Ranking best college bars in the SEC
Four weeks from this Thursday and we will be watching college football. It’s getting real, people.
That means it’s time for you to start doing your research on where to enjoy said college football games. If you fancy an electric atmosphere full of fans that don your colors but can’t afford forking over the hundreds of dollars for actual seats at the stadium, it sounds like you are in need of a cool bar to post up in.
The guys over at College Ranker have you covered. They’ve ranked the top 50 best college bars across the country, and many are tied to SEC teams (spoiler: No. 1 does not go to the Alabama team you’re thinking of).
1. Quixote’s – Auburn, Alabama
Quixote’s is a pub that has everything the standard college student at Auburn University would want: good food, decent prices, and drinks. Quixotes Bar and Grill of Auburn, Alabama offers deals like a $5.50 wing platter and $1.00 draft of Bud or Coors to bring in the basketball crowds to root for the home team (War Eagle!). They also have at least two nights of entertainment such as live music or games, and at least ten different types of beers. Their menu items are priced at an average of $8.00, making it an ideal situation for college students who want to enjoy themselves on a budget. With a dollar happy hour pricing with at least twenty-four hours of happy hours a week, it’s no wonder that Quixote’s is a favorite among Auburn students.
9. McNally’s – Columbia, Missouri
For students at Mizzou (University of Missouri) in Columbia, MO, the McNally’s Irish Pub is the standard place for sports events, foosball, darks, pool and other games to decompress from midterm’s and final’s weeks. To relieve that stress, they have bar foods like nachos, Guinness cheese dip, onion rings, wings, and spinach-artichoke dip. For those seeking something more substantial and rustic, McNally’s also has strip, ribeye and sirloin steaks on the menu. They have happy hour every day of the week between 4PM and 7PM. They also offer tap for pints and pitchers. For scotch and whiskey lovers, they have different types of single malts available on site.
18. Two Keys Tavern – Lexington, Kentucky
Lexington, Kentucky’s local university spirit comes together at the Two Keys Tavern, which has been a fixture in the local scene since 1936. The tavern offers specials on pint and well drinks, live music from local bands on Fridays without charging a cover to college students on a budget, and thirty different beers to choose from depending on the person’s mood. It hosts thirty-six hours of happy hour per week, as well as live events and sports nights for its local college basketball and football enthusiasts.
22. Half Barrel – Knoxville, Tennessee
Knoxville, Tennessee has an excellent pub that’s right for students at the University of Tennessee looking for the right brew in the right season. The Half Barrel offers $2.50 margaritas in the summer season and Saturday college game nights for those looking to catch college basketball and football. They specialize in American bistro style foods as well as special deals on bourbon and draft beer selections, ranging up to twenty-three different kinds. The Half Barrel is the right kind of place for those in search of a fun atmosphere to watch games, a decent spot to knock back some beers and chat and catch up with friends. They host at least one night of live entertainment such as music or bar games, and they offer sports packages for those looking to root for home of the Bluetick Coonhound—Smokey the mascot.
29. The Whig – Columbia, South Carolina
Columbia, South Carolina’s go-to spot is the Whig. It is embraced by the University of South Carolina’s student body and faculty for its casual dive atmosphere, drink specials, and reasonably priced bar menu. The Whig has taco Tuesdays, sweet potato fries, mac and cheese, and chicken and waffles. They offer a great selection of beers on tap, ranging up to twenty-eight different kinds. They have live music, trivia night, games and Karaoke for those looking for some excellent entertainment. They also offer up to twenty-one hours of happy hour per week. For those looking to catch up on their college basketball and football games, the Whig has them covered. The Whig has great food and its many great food reviews on Yelp help attest to that claim.
32. Slinky’s – Baton Rouge, Louisiana
Baton Rouge’s favorite spot for Louisiana State University students is Slinky’s bar. It’s a relaxed atmosphere with a pool table, jukebox, beers on tap and a full bar. Slinky’s has eighteen different beer selections, game nights, live entertainment, as well as TV and sports packages for those looking to catch their home team on screen for the latest college basketball or football game. Slinky’s is a classic dive, and not known for any food options. But it is the go-to spot for catching up with friends with a drink.
34. Sideways – Fayetteville, Arkansas
[University of Arkansas’] most beloved bar is Sideways in Fayetteville. It offers a full bar, draft brews, twelve hours of happy hour per week, and up to fifty different selections of beers. Sideways also hosts live entertainment and games, as well as TV and sports package deals for those looking to catch their home team on the latest college basketball or football game. Sideways is also well-known for its carefully crafted cocktails as well as its student-budget-wary pricing. Sideways is a classic dive, so it isn’t known for its food selections, but it does have great mixed drinks to satisfy any palette.
44. O’Bannon’s Taphouse – College Station, Texas
O’Bannon’s Taphouse is Texas A&M University’s go-to spot for beer tours, drink specials ($2.00 wells), and $1.00 discount on all drafts from Monday through Sunday. They have a great selection of not only beers but also whiskey and scotch. They host up to thirty-six hours of happy hour per week and offer a whopping seventy-five selection of different beers to choose from. They occasionally do host some live entertainment, but for those seeking to catch up with their games, O’Bannon’s is a good place to be. O’Bannon’s doesn’t have a food menu, but their large selection of beers to choose from, including a creamy Guinness, who needs food, anyway?
45. The Midnight – Gainesville, Florida
University of Florida’s student body frequents The Midnight in Gainesville for its reasonably priced bar menu items such as homemade chili, sandwiches—including a peanut butter and jelly or peanut butter and nutella—hot dogs, and sides. They have up to twenty different beers to choose from, twenty-five hours of happy hour per week to enjoy, and live entertainment and games. The Midnight is not the ideal place to catch up on your college games, but it does have a great menu and bar to enjoy. It’s an excellent place to catch up with friends or decompress while enjoying a few beers.