for those looking for a no-frills evening on the town.

Iguana’s Pub

1426 O St, Lincoln, NE 68508
Phone: (402) 476-8850
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Another downtown favorite close to Zoo Bar, Iguana’s Pub provides another casual spot with a welcoming vibe.

While they offer a wide selection of drinks, the specialties here are their Bloody Marys and Moscow Mules. Try the Blazin’ Bloody for a take on the drink with even more kick than usual!


735 O St, Lincoln, NE 68508
Phone: (531) 500-4817
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A narrow venue that decorates its space with rugs on the ceiling and neon murals, Occidental attracts an easygoing crowd with its funky vibe.

If you visit this hip spot, try to snag a seat on the beautiful patio. There are even table fires to enjoy in the chillier months.

Occidental has a great selection of both beer and liquor.

Final Thoughts

From secretive speakeasies to lowkey neighborhood haunts, the best bars Lincoln, Nebraska, offer a great selection!

So whether you like beer pong or vintage hand-crafted cocktails, you’ll find the perfect bar for your night out in Lincoln.

Did we leave your favorite bar in Lincoln out of this list? Let us know in the comments below, and we’ll make sure to check it out!

Best Bars in Lincoln, Nebraska

  1. Duffy’s Tavern
  2. The Other Room
  3. The Tam Restaurant & Pub
  4. The Watering Hole
  5. Zoo Bar
  6. 1867 Bar
  7. The Old Pub
  8. McKinney’s Irish Pub
  9. Starlite Lounge & Banquet Room
  10. Cappy’s Hotspot Bar & Grill
  11. WC’s South Sports Bar
  12. JJ Hooligans
  13. Tack Room
  14. Iguana’s Pub
  15. Occidental
Please drink responsibly, be fully accountable with your alcohol consumption, and show others respect.

Written by Rocco

Rocco is a Florida State University alumnus with years of bartending and hospitality experience. From slinging hundreds of vodka sodas a night in jam-packed college bars to serving carefully crafted cocktails in upscale restaurants, there’s not much he hasn’t done behind a bar. Now, Rocco shares his knowledge and passion for all things alcohol-related here on My Bartender for bibulous readers everywhere to enjoy.

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