Unwind after a long week with a cold drink and some great appetizers at the Hoosier State’s best bars. Combining a relaxed atmosphere, with high-quality service, delicious food, and of course, an excellent selection of adult beverages, Indiana’s best bars have it all. Here are our 10 favorites.
Believe it or not, Kokomo has its fair share of bars to get a good beer and some good food. The Filling Station, located on West Sycamore across from St. Joseph Hospital, is best known for their $1 Taco Mondays and unlike Taco Bell, you won’t find yourself asking “Where’s the beef?”
If bars aren’t exactly your thing, try the Workingman’s Friend in Indianapolis. Known as a dive bar to most of the locals, it’s not your typical bar but it’s not a restaurant either. A local haunt for politicians and journalists alike, this bar is also non-smoking, one of few in Indiana that are completely smoke free. The service is excellent and the food and drinks delicious.
Another bar where you can get a decent drink is Bert and Johnny’s Tavern, located on East Hoffer street in Kokomo. It’s a neighborhood bar and because of its location not far from Chrysler and Delphi, this is definitely a working man (or woman’s) bar.
Rookie’s is the ultimate sports pub here in Indiana. Located on State Road 38 right next to the Tippecanoe Mall, this Boilermaker headquarters has it all! From their weekly Wednesday “Brain Blast” trivia nights to being THE place to go to watch all Purdue University games, Rookie’s rocks! Good food. Good drinks. And so much fun!
One of Indiana’s oldest bars, the Slippery Noodle Inn has a colorful and lively history, and is known as one of the best blues clubs in Indiana. In the early years of the Civil War it was part of the Underground Railroad. During the Prohibition Era, it was used as a stable, target practice, and a slaughterhouse. The Slippery Noodle is most famous thanks to the number of musicians and celebrities who have visited over the years, including Sugar Blue, The Nighthawks, Ronnie Earl, Jimmy Fallon, Tim Tebow, The Blues Brothers Band, Cheap Trick, Harry Connick, Jr., and more.
The Nickel Plate Bar & Grill isn’t your average bar. It features a casual, pub like family friendly atmosphere. The Nickel Plate Bar & Grill has a full-service bar, private dining area, as well as an all season patio so you can enjoy your drinks and meals outside year-round. The Nickel Plate Bar & Grill is best known (as is most of Indiana) for their pork tenderloin sandwiches and beer.
Another one of Indiana’s oldest bars for the history lovers out there, the Knickerbocker Saloon was established in 1835 and issued Indiana’s first liquor license. Care to have a cigar with your beer? Ask your bartender for the best pairings. The bar boasts live music on Friday and Saturday nights, as well as half off wine on Tuesdays. On Wednesdays, ladies can enjoy Martini Night with over 50 martinis to choose from. It’s a definite must see for anyone passing through the Lafayette area!
In case you are wondering why this pub looks so familiar, the photo of The Irish Lion back bar was featured in the opening credits of “Cheers.” The building was used as a pub and inn in 1882 before becoming an array of taverns and other business establishments between 1935 to 1957. In 1982, the Irish Lion, as it is now officially, opened its doors. The bar has its own ghost stories associated with it, and at the end of every night before closing, bartenders are asked to leave a shot of whiskey at the end of the bar for the dearly departed. Not sure what to get? Try a pint of Guinness or the Blarney Puff Balls or the fish and chips!
The Tomlinson Tap Room is known as one of the local neighborhood pubs in downtown Indianapolis. Part of the city’s new market district, the Tomlinson Tap Room is the perfect spot to relax after a long day at the office or to gather with friends while checking out the impressive view of downtown Indianapolis. But what truly makes this pub unique is that it has only tapped, local Indiana beer. The food is delicious with a wide range of beer to choose from, but it’s the environment that keeps the locals coming back.
While it may not look like much on the outside, Syd’s Bar is located in the heart of downtown Noblesville, a quaint picturesque town. It has that hometown feel and is designed for the 21 and over crowd, although there is a family entrance on the side on the corner of 8th street. The service is fantastic and the drinks are even better. Feeling a bit hungry? Try the tenderloin and waffle fries! Feeling like you want to belt out a tune and channel your inner rock star? Take a chance during karaoke night and shine bright like a diamond!