Guide: Iowa City bars & their most popular drinks


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.


Clinton Street
Social Club

18 ½ S. Clinton St.
Iowa City

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.


Dave’s Fox
Head Tavern

402 E. Market St.
Iowa City

Facebook page

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.


Donnelly’s Pub

110 E. College St.
Iowa City

The name might not be PC, but they are tasty: Donnelly’s patrons enjoy Irish Car Bombs.


Dublin Underground

5 S. Dubuque St., Iowa City
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Surprisingly, this Irish bar’s most popular whiskey is Bulleit bourbon. Not surprisingly, their most popular beer is Guinesss.


Gabe’s Oasis

330 E. Washington St.
Iowa City

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.
Iowa City

Martini’s is a favorite for the undergrad crowd, whose cocktail knowledge leans toward simple, low-calorie choices like vodka, water and lime.


Micky’s Irish
Pub & Grill

11 S. Dubuque St., Iowa City
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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.


Sanctuary Pub

405 S. Gilbert St.
Iowa City

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.


Short’s Burger
& Shine

18 S. Clinton St., Iowa City
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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.


Sports Column

12 S. Dubuque St.
Iowa City

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
Facebook page

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.


Yacht Club

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.



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