9 Best Bars in Iowa: 2024 Edition!

Whether you like your martinis shaken or stirred, there are plenty of bars in Iowa to find your drink of choice. While it may seem overwhelming to narrow down just the right one for the kind of night you&rsquoking for, a handful of bars in Iowa can fit the ticket no matter how much fun you’re looking to have. If you are looking for a really good time in the Hawkeye State, go ahead and check out these 9 best bars in Iowa: 2024 edition!

TCB Pool Hall, Iowa City, IA

Featuring top of the line pool tables, the TCB Pool Hall (The College Billiards) is one of the last remaining establishments of its kind, and it just so happens to be a great place to grab a drink even if you’re not a pool player. Located centrally in the scenic Iowa City Pedestrian Mall, TCB welcomes students from the nearby University of Iowa campus and the local community alike, and with over 20 tables to play on, you can get your cue ball in right position to strike into a really fun night.

1st and Main, Dubuque, IA

For a touch of class on your next night out, stop by 1st and Main in Dubuque for that style you’re looking for. Whatever appetite your stomach can come up with, whether it be tantalizing appetizers or made-to-order martinis, you’re sure to find it in the sleek and comfortable atmosphere provided by 1st and Main. If you really need a reason to stop into this hip establishment, 1st and Main has daily food and drink specials that change every week, plus live entertainment throughout the month, so be sure to check out their website for what’s happening next at 1st and Main.

El Bait Shop, Des Moines, IA

For a comfortable spot to drink the craft beer of your choice, and perhaps dine on some delectable fish tacos, El Bait Shop in Des Moines has the largest selection of beer anywhere in the state, making sure that there is always something on the drink menu that can please your pallet. Connected to another staple Des Moines bar, the High Life Lounge, which offers a laidback atmosphere and nationally known appetizers, with the combination of the El Bait Shop and their selection of beers with the extra space of the High Life Lounge, it makes for one of the most happening nightlife spots in Des Moines.

Jameson’s Public House, Waterloo, IA

A lot of bars in Iowa and across the nation claim Irish ancestry, but Jameson’s Public House of Waterloo really delivers on the authentic Irish action. Featuring a drink menu consisting primarily of only beer and Irish whiskey, plus Irish fare like shepherd's pie and bangers & mash, the Irish culture doesn’t only come out of the menu options. With a strongly green-themed environment, live music with a Celtic flair and Gaelic script scrawled across the walls, whether you have Irish ancestry or not, you’ll find yourself a part of the community at Jameson’s Public House. 

London Underground, Ames, IA

Touted as “a little brit different,” the London Underground in Ames strives for a seemingly simple goal of providing a comfortable, relaxed atmosphere to enjoy a pint, but far exceeds expectations in the service and ambiance they afford. Like stepping into your local neighborhood bar, don’t be surprised if the bartenders know your name after a few visits, and once you sit down after ordering from a selection of your favorite beers, don’t be surprised if you decide to stay awhile. 

Bricks Bar & Grill, Cedar Rapids, IA

With over 60 beers on tap and a fun atmosphere to hang out in, Bricks Bar and Grill has been a hot spot on the Cedar Rapids scene ever since it opened its doors in 2002. Open every day for lunch, happy hour and evening entertainment, Bricks always has something inviting on the menu for you to enjoy. Whether it’s the smoked chicken nachos or craft beer of your choice that brings you into Bricks, maybe even just the welcoming atmosphere, you’ll be sure to want to visit this Cedar Rapids staple once again after night’s end.  

Hessen Haus, Des Moines, IA

For an authentic German night out on the town, the Hessen Haus, located in downtown Des Moines next to the Science Center, can put you in the festive mood no matter the time of the year. With over 50 authentic German biers on tap, plus a whole selection of German fare made to order, the Hessen Haus isn’t just German from the outside, and one stop into this seemingly old-world German bier hall and you’ll see and hear for yourself why this Des Moines bar is there to stay.

Barrel House 211, Davenport, IA

With two locations in uptown and downtown Davenport, plus an additional spot across the Mississippi River in Moline, Illinois, the Barrel House 211 stands as some of the best drinking establishments in the Quad Cities. Featuring an extensive beer and wine selection, plus house-inspired cocktails, the Barrel House 211 is perhaps just as noted for their ample food selection. Whether you’re looking for a comfortable spot for lunch, or are thinking about staying out into the night, either of the two Davenport Barrel House 211’s locations will give you the experience you’re hoping for. 

Barleys, Council Bluffs, IA

The perfect place to throw a party or have a date night, Barleys bar and restaurant has the right atmosphere for any good time. With an extensive list of beers on tap that only rivals their selection of food, no matter the kind of night you’re looking for, you can find it on the menu at Barleys. Open every day of the week from 11 p.m. to 2 a.m., Barleys also hosts a happy hour every weekday from 3 to 6 p.m., but no matter the time you go, you’ll be sure to find something that satisfies your appetite. 

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