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Where to Go Out for Drinks in Detroit

Detroit is a large, bustling city with many different attractions and activities. You may be visiting “Motor City” to learn about the automotive industry, visit the Motown Museum, or simply walk around the Riverfront.

bars in detroit serves cocktail drinks

Regardless of what you’re in town for, you should make sure to save some time and energy for a night out at one of the best bars in Detroit!

The nightlife in Detroit is spread out all over the city, so you’re sure to find a bar that fits your taste and style. Check out some of these popular spots below.


Candy Bar

1509 Broadway St, Detroit, MI 48226
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If you’re a fan of stylish, trendy cocktail bars, you’ll likely fall in love with Candy Bar. It’s located in Downtown Detroit and is connected to the Siren Hotel.

You’ll walk into a glitzy room with a large chandelier, other decorative light fixtures, and an appealing, intimate vibe.

There are several fantastic craft cocktails you can order.

I usually stick with a cosmopolitan, but if you’re feeling like trying something new, I recommend ordering a Blue Ivy.

It is certainly not the cheapest bar in the city, but it’s worth the higher price in my opinion.


The Skip

The Belt, Detroit, MI 48226
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The Skip is a funky, hidden gem located in The Belt, an alleyway full of different murals and artwork in Downtown Detroit.

The bar is small, but it has a big personality. It’s the perfect place to go for a low-key night out with friends.

They have an extensive selection of beers, both local and imported, as well as an impressive array of frozen drinks.

Because of their frozen drinks, I tend to frequent The Skip in the summer more than anything, but their holiday-themed decor and beverage lists get me in the door occasionally in the winter as well!

No matter what season you visit Detroit, you’re sure to have a fun time at The Skip.


Bad Luck Bar

1218 Griswold St, Detroit, MI 48226
Phone: 313-657-9177
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Bad Luck Bar is an upscale cocktail bar with a comical name, creative concoctions, and intriguing drink presentations.

You have to enter Bad Luck Bar in an alley behind Griswold, which gives it even more of a speakeasy vibe than its compact, elegant, and intimate settings.

The drinks are always so tasty, with unique flavors that’ll make you forget you’re even drinking alcohol.

Perhaps that’s why it’s called Bad Luck. You can drink a lot here without realizing it and then make some questionable decisions after that!

Still, I highly recommend indulging in a drink or two here, especially if you want to treat yourself to a more upscale beverage.

Also, I don’t have a favorite drink here because I always go off-menu and let the bartenders do what they do best.


Batch Brewing Company

1400 Porter St, Detroit, MI 48216
Phone: 313-338-8008
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If a spacious, airy brewery is more your vibe than an intimate, upscale speakeasy, make your way to Batch Brewing Company.

Located in Corktown, Batch is one of the most popular breweries in town.

They have a great outdoor seating area perfect for enjoying a sunny day, and the indoor space is ideal for cozying up with a beer on a cold winter day.

Batch Brewing Company has a rotating cast of beers, so there’s always something new and exciting to try.

My favorite is whatever IPA they have on draft, but they also tend to have tasty ciders. Plus, their food is delicious! I love pairing my beer with either a Cubano or Nopales Nachos.

This is an excellent spot to go with a group of friends to hang out, share a bunch of bar bites, and just enjoy life.


Cadieux Cafe

4300 Cadieux Rd, Detroit, MI 48224
Phone: 313-882-8560
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I’m a massive fan of family-run restaurants and bars, so Cadieux Cafe is a winner for me. Cadieux Cafe is a highly popular dive bar with a speakeasy vibe in Cornerstone Village, near Baldock Park.

The bar serves excellent Belgian beer. And in addition to getting great beer in Detroit, going there means you’ll also have the opportunity to listen to live music, go bowling, and eat tasty mussels.

If you’re in a daring mood, you can even try “homemade” rabbit — yes, you read that right. Cadieux Cafe serves Belgian rabbit, which I like getting alongside fish and chips.

If you want the rabbit, get there before the dinner rush, though, because it tends to run out quickly.

Also, if you’re feeling even more daring, try singing to the crowd during karaoke nights on Wednesdays.


The Monarch Club

33 John R St Penthouse, Detroit, MI 48226
Phone: 313-306-2380
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In the heart of Downtown Detroit beside Comerica Park, you’ll find The Monarch Club, a sleek, upscale club with a Neo-Gothic building.

I love hanging out on The Monarch Club’s rooftop patio and sitting around one of the fire pits to enjoy the views.

In addition to an excellent vibe and incredible craft cocktails, they also have delicious appetizers and small plates.

My favorite bites to eat alongside my drinks include the charcuterie board, lamb chops, and mushroom flatbread.


The Sugar House

2130 Michigan Ave, Detroit, MI 48216
Phone: 313-962-0123
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The Sugar House is a prohibition-era style speakeasy located in Corktown. This bar is on the smaller side, but it’s lively and has a great atmosphere.

I recommend getting one of their craft cocktails. I love “Ginger Anejo” the most. They have an impressive selection of liquor — including smoked Bourbon, which is a hit — and the bartenders are very knowledgeable about mixology.

If you’re feeling hungry, their menu has some great small plates that are perfect for sharing. Truffle oil popcorn is my personal favorite.

Given the intimate vibe, I like going here on date nights, especially before or after going out to other, larger establishments.


UFO Factory

2110 Trumbull, Detroit, MI 48216
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UFO Factory is an ultra-hip and funky bar that’s perfect for watching cool indie bands and viewing art.

The bar, located in Corktown, next to The Corner Ballpark, is also an excellent option for vegan eaters. They have tons of tasty vegan options, including a vegan hot dog and vegan chili!

I like coming to UFO Factory with friends, but it’s also fun to go alone or with just one or two people, given the super friendly vibe.

The bartenders always seem up for a conversation, even while preparing a craft cocktail for you.


The Ghostbar at the Whitney

4421 Woodward Ave, Detroit, MI 48201
Phone: 313-832-5700
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The Ghostbar is an elegant bar in Midtown near the Museum of Contemporary Art.

Its location is optimal because this historically-designed, classy space is the best place to drink after exploring contemporary art all afternoon.

If you make it to The Ghostbar time for happy hour, you can get excellent prices on drinks. But even if you don’t, everything you get will be worth the expense.

I also love that there are different rooms with different themes, including an absinthe lounge. Some say the mansion it’s in is “haunted,” but don’t let that stop you from taking a quick trip inside.


Kiesling

449 E Milwaukee Ave, Detroit, MI 48202
Phone: 313-638-2169
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Kiesling is another bar set in a historic building, specifically from 1890. The vintage decor is fitting and makes me feel like I’m in another era every time I step in.

This bar has excellent craft cocktails, as you would expect in a space with low lighting, brick walls, and jazz music.

I also appreciate the inviting feel of the eclectic crowd. The intimate room makes it feel like we’re all friends hanging out in a cool basement.

My favorite cocktails at Kiesling include “Denied At The Door” with pineapple rum and “Sledding In St. Louis” with mezcal.


Lost River

15421 Mack Ave, Detroit, MI 48224
Phone: 313-720-0673
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If you’re a big fan of cocktail bars and can’t get enough of them, why not add Lost River to your list of bars to visit while in Detroit?

Lost River is a bit further out in Grosse Pointe Park, but if you find yourself in the neighborhood, I highly recommend popping in.

It has a tiki bar vibe with creatively styled drinks, exceptionally attentive bartenders, and great movies playing in the background. What more could you ask for?

And if that’s not enough, Lost River also has a fog machine going! Some people might think it’s a bit obnoxious, but I think it adds a creative, not-too-serious touch.


Standby

225 Gratiot Ave, Detroit, MI 48226
Phone: 313-241-5719
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Another popular cocktail bar in Detroit is called Standby, and it’s located right in Downtown Detroit next to Library Park.

Unlike many other cocktail bars on this list, this one has an extensive menu that’s not limited to just small plates and bar bites.

That said, in addition to your inventive craft cocktail — “Slime Language” with rum, gin, and chili salt being one of my favorites — you can have a full dinner.

My favorite food items include mussels, short rib tacos, and blistered shishito peppers.


Marble Bar

1501 Holden St, Detroit, MI 48208
Phone: 313-338-3674

Marble Bar is a unique music venue with an industrial-hip look, an edgy atmosphere, and live EDM DJs.

Located between Tech Town and Elijah Mccoy near the Ford Hospital, this techno joint is one of the city’s most fun places to go out dancing.

I appreciate how LGBTQ+ friendly the staff is here and how kind they are in general. Plus, I like how there are two different areas.

You can hang out outdoors on pleasant days or chill and dance indoors with the air conditioning. The inside is nice if you need the AC, but I like the trendy look and vibe of the outdoor space better.


Willis Show Bar

4156 3rd Ave, Detroit, MI 48201
Phone: 313-788-7469
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Willis Show Bar is a super swanky and luxurious lounge that’s still somehow simultaneously inviting. It looks old-school and expensive, but the drinks are moderately priced, and the atmosphere is incredible.

In addition to getting delicious cocktails here, I love listening to live jazz bands here on “Harlem Nights.”

This bar is a great place to celebrate an event or simply hang out with friends if you’re looking to have a more classy evening.


Final Thoughts

So, there you have it – some of my favorite bars in Detroit!

There’s a variety of options throughout the city, so whether you prefer a chill spot, a casual hangout joint, or a fancy cocktail bar, you can find one that suits your needs.

Regardless of their style and niche, the best bars in Detroit all have incredible drinks, decent bar bites, a welcoming atmosphere, and excellent staff.

If you’re looking for more of a scenic view to go with your drinks, check out these rooftop bars around town!

Did we leave a bar out of this list? Make sure you leave us a comment, and we’ll check it out!


Best Bars in Detroit

  1. Candy Bar
  2. The Skip
  3. Bad Luck Bar
  4. Batch Brewing Company
  5. Cadieux Cafe
  6. The Monarch Club
  7. The Sugar House
  8. UFO Factory
  9. The Ghostbar at the Whitney
  10. Kiesling
  11. Lost River
  12. Standby
  13. Marble Bar
  14. Willis Show Bar

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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.