A Local’s Guide to Boulder Barhopping

There’s nothing better than a classic bar crawl. Like Nick Miller from FOX’s sitcom New Girl said, “The crawl is for all.” Boulder is flooded with a multitude of bars and culinary experiences — it would be a crime to not check out the main attractions. Here’s a list of Nick Miller-worthy bars, for every personality in the friend group.

Have a Happy Hour at The Attic


Photo courtesy of The Attic on Facebook

Location: 949 Walnut St, Boulder

Hours: Monday – Wednesday (3 – 11 p.m.), Thursday – Friday (3 p.m.- 2 a.m.), Saturday (1 p.m. – 3 a.m.), Sunday (1 – 11 p.m.)

The Lowdown: Our first stop finds us at the classic Wisconsin-themed sports bar, The Attic. This joint has been around since 2002 and calls itself an elevated watering hole on Facebook. The comforting neighborhood bar scene not only is flooded with eager patrons playing pool or watching the game, but it also has some of the best happy hour deals (Monday – Friday from 3-6 p.m.) in Boulder, making it the perfect place to start the evening. Prep your liver for the drinking to come with options of five different types of sliders ($3.50 each) or a classic plate of wings ($6.95). The Attic also has late-night happy hour from 9 p.m. to close on Sundays, for those looking for a cheap brew at the end of the night.

Vibe at Avanti Food & Beverage


Photo courtesy of Avanti Food & Beverage on Facebook

Location: 1401 Pearl Street, Boulder

Hours: Sunday – Wednesday (11 a.m. – 11 p.m.), Thursday – Saturday (11 a.m. – 1 a.m.)

The Lowdown: After some drinks and wings at Boulder’s iconic Attic, it’s time for something a little more upscale. A short eight minute walk down the Pearl Street Mall leaves you at Avanti Food & Beverage. This establishment is filled with six different culinary experiences, all under one roof (or should I say, rooftop). Each in its own decorated shipping container, Avanti offers an eclectic mix of affordably priced chef-inspired cuisine, as the eatery’s website puts it. With a breathtaking view from the rooftop, to a modern, sleek inside look, you’re sure to find the cocktail or snack you’re craving. Grab a local Boulder favorite, an Avery IPA ($7) or a cocktail like the South of Sunnyside Sangria ($10) if you’re feeling adventurous.

Groove at Press Play


Photo courtesy of Press Play on Facebook

Location: 1005 Pearl Street, Boulder

Hours: Monday – Friday (4 p.m. – 2 a.m.), Saturday – Sunday (12 p.m. – 2 a.m.)

The Lowdown: A mere five minute walk will transport you from Avanti to Press Play. This bar, filled with 25 vintage arcade games and other fun activities, will certainly brighten up your day. The establishment has DJ’s play on Friday and Saturday night, ensuring you can get your groove on after you beat a friend at air hockey. If you love 80’s music and dancing, this is the place to spend your time (and money). Press Play has drink specials seven nights a week, as well as karaoke on Wednesday nights. This is a Boulder barhop staple.

Chill Out at The Bitter Bar


Photo courtesy of The Bitter Bar on Facebook

Location: 835 Walnut Street, Boulder 

Hours: Monday – Thursday (5 – 11 p.m.), Friday – Saturday (5 p.m. – 12 a.m.), Sunday (5 – 10 p.m.)

The Lowdown: The crawl continues with a four minute stroll to The Bitter Bar. Contrasting from the 80’s hype of Press Play, The Bitter Bar has a dimmer ambiance, focusing in on the cocktails and overall experience. Initially starting off selling drinks at the back of a noodle house, creator James Lee believed that these concoctions deserved more attention, resulting in the opening of this iconic speakeasy/neighborhood bar. Stop in here for That Pink Drink ($10) or the Tin Man ($10), and you won’t be disappointed.

End the Night at The Pearl Street Pub & Cellar

Photo courtesy of The Pearl Street Pub and Cellar on Facebook

Location: 1108 Pearl Street, Boulder

Hours: Mon-Sun (12 p.m. – 2 a.m.)

The Lowdown: Our final stop is the shortest walk, just two minutes down the road from Bitter Bar. We complete the crawl with a classic dive bar, the Pearl Street Pub and Cellar. This iconic establishment has been around since 1977 and occupies one of the oldest buildings in Boulder, dating back to the mid-1870’s. Stop by for affordable, excellent food and drinks and make sure to be there for late-night happy hour. Indulge in some mac & cheese wedges ($10) and make sure to pet the buffalo head on your way out.