Every mood gets brightened when you’re inside the best bars. And, there is no denying that Gainesville, Florida has great bars. Gainesville is a great place to live.
As the frosty beer runs down your throat it sends a chill feeling that stirs myriad feelings inside you. It’s then you realize you’re at the right spot drinking alcohol and enjoying the vibe.
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Known for its sizzling nightlife, Florida is home to world-class clubs and party beaches. I’ve got a list of impressive top-notch bars for singles, couples, and LGBTQ in Gainesville that takes you to the ground-breaking hub of enjoying the world.
So, welcome to the blog, on the best bars in Gainesville that takes you to a nice fancy place to drink, game to play, dance to forget stress, and shows to see.
Head to one of these Gainesville bars for an exceptionally good time and fulfilling memories. If you want, you can also check out my blog on the best breweries in Gainesville.
Table of Contents
Best Bars in Gainesville, Florida
1. Salty Dog Saloon
Address: 1712 w University Ave, Gainesville, FL 32603, USA
And I dare to ask, what better way to cap off a day in Gainesville than by getting a funky Buddha Floridian Hefe at the Salty Dog Saloon, the best bar in Gainesville?
This is the best place and is the ultimate haven for University students and people of every age. You can instill memories of warm nights, and enjoy the good taste of Motorworks Pulp friction grapefruit IPA.
A good location across the main street from the University of Florida welcomes people to play pool or pin pong tables, or just sit chill and drink. The food is also very affordable.
This classic hang-out spot, Salty Dog Saloon is 30 years old and also comes up with exciting offers and challenges visitors to make the night full of fun.
If you win the drinking challenge, you might win a T-shirt too! You also get a chance to taste imported bottles from Australia, Austria, Brazil, China, Denmark, and others.
So, order your bar of choice, pizza, or sandwiches, and enjoy the casual Salty Dog Saloon vibe at a very budget-friendly price.
2. That Bar and Table
Address: 2725 SW 91st St, Gainesville, FL 32608, USA
Every time you come to this closet, they toss a huge smile on their faces telling you’re awesome. That Bar and Table is a spot to enjoy drinks and has a great patio to taste delicious food.
That Bar and Table are the best bars in Gainesville, Florida to bring your friends, family members, and your pet dog to enjoy a meal like burgers and wings.
Jay and Pat have curated the menu in such a way that the customers can never dare to change the flavor of their taste buds. Tons of veggie options are available for people on a diet!
The tacos, nachos, flat iron steak, six-layer carrot cake, and weekend special lunch are cooked with high-quality ingredients balancing the heat and spices. You’ll love it.
TBT is also a great place to drink in Gainesville as you can have Guava Margarita, Blackberry Lemondrop, Moscow Mule, and a wide range of reds and whites that are must-order.
3. World of Beer
Address: 3265 SW 34th St, Gainesville, FL 32608, USA
As the name sound, as you step into the World of Beer you enter into a different era of Craft Taverns where you taste an incredible 550+ variety of beers.
World of Beer’s winning formula of formulating beer is keeping the guests and locals of Gainesville happy by offering the best authentic drinks.
This pub in Gainesville sits 15 minutes away from Sweetwater Branch Inn making it very convenient for all casual beer fans and beer aficionados alike.
World of Beer is indeed one of the best bars in Gainesville welcoming dogs and making the environment very game friendly too.
There are various bar food options starting from salads, wings, soups, tacos, burgers, seafood, pork, sausages, and more.
I recommend ordering Tater Tot Poutine, Zombie Apocalypse, and crispy tater tots loaded with a lot of mozzarellas. You can also go for Shrimp Tacos or corn salad.
The options are limitless!
4. Loosey’s Downtown Gainesville
Address: 120 SW 1ST Ave, Gainesville, FL 32601, USA
The drink list of Loosey’s is curated with iconic experiences making it very popular and shining in the streets of Gainesville.
You’ll surely fall in love with its collection of American craft beer, live music, burgers, and surroundings. I believe Loosey’s is the best bar in Gainesville.
Sans Alcohol, premium wells, Irish wristwatch, and Cats hate cucumber are must order in Loosey’s. Hence, from local beers to 25 draught beers, you can have all!
Not only that, tourists who are searching for extraordinary Gainesville nightlife might come here to pair beer with classic fast food plant-based meat and burger.
The best part about this bar in Gainesville is its large rotating tap list, hence which day you come you get the best new beer to order.
5. The Tipsy Gamer
Address: 224 Main St SW, Gainesville, GA 30501
Don’t you want to breathe the air of a brand-new bar in Gainesville? At Tipsy Gamer you can get your friends here to chill and play video games, trade cards, and have a beer.
Ethan Moore and Kyle Dillard – childhood best friends came together to open this pub in February 2022 focusing on a place for playing trading cards and a bar.
The place is called a “barcode” divided into two main parts. The aim is to “bring Nerd Culture” into Central Gainesville twining with expanding friendships.
At the first area, it is for trading cards, an arcade mainstay, you can play Street Fighter, Pac, Mortal Kombat, and Man. At the bar you get a virtual reality headset, to enjoy beer.
At Tipsy Gamer you get anything from cards, video games, and comic books to the tabletop. Here you always have a way to collect new experiences!
6. Dragon Fly
Address: 201 SE 2nd Ave #104, Gainesville, FL 32601, USA
Dragon Fly is one of those whiskey bars in Gainesville which is infused with a unique theme of Japanese pub style, making it ideal for Asian cuisine-loving people.
I guarantee you cannot peel your eyes off the décor. Happy hour serves you with Sake Spritz, Sumo Smash, and Old Fashioned cocktails.
Whereas, Japanese whiskey-like Hibiki harmony, Yamazaki, St. George baller, Hakushu, Irish Whiskey, Scotch, Vodka, and Tequila options are endless.
The air of causality yet classy with happy staff and bartenders dressed to impress is some striking feature of Dragon Fly. It also has an indoor and outdoor lounge and bar area.
It is a pretty club in Gainesville, Florida to have vegetable dumplings, seasonal vegetable tempura, Maitake mushroom fritters, garlic sautéed bok choy, and more.
And, yes, you get sushi too with new dishes like Mango Tango, The Bomb, the Volcano Roll, Cobra Kai and so more.
7. Silver Q Billiards & Sports Bar
Address: 225 W University Ave, Gainesville, FL 32601, USA
As the home page of Silver Q Billiards & Sports Bar states that the bars in downtown Gainesville, Florida have always something to do.
Since 1992 students and alumni come here to hang out and play free 13 pool tables, basketball, pop-a-shot, corn hole, arcade, free darts, and video gaming bar.
This sports bar in Gainesville, Florida has 30 TVs for watching sports with no coveted to have a perfect sports game day with your friends. It is an iconic bar!
They offer a full-service liquor bar with varied 20 beers. Moreover, I had luck getting into Silver Q Billiards & Sports Bar as it is open till 2 am every day.
8. The Dime
Address: 4 E University Ave, Gainesville, FL 32601
Just imagine sitting in the most intimate bar and having specialized crafted outstanding cocktails. The Dime sits near the Matheson History Museum on University Ave.
The reason why it is considered the best bar in Gainesville, Florida is that the staff is known to understand your wants and serve you accordingly.
The Dime is relevant and it offers exciting drinks. Arguably The Dime is worth the penny. You should try New York Sour, Glycerine Queen, and The Hustler.
Also, I’ve seen very few places offering craft cocktails with cardamom, saffron, myrrh, and Fernet Branca, 100 years old herbs and spices.
The art décor design is a funky and retro soundtrack playing in the background making the place phenomenal. The place draws a steady crowd of locals and students.
The dimly lit hall offers an air of happiness. This is indeed one of the best upscale cocktail bars in Gainesville. This phenomenal cocktail is everyone’s favorite.
9. University Club
Address: 18 E University Ave, Gainesville, FL 32601, USA
If you’re searching for a gay bar in Gainesville, Florida, I’ve got a great place to share with you. University Club is a great place for the LGBTQ community.
I came here particularly on graduation weekend with my friend Soniya so there were music, fun, and a lot of people. You’ll particularly love the roaring drag shows!
I loved its mirror dance floor, it’s so unique. Moreover, you’ve to be 18 to enter the club and 21 to drink. The vibrancy in the air is very infectious!
University Club is open until 2 am, so to all my party lovers you’ve got a great chance to dance till morning.
Also, this is a piano bar in Gainesville that happens every Friday of every week. It is a great place to dance like crazy and enjoy drinks at cheap rates.
10. Covey Kitchen + Cocktails
Address: 1514 SW 14 St, Gainesville, FL 32608, USA
Let me introduce you to a classy elegant bar in Gainesville, Covey Kitchen + cocktails that offer globally influenced cuisine with a modern twist.
It sits at the University of Florida at Hotel ELEO. I highly recommend tasting their buttermilk fried chicken with braised savoy cabbage and Key West Pink Shrimp.
You can make a dining reservation, drink hand-crafted cocktails, and enjoy live music on Sundays. It has also been awarded as the Top 100 Restaurants in the USA.
The dining space is very fancy with floor-to-ceiling windows, a private dining alcove, outdoor terrace overlooking a lake – everything is very fancy here.
Apart from their food, let’s talk about beer. Covey Kitchen + cocktails have earned rave reviews with great thumbs up for serving a wide variety of wine and local beers.
This wine bar in Gainesville will surely upscale your dining as well as drinking experience, making it one of the best memories.
I recommend ordering Coco Pirinha, Blueberry Lemonade, Pineapple Apex, and Elderflower Margarita. I’m sure you will feel elevated by its taste and cocktail menu!
11. High Drive
Address: 210 SW 2nd Ave Ste A, Gainesville, FL 32601
When it comes to bars in Gainesville with live music, High Drive grace the top of the list. There is no dull moment in the entertainment world.
It started in 2011, driving national tourists to dance to and enjoy the best live sound system with a bar at the corner.
Musical acts like Bone Thugs in Harmony, Horton Heat, Orchestra, Fishbone, Mountain Goat, Thermals, Surfer Blood and so more have been performed here.
Artists and comedians like Jay Chandrasekar of Super Troopers also came to perform here. In 2013, High Drive hosted the Original Gainesville Food truck for 6 weeks.
The best part of High Drive is it has a bigger stage, sound system, and a lot of seating area. Their crafted beers and customized cocktails are always on fire!
Tip: Try High Drive’s Jello Shots and double liquor fresh fruit
12. That 80s Bar Gainesville
Address: 19 West University Gainesville, FL 32601
That 80s Bar Gainesville or Holy Pipe is the newest Gainesville, Florida nightclub that can only satisfy your urge of dancing taking you back in time.
You cannot take your eyes off the vibrant walls of the funny visual theme of 80s cartoons, Pac-Man, The Smurfs, artwork, and murals.
Lawrence Clay has a super brilliant idea for creating 80s Bar Gainesville, a masterpiece. This nightclub not only drives college students but old crowds too.
In a lot of ways, Holy Pipe is exactly what a Florida bar should be. The drinks are affordable, people love the cozy dancing environment, come on a date, and have fun!
On Saturdays, they play songs from 70s movies. On Fridays, you get the chance to dance to 80s music. They play all the hit songs.
So, quitting jobs, breakup, sadness, or happiness, That 80s Bar Gainesville is the best bar in Gainesville.
I highly recommend you to come here on Wednesdays! I won’t tell you. Come and find yourself. Let me know, how you feel!
13. The Social at Midtown
Address: 1728 W University Ave, Gainesville, FL 32603, USA
The rooftop midtown Gainesville bar, The Social features live acoustic music that you’ll fall in love with. For all the girls, Lady’s night is on Thursday at 7 pm.
It sits right after University where after class you can play Gators game, watch parties, have 32 craft beers on the taps, and split a $5 pitcher with friends.
Boys love this sports restaurant. There is a varied type of intoxicating drink options too! Moreover, The Social at Midtown is a good place for date night.
But beyond this, the happy hour (4 pm to 7 pm) ensures you get pork rinds, torts & Salsa, nachos, Jack Daniels, Margarita, Chicken Tenders, and so more.
They also have “All Day Everyday Happy Hour” where they serve Social Awk-Red, Social Bombs Loaded Coronas and Gator Guinness Shots.
Apart from that¸ at the downstairs, there is a full menu with tasty ring toss and cornhole. The place is full of fun!
14. The Key Grill & Piano Bar
Address: 4860 Celebration Pointe Ave #30, Gainesville, FL 32608, USA
The Key Grill & Piano Bar is a big top brewing company that hosts Beer Bingo Trivia every Tuesday at 7 pm offering Intercostal Amber, Wellyz Lager, and many more.
It is one of the most impressive in the town to enjoy great music, and drink. The solo show happens on Thursday and dueling piano shows happen on Friday and Saturday.
Also, they’ve got a seafood restaurant too. You can have Mango –Pineapple Salmon and the best Santiago’s Mojito and call it a most romantic evening.
In my head, weekend fun means partying and having a good beer with close friends. And, what can be more exciting than late-night clubbing and dancing?
These 14 bars in Gainesville, Florida are really popular for dancing, meeting new friends, karaoke, going on a first date or just sitting alone and treating yourself.
Plus, let me warn you that do not forget to check out the event calendars to know if these bars are packed with drag shows or other events or not.
So, it doesn’t matter where you are going, these places are safe and good to visit. There are other famous bars called Arcade Bar and Madrina, you can check them out too!
Enjoy, and let me know.
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FAQ: Bars in Gainesville
1. Does Gainesville have nightlife?
A. Yes, Gainesville has nightlife. It is loaded with clubs, restaurants, and bars that operate till 2 am. It has a place to sing your heart out or dance the night away with great drinks, laughs, and fun with friends.
2. What is Gainesville, Florida best known for?
A. Gainesville is famous for bars. It has upscale quality beer, wine, and liquor that can match your intimate expectation to have fun in the classiest way. The handcrafted cocktails are enough to take you to the dance floor and celebrate the evening.
3. Is Gainesville a college town?
A. Yes, Gainesville is a college town as it is home to the University of Florida. It is one of the highest-ranked college towns in the States. Its campus is considered as fourth largest.
4. What is the hipster part of Gainesville?
A. Grove Street sitting between Eighth Avenue on the south and 16th Avenue on the north is the hipster part of Gainesville. This place is the most radiant part of Gainesville.