The 10 Best Bars In Bloomington-Normal, Illinois

Martini in Blo-No IL

Are you looking for a fun night out without a long drive? Bloomington-Normal, Illinois, is home to top-tier and five-star bars for any outing. You can watch your favorite team at local sports bars, enjoy a chic date night, or experiment with locally made microbrews at unique gastropubs you won’t find anywhere else. Check out these top 10 best bars in Bloomington-Normal, Illinois.

Best Bars in Downtown Bloomington

8 Bit Arcade Bar

If you want to have a game night at your favorite bar but you’re tired of trivia night, then 8 Bit Arcade Bar is the place to go. This bar features a wide variety of beer and cider, both bottled and on a rotating tap, and over 55 arcade games. Their regular hours are until 1 a.m. so you can play Pac-Man and other vintage games well into the night, and most games are free to play after you buy a drink.

The theme at 8 Bit Arcade Bar is made complete with a VHS player showing old-school movies in the background and pizza on the menu.

The PASS Pub & Grill

The PASS Pub & Grill doubles as a bar and a restaurant, so it’s the perfect location for a fun evening out or a low-key dinner date. Residents love its Cuban sandwiches and customizable burgers. You can also enjoy tasty pub classics like Not Your Average Nachos, Jalapeño Corn Nuggets, and Garlic Cheese Balls. It has both indoor and outdoor seating, and it’s well known for Friday night specials, like $12 Domestic Buckets and $5 Domestic Pitchers. You can find the PASS just down the road from Eastland Mall in the middle of town.

Spotted Dog

Go to The Spotted Dog for all the classic pub-style appetizers and homestyle cooking you could ask for. Even the cheese sauce is homestyle and a must-have on the fries. Customers also regularly rave about the friendly service and attention from the waitstaff. The bartenders are just as friendly, and the drinks are cold.

You can play darts and video games or listen to music as you enjoy your drinks from the bar. The Spotted Dog serves beer, wine, cocktails, and even “drunken” gummy bears for a boozy snack.

Bakery & Pickle

Bakery & Pickle is a one-of-a-kind venue quadrupling as a nightclub, bar, farm-to-table restaurant, and speak-easy. No matter what you’re craving, Bakery & Pickle has it; from steak and seafood to charcuterie and small plates, you can order a light dinner, a six-course meal, or dessert.

Enjoy drinks with dinner, or go to the bar for a wide selection of unique cocktails. It’s a great place to get dressed without being too formal, and you can enjoy the retro decor, old-school china sets, and fun aesthetic. It’s perfect for a date or an evening out with friends.

Best Bars in Uptown Normal

White Oak Brewing Taproom

If local breweries are your style, you’ll love stopping by White Oak Brewing Taproom. You can try something new every time you stop by with flights that let you customize your beer selection. The brewery has indoor and outdoor seating with fun twinkling lights and beer barrel tables. Other perks of this Uptown bar include under-bar coat racks, easy access to sockets so you can charge your phone, and knowledgeable staff that can recommend brews that suit your tastes.

Flingers Pizza Pub

Closing at 1 a.m. during the week and 3 a.m. on Friday and Saturday, Flingers Pizza Pub is perfect for night owls and foodies. Not only does it serve delicious craft beer, but it’s also well-known around town for craft pizza. You can order pizza and calzones in all forms ranging from Flinger Rolls to fresh pies with homemade crusts and lots of toppings. The menu includes gluten-free and vegetarian options, so it’s a great place for those with dietary restrictions. The beer selection is so extensive that you need to look through a book rather than a menu.

Maggie Miley’s

Maggie Miley’s is both a classic Irish pub and a college bar that manages to strike just the right balance. Enjoy huge portions of food with varied menu items like curry fries, shepherd’s pie, bangers and mash, and Irish beef stew. It has a great selection of beer and daily drink specials, and you can order at the bar, enjoy a sit-down meal, or play a game of darts as you sip your drink. It’s conveniently located near the train station, so it’s a great spot to wait for your train or enjoy a warm meal after traveling.

Best Bars Near ISU

Stave Wine Bar & Market

Stave Wine Bar & Market is the go-to wine bar in town. Eat cheese, olives, meat, and bread as you enjoy wine by the glass or by the bottle with friends. Local residents love it for the friendly atmosphere, knowledgeable staff, and wide selection of available wines.

Pub II

Serving the ISU area for over 40 years, Pub II is the perfect college bar to grab a beer and some pub food. You can catch a game on one of the many huge TVs inside, play an arcade game, or hang out with a cold drink in the beer garden. Pub II offers daily beer specials, an extensive menu, and a full bar.

Brewe-Ha’s Bar & Grill

Brewe-Ha’s Bar & Grill is the place to go for delicious burgers and a good atmosphere. You can play darts, try a batch of fried cheese balls, and hang out with friends. Check out the regular specials on draft beer, liquor, and even food. It’s also near the downtown area, so you can stop by as you explore the area.

Fun bars that offer delicious food and microbrews aren’t the only attractions in Blo-No. Check out our top seven list of ethnic restaurants in town for a night out with tasty food. If you’re celebrating a special occasion with your night out on the night, contact us at Hustedt Jewelers first. We specialize in beautiful, high-quality jewelry for birthday gifts, anniversary presents, and proposals, and we can help you find or make the perfect piece.

Photo via Flickr by Alex Butterfield