Whether you are looking for a club, a pub or to fill your stein with the latest craft beer release, downtown Iowa City has a lot to offer a drinking crowd. Explore some of the area’s bars through their most popular drinks.
18 ½ S. Clinton St.
With the strongest bar program in the area, Clinton Street’s liquor shelf is full of boutique and hard-to-find spirits, and their staff can talk extensively about each one. Their most popular drink: a good ol’ old fashioned.
402 E. Market St.
Don’t overthink the drink — save all your brainpower for the conversations you’ll likely have in this writer-filled bar. A Jameson neat with a beer back is all you need.
110 E. College St.
The name might not be PC, but they are tasty: Donnelly’s patrons enjoy Irish Car Bombs.
5 S. Dubuque St., Iowa City
Surprisingly, this Irish bar’s most popular whiskey is Bulleit bourbon. Not surprisingly, their most popular beer is Guinesss.
330 E. Washington St.
When at Gabe’s, grab a tallboy of PBR and hit the patio.
IC Ugly’s Saloon
210 N. Linn St., Iowa City
Half the crowd at this Northside, townie bar loves the drink specials, like the Pop Rocks martini; the other half relies on standards like a frosty mug of domestic beer.
127 E. College St.
Martini’s is a favorite for the undergrad crowd, whose cocktail knowledge leans toward simple, low-calorie choices like vodka, water and lime.
Pub & Grill
11 S. Dubuque St., Iowa City
Even though Micky’s is an Irish Pub, they make a killer Moscow mule, served in an ice-cold copper mug; it’s delicious and refreshing.
The Mill Restaurant
120 E. Burlington St., Iowa City
People who visit The Mill enjoy the bar’s great selection of craft beers but can’t get enough of Bell’s Two Hearted Ale.
405 S. Gilbert St.
The Sanctuary has one of the strongest craft and import beer programs in Iowa City. They do a great job of highlighting local and regional brews.
18 S. Clinton St., Iowa City
Short’s recently started collaborating with Cedar Ridge, a local distillery, to make Short’s Whiskey. This Iowa whiskey is delicious on its own, but many enjoy it in their whiskey Cokes.
12 S. Dubuque St.
Especially packed on game days, Sports Column tends to attract a lot of students and alumni. They are also a go-to for birthdays, when they offer 20 pitchers of beer for $25.
10 S. Clinton St., Iowa City
Visitors to the Summit love the Iowa City Iced Water, a variation on the Long Island Iced Tea, that includes gin, Absolut vodka and lime juice.
13 S. Linn St., Iowa City
At this popular music venue, it depends on who’s playing, but more often than not the crowd here wants a shot of Fireball and a PBR.