This summer, 3,596 votes were cast for a 276 bay area bars in 10 categories. There’s a mix of old favorites and new spots for you to check out, all approved by our readers.
► Dog-friendly beach bar
5413 Shore Blvd. S, Gulfportsaltysgulfport.com
Salty’s Gulfport is a quaint neighborhood bar that simply “serves up fun.” Inside is an open-air bar with video games, pool tables and dart boards, and live music weekly on the indoor stage. Enjoy a cocktail on their waterfront Tiki Bar.
$2 domestic drafts, $3 wells every day until 8 p.m.
Beach, Polished, Casual
7700 W Courtney Campbell Causeway, Tampabeachtampa.com
Next to Tampa’s Godfrey Hotel, Beach Bar sits right on the bay’s waterfront. The aptly-named spot has beach volleyball and live Jet Ski shows, with food and drinks in the inside bodega.
$3 Margarita Monday, ½-off Wine Wednesday, 93 cent beers 3-5 p.m. Saturday
Entertainment bar and game room
115 107th Ave., Treasure IslandCJsOnTheIsland.com
This Treasure Island staple has almost everything under one roof. There’s a full liquor bar, pool tables, darts, Skee Ball and live-band karaoke, and tons of wallet-friendly deals every night of the week.
Happy hour: $2 wells, $2.50 Bloody Marys, $3.50 margaritas / 11 a.m.-7 p.m., daily
Eat and drink on the beach
9000 W Gulf Blvd., Treasure Islandcaddys.com
Located directly on the Gulf of Mexico, Caddy’s is one of the best places to eat, drink and watch the sun set on the beach. They offer complimentary lounge chairs and umbrellas. Be sure to check out their barbecue menu; the smoked corned beef Reuben is known around the world.
$10 Rum Buckets
Where land-lovers and seagoers go to play
6226 Ohio Ave., Gibsontonriversedgebarandgrill.com
Accessible by land or water, River’s Edge is right on the Alafia River just south of East Tampa. There is a newly renovated pool room, outside seating and live music every weekend.
Free Jell-O Shots during Ladies Night, Wednesday.
Cocktail lodge and social sanctuary
231 Central Ave., St. PetersburgMandarinhide.com
The Mandarin Hide aims to be more than just a bar or lounge. It has an eclectic and unpretentious vibe, invigorating music and expertly crafted drinks.
$5 Moscow Mules, all night Thursday
Home of historic evenings
601 N Florida Ave., TampaBizoutampa.com
Located in a former federal courthouse building in downtown Tampa, Bizou Brasserie looks formal on the outside, but inside it’s a casual, fun restaurant. Bizou’s mixologists are always creating innovative cocktails while seamlessly serving up signature favorites.
Happy hour from 4 p.m.-7 p.m., Monday-Friday.
Creative food + clever cocktails
912 W Kennedy Blvd., TampaEdison-tampa.com
This Tampa favorite focuses on cocktails with dynamic flavor profiles made from their custom-blended spirits, liqueurs and shrubs. Last year it was ranked #1 in the Tampa Bay Times list of top 50 restaurants.
Liquid menus change frequently, so ask for available unique or rare features.
Not just craft beer, but great beer
12707 49th St. N, Clearwater and 2330 Success Drive, Odessabigstormbrewery.com
Both Big Storm taprooms pour 20 different beer creations and feature limited releases not found anywhere else. The Pinellas location now has a gourmet food truck while both the new tasting room and Odessa have Yoga on Tap.
Check out their new Sunday Brunch starting Aug. 27 in Clearwater, Sept. 3 in Odessa.
Craft beer gameroom
2244 Central Ave., St. PetersburgFacebook.com/StPeteCornerBar
This Grand Central hangout has retro arcade games, steel-tipped darts, pool, a Nintendo 64 with a variety of games, and a quickly-rotating tap list featuring a Sour Tower and many rare and beloved craft beer favorites. Check out the N64 Mario Kart tournaments or trivia on Thursdays.
Happy Hour from Monday-Friday, 4 p.m.-7 p.m., $1 off drafts
Dog-friendly brewery and tap room
1962 1st Ave. S, St. PetersburgPawBeer.com
A local brewery whose number one goal is to create the best beer possible. There are 24 taps in the tap room and a shaded beer garden where well-behaved dogs are always welcome.
Yappy Hour every Thursday / Growler fill specials on weekdays
Laid-back neighborhood brewpub
923 72nd St. N, St. PetersburgPeskypelicanstpete.com
One of the few nanobreweries on the west side of St. Pete, this neighborhood brewpub is right on the Pinellas Trail and offers half-pound burgers, their own beer and a variety of seafood dishes.
Taco Tuesdays/Wing Wednesdays
Top-rated neighborhood restaurant
21 N. Safford Ave., Tarpon Springstarpontavern.com
This British-style pub has been ranked #1 on TripAdvisor since its opening on the Pinellas Trail five years ago. They have drawn rave reviews for their burgers and other pub fare.
BOGO Fish & Chips all day Tuesday.
Bold craft beer
625 US Alt 19, Palm Harborstilthousebrewery.com
Stilt House Brewery features more than 28 craft beers with some incredibly bold styles, such as their Honey Jalapeño Cornbread Lager and Vanilla Cucumber Cream Ale, as well as classic craft beer styles.
Customer Appreciation Free Pizza Wednesday, 6 p.m.
Tampa's oldest European and craft beer bar
14929 Bruce B. Downs Blvd., Tampadunderbaks.com
New Tampa’s 40+ year-old Bavarian-inspired beer hall is a restaurant and brewery with over 65 drafts and 500 bottles. Their menu features American classics as well as German favorites.
Tampa Bay B.E.E.R.S home brew club meetings, first Tuesday of every month.
Great times, well crafted
75 Brandon Town Center, Brandon; 10047 N. Dale Mabry Highway, Tampa; 1600 East 8th Ave., Ybor City; 2438 Tyrone Blvd. N, St. Pete.Brasstapbeerbar.com
The Brass Tap offers over 200 craft beers from around the globe with a strong emphasis on the local beer scene. Guests can enjoy themselves in a neighborhood atmosphere and be entertained with weekly events and tappings.
A fun, friendly place to hang out
6716 Central Ave., St. Petedeadbobsstpete.com
A perfect place to stop before or after hitting the beach, this dive on the way to Treasure Island has cheap food and drinks with specials nightly. Check their website for their live music schedule.
$2.46 you-call-its on Tuesdays.
Honky tonk dive bar
11222 Casa Loma Drive, Riverview
This historic bar is the oldest drinking establishment on the Alafia River. They boast the coldest and cheapest beer and best live music on the river.
Trivia on Thursday nights.
Local sports dive
46 46th Ave., St. Pete Beachdrunkenclambar.com
A sports bar with a welcoming vibe, this locals establishment has a full bar with simple bar food. Their menu includes "naked wings," steamed shrimp, seared ahi tuna, and burgers. There is live music 8:30 to midnight Tuesday to Saturday.
Build-your-own Bloody Mary bar, 11 a.m.-1 p.m., Sunday
Where good friends meet
3703 Henderson Blvd., TampaCitySideLoungeTampa.com
At 27, City Side Lounge is Tampa’s oldest LGBT bar. There are numerous drag shows throughout the week including showcases on Tuesday, Friday and Saturday, with Drag Queen Bingo on Sunday.
2-4-1 drink specials all day, every day
Upscale twist on the neighborhood pub
813 N Tampa St., Tampafacebook.com/pg/PaddywagonTPA
This downtown Irish bar is pet-friendly and offers tons of TVs for fans of any sport, but especially the Tampa Bay Lightning. There is a wall of domestic and craft beer taps, a variety of whiskies and tons of bar games.
Sign up for the text alerts for their BOGO deals
“The people’s pub”
Hyde Park Village, Westchase, Amalie Arena and WestShoreirish31.com
Irish 31 believes every neighborhood deserves a local Irish pub that becomes a community. You’ll find brunch deals, drink specials, sports screenings and live music at their many locations around Tampa Bay.
A SoHo institution for Good Times
2307 W. Azeele St., Tampathedublineririshpub.com
A SoHo favorite for the last 15 years, this neighborhood pub is known for its live music, comfortable vibe and outside deck. It offers more than 20 draft beers, a full pub menu and numerous Irish specialties.
Buckets, drafts and wing specials during NFL and college football games.
Award-winning Irish pub and eatery
1724 E 8th Ave., Ybor CityJamesjoyceybor.com
This Ybor City Irish Bar has more than 50 beers on tap, a huge selection of Irish whiskeys and premier scotches. They are a four-time burger showdown champion and offer cheap drink deals every night.
Ladies night: ½ off beer and liquor for ladies, 9 p.m.-close, Tuesday.
Neighborhood Irish pub
701 W Lumsden Road, Brandonfacebook.com/brandonobriens
With different-styled rooms and events every night, this bar has everything: live music, trivia and karaoke. This is the local gathering spot for Buffalo Bills backers and the local Ohio State Alumni Club.
$15 all-you-can-drink, 7-9, Friday
Live entertainment liquor bar
5902 South Gornto Lake Road, Riverview
This Riverview spot aims to be the “cleanest smoking bar around with something for everyone.” There are three specials daily with live music, live band karaoke and a build-your-own Bloody Mary bar on Sundays.
Rockstar, live band karaoke, 9:30 p.m., Tuesday
Best in rock and sports
1915 N Hercules Ave., ClearwaterTwobuks.com
A local neighborhood bar with all the "big bar" benefits, Two Buks features great bands from around Tampa Bay every Friday and Saturday night with no cover. Rock out yourself with karaoke every Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday night.
Beer bucket specials during NFL games
Downtown Tampa nightlife destination
912 N Franklin St., Tampathefranklinmanor.com
This new eatery offers handcrafted cocktails, a premium beer selection and live music to downtown Tampa. There is an outside bar with counter service food as well as bar and table service inside.
Happy hour $5 red and white wine, 4-8 p.m. daily
Great food, atmosphere and entertainment
405 S Howard Ave., Tampamacdintons.com
You can’t write a guide to Tampa’s favorite bars without mentioning MacDinton’s. The SoHo MacDinton’s is an infamous landmark with different rooms for different vibes; hang out on the deck or vibe inside with the dance floor and live band. On the weekends, check out any game for your favorite soccer team.
Drink specials 8 p.m.-3 a.m., Friday and Saturday
Late night food and fun
300 10th St. S, St. Petethegratefulfedpub.com
Right by Tropicana Field, this Irish pub is great for late night eats and drinks after a baseball game or a night downtown. Visitors rave about the pub’s mac and cheese and fried Oreos.
$2 PBR and Rolling Rocks, $5 Grateful Deads, all day, every day
Your ultimate neighborhood bar
840 Main St., Safety Harborfacebook.com/harborbar1
A friendly and welcoming neighborhood bar, Harbor Bar has something for everyone, whether it’s cheap drink deals, karaoke tournaments or the wide variety of bar games, including cornhole, Jenga, 25-cent pool tables, darts and pinball.
Happy hour, Monday-Friday
Eclectic, vibrant flare
1542 US Highway 19, Holidayfacebook.com/orbit19
You’ll think you’re in a big city at this vibrant neighborhood bar with a New York-style atmosphere and a large selection of top-shelf spirits and and craft beers on tap.
$2 shot and beer specials, nightly
421 S MacDill Ave., Tampapatiotampa.com
Centered around a — you guessed it — outdoor patio, this SoHo hot spot offers nightly drink deals including hospitality nights, yappy hours and an extravagant Ladies’ Night on Fridays.
Thirsty Thursdays: $4 New Amsterdam, $2 Yuengling drafts, all day
"Yep, there's a bar here."
610 S Armenia, Suite 105, TampaSohobackyard.com
SoHo Backyard likes to think it comes down to two things: 1. Why can’t a “bar” have great food? 2. if we win the approval of the people in the industry, we have done something right.
$12 bottomless mimosas and a special brunch menu, Saturday and Sunday
Creole neighborhood pub
13150 N Dale Mabry Highway, Tampatampataproom.com
This six-time tbt* Ultimate Bar has 41 taps of craft beer with a full liquor bar and serves award-winning burgers, wings and authentic Cajun/Creole food. This bar has a strong sports following and is a great place to watch football and other events. Check out the blues music every Saturday night starting at 9 p.m..
Pint Night Wednesday, $4.50 craft beer pints
Three separate great bars
8448 N 56th St., Temple Terracegasparspatio.com
This Temple Terrace hangout offers “three different bars in one.” The main bar has karaoke every night, the dog-friendly outdoor patio has live music at least five times a week and the bourbon bar offers 175 different kinds of whiskeys and bourbons.
Happy hour from 11 a.m.-7 p.m., every day
Great patio, live music
4351 Lynx Paw Trail, Valricothelandingvalrico.com
In the heart of Valrico, this friendly neighborhood bar prides itself on providing phenomenal service and comfort food. There are unique weekly specials, including Pizza Burger Night, Surf ‘N’ Turf Thursdays and Friday night fish frys.
$5 martinis and Motown music, Wednesday
“Bring your attitude to Latitudes”
131 Harbor Village Lane, Apollo Beachlatitudesapollo.com
Aiming to amaze, this Apollo Beach hot spot has a menu of steak, seafood and New American bites that is constantly changing in order to get the freshest ingredients. Some of the locals’ favorites include the slow-roasted prime rib and Beer Cheese Burger with tots.
Pick Four martini sampler
“Best neighborhood tavern around”
3665 E Bay Drive, Suite 100, LargoFatCatTavernLargo.com
A neighborhood tavern with a fun bar atmosphere, Fat Cat Tavern takes food seriously. They offer weekly hosted trivia, karaoke and live music on Fridays.
$1 tacos and margaritas, Monday
Breathtaking views, invigorating libations
340 Beach Drive NE, St. Petethebirchwood.com
Seated atop the Birchwood Hotel on Beach Drive in St. Pete, this rooftop bar offers views of the bustling area and Tampa Bay. There are private cabanas, fire pits and tantalizing fare from the kitchen at the Birchwood downstairs.
Happy hour: $3 wells, domestic drafts, 3-7 p.m., Monday-Friday.
Eat, drink local
2451 Central Ave., St. Peteoldkeywestbarandgrill.com
Skip the eight-hour drive and find the Key West island feel in St. Pete’s Grand Central district. This neighborhood bar has an Old Florida feel with nightly events, bottomless brunch specials and the unmistakable Key West vibe.
$15 all-you-can-drink mimosas, 11 a.m.-4 p.m., Saturday-Sunday
Comfortable, local gathering space
221 Main St., DunedinSeasearidersDunedin.com
A great stop for tourists and locals, this bar offers unique cocktails from well-rounded mixologists who constantly look to incorporate different ingredients into traditional cocktails.
$6 Banyan Bloody’s, $3 mimosas, all day Sunday
Big fun. Big drinks. Little prices.
247 Central Ave. N, St. PeteFivebucksdrinkery.com
This Central Avenue staple is like a neighborhood tavern you would find in Philly or Boston, complete with the oak, neon lights and dead deer. Be sure to try their iconic big pours, whether it’s a massive craft beer or a Long Island cocktail.
Happy hour: $2 wells and domestics, $3 house wines, 12-7 p.m., Monday-Friday
The place to eat + drink every day
330 1st Ave. S, St. Petetheavenuedtsp.com
Looking to have fun and always feel welcomed? This downtown St. Pete sports bar is a must. There are plenty of ways to imbibe with their Sunday Funday parties, featuring bottomless Bloody Marys and mimosas with a DJ spinning tunes.
$5 burger night, 7-9 p.m., Wednesday
Wings, music, sports
40737 US Highway 19, Tarpon Springs; 2480 East Bay Drive, Largomugsnjugstogo.com
The wings are their thing. The secret is fresh ingredients and an array of signature sauces. Almost every night features food specials, such as all-you-can-eat boneless wings on Monday, bone-in wings on Tuesday and pasta on Thursdays.
$10 domestic buckets, $8 domestic pitchers during NFL and college football games
Sports craft beer bar
224 E Tarpon Ave., Tarpon SpringsJohnnystaphousegrill.com
With 27 different craft beers on tap, Johnny’s is a great place to catch any game and some of the area’s best beers. House-infused vodka is also available, and the outside tiki bar is dog-friendly.
Half-price burgers, $3 craft beers, 5 p.m.-close, Thursday
Good times await
229 E Brandon Blvd, Brandonfoxandhoundsbritishpub.com
This sports tavern -- billed as Brandon’s oldest pub -- offers British pub fare, Sunday brunch, quiet libations and TVs following all of your favorite sports teams.
Happy hour: $2 pints, $2.75 wells, 3-7 p.m., Monday-Saturday