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Fun Places to Get a Drink in Dayton

Where to grab a drink when you’re in the area.

Beautiful Dayton, Ohio, is one of the best cities in the state.

colorful lights and drinks setup at dayton bars

It’s culturally and historically relevant, and history buffs can visit treasures like the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force and one of the Wright Brothers’ planes.

There are also plenty of kid-friendly activities, museums, and great bars where you can quench your thirst.

Next time you find yourself in Dayton, Ohio, go where the locals go!

These best bars in Dayton offer incredible food, games, great company, and plenty of cocktails and beers.

So whether you love your cosmos or IPAs, there’s something on the bar menu for you in Dayton.

Check out my list of the best bars in Dayton below!

Blind Bob’s

430 E 5th St, Dayton, OH 45402
Phone: 937-938-6405
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You’ll find Blind Bob’s a few blocks away from Cooper Park, and it’s easily one of the best watering holes in the entire city.

Expect incredible, friendly service and excellent music.

You might even make a new friend or two at Blind Bob’s.

In addition to great drinks, you’ll find an extensive menu of huge burgers prepared right to your specifications.

If you’re a beer lover, sample the local selection.

You will not be disappointed, and since the taps change frequently, there’s always something new and delicious to discover at Blind Bob’s.

Since this is a local favorite, it tends to get busy quickly, but there’s ample space to sit.

DK Effect

1600 E 3rd St, Dayton, OH 45403
Phone: 937-416-2750
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A few minutes drive from Bomberger Park, DK Effect is centrally located and one of the best bars in Dayton to kick back with the locals.

The ultimate old-school haunt is full of classic video games and a brilliant beer selection.

I love visiting DK Effect for happy hour and having arcade games tournaments all night.

It’s a great weekend or after work.

Even if you’re not a gamer, you’ll love the vast craft beer selection at DK Effect.

From obscure finds to local favorites, it’s all there.

So if you want an authentic Dayton experience, stop by.

South Park Tavern & Pizza (SPT)

1301 Wayne Ave, Dayton, OH 45410
Phone: 937-813-7491
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South Park Taven & Pizza is a great place to visit if you’re in downtown Dayton because it’s only a short drive off the 35 near Burns-Jackson Park.

Although this place is super popular, you won’t have a problem finding a table, and the service is speedy.

You’ll find an excellent variety of different pizzas.

Some of my favorites are the taco pizza and veggie pizzas.

Everything is fresh, delicious, and made to order.

If you have a larger group, consider ordering a few different pizzas and sharing them with the table. The beer selection is impressive too.

The Barrel House

417 E 3rd St, Dayton, OH 45402
Phone: 937-222-4795
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The Barrel House is just a short walk from Day Air Ballpark, and it’s an excellent bar to visit if you’re looking for both alcoholic and nonalcoholic drink options.

Their mocktails are on point, and if you’re looking for a full boozy version, The Barrel House has you covered too.

You’ll also find plenty of great seating, including couches and chairs, making The Barrel House a wonderful place to go with friends and family.

Plus, the patrons at The Barrel House are friendly and accommodating, so there’s a great chance you’ll leave with new friends.

The Century Bar

18 S Jefferson St, Dayton, OH 45402
Phone: 937-723-8401
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Two blocks from Cooper Park, this stately and elegant bar is a bourbon lover’s dream.

The Century Bar has a vast selection of spirits, including virtually any type of bourbon you could want.

Plus, the bartenders are friendly and knowledgeable.

They can make recommendations for both straight shots and mixed drinks.

Although The Century Bar gets crowded, you can usually find a nice place to sit.

It’s got a fun, welcoming vibe, and you’ll feel like you’ve been transported to another more elegant time once you walk through the doors.

The Century Bar is a winner in my book with a speakeasy flair and plenty of yummy drinks.

Tender Mercy

607 E 3rd St, Dayton, OH 45402
Phone: 937-453-0007
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There’s only one way to describe Tender Mercy; cool.

This excellent speakeasy-style bar is near 2nd Street Market.

So if you’re looking for a high-end place to drink after a day of exploring, look no further.

You’ll feel right at home at Tender Mercy.

Although it’s undeniably glamorous, Tender Mercy has a fun edge.

You’ll find all sorts of people there and a friendly vibe that will make you want to stay all night.

My favorite cocktail is the Clarified Milk Punch, full of cognac, bourbon, absinthe, and bright lemon and pineapple notes.

Van Buren Room

122 Van Buren St, Dayton, OH 45402
Phone: 937-250-1837
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Reasonably close to Bomberger Park, Van Buren Room is a classic, swanky place where the bartenders can show off their artistry.

Expect inspired cocktails, tons of different spirits, and a friendly atmosphere that will make you feel like you’re part of the family.

One of the only downsides is that it does tend to get crowded, so come during the off-hours if you want a good seat.

Notable cocktails include the Heart of Gold with two premium vodkas, tropical fruits, and a bright burst of rose wine.

Strawberry Fields is another one of my personal favorites featuring gin, CBD, simple homemade syrup, and a bright twist of lemon.

Canal Street Arcade and Deli

308 E 1st St, Dayton, OH 45402
Phone: 937-220-9333
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Canal Street Arcade and Deli is literally right next to Day Air Ballpark, so it’s one of the most centrally located and best bars in Dayton on our list.

So if you’re looking for fabulous sandwiches, a fun atmosphere, and a great bar to settle in at, Canal Street Arcade and Deli is your spot.

No matter what you order, you’re sure to love it.

Canal Street Arcade and Deli has indoor and outdoor seating and various arcade games like Ms. Pacman and Qbert.

The bartenders are engaging, professional, and friendly.

If you’re not sure what to order, just ask!

They always direct me towards something delicious and suitable to my tastes.

Red Star

534 E 1st St, Dayton, OH 45402
Phone: 937-474-9418
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Red Star is one of the most unique bars in all of Dayton, with a post-Soviet vibe and plenty of artisan vodkas.

So, stop into Red Star if you’re looking for a truly different experience and want to appreciate the bartender’s artistry and vision.

I love their wide selection of infused vodkas and the overall feel of the place.

Plus, since it’s just two blocks away from 2nd Street Market, it’s convenient and fun.

The crowd is eclectic and cool, and the bartenders are very friendly and will help you select the drink that’s right for you.

MJ’s on Jefferson

20 N Jefferson St, Dayton, OH 45402
Phone: 937-223-3259
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LGBTQIA+ friendly, inclusive, and fun, MJ’s on Jefferson has got to be one of the best bars in Dayton, hands down.

It’s close to the Dayton Metro Library and has a fun nightclub feeling and plenty of entertainment.

Depending on the night you visit, you can find a premier drag show, karaoke, or trivia.

MJ’s on Jefferson is a vast space with plenty of indoor and outdoor seating.

There’s a robust cocktail menu, plus beers on tap, and a smoking area for those who want to light up.

No matter who you are, you’ll fit in just fine at MJ’s on Jefferson.

Fifth Street Brewpub

1600 E 5th St, Dayton, OH 45403
Phone: 937-443-0919
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Three blocks from the Diyanet Mosque, Fifth Street Brewpub is a fantastic place to go for great cocktails and food that’s light years ahead of your standard bar fare.

There are so many great things to choose from, but personally, I love the summer salmon and asparagus.

It’s fresh and flaky, and the vegetables complement it perfectly.

Fifth Street Brewpub also has a fantastic craft beer selection.

If you’re not sure what to order, just tell the servers what kind of style you like best.

They can make recommendations and maybe even introduce you to a whole new brew.

Final Thoughts

From incredible LGBTQIA+ friendly establishments to fantastic dive bars, there’s something for every taste in Dayton, Ohio.

So if you find yourself thirsty after a long day of sightseeing or walking around the city, make sure that you stop at one of these watering holes for good conversation and a great drink.

Check out some of our favorite places to eat around the city as well!

Did we get all of your Dayton favorites? Let us know in the comments if we’ve left something off the list, and we’ll be sure to check it out.

Best Bars in Dayton

  1. Blind Bob’s
  2. DK Effect
  3. South Park Tavern & Pizza (SPT)
  4. The Barrel House
  5. The Century Bar
  6. Tender Mercy
  7. Van Buren Room
  8. Canal Street Arcade and Deli
  9. Red Star
  10. MJ’s on Jefferson
  11. Fifth Street Brewpub

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Written by Rocco Smith

Rocco is a recent graduate of Florida State University with a Bachelor’s in Editing, Writing, and Media. With seven years’ experience in the restaurant industry as a cook, server, bartender, and more, he is deeply passionate about intertwining his fondness for food with his love of language.