Downtown /North Main

Bourbon | 1214 Main St., 803-403-1404 | | There are tasty high-end takes on Southern and Creole cuisine. There’s an impressively creative cocktail program. And yes, there’s a whole hell of a lot of bourbon on offer.

Cantina 76 | 1301 Main St., 803-764-1769 | | Like its sister location on Devine Street, this taqueria offers good tacos and good drink specials, especially at happy hour. Draws the urban professionals looking for something less gritty than The Whig.

The Grand | 1621 Main St., 803-726-2323 | | The Grand has a bowling alley. The Grand has a bar. The Grand has food. Welcome to the new Main Street.

Lula Drake | 1635 Main St., 803-606-1968 | | A smart, cozy bar for people who really love wine. Small but great craft beer selection, too.

Main Street Public House | 1556 Main St., 803-334-3409 | | Matches an upscale food menu with a well-stocked bar and laid-back pub atmosphere.

Sheraton Rooftop Lounge | 1400 Main St., 803-988-1400 | With a fine panoramic view of the city, the Sheraton’s hip Rooftop Lounge offers a classy clientele, fine libations and desserts.

Sheraton Vault Martini Bar | 1400 Main St., 803-988-1400 | Nestled within the bank’s original safe, the Vault Martini Bar is a hotspot for those seeking sophistication.

The War Mouth | 1209 Franklin St., 803-569-6144, | Though more renowned around town for its profoundly good Southern cooking, this Cottontown hangout doubles as one of the best bars in town. Late-night menu.

The Whig | 1200 Main St., 803-931-8852, | The cozy subterranean vibe is great. So are the cheap-taco Tuesdays and well curated $3 pint night on Wednesdays. Still has that rad jukebox.

South Main / USC

Hunter-Gatherer | 900 Main St., 803-748-0540 | | More than the token local brewpub, H-G offers awesome bartenders, scrumptious entrées and an excellent liquor selection. Hosts a Thursday jazz night and frequent live music.

Five Points /Shandon

The Barn | 707 Harden St. | College-oriented bar features margarita towers, draft beer and wings.

The Black Market Tavern | 2303 Devine St., 803-708-3712 | The more cocktail-oriented cousin of Rosewood’s classy gastropub The Kraken.

Bar None | 620 Harden St., 803-254-3354 | Open from happy hour until sunrise, Bar None is the last refuge of the late-night lush and the service industry worker. Try the smoked wings, when they’re available.

The Bird Dog | 715 Harden St., 803-799-0611 | The drinks are served in mason jars. There are mounted deer heads and paintings of hunting dogs. It’s a Southern bar, through and through, and people seem to like it.

Breakers | 801 Harden St., 803-771-6360 | | Outdoor patio offers an ideal Five Points people-watching spot.

Cantina 76 | 2901 Devine St., 803-708-6004, | Draws everyone from singles at the bar to couples and families, all of whom come for the Tex-Mex cuisine — and some of whom also go for the excellent margaritas, made in all shapes, flavors and sizes with top-shelf tequilas.

CJ’s | 749 Saluda Ave., 803-748-8694 | Its retractable exterior wall opens to reveal the Five Points fountain plaza, making CJ’s a great spot for taking in this colorful corner of Columbia.

The Cotton Gin | 632 Harden St. | In the space once occupied by Red Hot Tomatoes, another college-oriented bar.

Cover 3 | 711 Harden St., 803-533-7030 | The Cover 3 is a defensive scheme in football with three deep coverage zones covered by two cornerbacks and one safety. It’s also a bar in Five Points.

Craft and Draft | 2706 Devine St., 803-764-2575, | Craft beer is booming, and Craft and Draft is on it. Grab a six-pack, pick up a growler or take a seat at the bar.

Delaney’s | 741 Saluda Ave., 803-779-2345 | Reliable bar recently got new ownership that seems intent on enhancing the already present formula of live music, personable staff and a vibrant atmosphere.

Goat’s | 2017 Devine St., 803-708-4495, | A lush, sexy vibe complements the well-curated wine and beer lists and tasty desserts at this relaxed restaurant and lounge.

Henry’s | 2865 Devine St., 803-708-4705, | Henry’s champions the traditional neighborhood bar — and, equally importantly, brings terrific bar food. Comfortable and classy.

The Hookah Spot | 617 Harden St., 803-661-8337 | | Grab a couch, sidle up to a hookah and get your smoke on.

The Horseshoe | 724 Harden St., | Named after the University of South Carolina’s most famous quad, this bar recently moved away from its famous fishbowls to focus on draft beer.

Jake’s | 2112 Devine St., 803-708-4788 | | Friendly Five Points institution with craft beer, live music, televised sports, multiple bar stations, spacious patio, and locally sourced food.

Lucky’s | 2100 Devine St., 803-929-1118 | This spot on the namesake corner of Five Points has the college bar basics down pat.

Latitude 22 | 636 Harden St., 803-834-7113 | | Nautical theme with daily drink specials and breezy good times.

Moosehead Saloon | 2020 Devine St., 803-708-4984 | A rock ‘n’ roll country bar.

Nicky’s Pizzeria | 2123 Greene St., 803-748-9661 | Need a slice to fuel another late night in Five Points? Drop by Nicky’s. Grab a beer while you’re there.

Nightcaps | 2722 Devine St., 803-771-6575 | An out-of-the-way place with respect to Five Points, Nightcaps has a pool table, a big-screen television, comfy lounge chairs and a good late-night atmosphere. A popular haven for those not ready to let the night end.

Pavlov’s | 2000B Greene St., | Tucked behind the Salty Nut, Pavlov’s is a long-time stomping ground of college revelers and serves as hallowed ground for many in the fraternity and sorority circles. If you think “Sluts Love Pavs” coozies are clever, you’ll love this place.

Pawleys Front Porch | 827 Harden St., 803-771-8001 | | Primarily known for its behemoth specialty burgers, but it also caters to a late-night crowd on weekends. Especially good for game days, as it shows football games on its huge screen on its even huger deck.

Pinch | 640 Harden St., 803-816-1604 | | Pinch offers Vista atmosphere at Five Points prices. On-tap beers are rotated frequently, and frequently feature high-class offerings.

Publick House | 2307 Devine St., 803-256-2207, | Exceptional beer selection, challenging trivia, hip music selection, über-friendly staff, good burgers and the best raw fries around.

Publico Kitchen & Tap | 2013 Greene St.,

803-661-9043, | A diverse array of gourmet tacos highlights the food menu at this intentionally hip hangout that also boasts an expansive tap selection.

Rooftop Bar | 638 Harden St., | Located above Pinch on Harden St.

Salty Nut Cafe | 2000 Greene St., 803-256-4611, | Varied menu includes everything from hearty salads to tasty cheeseburgers. Comfortable setting … so comfortable, in fact, that you can throw your peanut shells on the floor.

Taneyhill’s Group Therapy | 2107 Greene St., 803-256-1203 | Columbia’s quintessential college bar, with cheap drinks, loud music and an outdoor oasis to escape the crowd — now owned by former USC quarterback Steve Taneyhill.

The Thirsty Parrot | 734 Harden St., 803-708-4768 | Like Jimmy Buffett? You’ll most likely dig this place, which offers fine burgers and spirits in an easygoing atmosphere.

Village Idiot | 2009 Devine St., 803-252-8646, | Columbia’s quintessential college-town pizza joint in a pub atmosphere. Enjoy delicious fare, cold beer, wallet-friendly weekly specials and a heaping helping of revelry. Serving New York-style pizza since 1990.

The White Mule | 711 Saluda Ave., 803-708-5908, | Beloved former Main Street music pub and eatery is reborn in Five Points, looking to balance intimate listening room experiences with louder, rowdier rock shows.

Yesterdays Restaurant and Tavern | 2030 Devine St., 803-799-0196, | Good food, above-average beer and liquor selection. Bar in the back has its own entrance on Devine Street. A veritable Columbia landmark since 1978.

Rosewood / Olympia

Cock N Bull Pub | 326 S. Edisto Ave., 803-251-4474, | As British as you’ll get in Rosewood. Popular and laid-back, this neighborhood favorite has a small but stellar beer menu, and lots of soccer on TV.

Foxfield Bar and Grille | 406 Howard St., 803-728-0420, | Cozy Rosewood neighborhood spot offers a reliable selection of beers and spirits at affordable prices, plus frequent live music.

The Kraken Gastropub | 2910 Rosewood Dr., 803-955-7408, | After being closed for a bit, The Kraken has been re-released. Gastropub has a great draft beer selection with a swanky menu and cozy-cool vibe.

Quaker Steak & Lube | 2154 South Beltline Blvd., 803-908-4905, | Wings, steaks, brews and a long list of specialty cocktails including the Need for Speed and the Blazin’ Bloody Mary.

Rockaway Athletic Club | 2719 Rosewood Dr., 803-256-1075, | Exquisite burgers, low-key atmosphere and a nice, amply stocked bar. Plus, lots of sports on TV and a corner nook with arcade games.

The Vista

Art Bar | 1211 Park St., 803-929-0198 | Art Bar’s been around for more than 20 years now, but it still hasn’t grown up: It’s still the same eclectic, non-corporate nightspot it’s always been. Cool but never pretentious.

Blue. | 721A Lady St., 803-251-4447 | Blue, a tapas bar and cocktail lounge, features Columbia’s only ice bar. Cozy late-night spot as well.

Capital Club | 1002 Gervais St., 803-256-6464, | The oldest gay bar in the state is a private club that’s also welcoming to people of other stripes.

Carolina Ale House | 708 Lady St., 803-227-7150 | | Southeastern grille-and-grog chain offers good eats, a good beer selection and plenty of televised sports. Features the Vista’s hottest rooftop bar and plenty of fun drink specials.

The Casual Pint | 807 Gervais St., 803-832-7468 | | The Vista location of this bottle shop chain also boasts a craft beer bar that’s relaxed and well-curated.

Flying Saucer | 931 Senate St., 803-256-2055 | | Columbia’s location of the chain that calls its target demographic “beerknurds” boasts a hundreds-deep beer list and tasty grub to soak it up.

Gervais & Vine | 620A Gervais St., 803-799-8463, | Gervais & Vine offers a sophisticated yet approachable atmosphere for its exquisite Southern fusion tapas. Its extensive wine selection separates it from most of Columbia’s metropolitan haunts, and the diversity and daring of the menu make it hard to dislike.

Hickory Tavern | 907 Senate St., 803-765-9280, | Burgers, wings, sandwiches and other basic sports bar fare, along with some seafood favorites, all matched with an expansive beer selection and available to enjoy on a lovely deck.

Kaminsky’s | 930 Gervais St., 803-550-9979, | Popular Charleston dessert bar has a spot in Columbia complete with multiple sweet martinis, alcoholic milkshakes and coffee drinks — all available late into the night.

Liberty Tap Room | 828 Gervais St., 803-461-4677, | Whether you’re after a nice meal or just a tasty drink, you’ll find much to enjoy here considering the much-acclaimed menu and massive beer list.

Nonnah’s | 923 Gervais St., 803-779-9599 | | Best known for its desserts, but with a solid dinner menu as well, Nonnah’s is a good place to stop for coffee and drinks after dinner or a show.

The Oyster Bar | 1123 Park St., 803-799-4484 | | Serves fresh Gulf oysters — steamed or raw — in a dressed-down atmosphere. Best of all: They shuck, you eat. Also serves up steamed shrimp and scallops.

Pearlz | 936 Gervais St., 803-661-7741 | | Pearlz specializes in oysters, but its hip ambience and signature martinis also make it a hotspot for Columbia’s young, urban professional crowd. Plus, its upstairs lounge is a hotbed for local jazz.

PT’s 1109 | 1109 Assembly St., 803-253-8900 | Fun, low-key gay bar hosts frequent drag shows.

SakiTumi | 807 Gervais St., 803-931-0700 | | Don’t miss this hip sushi bar just because it’s down an alley. Its signature cocktails feature muddled mint leaves, cucumbers, blueberries and more. Four flat-screen TVs, too.

The Senate | 1022 State St., | Formerly Music Farm Columbia, the city’s marquee rock club is now The Senate at Tin Roof, attracting an impressive selection of country, hip-hop, metal and indie rock.

Social | 918 Gervais St., 803-603-4313, | | A hot Vista night spot, Social gets weird on the weekends, hosting paint parties, ice parties, inflatable wonderland parties, foam parties and all manner of events at which to get turnt.

Thirsty Fellow | 621 Gadsden St., 803-799-1311 | | Super-popular spot serving up eclectic, delicious pizzas (and much more) and offering a full bar.

Tin Roof | 1022 Senate St., 803-771-1558, | | A favorite bar for everyone from USC students to young professionals. Its calling cards: live music, good food and a laid-back atmosphere. Open for lunch, happy hour, dinner and into the night.

Tsunami | 700-C Gervais St., 803-312-9911, | Tsunami’s elegant, contemporary atmosphere and ample seating area complement its extensive sake, wine and beer selection.

Twin Peaks | 600 Gervais St., 803-602-3667, | Kinda like Hooters, but with a different double-entendre-based name.

Twisted Spur | 705 Gervais St., 803-764-0203, | Vista brewpub offers a classy atmosphere, some nice beers, and tasty eats — including a daily happy hour special on oysters.

Uncle Fester’s | 522 Devine St., 803-748-9897 | While most of the Soda City’s bars are closing up shop on Sunday morning, this watering hole between Palmetto Pig and Todd & Moore keeps the party going. Always packed with a diverse clientele.

Uncle Louie’s | 1125 Park St., 803-933-9833 | Its no-frills, no-nonsense attitude has endeared this unassuming watering hole to a loyal legion of regulars, but there’s always room for more.

Vista Union | 700 Gervais St., 803-764-6125 | | Sets as its goal to be a “a fun and exciting social gathering spot with quality food and cocktails.”

Wet Willie’s | 800 Gervais St., 803-779-5650, | Specializes in frozen daiquiris with names ranging from Strawberry and Mango to White Russian, Weak Willie and Shock Treatment.

Wild Wing Cafe | 729 Lady St., 803-252-9464 | | Sure, Wild Wing Cafe has sandwiches, salads and soup, but the obvious draw is its 33 flavors of wings. If you can’t decide on one, get the sampler platter. Also boasts a ton of TVs, a party atmosphere and a steady stream of regional rock bands.

The Woody | 808 Lady St., 803-779-9663 | Named after popular Columbia disc jockey Woody Windham, The Woody is a popular Vista spot for shag, salsa and line dancing, as well as a welcoming spot for partiers who aren’t in their 20s.

World of Beer | 902F Gervais St., 803-509-6020, | World of Beer offers more than 500 beers, stocking something for aficionados and neophytes alike. Wine and cigars, too, plus live music on the weekends. The suds bring the masses in, but the living-room atmosphere keeps ‘em coming back.

West Columbia /Vista West

@116 Espresso & Wine Bar | 116 State St., 803-791-5663 | A coffee shop that serves gourmet food and booze. Dig those specialty cocktails; also serves an extensive assortment of wines. Small, but cozy. A good date spot.

Bill’s Music Shop & Pickin’ Parlor | 710 Meeting St., 803-796-6477, | Instrument store hosts bluegrass jams, Opry-style country jams and occasional concerts featuring top-flight bluegrass and old-timey musicians.

Calloway’s Bar & Grill | 2410 Augusta Rd., 803-926-1199, | Pool tables, big-screen TVs and food: What more do you want from a sports bar?

Henry’s | 2108 State St., 803-661-8499 | | Like the Henry’s on Devine, this bar offers a cozy combination of traditional bar eats and reliable drinks.

New Brookland Tavern | 122 State St., 803-791-4413 | | New Brookland Tavern is Columbia’s most storied rock club, but it’s a damn fine bar, too, offering a fine array of specials and a bar stocked with much more than Pabst Blue Ribbon served up by friendly staff.

Platinum West | 1995 Old Dunbar Rd., 803-794-6277, | Exactly like the recently fire-damaged Platinum Plus, but in West Columbia (i.e., the ladies have no shirts on).

Rooster’s Den | 1215 Augusta Rd., 803-794-8200 | A members-only bar in Triangle City.

State Street Pub | 136 State St., 803-796-2006 | An across-the-bridge institution, State Street Pub wins its crowd with pool, cheap beer, sports, live music and plenty of charm. Loads of beers on tap. You’ll need to be a member, but you should be.

Forest Acres / Dentsville

Ale House Lounge | 12 Tommy Circle, 803-771-0161 | | An off-the-beaten-path hole-in-the-wall not without its charms.

Comedy House | 2768 Decker Blvd., 803-798-9898, | Regional and national comedy acts stopping by regularly. Offers a full menu with steak, shrimp, chicken, burgers, sandwiches and appetizers.

The Mouse Trap | 2711 Middleburg Dr., 803-799-2120 | One of this town’s hidden gems, the bar is located beneath an office building in Middleburg Park. Country cooking, lots of regulars, sports on a big screen and occasional evening entertainment.

The Pizza Joint | 3246 Forest Dr., 803-454-1743 | | Come for the pizza, stay for the impressive beer selection — especially enjoyable during the $2.75 slice and pint night each Tuesday.

Rosso Trattoria Italia | 4840 Forest Dr., 803-787-3949, | More known for its food, yes, but its bar — and sexy atmosphere — make it a great place for a casual — or serious — drinks date.

Irmo / Harbison / Dutch Fork / Chapin

British Bulldog Pub | 1220 E10 Bowers Pkwy., 803-227-8918, | A British pub in the middle of Irmo’s suburban sprawl? Rad. A dinner menu of traditional U.K. cuisine is augmented with specials on Guinness and Irish whiskeys, but the Bulldog doesn’t forget us Yanks, offering basketball (and soccer, too) on big-screen televisions and multiple, cold domestics.

Carolina Ale House | 277 Columbiana Dr., 803-407-6996, | Southeastern chain grille-and-grog offers good eats, a good beer selection and plenty of televised sports.

Copper River Grill | 1230 B8 Bower Parkway, 803-749-4647, | Copper River Grill is a destination drinking spot for the entire Irmo/St. Andrews area. A super-large bar area means you’ll always have some place to sit, but it still gets crowded the later the night progresses.

Dave and Buster’s | 100 Columbiana Circle (Columbiana Mall), 803-576-4806, | Massive arcade for adults — combined with a bar? Why are we not there?

Hooters | 5195 Fernandina Rd., 803-407-9464, | Founded in 1983, Hooters is known for its wings and its scantily clad waitresses. Also serves salads, soups, burgers, seafood and sandwiches. But let’s be honest: You’re probably going for the wings and the waitresses.

Tsunami | 1290 Bower Pkwy., 803-407-3873, | Like its sister Vista location, Tsunami’s elegant, contemporary atmosphere and ample seating area complement its extensive sake, wine and beer selection.

Wild Wing Cafe | 1150 Bower Pkwy., 803-749-9464, | Sure, Wild Wing Cafe has sandwiches, salads and soup, but the obvious draw is its 33 flavors of wings. If you can’t decide on one, get the sampler platter. Also boasts a ton of TVs, a party atmosphere and a steady stream of regional rock bands.

Lexington / Lake Murray

Carolina Wings & Rib House | 105 Northpoint Dr., 803-356-6244, | What can we say about this Columbia institution? They carry a good selection of bottled beers, and the assortment of Buffalo wing flavors is enticing, too.

The Casual Pint | 217 Saluda Springs Rd., 803-358-2337 | | Lexington location of the low-key bottle shop and craft beer bar.

Goodfellas Grill & Bar | 7608 U.S. 378, 803-951-4663 | | Classic Southern food and a laid-back atmosphere define this Lexington bar.

Keg Cowboy | 108 E. Main St., 803-957-2337 | | “No crap on tap!” is the motto of this exceptional tasting room and eatery, pairing delicious sandwiches and soups with rotating beer selections that live up to its goal.

Krafty Draft | 269 Charter Oak Rd., 803-996-0345, | Feast on daily specials while sampling a wide assortment of draft beers. Brews some of its own, too.

Levi’s Lake House | 1605 N. Lake Dr., Lexington, 803-490-2067, | Locally owned restaurant and bar hosts frequent country concerts.

Liberty on the Lake | 1602 Marina Rd., 803-667-9715, | Offers all the accoutrements of Liberty’s downtown drinkery with the added scenery of Lake Murray. Forty-eight beers on tap.

O’Hara’s Public House | 131 E Main St., 803-785-4025 | | New Irish pub in downtown Lexington offers a wide selection of beer, wine and liquor.

Old Mill Brew Pub | 711 E. Main St., 803-785-2337 | | Cozy, neighborhood-style brewpub in downtown Lexington makes some great beers and big ol’ burgers and hosts occasional live music, too.

Rusty Anchor | 1925 Johnson Marina Rd., 803-749-1555, | Sliding glass doors opened most of the year offer a great view of Lake Murray. And live entertainment on The Quarterdeck outside jazzes up the summer months.

Schooners | 6226 Bush River Rd., 803-661-6138, | On the eastern shores of Lake Murray, Schooners is a simple unassuming bar and grill, offering daily specials, cheap wings, televisions and live music.

Tipsy Toad Tavern | 103 Beaufort St., 803-932-4470, | A godsend to the culturally deprived lake area, the Tipsy Toad features a good beer selection and Vista-style atmosphere.

Wings ‘n’ Ale | 154 Ellis Ave., 803-359-4475 | Specializing in wings, beer and pool, Wings ‘n’ Ale has an ample supply of all three. If you’re looking for a place where the odds of getting a table are better than making a masse shot, this is it. Classic and modern rock flows as freely as the brew. Not your khaki and button-down crowd.

St. Andrews

Hemingway’s Saloon | 7467 St. Andrews Rd., 803-749-6020, | A sports bar, a great restaurant and a nice little music club all rolled into one.

McCary’s Sports Bar | 851 Bush River Rd., 803-551-5680 | Typically places high in the annual Best of Columbia poll, and for good reason: good selection, good atmosphere.

Wings & Ale | 125 Outlet Pointe Blvd., 803-750-1700, | Family atmosphere, live entertainment and wings. Features jukebox, pool tables, sporting events on large-projection TV and many other big-screen TVs. Live entertainment steers toward the classic rock crowd. Never a cover charge.

Northeast Columbia / Camden

Baker’s Sports Pub & Grill | 7167 Two Notch Rd., 803-419-2381, | Outdoor deck, 16 high-definition TVs, and low prices and domestic and imported beer. Yes, it’s all about the sports.

Henry’s | 111 Sparkleberry Crossing, 803-563-5674, | As with the other two Henry’s locations, a comfortable establishment that offers traditional neighborhood bar staples.

Hooters | 7711 Two Notch Rd., 803-419-3456, | Founded in 1983, Hooters is known for its wings and its scantily clad waitresses. Also serves salads, soups, burgers, seafood and sandwiches. But let’s be honest: You’re probably going for the wings and the waitresses.

Polliwog’s | 10005 Two Notch Rd., 803-736-5775, | This sports bar offers an attractive selection of viewing and dining possibilities. And if you hate sports, there’s always karaoke.

Salud! | 1101 Broad St., 803-425-4850 | | Taqueria and tequila lounge, and the place to catch live jazz in Camden.

Serenity | 301 Rice Meadow Way, 803-736-8228, | Serenity now! A country-ish restaurant by day and lounge by night.

Solstice Kitchen & Wine Bar | 841-4 Sparkleberry Lane, 803-788-6966, | Solstice offers an excellent menu, and it’s a great place to relax with a fancy cocktail.

Tsubaki | 224 #10 O’Neil Ct., 803-736-7474,

RestaurantLoungeKaraoke. | Love karaoke? You’ll love Tsubaki, where the karaoke is as authentically Japanese as next-door Inakaya’s sushi.

Venue on Broad | 1020 Broad St., Camden, | This laidback venue is the place to catch live music in Kershaw County, offering everything from singer-songwriters to popular local and regional rock acts.

Wild Wing Cafe | 480 Town Center Place, Suite 2, 803-865-3365. | | Sure, Wild Wing Cafe has sandwiches, salads and soup, but the obvious draw is its 33 flavors of wings. Also boasts a ton of TVs and bands on the weekend.